Here are some photos and short bios of my furbabies, past and present, as a guide for reading their blog. As time goes by, you will learn more about each of them as well as their personalities and antics.
Artie came to live with me in March of 2018. She had previously belonged to a friend of mine who could no longer keep her due to allergies. The first few weeks were tough – she was a night owl and is extremely vocal, so she’d sleep all day and then spend all night HOWLING at anything and everything, and chasing/terrorizing my other kitties. Since getting the hang of things around here (aka sleeping at night), she’s turned into a wonderful kitty. She loves snuggles, cuddles up to me every single night, and has really formed a bond with Zucchini.
My brother found Bandit back when he was in cubscout camp as a kid. He had been hanging around there for a few years, and took an immediate liking to my brother. Bandit was a giant teddy bear. A Maine Coon, he was easily twice the size of my other cats. He loved everyone he met, and his idea of a perfect day was to lay in bed and be brushed the entire day. Bandit lived with us for several years before we needed to put him down – he developed Feline Skin Fragility Syndrome caused by his diabetes. In the few months before he passed away, he developed a deep bond with Oreo – he taught Oreo how to be gentle with cats, how to play with cats, and how to know when to back off. I’m convinced that it’s because of Bandit that Oreo wound up being as amazing with kitties as he was.
Billie and Puffie
BIllie and Puffie were born on my parents front porch in May of 1986. When I was born that September, Puffie immediately took me under her wing and never left my side. Billie took a little while to warm up to me – she apparently didn’t appreciate my cries as an infant or my pulling her tail when I learned how to walk. Eventually though, I grew on her. Puffie passed away from cancer when I was still pretty young, in elementary school I think. I remember coming home from school and seeing her on the floor struggling…I begged for her to hold on for several minutes before finally telling her that it was OK to go to heaven, and she passed away moments after I said that. Billie lived a long life – she had a health scare when she was younger, and when she was older she was in kidney failure. I was the one in charge of giving her fluids, and during that year or so we developed a really special bond.
Buddy was the hospital mascot for Greece Animal Hospital. He was a life-long patient at GAH, who wound up moving in with one of our doctors when his owner was put into hospice. Buddy had been diagnosed with lymphoma and given only weeks to months to live. Apparently, nobody told that to Buddy, as he kept trucking along happy and healthy. After having him for 2 years, Buddy’s doctor mom had to move away. Rather than uprooting Buddy from the life he knew and loved (he came to GAH every single day), I adopted him from her. I had dog-sat for Buddy a few times, and I knew that he got along great with Oreo and Burger, and I was already completely head over heels for him. Buddy lived with me from June 2015 – February of 2016, when he succumbed to his illness.
Burger was a stray kitty who was brought to Greece Animal Hospital to be neutered by the people who had been feeding him for several years. While he was in the hospital, we did a combo test and discovered that he was positive for FIV – pretty much the kitty equivalent of HIV. His caretakers had tried to keep him as an indoor kitty unsuccessfully, and cats with FIV should not be allowed to be outdoor cats as it is transmittable to other cats via bite wounds. His previous caretakers were going to euthanize him, but I asked them if they would sign him over to me instead. He bonded with Oreo immediately, and they were completely inseparable. After having him a few years, he threw a blood clot – something most cats don’t recover from. He made a partial recovery but never regained his ability to control his urine or bowels again. Initially, he was unable to urinate or defecate on his own, but as time went on (and MANY sedated procedures later to remove stool!), he regained the ability to do both again but was incontinent. Burger started wearing a diaper at that point, and I created him his very own Instagram page (click here!) to keep people informed of his health, and to show off how cute he was parading around in a diaper! Burger passed away this past October (2018).
Dium literally walked himself into my house during a snowstorm in 2003. His previous owners appeared to have moved out and left him and his siblings in the house to fend for themselves. I always call him “Kitten Little” because he has always been the smallest of my cats – with the biggest appetite! Aside from some skin issues, he has always been the healthiest of my pets. However recently his old age is starting to catch up with him and has started causing him some health problems. Dium is very clingy, and always attached to my mom where ever she is. If he can’t find her, he’ll walk around the house meowing until she calls out to him and he can find her. He loves being held, LOVES treats, and loves any kind of attention he can get.
I adopted Frenchie in February of 2017, as a companion for Burger. I met her at an adoption event through Rescued Treasures and fell in love with this sweet shy girl. The feeling was apparently mutual – she let me hold her and pet her, which her foster mom said that she even rarely got to do. Frenchie has started to come into her own, but she is still a shy kitty – she hides when people or animals come over, and will only come out of hiding either when they’re gone, or if they’ve been over for several hours and she builds up some confidence. I hope that as more time goes by she’ll continue to develop confidence in herself and her surroundings.
Grey spent several years living outside under my dads camper, terrified of people. After 2 or 3 years of feeding him and talking to him every day, he finally trusted us enough to want to move inside. He immediately became my dads shadow. He had the best manners of any cat we’ve ever had and taught us that it is possible to train a cat. He passed away from lymphoma a few years back.
I found Hollywood on a busy street in the middle of the night in September 2009, bleeding from his leg. He initially ran away from me, but within seconds came right back to me and let me pick him up. The bleeding from his leg had stopped, so I took him home with me for the night and to the next day to be looked at. He was diagnosed with Feline Leukemia. I was told that on average, cats live 2 years with the disease before passing away from it. I named him Hollywood after a friend of mine who had passed away the year before. He was a super sweet kitty who loved people, but was uncertain of the other cats and terrified of Oreo. I had my other cats vaccinated against Feline Leukemia (the vaccine isn’t 100% effective, though), and luckily none of them contracted it – it is a very easily transmittable disease. Hollywood passed away 2 years and 1 day after I found him.
Originally named Cinder, Key was another stray who found his way into our home. He was never too afraid of people, but seemed to be happier living outside. That changed the night that the remnants of a hurricane came through town – he decided that being outside was no longer for him and invited himself inside. He never responded to the name Cinder, so we just started calling him Kitty (which was what we called him as a stray). Somehow that shortened itself to “Key” over time, and it stuck. Key is a lazy cat who would prefer naps and eating over playing any day. He is quite fond of Skai, and they are frequently caught snuggling.
Lily is by far the most feisty of all of my pets. If you pet her in the wrong spot, or even look at her the wrong way, watch out! She would refuse to let me brush her, causing her super long, thick hair to mat up. She was so naughty when I would bring her to work to be shaved down that she had to be sedated on more than one occasion. We’ve had her for about 10 years now, and he is finally starting to relax a little. Over the years, she has really formed a bond with my brother. She allows him to pick her up, brush her, snuggle her, even give her medicine! He is truly her person, and while I’m kind of jealous, I’m glad that she has been able to find that kind of connection and security.
Linus was found as a day old stray and brought into Greece Animal Hospital literally on death’s door. One of the techs there took him in and gave him round-the-clock care. Miraculously, he not only survived but THRIVED. I adopted him in July of 2017. He brought back the goofy, fun spirit into my house that was missing after Oreo’s passing. Linus loves every single person and animal he meets. He greets everyone at the door, jumps right up into peoples laps to be pet, and will give kisses to any animal in his sight.
Oreo was my first dog, my heart dog, and the reason I created this blog. I found him on the side of the road back in 2008 and took him in for what was just supposed to be the night. His owners never claimed him, and by the end of the second week having him, I couldn’t imagine not having him in my life. He battled so many health issues while I had him – being a bilateral cryptorchid requiring abdominal surgery, needing a perineal hernia (likely caused by the hormones from being cryptorchid and never neutered) surgically repaired, constantly dealing with anal gland issues, allergies, lumps and bumps, and lastly being diagnosed with nasal carcinoma. I did absolutely everything in my power to try to save him, but cancer won out in the end. Read some of my earlier blog posts to find out more about this sweet boy, the love of my life. Most of my earlier posts are about him and detailing his fight with cancer. Oreo passed away June of 2017.
Skai was found on Dead Dog Beach in Puerto Rico and flown to Rochester by a rescue group. The owner of One Love Pet Adoption (a vet whom I used to work with) showed me her picture because she looked SO much like Oreo. I sent it to my parents, who were also mourning the loss of their Grand-Pup. They went out to meet Skai and adopted her the very next day – she became a part of the family in August 2017. Skai has always loved other dogs and is sometimes a bit too friendly. She doesn’t seem to know any boundaries and assumes that every dog she meets will love her. She likes to chase the cats, and when she catches them she puts her paw around them and covers them with licks. She used to be very shy around people but has really come out of her shell. She’s a goofy, sweet girl.
Tiger was a stray cat who my grandma found when he was on the losing end of a cat fight. Definitely a street cat, for a long time he was one of the meanest cats you’d ever meet. After a little while, he finally bonded with my grandma, and would show his devotion to her by leaving headless rodents on her pillows for her to find. For the longest time, she was the only one who was able to pet him, and even then he would occasionally swat at her or bite her. He was an avid hunter, and the only cat I’ve ever seen not only willingly swim across a creek, but also sit on a rock in the middle of a creek waiting for fish to go by, then dive in the creek and come out with the fish in his mouth! When my grandma went to assisted living, Tiger came to live with us. He never truly warmed up to us, but tolerated us at least. I realized he was sick when one day I went to pet him and he actually let me. I got close enough to him to notice that something wasn’t right with his breathing, and took him into work with me. He had fluid in his chest, and wound up being diagnosed with cancer. He passed away a few weeks later.
I adopted Zucchini in August of 2018. She had previously been used for breeding, and spent most of her life in a large crate. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but she has wound up being probably the sweetest dog I have ever met. The way she trusts me so completely is amazing. She can run around off leash on the beach with the neighbors dog, yet no matter how much fun she’s having, the second I call her name she stops what she’s doing and runs over to me. I hadn’t planned on getting another dog after losing Oreo, but she kind of fell into my lap…and I am so glad she did.
Pookie was a cat that my dad rescued after seeing him be hit by a car. He had many injuries and many broken bones, and was terrified of people. My dad slowly gained his trust by nursing him back to health. I was pretty young and rambunctious when Pookie was around, so he spent most of his time hiding from me and my brother, but was always very social and friendly with my parents. He passed away from cancer a few years after my dad rescued him.