Saturday, January 22, 2011

The *True* Purpose of Sheets

Well dear Readers, I have decided in my magnanimity to dedicate this post to a cause near and dear to my foster sister @Allie_Kitti's heart: Sheets.

(Besides, it's a rather slow day up here at the RB and I just might be a teensy bit bored.)

So. Sheets. Allie would like to Inform all Humans that, contrary to popular belief, sheets are not for SLEEPING on. They are a versatile and interactive Play Toy.

Sheets make wonderful caves when draped over chairs, and in her own words, they make "FABulous Tunnels" too. There's nothing quite so delectable as stalking the Sheet Monster, shaped, oddly enough exACTly like Person's hand as you can see here in one of my many EPIC battles. Sometimes we kitties also engage in the delightful stalking of the Surprise Sheet Monster, otherwise known as Human Feet, though I have observed that this pastime tends to be frowned upon by humans in the middle of the night (go figure).

Allie would like her humans to know she prefers PINK sheets (though the burgundy ones are at least in the correct color palette, so she will forgive that one), whereas I, purrsonally, was always fond of white as you can see in the above link.

Allie would also like everyone to know that sheets should be Made Available for kitties (such as her Delightful Self) to paw at, climb and generally commandeer at will. Allie would also like at this time to solicit any comments from her fellow anipals in the hopes that Solidarity might bring about Real Change on the matter of the Sheets. Perhaps another issue to bring to the attention of those illustrious Purritime Ministerettes, @ShivaandJaya?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Blog the Change - For Animals

Hello all,
Being the Incredibly Magnanimous Feline that I am, (was that a snicker I hear, coming from my Tweeps in the Twitterverse? Please. Pay them no mind.) I have Graciously Decided to Yield the Floor to my human on this, the 15th of January - notably the Blog Day for Blog for the Change.

I know how you'll miss my Devastating Wit, but be assured it is for a Good Cause, and - in my best Ahnold voice - I'll Be Back.


Ryker's Person Here: Sorry to say, guys, that the Rainbow Bridge doesn't seem to have blunted my little guy's Ego any...! But I do appreciate the opportunity to tell you about an organization close to my heart, and ask you to encourage your own local shelters to consider similar programs.

I volunteer at Kansas City's Wayside Waifs, a non-profit, no-kill shelter which places an average of more than 5,000 animals a year in their forever homes. Wayside's been around since the 40's and is located south of the city proper on 44 acres.

The organization also has two income sources, a newly-opened store where you can buy pet and pet-centric products (Ryker's sister Allie has been their spokes-model in their print ad campaign) and a very nice pet cemetery where Ryker and his older brother, Caleb, are buried.  There have been times in lean years when donations were scarce that the cemetery was practically all that kept Wayside afloat, as all proceeds from the cemetery go to the care and placement of animals at Wayside.

Wayside's great strength is its volunteers.  I had never thought about it before I began volunteering, but if every dog at Wayside is to be granted just 30 minutes of freedom outside its cage per day, that translates to sixty volunteer man-hours per day for the 120 dogs kept there. Same goes for the cats.  I cannot stress enough the importance of volunteering at your local shelter. Giving just a few hours of your time a week is how organizations like Wayside Waifs stay open.

Wayside was not originally a no-kill shelter.  Prior to becoming no-kill, they had an "open door" policy - you had a pet to surrender, they'd take it. They were overflowing with animals, too many to really care for effectively. But then several years ago, they changed their operating model, limited the number of animals to a manageable amount and changed their policy to no-kill. And in 2009, they incorporated this policy into their brand identification and began advertising themselves as no-kill.

Because of a policy shift that began years ago, you now see animals thriving who would have been given the death sentence immediately at another shelter.  Thursday night, while volunteering, I saw up for adoption a 4 month old one-eyed kitten, an FIV positive cat, a cat who was prepped and ready for an unfortunately necessary leg amputation and a (rather grumpy) "Sage" who had just had her tail amputation stitches removed. Sage and the kitten are on the adoption floor now, and the FIV positive cat is waiting in the holding room in back for an enclosed "hug room" to open up on the adoption floor so he can be safely transferred there without danger of infecting any of the other adoptable cats.

(FYI: a cat tested FIV positive can live a very healthy and normal life-span if provided with good veterinary care and the only stipulation for adoption is that the family be a one-cat family - or in possession of another FIV positive cat.)

Wayside has committed to partnering with other Missouri organizations to put an end to puppy mills and animal hoarding, and it's not uncommon to hear an announcement that "another 100 dogs have been rescued from puppy mills this week."  (Until Proposition B passed in Nov, 2010, Missouri had the dubious honor of being the state with the most lax rules regarding animal care, resulting in numerous documented atrocities  - and also resulted in the state becoming the largest supplier of puppies to pet stores, nationwide.)

But there's another facet to Wayside that needs to be told.  They help train counselors who work in battered women's shelters how to accommodate the pets of the abused women in their care. I had two such women in my own orientation class.  I don't know the statistics, but I can see how anyone in an abusive situation might be more hesitant to leave that situation if they have a deep emotional attachment to a pet - and no women's shelter in their area will accommodate them.  Conversely, I can see how integral to a battered woman's recovery the role a beloved pet might play.  Won't you consider encouraging your own local animal shelter to partner in the same way that Wayside is?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Pet Blogger Challenge

Well all, it's been hard for Person to blog for Moi since my untimely ascent to the Rainbow Bridge, but Seabass Cat (Sebastian The Sensitive Soul) at inspired me by posting his response to the Pet Blogger Challenge. I think I might be able to Prod Person into picking up the Blogging Baton for me once again with this Challenge - at least I'll give it the Ol' Tonk Try. goes!
Challenge Questions:
1. When did you begin your blog?
Fairly recently (Person was a Late Bloomer). Just a month before I *ahem* Transitioned, in fact:  October, 2010.
2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?
To be able to expound on my opinions in more than 140 characters!
3. Is your current purpose the same?
Maybe to give my two Proteges, Maxwell and Faraday, more of a stage to stretch themselves as they grow out of the Rugrat Stage.
4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?
Oh, as the spirit moves me ... and when I can Effectively Guilt Person into thinking she's TERRIBLY neglected me!
5. Are you generating income from your blog?
Nope, but I'll bet the two Pipsqueaks could use the extra cash for Treats (Person's a bit stingy yanno).  NOTE FROM Ryker's PERSON:  I am just looking out for their health! Stingy has nothing to do with it. Ryker: HAH!
6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular
PERSON:  The creative challenge
RYKER: Being able to have my YOWWWWWWWWWWLS (properly) translated.
7. What do you like least?
Trying to carve out the time to do it justice!!

8. How do you see your blog changing or growing in 2011?
Not really sure - am still learning the ropes, but I have High Expectations that Person will be Required to meet. No, Rilly.  I plan to rope Faraday into High Pressure Sales as one tactic.
So, how'd I do with my first Challenge?