cat facts, shelter information

Tortitude? Definitely!

What is Tortitude, you ask? Have a seat with your favorite feline to find out.

A Tortoiseshell cat is a feline with a little bit more Catitude. Us cats all have Catitude. Some of us just have a paw bit more (or at least that is what the feline experts say).

My opinion, although, I’m just a cat, is that Tortoiseshell cats are indeed a little more feisty, a little more independent, but alot of pretty. They are often referred to as “Torties” for short.

I secretly always had a feline crush on Snickers at the El Refugio Costa Ballena Shelter with her beautiful shiny black and red coat. Look at how regal she is (WOW MEOW)!

Another fascinating fact about Torties, is that Torties are almost always female. Just 1 in 3000 are male. At the El Refugio Costa Ballena shelter, they currently only have 3 Torties, and yes, you guessed it – they are all female! Torties are pretty rare indeed!

I also read in my research, that Torties can bring money, have psychic abilities and see into the future. I’m not usually a superstitious feline, but these days, any extra cash for catnip is a vote for me.

So, if you are in the Costa Ballena area of Costa Rica, adopt yourself your very own Tortie cat from El Refugio. Or, if you are in another area of the world, go to your local animal shelter and adopt yourself some Tortie love. You will be widely entertained, gifted with riches, and of course, madly loved by your new Tortie Cat. Let yourself be loved by a feline. Life is always better with a feline in it.

Cheers,

Norman the Cat

Joke of the Day: Why aren’t dogs good dancers? Answer. Because they have two left feet!

Don’t forget to spay & neuter your cats & dogs.  There can be too much of a good thing!  There’s only so much catnip to go around. 

Cats and wildlife live longer when cats stay indoors. 

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cat facts, love, shelter information

The Feline Five…we have personalities too!

Do you ever wonder if us fantastic felines have personalities too? Well, as a matter of fur fact, we do! We have many different fascinating personalities, just like you!

One purrfectly awesome reason to adopt a kitty cat from El Refugio Costa Ballena animal shelter (although, there are many!!) is because the shelter is a house with 3 big open rooms where the cats roam, rest, and play freely. Because of this unique environment, the shelter volunteers are able to see each cat’s personalty in action! When you come to adopt your new feline family member, the shelter volunteers can help you find the purrfect feline for you!!

So, let me introduce you to the Feline Five personalities and some of the felines at El Refugio Costa Ballena that represent them.

Affectionate and Sociable, also called the “love mooch”. They just can’t seem to get enough of You and your attention. They love to be near their human. Mickey from El Refugio Costa Ballena is a love mooch.

Mickey at El Refugio

The Chatty Cat speaks in almost complete sentences (wow MEOW). If you love the sound of meows, this is the purrfect type of cat for you! But, rumor has it, if you talk to your cat, eventually your cat will talk back to you. Remember my recent blogs, “Whoever said Cats don’t Speak”, along with “How to talk Cat”? Please read up and soon you will be talking with your feline family member!

We’ve had quite a few “talkers” at El Refugio, like Keylor and Rocky (boy, could they talk!). And, yes, ME – I bet you are not surprised! But, Keylor, Rocky, and me have all been adopted (we are sooo happy!). Although Havy, a foxy feline at El Refugio, I’ve heard is becoming quite the “chatty cat” these days.

Havy is Heartsome!

The Movie Star is El Refugio’s Twix. He is full of sass and enjoys showing off. Give him a little attention, and he will give you a free show of fun and laughter.

Twix is a Movie Star

The Shy and Aloof Type – the Mysterious Stranger. Now, don’t let “shy” scare you away. This type of cat is great for the undemanding human who doesn’t want or expect ongoing attention from their feline. Often shy or aloof felines are independent and very sweet like Gody at El Refugio Costa Ballena.

Gody is Shy but very sweet

Lastly, we have the Leader of the Pack (although, I guess I should have started with this one – haha, I crack myself up sometimes…) With lots of spunk and independence, this type of cat loves her human, but isn’t a “lap cat”. She is fine with being near but not too close. She will give you attention, but often on her terms. In a multi-cat household, she is often the first one to the food dish and water bowl. Rica at El Refugio is definitely a “Leader of the Pack”.

Rica is sweet sass

So, there you have it – Personalities for every type. Each Feline Five personality is sure to bring you and your family a lifetime of love and gratitude.

Cheers,

Norman

“I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It’s not. Mine had me trained in two days.”

– Bill Dana

Don’t forget to spay & neuter your cats & dogs.  There can be too much of a good thing!  There’s only so much catnip to go around. 

Cats and wildlife live longer when cats stay indoors. 

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Before you adopt, cat facts, health benefits, life lessons, Uncategorized

I am Proud to be called an Indoor Cat!

I am an Indoor cat. I am not ashamed. I am Proud to be called an Indoor Cat.

Us Cats do get a bad rap when it comes to outdoor living. We have a strong, natural prey instinct, that yes, includes prey! Prey really is anything that wiggles, or scurries, or flies. Did you know, loose cats are estimated to kill hundreds of millions of birds each year!

What are the benefits of being an OUTDOOR Cat? Well, the biggest benefit is probably that your feline will be more trim because he is often the one being HUNTED! Depending on where the cat calls home, there could be fox, coyotes, snakes, alligators, and even the neighbor’s dog hunting your cat! Oh boy, if this isn’t enough to bring your cat indoors…I don’t know what is.

What are the benefits of being an INDOOR Cat? There are sooo many! But the best reason is…

YOU will have many many more years with your feline friend. An Outdoor cat will (if she is lucky) live just 2 yearswhile an indoor cat could live over 17 years! Now, that is a lot of kitty kisses, purr healing magic, and cat snuggles. Just think, I am almost 3 years old. If I lived outside, I would probably be on my 2nd, 3rd, or maybe my last life! I would not even have met my human family yet (big double meow sigh).

Do I miss outdoor living? Not at all, I haven’t been there (ha ha). But, like all cats, us Indoor Cats need exercise, mental stimulation, and ways to be a “cat”. So, we need things like scratching posts, toys, perches to rest on, and other cats to play with. Even a friendly family dog will do (sometimes)! Plus, of course, we need our humans to interact with us on a daily basis. If you are thinking of bringing home a new feline family member, and an indoor one – thank you!, here are some tips to get your home (and your family) ready.

If you still insist on having an Outdoor Cat, please consider the following:

  1. Keep your feline updated on all necessary vaccinations (you will need lots more for an outdoor cat)
  2. Bring your feline indoors at night (every night!), and most importantly – consider keeping your cat indoors all of the time (hey, can’t blame a cat for trying).
  3. Also, when you adopt a cat from a shelter (thank you!), and plan to have your cat be an outdoor cat (although, I would love you to reconsider), please keep your cat Indoors Only for the first 3 months! A cat needs this amount of time to learn where “home” is. Unfortunately, I have heard recent stories of adopted cats from shelters sometimes getting lost and not finding their way back to their new home or even running back to the shelter (where they called home), because they just weren’t ready to be outside yet. Please give your new cat time to feel comfortable in your home. Some cats just take a little longer than others.

So my Feline Friends – Stand Tall and Be Proud to be called an Indoor Cat.

Cheers,

Norman

Cats and wildlife live longer when cats stay indoors. 

Don’t forget to spay & neuter your cats & dogs.  There can be too much of a good thing!  There’s only so much catnip to go around. 

FELNE FAVORITE OF THE DAY

Cadbury at El Refugio Costa Ballena

Cadbury

Hi, my name is CADBURY. My siblings and I were found at a bus stop when we were tiny kittens. Thankfully an El Refugio volunteer saw us and brought us to the shelter. 

I am now a young male cat.  If you like sweets, I’m your cat!  With my purrs, my eye kisses, and my paw tickles, you will be the happiest human ever. I love getting petted on my back too! Let’s make chocolate together!  I am waiting for you at El Refugio. xoxo Cadbury

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cat facts, donation information, shelter information, Uncategorized

All I Want for Christmas is….

My human came up to me yesterday and asked me “Angel (that’s what she calls me now, along with “Sweetie”, “Sunshine”, “Baby”, oh, and “Norman”) what do you want for Christmas?” My answer was easy, but I really wanted some belly rubbing first and cat kisses next, and then some petting time, but then after all of that – my answer was…

All I want for Christmas is ….

For ALL the felines to be adopted at El Refugio Animal Shelter in Costa Ballena, Costa Rica. I know that may be a big wish, soo how about just the felines who have been at the shelter longer than a one year – “the long-timers” we call them. I was one of the founding members of the long-timers club. And honestly, I wouldn’t lie to you, this is a good group of felines. Not only are they smart, super socialized, and confident; they are talented in ways you can’t even imagine. Let me tell you about some of them. And, to see their gorgeous coats and find out more about them, just click on their names.

HUNTER is a lover. You will find him most days cuddled up next to another cat (or kitten) or giving them a bath. He wants a home with another cat or two or three…

PRINCE is a human cat. He loves humans, he might actually think he is one. He is a little timid around other cats and wants a home where he can spoil a human on his own or with just one other cat purrty please.

Hunter and Bryan dreaming about each other.

JACOB, ALICIA, and BRYAN are all orange tabbies like me. So they are all pretty awesome and have many Tabby Talents.

CADBURY, ROLO, and TWIX are all siblings and were abandoned at a bus stop as kittens. Thankfully, they were rescued and brought to the shelter by a wonderful human. As their names imply, they are yummy SWEET.

BANDIT is a black beauty. She is really friendly and confident. As one of my previous blogs pointed out, she really is the Envy of Us Cats.

SNICKERS is a sensitive Tortoiseshell cat with a little bit of Tortitude. She is sweet as her name implies but also is independent and curious.

MÁGICA is a beautiful calico cat. She has special needs so she needs an extra special human to adopt her. She would do best in a household without those clumsy dogs but friendly cats are fine. Remember, Calico cats will bring you Fortune.

MICKEY is a gorgeous Tuxedo cat. He is super friendly with humans and other cats. He is confident and quite sassy. He has a little bit of Tuxitude and a lot of love.

Mickey at El Refugio

TONY is a Mackerel Tabby but we call him Tony the Tiger at the shelter. And, since he is a Tabby, he is very intelligent and curious. Plus, he is super friendly. Even though he looks like a Tiger, he is as gentle as a pussy cat.

SMOKY has SuperPowers. Seriously, he can fly. All the cats at the shelter marvel at his jumping abilities and his prowess.

So, there you have it. My Christmas Wish. While yes, adopting any of these gorgeous felines will give a wonderful Christmas gift to them, you cannot even imagine the gift it will bring to you and your family. You know, A Cat is just an Angel with Whiskers. Who doesn’t need another Angel to help out on this place we call Earth.

If you can’t adopt now, although I hope that you can, would you consider donating for their care. You can even pick one of their names and donate in “his” or “her” or “their” names. It is super easy to do. There is even a Monthly Donors program. Every amount counts because every paw matters, and El Refugio Costa Ballena has lots of paws to take care of at the shelter.

Until we meet again sweet Humans, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Norman

“Don’t listen to them

You’re not fat, you’re fluffy”

Mickey is full of Fluff
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cat facts, funny, health benefits, life lessons, love, shelter information, success story, Uncategorized

How to talk Cat. I’ve got the secret catnip!

Have you ever wondered how to talk to your Cat? In my last blog “Whoever said Cats don’t speak never stopped to truly listen” I shared with you how to listen to your feline friend’s meows and know what he is saying to you.

Now, I will share with you the secret language between felines and humans. So, go find your favorite feline and cuddle up for some tantalizing catnip. Both you and your feline will be soo happy you did!

First things first, bring up my last blog “Whoever said Cats don’t speak never stopped to truly listen” and reacquaint yourself with how a cat speaks to you through verbal meows and body language.

Remember, cats rarely vocalize with other cats (unless they are angry), so the meow you hear from your feline family member is targeted at you (oh, aren’t you lucky!). She is trying to say something special to you. Open your ears and and also watch her body language to start the communication. Here are three purrfect ways to speak Cat.

Tone. The tone of your voice is very important when communicating with your cat. Let’s say your feline has a bad habit of jumping on your keyboard when you are working (hmmmm, I NEVER do that).

For us to learn this isn’t acceptable behavior, a firm “No” with a stern voice helps us cats know we did something that wasn’t acceptable. While we might try it again (and again, and again…), we will eventually figure it out with consistency. Consistency is the key (ha ha, get it? “key” – keyboard).

And for praise, we love your high pitched happy voice with a smile. A smile always goes a long way with communication. Keylor at the El Refugio Costa Ballena animal shelter is one of the most vocal cats at the shelter and he has the coolest smile.

Keylor at El Refugio Costa Ballena

And, here’s awesome Rocky from the El Refugio Costa Ballena shelter. He was talking to my human while she was at the shelter.

Rocky loves to MEOW

What do you think he is saying to her? I’ll give you three guesses. Yes, you are right! He is saying “Adopt me, take me home with you!”. Thankfully (for me), she didn’t understand him because she hadn’t read my previous blog yet! (I want my human all to myself.) And, I hear through the catvine that Rocky was recently adopted, so all is purrfect.

Hand Commands. When my human wants me to cuddle with her, she pats her hand on the couch for me to join her. Or, if she wants me to jump down from the counter because she doesn’t want me eating her dinner (sigh), she will say “Down” sternly and point her hand towards the floor.

Give your cat Love Blinks. Oh, I love this one! I LOVE when my human love blinks me. At least, I think that is what she is doing. Anywho, to practice a love blink, do this – close your eyes slowly as you think “I,” hold them closed as you think “love,” and open them slowly as you thinkyou.” This will surely make your feline Purr. And, the beautiful sounds of a purring cat not only make my human happy but also help alleviate her stress, her anxiety, and help heal her body. Aren’t cats amazing!

Now go practice some love blinks with your favorite feline. And, I’ll go take a well deserved catnap.

I LOVE my catnaps.

Cheers,

Norman

“I hate Mondays. – Garfield”


Don’t forget to spay & neuter your cats & dogs.  There can be too much of a good thing!  There’s only so much catnip to go around. 

Cats and wildlife live longer when cats stay indoors. 

FELNE FAVORITE OF THE DAY

A video of Cats that have been at the El Refugio Costa Ballena Shelter longer than 1 year!
Let’s ADOPT them all!!
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Ollie Photo Credit: Dasha @daryaseafilms
cat facts, funny, love, shelter information, Uncategorized

Whoever said Cats don’t speak never stopped to truly listen.

Have you ever wondered what your feline friend is talking (meowing) about when you arrive home? Or, did you actually think you understood your cat but thought you might be going crazy (lol). Well, I am here today to confirm, yes, you are crazy (ha ha, just kidding) and yes, you can understand what your cat is telling you if you know how to listen. In this blog, I will share with you some of our fantastic feline communication so you can hear what your cat is telling you.

What are your feline’s different meows telling you?

  1. A Short meow: “Hi, how are you?”
  2. Multiple meows: “I am so happy to see you, where have you been?” I do this a lot. My humans talk right back to me, but I have no clue what they are saying!
  3. Mid-pitch meow: “I’m hungry or I want to go outside.”
  4. Drawn-out mrrraaaaaoooow: “Did you forget to feed me, seriously?” I meow like this every morning. My human Leo is definitely getting trained (lol).
  5. Low pitched mraaooww: “Really, this is what I get for dinner,” or similar complaint.
  6. High-pitch RRRROWW!: “OUCH!!”
  7. Purr: Usually a sign of happiness, but can also be a sign of fear or pain. My human loves when I purr. She gets this pretty smile on her face and starts to pet me. Purring is magic.
  8. Hiss: “Keep away, I am angry right now.”
  9. Clicking or chirping: Cats who are watching prey will make this sound. I live in the rainforest of Costa Rica, and I love watching the parrots and toucans from my window. I know my chirping is bringing the birds closer. I can’t go outside, but sometimes I sure want too.

What about that tail of ours, is it telling you humans something? Yes!!

  1. Tail straight up in the air. Confidence and Contentment.
  2. Tail is straight up with a curl at the end: Happy to see you. Time for Fun.
  3. Tail swishing side to side: Excited, watching her prey.
  4. Tail wrapped around you or another animal. Similar to a human wrapping his arm around you. Love.
  5. Straight in the air and shakes/vibrates. Excited for you and or food (always!).
  6. Puffy tail. Frightened.
  7. Tail held low and tucked: Frightened, uneasy.

Eyes. Have you ever noticed that us cats don’t have eyebrows? Whereas humans do (of course) and so do those smelly dogs. Just call your dog’s name, well, you may have to call it a few times for him to actually look at you (ha ha) but when he does, do you see his eyebrows? Do the same to us cats, and yep, no eyebrows. But, we do have very telling pupils. Read on.

  1. Dilated (large) Pupils. Excited and maybe fear.
  2. Constricted Pupils, which means eyes are big and round and their pupils are the size of pinpricks. We are preparing to attack!
  3. Squinted or half-closed eyes. Affection, relaxation, and possibly that we are just going to fall asleep.
  4. Blink at your cat. When your cat is staring at you (which she will), try blinking at her. If she blinks back, she trusts and loves you. These are called cat kisses, they are lovely (for us cats too).

Head. What is going on with our ears, and all those mysterious things we do with our head?

  1. If our ears are pinned back, your cat is frightened or anxious.
  2. Rubbing head against human or animal. Your cat is staking ownership or just saying hello.
  3. Head-butting. This is a sign of affection and friendship.
  4. Wet nose kiss. Affection
  5. Licking. The best sign of affection, or you forgot to clean up after dinner.

Now that you know our secret communications, you can watch and listen to what your favorite feline is saying to you. In my next blog, I will share with you how you can speak Cat too!

Cheers,

Norman

“Oh no! I overslept! I’m late! For my nap.
Garfield

Don’t forget to spay & neuter your cats & dogs.  There can be too much of a good thing!  There’s only so much catnip to go around. 

Cats and wildlife live longer when cats stay indoors. 

FELNE FAVORITE OF THE DAY

Ollie from the El Refugio Shelter Costa Ballena Costa Rica

Hi, my name is Ollie. I am a very young cat, and full of fun and sass. My nickname is “Socks” because I have white socks on my feet. I can purr, and I can make you giggle and laugh. Come meet me at El Refugio in Costa Ballena. Hugs Ollie

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cat facts, donation information, funny, love, shelter information, Uncategorized, volunteers

A day in the life of a Shelter Cat

Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a Shelter Cat is like? Well, if you think we are stuck in cages – you are sooo wrong! At El Refugio‘s shelter it is really more like a sanctuary. You don’t believe me? Okay then, find a sunny spot to cuddle up with your favorite feline, and I’ll fill you in on shelter life.

Since I am adopted now (oh, I really love my new home!), I would like to introduce you to my guest feline writer today “Papaya“. She is a beauty isn’t she? I still have a cat crush on her (don’t tell her though, I am shy – lol). Isn’t she just the cat’s meow!!!

Alright Papaya, I’m all cuddled up with my favorite human and ready to hear all about El Refugio’s beautiful sanctuary (let’s be sure to chat later to hear all about the latest catnip at the shelter).

I love cuddling next to my human (purrrrrrr)

Thanks Norman, you really put me in a purr mood when I heard your handsome meows. We miss you at the shelter. I especially miss you since you know how I am shy and sometimes the younger cats pick on me. No worries, I can handle them, but I do miss our afternoon catnaps together (sigh). Okay, let’s talk “a day in the life of a shelter cat.”

First off, Norman wasn’t kitten around, we really don’t live in cages. And, we never call them cages any who, the ones we have at the shelter are called “cat condos”. While there are some cat condos inside the shelter, these are reserved for cats with special needs. For example, like pretty Priscilla who was found at the beach with a broken leg. (Who would do such a thing to a baby kitten!!) She stayed in a cat condo until her leg was healed, and now she is running around having a blast with the other kittens and cats.

Baby Priscilla

Another reason the condos are used are when cats and kittens are found in the streets or dropped off at the shelter. To protect the rest of us cats, the new cats and kittens need to be in quarantine for awhile just to make sure they are healthy. And, the last reason I can think of, is when we have a new mama cat and kittens that need some time on their own until the babies are big enough to be away from their mama. Or, the mama just needs some time away from her babies to rest. If you are a mama, you definitely know what I am talking about here!!!

So, at the El Refugio shelter, we live in an open space where we can roam free in three big rooms. We have cat trees throughout the space and toys and shelves with warm, cozy blankets to lay on.

Who brought the cardboard box? FUN!!!
We have the BEST cat trees!

We even have giant, funny humans to play with us. Sometimes, they are better than toys. They really do make us felines laugh. We even have a human (we call her Tia Karol) who we LOVE SO MUCH that stays most nights at the shelter to just make sure everything is going okay. Although, I hear it is to watch over the canines in the back. Us felines are angels, right?

Tia Karol

The giant humans (I’ve heard them called shelter volunteers too) arrive in the early morning and do all the dirty work (ha ha). First thing they do is feed us (thank goodness) and then they clean our litter boxes, the floors, the blankets, and they make sure the place is super clean (for us to mess up again lol). After the cleaning is done, they sit with us and let us walk and hang all over them. They also play with us. I sometimes overhear them talk about their own lives but I do NOT ease drop (oh boy, Norman, I have some catnip for you later!!).

After playtime with the giant humans, us cats have our catnaps, and when we wakeup, another set of giant humans are here again for more cleaning, playing, and thankfully more feeding! Now, you might be wondering, what happens when the giants aren’t visiting with us, especially when it is dark out and the humans are sleeping? Well, have you ever heard the ‘ole saying “when the humans are away, cats play”? I haven’t either, but it is true!!

One time, the giant humans forgot to put away a roll of paper towels. Oh boy, was that a night of fun! My kitty lips are sealed on who started it (Keylor), but the ripping, the rolling, the tearing, of that yummy paper towel, FURTASTIC! You know, cats are skilled paper shredders! The cats were in cat heaven for hours. Just look at this picture I took of them (for possible catmailing purposes later – lol).

Paper towel Party!

Most nights though, we just visit with each other, give each other baths, and sleep. I read in one of Norman’s blogs, cats sleep about 12-16 hours a day and kittens up to 20 hours a day (wow me-ow!). So, while some nights we are having extra fun with a paper towel roll or chasing an unlucky bug, most nights we are sleeping, dreaming, and waiting for our human to come find us.

Even though we aren’t in our forever homes (yet!), we are lucky to be living in such a beautiful cat sanctuary. Alright Norman, back to you my love! Norman, WAKE UP!

Okay Papaya, I’m awake!

Thanks Papaya for that very interesting catnip. My human says the reason I am really socialized and a wonderful cat is because of living at the El Refugio shelter and learning how to play with other cats and the giant humans. I must agree!

If you haven’t already, please go visit the El Refugio shelter and see for yourself the uniqueness of the space. It really is more like a cat sanctuary. I know they also need more donations to help keep the shelter running smoothly. Now, I must go catnap with my Purrfect feline love Papaya. As always, thanks for reading my blog.

Cheers,

Norman

Your cat will never threaten your popularity by barking at three in the morning. He won’t attack the mailman or eat the drapes, although he may climb the drapes to see how the room looks from the ceiling.

Helen Powers

Don’t forget to spay & neuter your cats & dogs.  There can be too much of a good thing!  There’s only so much catnip to go around. 

Cats and wildlife live longer when cats stay indoors. 

FELNE FAVORITE OF THE DAY

Keylor at El Refugio Costa Ballena, Costa Rica

Keylor puts the “K” in Cheeky!

Keylor is a young adult male cat. He is full of energy and gets along well with other cats. As soon as you walk into the shelter, he comes to say hi. He would love to meet you and bring fun into your life.

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