National expo for people who do rescue work – story from an attendee!

When our good friend and Cat Faeries ambassador Angela Giannini White told us about an Expo just for people who do animal rescue we knew we wanted a story for our customers and readers. This year the expo was held in Las Vegas and because of that great location the attendance was the highest ever. So much networking took place and attendees got to see the latest and greatest of supplies to help shelters and rescued animals. We know that you’ll want to go next year, or in the future, if you rescue cats or other animals, of if you plan to. This expo is ideal for anyone who’s involved with fostering or who is passionate about TNR. It’s an annual event so plan now for next year! In 2017 it will be held in Ft. Lauderdale.


Animal Care Expo 2016

by Angela Giannini

Board of Directors – Marketing and Communications

Cats Valley Shelter & Sanctuary

This was my first experience with the Humane Society annual Conference which was held this year at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas. This expo is for animal rescues, shelters, foster programs, animal medication, volunteers, sanctuaries, and TNR groups. There was a record attendance of 2,300 animal lovers and their 25th year of this expo. Next year this event will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I and three other board members of Cats Valley Shelter and Sanctuary felt it essential that we attend since we are starting a new nonprofit no kill cat shelter and sanctuary in the Bay Area.

Topics were about horses, dogs & cats. Focus this year was on the following, how to Adoption Welcome (increase adoptions), Animal Rescue, Medical Volunteer Programs, Smart TNR, Cat friendly communities, Engaging Volunteers, Humane Society International, Reaching the Underserved, Leadership & Keeping Pets in Homes.

Each day there was ample time to network with fellow animal lovers and we found many cat rescues, foster only programs and shelters willing to share their knowledge and to be future resources for us. Everyone was happy and eager to learn what innovative ideas are working to help get more animals in homes and removing barriers like requiring people to prove they have permission from their landlord to have a pet in their home.

One day during the lunch we heard a tiny kitten meowing and we all went over to view the bottle babies being fed. It was like bee’s to honey moment. Here is a photo of Nathalie Cowan our Board President of Cats Valley with one of the bottle babies.

In the exhibit hall you could obtain information on cleaning supplies, micro chipping, shelter design, pet insurance, fundraising and grants. We actually got a $1,000 grant at the event and won $2,000 towards a fundraiser. Some of the cat related exhibitors were Alley Cat Allies, Million Cat Challenge, and Tree House Humane.

Here is Bonnie Breaux our CFO winning money towards a future fundraiser, Derby Duck Wheel.

One of the sessions spoke about the importance of design of your shelter, making it open, clean, and inviting. Better visibility for your animals and assigning a volunteer to show them where the animals are, which makes it less confusing for your adopters. Creating comfortable areas for people to fill out paperwork and to obtain more information. Celebrating each adoption by announcing it over a loud speaker and following up with the adopter the next day. All these will ideas will help Cats Valley start out with using best practices to facilitate Cats Valley to be a premier place for people’s cat adoption needs and be a resource for the community.

To learn more about the Animal Care Expo and save the date for next year here is the link – https://www.animalsheltering.org/expo

Here is a photo of Board of Directors Bonnie Breaux, Natalie Cowan & Kory Stendell (Angela Giannini was the photographer)

 
 

Fort McMurray fire hero who fed cats, bunnies, and dogs

Wasn’t that recent fire in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada just horrible! The photos were heart wrenching, and of course we always think about the plight of the animals. Thousands of people evacuated so quickly that many animals were left behind. Read this story about Lee Ellis, a very brave man who stayed, and using Facebook he was able to communicate with evacuees. They would tell him how to enter their homes and what animals to look for. In turn he’d post photos of the animals and their homes so they could see if there was any damage. In Lee’s charge were cats, bunnies, and dogs. We’ve read that Lee has gotten many marriage proposals! Not surprising! Real men do love cats!

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/british-columbia/kelowna-man-stays-behind-to-feed-pets-in-fort-mcmurray-1.3579610

 
 

Do you know who makes your cat toys and cat beds?

There’s a slogan going around social media: “Do you know who made your clothes?” It’s to ask you to consider your clothes – who makes them, how they are made, under what conditions are they made, are people dying for your clothes, are you wearing toxic clothing. Fast-fashion has a high price to pay ethically, environmentally, socially and so on. The same question can be asked of cat toys and cat beds: “Do you know who made them?”

At Cat Faeries we can tell you exactly who made our beds and cat toys. For multiple reasons we do not support manufacture in China, including that items are loaded with pesticides from being fumigated on the ship and possibly treated with formaldehyde in the factory, not to mention near slave conditions at many facilities.

Our beds are made in a small factory in California by workers who have worked there and participated in decision making for years. Our toys are made by the person we lovingly refer to as The Toy Elf. The toys and beds are cut and sewn by hand. Everyone works in conditions that are either in their home or in a well-lit and ventilated factory with normal business hours. Everyone makes a living wage. Everyone cares about your cats and cares about you.

This video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHS5zafY0NY) is about clothing and was produced by model and activist Amber Valletta and she gives the opening introduction to set the mood for what’s to come. Christie Turlington Burns, another model and activist also speaks, as do some pioneers in the world of fashion who are saying no to horrific working conditions for clothing. If you wear clothes (and we think that you do!) you need to watch this and share it with friends and children.

We were sent the story of a rescued cat named Hailey submitted by her Foster Cat Mommy, Kim who certainly knows who made their cat toys and their cat beds! We have hidden the photo behind a link because it might be upsetting to sensitive adults and children (link to photo – http://www.catfaeries.com/images/newsletter/2016-04-26/hailey-800.jpg).

Hailey the cat is recovering from a severe burn from the hands of abusers and you can see in the photo the very long wound on her back. She’s shown inside a cat crate for quiet and privacy while she recovers and gets used to her new forever-home in the comfort of one of our beds and with a catnip mouse nearby.

Here’s the story sent to us about Hailey:

I just wanted to send you this pic and thank you for your marvelous beds. Hailey is a feral that someone abused and burned with what the vet thinks may have been hot oil. I am providing her care and know that I will end up adding her to our kitty family as she cannot be returned. She was so frightened when I brought her home but instantly found comfort in the cat faeries’ bed.

Today I put a Cat Faeries mouse in her crate. Hopefully it will be a little treat for her. Also using a bit of the Convivial House Cat Spray around her crate which is still covered.

Thanks again for your products.

Kim in Indiana
 
 
 
 

Petting shelter cats might be better than therapy!

Many years ago I decided it might be fun and rewarding to volunteer at a local shelter as a “cat socializer.” The job of a cat socializer is to spend time with a cat one-on-one. Sometimes the cats just sleep when you sit with them. Some of them try to hide. Sometimes your visit prompts them to groom or eat. Some cats want to be brushed, some don’t. Some cats love being petted and some need you to back off and let them come to you. Some of those cats don’t trust humans so this quiet and gentle time is vital and allows them to overcome fear, adapt to people, heal from emotional abuse, and become friendly towards people. I saw most of the cats come out of their shell and shine.

During our orientation the leader said that working with cats can be like therapy. She related a story of a lonely and mistreated teenage girl who reported that she could tell the cats all of her problems and worries. She could cry into their fur. They’d look her in the eye and give love right back to her. Eventually she felt that everything would be ok and she overcame her past. She was as much a therapist for the cats as they were for her.

Being a cat socializer was truly rewarding, and certainly more fun than therapy! Just stroking them, talking to them about nothing in particular, feeling protective of them, and watching them blossom was doing me as much good as I was doing for the cats. It was almost meditative and Zen like sitting on the floor while letting a cat take all the time needed to approach me. They’d slowly check me out, sniff at my shoes, purr at me, meow at me, rub against me, all those darling things that cats do. There were no rules about how much time I could spend with each cat and I loved that. The quiet time was priceless for me. I found that hanging out and being silent was very meditative and problem solving. I left floating on air, my troubles dissolved, and I was ready to face anything.

When you look for a shelter talk to other volunteers and ask if the shelter’s paid staff treat their volunteers like the pieces of gold that they are, or if they are treated like they are a dime a dozen. Sadly I found that many of the volunteers, myself included, seemed to threaten the status quo with our enthusiasm and new ideas. This shelter was highly political with much game playing, back stabbing, and broken promises. They had a total disregard for the volunteer’s enthusiasm and time.

But don’t let that stop you because great shelters are there, and they want and need you. Once you find the right one dive right in. The time and effort that you generously give will come back to you in the form of peace and courage, as well as a deep satisfaction. You’ll see cat after cat find a good home. I still remember the names and faces of my favorite shelter cats just as I remember some of the beautiful people who adopted them.

Pet cats. Feel good. Get perspective on your troubles and cares. Let the love inside of you flow to the lucky felines who get to have you in their presence. They’ll become your feline therapists.

 
 

What is a “Foster Failure?” Might you be such a failure? (hee hee!)

“Foster Failure” sure sounds like someone who fostered a cat and didn’t do a good job of it, doesn’t it! January 2016 is all about celebrating the shelter cats which our customers and friends have adopted – every day we post a photo and a story to Facebook. Early in the month we noticed that a few people called themselves a foster failure. We thought we’d heard everything, but not this so we had to ask! It’s not that they did a bad job, in fact, they did a great job! They just fell in love and kept the cat! What was to have been “temporary” housing and care turned into a forever home.

 
 

Sick Abandoned Kitten Becomes Big Handsome Fluff Ball!

See what happens to a kitten that was injured, abandoned and a mess… see what good food and love and care can do? The formerly skinny and sickly kitten is now a big fluff ball!

You can read more here…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3344557/Sick-scrawny-kitten-abandoned-road-rescued-Florida-family-remarkable-recovery-earns-online-fame.html

His Instagram page is here… https://www.instagram.com/sir_silas_kitty/

Silas was found by a Florida family by the side of the road. He was sick, starving and homeless. They nursed him back to health. Look at the handsome boy he became because of their love and care!