Elvis: Then and Now

Elvis is one of our earliest rescue cats. We found him wandering on the floor of a burned-out house in a neighborhood where we were trapping free-roaming cats. Apparently, his mother had given birth to a litter in the house’s rafters, and little Elvis fell out onto the floor—uninjured but frightened and confused. After a bit of cleaning and nursing, we adopted him ourselves, and he grew into a big, handsome cat.

A few days ago, we took a picture of him and were surprised how much he still resembled the frightened kitten who first won our hearts. Absent several layers of mucus and other unidentified forms of goop, he retains the same wide-eyed open look that first won our hearts.

And, if you are as charmed by Elvis’ pictures as we are, here are a couple more, taken shortly after we brought him home and cleaned him up.

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Pets as Tax Write-Offs by Karen Sprague

Karen Sprague is one of our long-time supporters. Perhaps it is because our Coronavirus-delayed tax deadline is approaching, but she sent us a charming article she wrote on the non-deductible costs and non-taxable rewards of keeping pets. We are delighted that she has allowed us to reprint it here!

As this time of year, when taxes loom in the not-so-distant future, I nearly drool when I think of the tax returns my husband and I could amass if our pets’ expenses could be written off as “dependents.’”

My thoughts fade back to a pet adoption three years ago … the sun was shining, the poor little doggies and kitties were lined up in prison-like boxes, and one darling black puppy (pre-named Willy) wagged and cried out to come home with us. He had big, soulful brown eyes and it was only $70.00 to adopt him. What the heck!

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Photos by Nannette

Nannette is our youngest volunteer, but she is already showing considerable artistic talents. She has shared a number of charming photos she took of cats in our foster house.

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Sebastian is a tiny tiger!

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake
Sebastian (left) with his friend Ares

When we initially began Project Apollo, we not only faced the challenge of working with a colony of frightened, sometimes feral cats but also had to work with the neighbors.  Because some doubted that we could maintain the colony through TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return), we did not return the first few animals we trapped. They became “ambassadors” at the foster house—the nucleus of a growing community.  After neighborhood attitudes softened toward the cats, we were able to move successfully to TNR, and Apollo’s colony remains well maintained. 


The ambassador cats at the foster house have become friendly and playful through time, but one cat, Sebastian, like Frank Sinatra, did it his way. 

Sebastian lives at the foster house and has always had food, toys, and the love of all our volunteers, but it has taken him a long time to warm up to his situation. He is a big cat with striking stripes, but his green eyes are his most haunting feature. Looking into them reveals a deep, untamed intelligence.  

Recently, I was able to sketch him stretching on the floor, and the process allowed me to become even closer to him.  It was a real treat for me.


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Something to Bring a Smile During Lockdown

Staying home during the COVID lockdown can be pretty trying, so we thought we’d share a video that we guarantee will bring a smile.

We rescued Lucy when she was about three months old. She showed up at our doorway one snowy morning in 2015, and was hungry, dirty, and had cactus thorns in several places on her body. We brought her inside, fed and cleaned her up, and fell in love. Lucy has lived with us ever since.

We took this video about a month after we rescued her. It is entitled Lucy vs. the Sandal. Be sure to watch until the end to see her final triumph. Enjoy!

Lucy vs the Sandal
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