A beautiful story of two beloved cats written by a Cat Faeries customer

We so love people who love cats. And we love people who can tell a good tale probably as much as you do. We hope your heart is warmed, faith in humanity is restored, and that you give your cats a big hug and lots of kisses. Here’s Judy’s story about Casper and Marshmellow:

My Wonderful Cat Faerie,

On Wednesday, our Marshmellow passed away suddenly. We think it was a heart attack. The morning began as it always did. I petted him on the couch and cleaned the sleep from his eyes (Casper used to lick them clean but when he passed away, it became my job). Then I went into the kitchen to wash his bowls and make his breakfast while he went to the sliding glass doors that lead to our deck so he could watch the birds. That was his favorite thing to do. No sooner than I suds-up the bowls did I hear a terrible cry from Marshmellow. It sounded like the sound he made when a black stray cat would wander onto our deck.

Marshmellow was very protective of us and used to “fight” that cat through the glass doors. But it was daytime, the stray only lurked around at night. And the birds were outside singing. If they stray was there, I’m sure the birds would have flown away. I rushed to Marshmellow. He was laying on his side in obvious distress. His breathing was shallow. I ran to get my husband and the carrier so we could bring him to emergency. But as we were stroking him, before we could get him in the carrier, he took his last breath. Our only solace is that it happened quickly, in one of his favorite places, doing one of his favorite things…and, just like Casper, he wasn’t alone when he left us.

Thankfully, our daughter, Carrie, was sleeping out at her friend’s house. Marshmellow’s last moments are playing in a constant loop in my head. I am glad Carrie was spared these images. When she came home, Marshmellow was wrapped in his favorite blanket and looked like he was sleeping peacefully. Just as Casper was “mine,” Marshmellow was “hers..”

Carrie was the one who first found Marshmellow at North Shore Animal League. They put all the hard to place in the Purina Cat Haven, a colorful building that you see first before going into the main building with all the kittens. It is such a wonderful and happy place for these cats to live until they find their forever homes. The main room is filled with carpeted shelves, bay windows with seating, cat condos, scratching posts and toys. From that room, there is a kitty door that leads to a clinical looking room where the cats’ food is prepared, the cats get daily grooming, inspections, etc. That’s where Marshmellow and Casper were most of the time according to the staff. Even though the other room was far more interesting, they didn’t want to be with the other cats, only each other. Marshmellow and Casper almost blended in with the stark white walls of that room. I think that was the way they liked it. They were there for two years. Even though there were many wonderful kitties for us to choose from in the main room, Carrie was drawn to the clinical looking room. That’s where Marshmellow and Carrie first laid eyes on each other. It was love at first sight. Carrie petted Marshmellow while Casper watched a few steps away. When it seemed that Carrie was “OK,” Casper let her get a couple of pets in with him, too. Carrie came running back to the main room where Sam, my hubby, and I were.

Excitedly she said, “There are these two beautiful white cats. One is fat and friendly…” and at that moment Marshmellow came through the kitty door and stopped at her side, “and the other one is smaller and shy.” And that was when Casper stepped through the kitty door and kind of hung back there and watched his brother. Casper let me pet him. Both let out earth-shaking purrs. From that moment, they were our family.

Carrie is an only child. We had just moved to Long Island from Manhatten. She didn’t have too many friends out here yet and was terribly lonely. That’s why we went to North Shore Animal League that day. We intended to get two kitties so they’d keep each other company while Carrie was at school and Sam and I were at work. Marshmellow was Carrie’s confidant. She told him secrets. She cried to him. She laughed with him. She used him as a pillow (he LOVED it). Marshmellow helped her through a dark time in her life in a way that nobody else could. I’ll love him most for that.

The North Shore Animal League figured they were about 9 years old. Same age as Carrie. If that’s true, Casper was 14 when he passed in August. Marshmellow made it to 15. Indoor cats are supposed to live to 20, I hear. I feel like we were robbed. But we had seven great years together and that is a gift. I wouldn’t trade a single moment of it. They were happy here and if anyone deserved happiness in their lives, it was Marshmellow and Casper. Marshmellow was never the same after Casper passed. It was about 3-4 months until he stopped looking for him. Then he seemed resigned to being alone with us. He became a bit needier for affection and the loss of Casper created a bond between Marshmellow and me. He was happy…but never the same. It was a heart attack that took his last breath but I believe he really died of a broken heart.

Anyway, for years you have been a special part of our family. You helped us through a very trying time. Feliway brought harmony back to our home and your toys brought joy to The Fellas (that’s what we always called Casper and Marshmellow together). You know Casper’s favorite was the corn and he was holding it as we relieved him from his cancer. Marshmellow’s favorite was the fortune cookie (I always called it the wonton). We cast Marshmellow’s footprints in plaster, just as we did with Casper. While, Casper was cremated, we buried Marshmellow in our yard, wrapped in a favorite blanket, with his “wonton.” We put the bird feeder above his resting place so he can always watch the birds. It was his favorite.

Thank you for everything. We’ll get new, furry members of the family again…but not now. When we do, you’ll be sure to hear from us. Until then, I’ll remain a fan and recommend you to everybody!

Hugs,
Judy

Your local fire department needs specially sized oxygen masks for animals to save the lives of animals. How you can help!

Posted to our Facebook page by Judy is one of our favorite customers and a frequent Facebook contributor:

The sister of a friend of mine, Mara DiGrazia, is a veterinarian on Long Island. To date, she has donated hundreds of animal-sized oxygen masks to numerous fire departments throughout Long Island so they can dispense oxygen properly to animals who are rescued from fires. Without those masks, sadly many beloved animals die even though firefighters heroically rescue them from the flames of the fire because they couldn’t receive life-saving oxygen properly. This is something that makes perfect sense yet I never thought about until I heard Mara was doing it.

Cat Faeries says: I never thought about this until Judy made the posting to our Facebook page. So I called around and learned the sad truth that fire departments or paramedics do not have oxygen masks for animals. Even here in San Francisco only one fire station has the equipment! After doing some digging I found the perfect organization so that you can help your local fire department.

For $70 you can purchase one oxygen mask from Wag’N Enterprises which comes with all the components, as well as a laminated instructional how-to, a DVD on CPR, and a Power Point presentation. No special training or certification is required! Order from http://www.wagnpetsafety.com/pet_oxygen_masks.html then take your donation directly to your local fire house.

Most fire stations will think this is cool beans because there are no funds for such purchases. BUT you might get some resistance from some fire fighters. Show up with coffee and cupcakes, pour on the charm. They’ll be all ears and ready to accept your gift, and learn to how to help animals!

Your local fire department may apply for a fellowship and when enough funds have been collected the donation can be made. Ask for details!

If you want to donate, but be anonymous ask Wag’N how!

http://www.wagnpetsafety.com/pet_oxygen_masks.html

Or call them: 888-924-6482 / 571-572-9246

This is a compilation of photos of fire fighters rescuing and giving oxygen to cats, victims of house fires. In the background is a wonderful music by Adam Lambert. The tenderness of the fire fighters will tear your heart out. This video might not be suitable for really sensitive people or children as some of the cats are in very bad shape. You’ll need more than one hankie for this one.

We’ve attached a USA Today article which talks about the need for animal sized oxygen masks. One quote which caused us to arch our backs and hiss was:

Support for the masks is not universal. De Pablo says critics have called them a waste of money, and have said firefighters should not be saving animals. Although most fire stations were thankful to receive the donated masks, a few refused to accept them because they didn’t want the extra equipment or responsibility, Kowalski says.

But this quote gave us made us feel much better:

“A life is a life,” says Ludwig, a deputy fire chief in Memphis, Tenn. “We prioritize a human life, but if we can help a distressed animal, we’re going to do that.”

Read the article:
http://yourlife.usatoday.com/parenting-family/pets/story/2012-02-13/Pet-oxygen-masks-can-save-animals-lives-in-fires/53070276/1

In the next few weeks with the help of a special friend of Cat Faeries, Jacqueline, we will be taking oxygen mask sets to 4 of our local fire stations. Cat Faeries donates 1% of sales to help cats and we are so pleased to use some of that money to buy equipment to help fire victim animals in our community. Please keep shopping with us so we can help more!

The “Cats and Culture Tour” of Italy’s street cats and sanctuaries, October 2010

Of course we all love cats! And we all probably love Italy and all things Italian too. Who knew that the Italians have had a love affair with cats spanning centuries? Well, they love them. Street cats are not viewed as pests like they are in the US. They are fed and cared for, often by adorable ladies who sit down on park benches, feed the cats and relax in the sunshine
 

Friends of Roman Cats is a US based organization which raises money for the street cats of Rome and other parts of Italy and for the cat sanctuaries. They help pay for spay/neuter, medical expenses and food. They also raise money to spay/neuter cats in San Francisco. Here’s some information about this very unique and special tour. We hope you can go! Ciao Bella!

From the Friends of Roman Cats…
 
Friends of Roman Cats is excited to announce another Cats and Culture Italian tour this coming October! The tour offers cat lovers and lovers of Italy a chance to see how another country treats its homeless / feral cat population. Italy is a No-Kill country where cats have been appreciated for centuries for their companionship and for keeping down rodent populations. You will meet dedicated individuals who care for some of Italy’s stray cats and learn what is working and not working with Animal Welfare in another country. The tour will be a way for people to understand Italy and Italians through the way they interact with animals The tour will start in Venice where we will meet some of the cats whose ancestors came from the Middle East to combat plague-carrying black rats. We will visit a cat colony that lives in Venice’s main public hospital and see more cats and their dedicated caretaker on Venice’s Lido Island. We will have plenty of time to visit some of Venice’s greatest artistic treasures and take in its beauty.

The tour will proceed to Florence where we will see the cats that live in a magnificent Renaissance garden, and in a picturesque cemetery that looks down on the City. Participants will have ample time to explore this beautiful city. Then we will visit a cat sanctuary in the Tuscan hills on a property donated by a beneficent Countess. We will next visit the medieval town of Arezzo and meet with an Anglo-Italian veterinarian who has created a 21st century cat shelter outside the town. We will spend the next day and night in the beautiful hill town of Siena where we will have a guided tour of the town and visit with a group that works with the Sienese municipality to spay and neuter Siena’s stray cats. We will spend our last 3 days in Rome, visiting the Forum, Coliseum, The Vatican, the Trevi Fountain and other monuments in historic Rome, and as well as some of the cat colonies that live in the midst of Roman ruins. All the cats in the shelters and sanctuaries we visit have been spayed or neutered. A good number of them are former house cats that have either been abandoned or whose owners could no longer care for them.

The tour will begin on October 7th 2010 and end on Oct.19. The price for 15 people will be $3,025 double occupancy. A single rate of $549 is available and there is a $500 deposit that will be refunded if we do not get enough people by May 1. It will include 3-star hotels or better with breakfasts, some dinners, a comfortable private bus, a one-time transfer from the Venice airport to the hotel, vaporetto tickets for 2 days in Venice, entrance fees to some museums and historical sites, local city guides and all the cats you can desire! $250 of the price is a tax-deductible donation and goes to help the shelters we will visit. Susan Wheeler, President of Friends of Roman Cats will accompany the group. For most of the tour a tour manager will also accompany the group.

 The dollar is stronger right now than it has been in several years. This price is based on current prices so the sooner people sign up, the better. People who sign up before April 1 will get a $50 discount.

www.friendsofromancats.org