Wednesday, December 23, 2009

No New Home for the Holidays!

This is Cassius Clay, one of my favorites at the League. He is a big, bruiser of a cat who looks tough, but is a real love. Cassius Clay's namesake is Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.; January 17, 1942). Ali, the three-time World Heavyweight Champion is widely considered one of the greatest boxers of all time. Our Cassius Clay is definitely not a fighter. He'll nudge your fist or knee and he'll come running right up to you when you say, "Hi Handsome!"

So, why is he here and not in a forever home? Well, he's 11-years-old. And, while 11 is quite young in people years (only fourth or fifth grade, not old enough to drive or vote), 11 is middle-aged for a cat, and most adopters are looking for a younger cat. Too bad -- because they are missing out on a real sweetheart. A middle-aged cat does not mean a sick or sedentary cat. Eleven is just a number -- and in cat years it means not a youngster, but not a geezer either.
The holidays are a hectic time. Lots of folks who are thinking about welcoming a cat or dog into their homes, choose to wait until all of the travel and celebrations are over. Maybe Cassius Clay's new person is planning right now, he or she just hasn't met this handsome hunk yet. My favorite kitty could easily undergo a name change -- I vote Romeo!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

17 Inches of Snow in My Front Yard!!!!

This was a record breaking snow storm. The most ever recorded in the D.C. area in December. It's going to be awhile before it's all gone. Snow will be on the ground through the end of the year and well into 2010.

Snow plows and salt trucks are making their way through the neighborhoods. Be sure to wash your dog's feet off every time he goes outside. The salt can be painful. It gets in between his toes; ice balls form and stay there, too. They hurt. You wear snow boots, dogs don't.

Remember to report animals outside. No cat or dog should be left out in the snow and cold. A fun romp with your dog is fine, but he should stay outside only as long as you are out there, too. Max, Nigel and I went to the park this morning. Check out the pictures of Nigel and one of his friends chatting about the snow.
But now, we are in for the night. The temperatures are going down quickly. There are lots and lots of icy patches. Be safe and help keep everyone safe and warm.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Wow, it's really a blizzard out there. The forecasters were right. It's piling up and FAST.

When we took Nigel to the park two hours ago, the snow was was already so high that he couldn't walk; he leaped. Like the children on their sleds, the dogs had a great time playing. They jumped, tumbled and fell. Nigel had a blast, but when play time was over, he was happy to come home, get dried off ,and snooze in his bed.

I don't think I'll go out again until April!!!

I know that while I am enjoying the beauty of the rapidly falling snow from the safety of inside my warm house, animals (and people) are outside, ast risk of suffering from hypothermia (frost bite) and/or other injuries -- even death.

Things we can do --

  • Have the number of the local animal control agency handy. Officers are working around the clock. If you see an animal who is outside unattended, call. In the District of Columbia that number is 202 -576-6664 -- 24/7.

  • If you see a neighbor's dog or cat outside call them (or get an adult to call). Make sure that your neighbor is okay. Remind them that their animals should be indoors. It's not safe to be outside for extended periods of time for animals or people.

  • When your dog goes outside, be sure to wash and dry his paws when he comes in -- especially the pads between his toes. Those little ice balls hurt!

  • If you are venturing outside in the car, be on the lookout for animals that need help as you are driving around. Have the animal control number handy and report all animals in danger. Give as much information as possible -- where is the animal, what does the animal look like, is it contained (can it leave that location) or is it running loose, what is the exact address, what are the landmarks (is there gas station on the corner, or is it a blue house with black shutters). To report homeless people who are out in this weather in Washington call the Hypothermia Hotline at 1 (800) 535-7252.

  • Before the car is started, bang on the hood and/or honk the horn -- that way, if a cat who was looking for a warm spot has crawled under the hood she'll take those loud noises as a sign to get out and go elsewhere.
This is going to be a whopper of a storm. Looks like the DC area will have a white Christmas for sure. Have fun sledding, building snow people and making snow angels; and be on the lookout for those who are outside and need help. Speak for those can't.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Very Best of Friends

My cat Merl loves my dog Nigel. At least I think he does. When Nigel is hanging out, Merl is often close by. Sometimes Merl rubs up against Nigel's face. I don't think Nigel loves Merl, but he tolerates him just fine.

Cats and dogs are often friends. But what about elephants and dogs? Most definitely. I was given the book Tarra & Bella, a truly beautiful story about Tarra, an elephant who had been forced to perform in circuses and movies for more than 20 years. She now lives on 2700 acres at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee with many other elephants and her best friend, Bella. Bella is a medium-sized mixed breed dog who picked Tarra as her friend, and the two have been inseparable ever since. Text accompanies magnificent pictures illustrating the friends' day-to-day interactions and chronicling their painful separation when Bella gets hurt. The photos also show Bella's amazing recovery that was centered on the best medicine -- friendship. Read the book for more information about Tarra and Bella's friendship; and to learn about all of the elephants living at the sanctuary, check our www.elephants.com.