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Home2Cats.org - Summer, 2010

THE  SCRATCHING  POST

Issue #44, by Barbara Stanley, home2cats@aol.com

Home 2 Cats, P. O. Box 752671, Memphis, TN  38175-2671

 

Mews You Can Use

Miss Kitty Says Hello ...

Mindy sported a luxurious fur coat and held her head high as she shamelessly flaunted herself in front of him. She then launched herself onto his lap and as she lifted her face up towards his, he lowered his slightly. I stood motionless as I observed from a distance as Mindy rubbed her cheek against his. I was beginning to feel like an intruder during this intimate exchange.

Wow! Doesn’t that sound like an excerpt from one of those 'romance' novels you see at the checkout stands in the grocery store? Well it’s not, as Mindy also sports four legs but only one eye. And no, Mindy is not an extraterrestrial in a science fiction novel or from the Twilight Zone. She is a feline and I had just witnessed a very special greeting between feline and human.

Mindy was giving Larry a very special greeting with cheek rubbing followed with some head butting. This action was conveying that she was entirely comfortable with him and that she felt relaxed and secure with the home territory. It is truly an honor and a privilege to be the recipient of this special greeting.

This special greeting between feline companions, or in this case feline/human companions, helps to create a special bond between both parties. During the cheek rubbing ‘ceremony’, cats release facial pheromones, which have a calming effect on them. Only cats entirely comfortable with each other or their human companion will engage in this greeting. During the process their scents mingle, sort of creating a kitty potpourri, which helps with group identification.

Cats usually learn this greeting as a kitten from the complex relationship they develop with their mothers. However I can’t say that is true in Mindy’s case as I bottle fed her and her sister, Manda, when they were orphaned at the age of one week. As a surrogate mom I have to admit I probably overwhelmed the two with kisses and in the process some cheek rubbing occurred. Most likely, Mindy and Manda learned this special greeting from other cats in the household as they welcomed them into the family group.

Another special greeting reserved for the privileged is the ‘bump, hop and rub’. Kittens will rub against their mother’s legs and with their front legs rise off the ground with a little hop, to reach their mother’s face as she lowers her head for that special cheek-to-cheek facial rub. Your cat may have done this maneuver with you by bumping your leg, quickly lifting both front feet off the ground in a hopping manner and then rubbing their cheek against your leg during the upward action of the hop. They use this special privileged greeting to convey their affection.

Mindy being the friendly gal that she is likes to follow her cheek rubbing ceremony with some good down home head butting. Some friendly cats that are engaged in head butting with each other will even take it further into a full body rub.

A simpler greeting that cats also use is touching noses. This helps them to identify the other cat or human as a family member or not. During this greeting, it goes without saying, that one would definitely want to be categorized as a family member. Nose to nose would be a little too close for comfort if you were to fall into the ‘not’ a family member category.

 

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Cat Tails

Princess Buttercup

Home 2 Cats has rescued many kittens over the years. Some have melted our hearts more than others due to their plight but all were, without a doubt, cute. I mean, what kitten isn’t cute? I never would have been able to single out one over the other to select as number one in the category of ‘cutest kitten’, until Larry carried Princess Buttercup through the door.

Besides having the cutest square muzzle I have ever seen, Princess Buttercup at 6 weeks old was a chunky cute mass of gray fluff. She was all kitten just waiting to stalk, pounce, run and play. Princess Buttercup was ready for action with her ears in the full alert mode, positioned forward, she was listening for anything that her chunky little paws could grab.

Larry handed her to me and immediately she responded to my hoodie tie that had moved ever so slightly. The tie became a wiggly worm to attack and bite. We were totally mesmerized by this gray mass of fur as she responded to the movement strictly by the sound that was beyond our ability to hear. Watching her it was hard to believe that she was unable to see. Princess Buttercup was born with a medical condition, microphthalmia, and had no eyes.

Microphthalmia is a condition in which the eyeball is smaller than normal or absent, as was the case of Princess Buttercup. The causes of microphthalmia are considered to be either genetic or environmental, such as toxic substances or diseases that can affect the mother during early pregnancy and damage the fetus.

Blind cats are very adaptable and learn the ‘layout’ of their environment quite readily. We had rescued other microphthalmia kittens in the past and we knew that even without eyes, these kittens are ‘normal’ and grow up to be well-adjusted ‘normal’ cats. They climb cat trees, run up stairs and pounce on anything that moves. Unfortunately, most people think of them as handicapped and the adoption options for them are slim.

Over the years Don and Brenda have adopted several blind kittens and cats from us, three having microphthalmia. I knew they would be a great family and home for Princess Buttercup, but I also knew they had a full house. So I was somewhat hesitant to make the call, but call I did. I gingerly mentioned the blind kitten. I swear I could hear Brenda’s heart melting over the phone line. There was a hesitation and then she said that she just couldn’t. I certainly understood, as I know what it is like to have a ‘full plate’.

There were two people who didn’t sleep well that night. Me, for one, as I lay plotting out in my mind a list of people to call who I thought would be great ‘parents’. Of course all the people I had in mind already had furry family members so I was planning on showing no shame and begging if needed. All I can say is that there are some of you reading this newsletter that are very lucky that Brenda was the other person who couldn’t sleep that night.

She called me at 7 AM the next morning, telling me about her restless night. She was overflowing with excitement as she said that she and Don wanted to adopt Princess Buttercup.

I receive phone calls just about weekly and the conversation usually begins with, "Oh my gosh, this is the cutest kitten!" Or "Guess what the cutest kitten just did?"

Purrfect! We just love happy endings!

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Animal and People Recognition

While losing a companion is one of life's greatest sorrows, never having one is to miss out on years of loving companionship.

 

In Memory Of Animals

Conchita & Pedro
Beloved children, friends & companions of Kelly Cook's.
--Marlene Mauk

Conchita & Pedro
In memory of Kelly Cook's loving and loyal "babies".
--Sue Domian

Holle Noel
--Ruth Blann Cartledge

Phoebe
In memory of my sweet Phoebe who left me one year ago on June 8, 2009.  Phoebe, it's lonely without you and Holle Noel.

--Ruth Blann Cartledge

Phoebe
In Memory of my sweet, shy, special Phoebe.

--Ruth Blann Cartledge

Phoebe & Holle Noel
--Avery Okey

Sigmund
Beloved cat of Lyn Greer, Emily, Bucy, Madelyn & Jacob Haimes.
--Laurin Gregory

Spookie
Beloved cat of Mary Bowen.
--George & Linda Bond

Spookie
Beloved cat of Mary Bowen.
--Ivy Koster

Wally
The pillow companion of Laura Vandenburgh & John Tuttle..
--Bill & Rita Vandenburgh

Mitch
Beloved dog of Neil, Angela, Cole, Lena & Britteny Robertson.
--Ann & Roderick Robertson
--Margaret Bottoms

Squirt
Beloved cat of Dennis & Karen Kroll..
--Lauren Gregory

Mitchell C. McMutt aka 'Mitch'
In honor of our grand dog, Mitchell C. McMutt aka 'Mitch', beloved pet of Angela, Neil, Cole, Lena & Britteny Robertson.  Mitch joined the family as a puppy in 1996 and devoted his life to protecting the family and playing.  His favorite joy was swimming at Pine Flat Lake with his family, riding in the ski boat and trying to get a fish off the end of someone's fishing line.  He will be missed.
--Jim & Shirley Redman

Columbo
Loving, sweet long legged tabby
loved by us and his loving 'parents', our neighbors, Joe & Jan Eversole.
--
Frank & Sue Domian

Felicity
My dear companion for over 16 years.

--Elaine Theisin.
 

Ernee
The little fighter who was rejected by his mother.  He was a dedicated employee and family member of LAMA Books and a devoted companion of Barbara Ragusa.
--Stephen Meyer

Ernee
Beloved companion of Barbara Ragusa and dedicated 'employee' of LAMA Books.
--Larry & Barbara Stanley
 

Bodie
A constant companion of Leo Meyer and his extended family. Bodie was also a vacaton playmate of Mercury & Mina, Labrador brethren.
--
Bill & Rita Vandenburgh

Bodie
Beloved companion of Leo Meyer.
--Barbara Ragusa & Lorenzo Torres

Bodie
Official greeter and companion to everyone at LAMA.
--Larry & Barbara Stanley

 

In Memory Of People

Ted Cartledge
In memory of my beloved Ted.
--Ruth Blann Cartledge

 

In Honor Of Animals

Lola & Frankie
Welcoming Lola & Frankie to the Neil, Angela, Cole, Lena & Britteny Robertson household.
--Ann & Roderick Robertson
--Margaret Bottoms.

 

In Honor Of People

Jenny Cagle
Happy Birthday Sis!
--Betsy & Richard Shaw

In Honor Of People and their Animals

Mike, Scraps & Milo
--Marlene Mauk

Bob, Dody, Guiness, Harriett, Ozzie & Murphy
--Marlene Mauk

For the new kids on the block and Kelly - welcome Esme and Rafe to Kelly's heart.
--Bob & Dody Cordes

 

Birthday Wishes for Home 2 Cats

Here's to 11 more successful years.
--
Jo Levy & the Kids

Wishing you a very Happy 11th Birthday.
--Marlene Mauk

Happy Birthday!  Keep up the good work.
--Robin Mayhall.

Congratulations on your 11th year of caring for those that need your love & care.
--Ruth Blann Cartledge

Holle Noel Would have been 11 on 7/15/10. 
This leftover allowance of hers is to celebrate your 11th year.
--Donated in the memory of Holle Noel

 

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Our mission is:
To provide food, medical care, love and sanctuary for injured, disabled or abused animals.
To educate the public in what constitutes responsible cat care and ownership.
To engage in other activities related to animal rescue and public education about cat care and responsibilities.

 

- -  H o m e 2 C a t s . o r g  - -

 

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P. O. Box 752671
Memphis, TN  38175-2671
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