Great Shelter News!

What an excellent week last week was for our shelter cats! We had three new adoptions! 😀 The best part is that of the three adoptions, two were of adult cats. ::sigh:: That makes me teary. Is so rare for the older cats to find homes. Like babies in an orphanage, kittens are more likely to be adopted and older cats are likely to spend their lives without a loving home.

This week, however, one very vocal adult male was adopted. He’d been adopted two years ago, but the adoptive parents felt he was too noisy and they brought him back. He was with us again for about four months, and I was worried he’d never have another chance. Well! A couple came in during the week, fell in love with him and his voice and took him home. I’m tearing up now… but from happiness for him.

The kitten was a tiny one. Only about two months old. He’ll be happy in his new home and has not yet developed the bad habits that sometimes get these little ones returned to us… like talking too much.

And finally, the greatest news is that Charlie has been adopted, too. Well… fostered. It’s a trial arrangement. If he and the foster parents are compatible, they’ll make it permanent. Charlie is a lover. Handsome, charming, and just a tad distant. On his terms, you can pet and cuddle him. On his terms, you’ll be sorry for doing so. Think, Mr. Darcy.

In case you’re wondering… Yes. The Charlie I’m speaking of is the same Charlie in the photo from my Whiskers on Kittens post. Isn’t he handsome?

Whiskers on kittens…

A few of our charming shelter cats
Clockwise from top left – Minnie and Ginger, Ava, Charlie, Max

For a few hours a week, my daughter and I volunteer at an animal shelter. It’s not funded by large donors and no one works there for pay. Although, as an animal lover, I’d have to say the pay is in the kisses and full body rubs these kitties often give. Of course, a couple of our shelter cats would sooner dice you like a cross shredder than rub against or kiss you, but they’ve had difficult lives, so we… give them their space.

There are so many different personalities among cats. Getting to know them all is like getting to know a whole group of people. They have different desires and different needs. In the end, however, they all just want the basics – security and love. Teddy is one of the tougher cats. Don’t pet Teddy. Don’t talk to Teddy. Come to think of it… don’t even LOOK at Teddy. 🙂 Actually, he’s just a big boy who wants to be left alone. Then there’s his polar opposite – Twister. He’s a big boy, too. Solid and heavy. But he’s got the squeakiest meow you’ll ever hear. His big size makes him appear intimidating, but manly Twister wants only to be held like a baby, with his paws resting on your shoulders, his head nestled into your neck, and your arms supporting his furry little butt.

I could go on and on about our beautiful shelter cats, and I probably will one day. But for today, I’ll let them speak for themselves… (check your volume, some videos have music)



If you’re interested, and how could you not be… 😉 …here’s a link to more short videos of these precious babies (including Twister!)…

More Videos!

When I first started volunteering there, I thought it would be sad. All those big, bright eyes looking into mine, hoping for a home. But you know what? They’re content. They play, eat, sleep and are safely indoors. The only thing they’re missing is a warm human to snuggle up to in the wee hours of the night and to nudge awake just before dawn. They each need a home of their own, but we give them all we can while they’re in the place they, temporarily, call home.

Check out more of these beauties…

Bios and pictures!

Don’t forget to click the ‘back’ button so you can return to me and tell me what you think… and which cat or kitten you’d like to adopt! 🙂

Jazzy Joe at the Blue Note

One of the perks of being a homeschooling family is the ability to enjoy a late night out without the worry of an early morning alarm ringing out. We took advantage of that the other night.

For the first time in several years, we went to the Blue Note. In case you’re unfamiliar with the place, the Blue Note is a historical New York jazz club. Many of the greats have performed there, and the other night was no different.

We saw Joe Sample and the Crusaders. What a fantastic performance. Everyone was bopping in their seat – the music was that engaging. And so was Mr. Sample. Funny man.

Now you have to picture the venue – intimate (read that – small) and dark. Low ceiling, painted black. Fabric walls with V’d mirror strips. Tiny cobalt votives on each table, and family style seating. The only thing missing from this jazz club that I associate with jazz clubs was the smoky atmosphere. Though I’m not complaining. The family-style seating can be a little rough because the seats and tables are so close together that you become oddly familiar with strangers rather quickly. :-/

It’s okay though, because everyone is there for the music, and the stage is within stretching distance.

Joe started talking about music ‘in the day’ and how he’d hit the scene at an early age. I believe he said he was only 22 when he made his first recording – in 1961. Soon after that, he was a well-known entity and the ladies all but threw themselves at his feet. He started talking about the ladies, how much he enjoyed them and the attention they bestowed on him. The mention of it seemed to sidetrack him. He became quiet and had this wistful expression on his face. Dreamy, like he’d let his mind travel back in time. It was an odd moment, because everyone was so into what he was saying, that they also had dreamy, wistful expressions on their faces. I’m sure I did, too. It was as if he’d taken us all back in time. I felt it. I felt free and light as if at that time, everything was bliss. I suppose that’s what happens when the mind sifts reality into memories.

After lulling us into the moment with him, he drew in a quick breath, shook off some apparently exciting memories and said, in this husky soulful tone, “Ah, if only I was young again…”

“Calm down, Joe!”

Those words came from someone in the audience. You couldn’t help but laugh. And then this sexy symphony began and once again, the crowd was completely engrossed. He’d drawn us all into a dream with just a few words and kept us there with his music.

Homeschool and School Holidays

Tomorrow is President’s Day and public schools will be closed for the entire week. As a new-ish homeschooling family, we’re in a peculiar place. Do we continue our lessons, since they’re simply an extension of our day? Or do we put it all on hold until the public school classes are back in session?Interestingly, people seem surprised when we take off for public school holidays. I often wonder if we’re thought of as inferior since trained and licensed teachers are not involved in our lessons. Perhaps the thought is that we need every day there is to cover the subjects other children cover for 6 hours each school day plus another few hours for homework.

I suppose, before we started homeschooling, I felt that way, too. Fortunately, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by how little time is truly necessary to cover the subjects in a way that is engaging and thorough. When you strip away the busywork so often supplied by schools, you find the time to enjoy life. Children have time to be… children. Families have family time. And the children are still learning. In fact, they’re learning through real life experiences, not solely through textbooks, worksheets and dioramas.

The best decision we could have made for our family was to take our daughter out of public school and begin homeschooling her. The tough part was dealing with the worry over whether our method would be right. The wonderful part was realizing there’s no wrong way to do it.

Homeschooling is an extension of home-life. We’re learning every minute of every day. Sometimes it’s in a structured way, sometimes it’s not. The greatest joy of homeschooling is the option to play outside when it starts to snow, to take our bikes to the park when the sun warms the day, or to watch a scary movie when it’s stormy outside. Most of all, it’s the wonder of watching new awareness bloom on our child’s face because of something she learned while in our presence.

When public schools are closed for a holiday, our child might not sit with a workbook and pen, but she will still be learning. She’ll still be living the life a child should live, and we’ll all be enjoying the process.