Friday, October 1, 2010

In memory of Johnny Boo

I'm very sorry to post that Johnny Boo was put to sleep this morning. His Mom did the best she could for him, but something was terribly wrong.

Although none of the tests showed anything, he seemed to be suffering. He was ill a lot and the other cats avoided him. After struggling for months to get him to put on even a little weight and stop his constant bouts of diarrhea, it was decided that his good days were too few to continue to put him through it.

Don't be too sad. He still had a loving and warm home for a few months where he had good care and was safe and peaceful. That is MUCH more than I can say for what his life was like outside.

Something happened before we got to him. Perhaps poison that damaged something (Please people, NEVER use rat poison! It kills more owls, hawks and cats than it does mice and rats).

If there's a lesson in this (and God, I hope there is for someone somewhere) let it be that neutering is the loving thing to do when shelters are so jammed full that good animals are put down by the thousands each year.

If you would like to send a donation to the only shelter that would help me wth this kitty, here is their website with address:

If you would like to do something with a national organization that does amazing work with animals, consider this one were you can donate online:

or support the local rescue group in your area.

Thank you for your support and caring.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Make or Break for Johnny Boo

Folks, if you see this our little guy is once again in need of prayers.

He is down to 5 lbs and has diarrhea again. He goes to the vet tomorrow, and she is suggesting putting him down.

He is losing patches of hair, lethargic, and sick.

I am going to pay for liver/thyroid screen and to have him checked for ringworm.

But I don't know if little guy will make it.

If he goes, he had a home and love. He wasn't outside starving and being beaten up by the other cats.

If he goes, I'll know that both his new Mom and I did all we could do to give him a chance.

Sometimes love and caring is all we have to offer.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Well, Johnny-Boo got good results from the doctor on the tests. No idea why he was losing weight. Short of doing extensive and expensive tests, we're not sure what's going on. The vet suggested just loving him and giving him a bit more time to settle in.

If the weight loss continues, more tests will have to be done.

In the meantime, he's enjoying the other kitties, adores his new Mom, and is warm, happy and fed.

: )

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Weighty Matter

I received an email from Johnny-Boo's mom today. He is now down to 6lbs. He has lost another 1/2 pound. He is doing a bit better with his poo, and eating well, but losing weight.

A sample goes to the vet tomorrow for testing. He may be tested for diabetes and thyroid as well, depending on what the sample shows.

So, Johnny-Boo is not out of the woods yet, so to speak. But he is in a home that is warm, full of love, soft places to sleep, lots of food and a caring, loving new Mom.

Prayers, once again, for this little guy are truly appreciated.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Learning to Play

I heard from Johnny-boo's Mom the other day. She said he's still having a bit of trouble in the litter box now and then. I'm hoping it's just the residual effects of eating out the dumpster and nothing more serious than that.

She said that he is beginning to make attempts to play. That was great news. He didn't seem to have any idea how to play with toys. I thought, perhaps, that his new baby sister might tempt him into playing. She's quite the active kitten. Hopefully, that will be the case.

In any case, he seems to be really enjoying his home and loving the chances to sit and/or sleep with his new Mom, and is getting along well with the other cats now.

I hope to have pictures in a few weeks of him with his new baby sister. I might have to wear a disguise so I don't frighten him! : )

Friday, September 3, 2010

Another Chapter for Boo

He's in a wonderful home now with two brothers (a bushy, skittish older male cat and a smallish white and orange boy kitty with whom there was a brief rivalry) and his new baby sister who is black and white just like he is.

Last week he got sick. He had vomitting and diarrhea, which is hard when you only weight 6.8 pounds! He lost two ounces and his new mom said she thought she was going to lose him. But Boo (now named Johnny) is fighting hard still. A visit to the vet and a shot seems to have him back on track. He lost ground with his weight, so he'll have to gain that back (fingers crossed and prayers going up!).

The cutest part was that when he heard my voice and saw me, he ran and hid in the bedroom! I think he thought I was there to take him away from his wonderful new home and he was NOT about to go! I assured him I was just visiting, but he watched me out of the corner of his eye very wearily during my visit and hopped down to be near his mom!

So, again, Johnny Boo can use some prayers.

His mom says that he is such a lovey--loving to snuggle on the chair with her, and sleep with her when it's his turn. He keeps an eye on his little baby sister. He is always close by when she uses the fountain to drink. He's not sure he should let her, but he stands close by and watches. : )

In his picture (at the very bottom), you can see he's a bit worried (and terribly thin).

So, just a quick update! Thanks for your continued prayers for a little guy who could really use them.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Creatures Great and Small

I had lost my reverence for life for a while. I felt that I was surrounded by people who were uncaring, unkind, and bent on venting their anger at every turn. Angry gestures in traffic, people assuming the worst without giving you a chance, and, most especially, the man who felt it was okay to shoot at and throw firecrackers at a starving animal.

I felt that intimidation, rage and even evil were all around me. It felt like the bad guys were winning.

And then I started to sink. One thing I have always held on to is my faith that good wins out, that God--whatever name you choose to give that force--was the animating spirit in all things good and kind and compassionate.

But when I could only despise my neighbor, I sunk into the same anger that surrounded me.

And then Boo showed up. Despite his bad treatment, he was willing to trust. Did he have any choice? He was starving. He had to chance it. And that is when my little furry, whiskered, black-and-white teacher offered me the chance to change my view.

I got him to the shelter and after the director settled him into a safe crate, she turned to me and said, "There are good people out there." It was matter-of-fact, out of the blue. And still I was skeptical.

Then a wonderful lady told me she would take Boo into her home with her two other cats. Her home was so peaceful. She is a very patient, kind person. She cares for her kitties the way she cares for everything living. It was like balm to my wounds. I think maybe her soothing voice coaxed me out of my sadness just as it coaxed Boo out of his crate.

Then as I turned to leave, I told her, "You're an angel." She smiled and said, "There are lots of good people out there just like us." It was the second time in three days that someone had said the same thing to me. I knew a message was being delivered. I peeked at Boo, who was snuggled on a soft afghan an I felt my heart open again, as if a tight band had been released.

Yes. There are many good people out there. People who sent encouraging words; people who prayed; people who kept their faith that things would work out when I was struggling to believe it.

I thank you all from the bottom of my renewed heart. And I am thrilled to share the following email from Johnny's (aka Boo) new Mom:

hi wendy.............GOOD NEWS! our little guy is clean! infections or feline aids or he had his nails his next set of shots..and we're good to go for one year...johnny weighed in at 6.8 lbs and dr. pam believes he's abt 2 1/2 years old soooooo on feb. 18, 2011 (that's the feast of st. bernadette, one of my favorites) he will be 3....he's a great little traveler...hardly mewed...right now he's napping upstairs on my bed while joey and honey are down here with me...last night was his turn to sleep with me...tonight it will be honey's turn...gotta be fair....oh how i love him...doc says we must fatten him up...split a can of tuna packed in water amg the 3 kitties once a week...boy, does he loooove that

have a peace full day and God bless you real good...
you are johnny's godmother

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A New Beginning?

After two weeks in a very crowded shelter, Boo went to his new home. He now lives with a woman who has two other boy cats in a peaceful, loving home. Hopefully, this is his happy ending. Boo has one more serious hurdle--tomorrow he goes for his feline leukemia test. If he passes, his new life commences. If he tests positive for feline leukemia, Boo will be put down.

I'm hopeful. The shelter director said that his gums did not look pale. That's a good sign. What shows up in his blood, however, is the deciding factor. If he is positive, he would put the other cats at risk. And the prognosis for a feline leukemia cat is bad.

So, cross your fingers, say a prayer, and hopefully I'll be giving you the final good news.

On a more positive note, Boo seemed to take very well to life in a home again. He uses his litter, he snuggles on an afghan to sleep (except for the night he jumped into bed with his new "Mom"). He loves to watch the birds out the window, safely from inside, thank you!

He's quite the talker and seems to have a lot to say. He likes the furry boy Joey. He has not warmed up to his other brother yet. Fingers crossed that if good news comes from the doctor and he has a little while to settle in that he will decide to get along with both of his new brothers.

In the meantime, I've posted a picture of Boo snuggled in the Afghan. I think a soft, snuggly surface is something he hasn't enjoyed for a long time. For now, he is comfortable, fed, loved, and safe.

Isn't that the most any of us can hope for?

_ _ _ _ _

More photos of Boo's favorite shelter pals to follow! New pictures of Boo at the botto of the page.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Waging Peace

It's been a difficult day. I received a call at work today from the rental agency that owns my townhome. I was told in no uncertain terms that if I continued to feed the cats, I would be evicted.

Her frustration and upset were clear. They've been waging this battle for 20 plus years. They spend a lot of money having skunks removed.

I'm thinking, well, if your strategy hasn't worked in 20 years, doesn't that tell you something? And if you're spending money to have skunks removed, why not neuter the cats?????

So I find myself confused, a bit angry at being threatened straight away, and heart-achingly sad.

Boo showed up looking for food. I threw some into the woods. He started to eat and the neighbor came out and threw fire crackers at him.

I cried.

He came back later, sitting quietly on my patio step, patiently waiting. I went outside, picked him up and held him in my lap for moment. He settled quietly and looked at me as if to say, "What did I do?" I sat there while he ate some food I held, and then I let him down and he trotted into the woods.

After I gathered myself, called a former Humane Agent. She will help me get him neutered and get his shots tomorrow night. Here's hoping he shows up long enough for me to get him into the safe carrier. I will gladly pay for his shots and the procedures. I pray it gets this little guy one step closer to a home.

The Humane Agent is going to help me formulate a plan. Part I is to meet with the rental representative and get her story about what she has tried in the past and where it went wrong.

After the neighbor threw the firecrackers, I went down and talked with them both (his wife is absolutely lovely), and invited them to sit in on the meeting tomorrow evening.

I think that cruelty and anger are probably the result of many years of frustration. There is something in me that would like to say "they just didn't care enough to try harder." But I know from the phone calls I made it disheartening at best. I will choose to believe these are basically good people who feel frustrated and stuck.

The problem is that Boo, who never ask for any of this, is suffering while people fight. He doesn't have a choice. He still trusts despite all his bad treatment. And now I feel I'm letting him down too. I will not allow it to happen. This has to be a success story. I need it to be a success story.

A friend said today, "Do you really think Americans are a peaceful people? Look at our's violence. We value domination. We cheer when one team beats the tar out of another. We spend enormous amounts of money on it. We are a dominant, aggressive people with Wild West mentality."

I'm praying she's wrong. I'm praying we are not the worst of our nature, but striving toward the best of our nature. And a home for one little black and white cat would go a long way to restore my faith in just that.

Please spread the story. You never know who might be the connect to A Home for Boo.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The first time I saw him, he was walking by my back patio, staying close to the woods. When I spoke to him, he started and froze, watching me warily, ears back. As I continued to talk softly, he sat down very properly, his green eyes like hard crystal in the black of his face, his white chest marking and white paws making him looking like quite the fancy gentleman.

It was obvious that he was extremely thin. He listened to me talk for a while, then walked quietly off.

The next time I saw him, he was in front of the dumpster trying to eat a piece of pressed board he found on the ground. I took a can of cat food I found in one of the boxes I was unpacking, opened it, and tried to move near him to set it down. He hid behind the dumpster until I retreated. An hour later when I checked, the can was pushed against a post and licked clean.

That was the beginning.

It's been three months now since I moved in. Mr. Boots, or Boo as I call him, comes almost every day for something to eat. He was obviously a pet at one time and not truly a feral cat. He allows me to pet him while he eats sometimes. Sometimes he is still too afraid. He once came to my door, his head bleeding from scratches. He allowed me to take him into my lap and clean the wounds while he sat limp in my lap. He never protested or struggled. He simply hopped down and walked away when I was done dressing the wounds.

He is still extremely thin. His hip bones show prominently. I would guess he weighs 4-5 lbs.

Sometimes he doesn't come for a few days. Once, he returned after three days with more wounds. That day he would not allow me to dress them. He has nicks on his left ear where he was injured in a previous fight.

He fights for surival in a small patch of woods that is home to at least 6 other cats. He is smaller than all the "housed" cats around here. They beat him up, trying to establish territory.

Last week it was 100 degrees outside. Then there were storms. He must hide some where, but there was no easy way to escape the terrible heat. A neighbor who doesn't like cats throws firecrackers at him, and I've even seen Boo shot at with a pellet gun while he tried to grab a scrap of food someone threw outside.

This cat was taken in by a family and then put out. He does his best to survive, not understanding why humans who once fed him and cared for him now try to drive him away and injure him.

And he's not the only one. There are about six that I count. And today, a sad little kitten came to the door with two older cats, all thin, dirty, wary. The kitten has goopy eyes and sneezes a lot--a bad sign. The cats the kitten was with can barely survive. The chances of the kitten surviving are slim.

Why do I tell you this sad story? Because I am hoping that you can help me turn it into a happy story. The shelters are no longer accepting animals. I have called over a 50 mile radius. They are all full beyond capacity with animals that have been turned out, discarded as an inconvenience.

No one will take them. I just moved to a townhome for health reasons after moving three times in three years--the first time giving up my home which is (thank god) rented at present to take a job, two more times because of two reasons--one, I had made a commitment to my cat, Tink, who was 14 when I moved. Tink had also been dumped on the road years ago. I took her home, loved her, and spent 16 years taking care of her despite health problems from her cruel beginning. I took apartments that I knew were not healthy for me because they would accept my buddy. We were in it together until the end. That end happened in May of 2009 when she died at the age of 16.

The second reason I had to move is serious allergies to smoke and scented products which were, unfortunately, in abundance in apartment buildings. I can not have cats where I live now or I will lose my lease.

The statistics on the survival of feral cats is not good. They usually starve (as some of these cats obviously are) die of disease, or die of injuries or predation. The average miserable life of a feral cat is 2-4 years.

I simply can not allow this to happen to Boo. I need your help. He is not your average feral cat. He is sweet, trusting (if you prove you won't harm him) and desperately in need of a home.

Please help me to spread Boo's story. Surely there is one decent home out there where Boo can live with someone who will be patient with him, help him to regain his weight, his trust of people, and share a loving home with him. He needs a home where someone is willing to keep him inside. Cats who have lived outside can become easily confused if let outside at a new home. They may think they have been abandoned again and try to return to the place where they lived before. They wouldn't make it.

Boo needs someone who understands, who is willing to be the kind of caring companion that whoever dumped him was not. In return, he would be a calm and sweet companion. He does not know how to play. I'm hoping that where ever he ends up, he would at least know comfort, even if he never learns to play.

Please forward this to anyone in Western Pennsylvania who loves animals. Help me to find the right home for Boo.

I thank you.