Monday, July 26, 2010

Cat Champions of the Week: Yogie and Friends!

This week's Cat Champions on are the folks at Yogie and Friends Exotic Cat Sanctuary in Frierson, Louisiana. Their goals are:
  • Big cat rescue and provision of a safe, stress-free home for life
  • Education of the public about these big cats
  • Conservation and assistance to other sanctuaries when possible.
Housed at Yogie and Friends are tigers, lions, leopards, cougars, servals, and other exotic cats that have been abused, neglected or unwanted. The cats are cared for by a full-time staff of two, part-time staff of three, 15 volunteers serving in various roles, and over 100 community service and Air Force volunteers who donate time and labor.

While it's open to the public on Saturday afternoons, this is for educational purposes only so as not to stress the cats. Many of these animals have been kept in cruel conditions before coming to Yogie and Friends. Several have ongoing medical problems as a result of their prior living conditions. All receive regular veterinary care and attention to their medical needs.

The long-term vision for Yogie and Friends includes expansion and improvement of the current habitats, an Animal Education Center, Veterinarian Clinic and Quarantine Housing, Natural Habitats, a Special Needs Animals Area, Internship Program Dormitories, and a "Yogie Yard" for visitors. Visit their website to see many delightful videos of their residents.

When you buy your cat supplies and cat accessories at the week of July 26-August 1, 2010, 10% of the proceeds are donated to Yogie and Friends Exotic Cat Sanctuary! So get to shopping and join us in supporting these noble people doing great work to help cats!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cats and Soldiers

After reading a lot about "war dogs", the canines who assist our troops in war zones, I'd often wondered about cats in war zones, and what types of relationships may exist between them and soldiers. Then I ran across this story about a soldier's special relationship with a kitten, and it warmed my heart.

In Vietnam, soldiers who were leaving in a hurry when American troops were being withdrawn were heartbroken at having to leave behind the dogs who had saved their lives so many times. Since the dogs weren't allowed on military transport planes, they had to be left to an uncertain fate. Their story alerted so many people to their plight that non-profit groups now help bring these dogs home.

But the military doesn't officially train cats for any duties. Those of us who know cats know them to be intelligent and trainable, but they just aren't used by the military. And in a war zone, animals in general are suffering, especially in cultures where pets are not valued as they are in ours. So it would be natural that stressed-out soldiers facing fear and horror daily would find comfort in their soft coats, gentle ways and purring response to affection.

But now that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)in returning soldiers is getting more attention, I believe there is a great need that cats could help to fill for the military. Perhaps shelter cats facing euthanasia could instead be employed as comfort-givers to soldiers. Injured or special-needs cats could help inspire and comfort injured soldiers. Both of their lives could be saved by such a program. Anybody else think this might be a good idea? Any ideas on how to get it going?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cat Champions of the Week: Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary

Our cat champions this week on are some folks that will really touch your heart. Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary in St. Pauls, North Carolina takes in cats certified by a veterinarian as being blind. They rescue cats from shelters that would automatically be put down just because the poor things cannot see. Currently, they care for over 40 cats who live at their cage-free, no-kill shelter in St. Pauls. A private, non-profit organization that receives no government funding, they cover the costs for feeding, housing and medical care for these cats and give them a life of dignity.

Visit Blind Cat Rescue's site and you'll be treated to photos and videos of the cats in their care. If you can look at much of that without getting a little misty, you're a stronger old maid cat lady than I! So help out these little darlings this week by buying your cats some stuff at 10% of the proceeds from what you buy will be donated to them. And while you're at it, stop over at the Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary site and donate a little something extra directly to them. The blind kitties will purr a little louder if you do!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Kitty Palms are now on!

Want to stop your cats from scratching your furniture, without ruining your decor? You can entertain your kitties while bringing a touch of the tropics to your home with Kitty Palms! Kitty Palms are now available at You'll find them in a number of categories, or you can just search for "kitty palms" to find them.

A few of the features of Kitty Palms that may interest you:
  • The trunks are made of sisal, which cats LOVE to scratch, and it's available in two colors
  • The platforms swivel all the way around so you can configure them however you need to fit your space
  • There are toys dangling just below the branches, like little hanging coconuts, for your cats to bat around
  • Each of the trees (except the small scratching post) comes with one platform that has a recessed stainless steel dish for food or water, so if you have dogs in the house you can feed your cat out of the dogs' reach
  • You can order additional platforms placed above and/or below to meet your needs; say you have an elderly cat who's not able to jump up onto a platform -- you could add platforms and swivel them into place to make a sort of spiral "staircase" for your cat to walk up.
How cool are these Kitty Palms?! If you don't want a run-of-the-mill carpeted "cat condo" ruining your lovely tropical decor, Kitty Palms are what you've been looking for!