Karl ♡ Bernie

Bernie has been with us for a week now, and Karl has grown quite fond of him.

Bernie on bed


Karl 2
Karl on stairs


Karl’s best friend Magnus died of a heart attack in 2011–he was only 18 months old–and he has never really bonded with another cat since. Magnus was a fearless feline who helped build his confidence. Karl was the runt of the litter abandoned by his young mother and fostered by a very loving woman until we adopted him in November 2008, the day after Obama became president. Karl is timid and sweet and spends most of his time upstairs under the bed. We started feeding Karl separately in our bedroom when we realized the extent of food-bullying by the other cats. Bernie is the first cat to enter our home who is shyer than he.

Bernie is still holed up in the guest room, although he came out a couple times in search of more food. Last night I spotted him at the top of the stairs and tried to lure him down with kibble. Unfortunately Quincy nibbled the kibble before Bernie made his way down.

Karl visits Bernie frequently throughout the day. I’ve also caught him eating out of his food dish, even though Bernie gets a special weight management food, drinking from his water bowl and using his litter box. We are planning to bring the litter box downstairs later today.

A couple nights ago, Lorin fed Karl and Bernie in our bedroom and later found both of them under our bed. Karl likes to sniff him in the face and talk to him in his “cooing” voice. Bernie swatted him once, but it seemed out of fear, not anger.

We don’t know a lot about Bernie except that he came from a pound in Paterson, New Jersey, had matted hair on his back that had to be shaved off and his owner may have died. We also know he was at PetSmart since March 3 before we took him home. He was very popular, and liked to sit in a chair inside his enclosed area and watch the world go by. He’s a very observant cat. The lady at PetSmart told us that people keep asking about him, but his weight made them reluctant to adopt him.

It will be a while before his settles in with the rest of the boys, but we think it’s worth it. Especially if it means Karl will have a new friend. Every creature–human or non-human–deserves a second chance.

Bernie Comes Home

Lorin & Bernie

Lorin & Bernie

Here’s the first follow up to the Bernie story. As I mentioned in my last post, “About Bernie,” Lorin met Bernie while harness shopping at PetSmart for our cat Sylvester. Bernie was not surrendered by his owners as we previously thought: his owner died and he was brought to a pound in Paterson, NJ before going to PetSmart.  The hair on his back was severely matted, so they shaved him–he doesn’t like being touched there.

Lorin and I went to see Bernie together Saturday afternoon. He is a very gentle boy, timid in fact. He was housed with 10 other cats and kittens–he had his own large cage with a jumbo-sized bed. The lady from S.T.A.R.T. (Save the Animals Rescue Team) said that he loves catnip, the feather stick and his catnip fish. She said we could take him home for a week and see how it goes with the other cats, and bring him back if it doesn’t work out. She gave us his bed and catnip fish, and we purchased some of the Science Diet “Perfect Weight” cat food he has been eating–he is on a diet. He is heavy at 24 pounds, but she said his bloodwork tested negative for diabetes, and he’s had his other vaccinations.

Bernie came home with us Saturday afternoon.

We set up a food and water dish, his bed and a litter box in the guest room to get him acclimated. He spent the first 36 hours or so under the bed.  Samson was the first to check him out: he went under the bed and gave him a sniff and walked back out.

Quincy, the head of the household, was most curious about Bernie. He went under the bed, hissed (but no ears back) and gave a low growl, letting him know who was boss.

Samson & Quincy & friends

Quincy (laying down) and Samson

Karl is also very interested in Bernie, and even nibbled at his food.

Karl in the sunKarl

By Sunday night, Bernie was sitting on top of the bed: progress!


This morning Quincy jumped on the bed with Bernie on it to take a better look at him, then ran away.

Judging by his gentle demeanor, Bernie might make the perfect therapy cat. We shall see.

So that’s where we are at so far.

I will continue to post updates throughout the week.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Hey There, You with the Clouds in Your Eyes


Samson & Quincy & friends

photo: E. Herd – Samson (back), Quincy (front)

I was inspired to post a photo of our cat Quincy after reading about Zeus the blind owl on The Dancing Rest.

Unlike Zeus with the stars in his eyes, my husband says Quincy has clouds in his. Both are beautiful. Quincy wasn’t born blind. We adopted him from a foster through FOCAS.

His foster mom said he contracted an eye infection that went untreated when he was a stray. He has no vision in his right eye and about 30% vision in the left. When we first brought him home in October 2011, he spent a full 24 hours scanning the house. He would not sleep. He memorized the house with his senses. He still loses his footing and trips and falls from time to time, but he knows the layout better than the rest of us.

Because of the blindness, he’s considered a “special needs” cat. A few months after we adopted him, he started having coughing fits, which, after rounds of tests, was found to be caused by tissue damage on one lung and asthma. He has been hospitalized a few times during bad attacks when he could not catch his breath. I’d say he’s lost at least two of his nine lives already. Most of the time we can avoid hospital visits with daily meds and his inhaler—yes, we have a kitty inhaler. Quincy doesn’t let any of this get him down. He’s very happy, playful and loving.

Quincy and me on sofa

Selfie of me and Quincy chillin’

Here’s to all the animals (human and non-) with clouds and stars in their eyes.

Happy Friday, everyone!