From the category archives:

Hurricane Katrina

Feline Fiasco Averted

March 23, 2006

Noni on bedAfter a tense few weeks of working things out, two of our kitties seemed to have reached a comfortable zone of feline friendliness (or at least tolerance!). Kanji and Noni are |—| this close to being friends. They sleep on the bed (hence the photo – isn’t she just adorable) and on the living room couch together. They chase each other and even take turns eating, with one waiting patiently for the other to finish. Every so often, Noni still feels like she needs to have me all to herself and reverts to chasing Kanji away, but for the most part she has calmed down around him.

Unfortunately, the feline friendliness factor between Celeste and Noni is still low. They both still hiss at each other and Celeste still hides at the mere tinkle of Noni’s collar. I am trying to stay positive and keep telling myself that she is always the last one to warm up to new things. This is the worst I’ve seen her, though. I’m hoping that by the time the weather warms up, they will all be buds. In the meantime, both Kevin and I are trying to foster a positive atmosphere and continue to play with all of them together, as much as we can.

It’s odd. I’ve heard from a good number of people that adopted an adult kitty from New Orleans and all of them report that the NOLA kitty is very protective (almost overly so) of them, pushy to their other cats, overly dominant and jumpy. Generally, they all have very similar characteristics, including Noni. I wouldn’t take similarities into account on a smaller scale, but the numbers are what started me thinking. I’ve heard this over and over again. Which brings me to my odd thought.. I wonder if the trauma of the hurricane did something to all of these cats to make them behave like this. Anyone feel like researching and writing a scientific paper? Heh, only kidding… sort of.

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Tattooed!

March 13, 2006

Paw Print TattooAfter years of pining over getting a tattoo, I finally got one. A black paw print on the underside of my left wrist. It’s simple, unique (not out of a book) and small, only about an inch by inch in size. I adore it. It means so much to me, on many levels.

I called my mother from New Orleans a few days before I went and gave her updates about what was going on with me, the happenings there, etc.. I also blurted out, "And I’m going to get a tattoo". Her response? "Cool! You’ve wanted one for years. I’m surprised you haven’t gotten one yet"!

It was done by Walt Clark on February 23rd at Rings of Desire, a piercing shop near the French Quarter. He was a guest tattoo artist there for only a short time. A friend of mine, Mark Morgan, also got a tattoo at the same time. His was much more elaborate and included a full-color cat on his shoulder. I’ll have to bug him for a photo. It really is a cool tattoo.

I wanted to wait until it healed somewhat to take photos. It’s still not 100% healed, but I was anxious to share. A few people warned me that I will have this when I’m 80 years old. You know what? That makes me happy. I’ll look down at my wrinkly old skin, with my tattoo all faded and remember my time in New Orleans, remember all the animals I helped save and be able to show my grandchildren a relic of my youth. Neat.

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Warm Fuzzies

February 23, 2006

PumpkinI just received an email update from a volunteer who adopted two amazing kitties from us a while back. She also sent some photos of them in their new home!

Pumpkin is an orange short-hair male and Miss Mew is a black short-hair female. Both of them are FIV+. While Kathy was here at Celebration Station, her main focus was humane cat trapping. One evening, she trapped Miss Mew in one of the most devastated part of New Orleans. Kathy fell in love with this little girl and adopted her. After finding out Miss Mew is FIV+, she also decided to adopt Pumpkin with her. That’s my favorite part of the story. 🙂

Miss MewAnd just as a side note, I actually named Pumpkin. He came to us with only an address for a name on his intake form and was one of the first 15 cats to be housed here at Celebration Station. He has a shortened tail because it had to be partially amputated, and it reminded me of a stem… okay, not so original considering he’s an orange cat, but he doesn’t seem to mind!

Anyway, here’s the caption that goes along with Pumpkin’s photo (left): “‘I’ve found my forever home.’ Pumpkin, my new companion, whom I adopted from New Orleans Katrina rescue."

And this caption follows Miss Mew’s photo (right): "This is Miss Mew whose new name may be Ariel, Ayla, Meisha, or Jasmine (any votes?)…she hasn’t decided yet. I rescued her from the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans and then adopted her. She is full of spunk and fire, fearless, loves thunderstorms and lightening, is now having her kittenhood and scampers/turns flips/skids/plays all day long especially with Pumpkin, swats at everything and everyone, loves to knock the large metal dog water bowl making it gong and resonate over and over. She also makes the bowl rock and spin and then likes to drink from the churning water…a hurricane Katrina effect? A normal teenager, she mews a tiny kitten meow and growls like a grizzly while arching her back…all in the same sentence. Her favorite place is this computer chair where she squishes herself in between my back and the chair back and cuddles there when I’m sitting. The other cats accepted her immediately b/c they were so entertained by her constant acrobatics."

Receiving updates like this makes it all worth it. Thank you, Kathy!

Photo credits: Kathy Landry

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Good Things

January 25, 2006

So much good is happening. It’s amazing what a bunch of like-minded people working together can accomplish. For a while there were some kinks in the operations here at Celebration Station, but I feel like things are starting to get smoother every day.

Cat in dog trapI’ve been here (this trip) for over a month now. Knowing that we only have a little over a month to save the rest of the animals out there leaves me feeling apprehensive, but I know that we can’t save them all. We receive a large number of friendly cats everyday, which is truly amazing to me. Considering that they have been out on the streets for over 4 months now, in awful conditions, and end up purring in your arms totally blows me away.

I hope someone somewhere writes up a study on these animals that have been through this experience. I know there will be studies on humans, but a study on these animals would be fascinating as well.

As for updates from the Station, we are completely full with dogs and cats! But, a lot are scheduled for transport to loving homes. Doodles the duck was adopted and she is now living on a 5 acre sanctuary with other domesticated ducks, among other barnyard animals. The cockatoos were also adopted, as well as the fish and turtle, but not to the same person!

I went out trapping last night and we caught a dog and a cat. The cat was in a dog trap (in the photo above), which is not that unusual around here! I hope to go out again tomorrow evening, but it all depends on the amount of sleep I receive. As of now, I am running on 5-6 hours a night.. eww. It’s okay, though, most of the stuff I do I can do in my sleep now. And most days I almost have to! 😉

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