Even though I am not a charity, but as long as you are working in the animal industry, you will always end up being involved with animal rescue. Simply because your website is out there, people in desperation will contact whatever that comes up on Google search. I guess I am doing my SEO properly so I often end up receiving calls from people who needs help with cat rescue mission.
Also, after being in this business for over a decade, I often got calls from various cat charities who might be in need of help. I always try my best to help as much as I can.
But over the years, I realise one problem. Sure, we can go out and help one cat, two cat, three cats, or even a colony of cats. But why are those cats there in the first place? Why are cats being abandoned?
When I first turned 30, my mission was to start a cat business and work for myself. I have just turned 40 this year. (FYI: my original plan was to go to Paris with a good friend to celebrate for a weekend, but then the pandemic hits….so here I am. I will celebrate it when the pandemic is over)
In my 40s, I want to get into education, so to raise the awareness of the public on cat welfare. I strongly believe that with education and public campaign, there should be less and less cats needing rescue in the long run. And that’s going to be my mission for the next decade.
As one of the first steps of me starting this journey, I have created this infographic about TNR (Trap-and-Release or Trap-and-Return). Please feel free to share this far and wide. The more people learning about the best practice in cat welfare, the better chance for cats to have a better life everywhere. If you want to print this out, click on the download button below to download a PDF file.
A lot of vets are implementing COVID-19 pandemic policies. These changes are meant to protect you, your pet, and the entire veterinary staff. For example, some policies that are seen in many vet practices are: No human inside the clinic, drop off and pick up outside the door, no cash payment, etc.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE follow these instructions. This is to protect your beloved vet clinic staff. You don’t want them to be sick. If they are sick, they can no longer take care of your animals. So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE call them ahead of time and follow their instruction to the T. I can’t emphasize this enough.
Animals and COVID-19
Even though there is no evidence that cats and dogs can catch COVID-19, certain precaution is necessary:
Include your pet in social distancing. Do not allow them around anyone when they are outside. Someone who is a silent carrier could touch your pet and you will be at risk if you touch your pet afterwards.
Decide on an Emergency Pet Guardian. This is someone who will take care of your pet if you are not able to take care of them. Please download this FREE document, give it a serious thought, speak to a suitable person and follow the included checklist accordingly.
If you become sick, have the person listed above start taking over your pet as soon as possible and have them give your pet a bath. Cats and dogs can’t catch COVID-19, but their fur could be carrying droplets, the same way your hands can be carrying droplets.
Keep a 4 week supply of food and medications on hand for your pet.
If your pet requires home-cooked meals, consider finding a commercially available alternative or freezing meals ahead of time.
If you do not have anyone to take care of your pet, please let the doctors/nurses/government know that you have a pet. Consider carrying a card like this.
Make sure your pet is up to date on vaccines, this has nothing to do with COVID-19, this is to keep them healthy if they have to be boarded somewhere.
Cat specific tips:
Cats love their routines, and obviously there is a drastic change in our routines right now. If you are working from home and the kids are off school, cats could be stressed by the extra noise and extra movement at home. Please make sure there are places for cats to hide if they want to be away from it all (don’t we all sometimes at this stage?) High places, extra cardboard boxes for hiding. If you have a spare room, consider making it a “cat room” so that the cats can go in there if they need some quiet time alone.
Working from home with a cat has its challenges, it takes coworking and hot-desking to another level. You might need to consider a decoy keyboard…
On another note, it is important for us to stay healthy so that we can take care of our furry friends. You need to help yourself before you can help others. Thankfully, our furry friends are giving us strength by being always there for us. However, if you feel you need to speak with someone, please check out the list of phone numbers of this link. We are all in this together.
Every year, there are so many tragic stories in the media about people leaving their dogs in their cars.
Yes, we are cat lovers, but we are animal lovers first and foremost. Cat Man has designed this poster to help educate the public to NEVER leave your dog (or cats if they are travelling with you) in the car, no matter how short a time and EVEN if you leave a gap at the window!
Even if you don’t have a dog, please download this poster and stick it to your car window.
Other drivers might see this postcard and change their mind about leaving their dogs behind. It might save lives! Our doggie friends will thank you for that!
The poster has been set up in a fool proof way that there is no need to adjust any setting with your printer. Just click the image below, click print, and it will come out.
It will take you a few minutes to do that, and it will save lives!
This is also a good time to think about if you know what to do if you see an animal suffering from heatstroke. They will need immediate vet attention. But before you can transport them to the vet, they could be in critical condition that need your immediate attention. Check out my upcoming Pet First Response workshop in Dublin, you will have confidence and knowledge to help your own pet or other animals on the street in case of emergency.
When I heard from Jerico Matarazzo from Equality Empires talking about a cat game that can help actual cats, I was really curious. After he explained me the whole concept, I realise it is such a smart idea!
Cat Climb Time is a game for humans but have cats in it. And this is a cat game that makes a difference to actual real cats in a shelter.
The cats featured in this game are all actual real cats from a cat cafe in Perth, Australia. The Cat Café Purrth is a cat cafe that opened last year in Perth, Subiaco. From the day they opened, they have made a promise that part proceeds of everything goes to animal welfare. Cat Café Purrth’s twelve rescue cats are featured in the Cat Climb Time game.
To follow the footstep of Cat Café Purrth, the maker of Cat Climb Time will also donate part of the proceeds to their local cat shelter – Cat Haven.
Cat Haven is the main animal shelter for cats, located Perth. And like most animal shelters around the world, they are underfunded, overworked and at capacity. So every little helps! It is such a lovely story to know their local businesses make such a commitment to help them and that cat lovers have such solidarity to all help each other to grow together.
Here are the famous Cat Café Purrth cats featured in the game, look at them! They are funny!
What’s better than play games feature real actual cats in them, while being able to help real cats in shelter? If you love to play games (and a CAT GAME for that matter!), check out Cat Climb Time on iOS and Android today!!
Our Cats ARE IN A GAME!Thanks to our friends at Equality Empires, all twelve of our cats are now a part of an awesome new game, Cat Climb Time. Play with Major, Rolo, Jelly, Mr. Fox, Albus … all of the kitties, as you climb higher and higher into the game.Amazingly, Equality Empires have also decided that part proceeds of Cat Climb Time will go to our very own Cat Haven. So now you can play with our cats and give back to Cat Haven from anywhere in the world!Check out Cat Climb Time here:APPLEhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/app/keynote/id1153508678?mt=8ANDROIDhttps://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.equalityempires.cct
If you are a cat lover, the chance is you have already heard of Kunkush – the famous rescue cat and his miraculous reunion with his family. Today, another miracle happened. One of the cat lovers I know happen to know his foster family in Berlin and Emma the foster mom agrees to chat with us! If you haven’t heard of him yet, here is a recap of his story…
Kunkush trekked all the way across Turkey with his Iraqi family before taking a rubber dingy over to the Greek island of Lesvos. It was on this Greek island where they lost track of Kunkush, thinking they would never see him again. They searched but eventually the family were forced to continue their journey across Europe without him, leaving the refugee cat to fend for himself on the streets. Kunkush was then being found by rescue volunteers in the fishing village of Skala a short while afterwards. Through the power of social media, Kunkush miraculous reunited with his family on Valentine’s Day thousands of miles away in Norway.
(Warning: you WILL cry if you watch this video…)
Alice = me Emma = Kunkush’s foster mother
Alice: Hi Emma, thanks for talking to me today. I know you were the foster mom for the famous rescue cat Kunkush. Can you tell us how did that happen you become his foster mom?
Emma: Hey Alice, you’re welcome! Well, a friend of mine follows the Facebook page of Nine Lives Greece, a cat rescue and neutering charity, who in turn were sharing a page called Reunite Dias, about a lost little white cat that had been separated from his refugee family when they landed at the Greek island of Lesvos. (The people who found him had named him Dias, the Greek form of “Zeus” as he seemed a tough little fellow.) The aim of Reunite Dias was, obviously, to find his family and get them reunited, so the more people who shared the page, the greater chance of it being publicized. At that time, it was believed that the family had settled in Germany, so a temporary home in Germany would be the best thing for the cat. So I mentioned that my husband and I could look after him, as we live in Berlin.
Alice: How was it like taking care of him?
Emma: I thought he’d be scared and shaken up by all his experiences, but once he arrived at our apartment he strolled out of his carrier like he owned the place, had some food, had a look around, jumped up into my lap and settled down for a sleep! He was very easy to take care of, except for a bit of a worry about his health issues, as he had picked up a parasite, giardia, and ringworm during his time running wild on the island. So there were a few vet trips and medications for him to take. But he took it all in his stride.
Alice: How was he like? His personality? His favourite things?
Emma: Man, he was LOUD. Such a tiny cat but so loud. When I was waiting in the airport to meet him and Amy his rescuer, I could hear his yells while they were still in the security area. He was very curious too, and he had a little seat on our windowsill where he would spend hours looking out- luckily some building works were going on opposite so he could snoop to his heart’s content. He also loved chasing felt mice on string, which we would do until he would start to get a bit manic and aggressive; since the first day he didn’t sleep much, so he would get overtired- when that happened, I would go to the bedroom and get under the covers, he would join me, and then he would relax into sleep, and I could sneak away.
Alice: I can imagine it must be hard during the departure, it must be very hard to say goodbye, tell us something about that?
Emma: To be honest, we didn’t really expect the family to be found, so it was quite difficult trying to maintain an emotional distance and remember that this was someone else’s cat. When we got the email from Michelle, who ran the Reunite Dias page, saying that the family had been found, my first thought was “oh.” But then I saw photos of them and they are such lovely people that I was genuinely happy for them. We Skyped with the family about a week before Kunkush left, and that was just amazing; he kept going round the back of the computer looking for his family! And after that, every time the doorbell rang he’d gallop off to the door thinking his family was there, so it was lovely that he knew they still existed, and was sort of prepared in a way, to be reunited with them. The day he went was… mm, very mixed feelings! He’d really bonded with my husband, so both of us felt pretty sad about it. Michelle at Reunite Dias was great; she supported me online throughout the day.
Alice: Oh wow! Such a fascinating story!
Emma: It was quite strange having a guest cat with a mysterious past; I kept trying to do detective work on him – I guessed that he lived with children because he always pricked up his ears and got excited when he heard the children in our apartment block go past the door. And there are 5 children in his family. Also, we didn’t know his name, so when we found out his name, I went to the bedroom where he was lying on a chair and just gently called “Kunkush!” and his head shot up at once. “Kunkush” means “thick fur” apparently! He had incredibly thick fur; the family used to shave him in the summer months to keep him cool.
Alice: I know he has passed away since reunited with his family. It is very sad but I am glad to know that he was finally home in the comfort of his family when he crossed the rainbow bridge.
Emma: Yes, it is sad, he contracted FIP. We Skyped again with the family a couple of weeks after he was reunited with them, and he looked so quiet and content sitting with the mother. He is now immortalized in the book that Amy and Doug, Kunkush’s rescuers, wrote, “Lost and Found Cat”. It’s a children’s book telling the story of the flight from Iraq to Greece, how Kunkush got lost and how he was found. It’s a lovely book and quite unusual in that it addresses the issues of refugees, which I think is important for children to learn about, because the refugee situation is so serious and on-going. The book also emphasizes the role that social media and the internet, Facebook and Skype, play in connecting people.
Alice: Thanks for sharing such an amazing story with us today!
Emma: You’re welcome; it’s a pleasure to remember that it actually worked out, and that against the odds, Kunkush found his family again.
If Kunkush’s story touches you, please consider helping the following charities in helping the refugees.
Amal Shop is an income generation project that supports the livelihoods of Syrian families living in Izmir, Turkey. The initiative provides an opportunity for Syrian families living in Turkey to support themselves by helping them sell their handmade work to the global market. Volunteers work directly alongside these talented mothers to design products that you may enjoy. The income helps to pay for rent, food as well as other necessities. As a result of lightening the financial burden on the family, children can go to school rather than having to work – just another benefit of this initiative.
Philoxenia Kitchen provides hot meals, comfortable spaces and open arms in stressful environments. They work to provide positive support and inspire a sense of humanity and solidarity that people can carry with them throughout their onward journey. The Kitchen provides a warm meal to 1000 people a day. That means, during their first year of operation, they will provide around 356,000 warm meals to asylum seekers throughout the EU.
As mentioned by Emma in the interview, Kunkush’s story has now been captured in a wonderful children’s book. This is a great opportunity to teach the future generation about love, tolerance and compassion. People from other countries might look different, but we very often share the same passion and we have a lot more in common than we imagined. Lost and Found Cat can be purchased on Amazon or any good book shop.
As a cat sitter, I see that every family seems to have at least one bag of open but uneaten cat food. And it’s because of this scenario….
My lovely customers purchased beautiful cat food hoping to please their beloved cat. Took home the food, opened it, put it down, cat sniffed at it and walked away….
And I thought this bag of uneaten cat food could help a lot of cats in need, e.g. feral cats, foster cats, cats living with people who are under financial pressure during the recession, etc. So I approached Cats Aid and volunteered to organise a campaign to get this uneaten food to them.
How can you help?
If you have unwanted cat food. You can bring them to our drop off point.
If you are a business and want to be one of our drop off point, please contact me here.
What do we want?
Opened dry food
Unopened dry food
Unopened wet food
New food you buy just to donate! (Grab a few more pouches in the supermarket before you head to the checkout!)
Drop off point:
Constant Knitter – 88 Francis Street, Dublin 8.
Constant Knitter is voted one of the twelve best shops in Ireland by The Irish Times and its readers on 2012. Please go in to say hi to the lovely Rosemary and browse the amazing yarn selection. Support the business that support cats!