Short and fuzzy friends

- by Sharon Ashwood

Although there days when I think the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness would make a nice muff, car polisher, or other inanimate and incapable-of-badness accessory, I love him to bits. He was a rescue kitty with eye infection, ringworm, and upper respiratory problems—a bit too old to be kitten-cute but young enough to be rambunctious. In other words, hard to adopt. Lucky for him, he was a good salescat. When I walked into the shelter, he bounced up onto the scratching post and touched noses, and that was it. He came home and became my resident comic. It took him a long time to settle down and completely trust humans, but now he’s curled up on my feet while I write this.

Companion animals are dear to many authors and readers alike. They show up on their web site, in bios and dedication pages, and sometimes have bit parts in the books themselves. Unfortunately, there are far too many furballs that have a hard time getting by. I recently went with a friend to rescue a couple more cats and saw a lot of sad faces waiting for a home.

Realistically, no one can take care of more than a few of these bright sparks. However, we can support those wonderful volunteer organizations that carry on the work of rescuing cats, dogs, and other creatures and placing them in good homes. One of the organizations in my area is the Greater Victoria Animal Crusaders and, as a tie-in with SCORCHED, my December release, I’m going to be fundraising for some of their furry friends in need of medical attention.

As a preview, here is one of the GVAC’s recent success stories (for pictures, see here):

Pax was found as a tiny stray kitten. This little fellow was very skinny, couldn’t eat and was unable to walk. He was rushed to the vet where it was found he had about five huge bite wounds that were badly infected. His wounds were cleaned up and he was put on antibiotics. A few days later he crashed and was near death. He was rushed to the vet again where he had to stay for five days and put on an IV and had X-rays, many tests, and stronger antibiotics. It was worth it, though—a healthy, happy Pax was recently adopted into a loving forever home.

And he’s just one of the many furballs that are saved by a little help from their friends. In November I’ll start posting holiday e-cards on my web site at www.sharonashwood.com. For every one sent, a donation will be made to the GVAC to provide veterinary help to the sponsored critters. It seems a perfect way to combine writing and animals, two of my favourite things.

Does anyone have story about pets and writing?

2 comments

  1. Hi, Sharon –

    I’m a fellow fuzz enthusiast and I volunteer at a no-kill adoption center called PAWS Chicago —
    ( http://www.pawschicago.org/index.html )

    One of the things that surprised me was the number of hoarded cats we get. At the moment we have two families–black and white and orange and white. the heartbreaking thing is that they will never be able to stay together–who can take 6 or more cats home? What PAWS does, however, is ask that an adopter take 2. Or at least have other cats, because hoarded cats don’t do well in single kitty homes.

    Over the years I followed in my mom’s tradition of rescuing animals and finding them homes. The last one was Dreamer, short for Dreamsickle, an orange and white cat I found in the alley. At first he wouldn’t come near me. I put food outside the yard where he went to hide and gradually moved the food to my yard where I had a bed and food and water bowls under a protective table. He got his kitty luggage and moved in. I of course was going to find him a good home. I didn’t think it was going to be mine…but I never regretted it. I will always have fond memories of my boy.

  2. I’ve never thought about hoarded cats needing to be around others. It makes sense, though, as they are used to a colony. Good for you for volunteering! I love the image of a kitty with luggage …