Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fluffy and Notso Fluffy's Story

Notso sunning himself

Pets' names:
Fluffy and Notso Fluffy
Adopted by: Wendy Scruton
From: Danbury Animal Welfare Society, Bethel, Conn.

Wendy, who blogs at Notso Kitty, sent the story of her two cats, whom she adopted together several years ago. 

My name is Wendy Scruton (née Casazza) and I currently live in Boston, Mass., with my two cats and dear husband Todd. I adopted Notso and Fluffy from the Danbury Animal Welfare Society (DAWS) when I was living in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.—many years before I met Todd. I adopted them from that shelter in particular because that is where my family adopted one of our family cats that was a favorite of mine from when I was little. I entered the shelter with the game plan of getting two cats—so they could keep each other company. I took my little sister with me; she's a genuinely stoic individual at times and will not cave to the adorableness of kittens. :) I was slightly afraid of walking out of the shelter with more than two cats, but my sister was there to keep me honest!

When we went into the shelter we first viewed the room of individual older cats. None of these seemed like a natural pair for each other. We decided to look at the kitten room—though my sister warned me that TWO would be my limit. No cute third kitten would be sneaking home with me. :( In any case, they had three cute pairs of kittens in the room. But once I saw Notso Fluffy's face and he nuzzled me I completely melted.... So did my sister! Our decision was clear. We filled out the adoption paperwork, paid the small fees for their shots and upcoming "fixing," and adopted both brothers. They came with the names "Pepe" (Fluffy) and "Romeo" (Notso Fluffy)—it was clear to me that these names weren't going to suit me (or them), but I wasn't sure what to call them.



A few weeks go by and a few patterns started to emerge. I kept calling the cats "the Fluffy one and the Not-so Fluffy one," so eventually I found it easy to name them Fluffy and Notso Fluffy (Notso for short). Fluffy was very bashful and afraid, skittish at the slightest noise or movement toward him. He spent many hours under my boxspring or hidden inside my bedroom closet. He'd climb my clothes and sit on top of the hangers ... the poor thing! I tried to socialize him by petting him whenever I could get hold of him.... He accepted this eventually and even grew to seek it out. But he is still to this day very fearful of strangers.

Notso on the other hand is quite the attention whore. He's always looking to be petted—usually trying to insert himself into scenarios he doesn't belong, like on top of the laptop or at the dinner table. He had his share of health problems starting when he was four—he had to have the "PU" surgery. It wasn't pretty—but he seems okay now. I feed him special food and he's a little fat because he likes it too much, but the vet says he's otherwise healthy, so all is well :) We have since moved to Boston, upon which I met my husband eight years ago! Crazy how time flies ... but we now happily live and work in the Bay State with our kitties

Myself, I am quite a cat fanatic. I decided a little while ago to devote my blog, my arts and crafts, and my spare time to all things cat! I started making cat hats—and using Notso and Fluffy as the models! I sell them on Etsy at the NotsoKittyShop. My most popular is the Princess Beatrice Cat hat so far, but I am constantly coming up with new things in my spare time. Fluffy especially loves his involvement! He has really come out of his shell thanks to cat hats. :)

Fluffy is ready for any royal wedding.

If you adopted a pet from a shelter or rescue group and you'd like to share his or her story, please email me. I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ampersand's Story

Pet's name: Ampersand
Adopted by: Dani
From: Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, Pittsburgh, Pa.

I never meant to adopt any sort of animal. My home has always been full of critters that have found their way to me; mostly exotic pets that have been surrendered by friends who got in over their head and knew I could handle it (parrots, turtles, Vietnamese walking sticks, etc.). I certainly didn't need another mouth to feed. But when I went to the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society to say hi to the dogs and cats, I discovered bunnies.

I met a volunteer in the bunny room who was lovingly feeding and chatting with each rabbit, and I immediately fell in love with the species as a whole. He introduced me to one lovely bun, who at the time was named Baby, and told me a bit about rabbit care and the basics of living with a house rabbit. Baby went home with me that day and was re-christened Ampersand Umlaut LaRue. We've been roommates now for three years, and I couldn't imagine my life without her.

Rabbits end up in shelters by the hundreds every year simply because people don't realize that they require attention; more so than even some dogs and cats. A neglected bunny is an unhappy bunny, and not much fun to have in your house, so people abandon them. The rewards of taking the time to socialize and train an urban house rabbit are limitless. Ampersand has made me a tidier person (no more leaving clothes or books lying around), a more responsible person (fresh food, water, and daily snuggle-time is a must), and an all-around calmer, happier person.

Not a day goes by that I don't talk to somebody about the benefits and joys of having a house rabbit. I can't even really call what we did litter-box "training," because she immediately knew what the litter-box was for. No training necessary. Bunnies are much cleaner and quieter than cats and dogs, and snuggling is an evolutionary survival tactic for small critters that live in holes in the ground! They simply MUST be snuggled! When people visit my apartment I tell them to watch where they step because Ampersand is known to dash towards you in an attempt to cuddle your feet. She immediately assumes that if it's alive, it's her friend. Even Meatball the quail is buds with Ampersand, which is generally not normal quail behavior.

Ampersand hanging out with her friend Meatball, a quail

I recently began volunteering as a bunny buddy at the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society and I've made so many wonderful little furry friends. I can't express enough what a joy it is to have a rescue rabbit in your life! They're truly dedicated companions. Ampersand is always happy to see me, and she lights up my living room every day.

If you adopted a pet from a shelter or rescue group and you'd like to share his or her story, please email me. I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

D'Angelo's Story

Pet's name: D'Angelo
Adopted by: Tina Smith
From: Greenville Humane Society, Greenville, S.C.

Tina, who blogs at Park Avenue Chihuahua, sent the story of D'Angelo, who came into her life unexpectedly one day.

It seemed like any other day. Little did I know I was destined to meet the love of my life that crisp October evening. I had thought about volunteering at the local humane society. I was going to do the dirty work that others didn't want to do (clean the cages and walk the dogs). I called the Greenville Humane Society and they told me that they would mail me some information about the next orientation. I checked my mailbox one day to find out that they mailed the orientation information about a day too late—the orientation had taken place the night before. I called and was assured that they would mail out more dates.

The next time I checked my mail box, I was shocked to see that the orientation was taking place that night. So much for advanced notice, I thought. I was tired and contemplated waiting for another date, but something kept nagging at me from the inside telling me that I really needed to go that night. So I went.

The orientation started with a discussion on what being a volunteer would entail and then we were to be taken on a tour of the facilities. It was time for us to tour the dog area. I walked in this big room to see cages and cages of excited, hopeful, and lonely dogs. I tried not to get attached to any particular one. I already had a dog. A six-year-old female Chihuahua to be exact. She was and still is my baby and the love of my life. She and I were just fine all by ourselves.

Just then I spotted this adorable black-and-tan Chihuahua out of the corner of my eye. He was so cute with his little red country bandana on. The thing that caught my eye the most was that he wasn't looking at anyone else on the tour (which was about 15 people) but me. He never took his eyes off me. It was like he knew, he knew I was destined to be his mommy. He was so hopeful as he stood on his hind legs and pawed at the cage. I walked over to him and our eyes met. I knew too. I knew by some divine power that he was to be mine. I kept rationalizing and talking myself out of it. I didn't need or want another dog, especially not a boy dog. Boy dogs mark all over everything and they like to hump things. I lived in an apartment. I couldn't afford another dog. And the list of excuses went on and on. But somehow I knew. I fell in love with him instantly.

I was assured that he would still be there when I finished the tour and that I could come back and visit him after it was all over. When the tour finished I returned to the dog cages but he wasn't there. I went into the lobby and saw a lady playing with him. I thought she was going to adopt him so I took it as a sign and headed for the door. But I couldn't leave, I just couldn't. I asked her if she was going to adopt him and she said, "no." She said that she was a worker and she would take turns letting a dog out of its cage so it could run around for a little while. I played with "Andy" (that was his name then—I changed it later) until the humane society closed.

I asked about his history. I was told that someone dropped him off at the humane society because they were moving and couldn't keep him inside. Really? He was seven pounds. How can you not keep a sweet little seven-pound dog inside your home? Then I was told that he was adopted out again and that he was returned a week later for reasons unknown. This poor little sweet dog had been tossed around like an old stuffed animal and discarded. Little did I know that it was God's plan all along. It was God's plan for me to find him, adopt him, and save his life.

I asked what time the humane society opened the next day—10 a.m., I was told. So I called my boss and asked if I could take my lunch break early. I took my friend and my little Chihuahua Patti Marie with me the next day. I wanted to make sure that they liked each other. Patti and "Andy" took to each other immediately. He loved her from the start and she seemed to like him too. We were told to take them to the courtyard and see how they did outside with each other. The courtyard was where the dogs were walked before they were brought back to their cages. As we walked around the courtyard I realized that I definitely wanted to adopt him.

I went inside to find a volunteer. As we headed back outside this poor little dog started to claw the tile on the floor. It was as if he were hanging on for dear life. He didn't want to leave me. He thought since we were going back outside that I was taking him back to his cage. It broke my heart and I adopted him on the spot. There was no way I was leaving him, not even for a minute. He curled up in my lap as we rode home and went sound asleep with such a peaceful look on his face. It was probably the best sleep he had had in months.

D'Angelo with Patti Marie

Once home, I knew I needed to change his name. Andy didn't suit him. As we walked around the grounds of the apartment community, I talked to him. I told him that he was an Angel. Then I said out loud "Angelo" and then finally "D'Angelo." That was his new name—D'Angelo—and he loved it. All I had to do was say it twice and he knew it was his new name. For a few weeks after I adopted him he seemed unsure of his new home. He didn't know if it was permanent or not. As crazy as it sounds, I talked to him. I told him that this was his forever home, that I loved him dearly, and that I would forevermore be his mommy. After that he knew I meant it.

Little did I know that October 14, 2005, would change my life forever. The crazy thing is that I got my Chihuahua Patti Marie on the exact same day six years earlier—October 14, 1999. It was destiny for sure. Almost seven years later, I can happily report that D'Angelo and Patti love each other more than words can express. Since then we rescued two more precious dogs, totaling four puppy dogs in all.

D'Angelo is the most precious, sweet, loving, and loyal dog anyone could ask for. He is truly a gift from God. He is my baby and the LOVE OF MY LIFE.

If you adopted a pet from a shelter or rescue group and you'd like to share his or her story, please email me. I'd love to hear from you!