The owner of these cats (and nine more) was whisked to the hospital and put on life support. Twelve cats remained in his home without food or water for almost a week.

Our rescue group, the Cat Adoption Team, took in five, had them spayed and neutered, treated their various ailments and put them up for adotion.

Here are Alex, Sasha and Andre. Each got a new loving home.

The good news is that one mommy cat and two kittens have been adopted.

But five kitties are still looking for a home. I’ve been fostering them for a few weeks, since they took sick with the usual culprits that kittens are vulnerable to. But all are now in great shape and ready to move on.

Prison Kittens

Two mommy cats and their six kittens have recently been released from an area prison, where they had been furtively fed by inmates, surviving on a diet of canned Vienna sausage, procured by inmates at the prison canteen.

Last sighted around the Cat Adoption Team facility, a Wilmington, NC cat rescue group, the cats are on the prowl again, looking for new homes. Area residents are warned these cats are armed with dangerous weapons to steal your heart, including extreme cuteness, loud purrs, and beseeching stares.

We are asking the public to come forth and adopt these cats and kittens in order to forestall any possibility they will end up in prison again.

To see the Prison Cats/Kittens, please send a message to catadoptionteam(at)earthlink.net.

To help raise money to spay/neuter these kittties, Cat Above is offering a coupon good for the purchase of any of its cat hammocks at www.catabove.com. When you use coupon R102 at checkout, you will get $5 off your purchase and the Cat Adoption Team will get a $5 donation.

An explanation is in order for the long gap in blogging herein. The claim on my time comes from my business, which caters to cats, and as we know, cats come first, blogs a distant second.

Recently I launched a new cat product, the SnoozePal Cat Hammock in a Box, which is modeled here by Kippy. More information about the SnoozePal (and about Kippy) can be found at http://www.catabove.comSnoozePal Hammock no background S

Reader Questions: Nancy in Omaha

Dear Nancy,

You are not alone. Many households struggle with the same problem. Here are some suggestions.

First, remove the beautiful heirloom glass vase and stash it away in the closet. Heirloom glass vases do not belong on the same table with a cat. Although cats are extremely careful with heirloom glass, sooner or later, in the excitement over a bird, an accident is bound to happen.

Second, you might want to remove the chairs surrounding the table, especially if they are the kind with high back. Having to jump over this hurdle is sure to increase the unintentional scratching of chair backs and table.

It goes without saying that the tablecloth should be removed and reserved for special occasions, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, when your guests can take turns guarding the table. Make sure you invite enough guests to guard the table at all time, and of course extra vigilance is needed when setting the table for the big meal. Cats are more excited about live birds than dead turkeys, but there’s a certain allure to that turkey you lovingly prepared (for your guests, not the cat).

Final note, over time, your tabletop will inevitably resemble an erosion plane. No, you will not need to cover it with a tablecloth. But to avoid the cost of a professional refinisher, you might want to visit one of the many DIY websites that teach you how to refinish the table yourself. I can assure you, based on feedback from other cat lovers, that there is great satisfaction in learning a new skill, such as dining room table refinishing, especially as it also applies to other wood surfaces in your home.

Finally, if DIY is not your thing, you may want to consider purchasing a cat tree and placing it by the window.

I volunteer at a cat adoption center. Though non-paying, the job has its perks (paid in otherwise non-adoptable cats) and satisfactions (The stitches from Freddie’s bite came out yesterday and the wound is no longer infected.)

I truly enjoy helping people find the perfect cat. “No, Freddie does not normally bite – he’s the sweetest kitty ever – but he lost it when we shoved him into a cage.” One thing though never ceases to bug me. It’s those clueless people who come looking for a cat that does not shed.

Well, people, cat hair comes with the cat. Usually attached, but often (daily) detached (for evolutionary reasons that I can’t fathom). So you either forget about a cat or get a cat and get over it. Every day is a bad hair day when you share your home with a cat (or a dog, or your children – they all shed!). That’s what vacuuming is for. Bear in mind that some (most) cat hair adheres with tenacity stronger than super glue, in which case vacuuming is counter productive. And unless your income is in the top 5% of US households, forget hair rollers, as you need three per day (with one cat) to maintain your home in it’s pre-cat hairless condition.

So if you’re interviewing for a job, it’s a must to keep a separate pristine set of clothes at your friend’s – I mean the friend who does not own a cat or a dog, or any other hair-shedding living thing. I’m giving you this advice from experience. Once a friend of mine went on a job interview for which she was eminently qualified – and this is a real story with sobering consequences. She was confident the job was hers because, well, she was the only candidate.

She didn’t get the job! We did a lengthy, tearful, post-mortem. Was it her curly hair (not professional)? Maybe the skirt was too short? Or – the unthinkable – her typing at 120 WPM too slow?

No, it was conspicuous cat hair on her black suit.

Moral of the story: (a) If you want a job at a law firm, you need to look dignified, and (b) if you’re going to a job interview in a black suit, you’d better own a black cat.

Final note, if you need that job real bad, Cat Adoption Team of Wilmington has plenty of black cats for adoption at PetSmart. Adoption hours: daily 5:00-7:00 PM and all day Saturday and Sunday.

It was Saturday morning. I was at the computer applying pale peach nail polish to my fingernails. In the middle of doing that, I had an idea for a story and started writing. Kippy, one of my seven kitties, was lounging on the desk, helping the story along by alternately pushing the cap lock or tab keys as needed.

It is Saturday morning. The forecast has said fifty percent chance of rain and the sky is a flawless blue. She is sitting at the kitchen table, her fingers spread in front of her, waiting for the pale peach nail polish to dry. The window panes are projecting sharp sun-yellow rectangles on the butcher block. She looks at the pattern of light, regular, repeating, until it cascades off the table onto the linoleum floor. She is irritated, but she doesn’t know why. Her daughter is in the living room at the piano, playing Bach. The rhythm lurches forward and stumbles, corrected wrong notes punctuating the music with randomly placed exclamation marks. Hell, thinks Carla in her irritation, the girl has lead fingers, tin ears. She wonders why she has been paying Mrs. Kramski for piano lessons the past six years, why Heather continues doggedly to practice, practice, practice, without the thrill of accomplishment, without hope. She remembers the old joke: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice, and she sneers.

She thinks she has pinpointed the source of her discontent, until her eyes focus on what she has been staring at absentmindedly all along: the bottle of nail polish, bathed in the yellow light. “Why on earth did I buy pale peach?” she thinks.

The doorbell rings, mercifully suspending the piano playing in mid-phrase. The bell also distracts Carla from her irritation and she is unhappy. Carla likes to wallow in her moods undisturbed, likes to travel through the nuances of her feelings, as a befuddled tourist would navigate through a foreign city without a map, trying to decipher the unfamiliar landscape.

The doorbell rang. I stopped writing and got up to answer the door. When I returned, there was an overturned nail polish bottle on my desk and a lovely pail peach paw print on the black keyboard. I am irritated and I do know why.

Filed under: Cats help life imitate art.
Alternative filing: Fiction writing with cat-assist.