Our 3 Lost Kitties

kitty collage

On July 21st, we lost 3 kitties; Rey, Milo and Cali. A very sad day, to say the least. All three cats, indoor cats, escaped or was taken from their home. Technically they are my daughters’ cats, but have been in my home since all were kittens, 2 were born in our home. My daughter recently got a home of her own which was broken into while she was at work. When she returned home all the cats were gone, the screen pushed INSIDE the house with no claw marks at all from the cats making a great escape. A person(s) pushed the screen out of the window.

A strange occurrence, nothing was taken, this whole month has been very strange, like a roller coaster of huge ups and downs.

A year ago we moved from San Diego to a small country town in Kentucky where life is easy-going and mostly crime free. We drove Milo and Rey 2,000 miles to make a new home for all of us. Cali was born here on Christmas day 2014, one solid white kitten. A true blessing! I am heartbroken and pray every day our kitties will come home and are safe. Needless to say we have searched and searched. No one has seen them!

Rey is named after our friend, Aida Reyes, who left this earth after a long battle with cancer May 9, 2011. We called her Rey for short. Rei (ray) in Japanese means God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power. Rey was 8 weeks old when she came into our lives. You can read Rey’s full story here…https://thedogwalkersandiego.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/feral-cat-coalition-san-diego/.

Milo was born in our home, born May 24, 2013, when pet sitting for his parents. He stayed in our home till he was 3 weeks old. His parents took all the cats and kittens. Milo returned when he was 8 weeks old. He grew very large and loved to be petted, but not held. He came to you on his terms. Very loving.

Usually all of our pets are neutered or spay, to prevent pet overpopulation. Samantha, my daughter, wanted at least one kitten from Rey and Milo. They were inseparable and always got along from the beginning. Rey had a litter and all four kittens were born dead. Then she got pregnant again and had one white kitten. My daughter had a dream she would have a white kitten. Which would not be the norm coming from a solid black cat and a gray tabby. But she was, we named her Cali. I know Milo is the father. She started developing Siamese coloring. Our miracle kitten, one white kitten born on Christmas day.

I ask for your prayers and loving energy to keep our kitties safe and return home.


I Taught I Taw a Two-Legged Puddy Tat

Meet amazing Mercury, a two-legged tabby puddy tat. At just four days old and weighing only five ounces, still blind newborn Mercury was already fighting to survive with his two front legs severed and toes cut off on one of his back legs in September 2013. You can visit Mercury on Facebook.

Raising Mercury / Facebook

Raising Mercury / Facebook

Raising Mercury / Facebook

My T-rex impression.

Source: One Green Planet

8 Things to Consider When Choosing a Family Pet

I received an email from Sara Dawkins, asking if I would like to share this article with my readers. Helpful advice about bringing home a pet for you and your family. Here it is…

8 Things to Consider When Choosing a Family Pet

2013 January 7
by Michelle

puppies 8 Things to Consider When Choosing a Family PetIt can be tempting to purchase a pet to grant your child’s birthday or holiday wish, but purchasing one impulsively often means the long-term commitment required to be a responsible pet owner gets overlooked.

Before considering adopting a family pet, it is important to take inventory of your preferences, lifestyle and home so you can determine if a pet – and what type of pet – is best suited for your family.

As you contemplate getting a family pet, be sure to consider:

  1. Your ability to commit. Being a pet owner requires a commitment of time, energy and financial resources. Cuddly kitties and pudgy pups eventually grow up, and helping them grow into healthy cats and dogs requires years of investment.  Before purchasing a family pet, be sure you are willing and able to make a long term care commitment of love, time and money.
  2. Your lifestyle. Some pets, like certain dogs, require lots of companionship, but others, like birds, can tolerate more time alone. You’ll want to consider how much time and energy your lifestyle will allow you to dedicate to a pet.  If your family spends a lot of time away from the home, you’ll want to take that into consideration.
  3. Your living area. Families who live in homes with large, fenced in backyards are better suited for some pets, like dogs, than families who live in apartments or condos with no outdoor green space. Families without lots of green space may wish to consider pets like cats or birds. Considering your available space will help determine what type of pet you can best accommodate and care for.
  4. Your family’s allergies. Allergies can play a huge role in determining how pet-friendly your family and home can be. Depending on the types and intensities of allergies, they can significantly limit the types of pet you can own. If you’re considering a pet, you may wish family members to undergo a pet allergy test, and if you suspect allergies, you may wish to opt for a hypoallergenic pet.
  5. Your pet’s care plan. If you have a nanny, you’ll want to be sure to discuss the idea of getting a pet with her, especially if you anticipate her playing a role in the pet’s care plan. If you travel a lot or are away from home all day, you’ll also need to consider hiring a caretaker for your pet or looking into boarding options.
  6. Your pet preferences. When considering a pet, you’ll want to consider what type of pets your family members have expressed interest in. Some people are naturally drawn to dogs, others to cats, and still others to snakes and other types of creepy crawlers. Having a general sense of pet preferences can help guide you to deciding on the right family pet.
  7. Your pet’s family friendliness factor. Some types and breeds of animals are considered more kid-friendly than others. An animal who lives with children must be tolerant of typical children’s behavior and have a tendency towards non-aggression. It’s important to thoroughly research any pet you’re considering to make sure it’s an appropriate choice for families with young children.  
  8. Your children’s safety. Some pets, like reptiles, rodents, amphibians, ferrets and exotic animals, are not suited for homes with children. It’s important to consider what types of viruses and bacteria can be transmitted to humans. Reptiles, for example, can spread salmonella, which can be especially harmful to small children.

Family pets can bring a lot of joy and love to both adults and children when they are well cared for. Carefully considering if your family is able to make the commitment required to be responsible pet owners will help ensure you  make the right decision for your family and for any potential pet you welcome into your home.

Weekly Wag: Bringing Home a New Pet

There are many things to consider when bringing home a new pet. The temperament and activity level, grooming, feeding and the pets already in the home. Hopefully you are adopting and not shopping at a pet store. These dogs come from puppy mills where they are treated inhumanely for breeding purposes only. So many new pets are given up because they don’t get along with pets already in the family. Some owners even go so far as to keep the new and out with the old!

So you found your new puppy or kitty to join your family. Socialize, socialize, socialize. You will hear me say that a lot. Do not keep one pet for 5 or 10 years and then try to socialize.  As a pet sitter and foster mommy, I see constantly how important this is! First order of business is making sure your pet is healthy. Another plus of adopting, pets are healthy and up to date on shots and spayed/neutered. (If there are any health issues, you will be told). Pet store pups usually have some kind of medical issue.

You have a cute 10 or 2o lb. dog that is going to grow up. How big will he get and how much food will he need? Same for a kitty. Do you live in an apartment or do you have a huge yard to roam around in. Is there a place or way to separate pets if needed? There is going to be an adjustment period, some take longer than others and cats especially are picky and need their own space, a place to get “away”. It is a good idea when adopting to bring your pet with you. An initial visit cannot predict their future relationship, but will give you an idea. If you are not sure if your dog is cat friendly, for example, adopting a cat is not the way to find out.

Introduce new pets slowly, whether a pup, kitten or adult, to their new home and other pets. The first thing they will do is sniff the whole house, maybe a room at a time. They should have their own bedding, water and food bowl, toys and litter box for each cat. The rule of thumb is one more litter box than cats in the house. I have 3 cats and & 3 boxes. (Each one does not have it’s own designated box, but they have a choice of which to use). Cats should be put in a separate room for about 24 hours to get used to their new environment. Dogs should be introduced slowly to the other pets. Use your judgement to see how quickly and how much to interact with other pets in your home.

If you show a cat once where the litter box is, they usually get it right away. If you have a pup, take them out to their designated “potty” spot at least every two hours. If you have an adult take them out about 4 times a day to their “potty” spot. A word about a potty patch. FYI: I got one for my Shih Tzu who refuses to go “out” in the rain. She will not poop on this pad. I have often heard people get two, one for pee and one for poop. I still have only one.

Give your new pet lots of love. Walking is a great way to bond and train your new dog. Get appropriate toys depending whether you have a strong chewer or a gentle giant. I would recommend getting an interactive toy also. They are just not for dogs left alone. They all need some type of mental stimulation.You do not need to spend a lot of money on cat toys, they usually are happy with household items, such as strings, bottle caps, rubber bands. Keep in mind if these should be kept away from other pets. Cats are happy with a cardboard box with a blanket, you do not need to spend a lot on cat furniture, this is more for you than the cat. Cats do like to climb and need that outlet someway. Female cats will spray, too, it is just not for males, over territory. A scratching post is a necessity!

Take your dog the dog park as often as possible, even if you have a yard. This is a great way to socialize your dog. Start socializing ASAP , whether 4 months (after all shots) or 4 years. Please walk your dog, play and talk to your dog. They understand more than you think. Find out what your dog’s or cat ‘s favorite game is. Please spay/neuter your pet. This will not harm your pet and male dogs will be less aggressive, and cut down on a male cat spraying.

Note: Pet Rescue Remedy is a flower essence remedy great for cats and dogs that are getting use to a new home environment. Helps restore emotional balance whenever your pet is under pressure and needs help overcoming a variety of emotional or behavioral problems. So many pets are given up, simply because the owner did not realize what they were getting into. The shelters are full of homeless pets! Adoption should be a lifetime commitment, please adopt with this in mind.

$20 Cat Neuter and $25 Cat Spay on March 11th ! Oceanside (San Diego County, CA)

Spay Neuter Action Project (SNAP)

San Diego County,  CA

Kitten Season is coming soon, so “Beat the Heat” by getting your cats fixed so their kittens don’t end up in shelters or without homes.

Thanks to a generous grant, SNAP is offering $25 female cat spay and $20 male cat neuter on SNAP’s Neuter Scooter in North County (Oceanside) on Sunday, March 11th for those needing financial assistance (see eligibility below). By appointment only. Details such as location of the event will be given upon appointment.

If you can’t make the March 11th date or location, there are other SNAP clinics being offered at the $30 neuter/$40 spay price for cats. Please refer to the SNAP website for the clinic schedule and pricing information under the “Services” heading: http://www.snap-sandiego.org

Cats (including feral cats) will be seen by appointment only. Space is limited, so if you bring your cat to the clinic without an appointment, we have to turn you away! Our clinics fill up quickly and appointments are given on a first-come, first-serve basis. You MUST call 866-SPAY BUS / (866)-772-9287 for your appointment. There will be stand-by appointments after all the reserved spots are filled. Multiple cats from the same household are welcome.

This time of year cats are going into heat and will be pregnant soon. Cats can get pregnant at 4 months and can get pregnant again while nursing. Call 619-525-3047 for more information. Make sure your cat isn’t adding to the thousands of homeless kittens in San Diego County!

Neuter Scooter Eligibility

SNAP follows WIC guidelines for assistance to determine whether people qualify to use the Neuter Scooter. Please check the table below to see if you qualify for use of the Neuter Scooter. If you don’t fall into these income categories but would still like to get your pet(s) spayed/neutered at a low fee, please give us a call at 1-866-SPAYBUS (1-866-772-9287). SNAP can refer you to a veterinarian offering reduced spay/neuter fees. You may also qualify for a rebate coupon to help you with the cost of having your pet(s) altered.

Neuter Scooter Eligibility Guidelines
No. of Persons in Household Total Combined Annual Income No More Than
1 $20,036
2 $26,955
3 $33,874
4 $40,793
5 $47,712
6 $54,631
7 $61,550
8 $68,469
9 $75,338

Please include the following information when you leave your message to make an appointment.
Speaking slowly, please give:
your full name
telephone including area code
address with zip code
pet sex – Male or Female
pet name
repeat telephone number including area code

Please speak slowly and clearly. A SNAP volunteer will return your call. Spay, don’t litter! Thank you for helping the cause of no more homeless pets.

Weekly Wag: Holiday Pet Safety Tips

I want to wish everyone Happy Holidays! During this time there are lots of food, guests, gifts and usually a tree with lots of things dangling. A festive time for people and pets should be considered when decorating, placing packages around the tree and leaving food out.

Do not panic if any of the following happen during the holiday. One of my dog’s got into chocolate candies and ate a few pieces and he is fine. Keep an eye on your pet if you think he ate something toxic. Use your judgement if the pet should be taken to the vet. Compare to what is normal for your pet. Be on the side of caution not fear.

Make sure your pets do not eat too much. We like to spread the feast with our pets. Cooked bones can be dangerous for dogs as they can splinter. (My dog ate half a cooked chicken off the counter and he is fine). Raw bones are great.

  • Chocolate, alcohol and caffeine can be toxic if too much is digested.
  • Be careful when leaving food on the counter, especially meat.
  • Grapes and raisins are also known to be toxic to pets.
  • If ingested, holly (leaves and berries) cause stomach upset and can be  fatal to both dogs and cats.
  • Mistletoe upsets stomachs and can cause heart collapse, while hibiscus may cause diarrhea.
  • Poinsettias have an irritating sap that can cause blistering in the mouth and stomach upset.
  • Let’s not forget about the trash. Make sure it is pet proof.

If your pooch or cat is a runner when someone comes to the door, you may want to crate or keep in a bedroom or spare room while guests are coming over. Or if your pet gets stressed easily around a crowd of people please put them in a relaxing room with soft music or animal sounds.

  • Tree needles can be toxic and cause mouth and stomach irritation. Even needles and the wire of artificial trees could pose a problem. Be sure your dog or cat is not chewing on branches or eating fallen needles.
  • When decorating your home or tree watch for dangling ornaments, glass ornaments or anything a cat would find enticing. (This year I didn’t put out a lot of things because of the kitten).
  • No preservatives in the tree water. If you have a fresh tree, keep it well watered, but don’t add those packets of preservatives to the water.
  • No presents under the tree unless you have pawesome pets. Ribbons, paper, and boxes can become a shredded mess the minute you turn your head.

Spend some down time with your pet. They pick up on your stress as you rush around shopping and baking. Take 15-20 minutes out and play with your pet, watch TV while you pet him or go for a walk. Something that you both can enjoy and bond together. Both of you will feel better! A good game to play with your pet is to just hide treats around the house and let his hunt drive kick in. He will LOVE  this!

Socialize, socialize, and socialize all year long! Health and Happiness to you all!

Weekly Wag: Bringing Home a New Cat

This weeks weekly wag is about cats. Cats have a harder time adjusting to a new environment than dogs. (Even if something is changed to a cat already adjusted to household it affects them). The following info goes for a kitten or an adult cat. Hopefully it is an adopted cat.

The first 24 hours the cat should have his/her own space, whether it is a room or a special place in the house away from all other pets. Have a food and water dish, litter box, toys and bed. Preferably something they can get into like a cat house. A cardboard box and blanket will work. Cats love to ‘”get away” from it all. (Kittens will play with about any household item, no need to buy out the store).

Introduce the new cat to the other pets, dogs and cats, slowly by letting them smell each other. Observe how the cat and other pets interact. The other pets will be curious at this new creature in their domain. After 24 hours let the cat and other pets interact for brief periods, allowing the new cat to be able to get back to their “space” when needed.

After your new cat has adjusted to your household she/he should always have a “space” that is just for them, even if it is only their own bed. The general rule is have one litter box for every cat and one extra. Use your own judgement on this. Some cats already in the house will start spraying (urinating) throughout the house to mark their territory when an addition comes.

My rescued kitten, Rey, was brought home at 8 weeks and now 8 months old. She has now integrated so well, she thinks she is part dog. She comes and sits for treats when the dogs get theirs. She wants to eat everyone’s food, washes my little Shih Tzu and rubs against my Golden Retriever. Rey is sitting with me now at the computer, her favorite place! Her editing is horrible!