Cat of the Month
I first met Toes after I drew a slip of paper with her name on it at Michigan State as my first surgical case. She is a Polydactyl (extra toes) calico girl who comes with bonus sass in addition to the big feet.
Her surgery went perfectly! It was our job as students to also take care of the patients, who came from a local shelter, for the days leading up to and after the procedures until they were ready to go back and be put up for adoption. We all fell in love with her exuberant personality, and I showed pictures and videos of her to my parents, who thought she might be a great addition to their household.
They had a young grandchild staying with them for a couple months at that time, so my parents asked if my husband and I could foster Toes for those 2 months so that the transition wouldn’t be as stressful for her. I was eager to find her a home, so we agreed quickly and officially adopted Toes.
Over those two months, Toes and my husband Dave fell in love, and the family decided that we couldn’t break that up. The rest of our kitties are seniors, so she certainly shakes things up and helps keep them young!
Q: What made you decide to adopt Greg?
A: I’ve always wanted a hairless cat. When I saw Greg with his little munchkin legs, I couldn’t resist. I drove all the way to Kansas City to get him from a breeder who specializes in Sphinx and dwarf cats.
Q: What funny, sweet, or entertaining things does your cat do?
A: Greg enjoys walking on his hind legs when he sees people food or cats on TV.
Q: What is unique about your cat?
A: He is a hairless cat with a fuzzy striped tail and dog-like personality.
Q: What is his relationship with other people or pets?
A: He loves all people and can never have too many snuggles and belly rubs. He is very playful with other cats but tries to act tough around dogs.
Q: How has your cat faced obstacles or challenges in his life?
A: Greg is still a kitten but in his short time here, winter seems to be his biggest obstacle. He despises the cold but like to stay warm with his extensive sweater and jacket collection.
Q: How has your cat changed over time?
A: Greg was very shy when I first got him but now he loves people and runs to greet whoever walks in the door.
We fell in love with the Persian breed after rescuing our first one. Sadly, he passed unexpectedly and we were heartbroken. After many tears, we decided we were ready for a new family member. We found Kevin!
Have you ever seen the movie, “UP”? There is a bird in the movie – absolutely hilarious. I said to my husband, if we ever get another male cat, let’s name him Kevin! (I believe he rolled his eyes at me…)
And guess what? Kevin the cat TOTALLY lives up to the quirkiness of his namesake, Kevin the bird. He plays like a dog with his dad and cuddles like a baby with mom. He will be sound asleep and hear one of our voices and start purring immediately. He doesn’t move or open his eyes or act like we are nearby… He just purrs. Loudly! It’s awesome.
Kevin loves people. He doesn’t go and hide when guests come over – he seems to enjoy being the center of attention. He gets passed around like a baby. We joke that we are glad he actually learned how to walk, because everyone is constantly holding him. And he’s good with that. Until he’s not.
I think our favorite thing about Kevin is that his tongue is almost always sticking out. Sometimes a little bit and sometimes a LOT. It seems like it’s just comfy for him. Oh! And when he’s REALLY sniffing something (like my hair), he snorts like a little piggie. That’s because of his smooshy, Persian face. We couldn’t love him more!!! Kevin is 3 now!
Sitting at my desk, finishing up paperwork on a cold Friday in January, I received a phone call from BestPals Animal Rescue Center (BARC) in Holland.
BARC: “Hi! One of our volunteers told us there was a doctor at your clinic looking to adopt an FIV positive cat.”
Me: “Well, I’m not really looking, but I have an FIV positive cat already, so I was thinking my next cat would be an FIV rescue.”
BARC: “We received a call from Harbor Humane Society asking if we could take in an FIV positive cat. He’s about 3 years old and appears to have been a stray his whole life. He has been at the shelter for thirty days and is going to be euthanized if he can’t be placed. Unfortunately, we cannot take any cats at all right now.”
Me: “What color is he?”
Me: “I’ll go get him.”
After hanging up the phone, I called my husband and then Harbor Humane Society to arrange for us to pick the kitty up the next morning. On the way to get him, we discussed a good name for him. Both my husband and I like Sci-fi, so we decided to name him Jayne, after a character on Firefly.
Monday morning, I took Jayne in to work with me for a full examination. Turns out he had been pretty badly injured before he was brought to Harbor Humane Society. His upper right canine was fractured as well as his molar on the lower right. The fractured molar was badly infected. We removed the broken teeth and he healed well. Several months later, we took x-rays of his shoulder because he had an occasional limp that never went completely away. The x-rays showed a bone chip in his left shoulder and a broken sternum. The broken sternum doesn’t seem to bother him, but it gives evidence of the very tough life he had before.
Jayne settled in to our household like he was always meant to be there. He shied away from being picked up at first, but thoroughly enjoyed petting and attention. Now, he will ask to be picked up for loves (but he’s still awkward about it.) He has such a gentle, laid back personality. I’m pretty sure there is not one single mean bone in his body. He seems to love people and our other cats. In the two years he has been with us, he has never shown any interest in going back outside. And every day I am so grateful to all the people who helped him find his way to our house.
My husband and I own a gym and Pip wandered inside one morning while my husband was coaching a class. He was the most adorable thing and so tiny with this itty bitty meow. He wasn’t afraid and just wanted food and cuddles. He was only about 5 weeks old and in rough shape: burrs in his coat, damaged paw pads, and malnourished. There was no way we were going to abandon him.
Pip was named after Peregrine ‘Pippin’ Took from the Lord of the Rings series. When we found him he was super small, a little mischievous ‘pip-squeak’, and very furry with big feet and an even bigger appetite. He was adventurous and obviously a traveler. He was our little hobbit in every way, and Pip just fit.
Pip is your typical kitten. He plays with anything and everything. If you left it out, it’ll become a toy; wine corks, water bottles, toilet paper rolls, sheets of paper, socks, he does not discriminate. He also loves to sleep on pillows (especially on his back). I’ve always sat on the couch with a pillow on my lap and that has become Pip’s FAVORITE napping location.
We lost our kitty, Feyd, last Fall due to lymphoma. He was only 2 years old, taken WAY too soon, and the whole experience broke our hearts. I honestly wasn’t sure we’d ever adopt another kitty but Pip sort of adopted us. It felt fated. And having that feline energy back in the house has been lovely.
When Pip first entered our lives I assumed he was a girl due to his beautiful tortoiseshell coat. Torties are almost exclusively female so I just figured; GIRL. AND when we took him into a nearby vet’s office for a wellness check the day after we found him the vet there checked him and confirmed my assumption that Pip was a little girl. It wasn’t until he was going in to get spayed at the Kentwood Cat Clinic that everyone figured out he was a boy! Couple that with the fact that Pip is also a polydactyl cat (six toes on his front feet and five toes on his back) and you see we have a very unique little guy. He looks like he’s got catcher’s mitts for paws. It’s ADORABLE.
Pip is a LOVER. He’s such a sweet guy and very vocal! Most everyone falls in love with him when they meet him. My husband and I both feel very lucky to have been chosen by him for his forever home.
Logan became a part of our family a little over two years ago. We were not looking to add to our already large furry family, but I have always loved black cats and at the time we did not have one. I visited Logan often while he was waiting patiently to be adopted and one day I just decided to take him home to “foster” him and to see if he would be a good fit for our family. Since day one Logan has been a perfect addition; he has a very loving disposition and tolerates his 3- and 6-year-old human siblings very well. He loves his cat brother, Dale, and is always trying to make friends with our dogs. He comes when he is called, no matter where he is in the house, he is the best snuggler, and he keeps my feet warm at night. Adopting Logan was one of the best decisions we ever made as a family and now we could not imagine our house without him.
Two years ago, in the summer, a gentleman called the Kentwood Cat Clinic to say there was a stray, feral kitten that he was worried about. There didn’t seem to a momma cat around. This little malnourished bit of fur was brought in to the clinic. A quick check seemed to indicate it was a girl.
“Pretty girl” (as she was being called) went into the isolation room. We performed a FeLV/FIV test (which was negative), checked her stool (which contained bug parts and bird seed), and started trying to feed her some proper nutrition. We thought at the time she was about 10-12 weeks old.
After a few weeks after she gained some weight and had not shown any signs of contagious disease, she got taken for a “walk” by Dr. Coppens and found her way to the front desk where I work. I took the kitten from Dr. Coppens and told her that if it was a boy, I would take it home. Dr. Coppens checked under the tail and announced “Pretty Girl has testicles!” I said, “Okay, his name is now Rory and he’s going to live with me!” (He’s named after Rory Williams on Doctor Who. Because of that, he also gets called Captain Williams, Rory the Roman, and the Last Centurion. Whovians will understand!)
Rory was very uncertain about having a home at first. He was so little that the remote control was bigger than he was! He was quite timid, but behaved himself, ate well, and used the litter box without any issues. He slowly worked his way into the heart of his Aunt Em (my other cat, Emmy). He remains shy around other people but is a very sweet loving cat to me.
What he did really well was grow! Once he started getting some good nutrition, he sprouted like a weed. At the time of his neuter surgery, the doctor decided we had probably gotten his age wrong and he was probably closer to 5-6 months when he first came in.
He has grown into a handsome hunk! He’s still not certain about other people but enjoys watching the wildlife outside the sliding glass door (except the turkeys – they scare him!)
Hi, my name is Skittles, aka Skits, or Skit Skat. I am 7 years old, born in Ft. Myers, FL. I came to Michigan in 2015, and I am still getting used to this cooler weather. In case you were wondering, yes, I was named after the candy; I was a real rainbow and brightened my owner’s world.
I LOVE to eat. My favorite food is tuna. Yum yum! Unfortunately, I was recently diagnosed with diabetes so that’s kinda put an end to that. Thanks to the wonderful people at the Kentwood Cat Clinic, I’ve started insulin injections and started a new, diabetes-friendly diet.
My favorite toy is my catnip firefly. It looks like a 10 year old teddy bear. I always make sure it is close to me. I love hair ties as though they were my own kittens. I love batting them across the floor but I also make sure to feed them as well. You can find me taking them into the kitchen and putting them into my food and water dishes. My babies need to eat, too! Lol.
I love snuggling on my granny’s lap, it’s so comfy. I just started sleeping with her… she often asks what took me so long.
People say I’m a little quirky. I’ve been known to go through granny’s purse or, for that matter, any bag that one of our guests might bring over. Granny says it’s kinda embarrassing. I just like to rummage through and see what I can find. Shame on me!
I have a great life at my granny’s. She treats me like a little person. I look forward to many more years with my granny, brightening her day!
Our hearts were broken that we couldn’t keep “it”. “It” being a small, longhaired, gray kitten that had been scrounging in the trash cans behind my husband Gerry’s office. Thinking that the trash can mess Gerry found each day was created by a raccoon or opossum, he set a Havaheart trap with a tempting, strong smelling dish of tuna fish. Sure enough that attracted “it”.
We put forth a great effort to find the tiny kitten’s family but to no avail. True, we thought long and hard about adopting this little, homeless waif but sadly our own pet family was at maximum. Finally, it dawned on us that our friends Chuck and Lynn would be a perfect match. They had a huge farmhouse just made for exploring by an adventurous kitten. A quick phone call and “it” had found a home.
Chuck and Lynn’s first job was to name the kitten, who turned out to be a girl. So taking the physical characteristics she had, namely that of being a gray cat, they came up with “g-r-a” from gray and “c” from cat – added “ie” which then turned into “Gracie”. Gracie loved living with Chuck and Lynn along with their good natured Cocker Spaniel dog named Cherry. Life was good for all – but then . . . Buster got dropped off. He was a pitch black, huge, tomcat with a bullying disposition. Oh my, that changed everything for poor little Gracie. Bless her heart she took to living on top of the refrigerator – the only safe place Buster couldn’t reach her. He was too fat. Chuck and Lynn tried their best for coexistence for all but in the end, for Gracie’s sake, she had to leave. Tears were streaming down Lynn’s checks as she sadly brought Gracie to our home, after an earlier emotionally charged phone call, seeking a “safe” loving place for her beloved cat Gracie.
Gerry and I (Ruth Ann) welcomed this sweetest, dearest, longhaired gray cat into our home. By this time, all of our many other pets we had said good-bye to when the time had come to do so. Gracie moved in and took stock of the situation: big house for running pell mell around in, oodles of nooks and crannies to explore, two warm laps to occupy, three meticulous litter boxes, food aplenty, terrific assortment of cat toys (some with catnip), lots of sunny windows to snooze by, king size bed to share with you know who, but best of all NO BUSTER! It also didn’t take long for Gracie to realize she was the “Queen Bee” aka “Queen Cat” of the whole house. Her purring motor seemed to be working overtime as she settled in. However, much to our horror, Gracie snuck down in our basement a few times and dispatched multiple mice. I guess this was a good thing since we didn’t know we had mice but it never had crossed our minds that our mild mannered, sweet Gracie was a “mouser”.
As our “mouser” got comfortable in her surroundings (basement and all) she had a few things to educate us as to her preferences and needs – newspapers, newspapers, and newspapers. She just adored (and still does) sitting, sleeping and eating on top of (you guessed it) newspapers. Laps, beds, furniture, and carriers – you name it – newspapers (still today) need to be in place for happiness to reign in Gracie’s world.
Well, life for several years was peaceful, calm, and quiet until one day . . . we inherited a Siamese cat. More accurately, he was thrust upon us and once his true nature was forthcoming his name of Andy no longer fit. In searching our minds for a more suitable designation, we stumbled upon the perfect one – Trouble. Yup, it fit fine. One could almost hear Gracie’s thoughts saying, “Oh no! Not again!” Bless Gracie’s heart (once more), she was by this time a very mature cat who was not going to take any guff from this young whipper-snapper of a cat. She got very good at whapping Trouble with her front paw or hissing with gusto at him. He would back right away! Gracie did find one good thing about Trouble – “Hallway Speed Chasing!” You could hear them come thundering down our extra long hall one in hot pursuit of the other and tearing on into the front room. Two seconds later back they came – 100 mph having switched places as to whom was being chased. This usually lasted for another round and a half then off they went minding their own business, until the next go round.
Trouble and Gracie “tolerated” each other for several years until Trouble’s health deteriorated. Gracie respectfully and with dignity once again resumed her place in the house as “the one and only”.
In the past year Gracie has had dental and kidney issues. It took us awhile to find the specialized cat veterinarians Gracie needed to address these concerns. We were very fortunate to have found the experienced and qualified vets at Cat Clinic North. They have treated her with genuine caring, respect, and skill. As Gerry, Gracie, and I go through our golden years together we celebrate each day as a special gift, always thankful that unknown forces and circumstances brought us together.
We first learned of Skampy being available for adoption from a couple from our church. They had seen another cat on TV that afternoon and, knowing we were looking, called us to go to the Grand Rapids animal shelter right away. Upon arriving, the cat we wanted to adopt, was very shy and never came out from hiding. Skampy on the other hand, scampered right out and jumped into my wife’s arms. Within seconds, the deal was sealed and she was soon headed home with us.
She is a very friendly cat and is still less than a year old. She loves to play with her toys and be at our side wherever we are in the house. She loves to dart from one end of the house to the other so my wife immediately named her Skampy. We had been told she was given to the shelter by a person who loved her but did not have the money to get her declawed, and she was ruining her furniture. Well, it did not take long until we realized we would have her declawed because among other things, one day she climbed to the top of our family room curtains, and proceeded to slide all the way back down!
She loves visitors, except for the cleaning ladies who come every two weeks with their loud vacuuming. She is also afraid of the lawn care guys due to their loud equipment. Other than that, she is a perfect house cat and loves visiting her friends at the Kentwood Cat Clinic.
Dewey Davis and his sister Darla were adopted from Lansing’s Capital Area Humane Society on August 14, 2012 at three months old. Dewey, who is actually the shier one between the two, was the one who caught our attention that day at the humane society. He kept sticking his paw out of the cage until we paid attention to him. We fell in love right away and were so excited to welcome him and his sister into the family. What we did not know that day and, later found out, was that Dewey has Cerebellar Hypoplasia. When we first brought Dewey home, we noticed little quirks about him, but didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t until Dewey was with us for a handful of weeks that we began to notice he’d often shake and present with tremors. We initially thought he must be a very timid cat. However, we were then noticing he’d only walk short distances or play for a short amount of time before falling over. His gait wasn’t as steady. At his first check-up, our veterinarian suspected he had some sort of neurological disorder and at his two year check-up, another veterinarian suggested Cerebellar Hypoplasia. Neither had reported concern for this, other than stating the obvious, which was Dewey would need a lot more help in comparison to other cats. As Dewey got older, he wouldn’t clean himself and had a difficult time eating, often making a mess. He had struggled at times with using his litter tray. We worked hard to try to help make sure we resolved any issues for him. It wasn’t until a move last summer when Dewey took a turn for the worse. With a combination of stress factors, Dewey began eliminating everywhere but his litter tray almost constantly. We tried to do everything we could think of to resolve any issues. We had another veterinary appointment for him and he was treated for a urinary tract infection. However, it didn’t completely resolve our little box issue. As any cat or pet owner can imagine, this was very stressful for everyone in our household. We came to the Cat Clinic a few months ago as our last resort. With the support, care, and guidance of the clinic doctors and staff, Dewey has truly made strides! Not only has the clinic assisted with soiling issues, they’ve also created a treatment plan to keep little Dew healthy and happy. Everyday Dewey requires a lot of attention and help. He still struggles at times, but we’re not ready to give up on him yet.
One may wonder what a day in the life is like for the Dew man. Well, it’s pretty simple. Dewey spends most of his time lounging in his favorite sun spot on the couch bird watching. He is not one to get up and wander. Every so often he has a spark of energy and loves to play with the laser pointer or feather wand. If you really want to win him over, a good belly rub and brushing will do the trick. Dewey seems his happiest though when he gets to be by your side or in your lap. He loves to be cuddled. He often catches people’s attention when he walks into a room and sits up on his hind legs to scope out the environment. He’s a great cat and we’re so thankful he chose us that day at the humane society almost five years ago!
Sayuri and 4 of her siblings were found as orphaned kittens on a very rainy April evening in 2011. Their mother had been seen carrying one kitten away, but she never returned for the rest of the kittens. After waiting for over 8 hours, and once the torrential rains started coming down, a “good Samaritan” brought the kittens to Cat Clinic North to be evaluated for overall health, and to get help in finding a foster family. One of the staff members at the clinic found someone that could foster the kittens until they were old enough to be adopted out to forever homes! Sadly, the 2 males did not make it through the first night, but the 3 females thrived under the care of the foster family! All of them were quickly adopted as soon as they were old enough!
Sayuri was adopted by Dorene, one of the technicians that works at the Cat Clinic North. Dorene and her family fell in love with Sayuri at first glance! She had such a spunky attitude, and loved to cuddle, and would not stop purring! She became a “Fat & Sassy” little girl, and was tolerated by the senior cat of the house.
Near the end of 2015 was a time when Sayuri was not feeling well, and she had stopped eating her regular food. But, because she was not the only cat in the house, it went u n-noticed for a while. Cats are very good at hiding any sign of illness until they are so sick that they just can’t hide it anymore! She had lost a lot of weight, very quickly, which caused a condition called Fatty Liver Syndrome. It seemed to have popped up overnight, but once it was discovered that she was really sick, she was brought to the doctors at the Kentwood Cat Clinic. With the great care she received, she was able to make a swift recovery! She is now back to her “fat & sassy” self, and she makes sure that her humans keep her food bowl well-stocked!
We got Sheldon from the wild about three years ago, when we were rescuing a few other cats who lived near our old house, before we moved. We had not seen him around before but he seemed pretty friendly so we decided to add him to our family. Immediately, he became one of the friendliest and most personable of all of our cats! Even though he looked a little rough from his time in the wild (among his “battle scars” is his distinctive flipped ear), he had sort of a distinguished and calm look and personality, so the name Sheldon just seemed to fit.
Sheldon is a total lap cat, and loves to give long massages (kneading bread). He really seems to have an understanding of how other people (and cats) feel, and is very sensitive to that. It has really shown us the complex and deep emotions that our feline friends have! He gets along great with our other cats, but he is definitely the boss! They all give him a lot of respect and let him take the best spots around the house.
One of the most amazing things about Sheldon is that he is sort of the “police cat” in our house. Whenever any other cats are playing and it starts to get too rough, he immediately comes running, wherever they are, to break it up. Usually his presence alone is enough for that, but if not, he will gently tap the cats on the head with his paw, sort of like, “Hey, break it up!” And then he sticks around until things calm down.
He is also a voracious eater, and its pretty hilarious to hear the sounds he makes as we are opening any kind of a can!
Lately, Sheldon has been facing some kidney and dental issues, however, with the treatment plan from the Kentwood Cat Clinic he has REALLY turned around. Not only is he back to his old self, he actually is more active and playful now than when we first got him! We’re looking forward to having him “patrol” the house for a long time to come!
Hello! My name is Skimbleshanks, but my mom calls me Skimble for short. It sounds really cute when she yells it — which she does all the time. I’m sort of a trouble-maker, although I like to think of myself as the man of the house. I am always the first to get into things and my brother always follows me. I tend to get him in trouble sometimes, but it’s not my fault I just like to be involved in EVERYTHING! My favorite activities are: tumbling about with my brother (in the middle of the night, of course), harassing the dog (Why won’t he be my friend?) and, when I decide I want to relax, I LOVE sitting in the sill of an open window and watching birds and squirrels. If she’s not careful where she’s walking, sometimes my mom steps on me. But I just want to be close to her!
My brother and I were rescued by a lovely technician here at the Kentwood Cat Clinic. There were four of us in the beginning, and my siblings have since both gone to wonderful homes. Luckily, I got to go home with one of my brothers! We were wee babies when my mom decided to take us home together, and, even though my mom loves me just the way I am, I bet she wishes I were still that cute and innocent. Well, who am I kidding? I’m obviously still adorable.
At five months old, I am a little orange package of personality, and I let it shine. I never meow, but I never have to! My brother and I (almost) always get what we want because we’re spoiled rotten. That being said, my mom’s a good mom and sometimes she sends me to time-out, which means I can’t hang out with my brother. I hate it when that happens. But I make it up to her when I hunt and kill the icky bugs that get in the house!
Thank you to all of the wonderful employees of the Kentwood Cat Clinic who are helping my mom make sure we’ll both grow up strong and healthy!
Kittens are so cute! That’s why it’s hard to pick just one out of a litter. That is exactly what I told my (now) husband as we looked over the two litters of kittens that a local goat farmer had up for adoption. All of the kittens were running around, playing, and acting adorable, except for one. The farmer informed us that that one was the trouble maker and did not like being held. That immediately attracted my husband to him! He picked up the sleepy kitten, which started mewing and acting adorable like his siblings. He did not seem to mind being held at all. That is how my husband, who didn’t even want a cat in the first place, chose our cat, Ocie. Now, at 3 years old, Ocie is quite possibly the coolest cat you will ever meet. In fact, I don’t even think that he knows he is a cat. He walks on a leash (well, when he wants to), and plays with our Texas Heeler and Boston Terrier. He patiently waits for us to go to bed every night so he can get in his cuddle time. He hates closed doors and sings you the song of his people even if he just walks in to that room once you open the door, and walks right back out. He knows exactly how to communicate with us, and sometimes I could swear that he understands everything we are saying. He is the cat that made my husband change his mind about liking cats (he hated them before), and the reason why I love cats! ~Leslie Horic
Give a Cat a Home part II
It was just after 10:00 on a frigid February night in 2001. The temperature was minus 10° with a minus 25° wind chill. The GVSU downtown campus buildings were dark and the parking lots empty as everyone had left long ago. Amber was walking home from her GVSU office, when something darted across the deserted road under the US 131 S Curve. She saw the black shape sneaking behind the parking garage and thought it was a possum. Amber crouched down to peer into the dark space and called out to the mysterious animal. Shortly there came out a timid, frightened little kitten. To her surprise, this little bundle of fur allowed itself to be scooped up. Amber held the little kitten snugly and tucked her safely inside her thick winter coat as she continued her walk across the blue foot bridge over the Grand River. When she reached the other side, she went into Kinko’s to borrow the phone and call her friend John. The kitten didn’t want to be let down and stayed tightly in Amber’s arms. After what seemed an eternity, John arrived. Of course, he had had to stop to buy food, a box and toys for the kitten. At Amber’s apartment, the kitten, who had been christened Punky because she was so, so small, became playful, energetic and was running in and out of paper bags.
Punky quickly grew fond of her rescuers and decided to adopt them. She moved to John’s house where she met her new brother Big Kitty (Hoosier) who Amber and John had found roaming downtown streets in August 1998.
Always an overindulgent father, John bought Punky her own kitty bed to match Hoosier’s, along with many new toys and lots of treats. Her life turned from being alone, hungry and afraid to one of loving attention.
It took about three weeks for Hoosier to really welcome Punky, but once he did, the two of them became inseparable. Each had their own cat bed, which were identical except for size. Hoosier, at 15 lbs. always stuffed himself into the smaller bed, meanwhile, Punky, at about 6 lbs. was swimming in the large bed. They loved lying next to each other in the warm light of a bright sun beam or next to the warm heating vents, usually together. The one exception was when people were around. Hoosier did not mind the commotion. Punky preferred quiet and calm and sought refuge under a bed, under a dresser or up in her cat tree.
Punky stayed quite small for about 3 years. She did not get spayed until she was close to 4 years old because of some anomalies in her blood tests. Her veterinarian thought anesthesia might be risky in her early years. Once she was spayed she gained some weight and got up to 8- 10 lbs. She was still quite small compared to her brother Hoosier, who always seemed to be twice her size.
Punky’s six toes on her front paws made her very unique. While she was small, her paws seemed large. It was like she has opposing thumbs. She also had very soft fur. Someone at Cat Clinic said “rabbit fur”. Those traits along with the symmetrical coloring on her nose and face and her big round eyes really make her a very pretty kitty.
Punky loved to be petted and her motor purred quite loudly. Other than her purring, she was not vocal at all. Rarely was there even a meow. However, when she took a car ride (almost always to the veterinarian), she would make the deepest, most guttural growls. Where did that even come from?
Punky adopted a new brother in August of 2012. Amber (of course) found Buddy at an Iowa rest area off of the highway as she was driving back to Michigan. She could not resist giving this small stray kitten a home, which was her car for the next few days. Buddy could be a little handful for Punky, but they still hung out together in a warm sunbeam.
Punky loved her some cat nip and playing with her cat toys, especially the Turbo Scratcher (the toy with the ball in the circular track and a corrugated scratch pad). Punky also loved climbing the cat tree and watching the birds. But, her favorite pastime was always just being next to John. She did not like getting picked up and she did not like sitting on his lap, unless, of course it was her decision. When she decided on her own, to get on John’s lap, she would sit there as long as he stayed seated. And John stayed seated as long as Punky wanted.
She always wanted to be next to John, whether it was on her chair next to him or on his pillow in bed. As she got older the bed was too high to jump on so John bought her some pet steps. She could more easily get on to the bed walking up the carpeted three stair steps. Once she was on the bed, it was straight to his pillow. Sometimes Punky left half of the pillow for John and sometimes she just took the whole pillow.
Punky had become friends with everyone at the Kentwood Cat Clinic over the past five years as she faced a few health obstacles. Mega colon was a major hurdle, but with John’s constant and consistent care and attention, Punky managed the challenge very well. John gave her medication twice a day which included liquids, powders and pills. To make it easier on Punky, John handmade her powders and pills into single dose gel capsules. He also had some of the powders compounded into liquid solutions. Punky and John tested several flavors for the liquid medications before Punky settled on the Vanilla Ice Cream flavor. Punky loved a little treat of vanilla ice cream, so when that flavoring was offered as an option, John knew that was the one. Neither the triple fish nor chicken flavorings could make the cut.
Even though the medicine cocktails took a lot of time to make and administer, it was never a burden. It was just a part of a normal day. John dutifully kept an extensive journal of the medicines to make sure they never missed a day.
As Punky was getting into her senior kitty years, John made sure to be home as much as possible. If he had to be away, then her friend and per sitter, Sara would stay full time in order to give Punky the attention she deserved. John always made sure Punky was cared for.
Punky’s story is a long and happy one. Amber rescued Punky from weather conditions that were not survivable and Punky adopted John and Amber. Then John gave her a forever home.
Punky, Hoosier, Buddy, John, and Amber want everybody to remember to “Give a Cat a Home”.
Rescue, Love, Repeat.
A Poem: Punky-Poem-Cat-of-Month
Hi – my name is Maxwell. My 2 brothers and I (I was originally Dozer as in bulldozer, and Patch and Rocky) were born in October of 2002. When we were about 1-2 weeks old, something happened to our mom. She went out hunting and didn’t come back. I guess we were technically feral kittens. Fortunately, we were found by a nice couple, She went out hunting and didn’t come back. I guess we were technically feral kittens. Fortunately, we were found by a nice couple, Karin and Dave, who saved us. They in turn gave us to our foster parents, Stephanie, and Matt.
Stephanie raised us, fed us by bottle, gave us gruel, got up in the middle of the night to take care us. She was great. When we were about 7-8 weeks old, Patch and I were adopted by our mom and dad, Ron and Stephanie, the parents of the couple who originally found us. Rocky went to live with our foster mom’s parents and he loved it there. I am not sure how I got my name, my new mom just thought it fit me and Patch’s name was changed to Patches.
We all had a fairly rough start in life, but we survived. However, I have had many health problems. I started out with urinary/kidney issues and I have had to have a couple of surgeries. Patches and I were very happy in our new home. We were loved and spoiled. When Patches was about 7 years old, he got sick. No warning, just really sick. He was being treated for what they thought was pneumonia. However, on his way to get a chest x-ray he passed away. Come to find out he was really sick on the inside – with an enlarged heart, etc. I really missed him. Mom made me have some testing done and come to find out I have the same heart condition, but not as severe. I have been undergoing treatment for my heart ever since then with Dr. Sadek. I really missed Patches. Mom and Dad adopted Maddie to keep me company – a sassy little Tortoise Shell with an attitude problem, but I have learned to love her.
ut with urinary/kidney issues and I have had to have a couple of surgeries. Patches and I were very happy in our new home. We were loved and spoiled. When Patches was about 7 years old, he got sick. No warning, just really sick. He was being treated for what they thought was pneumonia. However, on his way to get a chest x-ray he passed away. Come to find out he was really sick on the inside – with an enlarged heart, etc. I really missed him. Mom made me have some testing done and come to find out I have the same heart condition, but not as severe. I have been undergoing treatment for my heart ever since then with Dr. Sadek. I really missed Patches. Mom and Dad adopted Maddie to keep me company – a sassy little Tortoise Shell with an attitude problem, but I have learned to love her. Unfortunately Rocky had the same problem and has since passed away. I was the sickest of the 3 of us, but I am still alive. My mom and dad call me their “investment.”
I have to have subcutaneous fluid every other day and pills twice a day for my heart and kidneys. My dad and I have a routine. I don’t like it, but I know it is for my own good.
I know I am spoiled but I know I am loved. I have scared my mom and dad several times with close calls regarding my health. I am a people lover. I have to be in the middle of anything that is going on. I don’t like to miss anything. When someone is at the backdoor, I have to go see who it is. I am unique in that I am a survivor. I have faced many obstacles and challenges in my 13-1/2 years. Mom and dad admire my resilience and they just think I am adorably cute. I get to see my foster parents, Stephanie and Matt, as they are family friends and visit frequently. For whatever reason, I love to attack and lick my foster mom’s hair.
This past month, we adopted Sierra, a black and white cat. She is very shy and timid, but she is starting to feel more comfortable in our home. She and I get along pretty well and we are friends. Maddie, my sister, not so much.
Now that it is 2016, I am a little older, a little slower than I was, but I can still keep up from my sister. We race around the house, chasing each other, playing, and having fun. I love my family and they love me – what more could I ask for?
My name is Katrina and recently when I was in the Kentwood Clinic as my mom was taking me out I noticed a form to enter cat of the month-so I thought this would be fun, so here is my story in short.
I was given to my mom by my dad on sweeties day-I was only six weeks old, my dad said that I needed a special name so he named me KATRINA-this was the same year that the hurricane Katrina happened-but my dad told me not to act like the hurricane – and I never had, in fact I do every thing I can think of to make my mom smile-I do a lot of tricks on command —things like I pretend to have a sore foot, I jump thou hu-la-hoops, I sit on a wooden sled and let my mom pull me around the house, I love to jump in baskets, and I even have a play pony that I sit on. (you know ever girl wants a pony)-I also visit nursing homes and make the patients smile and laugh. I do the usually things to like chase balls and play with toy mice and a lot of cat toys.
I think I impact my mom’s life a lot- you see my mom takes life very seriously, but when she looks at me she always smiles and we play and play which makes my mom act silly.
I think I have taught my mom to relax and to be silly, (after all you have to be a little bit silly to teach a cat tricks don’t you think? My mom’s favorite thing to do with me is brush me and give me kisses, and tell me how pretty I am.
I am so Lucky to have a mom and dad like I have, recently I became very sick and that is how I became one of your patience, I am doing a lot better now THANKS TO YOUR STAFF and my dad and mom who really never left my side though out the entire ordeal, now I am almost back to my old self-I am back to playing and doing my tricks.
THANK YOU FOR MAKING BETTER!
Sammy and Beauty’s full names are Samson Yoda Oom, and Beautiful Trouble Oom. Why do they have those middle names? Well, when Sammy was smaller and younger than he is now, he had Yoda shaped ears! Seriously! They totally looked like Yoda from Star Wars. For Beauty, oh my, she’s trouble. She knocks everything down. Really! Now, how did we get our kittens, you ask?
After our cat, Newman, died, we just couldn’t live without any cats/kittens. It was hard. So, after about a month, we decided to get one. Only one, though. A couple weeks later, we went to a cat breeder named Kat. Yes, Kat! Isn’t it funny?
There we got Sammy. Then later, we decided to get a second kitten. So, we went to the same breeder and got Beauty. That’s how we got our pets.
How did our kittens get their names?
Sammy, we saw strength in him. Well, he is a Maine Coon, which is the biggest cat you can get. Anyway, we named him after Samson in the Bible, who was really strong. Beauty, well take a look at the pictures……..she’s soooo beautiful. So, that’s how they got their names.
Now, the unique part about are kittens is………..
Beauty loves to drink out of the sink. Loves it. She’ll wait there and sit until someone turns the faucet on. We turn it on lightly though, so she doesn’t make us pay much for the water bill. She also loves to climb the Christmas tree, and make ornaments fall. Sammy will eat about anything. He ate an onion once. And he tried to eat a cucumber. He’s an eating beast.
They are very social with other people and pets. They like nice dogs. Beauty gets a little scared around people, but she’s still pretty social.
Are kittens have changed over time, by loving each other. They used to not love each other. Even like each other. We had to keep them separate. But now we don’t. It’s much better now.
My kittens are not even one! Not even one!! I’m NOT joking! Sammy is almost eleven months. Beauty is seven months.
My favorite thing about my kittens is that they love each other. And that their soft. Very soft.
Written by: Rachel Oom, age 9
Hi! My name is Emmi but my mom calls me Emmi Lou. I am 11 years old. My mom and dad rescued me just over a year ago from a local rescue group. Before I got to the rescue I was in a house that had too many other kitties and some doggies so I had to come live at the animal shelter. When I got to the shelter they noticed I made a very loud noise when I was breathing and the doctors weren’t sure what was wrong with me.
They ended up transferring me to a rescue group that was ran by another vet. The vet guy said that he thought I had a polyp on my soft pallet causing me to make a loud cooing sound.
At that time mom was working at the rescue and the second she heard my unique sound she knew it was love. The shelter had named me Merry but mom thought I needed a name to match my dove-like sound so she came up the Emerald after the Emerald dove. And now it’s Emmi for short!
After mom sent dad numerous videos and pictures of me, he agreed that they should adopt me. I now have 2 kitty brothers (Stafford and Gus) and a dog brother (Abe). I love them all very much! Since I am the “old lady” of the house I am very spoiled. I have many beds and blankies throughout the house that are all mine! I also get my nails done and they are always pink and sparkly because I am such a princess. Mom likes to calls me “Princess Emmi”!
I love my family so much and I’m so happy that they chose me as their fur child. I constantly thank them with kisses, head butts, and loud purrs!
We weren’t looking for Finn – he found us. We had lost one of our kitties to cancer a few months before and were starting a volunteer gig at Crash’s Landing. We thought we’d end up getting a kitty from there. But a friend of a friend had a stray cat hanging out in her yard and – viola! – new family member.
Finn is named after Phineas of Phineas + Ferb (the cartoon), although he really has Ferb’s quieter demeanor. He was injured at some point while a stray so he hobbles a bit. Finn also has pancreatitis and diabetes (poor guy!), so he’s spent his share of time at KCC. (And although he doesn’t always show it, I think he loves all the girls here. Especially Dr. Coppens!)
It took Finn a while to relax and get used to being part of a family. He seemed happy to have a home and people taking care of him, but he just wasn’t sure what to do with all of the affection and attention.
But he figured it out eventually!
Now he’ll often stretch out his leg and put his paw on one of us, kind of like he’s saying, “You’re mine!” He takes advantage of all of the comfy spots in the house to stretch out and be lazy. He lets our 10-year-old use him as a pillow. Finn also loves cheese. Well, he loves food in general and is always eager to let us know when his bowl is empty.
Finn’s laid-back nature balances out the energy of our crazy kitten and the shyness of our older girl. We’re very happy that he’s part of our family!
The story of Karma!
Anxiously awaiting the reappearance of a groundhog from the large hole in our garden (left a year ago last August). We were pleasantly surprised to discover a black and white cat with her four kittens (black, grey, black/white & Siamese). Our garden at the time was full of balloon flowers which protected their coming and going from their new home, the groundhog hole.
As the weather became colder last fall I started to feed the mother and her kittens early in the morning. As soon as they heard the back door open, heads were popping out of the hole for their ration of one bowl of kitten chow and fresh water.
Before long, the mother seemed to be away more than around and the black & grey kittens must have found homes.
The night air was becoming colder and colder, we had to find a way to catch these two kittens and hopefully find them a home. One day my wife Margie and I threw on some winter gloves and strategically positioned ourselves on both sides of our backyard in hopes we could catch at least one of these guys. The attempt was hilarious! I would put out the food and water at the top of the yard under a umbrella table, with Margie on the other side of the yard ready to grab up one of these guys as they raced back to the groundhog hole. With several different attempts we finally gave up the fight.
A friend of mine, an avid hunter for years, offered me his live animal trap as a last resort. The mother had now returned for the morning feedings and was starting to hang around more.
I took up my friend’s offer of the live trap, so the next day I loaded the trap with some tuna fish and did not put any food out. Next thing I knew the mother had set off the trap and we were on our way to the animal shelter. The next couple of days were unsuccessful in trapping the two kittens. By this time the black & white kitten had grown to twice the size of the Siamese. The next day I loaded the trap and hoped for the best. My wife I both watched as the Siamese entered the trap ignoring warnings from her brother. We both said a prayer and down came the trap door. I then placed the live trap in the back seat of my car. As my wife got in the car, I went back inside and called Lori of the Kentwood Cat Clinic to see if we could stop in and have the Siamese checked out to see if it might make a good pet. The check up went good even though she had fleas and worms. Now the determining factor, was it a boy or a girl? Seeing we had Gia our 13 year old female, orange and white, we thought it best if the new kitten was a female. So it was determined that the Siamese was in fact a female! Great! We decided on the name Karma for this grateful kitten. She has been quite an energetic ball of fire. Gia still has not totally accepted Karma. Their relationship can be compared to a young energetic kid trying to rough house with her grandmother, it’s just not going to happen. Time will bring these two together.
Mom adopted me about 12 years ago. She used to be my nephew’s family cat and stayed in their barn. I lived across the field from them and used to take care of their animals while they were at horse shows. Mom figured out where I lived and would come to my barn and bring her kittens (hence the name Mom). I would take the kittens back, she would bring them back to my place and on and on until I finally decided enough! She and one of her daughters moved into my barn! As time went on both moved into my house! She tends to be strong willed!
At 16 she’s a senior citizen. She is quite fragile and has medical issues, but she is one tough gal. She has always been small and now with her thyroid problem, she weighs under five pounds. Mom has always been great company. She loves to sit on laps and cuddles when carried. There was a time when I would get very sick with migraines. She would always stay with me for hours and lay on my shoulder – put her paw on my cheek or her nose in my ear! She always helped me feel better.
Mom is small in stature but big in heart, and I’m lucky she adopted me.
In May of 1994, Whitey came into my life as a couple-day-old kitten, who still had her umbilical cord and whose mom didn’t seem to know what to do with kittens. Whitey was one of three in the litter and all had eye infections. I took to feeding the litter with an eyedropper and hoped for the best; Whitey was the only one of the three that survived. At the same time, I rescued one month-old Shadow from another litter as the mother was killing the kittens one at a time.
We lost Shadow to cancer just before her 17th birthday and worried how Whitey would do as an only cat. Thankfully, she took to being the center of attention very easily. Several years ago, she was diagnosed with cataracts, significant bilateral iris atrophy, retinal degeneration, and an arthritic elbow; none of which seemed to slow her down. Unfortunately, 2012 turned into a rough year as Whitey’s age caught up with her. 2012 brought frequent constipation and a diagnosis of mega colon. The later part of the year included panicked trips to the vet and a couple trips to the emergency room as her mega colon and constipation was now accompanied by life-threatening electrolyte imbalances (extremely low potassium or high sodium), high blood pressure, fluid retention, an irregular heartbeat, and arthritic sacral vertebrae. We weren’t sure how long she had left or if we should consider putting her down. The Animal Emergency Room and our regular vet referred us to Kentwood Cat Clinic and Dr. Tammy.
Over several months of appointments, hard work by Dr. Tammy and staff, and medication and treatment implementations and changes, Whitey came back from the grave. She is again a happy, chatty, and busy “little old lady.” Keeping her healthy now involves subcutaneous fluids every other day, medications for high blood pressure and heart disease, Miralax and a probiotic in her canned food, prescription kibble, and a potassium gel supplement. The regimen may be disliked by Whitey and time-consuming for the household, but it’s worth it when I wake up to six pounds of fur snoring next to me in bed.
Whitey’s favorite activities are napping in a warm blanket, lounging in a sunbeam, watching television shows about animals (she’s partial to shows about birds or cats), splashing in her water bowl until she’s dripping wet, stalking the neighborhood bunny and birds from the window, playing with her stuffed ducky, and cuddling with whomever will hold her. Her favorite canned food flavors are the most expensive ones that I’m willing to buy.
Thanks Dr. Tammy and staff for giving Whitey a chance at reaching the healthy old age of 20 and beyond. The house would be far too quiet without her Siamese vocal repertoire or chirps, chatters, snorts, meows, yowls, and squeaks.
(As I write this, all I see sticking out of the blanket are four paws and the tip of a tail.)