Rescued feline goes viral for “deep thoughts”

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Colorado native Hayley Cassatt had a beloved childhood cat, names Six ,an orange Tabby. “He was just the best cat in the whole world,” she remembers .

After moving to Portland as an adult, Cassatt was ready to adopt a pet. She went to Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood with a specific wish: a male orange Tabby with a mellow, affectionate, charm-your-whiskers-off personality.

Instead, she met a young orange female Tabby who had been rescued from the streets with her litter of kittens. While of similar coloring, this cat didn’t have the plucky personality of her predecessor, Six. “She was a little weird,” Hayley remembers. “She’s just very shy and timid. Her kittens had all been adopted. I think she was at CAT for a while. I fell for her as somewhat of an underdog.”

Cassatt called her dad, a professional cartoonist who called himself the family’s Cat Butler. The pair shared a love of art and cats. She told her dad the cat wasn’t anything like their beloved Six, but that her heart was hooked anyway. His fatherly advice: adopt the weird cat and bring her home. 

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Becoming Andy

Unlike her predecessor, this cat isn’t much of a lap-warmer. She is affectionate with Cassatt, but no one else. “My best friends who live above me have a wiener dog. We’re convinced the dog is in love with her, but she’s stand-offish,” Cassatt laughs.

Still, the timid, stand-offish feline worked her way indelibly into Cassatt’s heart and home. “It’s not my home anymore,” she laughs, “it’s hers.”

Pondering names, Cassatt thought of the Spielberg movie The Goonies, filmed in Oregon. One lead character is a redhead named Andy. “It’s a favorite movie and one of the reasons I moved to the Pacific Northwest,” Cassatt explains. “And my grandma’s nickname growing up was Andy.”  

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She can’t remember now whether her dad met Andy, “but I sent lots of pictures and he loved her,” she recalls. Cancer claimed him, the person who had inspired her career and love of cats.

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Shortly after the painful loss of her father, Cassatt and Andy moved to a new home in SE Portland. Andy found a sunny window overlooking the street to be a perfect perch. “There’s a lot of foot traffic outside my house,” Cassatt says. Passersby would notice the fat, happy orange cat in the window, and the often-aloof Andy seemed to bask in the attention. Cassatt was inspired. “I thought I’d put up thought bubbles, sort of as an homage to my father.” 

A Different Kind of Affection

“I started with some Garfield quotes. I think the first one I ever did was ‘I Hate Mondays.’ And I did silly things like ‘Lasagna.’”

Drawing on large sheets, Cassatt cuts and tapes the images in Andy’s window, then photographs and posts them on Instagram.

“Travel Oregon saw her there and reposted it and it went a little viral,” Cassatt recalls. “It’s kind of funny because she has more followers than I do. I think the fame has sort of gone to her head a little. She’s a diva. She does glamour shots with her legs to the side. It’s cute.”

Cassatt doesn’t publicize her address, but there’s heavy foot traffic outside Andy’s window, and fans are delighted when they spot the famous Instagram cat, sharing her deep thoughts, and basking in the glow of her fame. 

The Glamorous Life

Now eight years old, Andy is a social media sensation and a beloved neighborhood fixture. People passing by light up when they spot the famous orange cat and her thought bubbles. “People will tell me, ‘Oh! That’s Deep Thoughts by Andy! I follow her on Instagram.”

“I really love that it makes people happy. That’s kind of the best thing about it,” says Cassatt. “She’s sort of up on a throne and she works it. I think she likes the sun, so when it’s warm she’s always there. Otherwise she’s on the floor in weird poses. She likes to sleep on her back. She’s just a weirdo.”

Follow Andy on Instagram @DeepThoughtsByAndy


Michelle Blake is a Salem, OR-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in national publications. Her husband wants you to know she's a REALLY crazy dog lady too.

Tips for a safe Halloween

  1. Keep candy out of reach, especially if it contains chocolate or xylitol (common in sugar-free candies and gum);

  2. Make sure your pet has a microchip, collar and ID tag in case of escape;

  3. Keep lit candles/jack-o-lanterns and glow sticks/jewelry out of reach

  4. If putting your pet in costume, make sure it fits properly, is comfortable, doesn't have any pieces easily chewed off, and doesn't interfere with your pet's sight, hearing, breathing, opening its mouth, or moving. Give your pet time to get accustomed to the costume before Halloween, and never leave your him or her unsupervised while in costume;

  5. If your pet is wary of strangers or might bite from stress or fear, put him/her in another room during trick-or-treating hours;

  6. Keep your pet inside. 

Excepted from a public service courtesy of the AVMA.

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Grant a boon to human and canine seniors

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Love is in the air for senior dogs and older adults at the Oregon Humane Society, thanks to a recent grant from The Grey Muzzle Organization, a national nonprofit, to help rehome more dogs ages seven and older. Through the grant, adoption fees will be waived for all senior dogs adopted by adults 60 and older during OHS’s Senior Tuesday.

By offering these senior dogs with their adoption fee waived, OHS will be able to transfer in more senior dogs from partner shelters, giving them a second chance at a loving home.

“We are very grateful for this grant from The Grey Muzzle Organization,” says Sharon Harmon, OHS President and CEO. “This will give more senior dogs the chance to find a loving home with an older adult.”

Learn more about OHS’s Senior Tuesday and see adoptable pets at oregonhumane.org/adopt/adoption-specials.

Cat Named Andy Shares “Deep Thoughts” in Portland, Oregon

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Adopted cat Andy is the star of punny window paintings

(Sherwood, OR)—When Portland, Ore., resident Hayley Cassatt adopted her cat Andy from the Cat Adoption Team (CAT) in 2011, she had no plans to make Andy a star. In fact, she hadn’t anticipated adopting Andy at all.

“I was looking around for a male orange kitty, and Andy didn’t quite fit my match,” says Hayley, “But when I saw her I fell in love.”

Although Andy was “a little scared and a little weird,” the two made an instant connection. It felt like love at first sight, but Hayley wanted a second opinion before committing to Andy. She called her dad.

“I said, ‘Dad, I can’t leave without this cat; she’s my baby,’” Hayley recalls. “He said to go for it, so I took her home.”

It wasn’t the first time Hayley had looked to her father for support. The two were quite close, sharing a love of puns, cartoons, and—of course—cats. An award-winning photographer, designer, and cartoonist, Hayley’s father also considered himself a “cat butler” to the Cassatt family cats. When he passed away from cancer in 2013, Hayley wanted to do something unique in his honor.

“Andy always sits in this window and I thought it would be so great if I put up some puns as an homage to my father,” Hayley shares.

An art teacher and professional artist herself, Hayley put up Andy’s first “deep thought” in the window of her home in Southeast Portland. Since then, she’s continued to create window art with Andy as the centerpiece. When she noticed passers-by taking photos, she started an Instagram account (instagram.com/deepthoughtsbyandy) so that people could see more of Andy and tag her in their posts.

Hayley says she usually picks puns or topical sayings for the window. Things like holidays, current events, and pop culture inspire the artwork, which changes every couple of weeks.

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Hayley doesn’t publicize her address, but enjoys when people happen upon her window, smile, and take photographs of Andy. Some people even seek out the special window just to see what Andy’s been thinking.

“My dad would have really loved how excited people are,” she says. “It really makes me happy to pay him tribute.”

In addition to honoring her father, Hayley likes the chance to be playful with her cat too. Her advice to others seeking a feline companion is to “do something fun with them.” She adds that it’s important to adopt. “There’s a lot of cats out there that don’t have homes. I don’t feel like a home is a home without a cat.”

As for how Andy feels about all the attention? Well, you’ll just have to find her window and see for yourself!

Tips For July 4th

Reprinted via Valli Parthasarathy, PhD, DVM, ACVB Resident at Synergy Behavior Solutions

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The fourth of July can be a time of celebration for many people, but it can also be a time of great fear for our pets. Here are some tips to make this Fourth as stress-free as possible for your pets.

Tip #1: Know what your pet's fear looks like.  Fear of fireworks doesn't have to look dramatic. Many very fearful pets will quietly hide or shiver. Others will be more obvious, pacing, panting, vocalizing, or even becoming destructive or pottying in the house. The amount of obvious fear signs don't always correlate with actual fear. A hiding dog may be just as afraid as a panting and pacing dog. They just express that fear differently.

Tip #2: Create a Safe Space. Create a safe area for your pet to be during the fireworks. This can be wherever your pet is most comfortable. Two chairs with a blanket draped over them, a crate, a closet, the basement, or an interior room like a bathroom are some possibilities. Set up the area before fireworks start and do lots of positive things in the area. Feed your pet there, give interactive toys and just generally make it a nice place to be. Make sure that your pet has access to that safe area when the fireworks start.

Think about ways to decrease the sound level of fireworks within the home. Shutting all of the windows tight and running a white noise machine or loud fan can help muffle noises from outside. Mutt Muffs (www.safeandsoundpets.com) and Happy Hoodies (www.happyhoodie.com)  are some options that can help reduce that sound level that your pet hears.

Tip #3: Practice Proactive Safety. In the days leading up to July 4th people are often shooting off fireworks. To keep your pets safe, don't allow your dog off-leash, and make sure that their collar or harness is snug so that they can't slip out of it. Potty your dog on leash before it gets dark on these nights, and again if needed after the fireworks are over. Dogs have even escaped fenced yards in their fear. Don't take your dog out during the fireworks themselves. Keep your cat indoors as well. . In fact, the 5th of July is often one of the busiest days for animal shelters as so many dogs become scared and run away from home during the fireworks.

Consider alternate ways to enrich your pet's environment since they may not be spending as much time outdoors. Some options include food puzzle toys, reward-based trick training or dog daycare if your dog is suitable. Keep in mind that there will probably be occasional fireworks after July 4th, so be prepared for that as well.

Tip #4: Avoiding is OK! Many pet owners leave Portland altogether and spend the July 4th weekend in more remote locations around the state. Other tips that clients have shared with us include: staying at a well sound-insulated hotel (such as near the airport) spending the evening in an underground parking garage, or taking a drive to and from Eugene with their pet to avoid the sounds of the fireworks. Our Fourth of July Hideaway is an option as well!

Tip #5: Medications can bring relief. If your pet is very scared during fireworks, speak to your veterinarian (or for Dr. Valli's clients, speak to her!) now about whether situational anti-anxiety medications are an option to help ease this time for your pet.


Fourth of July Hideway
Are you and your dog staying in town for the July 4th holiday? If your dog does not like fireworks, consider Synergy Behavior Solutions' Fourth of July Hideaway. Bring your dog and hang out for the evening in our quiet space and watch movies to boot!The last two years were a great time and they look forward to it again.

 

Ready, Set, Go!

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Pet season has begun! 

No matter the weather, it’s time to get out and about with your furry friends and support the animals in the community. 

Several great organizations helping animals have their biggest fundraisers in the months ahead.

Check out this roster of paw-some walk/run events to get started:

Walk/Run for the Animals

Sat., May 5, 7:30am-11:30am at Esther Short Park in Vancouver, WA * Party in the park with over 2,000 people and more than 1,000 dogs (and other pets) to support the Humane Society for SW Washington. Choose a timed 5K run or 3-mile walk along the beautiful Columbia River. Dozens of pet-friendly vendors, dog agility demos, awards and fun for you and your dog.  Details/register SouthwestHumane.org.

Doggie Dash 2018

Sat., May 12, 7:30am-1pm at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, OR * Portland’s biggest party for pets and their peeps celebrates you, the animals you love and everything that makes Puptown a haven for pet lovers. Two fun run/walk courses to choose from – the Doggie Dash Classic 1.5 miles or the Bridge to Bridge 2.5 miles. Vendors, contests, live music and more round out this incredible morning of fun. Details/register OregonHumane.org.

Bark in the Park

Sun., May 21, 7am-Noon at Alton Baker Park in Eugene, OR * On your marks, get set, GO!  Leash up for a 10 or 5K run or a 2K walk at the 25th annual event for the animals at Greenhill Humane Society. Enter as an individual or a team and get a sweet doggie bandana and special anniversary t-shirt with registration. The line-up of fun also includes canine activities, contests, vendor booths, demos and more. Details/register Green-Hill.org.

2018 WillaMutt Strut 5K and Fun Run/Walk

Sun., June 10, 8m-1pm at Riverfront Park in Salem, OR * Grab some friends and leash up the pups for the pets at Willamette Humane Society. Choose from the ambitious 5K (run or walk) or the more casual 1K strut. Afterwards, join other passionate pet people in the park for food, brews, music, games, demos and more fun. Family-friendly, group-friendly and of course, dog-friendly event!  Registration includes t-shirt and race swag! Details/register WHS4Pets.org.

Dog Gone Run

Sat., June 16, 7am-1pm at Friends of Sam Jackson Park in Redmond, OR * Dog-friendly 5K or 10K run/walk supports the Brightside Animal Center and encourages participants to get out with their buddies although it’s not a requirement. For something more casual, there is also a 1-mile fun walk for families and their pets. Awards given for fastest finishers overall in each age division.  Details/register BrightsideAnimals.org.

Lace up your walking shoes and let’s go!

Fetch all the pet-related fun by visiting the Good Neighbor Vet Furry FunPlanner and tune in to KPSU radio every Thursday at 6:05pm.

Cat Adoption Team celebrates 20 years of saving lives

May 1 marks 20th anniversary for local animal shelter

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[April 26, 2018 – Sherwood, Ore.] — This May, the Cat Adoption Team (CAT) will celebrate its 20th year of saving the lives of homeless cats and kittens.

With 35 cats for adoption and a dream to save more lives, CAT opened its doors in Sherwood, Ore., on May 1, 1998. Today, CAT is the largest feline-only nonprofit animal shelter in the Pacific Northwest and has found homes for more than 44,000 cats and kittens.

When CAT first came on the scene in the late 1990s, Portland and its surrounding communities were overrun with lost, stray, and abandoned cats. Euthanasia rates were high. Adoption numbers were low. Homeless cats had limited options.

Working collaboratively with other animal shelters, rescue groups, and veterinarians—and with the support the local community—CAT has helped transform the Portland metro area into one of the safest communities in the nation for homeless cats.

By the end of its first year, CAT had found homes for 219 cats. The adoption numbers and shelter population more than doubled in 1999. In 2002, CAT became the first animal shelter in the Pacific Northwest to open an onsite veterinary hospital. And the organization has continued to advance each year.

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Though the shelter location hasn’t changed, the facility has undergone countless improvements. CAT upgraded from particle board and Plexiglas to stainless steel cat kennels in the mid-2000s. Later, in 2014, additional housing improvement gave twice as much space to each cat. The organization continues to make changes in response to advances in veterinary medicine and animal sheltering.

Over the past 20 years, cats’ lives have been saved and human lives have been enriched by the 44,319 adoptions from CAT.

“All of this has been made possible by the generosity and caring of adopters, volunteers, donors, and other partners in our community,” says Karen Green, CAT’s executive director. “We can’t wait to see what the next 20 years will bring!”

Helping cats in need remains at the core of all that CAT does. This year, the organization plans to increase its support for senior cats, under-socialized kittens, and cats with other health or behavior concerns. What’s more, CAT hopes to help another 3,300 cats and kittens find loving new homes by the end of 2018.
CAT invites you to celebrate the memories by viewing our 20th Anniversary Photo Album online at catadoptionteam.org/20years.

A Brief History of CAT

1998 – CAT opens on May 1 with 35 cats for adoption

2000 – 1,000th cat is adopted

2002 – CAT opens onsite veterinary hospital, making it the first shelter in Oregon to open such a clinic

2004 – Organization receives official 501(c)(3) nonprofit designation

2005 – Kitten foster program is formalized with the hire of first foster coordinator

2006 – CAT and other local animal organizations form the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland (ASAP)

2008 – ASAP’s Spay & Save low-cost public spay/neuter program become available at CAT

2009 – CAT reaches 20,000th adoption

2011 – Thrift Store Benefitting the Cat Adoption Team opens

2012 – A burst pipe floods the shelter and CAT undertakes an extensive remodel

2014 – CAT adds portals to its kennels, doubling—and in some cases tripling—each cat’s space

2016 – 40,000th adoption takes place

2017 – With grant funding, CAT purchases its first transport vehicle

2018 – CAT celebrates 20th anniversary

ABOUT CAT ADOPTION TEAM
The Cat Adoption Team (CAT) is the Pacific Northwest’s largest nonprofit, feline-only shelter committed to finding a home for every cat it takes in. CAT’s mission is to save the lives of homeless cats and to work with our community to provide feline expertise and quality programs and services for people and cats. CAT has found homes for more than 44,000 cats and kittens since opening in May 1998. As a 501(c)(3) publicly supported charity, CAT relies on the generous support of individuals and organizations. For more information, visit catadoptionteam.org.

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Boxes of Love filled with ❤

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Jake n' Max's Boxes of Love began as a tribute to the unwavering love of two beloved senior dogs. Now in it's 6th year, the drive collects donations of cozy comforts, healthy supplements, fun toys, and other items to brighten the lives of sweet deserving dogs and cats at St. Martin's Animal Rescue who need a little extra help and love.

The campaign runs Jan. 14 through Feb. 14 and partners with local businesses who serve as donation sites, with cheerily decorated boxes ready to be filled.

Current donation sites for 2018:

Fang & Feather * 3131 N Lombard St, Portland

Meat for Cats & Dogs * 2244 E Burnside, Portland

Salty's Pet Supply * 4039 N Mississippi #104, Portland

Tails R Waggin Doggy Daycare * 4925 NW Fruit Valley Rd, Vancouver

Three Paws Neighborhood Pet Supply * 3147 SW Moody Ave, Portland

In addition, boxes will located at these City of Portland locations in downtown Portland Jan. 22-Feb. 9:

Bureau of Developmental Services * 1900 SW 4th Ave, Lobby

Columbia Square * 111 SW Columbia St, 5th floor

Columbia Wastewater Treatment Plant, 5001 N Columbia Blvd., Portland

Congress Center * 1001 SW 5th Ave, 5th floor

911 Center * 3732 SE 99th Ave, Portland

Portland Water Pollution Control * 6543 N Burlington, Portland

Stay tuned to this post or visit Spot on Facebook for locations and updates as they are added!

If your business would LOVE to participate, contact Vonnie@SpotMagazine.net.

 

Pets & People Celebrate as More than 11,000 Pets Find Homes

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2017 was a very good year for pets: thanks to a public that opened their hearts and homes to animals, the Oregon Humane Society was once again able to find homes for more than 11,000 pets during the calendar year.

One of the most fortunate pets to go home last week was a tuxedo-colored cat named Buttons who first arrived at OHS on May 31, 2017. “OHS never puts a time limit on how long a pet stays at the shelter, which makes the adoption of more  than 11,000 pets all the more remarkable,” said OHS President and CEO Sharon Harmon. The final adoption total for OHS in 2017 was 11,297 animals, which included dog, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents and horses.

2017 marks the eighth year in a row that OHS has met its target of finding homes for 11,000 pets, the highest number of pets adopted by any single-shelter facility on the West Coast.

2017 may also have been one of the best years for the traditional OHS “Home for the Holidays” campaign. The annual campaign seeks to find homes by December 31 for every pet who is at the shelter on December 1. This year’s campaign began with 152 Home for the Holiday pets, but by December 31, only 14 of those pets (including five mice) were still available for adoption.

All pets available for adoption at OHS can be viewed online at: www.oregonhumane.org/adopt.

PHOTO: Buttons the cat went home on Dec. 30, after spending six months waiting for his forever family.

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The Oregon Humane Society is the Northwest's oldest and largest humane society. OHS relies entirely on donations to support its adoption, education, and animal cruelty investigation programs. Visit oregonhumane.org for more information. OHS is located at 1067 NE Columbia Blvd, Portland, Oregon.