Benji’s Story…

Benji came to our adoption location back at the beginning of May 2014.  His owner had recently passed away and no one in the family would take him into their home so he was surrendered to Ten Lives Club.  He was confused and scared – he didn’t understand why he was suddenly in this strange, noisy place with so many other kitties and human strangers.   Benji had been in a nice quiet home with a loving purrson for the last 3 years – basically his entire life.  It was clear he needed to find a forever home without other kitties or young children – a quiet, peaceful household.

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For the first few weeks with us, when he was out of his cage, he would pace from door to door yowling and crying.  He was absolutely miserable & inconsolable.  He wasn’t even particularly fond of getting pets from our volunteers in the beginning.  He didn’t want anything to do with any of the other kitties & would growl if they came too close to him.  This was very intimidating to the other kitties since Benji was a VERY big boy – weighing in at about 22+ lbs. & ALL MUSCLE.

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He was a very impressive & beautiful boy but had a moody, temperamental streak that could be very unpredictable.  We had to keep an eye on him when visitors came into the room while the kitties were out of their cages because he usually did not tolerate strangers – especially young children – petting him.

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Over time, with the love and attention of our dedicated group of volunteers, Benji started to become more social.  He was happiest when he got to be a lap kitty & get the one on one attention he had always had before.  He even struck up a friendship with one of the kittens that came to us in June – Freckles.  Freckles was 5 months old & a sweet tempered, beautiful boy – which worked wonders on Benji’s temperament.  Benji also began to “tolerate” most of the other kitties – particularly Penny, who happens to have an attitude of her own & is not easily intimidated.

Benji selfie

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During a kitten adoption event in June, a woman came in who wanted an adult kitty – not a kitten.  She had recently moved back to Buffalo & was retired.  She lived alone & missed having the company of a cat.  Dayna, one of our volunteers who was working the event that day, took her back to the cat room to meet Benji.  It was a perfect match!  She filled out an application to adopt Benji & after reviewing her information to approve the adoption, we set up a time early the following week to finalize. She had told me that she had even rearranged her dining room so the table was right by a window for Benji to enjoy an outside view.  She wanted a day or so to make sure she had a special room set up just for him so everything would be in place when she brought him home with her.

Our group of volunteers were overjoyed!  Benji had found the perfect forever home & would finally be a happy boy with the love & attention he had always known in his previous home.

Unfortunately, about 2 weeks later, she called to say she would have to bring Benji back.  She lived in a converted home apartment situation & unknown to her or her landlord, her neighbor was severely allergic to cats.  My heart dropped to my stomach.  Of all of the kitties for this to happen to, it had to be BENJI!  NOOOoooo!!

We met back at the store the following day.  She was extremely upset and felt horrible that she had let him down.  She loved him & would’ve never let him go but she didn’t have a choice.  Benji knew he was back in the cat room again.  He was confused and extremely angry – to say the least.  He wouldn’t even let her pick him up or pet him to say good bye.  He was already pacing around – ears laid out to the side, growling non-stop & whipping his tail.

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After she left, I sat with him for a long time & let him vent – having the room to himself while the others stayed in their cages.  I’m pretty sure they didn’t want to come out anyway! I talked softly to him & tried to pet him to calm him down, but he wouldn’t let me touch him.  I didn’t dare push my luck – he was an angry cat (& a very LARGE one) & even though he wasn’t mad at ME, he most likely would’ve lashed out.  I didn’t blame him.

When it was time to go back in his cage, I struggled with how I was going to accomplish that – obviously, I couldn’t just scoop him up & put him inside.  Treats were not working.  Then I remembered how much he loved catnip.  I found his favorite toy – a rainbow stuffed with catnip – sprayed it with catnip concentrate & put some on his bedding.  I held the toy under his nose & lead him right into his cage.

It was so hard to break the news to our volunteers.  Everyone was in shock & heartbroken that Benji had to come back to us after going into a home that was so perfect for him.  We all tried very hard to make the transition easier for him by showering him with as much love & attention as we could.  His buddy Freckles was being fostered at the time, so until he came back, Benji didn’t have his companionship to make things more tolerable.

Freckles came back a week or so later & Benji was beginning to adjust.  Until we got a new group of kitties with a male that he absolutely hated!  He would stalk & corner him – growling & making it clear who was boss.  Starfox, the poor kitty that Benji had targeted, was a sweet, gentle boy who was terrified & couldn’t understand why Benji was being so mean to him.  We had to keep them separated – not for only Starfox’s safety, but for the other kitties or anyone else who happened to be in Benji’s line of fire.  Benji was completely focused on terrorizing Starfox & whoever stood in his way would’ve been a casualty.

Finally, one of our volunteers offered to take Benji home with her & see if he would get along with her other kitty – who is a female.  Benji had always been OK with the female kitties in the cat room, so our thinking was that he would be the same with her’s.  After a few days, it was very apparent that he was NOT OK with her kitty.  He started stalking her & finally, attacked her – which was the final straw.  He had to come back.  BUT, she adopted Starfox!  This was a relief.  At least with Starfox out of the cat room, Benji settled down again.

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Then Freckles was adopted.  He watched as his little buddy get into his carrier.  He walked over to sniff and check it over before saying good bye to Freckles.  It broke my heart.  Poor Benji watched another kitty find their forever home while he still waited to find his own.  Now, the only other kitty he really got along with left him alone.  Again…

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We began our campaign with even more vigor to find Benji his forever home.  Posting on Facebook, Twitter – telling everyone we knew about Benji’s plight & special needs to find a forever home.  People responded by sharing with their friends.  Those they came to visit him on a regular basis would do the same.  I began to get more calls about Benji from good-hearted people, but unfortunately, were not a fit for him.  I wasn’t about to put him into another situation that would set him up for failure again.

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Then one day, a couple of weeks ago, I got a call from a woman who’s brother lived alone & had no other pets in his home. He had cats in the distant past, but spent much of his time working & just hadn’t really thought about getting another cat.  I was somewhat doubtful at first.  But I set up a meet & greet with Benji last Monday.  We spent a lot of time discussing Benji’s needs and giving Benji time to get to know Roger during the visit.

Although Benji wasn’t overly affectionate, he finally started rubbing against Roger’s legs.  Then Benji allowed Roger to pick him up & pet him.  Roger understood that under these circumstances, Benji wasn’t going to have the same temperament as he would in a home setting where he would have him all to himself.  He was willing to be patient & let Benji come around on his own terms.  He didn’t expect Benji to become a lovey lap kitty or bond with him immediately.  Roger was willing to give him time to accept him & his new surroundings – however long that might take.

We made arrangements to finalize Benji’s adoption the following evening (Tues. 10/7).  With a little coaxing of fresh catnip, Benji went into the carrier to go home with Roger.  It was hard to to see him go, but I maintained until I told them both good-bye. Walking back to the cat room, happy tears came because I knew in my heart he would finally know the happiness & love he had waited to find for so long. 

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On Wednesday, I got a text from Roger thanking me profusely for letting him bring Benji home.  He told me that the minute Benji stepped into the house outside of the carrier, he began purring non-stop!  Benji wanted all the pets & cuddles that Roger could give him!  He slept on Roger’s bed the very first night & hogged all of the covers!  Benji has claimed Roger as HIS PURRSON & is KING of the house!

Benji forever home

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Benji will forever have a piece of our hearts – for of all of us who cared & loved him for the 6 months he stayed with us. But in the cat room, he was like a cougar in a cage – pacing around & feeling trapped. He couldn’t help but be grumpy & grouchy sometimes – he was miserable & too confined – especially for his size! It took longer than we (& Benji) would’ve liked to find his purrson, but now he’s with Roger who was meant to be his. And Roger found Benji boy who was meant to be his BOSS & BUDDY for life!

WE LOVE YOU BIG BEAUTIFUL BOY!  ALL OUR LOVE GOES WITH YOU!!

Miss Chevon Found Her Forever Home~!

Chevon is a 7 year old, very overweight girl who came to us way back at the end of March.  She was not happy, did NOT get along with any of the other kitties & rarely left her cage when volunteers came in to care for the kitties.  She would growl & grumble at the other kitties & volunteers.  We were all getting concerned that she would have a very hard time finding her forever home.  Not only was she an older kitty, but she was very overweight & her attitude was not exactly friendly.   None of which made her a prime candidate for adoption.

After a couple of months, she finally began to come out of her cage more & more.  She quit growling at the other kitties (except for Benji, but that’s another post).  When we got some kittens in for an adoption event in June, those that weren’t adopted over the weekend stayed with us. She began to watch them play from a perch on the cat tree.  Then, miracle of miracles – she began interacting with them! 

The Wednesday morning volunteer – Sheri – called me one day to tell me she watched Freckles (a 5 month old kitten) go into her cage & start eating her food (none of us can figure out why, but all the kitties try to eat her diet food – really?).  Sheri held her breath waiting for Chevon to flip out & chase him out of her cage.  But she didn’t.  She licked him on top of his head instead! 

It was truly a turning point for Chevon.  Every time, almost, a volunteer came in to let the kitties out to play, Chevon would join them.  We all were so happy & relieved to see her finally become the sweet kitty we knew she could be.  She would sit on the second shelf of the cat tree (amazing she could jump that far!) & watch the kittens play.  Sometimes, she would play with them or by herself – which she had never done before.  She began letting some of the volunteers brush her & clean her in places she couldn’t reach because of her size.

Chevon has finally found her forever home with one of our sweet volunteers – Mindy! YAY! 

Mindy took her home Friday evening to be a companion to Lily, who she adopted from TLC at our location about 5-6 months ago.  Mindy’s family recently lost their 15 yr. old FIV+ kitty & now Lily ( AKA Precious) is all alone.  She sent pictures of “The Queen” – LOL~!

SO HAPPY FOR CHEVON!!

Enjoy your new forever home sweet chubby girl!

ALL OUR LOVE GOES WITH YOU!

Sweet Jinksy Found His Forever Home!

Sweet Jinksy found his forever home on Friday!  ~YAY!~  He’ll have 2 other (soon to be 3 after today) declawed kitty housemates and a nice big house to roam and play!

Jinksy’s new Purr-Parents are also adopting Aaron from the main Ten Lives Club shelter today!  Aaron is a very sweet, friendly 8 to 10 year old declawed boy who weighs in at a hefty 20 pounds!

This wonderful family has always preferred to adopt kitties who are “special” and generally the hardest or last to be adopted.  Since Aaron is a “senior”and slightly overweight, he most definitely falls into the “hard to place” category.  Why?  Because of his age.

Older kitties are harder to place even though cats can live 20+ years.  People generally want to adopt a cat that isn’t much older than 4 or 5 years old at the very most.  Or they want a KITTEN.  Or they want a certain color, breed or sex.  Aarron is your basic, “run of the mill” black and white domestic short hair kitty who would easily be overlooked in a roomful of other kitties competing for attention.  As soon as I sent them pictures of Aaron, they had to meet him!  He obviously worked his kitty magic since he’s going home with them today!

SO HAPPY FOR THESE 2 SWEET BOYS!  ALL OUR LOVE GOES WITH YOU!

This Black & White Beauty is CHEVON!

Chevon - 7 Yr. Old Female

Chevon – 7 Yr. Old Female

Chevon is another poor baby who was surrendered by her previous owner after living in the only home she had ever known for almost 7 yrs.  😦  She needs a Purr-Parent who can be her personal “red dot” trainer so she can shed a few unhealthy pounds!  Chevon is a quiet, sweet girl who has just gotten too used to laying around & sleeping all day.  Any girl will put on the pounds that way!

Chevon would be a good fit for any household.  Maybe one with a kitten or younger kitty that will keep her busy!

All Cats and kittens adopted from Ten Lives Club receive:

  • Physical exam by our shelter vet (30-day health guarantee)
  • Spay/neutering
  • Feline Leukemia and FIV testing
  • Flea and worm treatment
  • Ear Mite treatment
  • First distemper and rabies vaccinations (kittens if old enough)
  • Medical Background Sheet listing all treatments/vaccines/health evaluation by our shelter vet
  • Free Veterinarian Visit Certificate to any affiliated Veterinarian in the Buffalo, New York area ($40 Value!)

Stop in & visit Chevon at Pet Supplies “Plus” in East Amherst!
We are located at 9630 Transit Road, E. Amherst, NY

For more information about adopting a kitty from Ten Lives Club, visit our Adopt A Kitty page.

To set up a Meet & Greet with Chevon, submit the form below.   You will be contacted right away to schedule a day & time to visit Chevon outside of her cage in our enclosed cat room!

LOOK at This Gorgeous Buff Colored Boy – Jose!

Jose - 2 yr. old male

Jose – 2 yr. old male

Jose has been fostered since he was a kitten & has never had to live in a shelter situation before.  He is a little scared & pretty shy right now but very, very sweet!  Jose is approximately 2 yrs. old & would love to find a quiet, loving forever home soon!  Can he be your Forever Kitty?

All Cats and kittens adopted from Ten Lives Club receive:

  • Physical exam by our shelter vet (30-day health guarantee)
  • Spay/neutering
  • Feline Leukemia and FIV testing
  • Flea and worm treatment
  • Ear Mite treatment
  • First distemper and rabies vaccinations (kittens if old enough)
  • Medical Background Sheet listing all treatments/vaccines/health evaluation by our shelter vet
  • Free Veterinarian Visit Certificate to any affiliated Veterinarian in the Buffalo, New York area ($40 Value!)

Stop in & visit Jose at Pet Supplies “Plus” in East Amherst!
We are located at 9630 Transit Road, E. Amherst, NY

For more information about adopting a kitty from Ten Lives Club, visit our Adopt A Kitty page.

To set up a Meet & Greet with Jose, submit the form below.   You will be contacted right away to schedule a day & time to visit Jose outside of her cage in our enclosed cat room!

This Beautiful Calico Girl is CADBURY!

Beautiful Cadbury!  5-6 Yr. Old Female

Beautiful Cadbury! 5-6 Yr. Old Female

Cadbury is 5-6 yrs. young & front paw declawed.  Her previous owner surrendered her to the Buffalo City Shelter for reasons unknown.  She’s having a bit of a hard time adjusting to her situation right now, but with a lot of love & a nice quiet forever home with no dogs, she would be so HAPPY!

All Cats and kittens adopted from Ten Lives Club receive:

  • Physical exam by our shelter vet (30-day health guarantee)
  • Spay/neutering
  • Feline Leukemia and FIV testing
  • Flea and worm treatment
  • Ear Mite treatment
  • First distemper and rabies vaccinations (kittens if old enough)
  • Medical Background Sheet listing all treatments/vaccines/health evaluation by our shelter vet
  • Free Veterinarian Visit Certificate to any affiliated Veterinarian in the Buffalo, New York area ($40 Value!)

Stop in & visit Cadbury at Pet Supplies “Plus” in East Amherst!
We are located at 9630 Transit Road, E. Amherst, NY

For more information about adopting a kitty from Ten Lives Club, visit our Adopt A Kitty page.

To set up a Meet & Greet with Cadbury, submit the form below.   You will be contacted right away to schedule a day & time to visit Cadbury outside of her cage in our enclosed cat room!

Meet Brothers Gus and Andy!

These two sweet orange boys just came to us on Monday.  They were recently surrendered when their previous owner of five years had to move into an assisted living facility.  A family member took them into their home but Gus and Andy could not adjust to their other pets and noisy kids.  They are used to living in a nice quiet home with no other pets or young children.

Right now, they are very scared and confused about their situation.  They don’t understand what’s happening to them or why they’ve been shuttled around so much.  Most cats get pretty stressed even under normal circumstances when they have to travel.  Gus and Andy were already very stressed before being transferred from the main shelter in Hamburg to our adoption location at Pet Supplies “Plus” in E. Amherst.  The main Ten Lives Club shelter is at least 20 miles away, so it’s about a 40 to 45 minute drive!  Not fun being stuck in a travel crate for a long drive!

Gus and Andy are approximately 5 years old and they are brothers.  They’ve lived together their whole lives and need to be adopted together into a quiet home with no other pets or young children.

Gus and Andy’s regular adoption fee, as a pair, would normally be $50 but during the month of February, we are running a Valentine Adoption Special so their adoption fee is only $28 through the end of this month!

They have both been neutered, have all of their vaccinations up to date and tested negative for FeLeuk & FIV.  PLUS, we offer a free veterinarian visit certificate with adoption!  Each kitty would get a certificate.  There are many vets on the affiliated vets list all over Buffalo & the surrounding suburbs – your vet is probably on the list.

Stop in & visit these two sweet brothers – Gus & Andy at Pet Supplies “Plus” in East Amherst.
We are located at 9630 Transit Road, E. Amherst, NY.

For more information about adopting a kitty from Ten Lives Club, visit our Adopt A Kitty page.

To set up a Meet & Greet with Gus and Andy, please submit the form below.

Adam Had a Meet & Greet This Evening!

Mr. Busy Boy Adam has had many admirers since he came to us 2 weeks ago.  Tonight Adam & I met with a very sweet lady who has 2 other black kitties – 1 who is 17 and the other is 2 and needs a playmate!  We all spent almost 2 hours visiting, playing with the kitties and giving Ann a chance to visit with Adam (when he would slow down long enough!). 

One of the many things I love about working with the kitties is the opportunity to meet so many interesting and caring people.  (There’s also the downside – dealing with demanding or stupid people, but that’s another post – HA!)

Obviously, I vet every potential adopter thoroughly, but spending time with them & watching how they interact with the kitties and how the kitties interact with the visitor tells me a lot about the potential adopter.  It also gives me a lot of insight and background on someone that tells me so much more than something written on a piece of paper.  There’s a lot to said about face time…

I don’t take my responsibility lightly.  I trust my instincts to a large degree.  They’ve rarely let me down.  If you’ve ever had a meet & greet with me & one of our kitties  – I think you’ll understand what I’m saying.  Every word you say, every piece of the conversation does not go unnoticed.  I can read people like a book.  And I can tell whether a kitty has chosen their forever Purr-Parent or not.  Usually within the first ten minutes – or less…

Adam (who will have a new name that is much more appropriate!) has found his Purr-Mom in Ann.  She is a sweet, caring soul who understands his needs & special situation.  I have no doubt that after verifying and following the adoption protocols, he has found his forever home.

Adam Adoption update to follow! 

Sweet boy, I would never let you down!

Meet Adam Kitty!

Adam came to our location last week.  He is 4 months old and has a silky, coal-black coat & big gold eyes!  He was fostered from the time he was born to a feral mama cat.  If feral kittens are rescued at a very young age – less than 7-8 weeks old, they can be socialized and find forever homes.

Adam is a sweetie & loves to play!  But he is a little skiddish still & can get startled sometimes at quick movements or sudden noises.  But that can happen with any kitty!  We are working with him to make sure he continues making progress socializing with people and other kitties.  He’s such a special little guy!

Adam & Mr. B enjoyed playing & were fostered over Christmas together with one of our volunteers.  She has 2 other kitties & 2 children so it gave him an opportunity to be around a lot of activity & get a lot of extra attention!  He is back at the store now & ready to find his forever home!

Adam’s adoption fee during the month of December is only $75 (Reg. $100)!

PLUS, we offer a free veterinarian visit certificate with adoption (a $40 value)!  There are many vets on the affiliated vets list all over Buffalo & the surrounding suburbs – your vet is probably on the list!  We provide you with every kitties shelter medical record to take with you on the first vet visit so your vet will have the most recent medical history.

Adam has been examined by our Ten Lives Club shelter vet, neutered, treated for fleas, ear mites & worms, has all of his vaccinations up to date and tested negative for FeLeuk & FIV.

Stop in & visit Adam at Pet Supplies “Plus” in East Amherst, New York!

We are located at 9630 Transit Road, E. Amherst, NY.

For more information or questions about our adoption process, visit our Adopt A Kitty  page & fill out our contact form.

To adopt Adam, download our Adoption Application and e-mail the completed form to:

Valerie at lillyfae2-at-gmail-dot-com

Dear Feline Santa…

I just had to share this sweet, heartfelt post from fellow cat blogger #hairballexpress from her blind kitty’s point of view.  Cat owners who have kitties with special needs are truly special people.  Read the post here:  Dear Feline Santa,. via Dear Feline Santa,.

Everyone who contributes to the care and humane treatment of kitties everywhere are those that are making a difference in the ongoing battle to reduce the number of unwanted, neglected, abused and abandoned kitties.

For those who go even further by adopting or fostering special needs/disabled kitties, elderly kitties or kitties who for whatever the reason cannot be placed in a forever home really make my heart spill over with joy and happy tears.

I can’t even express in words how much admiration and respect I have for those incredibly compassionate kitty care givers.  I am THANKFUL, from the bottom of my heart that there are people like you working to help the helpless, the voiceless and in this case, the sightless…

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Love & Light,

Val

Bennett

Bennett came to us with his sister Beluga (Blu)

Bennett came to us with his sister Beluga (Blu) who are both 4 years old.  They are a beautiful Siamese/Ragdoll mix.  Both were surrendered when their elderly owner had to go into an assisted care facility.  When Beluga & Bennett came to our location it became very apparent that they were not adjusting well to living in the cat room – or shelter life in general.  They were both very stressed, shy, scared and confused about their surroundings after living with their previous owner in a nice quiet house and getting undivided attention and love for the past four years of their lives.

One of our sweet volunteers, Kim, agreed to foster both siblings at her house until we could find a forever home for the two of them.  It would have to be a package deal – adopt both together or no go…  Unfortunately, Bennett began to get very sick and had to go back to the shelter for medical attention.  We had no other choice…He needed immediate medical attention and taking him to any other vet without pre-approval is against shelter policy – or at our own cost.

Months & months went by without any news about his condition or any updates.  We were all concerned – but Kim especially, since now Beluga (Blu) was without her life long companion & brother in a strange house with other pets.  Kim had a special room for her so she had a nice, spacious, quiet place to herself but she missed her brother deeply & mostly stayed in hiding.  Kim slowly began to pull Beluga (Blu) out of her shell and help her adjust to her new surroundings.  Read more about “Blu” here

Just yesterday, I received a long awaited update on Bennett.  He has a chronic health condition that will need continual monitoring and has developed a mental/emotional “disorder” (for lack of a better term) which makes him continually lick his paws to the point of making them bald & raw.  Given all of these issues, he is not suitable to be placed for adoption.  He has become the “office kitty” & will remain at the TLC shelter for the rest of his life…

I may be wrong here, but if he had been able to go back with his sister when he got “better”, the other emotional/mental problem wouldn’t have developed.  Quite possibly, his chronic medical condition may have been less critical & easily managed.  I’m not a vet or have a degree in cat psychology, but personally, I believe in the power of love.  I believe that had he rejoined his sister and had her companionship once again, as he had had his entire life, he would have eventually adjusted.  He could’ve had another chance at a new forever home and led a happy life with a loving new owner.  But we’ll never know.  We can’t undo the damage & trauma that has created a situation for him that is permanent and can’t be magically reversed.

My heart breaks for Bennett.  All I can do is send him all my love & light and hope that somehow he knows that I’ll always keep a peaceful, quiet and happy place for him in my heart…

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