Our Christmas Cat – An Open Letter

To the person who owned our Christmas Cat:

On Friday, I found your cat. He walked with a limp and looked, for lack of a better word, ragged. He was friendly and had a notched ear. I was sure he was a feral, but he seemed like he needed help. So I scooped him up and carried him into my home. I gave him food and water and a safe place to sleep. He is skin and bones and so full of love.

Feral KittyToday, I took him to the vet. They informed me he is likely at least 15 years old. He is obviously too thin, missing many teeth, nearly blind, and likely suffers from numerous age related diseases. It seems I took him in just in time for his final months. My humble apartment will be his retirement home.

I am not telling you this because I assume you’ve dumped him. In fact it’s quite the opposite; I believe you loved this boy. You see, when my vet scanned him for a microchip, they found one. But it was incorrectly registered to a dog on the other side of the country. The phone number associated with it was disconnected, and thus the owner unreachable.

bathtime for the new catI feel heartbroken for your cat. I’m sure he misses you, and for his sake I have to assume you miss him too. I just want you to know that even if I never find you, I will give your baby the same love you did way back when. I will make sure his bowl is always full of food and his bed stays warm and dry. Anytime he meows I will come running. He can’t see me, but I’m making sure that he feels the love you would give him if you could. I am sorry you’ve lost your baby, and that I haven’t been able to find you. Please don’t worry about him. He’s got a home for Christmas.

Family time with Christmas CatSincerely,
Your kitty’s loving caretaker

Dream Big, Purr Loudly

I’ve posted a little bit here and there about our ‘stranger on the porch’. Today, I’m finally ready to formally introduce him to the world.

A couple of weeks ago at work, I found a cat napping outside of our apartments. He looked a little ragged, but didn’t hesitate to approach me when I called for him. He had no collar, wasn’t neutered, and was swimming in fleas.

MugenSo I clocked out of work for a few hours to drive him to the shelter to get him checked for a microchip. Surprise, surprise, he wasn’t chipped either. The shelter was kind enough to give me a ‘kitty starter kit’ and I threw him in a crate in my bathtub and headed back to work.


This cat had seen better days. Naturally his first reaction was to poop in my brand new car. #rescueproblems

That night involved a Target run where we bought some Dawn, a PetSmart run where I bought Capstar and a flea comb, and multiple dish soap baths for a very patient kitty. Mike and I washed him twice, until our sink was full of dead fleas and blood. He must have had so much dried blood from flea bites; our water looked like liquid rust.

20150507_194008 20150507_194835


World’s most chill cat.

But, he never scratched us, never bit, and when the bath was over stayed cuddled in a towel while we flea combed him.

Mugen's first bath.

Don’t get me wrong, he still looked angry. He just didn’t do anything about it.

For days, we threw our clothes straight into the wash after even going outside for just a minute to feed him. We replaced our soap and shampoo with Dawn, too. Just in case. But it worked! We never saw a flea on Lana, our furniture, our carpet, etc.

For a while, he lived entirely on our porch. He and Lana had an imperfect start and we were concerned about her prey drive. She’d only ever been around one other cat, but it had been some time ago and just a little kitten.

Lana watching over Mugen

They needed some time to get used to each other.

He had no name. A couple of people contacted me after seeing his ‘found’ poster, but he wasn’t the right cat. We have since learned that the building next to our apartments has feral cats living behind it. I honestly think he must just be the least-feral feral cat I’ve ever met.


Mugen naps on the porch

Our cat, formerly called ‘Cat’ and of course ‘Stranger on the Porch’, is now called Mugen. We get to see his true colors now that he feels healthy and safe. He is sassy! And food motivated. And LOVES to play tag. Mugen sleeps on the porch and stays there during work, but otherwise enjoys spending time inside. He and Lana have a respectful relationship. They’re not best friends, but they make the most of having a sibling of another species.

Mugen and Lana napping

One of our Instagram favorites

Mugen is scheduled to get his shots, and I’ll be getting him a microchip next week, too. After that, he’ll be neutered. It’s interesting adjusting to a cat, a new thing for all of us. But it’s been a fun journey so far.

Mugen the lap cat

He’s really a lap cat.

Lost Dog

I can’t imagine losing Lana; she is my shadow. But unfortunately, sometimes things happen and people lose their shadows. I’m grateful right now that Lana is (as far as I know) safe and sound at home getting my nice clean couch all furry, but I have learned of a stunning Husky who has gone missing in Tallahassee, FL. Her owner is obviously very concerned. Please keep your eyes open!

Her owner says: “Lost dog. She is a 6 month old Siberian Husky and responds to Luna. If you’ve seen her roaming the streets or know where she might be please contact me on Facebook or by phone”.


Because I’m not into publishing strangers’ phone numbers on the internet, if you see this dog please either comment here or e-mail me at kes09c@my.fsu.edu

I’m not expecting the same kind of miracle we had with Beau, but let’s try our best to reunite this dog with her owner!

The Power of Social Networking

We have some incredible news this morning. Beau the cat, who was featured yesterday on DBBL has not only found a home, he found HIS home! After sharing my post on Facebook, one of my very awesome friends recognized Beau as Mortymer, a cat who had been lost for several months!

Long story short, I met some very cool people and a girl and her cat have been reunited! I seriously couldn’t have imagined a happier ending! Whether it was fate (which you know is often what I believe) or it was just somebody’s lucky day, I’m grateful for it. I love an ending where everyone goes home happy.

So, we have one adventure done, and I’d say it’s about time to start another. When I awoke this morning I was tagged in a picture of a very handsome Retriever mix (who just so happens to be stuck in the same shelter my puppy was in before a rescue saved her). I can’t so no to a Golden, so say hello to our next featured adoptable!


This is Teddy, an adult Golden Retriever mix. Teddy weighs approximately 50 pounds. He is in need of an adoption or rescue commitment, as his time in the shelter is limited. Poor Teddy is not in the shelter because he was a ‘bad boy’, but because his owner passed away. I’m sure this scenario never even crossed his former owner’s mind, and I’m also sure they would have wanted him to go to a nice home, not a shelter.

Teddy’s ID number is: D-9414

He is located at:
Pasco County Animal Services (Tampa Bay, FL)
19640 Dogpatch Ln.
Land O’Lakes, FL 34638
To place a hold as adopter or foster/rescue: You must email BEFORE the time they are scheduled to be put to sleep. Email to adoptionpartners@pascocountyfl.net
The subject MUST be IN CAPS: ATTN DO NOT EUTH (ID#____).
To call (Mon-Fri until 4:30) 727-834-3216 or 727-834-3218 or 813-929-1212
Rescues can go and collect the dog when not open to the public, please email them to make arrangements.
There you have it! If you think you might know anyone looking for a big, hunky guy like Teddy, please don’t hesitate to let them know about him! You might just make the difference in saving his life!

Goodbye Precious, Hello Beau!

It’s time for a long overdue update!

Before work on Saturday morning (so much for sleeping in on the weekends!), Precious was picked up for transport and has gone to a rescue in Central Florida. I’m told she had an adopter before she even left my apartment. Most of my previous fosters have either been adopted locally or gone to a rescue with whom I had contact, and unfortunately this is not the case with Precious. I’m heartbroken that I cannot see her progress or get any updates about her, but that is just a part of fostering. I hope she truly has gone to a good home and that everything will work out for her once and for all.


I’m especially sad because unless I personally find an animal in a dumpster or on the road, I will not foster again. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing it, and I will do it again later in life, but not while my life is so unstable. (Speaking of, wish me luck hunting for out of state internships!)

However, that does not mean Dream Big, Bark Loudly is going to disappear. I will still feature animals in need, just not ones in my home. So, for our first special adoptable in need, I present you with Beau the cat!


His current foster moms say:

This is Beau. He is truly the sweetest loving kitty. We are very sad to see him go but my roommate and I have to find him a new loving home. He showed up at our doorstep abandoned a few months ago and we’ve been taking care of him until we could find him a permanent home. We got him all his shots and neutering and he is a very healthy happy kitty around 1 years old. He loves to be held and cuddled with and is super sweet.


Isn’t that awesome?! I cannot thank these girls enough for caring for Beau and going through all the effort to find him a good home! They’ve put about $250 into his care, but aren’t strictly asking for that full amount back. He is not free (I’ll post later about the dangers of the phrase ‘free to good home’!), and they definitely want someone to adopt him who has the means to care for him for the rest of his life.


Do you have room in your home and your heart for this stunning boy? Do you know someone who has been on the market for a new best friend? If so, please share this post with them! We want to find this boy’s new family! If you are interested, feel free to comment on this post or e-mail me (Kayla) at kes09c@my.fsu.edu and I will forward your message to his wonderful foster mommies!

Thank you! With your help, hopefully we can find this handsome boy a home of his own!