It’s all coming together now!

Here’s our latest update on the construction here at the Sanctuary.  The new buildings are really coming together now!

 

We’ll start with an updated wide view of the Sanctuary:070417a

Check out this gorgeous cat building.  The catios are really taking shape!  The doors have all been installed and include kitty doors for access to the outside playscapes.  Inside, you can really start to see how the place will be set up.  Most of the infrastructure is in place and we’ll have walls up in no time.

And, of course, there’s also the two new dog cottages.  They are also moving right along.  We can already see some pups snuggling on couches and barking for their dinners.

We’re looking forward to sending more updates of this exciting project soon!

Thank you for your support!

The Big Build!

It’s time to check in once again on the progress of our next phase of construction, this time with your adorable canine guide, Lucy!

 

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Lucy is keeping a close eye on the progress.
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The new cat cottage is taking shape!
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Just imagine a room full of happy kitties.
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Look at all those catios!
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Dog Cottage #6 is nearing completion.
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Rear view of Dog Cottage #6.
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Hard at work on Dog Cottage #5!
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Taking a “big picture” view!

Summertime is feline fine…

…especially for cat sanctuary resident Archer.

Archer 041817d.JPG    Incredibly handsome he’s a confident, curious and social guy with an easygoing personality-  making him an ideal candidate for a leisurely harness stroll on a beautiful sunny day.

Calling it a stroll may have been just a little bit of a reach- but a cat sure knows how to relax and enjoy each moment of his day.

Archer 041817g.JPG and honestly we can’t let the dogs have all the fun around here!

Closing in on summer also means that the flowers    .  . . . . .

and feral colonies are in full bloom.

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And we’ve picked some irresistibly cute kittens to brighten up the inside of our cat cottage:

First there’s our adorable little boy band: JC, Joey, Chris, Lance and Justin – that can barely take time out from playing for some photos.

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And to round out our rough and tumble boys -we have our little angels:  Jaclyn, Farrah and Kate.  Did someone say photo shoot?

Of course when they’re not posing -they can be a rough as those little boys!

And not always as graceful as our little angels should be:

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Unless of course they are sleeping – then they are always little angels.

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wait -did someone say photo shoot again?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of looks back at some of our previous guests.

-an update on a kitten rescued by our own OC staff that was found with a badly injured leg that  later had to be amputated.Lumi 121216a

Little Lumi was so nervous when he first arrived.

But soon he grew comfortable, confident and made quite a few friends

still he just  wished for a home of his own:

His prayers were quickly answered when a family that adopted Emery from the Sanctuary came looking for a feline friend to keep him company.emery 110216

Visual problems for Emery made it a little difficult for him to “fit in” and make friends with other cats at the Sanctuary.

But Lumi was happy to have Emery as his new Besty and the two became fast, inseparable friends.  WARNING – this video may be too graphic for some!

 

**A quick footnote on Lumi & Emery – mom & dad shared their story on the blog with them and they wanted to send along a thank you to us-   for us, a happy kitty is the best thank you ever!**

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Another update on Maise -a pregnant kitty that sadly lost her litter of kittens in utero but still kept her great personality-

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A sweet confident kitty that was happy to teach her new canine sibling a little respect in her new  home.

– Maise wants the bigger more comfortable bed

– then that’s what Maise gets! Maisie

Cats and Dogs

Always good to get it straight who’s boss right from the beginning.

 

Until next time–justin 060317d

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Happy dreams….

 

 

 

The Start of Something Big!

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We’ve started construction on Phase Three of the Our Companions Sanctuary.  Everyone’s favorite foreman, our own Hera, is closely monitoring progress for us.  Here’s some photo highlights of the work so far.

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A new shed for our yard care equipment.
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Let’s move some dirt!
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Building the foundation for a new dog cottage.
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Putting an addition on the garage for food storage.  We’re going to have alot more mouths to feed!
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The foundation for a new cat cottage.  Check out all those catio spaces!

Looking back and moving forward

Well,  the holiday decorations have come down and the new year is underway.

In the cat cottage we saw a lot of happy adoptions in 2016 and can look back and celebrate our many successes with a smile. . . .

from finding homes for some of our more reserved, “shy” cats :

  Chrissy, Heidi and Cheddar….

Cheddar, now Gracie, hardly took any time to come out of her shell.  Within two weeks, she was spending short spurts of time on Jane’s lap and now spends at least an hour at a time curled up on a lap multiple times per day.  She even wandered into the dining room on New Year’s to greet company and did some head-butting of stranger’s hands!  Jane and James had expected her to take longer to warm up, but are thrilled that she’s coming around to them so quickly.  She doesn’t have access to the entire house yet, but is comfortable in their bedroom, living room, and dining room for the time being.  They just love her!

-Boots and Ticker are now Scout (Chrissy) and Honey (Heidi).  At first the girls were so scared it was hard to give them names based on personality, so we went with “family” names.  But now, oh boy, their personalities have emerged. Scout has to explore everything with Honey right behind her.  Actually, Scout is my first cat to tightrope walk across the drapery rods.  And the top of the 55″ tv.  Honey is very sweet, likes her treats, and was the first to give me head butts and whisker kisses. And has gorgeous honey colored eyes.

to saying a fond farewell to some of our friends that decided they  wanted to hang around for just a while:

Elizabeth, Dillon,  & Veronica……

Here’s a photo update on Elizabeth, now Bells, who also happens to be FIV+ , from her new owners with an awesome caption- Can we clone these guys a million times over!!

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Dillon:    He warmed up to Tom and Brittany so fast, they didn’t even know what to do with it.  He greets them happily when they get home from work and is playful, snuggly, and extra lovable!  He has not swatted or hissed at them once.  He did go through a short period of attempting to eat the popcorn ceiling, so they had to take down a high shelf, but he has otherwise been the picture perfect kitty companion!  He is even starting to come out of the bedroom to stare at company from a distance when they do have friends over!  J I’d say that’s pretty impressive for our skeptical guy.  They absolutely adore Mr. Dillon and can’t believe how easy he’s been, given his history of being somewhat difficult.  I guess he just needed to find his people!

Hi Lady!!! 6 months wow!! Miss V is just fabulous! We are currently snuggled up watching The Grinch. Photo to follow.  She most definitely is beyond spoiled. She totally rules the house and knows it. She hasn’t had any health issues at all and we’re now comfortable enough to trim nails (as long as there are treats nearby to bribe). She really is the perfect cat! I’m so lucky! 

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Fondly remembering our kitties that were extra special:

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Mason:

….Wow, 6 months already.  We kinda feel like he has been here forever.  He loves the fireplace and when it is going…he uses his ramp a lot but is super clever on how he gets around.  I am often surprised when I come home, which room he is in and on what he is lounging on.   I think he loves just having places to go.  He eats but believe it or not he does leave food in the bowl.  Both cats share the eating zone and take their turns.  They snuggle when they want too, just like normal cats.  They also snuggle with humans when they feel the need too.    

Monty – who was blind

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Monty is doing very well!
It’s hard to believe he’s only been here 6 months; it feels like he’s been in the family forever.
He and Moira get on well, in fact their beds are together in the living room (they match their beds, naturally)!
He’s still as happy and affectionate as ever and grows more confident in his environment every day. He recently discovered he can jump onto the bathroom sink so that’s a new favorite hangout spot.
He goes for his first vet appointment in a few weeks for a check up as we haven’t had any health issues arise. He eats well and uses the box without problem.
Overall he’s one of the happiest cats I’ve met and he definitely brings us lots of joy.

And the several lucky kitties were able to leave here with siblings -or friends they made at the Sanctuary:

Siblings Clover & Dandelion- Friendship formed at the Sanctuary: Higgins, Tetris & Jupiter…..

Rosie and dad have really bonded. Omar is still doing things on his terms and that’s ok. Higgins loves everyone which includes our family and friends. At feeding time all 3 boys are right at our feet singing up a storm. Too funny.
Wishing you, your family and everyone at the sanctuary a Merry Christmas.

Pikachu and Luna- arrived together and were able to leave again together.

The very lucky kitties who were out the door as fast as they came in:

Molly, Nefertiti, Poppy and Emery…

And so many others that left us this year.

chickpea:

Chickpea is settling in nicely!  We did keep the name Chickpea, as Chris thought it suited him fine.  He and Homeo are very active together and sleep together too.  I do give Homeo a stern talking to once in a while as he teaches Chickpea some bad habits….like climbing on the railing above our living room. Crazy cats!

So far, Chickpea has only pulled two ornaments off the Christmas tree. One was a snowman that he ripped to shreds, thankfully, it wasn’t something I was worried about losing!  I’m really looking forward to Christmas morning and opening presents with the boys. J

Snickers, Snookey, Sprinkle, Barry, Dandelion, Clover, Buttercup, Barry…..

Finally,  one special tribute to our friend Harvey- He arrived at the Sanctuary rescued from the street in terrible condition-

once it was discovered he was in kidney failure we knew he had already arrived at his forever home – his “family” at the Sanctuary kept him loved, comforted and happy until he received his kitty angel wings on December 11th and left us with only his happy memories….

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Looking forward so many new faces have already joined us this year:

Apache, Gum Drop, Juniper, Luther, Charlotte…..

Luther, Lumi, Newton, Freyja……

Already some new friendships are forming:

Lumi – a kitten rescued by our own staff was found orphaned and injured so badly his hind leg needed to be amputated.

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He has now wound up with several step-siblings and one very special friend in Apache -a “mature” kitty that had such severe dental issues he had all of his remaining teeth removed -except for one.

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Of course – a special tribute to the rest of our current guests still waiting:

Albus, Cheetah, Dusty, Tabby, Hazel & Pippi- And looking forward to finding their homes this year!

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”
Vincent Van Gogh

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Naughty or Nice?

It’s time for the holidays and that means it’s time to check on our kitties to see if they are being naughty or nice this time of year.  So let’s take a peek and see what they’ve been up to….

 

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Why I’ve been sooo Naughty  – of course darlin’

 

Nice of course..that’s all I do  …….now if you’ll excuse me I need to get back to more important things like my nap.

 

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Yes Santa, I have been so sweet and nice!  please fill my stocking with lots of special goodies.

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Did you hear what I said – I was being nice ….so stop looking at me like that!

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Jeez –   guess I was being naughty cause this fit last year.

I’ve been using the scratching post faithfully, playing with the volunteers and even entertaining the other cats with my dancing skills –

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That counts as being good ………right?

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This face ….. naughty???   – no one would ever believe it if she was!

…And the rest of the crew is looking pretty innocent as well.

 

Well – there’s not too many naughty kitties this year,and lots of stockings to fill…. so maybe Santa will be delivering some wishes our way.

On a more serious holiday note, sometimes the helping hand we reach out doesn’t always extend as far as we hope.  A recent case we had involved a cat with extremely serious health issues that had to be euthanized.   The co-worker involved was devastated with that decision and commented “he was the sweetest cat, but no one took the time to love him”.

That brief, simple statement resonated in my mind and brought tears to my eyes -even though I had never even met this cat.  knowing someone loved and cared for him wouldn’t have changed the outcome but would have made a world of difference to him.

So a big thank you to all our volunteers that religiously come out to visit our cats and show them that they are all lovable and somebody cares.

 

'Cats Hug' by Toru Sanogawa: "What greater gift than the love of a cat? Yes indeed! Who can argue with that?!":

Hey…do you have a minute?

It’s important and just a moment of your time will do – one of our Sanctuary guests would like a word with you about a very serious subject.

 

Hi Everyone –

If you don’t already know me, let me introduce myself:

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My name is Sophie.

I’m a cute little Tortie currently living at the Sanctuary.

I love to chill outside, stare out the window, and help our volunteer manager with all of her paperwork.  (Though, to be honest, I like the paper much better when it is crinkled up and on the ground for me to smack.)

 

Anyway, that’s what I wanted to talk about – fun!  And playing.  And how to do it the kitty approved way.

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Now, you might be thinking “Sophie, come on, don’t be silly ….I already know how to play with cats.”

Seriously just hear me out!

There’s some cool facts about kitty brains that I want to share with you to make our play sessions more fun.

The big thing to know is that we like to play because it reminds us of hunting.  When we dive bomb a feather toy, we pretend it’s a real live bird!  So it’s important to move the toys like they are real prey.

 

Ever wonder why cats seem so bored when you just dangle the toy in our face?  We’re thinking that’s gotta be a pretty dumb bird to fly right into our face-and it can be kinda scary too.  If anything, I’ll just swat or bite it just to get it out of the way!  That’s not very fun or challenging for me.

I want to stalk, chase pounce and attack!  If you move the toy like prey that will definitely catch my interest.

Try moving it side to side, have it sneak around corners, have it  move slow like a bird walking on the ground and then zoom – into flight!

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Have it stop from time to time so we can strategize how we are going to catch it and move it AWAY from us so we can chase it.  Of course let us win every one in a while too!  If the toy is flinging so fast without us even being able to touch it our heads will definitely spin.

It’s all about finding that balance and letting us pretend play.  The best part of a play session is getting to capture my feathered foe for a little while.

 

 

 

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I mean sure, it’s fun to have food given to us on silver platters – or in my case, blue treat balls. But when it’s time to play,  give us a challenge!

Incorporate this new knowledge of kitty hunter instincts in your next play session and watch the fun begin.

 

 

Best,

Sophie

Supreme Tortie of Sebastian House

 

 

If I WERE KING

 

IF I WERE KING OF THE FOREST……….

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I’D COMMAND EACH THING BE IT FISH OR FOWL!

 

HA….HA….HA…HA… HA…Dillon stop!  you are cracking me up!

Reallllly Dillon – you and I weren’t you screaming like a girl the last time ……..both know you couldn’t hurt a fly-    In fact, wait a minute- 

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All right all right Tabby that’s enough      (sigh)  – lets not bring up the distant past, OKAY?

But Dillon, you and I both know that just happened last….

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TABBY!!  Shheesh!

Here, if I show you my sharp teeth and hard stare you’ll see how brave I really am.

No no no not like that Dillon – it’s all in the eyes  -see how I do it.

 

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Tab!  you actually look kind of creepy.  Let’s face it Tab,  you and I are just not cut out for this “courage” thing.

Sometimes I just get so discouraged. You know I look at cats who were adopted  like Mason (who had no hind legs) and Monty (who was blind)

And they were fearless.  People love that sort of thing in a cat and I just don’t get why.

dillon 060116c  …….. what have they got that we ain’t got.

Courage Dill courage- when you don’t have courage like us you do silly things to try to cover that up.  you know how you sometimes hiss when you are nervous to try to scare other cats or people and when you get irritable you might swat at people to tell them to leave you alone.

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I know you never really mean anything with things like that and

well, I do the same thing- except when I get scared I just kind of  flip out .

 

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We really do like and enjoy companionship. Why can’t people just see the good things about us- like how loyal  and affectionate we can be- we just need to trust people first and then we feel comfortable showing our true selves.

 

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Sometimes I feel like I can make it so hard for people to love me.  Tab I know someday,  someone is going to love the real me and take me home.

Yeah yeah dill, I know, someone who understands us will come along , but for now let’s just relax enjoy our day-   And listen to some music.

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(click on music to play and check out more images of tabby and dillon below)

 

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Sometimes we can be insensitive -sometimes we pay more attention to the things we need.

sometimes we test your trust.  sometimes we don’t make it easy.

 

But we DO deserve it………. and we love that you love us good.

We have to ask:   Do these faces look hard to love?
A few of our other residents wanted to take this opportunity to confess to some embarrassing behaviors of their own.

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Buttercups, Dandelions and Clovers

are growing big this spring!   Yes, maybe all over your lawn but, of course we are talking about kittens.

Early in May we took in mom, Blossom, and her three kittens (2 weeks old at the time)

Just a kitten herself (about 9 months old), she was found running the streets as a stray in Hartford- Apparently this girl is a little on the wild side, as she soon wound up  pregnant.  Her rescuer found herself in over her head and reached out for some help.

It was during Blossoms vet visit that they discovered she had a painful abscess on her mammary gland that was ruptured and draining.  However, despite the pain she continued to nurse and care for her kittens.

Now, at almost five weeks old – the kittens are thriving:

And mom is so ready

to return to being a kitten again!  Though she’ll have to stick it out a few more weeks.

A couple of weeks before Blossom arrived, we took in another litter of four boy kittens that were trapped as part of a feral TNR project in Hartford.

They came to us at just about 7-8 weeks and our volunteers have been working hard to turn these “airplane ears”Jupiter,colt,tetris,chickpea 042216a

into friendly kitten ears.   Jupiter, Colt, Tetris and Chickpea have come a long way.

And it’s been quite the ride with these boys but our volunteers have done a great job with them.   Still a little nervous and skittish, but ready for homes of their own.

HAPPY TAILS TO YOU!

Some teary but happy goodbyes are going out to four of our residents this week and next.

The first to say goodbye- our two lovable roommates:  Mason and Monty.

We are so happy for our boy Mason who joined us in March of 2015 -born without his hind legs, he stubbornly managed to survive outside for years.  Spotted by his rescuer stealing bird seed from her feeder to eat, she gained his trust, and was able to  coax him inside and care for him until he joined us at the Sanctuary.  Over the past year he has amazed us all with his resilience and strong will.

Monty joined us in February of this year.  Rescued from a hoarding situation -it was suspected initially that he only had some type of vision impairment. But,  after consulting with a feline ophthalmologist, we discovered that he is completely blind.  -Surprising to us because he carries on so fearlessly: climbing, running and playing – not letting anything stop him.

They met and  became roommates and playmates at the Sanctuary, learning to deal with each others “different” abilities.  Both cats have unbelievable and unstoppable spirits.  And both are going to their new homes within a day of each other.

It was an emotional goodbye for the both of them:

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maybe a quick kiss goodbye…….

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whoaahhh just a minute there Monty …………oooooh   yuck this is a bit awkward!

Hey how about we just do a quick good luck to ya slap on the shoulder……

Yeah that sounds good masey – lets give it a try.

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021   phew!  yeah, that went much better.

Good luck boys!  We’ll miss you both.

 

Next week our two girls  Chrissy and Heidi get to head to their new home together.  Both born into a hoarding situation where they were not properly socialized or cared for, they joined the Sanctuary in early September at about 12 weeks of age.

Our volunteers have spent countless hours working with them trying to gain their trust and confidence and they have made tremendous progress.  Although still skittish, the girls have grown into beautiful sweet and loving kitties.

Now a wonderful adopter has come along – willing to give them the space, love and most importantly the time they need to form that special bond – called unconditional  love.

Good luck to you too girls -we’ll miss you.

Finally – a cute little side note:

To send off our kitties with all of our best wishes one of our volunteers had a fantastic  idea of sending along cards with their adopters – another volunteer went with that idea and created custom cards for each cat:

Such a happy and fun way to express our feelings for the cats we care for and have come to love so much.  We’re looking forward to signing many more!