Wednesday, May 19, 2010

day 7: i donated to an animal shelter

Do you want some of my money?

Then tell me about your sick pets. Got a dog with worms? A kitten that needs to be spayed? A bunny that has fleas?

Yeah, I’ll totally help pay for that.

You should also know that I believe getting a pet is a lifelong commitment (pictured at left: my cats Phoenix and Bubba Lee Kinsey go head-to-head), so I have a special place in my heart for older animals. If your furry friend is on his or her last leg, I will be even more inclined to help. And the more heinous the affliction, the greater the odds I will empty my pockets into your waiting hands.

Puffy Paws Kitty Haven, a cat shelter in Englewood, Florida, is pretty much the ideal recipient for my disposable income (which is, like, ten dollars. No kidding).

Caring for more than 100 unwanted cats with physical, health and behavioral problems, including feline AIDS and leukemia, the no-kill, all-volunteer shelter also adopts out healthy cats and kittens.

The Haven is especially unique because it's also the home of founders Rick and Chrissy Kingston. One picture on their web site proves that Chrissy has lived a childhood dream of mine: to be covered from head to toe with kitties like a furry, purring blanket. (I have since revised this dream so I sound less deranged; now I just want my two cats to sleep on my feet in the wintertime.)

Puffy Paws’ e-mail newsletter provides pictures and anecdotes about the kitties living in “the world’s greatest cathouse” and is pretty much gravy for a future crazy cat lady like me. As a nonprofit organization, the Kingstons rely largely on donations to cover food, transportation, litter and veterinary costs, so the newsletter is also forthcoming about financial struggles.

When I received the following plea, I could not say no: 
One of the kitties a 18 year old boy named Alex just came into the Haven and upon inspection we found out that his claws are grown into his paw pads in the front. He is undergoing emergency surgery at Loving Care Animal Hospital later today.
Old kitty? Check.
Relatively horrific and painful-sounding affliction? Check. 
My ten dollars is yours? Check.

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