Angry Eyebrows


This is not Cheddar. Angry Eyebrows took him away before we could snap a pic. This is a different ginger cat I spotted at another adoption fair. Super cute. I visited him twice.

This is not Cheddar. Angry Eyebrows took him away before we could snap a pic. This is a different ginger cat I spotted at another adoption fair. Super cute. I visited him twice.

Ask Matt what my favorite part of going to the pet store is and he’ll easily answer you.

“The cats. She loves to see the cats.”

Every time we go to PetCo or Petsmart, I immediately make a beeline for the spot where rescue organizations set up shop with their furry felines. It’s been months since we lost Pink, and I can’t deny that I miss the pussycat purr in our home.

Last weekend we needed dog treats and we decided to go to PetCo since it carries Charlie’s favorite in bulk. We also put the treats on top of Lexie’s kibble to encourage her to eat.

We walked in the store, and right into heaven … or should I say a cat adoption fair.

The second cage had an orange stripey cat. he came right to the front and pressed his body against the bars. I’m a sucker for a ginger.

“He’s a cutie!” I whispered to Matt. He nodded.

As I pushed my finger through the cage bars to touch the kitty’s nose, a woman wormed her way between Matt and me.

“Would you like to hold him?” she asked, already opening the cage and reaching in to grab the cat.

“Umm, sure,” I said. I was happy to hold a cat again, but not exactly sure I was ready to make a commitment right then and there.

The woman put the cat in my arms. As I looked up to ask the cat’s name, I was startled. By the woman’s angry eyebrows. They were clearly painted on … in an angry fashion.

“His name is Cheddar,” she said. We asked if he got along with dogs, and she said she had one dog at home but she wasn’t really sure how they got along. The woman told us she has numerous cats, and they all got along.

We told Angry Eyebrows that we had two dogs, and she bristled. We said they were relatively small, and lived with a cat before. She looked away, disinterested.

Matt ran his fingers over Cheddar’s paws, and asked if he was declawed. She said no, and we both expressed relief. Me because I don’t believe in declawing a cat, and Matt began to mention the … (record player screeches)

The dog door.

“Oh, do you want an outdoor cat? We don’t allow outdoor cats. We want our cats to stay indoors. Always. It’s too dangerous for cats to be outside. ….” (fade to black)

Oh. No.

I explained that Pink was not an outside cat. She loved sleeping on her cat perch or the couch. But she had wandered out the dog door a few times, only to wander about five or six feet before running back inside. I explained all of this, but Angry Eyebrows wasn’t having any of it.

She grabbed Cheddar, and pulled him tightly to her chest. And with that, our cat adoption interview was over.

This was for a cat we didn’t really want to adopt in the first place, but suddenly I was pissed that I was summarily dismissed.

I wondered if we would ever be allowed to adopt a cat with our dog door. I imagined us boarding over the hole in the side door, and growing frustrated as Charlie took to pooping in the library again. With gusto.

Could it be Angry Eyebrows was right?

Regardless, I came to accept it just wasn’t the right cat.

We’ll keep looking. I know the fuzzball is out there.

FurFamHORZNTL

Snow, sleep and kittens!


Charlie surveys his first snowfall.

Charlie surveys his first snowfall. (Photo by Bryan Bogater)

Special note: We got caught up in the holiday excitement, and just realized we haven’t posted a blog in a while. Today’s entry should get us all caught up. Happy New Year!

Christmas came a day late for Charlie, but he says it was well worth the wait.

Mother nature delivered his first snow.

In all honesty, my brother has ordered up the storm. He flew in from Ft. Lauderdale earlier in the day, and had specifically requested a sizable amount of snow. He told me if he had to be in freezing temperatures while visiting me, the least I could do is provide a scenic snowy backdrop.

So once we returned from the airport with Bryan, snowflakes began to fall. Charlie hopped up on the couch, and watched through the front window. His eyes grew pensive, as he pressed his brown nose against the glass.

Charlie romps in the snow.

Charlie romps in the snow.

What is that white stuff falling from the sky?

It was dark by the time we had several inches on the ground. Matt and walked out back with Charlie to see his reaction. He pranced through the yard, occasionally stopping to grab a mouthful of snow. As we pretended to snatch him up, Charlie ran full tilt, losing traction in the snow as he tried to replicate his usual tight corners.

Lex stepped delicately in the snow, and did her best to avoid Charlie as he flew by.

With the snow came some interesting developments.

First, our sand-in-the-house problem instantly disappeared! We now can walk barefoot inside, and no longer build sand castles on our couch.

Second, dog toys started disappearing. Then reappearing … covered in snow. At first it was a collection of squeaky toys. The hedgehog and the chipmunk, specifically. They were gone, then a day later reappeared as a snowball on the couch. Interestingly, Charlie switched it up to include his Nylabones and a deer antler.

Apparently, he prefers his chewies chilled, thank you very much.

Lounging Lexie

It seems that Lex has fully recovered from her vertigo scare. And while she has not had any more dizzy spells, she spends most of her time sleeping, these days. Her favorite spot has become a high-back chair in the front room, closest to the heat register. When she curls up on the chair, I cover her with a blanket, and she’s instantly out.

Lex snags one of Charlie's frozen Nylabones.

Lex snags a frozen Nylabone.

When she’s awake, Lexie has amazed us with her energy. She’s eating well, and consistently, and often has enough energy to instigate a wrestling match with Charlie.

When Matt spoke with our vet for the vertigo follow-up visit, she said Lexie’s kidney values are within healthy range, but on the high end of normal. She said this meant we did a great job with her special kidney diet, but that we have to keep a close eye on her. Considering Lex had one paw in the grave just six months ago, I call this a victory.

In the last couple weeks, Lex has really turned into a snuggle bug. Now that she can hop up on the couch on her own power again, she will tuck herself tight next to Matt or me. When she’s wanting to melt hearts, she’ll gently place her snout on my chest and stare up at me. Awwwe.

Smitten with kittens

In the last month or so, when Matt and I go to PetSmart or Petco, the first thing I do is make a beeline for the cat display. Both pet stores provide space to local rescue organizations for cat adoptions.

After losing Pink last fall, Matt and I both agreed that we would not get another cat. For 10 years, we said.

Some ginger cuties I spotted at Petco.

Some ginger cuties I spotted at Petco.

It’s funny how looking at those sweet fuzzy faces can makes our resolve dissolve.

I’ve secretly been taking photos of cute kittens for a couple months. And now I can’t disguise my excitement when it’s time to see the kitties. Matt always indulges me, but tonight a certain little kitten stole our hearts.

He was a small grey and white striped kitten, full of spunk and spasms. He saw us looking at him, and put on his best cute kitten show. We fell hard, and Matt noted he’d probably get along with Charlie.

“You should see if we can have a visit with him,” Matt said.

I almost fell over, but ran to a store associate before he changed his mind. It ends up the rescue organization only has meet-and-greets on the weekends, so we’ll have to come back.

The little fuzzball may the the one. Or maybe not. But I cannot lie. I’ve got kitten love in my heart again. Meow.

FurFamHORZNTL

Tell us your love story


Our Furever Family wants to hear your adoption stories! The best ones will receive a coffee mug.

Our adoption journey was filled with triumphs, challenges and heartbreak … and ultimately led us to Charlie. It’s been three months since we’ve adopted this spunky border collie mix, and we’ve enjoyed sharing his (mis)adventures with you.

Now that we have Charlie, it’s easy to forget the road we traversed to get him. First we fell in love with Ranger, then he fell through our fingers. Then the meet-and-greet was bungled with Demi, a cute-but-troubled border collie mix. We found Charlie on a website, and even though he was fostered in Kentucky, we took a chance on the pup who stole our hearts. The rest is history.

Now we want to hear your story, whether it was through adoption, an accidental meeting or another way of finding each other. How did you fall in love? Tell us how your pet came into your life in 500 words or less.

Eligibility requirements:

  • The pet must be a member of your family.
  • Be sure to include a photo.
  • You must be a subscriber to Our Furever Family. For directions on how to follow this blog, see instructions at the bottom of this page.

The best stories will receive an Our Furever Family coffee mug that we had specially designed for our fans.

Send your submissions to ourfureverfamily@gmail.com.

We’re glad you are part of Our Furever Family. And we look forward to learning more about yours.

If you would like to receive email notifications when Our Furever Family publishes a new blog entry, please go to the home page and click on “Email subscriptions” in the right nav. Thanks for joining our journey!

Kibble wars


Charlie caught in the act — stealing kibble from Lexie’s bowl.

We told Charlie, “No cat food for you! One year!” Clearly he didn’t get the “Seinfeld” reference. He still sneaks and nibbles.

If he’s not taking Pink’s cat food, Charlie will grab a mouthful of Lexie’s kibble. This pushes Lexie to the puppy chow. And Pink has been spotted gobbling out of Lex’s bowl.

Quite simply, feeding time in our house has turned into food wars.

Charlie came with a yummy bag of puppy kibble, and instantly turned his nose at it. He’s much more interested in the food that isn’t his. Lexie’s run-of-the-mill dog food is gold to him. Pink’s kibble is divine. Her wet fishy-smelling cat food? Charlie is over the moon.

All the while, his puppy chow sits untouched.

The finest puppy kibble couldn’t lure Charlie to his bowl.

So we went out and bought some Eukanuba puppy chow. It didn’t take long before he was sneaking over to Lexie’s bowl and grabbing a mouthful.

Lexie seemed unimpressed, and nibbled at Charlie’s food, wondering what the big deal was all about.

Since the cat isn’t a complainer, it was probably days before we realized she hadn’t eaten. Charlie had been devouring the dry and wet food, and by then Lex has joined in on the kibble larcenies. Pink watched from atop her new cat tree, and plaintively forced a weak “mew.”

Matt hatched the plan. He grabbed a cardboard box that already had an entry spot and an open top. We put Pink’s food in the box, and she could climb in, with protection on three sides. This seemed to work, until Pink followed a floating fuzzball into the front room, leaving the kibble open for the taking. Charlie and Lexie were eager to munch.

Realizing I had to do something, I took on a new persona: Jillian the lunchlady. I’d like to think I’m a bit cuter than the school marms at my alma mater Field Elementary, but I held firm to their discipline. The approach was simple: Put treats in each pet’s bowls to lure them there, then stand in the middle to monitor as they ate. Hopefully from their own bowls.

Pink prefers to dine at a Paul Newman establishment. Lex and Charlie prefer to eat her leftovers.

Honestly, Lex always has been a self-regulating dog when it comes to her food. So getting her to eat on command was more of a wish than a command. Surprisingly, the organic blueberry treats (!) were a hit, and she lingered to eat some of her kibble, as well. Charlie powered through his treats, and ate most of his puppy chow.

Pink was extraordinarily interested in her food for about a minute, then retreated back to the tree. Of course, Charlie made a beeline for her bowl.

“NO!!” I screamed.

He stopped in his tracks. And went back to his bowl.

A rare surveillance photo of Charlie eating from his actual bowl.

Thinking things were under control, I went to the front room to watch some television.

A few minutes later, Charlie rushed in, and spilled a mouthful of Lexie’s kibble at my feet.

Clearly we’re not close to an armistice in this food war.

As we’re finding with our puppy training efforts, these things take time.

Puppy love


Within minutes of arriving, Scout was chasing a large tennis ball in our backyard. Bounding, prancing, awkwardly hopping the way a young dog does. Matt and I looked at each other without saying a word. There’s no other way to describe it than … puppy love.

Before we tell any more of this story, we have to thank the people that made this happiness possible: the wonderful volunteers at True Heart MinPin Rescue. Based in Richmond, Ky., foster mom Gail drove almost seven hours to Michigan this morning with precious cargo.

As Scout hopped out of Gail’s car, we noticed he didn’t look much like his online profile pic. He was much thinner (his puppy paunch was gone), his nose seemed more slender and in general he seemed smaller than we expected. And, to top it all off, he was beyond adorable. In a way a puppy profile would never be able to accomplish. Puppy love, indeed.

While we were all standing in the yard, Gail confessed that her husband didn’t want Scout to go. They had become close buddies in the last couple months, and her husband told her, “No one will be able to take care of him the way I do.”

With the compassion of an animal rescue worker, she assured him Scout will be OK, that she was sure of it. And by him letting go, that opened a spot to save another dog. I tried to imagine myself letting a sweetie like Scout into my home for a couple months, knowing eventually he would move on to a loving adoptive home. I don’t think I have it in me. The loss and grief would be too much. Gail and her husband are cut from a special cloth. She told me the first time she and her husband turned over a dog to a new family, they drove a block away, pulled over and sobbed. She said it gets easier, especially knowing when a dog is going to a great home.

See Scout. See Scout play.

Lexie is nonplussed. In fact, she’s taking a snooze right now. Their initial meeting went well, and it was followed up by a thorough butt sniffing in the back yard. Ya know, pups need privacy. You can’t just make a move like that on the front lawn!

And Pink could care less. She seemed more interested in snagging some of his puppy chow than hanging out.

And Matt seems content to have another furry friend to share the couch at naptime. As Matt took a catnap this afternoon, Scout lined up several squeaky toys and ropies along Matt’s belly.

Good dog.

Help us rename Scout!

When I told my mom we planned to let ya’ll pick Scout’s new name, she laughed.

“But you already have the name picked out, right?” she asked.

“No, we’re asking for suggestions, then we will put the top names in a poll. Our blog readers will select the name.”

I can’t remember her response, but I’m pretty sure my mom said we were crazy.

Perhaps, but we’re more than happy to involve you in our puppy journey. I mean, you’ve been here this far; I can tell you are invested. So why not help with the name?

Send us your suggestions, either in the comments below, on the Finding Furever Facebook page or by emailing us at findingfurever2012@gmail.com.

We will pick the top names then post them in a poll, where you will make the final decision.

So far we’ve received a few interesting submissions, including Kitty, Walter, Rocket and Mocha.

Keep ’em coming.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The poll has closed. The name will be revealed tonight! (June 25)