This week’s Sunday Selfie honors Chauncie Marie who celebrates her 11th Gotcha Day with our family.
Chauncie Marie was called Chauncey by our neighbors until she gave birth. Then they realized she was a girl. Quickly realizing she wasn’t cut out for motherhood, Chauncey decided to move across the street to our house. There she discovered she was French and her name was changed to Chauncie Marie. That was in 2007. When a vacancy came up, Chauncie Marie moved indoors and has been happily a member of the Wonderpurr Gang ever since.
Chauncie Marie is shy, but affectionate. She loves being brushed by our Groom Genie. She enjoys her bed atop the kitchen cupboards. She’s also a shoe aficionado — has never met a shoe she doesn’t enjoy smelling!
Wonderpurr Gang membership was closed. I wasn’t in the market to feed another stray cat, much less adopt one. I’d maxed out past my usual ten. Ten seems to be my number. It fluxuates between 8 and 10, but whenever there is a vacancy…there is always someone on my porch ready to fill the opening.
Noah brought Elly to me this past spring. I didn’t realize she would be his last gift to me. He’d already brought me Candy the spring before. Noah had feline leukemia and passed shortly after.
Sad to say, Elly is FIV+. However I took her to my new vet who said she was sweet and wouldn’t pass the virus through fighting. After being vaccinated and spayed, I took her home where she was caged until healed. Meanwhile she had a reunion with Candy. Clearly they knew each other! And my other cats seemed interested in her, in a good way.
I did put Elly outside, and watched her run to the tree where I used to feed her along side Noah. But Noah wasn’t there…and she eventually returned to the door to come inside.
She’s been inside ever since.
Elly is gorgeous. She’s friendly. Best friends with Candy, and wants to be friends with Dori who is jealous that she has competition with HER BFF Candy.
Amazing what love and the promise of never giving up on someone can do to turn a life around. Meet Frank, my five-year-old tough-tabby-turned-soft-hearted-sweetiepie.
Frank arrived in early spring 2014, acting tough, showing off his man pride with tail held high. I’ve never met a stray like Frank, which is why, of all the 70+ strays I’ve rescued throughout my adult lifetime, I’ve picked Frank to feature on Remember Me Thursday.
When Frank first arrived in my yard he was determined to destroy Joshua, a sickly ginger stray who later passed from feline leukemia. Frank was Angry–and determined to kick someone’s tail, mine included. Three years later I still have vivid memories of battling Frank with a broom to keep him from ripping into Joshua. I kept sweeping Frank back while poor Josh cowered behind me. Finally, Frank turned on me, but again I swept him back until finally…with a huge sigh…he slumped to the ground. I asked if he wanted lunch. He did, and trotted dog-like beside me up to the house.
First bed in garage. Catnip mouse gift from NerissaTheCat.
Garage bed and kitchenette.
Frank’s history is a mystery, but clearly he’s never had a home. I’m certain he’s come close a few times, as he took to Rescued Life with such relief that IT had finally happened. But it was touch and go for a time, never knowing when he would go from gentle to feral. My Garage Band, Nikolas and Jesse, never really liked each other, but they bonded in mutual dislike of Frank. For the first year he was with us, I hovered over him to make sure he wouldn’t pick a fight with my other cats. Frank was big and strong, and could do serious damage.
A couple months after he arrived, Frank started pushing past me into the house. I was surprised that my indoor cats accepted him without drama — especially Herman and Opie who head the Wondepurr Drama Club. Then I found out my petsitter, Michelle, was responsible as he’d talked her into letting him inside! She didn’t realize he was supposed to be 100% outside.
Frank was a charmer, alright.
Frank is near comatose when he sleeps.
Still is! My indoor cats all like him, which tells me Frank totally understood his outside behavior as a rough and tumble fighter would not be acceptable indoor behavior.
Opie and Jack invited Frank to join their Bromance group.
Herman never objected to him joining our family. The girls – Peaches, Gidget, Chauncie Marie, Candy and Elly – all adore him. But it’s Dori with whom Frank has the best relationship. She loves to wrassle and although she’s half his size, Frank is gentle with her, even while throwing her to the ground.
We lost our Buddy in 2013 to a stroke. He was 22 and had been diabetic for 10 years. Looking so much like Buddy, it was easy for Ray and I to love Frank — even when he chomped on our arms.
Eventually the chomping stopped. Frank realized he no longer had to fight for a place to live. He even joined Herman, Ray and I on our nightly walks, trotting easily beside us. Whenever a car went by Frank would move to the grass and lie down. Another clue as to his life before us… although he’s been caught lying on his back in the middle of the street, sunning himself. Idiot!
I had envisioned traveling with Frank, who is very much a cat-dog. But he has severe motion sickness. Going to the vet requires the use of the old van with a tarp on the floor, a litter box (that is never used), two paper toweling rolls, a couple plastic bags and lots of air freshener. Even riding in Herman’s stroller makes Frank throw up.
Going to the vet requires a lot of paper toweling.
As the years have passed, Frank prefers to spend more time indoors than outside. And more often than not, he crawls into bed to lie between us…all sixteen pounds of him. I’ve never seen a cat who sleeps so deeply. Once asleep, he’s out until morning. My husband thinks Frank couldn’t have slept like that while homeless. But now…
When Frank arrived in my yard, I wasn’t in the market for another cat. I already cared for ten ex-strays. But I believe God sends me those who aren’t wanted by others. I currently care for thirteen!
Chevy can thank Frank for the patience I now have dealing with hard-bitten strays. Chevy is still learning proper behavior and something tells me we’re in for a long haul. But Frank taught me the promise of never giving up will eventually be rewarded.
I don’t have snuggly kitties who curl up in my lap. Except for Peaches, Herman and Dori, none of my cats like to lap cuddle. Most of them spent their formative years without a home, so they flee when the door bell rings, a trip to the vet requires lots of planning, and picking most of them up is impossible.
But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I consider them all Blessings. I’ve paid for one cat in my lifetime, a super tiny kitten I rescued from a pet shop in the early 80’s because she was drowning in a small cage filled with about fifty other kittens. All my other cats, including Herman, were strays.
The current membership of the Wonderpurr Gang is Herman, Opie, Peaches, Jack, Jesse, Nikolas, Chauncie Marie, Gidget, Dori, Candy, Frank, Chevy and Elly – all living Happily Ever After because I needed them as much as they needed me.
Remember Me Thursday® is a global awareness campaign uniting individuals and pet adoption organizations around the world as an unstoppable, integrated voice for orphan pets to live in forever homes, not die waiting for them.
On September 28, 2017, the entire world will share the importance of pet adoption and shine a light on all orphan pets waiting in shelters and rescues. In 2016, people using #RememberTheRescue and #RememberMeThursday reached nearly 340 million people on social media.
Can we get even more people sharing the importance of pet adoption in 2017? It’s up to you to spread the word.
I have a special weakness for raccoons. I’ve allowed them to enjoy my back yard for ten years, and because I provide them with fresh water and dog kibble…and peanuts for treats…they welcome me like I’m one of the family. It’s a fair trade. They keep the snakes away.
On June 5th I posted the first photos I took of this summer’s baby raccoons. You can see them by clicking here.
Over the past couple of weeks the babies have become accustomed to seeing me, and don’t run into the woods when I step outside. Yesterday I saw them hanging out in one of the trees, trying to cool off. I thought you would enjoy seeing what I saw.
Upon moving into our home I soon learned the creek behind our house has snakes. I am not a fan of snakes.
So after I read that snakes are not fans of raccoons, I threw down a Welcome Mat to the masked marauders by offering them pools for water and dog kibble and peanuts.
This started back in 2007, and we’ve had a hot and heavy relationship going ever since.
Currently my oldest is Huck, born in 2011. He is blind in one eye and I can tell his sight is failing, but he knows he can come to my porch where I have a tub of water and peanuts reserved just for him.
Lately he’s been bumping his nose against my hand as I fill his water bowl with the kibble and peanuts. At first it took me back as I don’t touch my raccoons. I’ve had babies sit on my feet, but I don’t touch. But after having a close relationship with Huck for six years, I sense it’s his way of making sure I am who he thinks I am.
Huck front and center arrives for breakfast with his family in tow.
By the way, for those of you wondering what a raccoon’s nose feels like–it’s soft and squishy!
Generations of raccoons have made my yard their gathering place for breakfast and dinner. Some were memorable, like Danny who was old and thrust aside by the young turks greedily snapping up food. I instantly won his favor by coaxing him onto the porch where I fed him special foods the others weren’t getting. He would sit next to me munching happily on peanut butter and banana sandwiches while the others ate dog kibble.
For those of you who read Finding Mya — you will recognize both Huck and Danny from the chapter where Herman is taught to survive by the raccoons by raiding the dumpster behind a food store. I used actual photos of both my boys in the book.
Anyway! Spring is here and as of this past weekend the momma’s are now bringing their babies to my yard. I spotted the first baby on Friday night.
The baby was spooked by me tossing kibble to the adults, and scampered up the nearest tree to hide.
“You can come down now.”
I suspect this little one is female. The girls usually stick close to mom, whereas the boys are often more adventurous.
Mom shows her baby the kibble. I toss cat kibble for the babies.
And on Saturday I spotted her with twins!
I suspect the baby on the far right is a boy. I saw him wandering off for an adventure while his sister stuck close to mom.
On Sunday night I spotted triplets…but none of them were willing to pose for a photo.