Why adopt a shelter cat? We’d love to tell you! June has been declared Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat-Month and we at Posh Pets are huge kitty lovers. Our resident cats, Baxter and Panda both came from Toronto Animal Services and they are absolutely wonderful! Baxter has been with us for three years and Panda for two and we cannot possibly imagine life without them. Every night I’m reminded, as my legs are pinned together in one place because they sleep on opposite sides, that a purr in the house makes it a home.
So obviously, we are big supporters of adoption. Maybe you’re thinking about it, but maybe you’ve heard stories. So, here are five reasons to consider a shelter cat:
1. There’s a cat personality that’s just right for everyone.
I find it is a huge myth that all cats are aloof and shun human interaction. Baxter and Panda are proof-positive. I often call them my ‘puppy-cats’ because they greet us when we come home, respond to their names, love to be petted, brushed and will often cuddle up on my lap when I am working. There’s no doubt that my husband and I have created an environment where that type of behaviour flourishes, but the fact is, they were very sociable while still in the shelter. And it showed. That’s probably one of the great things of visiting a shelter to choose a kitty – there are many different breeds and personalities to choose from all in one place. Add to that, the staff usually have a good idea of the personalities, and can help you choose the perfect cat for you and your lifestyle.
2. You’re saving a life.
Many shelters are overrun with cats looking for homes. It’s a harsh world for a cat or a kitten on the streets. Fifty percent of feral cats die within their first year and are considered ‘lucky’ if they make it past 2 years of age. Whereas, a well-cared for indoor kitty has an average lifespan of 15 years! Adopting a cat not only gives them a great life, but also saves the life of the one who now has a ‘spot’ at the shelter. That second cat now has their own chance at a forever home which, when they find it, leaves a spot for one more. Believe me, hearing the thankful, content purr of a feline friend that you share your home with, is simply amazing.
3. Shelter and rescue cats are a good financial decision.
If you have weighed the benefits and costs of cat ownership, then getting your furry feline from a rescue or shelter makes sense. When you adopt an animal from a shelter, you are receiving the benefits of all of the work has been done before. They have had a health check, received necessary vaccines, are often spayed or neutered and have passed a behavioural assessment. They are also often sent home with a ‘starter kit’ consisting of lots of information, food, some health insurance. Plus, your adoption fee is a donation towards the medical needs of yet other animals in the rescue’s care. It all makes perfect cents!
4. There are health benefits to owning a cat
Having a pet has shown to minimize our health risks. Everything from lowering the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease and heart attacks. Much has even been written on the health benefits of a cat’s purr – it’s certainly calming to listen to a happy kitty purring by your side. So, you’re saving a life and they, in turn, are lengthening yours.
5. It’s a great way to support a great cause.
Rescues and shelter are doing great work helping cats live better lives. Your adoption sets a great example for those who believe that a shelter cat is somehow damaged or unhealthy. You’re helping get the word out that they are indeed loveable pets and can give so much back in return. If you are unable to adopt at this time, you can consider making a donation to a shelter or rescue that you believe in. As they say:
Adopt. If you can’t adopt, foster. If you can’t foster, volunteer. If you can’t volunteer, donate. If you can’t donate, educate.
If you are looking to adopt a shelter cat because you want the companionship of a great cat or kitten, there are many shelter and rescue organizations within the GTA. Here are some of them:
Toronto Animal Services
Toronto Humane Society
Annex Cat Rescue
Toronto Cat Rescue
Team Cat Rescue
Three years. Three years of a warm, dry, safe place to sleep at night. A full belly. An older sister you comforted and cared for. A little sister you adore. Conversations. Head bumps. Snuggles. Naps in a sunbeam. And lots of love from your two humans.
Happy Gotcha day Baxter! A celebration of the day you left the shelter behind and entered the Posh Pets family. Truly, our world is so much better with you in it.
It’s Monday. It’s cold. It’s February. Even though Toronto was recently named one of the best cities to live in the world, it can be tough to feel the love when you are faced with a day like today. Well, here is your little pick-me-up to start your week off right…
Here at Posh Pets we photograph animals of all breeds, shapes and sizes. And, we love them all! But there is something completely adorable in a brand-new tiny kitten. Their little mews and the way they go about exploring the big, wide world – it is the stuff that warm, happy thoughts are made of. I had the pleasure of photographing this little ball of orange fluff recently and, as you can imagine, thoroughly enjoyed myself while doing so. With the softest fur and beautiful, blue eyes, Milo is a stunner. He also knows how to work the camera and how to crawl his way into your heart. While I love creating gorgeous portraits, I would be lying if I didn’t admit to totally looking forward to the snuggles I get between images.
Now, look at Milo’s sweet face and tell me that you aren’t smiling. And suddenly the day doesn’t seem so bad…all thanks to Milo!
Pet photography is alive and well in Toronto these past few weeks! With all of the trees showing their best fall colours, we at Posh Pets have been busy as little beavers meeting lots of furry faces for their sessions. Even with the flurry of activity, we cannot forget about all of the lovely animals waiting for forever homes at Toronto Animal Services. It is such a pleasure each week to hand out treats and nice cuddles and belly rubs to the new dogs and cats I meet.
A lot of the animals in the following images are not quite ready for adoption. There are still some health-checks to be done and sometimes they have to be scheduled for their spay or neuter. But, if you are looking for a new family member, keep a close eye on the TAS website where their photo will be posted as soon as they become available. Rest assured, they are all lovely and would love to meet you just as soon as they can!
One other thing…if you adopted your pet from TAS – North, we would love to hear about it. Head over to the Posh Pets’ Facebook page and send us an update and/or a photo or two. Happy endings are just awesome!
At Posh Pets, we see our share of unforgettable four-footed clients. Today, I would like to introduce you to Simon, a furry face who will stay with me a long time.
Simon is a cat. A lovely, big, brown tabby cat to be precise. With gorgeous eyes that you could look at forever. Simon loves his people and enjoys playing with them. He is mischievous. He loves his treats and the opportunity to jump and run around the house. (If you can combine all of those things together, he is one happy cat. Actually, combine anything with treats and he is content.)
Simon, however, has also battled cancer.
It was June when I got a call from Simon’s human Mom asking if I had any availability on short notice. She wanted me to come to their house and take some portraits of her beautiful boy. Simon had recently been diagnosed with ocular cancer and the decision had been made to remove one of his gorgeous eyes – a very difficult decision for the family, but one that was made with the realization that it would save Simon’s life. The surgery date had been set which is why time was now of the essence. His Mom wanted images to forever preserve the memory of him in his prime.
I moved a few appointments around and headed over to meet Simon and his honest-to-goodness, real kitty mom, Jackie. If Simon knew he had cancer, he was not about to let me know about it. We spent a lovely afternoon playing, running, hunting, jumping and yes, getting treats in order to capture his good looks and beautiful personality. And, his Mom and I talked about his life. We laughed. We cried. We hugged. When it came time to finally say good-bye, I held Simon close and told him to be a good, brave boy and return home even stronger. Simon let me give him that snuggle and then went off to play.
I waited for news of his surgery…which was an awesome success! Although the first night of his recovery was difficult, it has all been positive news since then. In fact, it would now appear though that the loss of his eye was something far worse for his people to contemplate than the reality Simon lives. During the Ordering Session, Simon was already up and about, curiously interested in what we were doing. And by the time I delivered his final art prints, he demonstrated for me his ability to stalk, chase and yes, jump much like he did before. Simon may have lost an eye, but he certainly has not lost himself.
Today, Simon’s larger-than-life art work sits above the mantle in his home. His folio box and matted art prints are loved and cherished by the family. And dear, happy, healthy Simon seems content with it all.
This week Posh Pets got some new ‘assistants’! Toronto Animal Services is now hosting a kids camp for the next few weeks which mean the dogs get lots of socialization, interactive play, exercise and oodles of cuddles. And the kids are more than happy to help me get awesome adoption images of the dogs. The different campers have spent time with their canine friends, so they know all about them and more importantly, know how to handle them and help me get their attention to the camera. Plus seeing as there are lots of treats involved, the dogs are more than happy to play along. So, it truly is win-win-win!
So, here you have the fruits of our labour. Lots of cute furry faces, all looking for forever homes. They are currently at Toronto Animal Services – North, so contact them directly if you want to meet any of these guys and girls personally.
They say the camera does not lie. And yet, I look at this photo of Lady Jane taken just yesterday, and I am stunned by how good she looks. She was always a pretty kitty and even at 17 years old, Lady Jane was a beautiful old girl. But, what this image doesn’t show is the sadness that surrounds it. For, it was taken during the brief space of 5 minutes yesterday when she had stopped vomiting, we had already contacted the emergency vet to say we were coming and were about to place her in her carrier for her final car ride. I got her to relax on our bed (truly one of her favourite places) and took a few final pictures. Within 10 minutes of this image, we were on our way.
Lady Jane was a wonderful girl and such a trooper. Cats often are. She had been diagnosed in early October with Chronic Renal Failure and her vet had warned us not to expect more than a couple of months. We were understandably shocked and it took us some time to process the information. We knew she had been losing weight, but I don’t think either my husband, Dean, or I were prepared for the severity of the issue. But our vet kindly answered all of our questions, sent us home with lots of information and medication to stabilize her, and we determined to simply cherish the time we had left.
And you know, we got into a rhythm with giving her her medication and ensuring that she ate properly. It was at that point that we realized that Lady Jane had probably been feeling unwell for some time, because the medication helped her to rally. In the 6 months since her diagnosis, Lady Jane has done things and explored area she had never done before. She learned how to climb onto the desk in my husband’s office so that she could sit on the windowsill and watch the world go by. She no longer used the stool beside our bed which had been placed there to help her old bones get up more easily – she bounded from the floor and back off again. And then sometimes, she leaped from the bed onto the dresser. Her greatest success was when she propelled herself from the couch onto our dining table. Most of these things would certainly would have been unacceptable in our house (no getting up on the dining table!), but the fact that she had the desire and the ability to do it astounded us. For a cat who had lived most of her life on one level (she had been a little portly in her younger years), it was a joy to see her enjoy herself.
And then there was her personality. When we adopted her brother Baxter 18 months ago as a companion to Lady Jane, we could not have picked a better boy. Baxter has confidence, without a hint of aggressiveness. His patient encouragement combined with her feeling much better, and Lady Jane had come out of her shell. She travelled easily and adapted to new environments. She greeted visitors when they came into our home. She stepped outside onto the balcony and felt the sun on her face. It was like she had a bucket list of things to do and we had the joy of seeing her cross things off the list.
We almost convinced ourselves that she would be with us a long time. Our friends would ask how she was doing and we would answer that she was doing remarkably well. Deep down, we knew the disease would eventually get the better of her, but given her newfound love of life and adventure, it seemed a long way off. And, we were not prepared for how quickly it would happen. It seems like on Friday the medication stopped working which translated into Lady Jane being extremely picky over her food. We had been very fortunate that throughout everything she was a great drinker – bowls and bowls of water helped flush her ailing kidneys and kept her happy. But, by yesterday morning, she had stopped drinking, stopped eating and begun almost non-stop vomiting. She also found it very difficult to use the litter box. I gave her her medication to help with the vomiting and offered her her favourite ‘treats’ – chicken and lactose-free milk. She refused the chicken, but lapped up the milk. Only to bring it all up within 10 minutes. It was as if her digestive system was shutting down.
Seeing her suffer this way helped us making a heart-wrenching decision. Of course, not only was it a Sunday but it was a holiday and therefore her regular vet was closed. Which led us to the wonderful people at Vaughn-Richmond Hill VEC who helped her pass, surrounded by the people who loved her most. I got to hold her and I hope that she felt me stroking her and that the last thing she heard was me telling her how much I loved her.
Seventeen years is a long time. A small furry kitten originally from Brampton Animal Shelter left her mark on our lives and on our hearts. She made us smile. She made us laugh. There is now only a gaping hole that she used to inhabit.
Lady Jane, our little furry face. You were loved. Please know, we love you still.
“You’re the one that I love, and I’m saying good-bye…” ~A Great Big World (Say Something)
Welcome to a new year! For many people the start of a new year is filled with fresh promise, new projects and a chance to start again. And so, it is with Posh Pets Photography and the Beautiful Beasties Project 52 series. Each week, we’ll have a new theme where we try and create an image or images that represent that theme.
The theme for this week was introductions. We’ve been asked to introduce you to the beautiful pets we share our homes with and who will often be the subject of our photographs for Project 52. In our case, if you follow the Posh Pets’ blog, you will already know these two furry faces already. However, here is a chance to meet them again!
This is Lady Jane sitting so regally on my bedside table (where she knows I do not want her to be). She will be 17 years old in March and was diagnosed with chronic renal failure in October 2013. We’ve had a few crises since then and there were times when we were sure she would not see the end of 2013. At her peak, she was 17.3 lbs, but now she weighs a mere 9 lbs., and I reminded of this every time I pick her up. But, she is holding her own. It frightens me when she climbs to places she should not because she is not very steady and I fear for her little bones. But, she is a stubborn little old lady and if Lady Jane wants to sit on the bedside table, then that is where she will sit. You can see a little of that determination in her pose.
And this is Baxter Huntington, our 3 year old rambunctious, friendly, playful, in-your-face-and-give-me-affection cat. He likes to thwart any attempts I make at taking his picture by closing his eyes. (Yes, he has figured that out.) But, he loves us, loves his sister Lady Jane is just so darn cute that I can’t resist taking his portrait whenever I can! He loves to explore and has taught his older sister to go places where she never would have dreamed of venturing before. And at the end of the day, he grooms her and settles down to nap beside her, often with a paw laid gently touching some part of her body.
Both of our kitties originally came from the shelter and are wonderful furry family members. If you are considering welcoming a pet into your home, I wholeheartedly encourage adoption. You’ll be seeing a lot more of these two in the weeks and months to come!
This is a ‘blog circle’ which means that each photographer will interpret the week’s theme. You can start with Denver Pet Photographer, StinkDog Photos and get introduced to her crew. Then, if you like, follow the circle all of the way around until you end up back here with Baxter and Lady Jane.
It was a cold one out today when I arrived at Toronto Animal Services! So, we explained to all of the dogs that we needed to be quick…and everyone put on their best smile (and we got some crazy, gorgeous ears this week)! There are a few missing from this week’s post because they are not quite available for adoption yet, but we’ll post them soon on the Posh Pets’ Facebook page. Please contact Toronto Animal Services directly if you are interested in meeting any of these furry faces…
Hard to believe it has been a year since we first brought Baxter home and into our lives. And now, we can’t imagine a day without him.
Even though it went by so quickly, a lot has changed in a year. First, Baxter has put on a little weight. He is still our long-legged beauty, but we are trying to watch the pounds so that he doesn’t lose his athletic shape. He does love to eat and with the changes in how we are feeding Lady Jane, he does sometimes manage to get an extra few mouthfuls of food. He is very good in that he never attempts to steal her food from her. But, once she has walked away (and Lady Jane never finishes her bowl), he will try one of two tactics. The first consists of sauntering ever-s0-casually in the direction of her bowl, as if to say, “I’m just taking a walk”, hoping that we don’t see and then he can have a bit of a feast before he is noticed. If we see him, all I have to say is no and he obediently backs off. The second is downright hilarious. He will choose this route if we are near her bowl, and he therefore knows that he will be noticed should he try his first method. In this case, he will simply take off at great speed, run by her bowl and, as he passes, dive in for one mouthful as he continues at breakneck speed around the corner. We call it drive-by eating.
Baxter has also learned our routine. He is a patient little guy and doesn’t often wake us up in the morning. However, if we sleep in a little longer than usual, I will usually feel a gentle pat on my face as if he is checking to see if I missed my alarm. He also snuggles up at night or burrows down in the covers if he wants to feel safe. I love to feel his fur against my legs and Baxter does enjoy being cuddled, snuggled, picked up and generally told that he is loved.
So, today we celebrate! One year of laughter and cuddles and fun! Crazy antics and friendship. Treats and belly rubs. And mostly, love. (Baxter will have a few extra mouthfuls tonight in honour of his Gotcha! Day!)
For this week’s theme we were encouraged to capture “the kitchen” as it was our pet’s “favourite place” because they know “delicious food will be served there”. Images of them eagerly waiting their meals were encouraged. So, here is a behind the scenes look at how dinner is served in the Posh Pets‘ household.
As most of our blog readers would know by now, we have two cats. Lady Jane is 16.5 years old and rules the roost. Baxter is a laid-back 3 year old who views Lady Jane as his entire world. Through this relationship, they have taught each other things. One of the pieces of knowledge that Lady Jane has imparted is that we do not drink in the kitchen. This is a tradition that began with Ripley who, in his later years, loved water. So, we ended up putting an extra bowl in the home office which brought him such joy! In fact, he would rarely drink out of the very full, very fresh water provided in a lovely bowl in the kitchen. After he passed, Lady Jane quickly took up Ripley’s legacy and pretty much only drinks from the water bowl in the office as well. She has since taught Baxter this behaviour, and we now have a water bowl in the kitchen that rarely gets used in favour of the one down the hall.
Unfortunately, Lady Jane was very recently diagnosed with renal failure. We are trying to make changes to her diet and she is reluctantly taking her medications. As a result, she has recently also decided that we rarely eat our breakfast, lunch and dinner in the kitchen. We now will consider them in the office. Given her condition and the fact that we need to ensure she gets enough calories (she has lost quite a bit of weight), we have acquiesced. So, here is Lady Jane patiently waiting for her supper to be delivered to her (not in the kitchen…see her water bowl there).
Because of Lady Jane’s condition and the fact that she is a very picky eater, she is getting fed multiple times a day. Baxter, on the other hand is still being fed only at breakfast and supper. He is being a very patient, somewhat obedient boy, and he never pushes her away while she is eating. He is, however, a little confused as to when he will actually get fed. So, now when I prepare any type of kitty food in the kitchen, he tries to figure out if it is his turn as well. Which means he needs a better look at what is happening on the kitchen counter. He knows he is not allowed on the kitchen counter, so he simply hops up on the piano just outside the kitchen wall and peers around to watch me rather intently. If he sees me preparing two bowls and things generally look good, he will hop down and eat his meal (which was always just outside the kitchen anyway).
So, there you have it! Our kitties waiting for their dinners…none of which actually happens inside the kitchen! So, we sort of completed this weeks assignment. 😉
This is the Beautiful Beasties blog circle, so there are lots more behind the scene’s antics to be had. Please start with this link to Petlense Photography’s Lina Tay and see what goes on in her house!
Everyone likes to receive nice mail. As in, printed material delivered by the post office. In this digital age, I think there is still something about holding print and paper in your hand.
So, I was very excited to finally receive the latest issue of Country Living. And I would be lying if I didn’t admit that part of the reason was because Posh Pets‘ very own Baxter was featured in it. Yep, he’s a published model now, earning his keep! So, go ahead, purchase a copy and look on page 66 – you can tell all your friends that you knew him first. (Thankfully, Baxter hasn’t let it go to his head – he still such a cuddly sweetheart.)