Pet Tips 'n' Tales

Pet Prejudice?
Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Kathe and her exotic shelter rescue cat Ivy. Kathe was motivated to make a difference in unadoptable black cat's 9-lives after she learned people are pet prejudiced.  Kathe knows that it is not the color of the cat that counts, but what is in its heart.

TALES
"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms." 
~ George Eliot  ~

It depends where in the world that you live and whether you were schooled to believe black cats bring good or back luck. A cat is a cat, no matter what color it was born.  Sadly, the bad press in America has left thousands of black cats with loving hearts homeless.

But not so in Lativia where farmers dance with joy upon discovering a black cat in their grain silos. They believe the cats are a sign of a fruitful harvest. Black kittens discovered on a Scottish porch heralds in the hope of a future filled with riches and happiness.
 
The Japanese smile when a black cat crosses their path, for it is a sure sign that good fortune is soon to follow.

Superstitions are like negative gossip...someone gets hurt. Most black cat guardians consider themselves lucky. They know a cat is a cat, no matter what color.

Kathe had always wanted Maine Coon cats. She knew that all breeds of cats, even expensive purebreds, can end up at animal shelters, so she went on the hunt.

At each animal shelter, she noticed a preponderance of black cats. Over and over she heard from the shelter staff, "Black cats are difficult to find homes."

Kathe, a woman with her own mind and a kind heart, decided then that was exactly the kind of cat she wanted!

"I found two black sister cats. I left and thought about them for a week. Finally, I went back to adopt them," said Kathe. "I reasoned that they could keep each other company while I was at school teaching."

When Kathe went back to the shelter, it was nearly 5:00 pm and the female clerk behind the humane shelter counter announced, "We are closed for adoption."

Kathe responded, "I came to adopt two black cats."  With that, the clerk cheerily announced, "In that case we are open!"

"I have learned that not only are people  prejudiced against people, they are prejudiced against black cats. More cats, both male and female, are born black than any other cat color, so it is an increasing problem finding them homes."

The sister-cats. Ivy and Ebony, settled down into Kathe's quiet home and are the love of her life. Kathe says, "I am their pet more than they are mine."

Unfortunately, Ebony died, so Kathe searched for a new cat to keep Ivy company. She had learned how loving black cats were and set out to find another one.

Since Kathe was choosing a cat as a companion for her first cat, she studied cats' behavior in the shelter.

As she stood in the shelter's cat room, she saw a young cat, Pixie, befriending other cats. She realized that its kind nature would work well with gentle Ivy.
 
Today, Pixie and Ivy are inseparable. They sleep like yin and yang, curled up together, so you can't tell where one cat starts and one ends.
Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Ivy and Pixie, Yin and Yang Cats

"I have had cats most of my life, and these black cats are the most loving. The funny thing is, they look so different from each other. One has green eyes, one orange; one has a pointed face, one a round face. Ivy is short and box shaped while Pixie is long and lanky with two extra inches at the end of her tail. Ivy is true black with soft fur while Pixie is the same shade of black of the darkest black chocolate with spiky fur. These cats have added so much joy to my life," says Kathe.
 
The Japanese, Lativian, and Scottish cultures are right! Black cats definitely bring a home good luck and love!

Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Ivy and Pixie cuddle in a "too-small cat bed."

TIPS

To teach her newly adopted adult cats not to scratch furniture, Kathe sprayed liquid catnip where she wanted them to scratch and put "stinky organic garlic cat-repellent" on the areas she wanted left alone.

This saved her furniture and yelling at her cats unnecessarily. She didn't want to have to worry about them misusing the furniture while she was at school teaching.

Kathe also placed scratching posts where the cats had demonstrated that they wanted to scratch, giving them the opportunity to scratch naturally and not destructively.

Next, Kathe draped light blankets or shawls over the corners of the furniture to deter the cats from scratching until they were trained. Ivy and Pixie are outdoor cats and need their claws. Kathe is a proponent of keeping cats' claws because she understands how painful the removal of the nails and the first joint in their toes is.

Periodically, even inside cats escape outside and need the defense of their claws to climb trees and fight for protection. Whatever cat you have is  good luck; it brings love, joy, and laughter into your home.
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Adorable kitten playing in the bathtub
http://video.yahoo.com/watch/6094588?fr=yvmtf
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Saving Sydney the Cat

My neighbor, Jeanna, and I discovered a starving black cat, Sydney.

We are blogging Sydney's progress and her journey to survive.
Also are Pet Care Tips and photos of her progress.
 
Also, Pet Communicator Dr. Agnes Thomas talked to the cat.
Read their communication:
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Mary Ellen and Miss Wings
Mary Ellen
Tips 'n' Tales newspaper columnist with Miss Wings
AngelScribe AT msn DOT com
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