Mar 23, 2013

Baby Elephant Playing

Lily the baby elephant is like a big kitten! Running and jumping and playing and rolling over... Yup, she's basically a kitten!

Except that she weighs 565 pounds already. And has the most adorable little baby elephant trunk!

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Mar 22, 2013

Silly Cat Gets Stuck in a Slipper

There is a reason cats don't wear shoes... It's because they can't figure them out.

Or because they use them wrong. Silly kitty, that's not what you're supposed to do with a slipper!

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Mar 21, 2013

Silly Dog vs. Kiddie Slide

Slides are tricky things. They are fun to go down, but you have to go up first.

Most of us would go up the ladder in the back... but that's way too easy.

Thanks to Cute's fab friend, Lauren G., for this silly dog slide find!

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Mar 20, 2013

Baby Hedgehog Yawns!

All you need is 13 seconds to make your day a little cuter today!

Tiny baby hedgehogs get tired just like the rest of us... only they yawn way cuter than any of us could ever hope to. Take a little hedgehog powernap, baby!

NEXT TRANSPORT: Fort Lauderdale, FL to Cumberland, Maine!
So far, we've got two momma cats, six babies and a handsome mancat named Samuel L. Catson lined up to be safe and on the road to their happy forever lives! They are heading up to a rescue in Maine... and it's up to us Cuteheads to get them there!

Here is the map. If you are anywhere along the route, please sign up as a volunteer driver so I can contact you! Here is the signup form. Thank you!

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Mar 19, 2013

Two Cats Tuesday: Pimp Talks to His Birdies and Moo is Smug

Happy Two Cats Tuesday, Cuteheads! Pimp and Moo had a busy week, and they are anxious to share the highlights with you!

First, they want you to know about their two best friends, a couple birdies named Freddie and Fiona. Freddie and Fiona visit regularly, and sit on the balcony ledge or on the patio furniture out there and just chit chat with Pimp and Moo. The boy chatter, and the birdies tweet. I am sure they have meaningful conversations.

Here is a little snippet of their conversation. Does anyone know what they are talking about?

Pretty boy watching pretty birdies!
He is so cute when he's talking to his buddies!

Moo likes to talk to the birdies, too, but sometimes he is just not amused with any of it. Check out this look I caught!

Smug cat is smug.
P.S. Thank you all for your kind words yesterday about Lestat. Writing about these things helps me cope and heal, and so do all of you and your caring comments. I'm so grateful to have so many friends who share and understand how special every single one of these animals is to us. Thank you!

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Mar 18, 2013

Remembering an Angel: Our Boy Lestat

A couple weeks ago I met one of the coolest cats I'll ever meet. He was dumped at the shelter with his three sisters after his parents got a divorce. Four beautiful kitties, all just left there to hope that someone else would take them home.

We took one look at his sweet face, and immediately knew we had to save him and his sisters. I asked our good friends at Forever Home Feline Ranch in Springfield, IL if they could take him in, and they said yes! Hurray! We gave the shelter the good news, and picked Lestat and his sisters, Callie and Smokey up soon after. His other sister, Bella, was adopted.

The first picture we saw of Lestat. This was his intake photo. What a doll!
We have a friend who has a condo that she is not using, and she offered it up to us as a "kitty condo" where lucky cats can camp out for a short time while we arrange their transport. It's like the kitty bachelor pad! We visit them lots and they are safe there. Lestat and his sisters went there from the shelter.

A couple hours after they were dropped off there, I rushed over to meet our new rescue kitties. I just knew they were going to be great cats!

When I got there, Lestat was nowhere to be found. I knew he was a big boy, and it's not like there was anywhere to hide in an empty condo, so I started to get very worried. But after a little deeper search, and opening all the cabinets, I found this...

Oh hai! You found me.
The next time I went by, he was in a different cabinet. I knew which one he was in right away because the cabinet was meowing. Silly boy! He wanted me to know where he was.

That was him in that cabinet. He wanted to come out, I could just tell -- he was just really scared and not sure where he was or what was going on. A day or two later, he was out and about and I was holding him and loving on him like he deserved.

Me and Lestat having some snuggle time at the condo.
Lestat was a shy, timid boy. A huge boy in frame, but just so sweet and fragile seeming in character. He was a huge sweetheart. I could tell he was sad, but I was happy to see his spirits lifting as the days went on in the condo.

I went to visit as much as I could, and while I love all the kitties we help, Lestat immediately found a special place in my heart. And it wasn't just me! My dad thought about adopting him himself and everyone in our transport group fell madly in love with our big boy, too.

Lestat relaxing in his bed at the condo.
This past weekend, the kitties' big day finally arrived. It was transport day! Lestat and his sister, Callie, had a little bit of a cold, but nothing major. They were all packed up and hit the road for the best day of the rest of their lives -- they were going home!

Along the way, the drivers kept careful tabs on everyone and we noticed Lestat was a little bit stressed out. He was always a drooler when he got excited (he was drooling when he first got to the condo, but then stopped once he knew he was safe and comfortable), and a few drivers said he was drooling a lot on the road. We had Spirit Essences, which is great for stress, so we made sure to put some in his cage to calm him. Kitties a little stressed on the road is a pretty normal thing.

Lestat on the road!
He threw up along the way, too, and we made sure his carrier was covered to keep him as calm as can be. Covering carriers is a good way to calm a kitty. Our poor boy was just not a being a good traveler, and we couldn't wait to get him to his safe place to rest and relax.

We also had the idea to put him and his sister Callie in the same carrier, since they had cuddled together so much in the condo. He might feel better with her around! Once we did that, he did seem to relax, and we felt better about that.

Lestat zenned out with his other sister, Smokey, earlier in the condo. 
Late that night, the caravan of kitties arrived at their sleepover spot in Chattanooga and we all were happy to give Lestat a break especially. He seemed fine overnight, wasn't too interested in eating, and stayed close to Callie. They packed up after a night's rest and hit the road again for day two of their journey. They would be at the Ranch soon!

Our first drivers of the day said he seemed much better, was not as fussy and more relaxed. He was snoozing with another driver (and snoring loud, she said!). We thought he was calmed down from the day before and in for a better day today.

Did I mention what a BIG boy he was? This is me holding him at the condo! 
Then I got a phone call I never imagined I'd get. The wonderful women driving the leg to St. Louis were doing a check on the kitties to change out someone's stinky puppy pad (they didn't know who needed changing), when they discovered Lestat was not responding. He was in the carrier with Callie, so they took him out and tried to see if he was responsive at all and if his eyes were open.

He was gone.

How or why it happened, we'll never know. But I am so completely heartbroken and sad and crushed and overwhelmed by this. We talked to our vet. Lestat got a full and thorough checkup before he left. His heart seemed fine and he was only a little sick -- nothing stopping him from traveling. He was just so easily stressed out, and I think that something happened to do with that. Even though he seemed better.

Comfy Lestat. The cute face I'll always remember.
I'm crying as I write this post, and have been for hours. Every cat is special, but Lestat was extra special. I truly fell in love with him, as did everyone in our transport group. We all joked about him not making it to Springfield because one of us might steal him and not pass him along to the next driver. But we never thought that he actually wouldn't make it.

He was in his carrier with his sister, Callie, when he passed and I am grateful for that. I'm glad he wasn't alone. I wish he was still here with me or at the condo. I miss his face and his little meow.

Getting a little drink at the faucet in the condo last week. 
We don't know what happened or why he passed. All we can think is that maybe the stress was too much for him or he had something else going on that we didn't know, like something genetic or a heart issue.

But I don't want to think about what he might have had. These are the things I KNOW he had:

--An adorably sweet face
--Cute crossed eyes
--The tiniest chirp of a meow for a big boy
--Soft, cuddly fur
--A love for being held
--A penchant for cabinets
--Something for drinking water out of the bathroom sink
--A bunch of amazing people who loved him despite never meeting him

Prowling around the condo. Wasn't he a majestic boy?
I live to rescue and transport these kitties. Nothing makes me happier than saving them and making sure they are ready to travel and then sending them off to their new, happy forever lives. So far this year we have helped transport 53 cats. Fifty-three cats this year, and it's only March! So many lives saved.

I supposed the odds are, as with any rescue effort, that something will happen to some of them along the way. You do your best and know that every one saved is a miracle. I am holding on to that.

The other 13 cats on this transport are going to live the dream we had for Lestat, and for all of them. They will find wonderful homes and live happy lives and be safe and loved. And all of us will always love Lestat. He'll live happily in all our hearts forever.

Thank you to Cutehead Dana K. for this beautiful graphic. She was also one of his drivers. 
Lestat is now buried in a special place at Forever Home Feline Ranch where he was headed. That was going to be his home, so it should be. He was only one driver away from making it. His sister Callie will hopefully get the best home, and this way she can be near him until she does. I am so grateful to them for being so wonderful and caring.

I know he will be one of the kitties waiting for me at the Bridge when it's my time to go. Let's carry beautiful Lestat in our hearts and keep on helping as many kitties as we can. Thanks, everyone, for all your help always.

And an extra special thanks to all of the Caboodle Caravan's drivers this weekend for getting them all to Illinois and keeping an extra eye on our man.

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Mar 17, 2013

Happy St. Catrick's Day from Cute, Pimp and Moo!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Cuteheads! Don't forget to wear green... and dress your kitties up in it, too!

Here's a super classic picture of Pimp -- all the way from back in 2004!

I'm a lucky kitty!
Check out Ozzy Ozbourne in the background on TV! This is vintage!

P.S. The #CaboodleCaravan is still going strong! Follow along on Facebook and Twitter!

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