A Remarkable Story About a Cat Victim of the Lake County Fire

You probably know that Cat Faeries is located in San Francisco and that currently in Northern California there are two major fires which are destroying thousands of acres of land, burning homes and businesses, and displacing or injuring many animals. These animals range from cats, dogs and other domestics, to horses, cattle, and wild animals. One of the two California fires is in Lake County which is about 2 hours north of us – Lake County is the poorest County in the state.

While we were looking into where we can donate items and money we heard a remarkable story from Sebastopol based photographer Heather Wakefield about a severely burnt cat who was rescued by firefighters. The cat was found in the driveway at 19554 Highway 175, in Middleton, and was taken to Wasson Memorial Hospital. When the cat first arrived it appeared that the cat might lose his eyes but with treatment and round the clock care he’s improving daily and he’s begun to purr and rub his chin for the techs and doctors.

You might wonder why one of the places we are donating to is a for-profit vet hospital. Wasson Memorial is a very unique. They will not let the extreme poverty level keep locals from getting their animal’s medical care. They don’t turn away people who can’t pay; they believe that it can be worked out somehow. Dr. Cannon and Dr. Holmes are deeply committed to their community and created a special fund for the animals at their local Animal Control. You can read about the fund here: http://www.wassonmemorialvetclinic.com/donationfunds.html

We are very impressed that Wasson Memorial is boarding cats who have lost their homes from the fire or who have been found wandering, and they are doing this free of charge. They know that the people in their community who had very little to begin with now have nothing, including their homes which could mean they will never be with their beloved animals again. We are donating to Wasson Memorial because we believe that compassion before cash deserves to be supported.

As of today the fire is only 15% contained. Over 65,000 acres have burnt in that one fire alone. Hundreds of homes have been destroyed leaving thousands of people and their animal homeless. The town of Middleton is completely gone, every structure burnt to the ground.

If you have any information about the owners of this cat call 707-263-5380.

At Cat Faeries we feel very blessed – we’ve got the best customers! And we believe in philanthropy. We are in the process of getting more supplies to help cats and other animals (and people too!) where they are needed most – this is why you shop with Cat Faeries: 1% of our sales go to rescue efforts. In time of disasters like the two fires we order and pay for various supplies to feed and care for cats and other animals.

We’ve hidden the photos of one burnt cat behind this link to the Wasson Memorial Facebook page so that our readers who are children or very sensitive adults won’t have to see them unless they choose too. The photos are dramatic, but the good news is that the cat is getting better every day.

A Heartwarming Kitten Rescue Story from a Customer

Here’s a wonderful charming story about some kittens from our customer Carol…

The kittens soon after they arrived. A neighbor who worked in the old Lincoln Heights Jail found them huddled in a corner. Some of the building was adapted for other uses, but large areas remained empty. He waited for the Mom to show up, but she didn’t—so he picked them up and wrapped them in a towel. They were thin, dirty, and scared. Obviously Mom was having a hard time feeding these little ones. Other cats had been found in the building, too.

He drove around the neighborhood trying to find someone to take them in. The local shelter had told him that they were overwhelmed with kittens and would have had to euthanize immediately. At two weeks old, they would need constant care and feeding, unless Mom or a surrogate could be found.

We needed a team of people to take care of these little guys— they were so tiny, and keeping them warm, clean and fed was a challenge. They were covered with dirt and fleas. And they had never seen humans before. But soon, they were thriving. And we all developed a deep respect for cat moms— we needed several people feeding around the clock to approximate the love and care of one Mama Cat.

Clio liked to help mix up their baby formula.

At six weeks, they were tearing around their playground. They all grew up to be beautiful, loving kits.

How to Prevent Feline Calicivirus (FCV) Infection

Here’s an article from our resident smart kitty Issac Newton about Feline Calicivirus (FCV). It’s a particularly nasty virus that is one of the leading causes of feline upper respiratory infections and can cause painful ulcers on the nose, eyes and mouth.

We’ve seen Colloidal Defense help cats get through a bout of Calicivirus much more quickly. If your cats have ever had Calicivirus it’s a good idea to put Colloidal Defense in either their food or water daily as a prevention.

To see just how nasty the painful oowies that accompany this disease can be, one of the links below has photos which show what can happen to a cat’s nose, mouth and eyes (there is a warning with the link). These are graphic and not suitable for children or sensitive adults. Fortunately, not every outbreak of Calicivirus is as dramatic as shown in these photos.

Newton’s Purrspective – Calicivirus

Because their immune systems are not well developed kittens everywhere are at high risk for the most common feline viral diseases (upper respiratory disease and distemper). The stress of living in a shelter makes them even more susceptible and the proximity of other cats almost guarantees that they will get sick. The most common causes of upper respiratory infections in cats and kittens are herpesvirus and calicivirus. I was once a shelter kitten and I am a calicivirus survivor.

Isaac Newton

Calicivirus is highly contagious and can be spread through direct contact with infectious secretions (did you know a cat sneeze can travel 9 feet?) or by exposure to objects that have been contaminated (dishes, bedding etc.). The virus can survive a week or more in the environment so a person can spread the virus simply by touching these objects before handling a cat. (http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/feline-calicivirus-infection/4132)

Typically the incubation period is 2-6 days. However, a cat may infect others even before the disease is apparent! Symptoms are variable and depend on the age of the cat as well as the presence of other viruses, such as herpesvirus or distemper. These include:

  • Limping due to tenderness in the joints or muscles (most common in kittens)
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sneezing and Discharge from the eyes and nose
  • Ulcerations (pus-filled sores) inside the mouth or on the lips, or tip of the nose
  • Ulcerations on the toes and bottom of the feet


The ulcers are very painful so drooling or pawing at the mouth may indicate their presence before they are readily visible.

Vaccination against calicivirus does not provide immunity, but it can decrease the severity of symptoms. (http://www.sheltermedicine.com/node/38#vacswarning – graphic pictures on this page of nose, eye and mouth ulcers – not suitable for children or sensitive adults) Since upper respiratory diseases are viral support therapy is used until the body can fight off the illness. Cats are typically treated with antibiotics to prevent pneumonia and other secondary bacterial infections. In severe cases fluids may be required. Fortunately, my symptoms were not severe and I had a foster mom to take care of me away from the shelter.

Calicivirus can be very serious, especially in kittens. It is important to get veterinary help as soon as possible. Traditional vets will use oral antibiotics and fluid therapy for rehydration if needed. Antibiotic eye ointment may also be prescribed to prevent ulceration and possible blindness.

Homeopathic vets will offer different treatment options. These include vitamins, herbs and nutraceuticals (http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-Nutraceuticals.aspx) to help support the immune system. “Colloidal Defense”, in particular, can stimulate the immune system and speed healing. A vaporizer may ease breathing difficulties and appetite stimulants can help if the patient is reluctant to eat. (http://allnaturalpetcare.com/blog/2014/03/21/natural-treatment-feline-upper-respiratory-tract-infection/). A nosode (homeopathic vaccine) may also be recommended. (http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/veterinary-nosodes/)

In all cases good nursing (e.g. cleaning discharge from eyes and nose, providing fresh food/water and a warm safe place to sleep) is essential.

Although calicivirus outbreaks are most common in crowded situations, such as shelters or catteries, an indoor cat at home can still get the disease. Hand washing is an important precaution both for humans and their kitties! In the case of known infections it is best not to visit homes with sick cats for at least 2-3 weeks after they have recovered. Caretakers of sick cats should not visit other homes with cats.

After I finished my antibiotics I went in for my final exam at the shelter. I felt pretty good, but the veterinarian said I was unadoptable! Why?!? Some cats become carriers after recovering from the disease. (http://www.sheltermedicine.com/node/38#disinfectwarning – graphic pictures on this page of nose, eye and mouth ulcers – not suitable for children or sensitive adults) This means they could still potentially infect others. The virus is most likely to become active under stressful situations. Fortunately for me, my foster mom was willing to take the risk. At home we have minimal stress thanks to “Multi Cat Household Harmony Flower Essences” and “Convivial House Cat” spray. We have all remained healthy since my adoption over 7 years ago.

You can see why my mom fell in love with me.

Baby Newton Jan 2008

Why Male Calico and Tortie Cats Are So Rare

Recently we stumbled upon an article about an extremely rare male calico kitten up for adoption in Silicon Valley. Less than 0.1% of all calicos or torties are male. And, it’s likely this kitten, named Sherman, or any other male calico or tortie was born sterile.


‘Unicorn Cat’ Makes Its Way to Silicon Valley Animal Shelter

By Renee Schiavone (Patch Staff)

A very special kitten has found his way to a Silicon Valley animal shelter, and now representatives are hoping someone will be willing to give him a forever home.

Sherman is a male calico cat. Which is apparently really rare.

Dr. Andrea Berger, who is a veterinarian at the Humane Society Silicon Valley, says the chances of a calico cat being born male is less than 0.1%.

“It’s like a unicorn! I’ve been involved with shelters for 20 years and I have never seen one,” Berger said.

The four-month-old kitten recently arrived with the HSSV, as a transfer from one of their sister shelters, which was full.

“We work with shelters in the area to help alleviate the strain on resources when shelters are too full and when there’s an animal who needs a little extra help getting adopted,” a spokeswoman told Patch.

Anyone interested in adopting Sherman can stop by the Sunnyvale Neighborhood Adoption Center, inside Petco at 160 East El Camino Real. The adoption fee is $175.

By the way, shelter representatives say the little fur ball is very personable and friendly– and he’s a sucker for people and wand toys.

We asked guest writer and over all “one smart cat” Newton to give us the science behind the rarity of male torties and calicos. Here you go!

Newton’s Perspective: Calico Genetics

My namesake, Sir Isaac Newton, was a renowned physicist and mathematician. Although some credit him with inventing the cat flap to protect his experiments from light exposure (http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/3156/did-isaac-newton-invent-the-cat-door), I doubt that he actually knew much about cats. That’s not surprising since we are WAY more complicated than physics! Recently my insatiable cat curiosity led me to a book about a male calico cat titled “Cats are not Peas” – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1358214.Cats_Are_Not_Peas. Well, that seems pretty obvious. I thought this was about genetics, not gardening. But what I read was far more complex than I imagined.

Have you ever met a male calico cat? If you said no I am not surprised. Less than one percent of all calico cats are male. But before I go any further, let’s define calico. Calico is a color pattern. When I think “calico” I see a cat that is predominantly white with patches of orange and black. However, this is only one variation. The key is having both orange (or beige) and black (or grey) colors.

The genetic code for black and orange colors is located on the X chromosome. Females have two X’s (XX), while males have an X and a Y (XY). If a female kitten gets both an orange and a black X then she will be calico XoXb. A male kitten from the same litter would get either an orange or a black X with the following results.

The only way for a male to have both orange and black colors is through a genetic mishap that gives him three chromosomes XoXb Y instead of two XoY or Xb Y. This is called Klinefelter Syndrome in humans and generally results in feminization and sterility.

So now you know why male calico cats are so rare. But I’m sure you’ll agree, all cats are special, no matter what color they might be.

102 year old lady proves you’re never too old to adopt a cat

102-year-old Iona L. and 2-year-old Edward at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/22/102-year-old-woman-adopts-cat_n_6524804.html – This Photo Captures The Tender Moment A 102-Year-Old Woman Fell In Love With A Shelter Cat

Do you ever feel like you are too old to do something? Often that’s so not the case especially in matters of love! Here you will read about a lady who’s 102 years on this planet and she’s fallen in love with a special cat – and it’s mutual. Neither are concerned with how long the other might be around – they just went for it and it’s beautiful. We love that old saying “it’s never too late.” This woman and her cat prove that it’s true. There’s nothing like the love of a furry friend to make one feel young, vital and needed.

How rare are female orange tabbies? Quite! Let’s meet one!

Dear Friends,

Thank you for another amazing year. Would you believe that in just a few months we will celebrate 22 years since Cat Faeries was created? It’s true!

During this past year we heard from hundreds upon hundreds of amazing people who told us about their amazing cats. Your kind words and stories mean the world to us – truly. So many of your messages to us moved us to tears, sometimes joyful tears, and sometimes very sad tears – but we welcome them all because feelings are beautiful and are to be cherished.

As we say good-bye to December which was Cat Faeries “white cat month” we also bid adieu to 2014. To welcome 2015 we proclaim January is Orange Cat Month!

Send us photos and stories about your orange cats, your marmalade cats, those creamsicle beauties to catfaeries@catfaeries.com – put the words Orange Cat in the subject line and we’ll start posting their orangey selves to Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and in our January newsletters.

This week we heard from Mary Jo who ordered a cat bed from us right before Christmas. She wanted us to see how stunning her orange tabby, Velveeta is resting in her Cat Faeries bed. That’s when we learned that Velveeta is a female tabby which is quite rare. We’ll tell you more about that after we tell you Velveeta’s story:


“Velveeta is eight years old. I adopted her from local no-kill shelter, Crash’s Landing, here in Grand Rapids, MI. They think she was about two years old when they found her in 2008. She was adopted once but returned after several months because she didn’t acquiesce to the diva cat already in residence. Crash’s Landing will take back any cat they adopt out – no questions asked.

She followed me all around the shelter when I went to visit Crash’s (third step in their adoption process) in April 2012. My adoption counselor said “She has never done that!”

In her bio it said that she needed to be the only cat and preferably the only pet – which was perfect for me! I had dogs my entire adult life, but now I’m no longer able to care for a dog. Needing a more independent pet I thought the right cat would be better for me. Was that ever the truth – and I found the most perfect cat in Velveeta! We made a pact the day I brought her home: now living with another diva, she’s the princess because I’m the queen.

In the almost three years since we have both worked very hard on our relationship, getting to know and accept (tolerate?) each other’s habits, likes and dislikes. She has learned I don’t like even play-biting, or gentle nipping, and I have learned that hair balls are part of the natural processes; sometimes I have to hunt them down, other times they’re presented, almost gift-like.

She has the sweetest most patient temperament. She’s very loving, more so as time goes on. I hope she knows she will live here forever. For now I believe she knows that she is safe and very loved.

I suspect she knows that her hair blends with the color of the inside plush fleece lining, and the outer color matches her gorgeous green eyes. Of course it’s all about her! And we wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks Cat Faeries!“



This is Velveeta in her new Cat Faeries bed.

This is Velveeta waiting for her new bed to arrive!

Here’s a great article about female orange cats written by a long time Cat Faeries friend: JaneA Kelly. JaneA is a very good writer so this piece is a lively mix of science and genetics, with a big pinch of humor, and some cute photos all of which are guaranteed to both educate and amuse you. And yes, that’s her name! Cool, isn’t it?


Thorn L. who is another favorite customer and friend of Cat Faeries volunteers at cat shelters wherever she goes, and she tells us: “I had an angel of a perfect orange tabby girl in my feral colony before I left Charlotte. When I took her to the vet, it was as if I’d brought some kind of princess or prophet in! Needless to say, she was adopted immediately.” Thorn is yet another cool name for a Cat Faeries human friend!

Happy New Year!

Happy Orange Cat Month!