Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cat's cancerous leg saved - medical science advances

It sounded like a death sentence. Sandy Lerner's 10-year-old cat, Cyrano, was diagnosed with cancer in his leg, and at 28 lbs., wouldn't survive comfortably without all four limbs intact. If amputation wasn't an option, how could she save her beloved pet?

After some research, Lerner stumbled upon the Colorado State University Animal Cancer Center. There, the doctors took on the task to save Cyrano, affectionately known as "Ratty," through tereotactic radiosurgery, a revolutionary radiation treatment done by machine believed to have only been used on dogs.

"They asked if I minded that he would likely be the first cat to do this," Lerner, co-founder of Cisco Systems and Urban Decay cosmetics, tells "But somebody had to be first."

In March, shortly after Cyrano's diagnosis, Lerner flew with her kitty from Virginia to Fort Collins, Colo. "Immediately they did a full-body CT scan, and realized his cancer was localized to his femur, which was lucky," she recalls. "They decided to give him three radiation treatments and some chemotherapy, as well."

Dr. Christine Hardy, director of operations at the Animal Cancer Center, says that while it's unusual to see that type of cancer in a cat, her team of doctors was up to the challenge of saving Cyrano. "We looked at all the information, history and treatment options we had available," she tells "We'd done this numerous times on dogs, so we applied what we'd learned toward treating Cyrano."

Though the clinicians, led by Dr. Stephen Withrow, were confident in their treatment, they knew Cyrano's weight would be a barrier to a healthy future if their plan faltered. "We were really concerned about his prognosis as a three-legged cat — that's a lot of cat to move around on three legs," Hardy says. "We thought if we could treat the tumor, and let him keep his legs, it'd be best for everyone."

Lerner and Cyrano stayed in Colorado for a week, cuddling in her hotel room each night after treatments were finished. "They couldn't have been kinder, gentler or more caring toward him," Lerner says of Withrow, Hardy and their colleagues. "They did exactly what they advertised." She declined to reveal the cost of the procedures.

Now recovering at home with his furry siblings — three cats, one dog, all rescues — Cyrano is basically considered cured. "The tumor is just gone," Lerner says. "We'll have to go in for regular checkups, and he has another few precautionary chemo treatments to take, but I have so much faith in his doctors. He's hardly missed a beat."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Three first born sons and a first kitty

I believe that happy, little face speaks for itself. Joey, my first-born grandchild spent the night with his Mimi on the night that his mommy and daddy were at the hospital because they were about to become parents once again. 

Joey, has cradled in his arms my first kitty, Aurora Katrina. A sweet, precious girl who was tossed out of a moving car in farm country - flung by her leg. Found bawling as loud as she could on the front lawn of a farmhouse in the pouring rain, she made it known that she felt she was worthy of a rescue. And, rescued she was, right into my arms.

 Joey, age 12
It was Joey who taught me that being a grandmother was light-years ahead of being a mother and Aurora Katrina who taught me that kittens are loving, funny, affectionate and cuddly members of your family.

My first son, Dave, with his first son, Daniel holding Rosemary and Zoey (Zoey has since moved in with my son Jeff and his family). Daniel from the moment he first spied one of my kittens fell head over heels in love and he let the world know it, too. The conversation from the moment he came down for breakfast until he went up to bed for the night was the kittens in my house. Toys, kisses, petting them, carrying them around - with Daniel around my home there was no way I was going to have a kitten that didn't feel loved.

Daniel, age 10
Thanks, Jan, (Jan's Funny Farm) for this exercise in finding pictures of animals and children. Even the big children like my grown son, Dave, has brought back so many good memories for me and allowed me to see those precious kittens that are now grown cats that rule my home like true felines of leisure.

Head on over to the dogs' blog, Loving for a Living,  to see more sweet photos of children and pets.

PeeEss: Digby is feeling a teeny, tiny bit better today. Miracles do happen - just ask our dear Maxdog in South Africa. When word gets out that one of our kind needs us we are there encircling them in prayer, purrs and paws. Keep up the good work!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Please visit with Digby as he fights the good fight

If you have not already gone to Wilf and Digby's blog, please go there now. Dear Digby is fighting the good fight against all odds - let's hold his paw and send prayers to the s of the people who love him so dearly.

There are ties that bind all of us together - through the miles and through our vast Universe - the love of another being who oftentimes behaves in a more loving and human manner than ourselves.

National Canine Cancer Foundation

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What is it about little heads and storm grates? Another amazing rescue!

Karen Stone had packed up and gone home for the day when she got a call last week from the Plainfield, Conn., police department. Something about three fox heads sticking up outside of the storm grate.

Stone, an officer with the Plainfield Animal Control, drove out to the grate to assess the situation, and heard from nearby residents that the baby foxes, just a few weeks old, had been stuck there for two days.

"Aren't they adorable? They were feisty little buggers!" Stone tells "I don't know how they got their heads out through there. What we think they did was, they got into the drain opening from the field where they live, and they traveled under the road. They must have come up where they saw the air."

Unable to rescue the fox cubs on her own, Stone called in the fire department's help. They first tried to lift the grate up with the crowbar, and the little foxes, still stuck, could only dangle in the wind.

It was raining and had gotten dark, but a crowd of 50 or 60 people gathered around to watch the rescue efforts. Neighbors started bringing out Vaseline (didn't work), corn oil (neither did that). The firemen discussed cutting through the grate, but that would have certainly cut through the foxes' necks.

Finally, someone brought out a bottle of Dawn dish detergent, which got the foxes' necks slippery enough for Stone to poke their ears through the holes. Their heads popped out into a fireman's arms below.

"Every time I tried to poke their heads through, they were biting at me — thank goodness I had my bite-proof gloves!" Stone says. "At one point, I thought I was going to lose one of them, he was kind of listless, but he perked up when I poked his head. The mother was screaming from her den the whole time."

Stone put the foxes into a dog crate and walked them up to the den, where she returned them to their mother, who had been visiting her cubs and had dropped a little dead mouse beside the grate, possibly in an attempt to feed them.

The foxes, covered in soap, and suffering from some stiff necks and hunger, were otherwise fine and didn't need to be rehabilitated. Stone and the foxes' neighbors have been by the grate several times just to make sure no other little heads are stuck there — though Stone doubts she'll ever see anything like that again.

"Everybody that got to the scene just turned their necks a little and went, 'Huh?'" Stone says. " To have three of them, looking up — this ranks right up at the top of events in my career."

Friday, April 23, 2010

YES YES YES Encourage your representatives and senators to SUPPORT H.R. 5092

The HSUS Calls on Congress to Enact New Law Aimed at Cracking Down on Cruel ‘Crush’ Videos

H.R. 5092 introduced with bipartisan support of more than 50 original cosponsors

The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund urge Congress to work quickly to provide law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on traffickers of animal "crush" videos by passing H.R. 5092. Introduced on Wednesday by Reps. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., James Moran, D-Va., Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and more than 50 other Representatives, this narrowly-crafted statute is designed to end the intentional crushing, burning, drowning and impaling of puppies, kittens and other animals for the depraved purpose of peddling videos of such extreme acts of animal cruelty for the sexual titillation of viewers.

H.R. 5092 was introduced immediately in response to yesterday's Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Stevens. The Court ruled that a law introduced by Rep. Gallegly and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1999, the Depiction of Animal Cruelty Act, was "overbroad" and might capture depictions protected by the First Amendment. The Court acknowledged the long history of animal protection laws in the United States and left open a pathway for Congress to pass a more targeted law aimed at "extreme animal cruelty."

Before the 1999 law was enacted, there were approximately 3,000 of these horrific videos available in the marketplace, selling for up to $300 apiece. That market all but disappeared soon after the law was passed, but since a federal appellate court declared the law unconstitutional in July 2008, crush videos have again proliferated on the Internet.

"Congress should act quickly to enact this legislation to prevent some of the most extreme forms of animal cruelty I have ever seen," said Wayne Pacelle, president & CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. "Anyone who has seen the clips of women in high heels literally crushing small animals will understand the urgency in passing a bill to prevent the sale of these vile images."

"Violence is not a First Amendment issue; it is a law enforcement issue," Rep. Elton Gallegly said. "Ted Bundy and Ted Kaczynski tortured or killed animals before killing people. The FBI, U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice consider animal cruelty to be one of the early warning signs of potential violence by youths. This bill is one step toward ending this cycle of violence."

"I refuse to stand by while people profit from the mutilation and torture of helpless puppies, kittens and other animals." said Rep. Jim Moran. "I look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Gallegly to respond to this decision while preserving the constitutional freedoms all Americans hold dear."

"Animal cruelty is not something to celebrate and circulate online," said Rep. Earl Blumenauer. "On the heels of yesterday's Supreme Court decision, we're taking immediate and bipartisan action to protect animals without infringing on the right to free speech. The bottom line is that we need to protect animals from being tortured or killed in a manner that is criminal or morally reprehensible. No one should be allowed to profit from so-called crush videos or other images of animal cruelty."

The following 56 Representatives are original cosponsors of H.R. 5092:

Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md.

Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.

Mary Bono-Mack, R-Calif.

Kevin Brady, R-Texas

Henry Brown, R-S.C.

Dan Burton, R-Ind.

John Campbell, R-Calif.

Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

Lois Capps, D-Calif.

Mike Castle, R-Del.

Howard Coble, R-N.C.

Steve Cohen, D-Tenn.

Susan Davis, D-Calif.

Bill Delahunt, D-Mass.

Mike Doyle, D-Pa.

Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo.

Sam Farr, D-Calif.

Bob Filner, D-Calif.

Randy Forbes, R-Va.

Trent Franks, R-Ariz.

Elton Gallegly, R-Calif.

Jim Gerlach, R-Pa.

John Hall, R-Texas

Phil Hare, D-Ill.

Rush Holt, D-N.J.

Steve Israel, D-N.Y.

Dale Kildee, D-Mich.

Peter King, R-N.Y.

Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio

Jerry Lewis, R-Calif.

John Lewis, D-Ga.

John Linder, R-Ga.

Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J.

Buck McKeon, R-Calif.

Gary Miller, R-Calif.

Jeff Miller, R-Fla.

Gwen Moore, D-Wis.

Jim Moran, D-Va.

John Olver, D-Mass.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.

Steven Rothman, D-N.J.

Ed Royce, R-Calif.

Linda Sanchez, D-Calif.

Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif.

Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.

Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

Aaron Schock, R-Ill.

Brad Sherman, D-Calif.

Lamar Smith, R-Texas

Betty Sutton, D-Ohio

Fred Upton, R-Mich.

Diane Watson, D-Calif.

Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y.

Ed Whitfield, R-Ky.

Joe Wilson, R-S.C.

Frank Wolf, R-Va.

National Canine Cancer Foundation

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kitty learns that just because your head fits it doesn't mean that YOU will!

Mimi's note: This cat doesn't know how lucky she was because had her head not gotten caught in the drain grate, she would have fallen through and probably have died in the sewer system. To say Emme the cat has a wild streak is an understatement. According to her owner, LeeAnn Spiess, the four-legged fur ball has always had a flair for the dramatic.

The sneaky shorthaired grey cat has a history of being locked in a neighbor's basement and even wound up in the back of a delivery truck, taking a joy ride throughout her home state of Massachusetts.

"This is a cat who came to our door several years ago starving and skinny," Spiess tells

That was about 10 years ago, and Emme (named for her beautiful emerald green eyes) has been on mischievous adventures ever since.

"She just wants to get out," Spiess says. "She has that hunting instinct."

Emme's latest stunt nearly cost the cat her life. On April 13, she darted out the door while Spiess was letting her dog in and never returned home. "I was convinced we lost her for good," Spiess recalls.

The next morning, a startled neighbor discovered Emme dangling from a storm drain grate just one street away from the Spiess home. Animal Control and local firefighters were called in to help rescue the terrified cat.

"They had to remove the whole grate with Emme still in it," Spiess explains. "And then transport the grate with Emme stuck in it to the animal hospital."

Not knowing whom the cat belonged to; police nicknamed her "Rubik" because the grate looked like a Rubik's Cube. Emme was safely freed from the grate, but suffered a swollen head, hypothermia and was traumatized. She was sedated and given medication during her one-night stay at ACORN Animal Hospital.

Norfolk, Mass., police say they don't know how long the cat was hanging, but they don't think foul play was a factor.

"They think she was chased by another animal and got scared," Spiess says. "I was sick. I said, 'Oh my God, that poor thing.' "

On Thursday, the horrified but relieved mother reunited with Emme at the veterinarian's office and took her home. "I just took her in my arms and she was purring up a storm. I was just so ecstatic and so happy she was okay."

Emme is doing well, resting and cuddling at home, and she seems to have changed her wild ways—at least for now.

"She has no desire to get out of the house," Spiess says. "She's certainly used several of her lives here with us, and who knows how many she's used prior."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Supreme Court upholds the viewing and selling of CRUSH VIDEOS AND DOG FIGHT VIDEOS!

Mimi's note: I am an American. I am a proud American. I love my country. With that said, I also want to state that those who are charged with upholding and interpreting our Constitution stretch what our forefathers intended TOO FAR! My heart is breaking. I can't stop crying. I rail against the Supreme Court's inhumane decision. I won't tell you what I wish for each and every one of them - democrat or republican or independent. Right now - this very minute - I AM ASHAMED to live in a country where such ignorance is held up as the foundation to our Freedom of Speech.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court, with only one dissenting vote Tuesday, struck down a federal ban on videos that show graphic violence against animals. The ruling cheered free speech advocates, but it raised concerns that more animals will be harmed.

The justices threw out the criminal conviction of Robert Stevens of Pittsville, Va., who was sentenced to three years in prison for videos he made about pit bull fights.

The law was enacted in 1999 to limit Internet sales of so-called crush videos, which appeal to a certain sexual fetish by showing women crushing to death small animals with their bare feet or high-heeled shoes.

The videos virtually disappeared once the measure became law, the government argued. The Bush administration used the law for the first time when it indicted Stevens in 2004.

All 50 states have laws against animal cruelty, but the federal statute targeted the videos because it has been difficult to prosecute people who take part in violence against animals with a camera rolling, but not showing their faces.

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, said the law goes too far. He suggested that a measure limited to crush videos might be valid.

The Humane Society of the United States said it would press Congress to adopt a narrower ban on the sale of videos showing "malicious acts of cruelty." Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., is looking at whether there is a way "to protect animal rights, which really is the main focus, without infringing on free speech," Blumenauer spokeswoman Erin Allweiss said.

In dissent, Justice Samuel Alito, a dog owner himself, said the harm animals suffer in dogfights is enough to sustain the law. Alito's dog, Zeus, a springer spaniel, is sometimes seen around the court being walked by Alito's wife, Martha-Ann.

Alito also said the ruling probably will spur new crush videos because it has "the practical effect of legalizing the sale of such videos."

Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle said hundreds of crush videos appeared on the Internet after a federal appeals court ruled in Stevens' favor in 2008. "This court ruling is going to accelerate that trend. That's why it's critical that the Congress take action," he said.

Other animal rights groups, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and 26 states also joined the Obama administration in support of the law. The government sought a ruling that treated videos showing animal cruelty like child pornography – that is, not entitled to constitutional protection.

But Roberts said the law could be read to allow the prosecution of the producers of films about hunting. And he scoffed at the administration's assurances that it would only apply the law to depictions of extreme cruelty.

"But the First Amendment protects against the government," Roberts said. "We would not uphold an unconstitutional statute merely because the government promised to use it responsibly."

Free speech advocates praised Tuesday's ruling.

"Speech is protected whether it's popular or unpopular, harmful or unharmful," said David Horowitz, executive director of the Media Coalition. The group submitted a brief siding with Stevens on behalf of booksellers, documentary film makers, theater owners, writers groups and others.

Stevens ran a business and Web site that sold videos of pit bull fights. He is among a handful of people prosecuted under the animal cruelty law, none of them for making crush videos. He noted in court papers that his sentence was 14 months longer than professional football player Michael Vick's prison term for running a dogfighting ring.

A federal judge rejected Stevens' First Amendment claims, but the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled in his favor.

The administration persuaded the high court to intervene, but for the second time this year, the justices struck down a federal law on free speech grounds. In January, the court invalidated parts of a 63-year-old law aimed at limiting corporate and union involvement in political campaigns.

The case is U.S. v. Stevens, 08-769.

Leave a Facebook Message, Walmart will donate $ to ASPCA! Want to help shelter pets, but don't have the extra cash to spare? Well, after visiting to donate food to animals in need (for free!), head over to, where Walmart and the ASPCA have joined forces to help adoptable animals everywhere in honor of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month.

Once you log on to Facebook, post a message on the Lend a Paw campaign page, and Walmart will automatically donate $1 to the ASPCA — up to $100,000 total. It's an easy way to lend a hand (or paw) to our furry friends who need it most.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cat do things a little different "down under"... It's winter in the southern hemisphere, but Melbourne's famous swimming cat doesn't mind staying out of the pool for a while — she has her baths to satisfy her love of water.

That's right, Prinny the cat relishes taking a dip now and then, and her doglike capacity to swim and be wet has produced baffled headlines the world over.

Her owner, 19-year-old Rebecca Lee, has been pleasantly surprised by all the attention. To her, 2-year-old Prinny is just another one of her swimming cats — Lee's family has another cat, Tommy, who enjoys doing a few watery laps now and then.

"Even when she was little, we used to give her baths, and she never jumped out," Lee tells "And then when we got the pool, she would always hang around. It was a really hot day, I had her in my arms, and I just decided to walk her in — and she liked it!"

When one of Lee's dogs, Bandit, was experiencing back problems, she decided to try water therapy, and took him to Doggy Paddle, a hydrotherapy pool. She told the owner, Jacque Olsen, about Prinny's unique abilities, and Olsen suggested that Lee bring Prinny in with Bandit as well.

Other observers of Prinny's aquatic nature are usually just confused.

"They don't understand why a cat actually likes swimming," she says, "but they think it's really weird and cool."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

BAD KITTY CATS CLUB members, come SEE what I found!

I found this and couldn't resist sharing it with the mommas and daddas of the members of the BAD KITTY CATS CLUB! Isn't this adorable! You can find it for sale here at the Animal Rescue site.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Let's have some fun☺ Let's make a kitty all by ourselves☺

Things have been a little sad on my blog. It's good for us to be aware of the injustices in the world so we can change them, but it's also great to have some fun, too! How about making a whole basket full of kitties in different colors? (Click to biggy-fy! If you like making these, click on the title of this post and you will find many and many more for your fun and pleasure!)

Thursday, April 8, 2010


The following video is DISTURBING. I watched it because I am deeply involved in animal welfare. All I ask is that you PRAY for this cat and PRAY HARD for it to live. It deserves to know that there are people on this earth who are kind and loving.

What is my prayer? My prayer is that the person or persons who did this horrific act are plagued with boils on their private parts for the REST OF THEIR NATURAL LIVES.

My cats are inside. They don't NEED to go outside to be happy. THIS is why my cats stay inside. PLEASE SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR PETS! Those who can't find homes lead miserable, frightening lives.

UPDATE: This kitty has passed away. May it run happily at the bridge and rest in the loving arms of angels.