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.

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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!

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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!

Story of Tommy (Tiger Boy) and Gina (Crystal)

Ten Lives Club received a very heartfelt e-mail from the proud purr-parent of these 2 beautiful babies!

Cara adopted Crystal & Tiger (now named Tommy & Gina) together from our adoption location at Pet Supplies “Plus” in E. Amherst back in February during our “Best Friends – The One” promotion.

The following is Cara’s story:

“On November 21, 2013, I had to take my 12 year old cat to the vet in the middle of the night. It was 2:00am. Angelo was diabetic and was on insulin for about a year. What I thought would be a trip for different medication and then back home to bed turned in to one of the worst times in my life.

Before I could take my jacket off and sit in the exam room while they took Angelo in the back, the vet rushed in and said “we have him on life support, doing CPR. Do you want us to keep going? “.  My first thought was that they had the wrong room. I brought in Angelo. He isn’t that bad. Apparently he got “that bad” real quick. After 8 times of telling them to “keep going”, I asked if he would be ok if he came through. The answer was devastating to me and at 4am, Angelo passed away.  He had diabetes and cancer.

I was taken out of work for three weeks during the month of December, diagnosed with Major Medical Depression. I was on medication and not getting any better. I was truly all alone. My family lived in another state and it has always been just me and Angelo. Now it’s just me. I have never been diagnosed with anything and never on medication so this was all scary to me. My friends and family told me the best thing to do is get another cat.

Get another cat?? How could I do that! There is no way I will ever get another cat! I can’t go through this ever again!  So I thought…

I heard about Ten Lives Club through some friends and in January, just playing on the internet one day, decided to take a look and see what it was all about. I knew I would not get another cat so what’s the harm in looking around their website? After all, how could I do that to my Angelo? Replace him just like that?

I looked at all the cats on the website and cried and cried. One day, I saw a beautiful cat on the TLC website named Carly. She looked sooo much like my Angelo! In the pic, she was “photo bombed” by another cat named Tiger Boy. That made me smile and I kept my eye on Carly, hoping and praying she would get adopted.

After a few days I thought I needed to snap out of this…stop being silly…go see Carly and get over this depression. On a Saturday morning, I got dressed, grabbed my keys, got in the car to go see her and couldn’t leave the garage. I cried and cried. I wasn’t ready.

I kept looking on the website and somehow, Carly and Tiger Boy were just stuck in my heart. Then the day came that Carly was adopted. YAY!! I was soo happy, I cried but this time, tears of joy! I thought, I CAN DO THIS!! So I got dressed the next day and off I went.

When I arrived at the Ten Lives Club in East Amherst, I sat in the car for a few minutes, took a deep breath and in I went! After all, it’s February and it has been 3 months since Angelo had passed. I need to try and help myself get out of this depression.

I walked to the back of the store to the room with big windows. I looked in and there they were! All that I have seen on the website! There was Skye, Crystal and Tiger Boy! I cried, I smiled, I walked away, I walked back, I cried, I smiled…it was a time of all emotions.

I saw a beautiful lady and an adorable boy in the room with the kitties and I thought “I hope they are there to adopt them all!” As it turned out, it was Amy, a TLC Volunteer and her son Matthew. They asked if I wanted to come in and I shook my head yes. I went in and started crying.

I told Amy my story and she and Matthew were just amazing. Listening to my every word…handing me Kleenex…hugging me…then we started talking about the kitties.  Skye was doing her own thing but Tiger Boy and Crystal were playing, running, jumping, having so much fun. I told Amy that I had my eye on Tiger Boy and told her my story of trying to come see Carly.

I then found out Crystal was a stray picked up in October and has been in the shelter ever since. That is a long time! Matthew was telling me funny stories of these two and I finally looked at Amy and I said, “I’ll take them! “She looked at me kind of funny and said “you want BOTH?” I said “YES!”

Amy was so happy that Crystal finally was getting a home and that Tiger Boy was going with her! Amy made the calls and I filled out the papers and I was now a proud owner of two beautiful fur babies!

On my drive home, I was laughing as I thought about how I was saying I would NEVER get another cat again. So what do I do? I get two! Angelo was my only child and he preferred that. I always thought he should have a friend to keep him company while I am at work but he wouldn’t hear of it. So here I go…two kittys in the back seat and me to start a new life with them.

I already had names picked out for them before I even left the store. Crystal, the beautiful 3 year old Calico and Tommy Boy, the 7 month old Orange Tabby had names but that was their shelter names. I wanted them to have “forever home” names. So being a big Bon Jovi fan, I thought about a Bon Jovi song called “Living on a Prayer”. It is about a couple named Tommy and Gina who are living on a prayer getting through life.  I figured all the kitties at the shelters are living on a prayer to find a home and these two are now going to have a new life so I named them Tommy and Gina.

It’s been 5 months since Angelo passed and almost 3 months that I have had Tommy and Gina and I could not be happier! From the first night, the three of us slept in the same bed. Gina at the foot of the bed and Tommy as close to me as he can possibly get, with his face resting on my cheek and paws on my shoulders. I can’t breathe but he is comfortable!

On the very first night as we were sleeping, it was as if Tommy realized they were not in cages any longer so he walks gently over to Gina, gives her a good WHAP!!!! on the head as if to say “we have this whole house to run and play…wake up!! “ And off they go! They run full speed through the house, down in the basement, up the stairs to the main floor, then upstairs to the bedrooms and all the time jumping over furniture, sliding across tables and enjoying life!

Gina is a little more mellow then Tommy.  She was a stray and then in a shelter for 4 months so she did not have much interaction with people, who wanted to hug her, pet her, hold her, love her. Tommy is a playful kitten and loves to get in to everything.

Gina, at first, would let me pet her for about 5 seconds then that was enough for her. That’s all changed. She is coming around now, sleeps closer to me, lets me pet her and even hold her. Not for long but she is made much improvement. No hurry- no pressure! We all have a longgg life ahead of us and in time, she will be 100% confident! I am 100% sure of it!

Tommy is already spoiled more than any cat should be. I bought tons of toys for them (I had gotten rid of everything “Angelo” the day he passed away so I had to start from scratch). His favorite toy is the crinkle balls. But not the big ones! They HAVE to be the little ones. I know this because somehow all the little ones disappeared and he wouldn’t play with other toys as much. I went out and bought more but they were out of the little ones, so I got the bigger ones. He plays with them but it’s not the same so I drove to 4 stores and finally found the smaller ones. When those too disappeared, I tore the house apart and yes…they were under the refrigerator…under the stove…in his water dish…and even in the litter box! He loves those toys! He even plays fetch! For hours, I flick the crinkle ball across the room and he brings it back and drops it at my feet. If I am not paying attention, he puts his paw on my foot so I know he and the crinkle ball are there ready to go!

Now Gina is getting in to the action! She has a favorite lil pink pillow that she will toss in the air and run after!

I can’t say which one is the bully of the two as if one wants to play, that one just walks over to the other, grabs the tail or whaps their head and off they go! The run, they tackle each other, then they run some more!

Many times, I will be sitting downstairs and hear the commotion upstairs of them just running and playing. It is no longer a quiet house, that’s for sure!  It’s just so much fun to see them having so much fun!

They do have some down time too. When the hours of wrestling is over and one calls a truce, they both love sitting in the sun and watching the birds and squirrels in my yard. I even rearranged the furniture in my living room to where they each have their own window to look out of.  I can’t watch TV now without getting a stiff neck but they can watch everything going on outside!

I never thought I would get over the depression of losing my beloved Angelo and I probably never will but with the help of Ten Lives Club, I am definitely doing much better.  Tommy, Gina and I all have a bond that I can’t explain.

It hasn’t even been 3 months since I brought them to their furr-ever home and in that short time we all became best friends!  I am sure this bond will last a lifetime and I only hope I bring them as much joy as they bring me!”   By – Cara A., Cheektowaga, New York

What a beautiful story!  Quite a testament to the value of having a kitty (or kitties!) in your home & as part of your family.

I was so thrilled when I first got the call about these 2 & beyond happy when they found such a wonderful, loving forever home!

Cara posts pics & updates regularly on our Facebook pages.  Thanks so much Cara!  Ten Lives Club volunteers and supporters LOVE to hear  our kitties forever home stories and see pictures of their happy lives!

Bringing purr-parents and their forever furr-babies together is the most rewarding experience EVER!

Meet Jinksy!

Jinksy is a very sweet & friendly 5 – 6  yr. old boy who has an adorable bobtail!  His owner passed away recently & no one in his previous owner’s family could give him a home.  He is front paw declawed, so he is an INDOOR ONLY kitty & ideally should go into a household with other declawed kitties (if other kitties in the home).  Jinksy has so much love to give!

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 Jinksy 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 Jinksy, submit the form below.   You will be contacted right away to schedule a day & time to visit Jinksy outside of his cage in our enclosed cat room!

Betty Lou Found Her FurEver Home Today!

I was so happy to get a call yesterday from a lady who was interested in adopting Betty Lou!  She’s very sweet & lost 2 other very elderly kitties of 17 over the last couple of years.

After her last kitty passed, her Sheltie pup (of 13 yrs.) seems to be depressed & missing the company of the kitties he was used to in the house.   She also assured me that her previous kitties had always been dominant in her household.  LOL!

Betty Lou is a very friendly, sweet girl but definitely is one to set the boundaries as well.  Ask any of our volunteers how difficult she is to get back into her cage when playtime is over.  But she’s more than happy to get a belly rub or a good brushing!  She’ll give lots of head bumps, nose bops & Purrszz for that.

But if she’s not ready to go back in her cage (which is N.E.V.E.R) or you manage to coax her using all kinds of bribes back into her cage, she is not hesitant in the least to growl in protest.  When you pick her up.  Which is never a comfortable feeling when you’re holding 16 lbs. of unhappy cat or ANY size cat for that matter.

I don’t care how friendly a cat may be otherwise, when you are holding one who’s growling in your arms – size doesn’t matter – you might as well be holding a ticking time bomb.  Trust me – Been there, done that, so I speak from experience(s).

De clawed or no (as Betty Lou is), the back claws & teeth do more damage anyway – FYI.  Ha!

Many Thanks to Kimberly D. who finalized Betty Lou’s adoption this morning!

We’re SO HAPPY for you SWEET BEAUTIFUL Girl! 

Enjoy your wonderful FOREVER HOME BETTY LOU!

All Our LOVE Goes with YOU!

Riddick’s Forever Home?

Riddick went home with his new Purr-parents last Sunday.  Such a sweet couple!  They have an only kitty named Clarence & he’s about 4 yrs. old.  He’s a tabby mix & seems to want a playmate.  They dog-sit a golden retriever pretty regularly & he’s always trying to get him to play.  The golden wants nothing to do with him.  So they decided maybe another cat or kitten would be just the thing for Clarence.

Tish called me today to let me know that Riddick’s cough seems to be more than a hairball issue.  Possibly a URI or something along those lines.  I’ve sent an e-mail to the shelter manager & the vet to schedule a time for her to bring him in for an exam & treatment.  Other than that, he is doing great!  Just coughing a few times a day.

Tish & Donny are completely in love with Riddick, who’s new name is “Franklin”.  He is all over the place – helping to make sandwiches, digging in the trashcan for goodies, laying on their feet, following them all over the house & all the things that kittens do!  He is loving his new home!  However, Clarence isn’t taking the new addition well at all.

Riddick/Franklin is kept in a separate room unless Clarence is relegated to another part of the house, as is necessary when introducing a new kitty to a household.  But Clarence has been growling & acting aggressively when he senses Franklin.

They are heartbroken.  But still hoping that with a little more time, Clarence will come around. They are so in love with Franklin!!

Tish asked me how I knew I had an “only kitty”.  She had mentioned to me before that she was afraid Clarence might need to be the only cat in their household. I told her it was a combination of knowing Lilly’s personality (she was a barn kitty rescue at 6 weeks & partly feral) & observing her reaction to other cats/dogs.  My Lilly Fae is without a doubt  an “only kitty”.  I know her all too well and have seen first-hand how she reacts to strange cats or dogs who roam into our yard.  She bristles up & growls like a mountain lion.

For example, one time, when Lilly was on our deck & another cat was down in the yard,  I was trying to get her back inside & she literally attacked me – she leaped onto my leg –  claws digging in, like I was the trespasser.  To bring another cat into our household would be a CATastrophy.

Even when I bring home laundry from the cat room or don’t change my clothes immediately after visiting the cat room, she will sniff, growl & bristle up.  It’s pretty apparent to me that there is no way I could introduce another kitty as long as Lilly rules.  So you see what I’m saying…

I hope it works out – for Franklin as well as for Tish & Donny.  It would be so heartbreaking for all of them if it doesn’t…But some kitties are meant to be “only kitties”.

Where’s Andy?

I was only on my second (industrial sized) cup of coffee Wednesday morning when my phone rang.  It was a familiar number – a good friend and also the Wednesday morning volunteer for the kitties at PSP E. Amherst.  A very AWESOME volunteer, I might add, who always picks up extra shifts, helps keep up with supplies and cleans like a mad woman.

Anyway, I’m thinking we probably need to order more supplements or buy some garbage bags.  Something along those lines.  The first thing out of Sheri’s mouth was, “Where’s ANDY?”.  It took me a minute to process that question because the caffeine still hadn’t quite kicked in yet, so my response was “What??”.   Again, Sheri asks “WHERE IS ANDY?  There isn’t a note on his cage or anything did someone pick him up – did he go back to the shelter?”.

My brain is still trying to load her first question like a bogged down computer.  I’m not a morning person, just in case you were wondering.  Finally, I said “No.  He’s fine.  There’s no reason he would need to go back to see the vet.  He’s not THERE?”.  Sheri starts talking faster & faster telling me how his cage was locked & his bedding was rumpled up so when she opened his cage she thought he was just hiding.  Nope.

Before calling me, she had scoured the cat room looking through the shelves we keep the bedding (where he had disappeared on her the week before) & looked all over – behind, underneath, around everything in the cat room.  No Andy.  At which point, she’s panicking.

NOW the caffeine had finally kicked in & suddenly my brain is in overdrive.  “OMG!  Andy’s gone??  Are you SURE he isn’t anywhere in the cat room?  Maybe he got into the storage cabinet.  Did you look UNDER the towels on the bottom shelf?  There’s NO WAY he could’ve gotten out of his cage if it was locked.  That’s impossible!”.

We quickly put together a plan.  She would talk to the store manager & I would call the volunteer who had been on shift the night before.  OK – be calm.  There’s bound to be an explanation here, not to panic.

I talked to Dayna who gave me a blow by blow of the night before right down to the time she & her daughter had left for the evening.  All the cats had been accounted for – in fact, she had given them each a few treats because Betty Lou was not cooperating about going back into her cage.  She had coaxed her with some treats & so, of course all the other kitties – who were already in their cages – had to get some too.

I called Sheri back to tell her the news.  She said the manager thinks we’re idiots because of recent events – which is a whole other post – and that Liz was being slightly sarcastic & nonplussed about the situation.  Sheri was a little irritated she wasn’t taking the missing cat thing seriously.  I told her I would get there as soon as I could and meanwhile she would go about cleaning the cages as usual.

I’m rushing around throwing on something other than my ratty Old Navy fleece lounge pants & sweatshirt, glancing in the mirror to check if there was any makeup left from the day before and just how badly I needed to wash my hair.  My phone rings again.  This time, Sheri said “Liz said you should bring a flashlight”.  OK.  Flashlight.  Got it.

I decided a little mascara & throwing my hair up in a messy bun would have to do & everyone would just have to try not to look me directly in the face.  The consequences could be epic – like looking at Medusa and turning to stone.  I threw on some jeans & a t-shirt, grabbed my coat, double-checked for the flashlight in my purse & rushed out the door.

We scoured the store looking behind bags of cat food, behind dog beds, underneath the aisles, behind the fish tanks – no Andy.  So the plan was to keep his cage doors open & put some canned food (which we never feed the kitties) inside.  Leave a tempting bowl out in the store after closing and see if anything is eaten.  Heather, one of the other managers, would bring in her live trap the next morning if he still wasn’t found.  Great.

Driving back home, all of these scenarios are running through my head.  Did he get outside?  Is he stuck in a tight spot somewhere & can’t move?  What if he’s behind/underneath something heavy and gets crushed?  What if they need to use the forklift in the warehouse & Andy’s hiding in one of the pallets stacked with 50lb bags of dog food (or underneath the forklift)…?  I was on auto-pilot all the way home because my mind was elsewhere.

A few hours later, Heather called.  Andy had been spotted and was, in fact, still in the store but he was too quick for them to catch.  OK – scenario number one can be marked off the list of possibilities – the rest remained to be seen.   I needed to go back to the store.  No wait – Liz says you need a group of people to man each end of every aisle and corral him.  It would take a small army.

I went down the list of volunteers trying to decide who might be available and when.  Even if I could manage to get a group together, it would have to be after 5 or later since most of them work or go to school during the day.  I started doing the math:  given the number of aisles in the store & one person for each end of every aisle, we would need every volunteer we had to cover that kind of space – plus a few more.  That was just not possible.  And every person I had tried to call went to voice mail (not counting Sheri who I had called with the latest update).

Finally, I gave up on that idea.  Cindy, our Wednesday PM volunteer, assured me she would keep an eye out for Andy and leave the cage doors open with food/water before she left.  We kept in touch throughout her shift – she likes to stay longer than most – going over the whole situation & next steps.  Giving each other hope that Andy would be found safe & sound.

Heather let me know she would be going in around 7am Thursday morning and would check the cat room for Andy first thing.  About 8:30 the next morning, I sent a quick e-mail to her for news.  Yes, the food was gone but no, Andy wasn’t in the cat room.  The next step was to put the live trap right outside the cat room after closing on Thursday night.  Which was 12 hours away.  All of those scenarios I had running through my head the day before were coming back to me again – plus a few more.

A few hours later, my home phone rang.  It was Heather.  “We found Andy!  I was working with the aquariums and it was quiet when I saw a flash of orange out of the corner of my eye.  Andy ran behind the wall of fish tanks so I rounded up some employees to corral him & he’s back in his cage now”.  If it had been humanly possible to beam myself through the phone line, I would’ve been at the store in a nano second to hug her off the floor!

Andy had quite an adventure but very glad to be in the safety of the cat room and back with his brother.  At least I know the second half of that is true.  It would be very interesting to know just exactly how he escaped from his locked cage in the first place and whether or not he considered it an “adventure” or sheer terror!  I’m thinking the latter…

Meet Sweet Miss Mary!

This sweet little girl has already been through so much in her short life!  Miss Mary is approximately 1- 1/2 years old and very recently had a litter of kittens.  Apparently, her previous “owner” couldn’t be bothered to get her spayed before she got pregnant.  So when she did have her litter, they boxed Miss Mary and her babies up in a cardboard box and left them outside of a vet’s clinic in the cold.  Who knows how long they were sitting outside before being discovered!

Luckily, she and her babies were rescued before succumbing to the extreme temperatures.  Our area has had single digit cold & wind chills below zero for almost two months straight.

Miss Mary & her kittens were fostered by volunteers from Operation PETS until her kittens were weaned.  Operation PETS turned them over to Ten Lives Club so they could all find their forever homes.

Miss Mary came to our location on Monday along with Gus & Andy.  She is a sweet, beautiful black and white domestic short hair kitty.

Normally, her adoption fee would be $75, but during the month of February we are running a Valentine Adoption Special so her adoption fee is only $14 through the end of this month!

Miss Mary has been spayed, has all of her vaccinations up to date and tested negative for FeLeuk & FIV.  PLUS, we offer a free veterinarian visit certificate with adoption!  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 Miss Mary 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 Miss Mary, submit the form below & you will be contacted right away!

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.

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