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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cat facts, funny, health benefits, love, Uncategorized

Are you a Crazy Cat Lady? Impossible, it isn’t a thing!

I’m sure you have probably heard the old saying “Crazy Cat Lady.” Maybe it conjures up an image in your head of an older, single, crazy woman hoarding hundreds of cats. I’ve been told shows like the Simpsons, or the Office had their very own crazy cat ladies too. Angela Kinsey from the Office says being referred to as a cat lady is actually cool.

But all kitten aside, the stereotypical Crazy Cat Lady just isn’t true! Look at these 11 Celebrities Who Make Cat Ladies Cool and who have had no problem finding love and sharing their life with feline family members.

While there may be women (and men) that hoard lots of cats (or dogs, or pigs, or snakes, or horses, you see where I am going with this), that is a totally different and very unfortunate subject. But, in regards to the stereotype Crazy Cat Lady, society has unfairly labeled (only) women who adopt multiple cats as Crazy Cat Ladies. Remember my blog I’ll Get You a Date, If You are a Man That Is, it actually proves that if you are a man and own a cat, cats actually help MEN find dates, and find LOVE. ME-OW, that just isn’t fair (to women) although great for us cats (ME-OW ME-OW lol)!

A recent study at UCLA in fact concluded that owning multiple cats does not mean you are crazy mad, anxious, or sad, but proves you are absolutely PURRFECT! Which honestly just means you love cats (and if you love cats, you really are PURRFECT!). And, as I have previously blogged about, owning a cat can actually lower your stress level, lower your anxiety level, and make you more happy. This doesn’t sound like crazy behavior to me at all!

So, if you are a woman, and if you love cats, stand tall, and be proud. If you have considered adopting another cat but have been worried about being called a Crazy Cat Lady, don’t worry about it, it just isn’t true! Because owning more than one cat doesn’t make you a Crazy Cat Lady, it actually makes you a super SMART human being who will be HAPPIER, less stressed, and of course proves you have a BEAUTIFULLY huge heart.

Now, my PURRFECT humans out there, please post a picture of yourself with your amazing, beautiful felines in the comments section. Let’s share the love and continue to save each other’s lives Purrrrrrr.

Cheers,

Norman

Just watching my cats can make me happy

Paula Cole

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

Hunter at El Refugio Costa Ballena

Hunter is LOVE

Hi, my name is Hunter. I love humans, dogs, and of course felines! I would love to come home with you, especially if you have other cats. I would be PURRFECT for a PURRFECT cat lady. Hugs, Hunter

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cat facts, funny, health benefits, love, shelter information, Uncategorized

Do Cats have SuperPowers? Most Definitely!!

Super Cat to the Rescue photo by Bestfriends.org.

My human was sick this week. She was reluctant to go to work at the El Refugio Shelter because she was under the weather. I encouraged her to go because I just KNEW it was the catnip she needed. When she arrived back home, she was BEAMING, with a HUGE smile on her face. She said that when she arrived at the shelter, so many of my feline friends gave her lots of extra attention. And not just the ones that are always flirting (you know who you are Keylor and Mickey!) but other cats that are usually a little more reserved with my human (Bandit, Papaya, and Cadbury). It was truly a Cat Therapy session FREE of Charge with lots of FELINE HAPPY.

Here are just a few of our FELINE SUPERPOWERS!

Cats have the Power to Make You Happy. After just a few minutes with your favorite feline, your cortisol level (the hormone related to stress) is lowered and your serotonin and oxytocin levels (your hormones that make you happy) are raised. This is definitely something to SMILE about!

Cats have the Power to Lengthen your Life. Having a cat in your life, lowers your blood pressure and also lowers your risk for a stroke or heart disease. Your doctor would definitely approve!

Doctor Norman

Cats have the Power to Heal your Injuries. Having a feline companion will help heal your bone and muscle injuries just by being near her Purrs. The Purr of a Cat ranges from 20-140 Hertz, which is the frequency range where bones and muscles grow and repair themselves. PURRfect medicine!

WONDER cat Photo by Bestfriends.org

Cats have the Power to help Heal your Anxiety. Studies have shown that cats can be life-changing for people with mental illness. It has been shown that cats can sense emotional changes in their humans, and be there to give a much needed leg rub, or an ankle nudge, or a kiss when needed. Also, therapy cats provide support for the elderly, people with dementia, and even autism! Wow, all, I can say is WOW!

So, there you have it, us cats DO indeed have Superpowers! We may not wear a fancy cape (PLEASE no CAPE!), or fly through the air (although, Smoky at El Refugio definitely can fly!) but we do indeed have the ability to help make you HAPPY, LENGTHEN your life, HEAL your injuries, and TAME your anxiety. Please consider adopting one of us SUPER cats. Not only will we help SAVE your life, but you will SAVE our lives too. And, if you know of someone who needs some healing, please SHARE my blog and even better, ADOPT a cat for them too!!

Cheers,

Norman

“Time spent with cats is never wasted.” – Sigmund Freud

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

Baby Priscilla

Hi, I’m Priscilla. I was found at the beach with a broken leg. I’m all better now and ready to bring you lots of giggles and smiles. I’m waiting for you at El Refugio Animal Shelter in Costa Ballena. xoxo Priscilla

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cat facts, funny, love, Uncategorized

Why do cats STARE at you – because we LOVE YOU Silly!

This blog is dedicated to the MANY ways us cats show YOU how much we love you!

  1. When she looks at you with half-closed eyes while slowly blinking, she LOVES YOU! These special blinks are actually called “Cat Kisses” in the feline world. While dogs will give you messy, sloppy, kisses with their tongues (yuck!), us felines are much more dignified – a stare and blink are our PURRFECT way to KISS. Wouldn’t you agree?
I LOVE my human! I’m giving her KISSES right now (purrrrrrr)

2. When he is Curving the Tip of his Tail, he LOVES YOU! You may think a cat with a straight-up tail shows fear or aggression, but look for the curve at the tip, and you can rest assured your kitty cat is showing you how much he LOVES you! You may also notice your favorite feline wrapping his tail around you or his favorite feline or canine, and maybe even resting his tail on them. This is considered pure kitty happiness – sometimes referred as the “happy tail dance”. I LOVE a good happy tail dance!

The “happy tail dance” – cat with tail turned up and with a curve.

3. When she is Giving you a massage with her paws (ME-OW), she LOVES YOU! I give my human FREE massages sometimes when I lay next to her. I really get in there too with my nails because I know how much she loves a good massage. I am not sure why she looks a little pained when I do this, because who doesn’t like a good massage??

Sometimes a head rub and a massage are purrfect medicine!

4. When he is Purring, he LOVES YOU! Remember how purring can be good for the heart, well, it can also show how much your feline friend loves you and your family. When accompanied with cat kisses (eye stares and blinking) along with head butting (see below), your feline is feeling safe and content. Good job human!

5. When she is Head bunting you (aka head bumping or head butting), she LOVES YOU! When your feline family member gives you a gentle head bump, it is a sign that she truly cares about you and TRUSTS you. She is also indicating a STRONG bond with you. If you have more than one feline in your family, you may see this action between felines. Our cheeks and our heads are where we carry “secret” scent glands. So, when we rub our cheeks and head against you, we are claiming you as our own by sharing our “secret” scent with you. We are making YOU a part of OUR family.

So, there you have it. Five ways we show YOU our love! There are so many more ways too (such as nipping you, showing our bellies, following you), so please comment below on how your special feline shows you she LOVES YOU!

You deserve to be loved, so please (if you haven’t already) adopt a shelter cat and let him LOVE YOU! Life is worth SHARING and LOVE is the best catnip you can find!!

Cheers,

Norman

I have felt cats rubbing their faces against mine and touching my cheek with claws carefully sheathed. These things, to me, are expressions of love. –

James Herriot

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

Tina Louise at El Refugio Shelter in Costa Ballena, Costa Rica

Tina Louise

Hi, I’m Tina Louise. I have two first names because I am extra special. Plus, I have lots of extra love and cat kisses for you. Come meet me at El Refugio. xoxo Miss Tina Louise.

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cat facts, funny, love, Uncategorized

Do Cats Dream? Let’s ask the experts (and ME).

You may have noticed your feline family member tends to sleep a little, okay A LOT! Did you know adult cats sleep 12 -16 hours a day, while kittens and senior cats may sleep up to 20 hours a day (Wow, fur real?). That is what I would call professional sleepers!

Siblings Andy, Bear, Ollie, Spot, & Tina Louise dreaming about their next meal with mama Graycie.

But, most of the time we are just snoozing – have you ever heard of a catnap? About three quarters of our daily sleeping is actually considered catnapping (or dozing) where we are sleeping light enough to pounce at a moment’s notice! We may even have one eye open – watching you (lol).

Twix is definitely a one-eye-open kind of cat!
Alicia keeping an eye on you because you are sooo dreamy!

Cats spend the remaining one quarter of their sleep in a deep sleep. Senior cats spend probably more like forty percent of their sleep in deep sleep. Deep sleep helps us regenerate and stay healthy, and, YES this is where we DREAM!

You may see a cat’s whiskers or paws twitching, this is probably a dream in the works. Also, in dream sleep, you may see a cat with his paws or tail over his eyes, like an eye mask.

Who turned the lights on?!?

Okay, so cats dream, but what do they dream about? Well, thankfully you have a cat writing this blog, so you can be comfortable knowing you are getting the facts!!!

We dream of being on the hunt. For my wild cat friends or those that aren’t lucky enough to be living in a house, they dream about being on the hunt. They will dream about whatever prey they were chasing in the previous night, what they caught, and what got away (sigh). An interesting fact, us house cats actually sleep more than our wild feline friends because we don’t have to worry about a predator coming after us! Now, just a friendly reminder here, cats that stay indoors stay alive longer, and so does the wildlife.

We dream of the entire day. For most of us felines, we dream about what happened during the day. Maybe we saw our human do a funny thing (like always!), or maybe we played with the resident dogs (NOT!), or maybe we watched the birds in a nearby tree. But, most often I will dream about the fun times I had playing with my humans during the day.

Hunter and Bryan probably dreaming about each other. They are best friends at the shelter.

We dream of YOU. Now, don’t let this go to your head, but YES, we dream about YOU. We dream about your face, your smile, your voice, your smell, your laugh. We love you, and we dream about you. We cannot wait to see you again when we wake up.

Jacob says “Peek a Boo”!

Now, what about the cats at the shelter that do not yet have a human? Who do they dream about? Well, they dream about the day that YOU will come rescue them. Are you ready to make a special cat’s dreams come true? There are so many wonderful cats waiting at a shelter near you.

If you are in the Costa Ballena area of Costa Rica, come stop by the El Refugio shelter and meet some of our professional sleepers that I have mentioned in this post. Maybe they are dreaming about YOU right now.

Well, all this talk about sleep sure has made me sleepy. It’s time for a catnap.

Wake me up when it’s time to eat!

Cheers,

Norman

“All I do is eat and sleep. Eat and sleep. Eat and sleep. There must be more to a cat’s life than that. But I hope not.” – 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

Graycie at El Refugio, Costa Ballena Costa Rica

Graycie

Hi, my name is Graycie, and I bring Sunshine into a room on a Cloudy Day. Do you want some sunshine in your life? Come meet me. xoxo Graycie

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Before you adopt, cat facts, health benefits, Uncategorized

I’ve Adopted a Cat, now what? I’m so glad you asked! Ten tips to prepare your home for your new feline.

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on becoming an even better, more amazing human being!!! Bringing a cat into your family will not only make your kids healthier, but also will make you healthier, less stressed, and definitely more attractive (mainly because you are healthier & less stressed!! – DOUBLE ME-OW LOL!)

First Tip. Bring a cat carrier for the ride to pick up your new cat. Us cats don’t like moving vehicles – they are scary, they are fast, and they are smelly. Having your new cat in a carrier will help with some of the anxiety that will most likely occur when in a scary, fast, and smelly car.

Second TipHave a nice, “safe” room for your cat. It doesn’t have to be a suite like I have, with an amazing mountain view no less!  But, a room that has a litter box, bowls for food and water, a toy or two please, a scratching post of course, and a shelf or somewhere high for your cat to perch or rest. 

Third Tip for us sound sensitive cats (which are most of us!).  If your feline friend chooses to hide for awhile, no worries, let him hide. He will come out eventually. He is just getting used to all of the new smells and sounds.

Fourth Tip, although I can’t believe I need to share this one. The litter box and food and water bowls should NOT be in the same area. You wouldn’t want to do your business where you eat would you? We aren’t talking about dogs here, us cats are refined and have manners! 

Fifth not so messy Tip. If you can, use the same brand of litter that your feline friend had at her animal shelter. You don’t have to use the same brand forever, but just until she acclimates. You will be REALLY glad you listened to me on this one!

Sixth tummy Tip. Also, use the same food she was eating at the shelter. When starting to introduce a new food, it should be gradual. Our tummies can be sensitive at times.

Seventh fun Tip. A toy or two or three please!  Although, the best toys are toys that my humans play with me. 

I LUV my stuffed animals to play with!

Eighth super fun Tip. A cat tree would be awesome for your new feline. But, if you don’t have a cat tree available, a tall shelf in your cat’s new room would be helpful for them to have a place to jump up and feel safe.

Ninth very important Tip. If you are bringing a feline friend home to a home that already has a cat or dog, please be patient. While most of us felines get along well at the animal shelter, being in a new place can be very stressful for both resident animals and new cats. It may take only days but could take weeks or even months to have them all get along. The best introductions are very brief, and monitored interactions with humans involved.

Tenth very VERY important Tip. Never let your dog chase your cat very uncool!  Also, when you are not able to supervise the new feline family member with your other household animals, please keep them separated. Honestly, we might never become friends, but we can surely coexist.

Oh, and one more thing, get ready to BE AMAZED, at all things FELINE AND FABULOUS!

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. 

FELNE FAVORITE OF THE DAY

Prince at El Refugio

PRINCE

Hi, my name is PRINCE.  I am an adult male. I am a little shy around other cats, but I LOVE my humans. I love ear scratches and just hanging out.  Let’s chill out together!  Come meet me at El Refugio. xo Prince

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cat facts, funny, shelter information, Uncategorized

Black Cats – the envy of us all!

In the shelter life, us shelter cats are soo envious of our feline friends that sport an all-black coat because of the good fortune they bring with them. In the United Kingdom, Ireland and Japan, black cats are known to bring good luck and were even worshipped by the Egyptians. But there are many more reasons being a Black Cat or adopting a Black Cat is just plain lucky!

Black Cats NEVER have bad hair days. Their coat always looks so shiny. I just don’t understand it. Take a look at Bandit at El Refugio. She is drop dead gorgeous all of the time. Look at how shiny her coat is. Oh, I am so envious of her!

Bandit

Their color is slimming! This is no secret of course. We have known for the ages that wearing black is slimming. One of my human’s favorite Netflix shows Queer Eye’s fab Five, illustrates to us that All-black is one of the strongest palettes you can wield (but make sure that your shades match up). Take a look at sweet Dulce (another El Refugio fashion diva) sporting an almost all black attire. She even has had kittens and she looks strikingly slim. Way to go Dulce!

Dulce

Black cat hair doesn’t show up as much as other fur colors! Really, I’m serious, I have the research to prove it! But, if you have white carpeting or are wearing a white suite (aghast!) black fur would not be your friend. But wearing an all white suit would probably not be your friend either (lol). Black really does go with everything!

So, there you have it, I do have one flaw. I am envious of my feline friends who have all-black coats because of their ability to NOT have a bad hair day, NOR a drab, dull coat, and YES, they are super lucky to have around.

Life is better with a beautiful feline by your side, or on your lap, or in your desk drawer (lol ME-OW).

Cheers,

Norman

A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere. – Groucho Marx

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

Snickers at El Refugio

Snickers

Hi, I’m Snickers. I know I’m not a Black Cat, but Norman says I am the sweetest thing since sliced bread. I am not sure what that means, except maybe he is really hungry. Anyways, I would love to meet you. Come find me at El Refugio in Costa Ballena, Costa Rica. xo Snickers

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