October 2011

My Fierce Guard Cat

Most people get dogs when they want a good "guard animal" but I'm here to report that cats can be great guard animals too. Several years ago, there was a rogue dog in the neighborhood that probably had rabies or some disease that had turned it into a snarly creature on the prowl. Before this time, I had never met a dog I didn't like but when this dog showed up I could sense there was something terribly wrong. It seemed to come out of nowhere and rushed me snarling with its fangs showing.


My cat who had been soaking up some rays in a sunny spot on the roof suddenly leaped in between the vicious dog and me. Her back was arched and she was making sounds I had never heard her make before. Keep in mind the dog was a very large dog and she was just an average sized cat but she held her ground even as he encroached closer and closer. The dog was still snarling and I was very afraid for my cat because I thought the rogue dog was about to bite her and I didn't know what might be wrong with him. As he approached closer, she raised her paw showed her sharp claws in a motion that seemed to threaten to rip open his nose.


The dog finally reluctantly retreated. My cat continued to firmly stand her ground until he had completely left our yard. She was still making these funny sounds that I interpreted as, "Don't come back and don't mess with my Mom." With my heart still racing, I picked her up and she began purring about as loud as I had ever heard her purr. I was so proud of her I think I must have bragged on her to everyone I know.

Oscar's Omen - Predicting Death?

A Creature Comfort?

Oscar lives in a nursing home in Rhode Island to help the visitors and patients feel at home. Although he acts like a normal cat…he sits on desks, plays with pencils while the staff is trying to work and walks around all night, he is far from being ordinary. Oscar has a special gift; he seems to sense pending death. In a nursing home of very ill patients, he has, ironically, found a welcoming home.

A few years ago, the nursing home decided an animal would help give it a more domestic and less medical feel for visitors and patients alike. Oscar belonged to a nurse; it must have seemed a good fit. Soon after, the staff noticed the usually aloof feline would occasionally spend time with a patient. That patient would then die with Oscar at his/her side. The staff recorded the events happening over a five-year period and the times Oscar had chosen a dying patient to visit. One time, the staff thought a patient was dying and they brought Oscar into the room so the patient would not be alone. Oscar would not stay and the patient did not die.


Tortitude is a term of endearment used to describe the unique behavior of tortoiseshell cats. It literally means tortie + attitude. So, you can imagine where this is going. The tortoiseshell cat looks much like a calico but with little or no white fur and usually very dark with yellow and russet coloring. It is not an actual breed but more of a mutation. Herein, lays a dilemma. Are these cats a product of nature or of the environment in which they are raised? My tortie story begins like this…

It's a Cat's World

There is wonderful place where cats (or any other animals) are not euthanized for being unadoptable. And, these cats live the good life! It’s called Cat World and it’s located at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah. Best Friends is an animal sanctuary located in a place fittingly known as Angel Canyon where animals are rescued from hard lives and misfortune. Best Friends provides veterinary care to the cats that come to the sanctuary from all over the United States and beyond. Often times, they are saved from kill shelters, hoarders, abusers and natural disasters. They may need medical care, socialization and/or rehabilitation in order to be adopted and they can receive it all at Cat World. The sanctuary allows the cats to receive the love and support they need to heal from the physical or emotional traumas and challenges they have faced. In addition, cat lovers and volunteers can visit the sanctuary to help tame, groom, feed and guide the cats to a forever home. Further, if a kitty is deemed unadoptable (and this may be the best part of all), he/she will always have a home at Cat World in the Angel Canyon.

In my experience, cats who have a rough start in life or those with past abuse or neglect are usually the best feline companions. They do not forget humble beginnings or difficult experiences and they truly love their human guardians for providing their basic needs: food, shelter and love. For more information, about Cat World, how you can help, or, if you are looking to adopt, please go to:  http://www.bestfriends.org/atthesanctuary/animals/cats.cfm.