Life can get busy. I don’t know many people who would disagree with that statement, especially right now. It seems as though life keeps getting busier and busier with each passing year. So, that’s why it’s so important to stop and appreciate special projects that friends make the time to produce — and Matt Lolli’s Zine is a great example of that. Matt was a college buddy and we stay in touch via Facebook. That’s how I found out about his latest side project — a hand-drawn magazine that he created. I was pretty stoked when I got my copy, and of course, it was the cat-themed spread that I liked best. So, props to Matt for taking the time to make something special — I know I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed it.
I was lucky enough to be doing some traveling the beginning of this month — seeing Asheville, Savannah, Charleston and the Outer Banks to mention a few of the stops along the way. But, only I would want to plan a stop on vacation at a cat rescue. Now, hear me out — this was no ordinary rescue. To start, it was a sanctuary. In other words, every cat there never has to worry about finding a new home ever again. But, more than that, it was a sanctuary for blind cats, and other less adoptable ones (with FIV and FELV). Yes, blind cats. In truth, I have had very little experience with blind cats. Maybe, throughout my photo sessions with The Shelter Me Project I came across one or two, but never more than one at a time. My curiosity had been piqued by following their facebook page — I wanted to meet these little guys.
Welcome to the Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary, located in St. Pauls, NC. It was a late day visit as we traveled from Charleston to the Outer Banks, but Alana at the shelter (aka the wonderful person who makes this all happen) was kind enough to deal with our fluctuating arrival time and give us the grand tour. And it was grand — seven immaculate rooms!
Along the way, we made plenty of friends. It’s a completely different experience than any shelter I have been to. These cats, because they’re blind, or because they are just so happy, are not shy. Since they can’t see you, they come up to you to sniff you or to touch you. At some points, we were simply covered in cats. It’s a heart-warming experience to say the least.
They were so much like “seeing” cats in their behavior that you didn’t even really notice that they were blind. They had the most adorable faces — some with eyes (detached retinas), but most without. But, after meeting a few of them, you stop thinking of them in that way. They get around just like any other cats you are familiar with — jumping, playing, rolling, purring, scratching, meowing — it’s all there.
The shelter itself consists of two buildings with seven rooms total. There’s an FIV room and an FELV room where seeing kitties enjoyed the company of other blind kitties with these disorders. Each room had plenty of places for the kitties to get comfy, and a door leading outside to a big fenced-in play area. It was very well done, and very, very clean.
This visit might have been a once-in-a-lifetime. Truly. I don’t know of too many groups dedicated to only blind cats, or that I will ever be down in North Carolina again. I can only hope I get to visit again someday — it was that moving and that wonderful of an experience. In the meantime, my view of blind cats has completely changed — I no longer see them as handicapped or helpless — they are different, yes, they are survivors, true, but they don’t know that. To themselves, they are simply cats. You have to respect that outlook on life.
It’s that time of year again — the Hygienic Gallery’s Art=Gift show! I’m honored to have been asked again this year and have been working away at framing this year’s photographs. I decided to promote Shelter Me again as I had all new images I was excited to share — plus, why not raise a little extra money for the shelters, right? It’s always a great show — join us next Saturday, November 19, for the opening!!
This is my third year of photographing for the Shelter Me Project Calendar, and by far the best year yet… Not just because of the final product, but because of the amazing and heart-warming experiences I’ve had along the way. I am so lucky to be able to spend time with the wonderful and compassionate people who run these shelters and rescue organizations — and I am better off for having known them. And then there are the animals themselves. I take so many pictures while I am there, only to select a few for final production. So here are a few of the cute moments that will never make the calendar, but will remain in my heart. These animals make me smile, laugh, and cry. And I can’t wait to do it all over again next year — I’ll be counting the days.
What a wonderful event last weekend — my darling client, Dog House Diaries had a book signing for their new book, Rescued in L.A. The story is about a shelter dog who finds his forever home, and since they knew of my Shelter Me Project, they invited me to display some work at their signing which was held at the Gallery at the Venetucci Home. Well, it was a lovely evening. Not only did I get to meet my clients face to face for the first time, but Shelter Me sold a photo to the Madison Veterinary Hospital! A successful night!
If you haven’t been to theoatmeal.com, then you’d better schedule some time to get there. And you’ll need more than just five minutes, just fyi. The Oatmeal is really Matthew Inman who’s based out of Seattle. The site is full of his comics and quizzes (and his new book, too!) which will have you laughing in no time. While you should explore the whole site, here are a few more of my favorites in case you don’t have time to check everything out:
Below are a few images from “Cat vs. Internet“, one of my favorites. You’ll have to visit the site to see who wins in the end. :)
I first stumbled across this company when I was visiting Block Island last summer — they had a great display in one of the local stores with floor to ceiling tee shirts and their logo large across the floor. It was eye-catching and drew me right in! Shortly after that, I was the proud owner of one of their awesome hats!
Next on the list will be one of these really fun tees — and check this at — through this last weekend they’re donating 50% of all the proceeds to charities helping the victims of Haiti. Help others and get some great goods! Visit their website for more of their great items!
Buy a beautiful calendar and support 7 connecticut animal shelters! The calendars are 11.5″ square, with each month featuring a different animal from one of the seven shelters: Forgotten Felines, Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary, Ray of Light Farm, Greener Pastures Rescue, Pet Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Old Lyme Animal Control, and Yesterday’s Kittens. It’s a modern-style calendar printed on individual pages and meant to be clipped and hung on the wall (clips and nails provided).
Visit my Etsy shop to buy one and share this with your friends!!
Well, my letterpress is finally assembled! So excited! Sending out a huge “thanks!” to John Falstrom at Lyme Letterpress Studio! Can’t wait to start printing on this great machine! And the kitties are pretty excited about it, too!
Yup — there are tons of pets out there in needs of their “forever home”. But, it’s not just the kittens and puppies that need homes — many senior or special needs pets also need some love. Can you make room in your heart and home for them? Visit Petfinder to find just the right one!