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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

To be Loved AND Appreciated


I was going to talk about how this was my last good month (I turn 40 in less than 2 weeks, but I figure Samantha Grace will lose her trademarked niceness just to kick my butt.) Therefore, today I'm going to address the other big thing that's going on in my life these days.
Griffin Stone, the 1st Marquess of Catsby
(Yes, he has a fancy name. He was already
wearing the tux.) If he kills a mouse, he'll be
upgraded to King Griffin I.
Anyone who follows me on Twitter or likes me on Facebook already knows that there is a new member of the Stone household. Griffin Stone, the 1st Marquess of Catsby. We call him all sorts of things for short… Griff, Griffin, Lord Catsby...it kind of depends on what he’s done or what we’re trying to get him to do.
But two things we don’t have to try to get him to do is love and appreciate us. He’s pretty much done both of those things since the moment we opened our door to him. Griffin is a 4 year old boy who has lived at least the last year in a no-kill shelter.  The cage he was in was pretty big, actually; but he shared it with two other cats.  The space he has now, however is a good-sized home for him to roam, explore and (hopefully) protect from outside critters. (We all know my house has a history with squirrels and other unsavory creatures. I’m betting that’s all in the past with Griffin here now.)
I have had cats most of my life and I do still have Geri who is almost 13. Geri is the only one in the house not thrilled with Griffin. Whenever she spots him, she hisses – which is the fastest way to not make friends. Don’t believe me? Get introduced to someone and hiss… let’s see how that turns out for you.
The people at the shelter were surprised that I was interested in an adult cat. Until now, every cat I’ve ever had I got when they were kittens. But I don’t think I have the time or energy for a kitten this time around. I work outside the house 40+ hours a week and 40+ hours is a lot of time for an unwatched kitten to tear up a house. Griffin is also declawed. (And while I could never declaw a cat myself, he came that way to my house so I have no guilt.) I do know that my new couch won’t get torn to shreds while I’m at work. (Deb Marlowe and Catherine Gayle could chant "imported Italian leather" with me right now, I'm sure, as I've said it way too many times. But I really didn't want a kitten shredding "imported Italian leather".)
My son adores this cat!
Griffin has a lot of plusses. I didn’t expect him to adapt so quickly to our house. He’s taken to sleeping in my son’s room and Griffin likes to say on schedule. If it’s time for bed, he’ll start meowing until my son walks up the stairs to his room. The cat follows him the whole way and then waits for my son to climb into bed so that Griffin can sleep at his feet. The cutest thing ever.  There’s still Hissing-Geri  to contend with, not that he gives her any notice at all. Whenever she starts hissing, he drops to the floor in an ultra-relaxed position with a look that says something like “Is that all you got? I’ve seen a lot worse than you, old lady.”
And I think he has. I’m not sure what happened in his life that ended with him being in a shelter, but I can tell you that I’ve never felt quite so appreciated as I have since we brought him home. You can see it in his eyes, a little sparkle he has that looks a whole lot like he has a second chance at life.
Have you ever rescued a pet from a shelter? If so, tell me all about your pet. You know the look of appreciation I'm talking about, don't you?
Before we got him, Griffin was well-cared for and healthy at Safe Haven for Cats in Wake County, NC. They have other cats who are in need of loving homes. So if you live in the area and have thought about adding a kitty to your home, do check them out. And if you're somewhere else in the country, I'm sure there are wonderful shelters in your area too. Anyway,  I’m providing a link for the shelter where we found Griffin. They do have a donate button, if you’re interested in helping out some feline friends (but don't really want to bring one into your home.)  SAFE HAVEN FOR CATS.

32 comments:

  1. All my cats have come to me as kittens. The most recent one came as a two-week old, bottle-fed kitten, and we all know how that turned out (can you say demon spawn kitty?). I think the next time I get a cat, it will be an older cat.

    And I've had cats tear up non-imported, non-Italian leather before. It wasn't pretty. That is why you will not find leather furniture in my house.

    I'm so glad Lord Catsby is making himself at home. I can't wait to meet his lordship. (Does he get promoted to Duke when he kills a mouse? Should I call him Your Grace?)

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    1. A big thanks to *you* for agreeing to feed his lordship while I'm on my trip next month.

      I can't wait for you to meet him either. He is such a sweetie.

      If *he) does kill a mouse he gets promoted to King Griffin I. Then you can call him Your Majesty. LOL!

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    2. I'll practice while I'm taking care of him. "Here you are, Your Majesty. Some nice fresh tuna to spoil you rotten." :)

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    3. Ack! Don't you dare give him fresh tuna. These are hard food only cats. (Yes, I'm a mean mom... Just ask my son. LOL)

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    4. LOL. I am almost a dry-crunchy food only sort of cat mom, too. I do give them treats for hairball prevention and treatment, and the rare can of soft food as an extra special treat. When I go out of town, though, I let my cat sitter give them the soft stuff every other day, or maybe even every day. It helps them adjust to the strangers in the house, or so I tell myself.

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  2. Ava,
    You're so right--every time I hiss at someone, they take it personally. When did the human race get so sensitive? ;} I had a rescue kitty named Spencer and I miss him so much. He was beautiful and sweet. My oldest daughter has been begging for a couple of years to get a cat and would gladly trade a sibling to do so. Depending on how summer vacation goes, I might do that. Ha!

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    1. LOL! I *was* thinking of you with that hissing comment, Andris. Consider this an intervention. ;)

      But seriously, if you're seriously considering getting your oldest a kitty, do check out Safe Haven. They were awesome!

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  3. My husband's family rescued a mutt for their dog when he was growing up. And while we were dating, my husband feed a stray who adopted my husband. I've found I like visiting with cats but don't live well with one. I prefer dogs.

    Our current dog is from a breeder. Mostly because you will almost never find a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in a shelter. With our kids we wanted a very calm, very loving dog which the breed is known for.

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    1. Beth ~ I'm glad you found a dog that would work well for your family. There's something very special about family pets. I still fondly remember the dog I had growing up.

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    2. Ava,
      Smart move on not complaining about turning 40 soon. ;D

      We've always had shelter pets, except for our calico that we got from a farm. I'm sure we saved her life when we adopted her. She was a nut case when she was a kitten. She would run into the refrigerator when I opened the door, and she once tried to jump into a hot oven. What the heck??? She has also gotten stuck in dresser drawers for the day, and jumped in cardboard boxes to big for her to get out again.

      There's no way she would have survived in the barn, because I can't imagine Farmer Joe would tolerate her annoying habits. She licks our feet, literally sticks her butt in guest's faces, and runs across the bed early in the morning to wake me up. And she loves to rattle plastic bags at dawn. And the funniest habit she has is crawling on her stomaches and trying to nurse from our shirts. She's also partial to nursing fuzzy blankets. She's 10 years old, for crying out loud! LOL

      It's a good thing she has the most adorable kitty face and makes sweet little meowing noises. :)

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    3. LOL, Sam! Your kitty sounds hilarious! (I can't imagine Farmer Joe putting up with her antics either.) You'll have to send me a picutre of her her adorable kitty face. :)

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  4. His Highness is the spitting image of my dear departed Billie Whiteshoes Johnson (she came pre-named). All our animals have been rescue, including our last, which was a bunny left on the steps of a rescue center in a box. They are so grateful for their new homes. The Marquess is gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks, Nancy. I think he's pretty cute, myself.

      You are the first person I know of who has rescued a bunny. I've never heard of that before. That is so cool!

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  5. All three of my pups are shelter dogs. We have a black lab mutt (Maggie), a bird dog mutt (Sadie), and our youngest troublemaker, a border collie mutt (Darcy). I've never, ever considered getting an animal any other way - there are just too many out there in dire need of homes! My girls are my joy, my support, and my co-workers :) While I don't foresee us ever having three again at one time, I will always, always have a much loved pet at my side.

    Side note - I'm fairly certain little Miss Darcy has already forgotten how good her life is now in comparison to her shelter days. It's been awhile since I've seen that look of appreciation (when I wasn't holding food) ;)

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    1. How soon they forget, Erin. ;)

      And your pups are so adorable!

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    2. Oh, and I forgot to say: Congrats! He's beautiful and obviously the perfect match for your family :)

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  6. We just got our first family dog at the Wayside Waifs shelter last two weeks ago today! She's a black lab/blue heeler mix named Indigo. (Okay, so she was named Diamond, but we changed that).

    She's a 5 month old puppy. We weren't necessarily looking for a puppy--we were totally open to an adult dog--but the bigger dogs intimidated the kids a bit. Heir just turned 5 and Spare is not quite 2. Indy was very gentle with them and will be a good fit to grow up with them, I think.

    I don't know what happened to her, either, but she's only very slowly coming out of her shell and still cows down to us at unexpected moments, which breaks my heart. But she is happy to be here and her personality is coming out more and more everyday.

    I've always had shelter pets :)

    BTW, I love Catsby's name ;)

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    1. Indigo sounds so cute. I'm sure your boys will love growing up with her. I got my dog when I was two, he stayed with me all the way through high school. I couldn't have asked for a better friend growing up.

      And I know what you mean about the cowering breaking your heart. It's so sad that such sweet animals have been scared.

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  7. Our cats have all been shelter cats too. I miss our Nosy! The kids are clamoring for a new kitty, telling me it's time. I'm still in mourning. :-(

    But I'll relent soon, and then we'll be on the lookout. I've already checked out that link you sent me, dang you, Ava!

    Can't wait to meet his lordship!

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    1. :) The kitty's name WAS "Sir Wellington" I couldn't resist. :)

      But the mourning I understand. You'll know when the time is right.

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  8. My mom is a pet groomer, and the shop tends to get a lot of abandoned animals. We have three cats, two dogs and with the exception of our boxer (who came from a litter of pups my brother’s dog had) they are all rescues. Three of those are breed rescues (Pomeranian, Persian and Himalayan) our third cat is a well loved mutt lol. I don’t think I could do a bought for animal with there being so many out there who need love that have been abused or abandoned.

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    1. That's so great, Misty!

      I've actually never paid for a pet before. All of ours have been "Free to a good home" sort of thing. A litter of kittens here, a litter of puppies there. They've always been too young, I think, to realize how good they had it. But that isn't the case with Griffin. :)

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  9. Ava,

    You know my history with my cats. We had our beloved Gandalf, who died last year, and recently we adopted Cupcake. I too got an older cat. She is SLOWLY adopting to us. I think my house may be a little rowdy! Imagine that! I have two rambunctious boys who love to pick Cupcake up even though Cupcake doesn't looove it! I decided on an older cat because I felt like it would be harder for her to find a home, since I believe most people want kittens.

    Though Cupcake might not be as loving as Gandalf was, she is earning her keep. She already caught a mouse when the most Gandie G ever did was play with one then let him go. Gandalf was pacifist!

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    1. :) Griffin caught a mouse, but didn't kill it. (My intrepid Scientist finished the blasted thing off.) Lord Catsby *would* have killed it, I feel certain. But he dropped the thing to play with it and the mouse (who'd been playing dead) bolted... or rather limped. Griffin did wound him enough to catch him. :)

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    2. Our cat catches the mice and our dog finishes them off. Perfect team work, but I think I've said in the past our dog thinks she's a cat. That's why I found her standing in the middle of the dining room table. And she cleans herself like a cat, but she misses lots of spots and still smells like a dog. LOL

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    3. LOL, Sam! I cannot even imagine what I would do if my dog was standing in the middle of my table.

      My dog, by the way, is a chicken. I should have realized we had a mouse when he refused to come inside. He'll even sit outside in the rain. Ridiculous dog.

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  10. The puppy that lives at our house was rescued from the SPCA, and she has certainly made herself quite at home. Although I think she's a ding song (dis you really just walk into the wall that's been there the entire time-oh wait, that was me.), she's pretty darn protective of everyone, especially the kids.

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    1. That's so sweet, Marquita. :) I'm sure the kids love the puppy!

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  11. Oh my goodness...he is absolutely precious! And best name for a pet goes to the Marquess of Castby! I think it is absolutely beautiful that you adopt shelter cats; my sister is a tremendous lover of shelter cats and her two 'babies' were/are in fact from a kill-shelter. I would love to adopt but the closest we ever got was Sir Shaggybottoms who was a feral cat we would feed before Hurricane Sandy. My DH is deathly allergic (cannot breathe), as is my son, so we could never bring him in. We tried to lure him into a cage before the storm, but he wouldn't come, and I haven't seen him since. : ( I'm sorry; your post reminded me of him. On a happy note; your story filled me with happiness/optimism in the world.

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    1. Hopefully Sir Shaggybottoms was found by someone before the storm hit and he's been inside ever since. (That is what I am going to go with, Christi.)

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  12. Your cat looks almost identical to mine, Sophie. Same black top lip and white bottom lip, same white tummy and white mittens.

    She is an absolute treasure. We got her from the SPCA (shelter) when she was 10 weeks old. She contracted cat flu almost immediately and nearly died. We had to feed her with a syringe to keep her alive. She was too weak to even drink on her own. All through this, she would still snuggle in and purr madly.

    She is a lovely companion who also likes to keep a schedule. Evening snuggles on the couch must be strictly observed. And I do know that look - she will look straight up into my eyes as we're cuddling, and you can see the love there.

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    1. Aww, Charlotte, that is so sweet. You made me tear up. I am so glad that Sophie is doing well and still keeping to her nightly snuggles schedule.

      It sounds like you have an amazing cat!

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