5 Years’ Worth of Cats, Part 1

Part 1: Introduction
In 2010, shortly after I graduated college, I met a cat named Smirnoff. And what seems so crazy to me now, five years later, is that on the day I adopted him I had 1) never stepped foot inside an animal shelter before and 2) knew very little about cats. I mean, I knew one thing. I knew that cats were generally considered to be pets. I had even met a very friendly one once while babysitting for a neighbor, so I knew that once in a great while, a cat might like to sit in a lap. But that was about it.

Yet here I am, in 2015, employed as the regional foster coordinator for one of the nation’s largest no-kill organizations. I spend 40+ hours each week in an animal shelter, and can tell you more about cats than you could ever really care to know. No, really. I know, for instance, that a cat with extra toes is called a polydactyl. I know the names of all the different cat coat types, and the difference between a tabby mackerel and a tabby classic. I know that cats are induced ovulators (just like rabbits), which is one reason why we have so many strays and kittens. I know that cats are lactose-intolerant despite loving milk, that they produce pheromones to mark their territory and to make things smell more familiar (which is why they love having their cheeks and chin rubbed), and I know how to calculate the stomach capacity of a neonatal kitten. In addition to Smirnoff, I have two other adopted cats (and, miraculously, also a boyfriend), and live 3,000 miles away from where I began this journey. I’ve met Jackson Galaxy twice, volunteered/worked with four different rescue organizations, started a youtube channel, a podcast, an instagram feed and… oh yeah, I have met thousands of cats. Literally. Thousands*. And it’s only been five years.

(To give you an idea of numbers, since I began working at Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles in 2013, our adoption center has sent home over 3500 cats. And I personally did the adoption of over 600! That doesn’t include all the cats I’ve met but didn’t do the adoptions for, all the cats I’ve worked with at other rescues, and all the neonatal kittens I’ve helped since becoming the foster coordinator at the beginning of this year. I have over 120 cats and kittens in foster care as I type this! And then, of course, there are all those cats I met between 2010-2013. Which was, you know, a few.)

So it’s with a little bit of awe that I look back on the journey that got me here. It’s too much for one blog post, so I will break everything up into different topics, because let’s face it – not everyone will want to read a million paragraphs about cats in one sitting.

So be on the lookout for many more blog posts coming soon (and hit “follow” if you don’t want to miss any of them)!

Myself with Smirnoff in 2010 (top) and 2015 (bottom).
Myself with Smirnoff in 2010 (top) and 2015 (bottom).
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NEW – Episode 3 of “Cat Chat with Liz and Marci”

Hello wonderful cat people! I’m excited to share the third episode of “Cat Chat with Liz and Marci.” For those of you yet to listen, Cat Chat is a fun podcast where Marci (felinebehaviorsolutions.com) and I talk about all things cat-related! I tell behind-the-scene stories from working/volunteering at animal shelters, and Marci gives top-notch advice on how to deal with common behavioral issues in your home.

The third episode is all about cats, their claws, and declawing. Take a listen, share, download for your commute to work, and tell all your cat friends!

Read More: Socializing a Shy/Fearful Cat

Check out my NEW article “No Cats Under the Bed: Socializing a Shy/Fearful Cat”, which I wrote for Heaven on Earth Society for Animals.

Here’s an excerpt:

For a shy or under-socialized cat, the world can be a scary place. If a cat feels threatened by the world around them (even if these threats are imagined), they can quickly withdraw from social activities and spend all day hiding under the bed or in a closet. What we want is for these cats to gain confidence and claim (or reclaim) ownership of their indoor territory. Working with a shy/fearful cat takes time and patience, but the experience is extremely rewarding!

Read the rest of the article here:
http://www.heavenlypets.org/socializing-a-shy-or-fearful-cat/