Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Garfield the Cat: A two-week test

In the previous entry, Garfield's rescuer (Lisa) wanted to drop him off for a two-week test...that day. It's not that we didn't want to welcome Garfield into our home, it's that we didn't expect him to come into our lives before we bought his food, another litter box, and set up a room for him. We also needed to read up a little on introducing a new cat to Chester. And we had to mentally prepare for a new cat. I asked if he could be dropped off the next evening instead to which she agreed.

I learned a few things when Lisa dropped off Garfield. Other people were interested in adopting Garfield but  our experience with the exotic shorthair breed helped to make us the number one choice. I think Lisa also liked our family situation in that we don't have kids but consider our animals as our children. She saved Garfield from such a crummy situation and he has such a good personality that she didn't want to just leave him with anyone.

I already posted one video of Garfield. I made a few of these because I don't remember as many details as I would like about Chester's first days with us and I wanted to have a better record this time. This was happening so fast and there was so much to tell, I wanted to get it all down in my own words but in the quickest way possible.

Here's Garfield's first video:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Garfield the Cat: Decisions

Walking home, I started whining that I felt bad for Garfield. Andy knew where this was going so he went through a very long and persuasive (and sometimes ridiculous) list of reasons why he would make someone else - but not us - a good cat. This list included: he would scratch up the furniture, how do we know that he is housebroken, what if he doesn't use the litterbox, Chester hates other cats, Chester will beat him up, one cat is enough, what if I'm allergic (Andy has severe asthma and allegies and is allergic to cats - but not to Chester), etc.

At home, I posted pictures (with captions about Garfield along with contact information) to social networking sites and contacted other bloggers in the NYC area. I even e-mailed the links to the rescuer to show her that I was making good and publicizng Garfield.

I woke up in the middle of the night and wept about the cat - his plight and that I couldn't help him. Then, I made a decision - I e-mailed the rescuer and told her that I wanted to be considered as someone who could adopt Garfield and could she bring Garfield over for a couple of hours to see how he and Chester got along.

Not only did I receive a yes answer the next morning, but Lisa offered to drop Garfield off that day for a two-week stay!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Garfield the Cat: Can Someone Adopt Me?

I couldn't include a cliffhanger in this story if not for us ultimately adopting Garfield ;)

Our next stop was to be an appliance store to browse at washing machines and dryers, but I asked my husband if he wouldn't mind us stopping to check in on the cat.  Very quickly after returning, a couple of things happened.  Andy said I should share pictures of the cat on social media sites on which I participate. The other thing is that I started rubbing the kitty's cheek at which point he did a big stretch (that's my hand!)

I had asked the woman (Lisa) who was in charge of the kitty if all of this was ok before I started shooting  away with my iPad's camera. I also explained that my cat is the same breed and he has a small but passionate following on the internet.

I soon learned that the cat was named Garfield, he had all of his shots and was healthy (she wrote down all of the details of the tests for which he tested negative), he was neutered, and had been living in the basement of a 99 Cent store in the Inwood section of Manhattan. To emphasize Garfield's plight, Lisa said that he was treated like trash. The previous owner was a cashier working in the store and it was she who surrendered the cat to the rescue organization. The cashier's daughter adopted the cat while she was at college in a town an hour north of New York City. The girl brought the cat back home with her but ended up not going back to the school. The mother became the cat's caretaker and really did the best she could. She took the cat to work with her but the store manager did not want the cat on the sales floor so he was banished to the basement. The rescuer lived in the same neighborhood as the store and intervened on behalf of the cat.

Just an aside that as I write this, I still have a hard time dealing with how Garfield must have been living. Persian and Exotic Shorthair cats are bred as indoor-only cats and Garfield was made to be the store's mouser. He lived (for a cat what might be akin to) how Charles Dickens described the conditions of the poor and orphans in the England of his time; the Garfield we adopted was filthy, smelled bad, and was underweight.

He relished the times we visited him in the bathroom where we kept him until we were sure it was time to make one-on-one introductions between him and Chester:

Friday, July 20, 2012

Garfield the Cat: It's hot outside

Further to the speculation that this was fate is just how many delays there were involving this errand and how we ran into it on that day. As to Andy setting this up, no way, no how ;)

And now back to the story. When we got to the cat's crate, I noticed that his body was moving up and down very quickly in his ribcage area indicating to me that he was breathing fast. I grew worried because flat faced cats (and dogs) can have breathing problems under certain conditions that other cats (and dogs) don't (the other cats were breathing normally). I couldn't tell who was with the adoption event but I asked and found the woman who was overseeing this cat. I explained my concern and said that the cat needed to be inside where there was air conditioning (it was a very hot day, another reason I didn't want to go on the errand). I can't remember the exact exchange but she said there were ice packs underneath the towel lining the bottom of the cage and they were thinking about bringing him inside. I believe it was at that point that one of the volunteers began brushing the cat with a small slicker brush that quickly filled with a lot of fur.

Sadly, we had to leave in order to make our appointment.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Garfield the cat

This is Chester and Garfield's mom Janna. Thanks everyone for the squees and the welcome to the more-than-one-cat club ;) I had hoped to post one big entry about Garfield coming into our lives but I'm a little slow when it comes to writing and the adjustment to a 2-cat household plus my job (again!) have hampered that plan! Instead, let me write about Garfield in short installments.

Not many weeks back, my husband enticed me to join him on an errand by using Chipotle as bait. After lunch, we were walking to our destination (a New York thing to do) when across the street, there was a small cat adoption event on the sidewalk in front of a pet store (again, a common New York occurrence). I didn't even want to cross the avenue to see the cats (Andy's allergic to cats, except for Chester, and it's emotionally difficult for me to see cats I can't have), but Andy persuaded me.

As we got closer, I saw something I had long hoped to see at an adoption event...an Exotic Shorthair!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

More of my grandkitties need homes!

Chester here! Wow, there has been a lot going on (and mom is so behind on reading my comments to me!)...but back to Chester business. My old mom at pinkpalacepersians.com still needs to find good homes for some of my grandkitties. She contacted me purrsonally:

I have some kittens about ready for new homes if you know anyone who would like a loving lap cat that can give sandpaper kisses -Sandra

It's best to e-mail Ms. Sandra directly at worrall37122 AT yahoo DOT com because she said there were 3 litters of kittens and there might be some that aren't shown on the pinkpalacepersians.com website.

Without further ado:

This is 2 pictures of the same boy - he has two different colored eyes and is an exotic long hair


This is a silver patch tabby & white exotic girl (my dad Andy loves her coloring!)

These next two girls are for show/breeder homes only

White Exotic Blue eyed girl

Calico Exotic girl

Friday, July 6, 2012


Chester's mom Janna here. I haven't posted for a couple of weeks so I wanted to put an update of sorts here. I have been working with Cathy from Houston to feature her cat Target (who looks a lot like Chester) along with his family on the blog. Then, life happened to Cathy so I want to change the focus from a fun entry or two to something else. There might not be a blog entry yet, but I've made a new (human) friend in the process.The other big news is that Chester has a new brother; he currently goes by the name of Garfield and is a rescue exotic shorthair. I have been posting mostly on Tumblr about this because I like to think of this platform as the one where more thought goes into the entries and Tumblr allowed me to keep journal-style entries. Without futher ado, meet Garfield!