Page 1

is a nonprofit organization that has been making a positive impact on the homeless and feral cat population in the Tampa Bay Area since 2002. We lovingly call our cats “rescues,” as they have endured abuse, abandonment, and neglect. They are often ill when they first arrive at TLC and are seldom neutered/ spayed. Many have emotional difficulties. But these are the fortunate ones, because they have found their way to safety. After a quarantine period, as temperament and health permit, TLC cats live freely together, uncaged. They all get lots of love, have many toys, scratching posts, hideaways, and windows to watch the birds, lizards, and butterflies, in addition to the premium food provided for them. When it is their turn for “face time” at the adoption center, they continue to receive Tender Loving Care. We do all that we can to ensure a PURRfect match into a loving, forever home. So much Tender Loving Care is given to our rescues, that parting is such sweet sorrow. We marvel at how far they have come. Now happy and healthy, we rejoice with their forever families. Another precious one has found its way to a safe life filled with love. But our smiles are washed in tears, as we realize how much we will miss each furry bundle of love. Sadly, there are always more in need of rescue. We cannot do this important work alone. Won’t you partner with us in making these precious lives better as they await their forever homes?

THE INSIDE SCOOP! A quarterly ‘Mewsletter’ of The Little Cats’ Rescue, Inc. Vol. 2 No. 1 - Summer 2011

TLC Founder & CEO RaeAnna Saks Board of Directors Richard Griffitts John Greco Scott Lamb, DVM Ruth Levenson James Rogers, CPA The Little Cats’ Rescue, Inc. P.O. Box 1559, Elfers, FL 34680 (727) 807-7260 TheLittleCatsRescue.org Please direct any newsletter-related correspondence and photos to:


The Little Cats’ Rescue, Inc. is a 501(c)3 Florida non-profit organization.

Message from the Founder So far this summer, it's been a very busy rescue season. For example, in a recent three-week period, we saved 27 cats and kittens from Animal Control, got them spayed, neutered, and properly vetted, and now we’re in the process of finding forever homes for all of them. In addition to all of these new arrivals, we had an entire family of seven cats arrive unexpectedly on our doorstep. All seven of them—two adults and five kittens—were crammed into a small cardboard box, which was ducttaped shut and left in the sweltering Florida sun on the sidewalk in front of our adoption center. If they hadn’t been discovered in time, they surely would’ve died of dehydration. I’m happy to report that they have all been vetted and are doing great! They are the sweetest and funniest cats around. They fit in so well at our sanctuary, getting along with everyone, and the entire family is now ready for their forever homes. These are only two stories of the dozens of cats that have come to us for safety. Unfortunately, adoptions are way down due to the economy. But, we're holding our own, doing the best we can, saving those precious lives. We truly need your support to continue, whether it be volunteer hours, financial assistance, adopting, and most definitely prayer—the little cats need you! For the Cats...


Dear TLC: Thank you so much for everything you do to help reduce the number of stray and feral cats in the area by taking them in and finding them homes. I was lucky enough to adopt my two wonderful cats from you this spring, and I can’t tell you how happy we all are...especially the cats! Our house was so quiet and empty following the loss of our beloved 15-year-old tabby, who passed away a year ago. Now I have not one but two happy faces and wagging tails

greeting me at the door whenever I arrive home. Again my family and I can’t thank you enough, and keep up the great work you do! Regards, The Walker Family (including Daisy & Jake!)

his kingdom! Then at night, he curls up at the foot of the bed and pretty soon his face and feet start twitching while he’s having a dream. It’s so cute to watch! Thanks for introducing us to our beautiful boy. All the best, Melissa & Dan Haynes

Dear RaeAnna, I just wanted to let you know that Snickers is doing great in his new home. He has his own “condo” in the corner of the den, and loves to climb up to the top level and survey

We’d love to hear from you!


Let us know how our TLC graduates are doing, ask us a cat-care question, or send us a photo of your precious pet. Please send all newsletter correspondence & photos to:


EDITOR'S EDITOR'S NOTE: NOTE: Ordinarily, Ordinarily, someone someone

who who goes goes around around snapping snapping candid candid pictures of often-unwilling subjects pictures of often-unwilling subjects who who are trying to run off in the other direction, are trying to run off in the other direction, and and then then puts puts those those photos photos on on the the internet and in newspapers without internet and in newspapers without the the subject's permission, would be branded subject's permission, would be branded aa member member of of the the Paparazzi. Paparazzi. Unless, Unless, of of course, course, that that man man behind behind the the zoom zoom lens lens is is John John Greco, Greco, the the official official photographer photographer for for The The Little Little Cats' Cats' Rescue. Rescue. John's John's photographic photographic hobby hobby has has evolved evolved into into aa true true art art form, form, and and he he always always manages manages to to capture capture the the inner inner 'purrsonality' 'purrsonality' of of our our cats cats in in his his snapshots. snapshots. Here Here is is aa little little behind behind the the scenes scenes look look at at John's John's talents talents behind behind the the camera. camera.

by John Greco

When Dorothy and I first met, she told me, "love me, love my cats!" They came as a family, one for all and all for one. I had never had a pet before so this was a major leap for me. In retrospect, I am glad she gave me the ultimatum because the feline troops that we had at the time (this was quite a few years ago now) were the perfect cohorts to indoctrinate me into the world of cats. They were smart, gentle and lovable, welcoming me with open paws, especially after I began to feed them their meals! You might say that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. About three and a half years ago, Dorothy, now retired, wanted to do some volunteer work, and working with a feline shelter seemed to be a perfect

match. She looked into the group that ran the cat adoption center in Petsmart near our home, and applied to become a volunteer. Of course, that group turned out to be The Little Cats' Rescue. I am not exactly sure how many months after Dorothy began to volunteer that I got involved, but someone was needed to photograph the cats on a steady basis, so I began taking pictures of the cats at Petsmart as well as at the TLC sanctuary. We began to post these photos of cats available for adoption on Petfinder.com, AdoptAPet.com, and other related outlets where a photograph was needed. Sometime after, RaeAnna made contact with The Suncoast News, and we began to submit photos and descriptions for their “Cat of the week� column, which appears in their Wednesday editions.

Dorothy and I both became involved in many of the fundraising events for TLC, from asking for donations at Wal-Mart, to a magnificent Safari Dinner and Dance benefit in 2009. We have also helped with taking pet photos with Santa during the holiday season and have also worked on the various yard sales including the semiannual sale at Southern Self Storage. Most recently, I retired and started my own small business venture selling photographs via my own website. I've had a passion for photography and film since I was young, however with work and life in general, there were periods of time when it was all put on hold. Now the time has come again for me to pick up

All photos in this article Š John Greco Photography

and pursue this passion. I specialize in nature and landscape photography, but do not limit my categories to just these interests. Of course, our feline friends remain a favorite subject to photograph and I have a gallery on the website dedicated to just cats (there are not that many right now, though more are coming). In fact, for any photograph of a cat that I sell, fifty percent of the proceeds will be donated to The Little Cats' Rescue. I find photography to be a fulfilling creative outlet for self-expression. Combining it with my love of felines is my small contribution in helping to find some of these cats and kittens a nice home, which makes it that much more rewarding.

Cat-Care Advice Questions & Answers Dear Tabby... After living in an apartment that did not allow pets, we just recently moved to a new house and adopted a cat. She’s a 1-year-old tabby and she’s a great girl, but we’re afraid she’s going to scratch all the new furniture we just bought for the house, so we were thinking about getting her declawed. Is declawing painful for a cat? —Christine S. Before you make the drastic decision to declaw your cat, there are some important facts you should know. Declawing is not like a manicure. It is very serious surgery. Your cat’s claw is not a toenail. It is more an extension of the bone, and in order to remove the claw, the last joint of your cat’s toes would actually be amputated. It is a

painful surgery with a painful recovery period. And remember that during the time of recuperation from the surgery, your cat would still have to use its feet to walk, jump, and scratch in its litter box regardless of the pain it is experiencing. (Wheelchairs and bedpans are not an option for a cat.) Your cat’s body is perfectly designed to give it the grace, agility, and beauty that is unique to felines. Its claws are an important part of this design. Amputating the last digits of your cat’s toes will alter their ability to walk and run normally. The cat is also deprived of its primary means of defense if it ever escapes to the outdoors. Her personality may also change after being declawed, and she may exhibit depression, aggressiveness, and other psychological manifestations of the physical pain and discomfort

she’s now having to endure with each and every step she takes. Fortunately, there are many much better alternatives to declawing. You can teach your cat to use a scratching post (sisal posts are the best). You can trim your cat’s front claws monthly. You can employ aversion techniques to discourage your cat from scratching where you don’t want her to. You can even use glue-on vinyl nail caps, available at any pet supplies store, that not only protect your household furnishings, but add a touch of color and style to your cat’s toes! So please do not take the irreversible and devastating route of declawing your cat. Not only is it unnecessary… it’s inhumane. Please send your ‘Dear Tabby’ cat care advice questions to: TheLittleCats@gmail.com


by Sue Publicover

The first Maine Coon I ever met was Rocky, an oversized cat that resembled a long-haired, gray tabby with a fluffy mane, big, bright eyes, and tufts on his ears that looked like he had a little lynx in him. Rocky lived with a friend of mine and I was amazed at how many dog-like characteristics he had. He loved to be with people, came when called, and had been trained to sit before he could have a treat. Rocky was about 16 pounds, which is average for a male Maine Coon, although they can grow to more than 20 pounds when they mature at about three years of age. He wasn’t fat, just Coonishly oversized, and Rocky sported a long, bushy tail that looked like it belonged on a raccoon. Most likely, it’s this tail— and not the legend of the raccoon mating with a bobcat—that gave the


Maine Coon its name. No one is really sure of the origin of this mighty feline, but anyone who has ever known a Maine Coon will attest to the fact that they are loyal, friendly, and gentle companions. Ever since a Maine Coon named Cosey won the first ever National Cat Show in Madison Square Garden in 1895, this breed has become one of the most popular in America. Playful and fun-loving, they are equally happy with snuggling. A Maine Coon might not want to curl up on your lap but will certainly want to be very close. They’re not as talkative as some breeds and their 'meow' is more like a trill or chirp. The males tend to “Piccola” be playful and loving, while the ladies are a bit more regal and refined. Maine Coons enjoy companionship. Don’t be surprised to have your Maine Coon greet you at the door when you return home and then follow you around. They also


have a strange fascination with water— not swimming, but playing with it. Like a child is drawn to a puddle, Maine Coons will make their way to your sink or shower and explore the water you left behind. And an ice cube that hits the floor instantly becomes a cat toy. Vinny is one of three Maine Coons in my home now (all from The Little Cats' Rescue). He perches “Rumbles”

on the edge of a full bathtub and either doesn’t realize his tail is floating in the water or just doesn’t care. Fenway discovered how to flush the toilet. Sebastian plays in the water dish. No matter what feline colors you prefer, you’re certain to find a Maine Coon to match. They come in a wide variety, including solids, tabby, shaded, smoke, and parti-color. Abigail is a beautiful calico Maine Coon who has been residing at the TLC sanctuary for eight years. She has those big Maine Coon paws (characteristically five toes on the front, four on the back). Mara, an 11-year-old brown tabby Maine Coon, was recently adopted from TLC. Maine Coons are highly sought after because of their supersize personality...and the body to match. If you’re looking for a Maine Coon companion, please contact The Little Cats' Rescue, and we’ll let you know when we’re lucky enough to get one. “Precious”

“Miriam” “Abigail”



I Want to Live! You’ve already seen our gorgeous cover girl. She is an absolute sweetheart—a gentle young lady, so full of love. It’s hard to believe she was just hours away from death when we rescued her. And very sadly, her plight is not uncommon. RaeAnna had gone to Animal Control's "Death Row" one day to rescue several cats from their tragic fate. All the cats in this room were literally hours away from death for no reason other than their owners didn't want them anymore, and the county’s Animal Services had no room. Just as RaeAnna was leaving, this little calico caught her eye. She pushed as far back into the cage as she could and said to the attendant, “if she comes to me, I will take her.” She looked at this beautiful cat and asked her, "do you want to come with me?” The cat immediately came over to her and rubbed noses. "I'll take her!" RaeAnna said. She named her Livia. It was the first thing that came to her mind when she said to the cat, "Come with me if you want to live."

Livia’s story has a happy ending. Not only did she get a second chance at life, but a few weeks later, thanks to the efforts of The Little Cats’ Rescue, she found a loving forever home too! There are so many other cats who aren’t as lucky as Livia, though. The lesson to be learned from all the cats (and dogs) on Death Row who have to be put down every day all across the country due to lack of space in public shelters, is to spay and neuter your pets and prevent the unwanted and homeless animal population from getting further out of control. In some states there are as many as 300,000 animals euthanized in shelters every year, and many of these are offspring of family pets. These deaths are a needless tragedy. By spaying or neutering your pet, you can be an important part of the solution. Please contact your veterinarian today and be sure to let your family and friends know that they should do the same.

Ashton was rescued from Death Row along with Livia. This big furry teddy bear of a cat was immensely popular with everyone who saw him at our adoption center while he was there. We’re happy to report that Ashton is now in his forever home, entertaining his new family with his playful antics, and thoroughly enjoying a new lease on life. Angelina is another Death Row survivor. She has the most exotic markings and gorgeous green eyes. She’s such a precious little girl, and just recently found a new forever family of her very own!

Priscilla, an 8-month-old domestic shorthaired calico, not only looks a bit like Livia, but she too was just hours away from being euthanized at Animal Control before being rescued by TLC. Even more tragic is that she had just given birth to three kittens. She struggled to survive in the wild and care for her babies, only to be sent to Death Row. Now she is safe at our adoption center—and spayed of course so there won’t be any more kittens to perpetuate the overpopulation problems that Animal Control constantly faces.

E-mail us your cute cat pictures, and we’ll select a theme for each issue’s Photo Contest.

To get things started, here are a few of our TLC cats and kittens showing us how they take a licking and keep on ticking!

Vote Vote for for your your favorite favorite photo photo on on our Facebook page, our Facebook page, and and we’ll we’ll publish publish the the results in the next results in the next issue issue of of THE INSIDE SCOOP!

by Kathy St. Onge

Here at The Little Cats’ Rescue, we always have beautiful cats and kittens who, with a little extra Tender Loving Care and lots of love and attention, are soon ready to be adopted to their forever home. Occasionally, however, we rescue kittens that have experienced a type of emotional trauma that has seriously damaged their ability to trust their human caretakers. These babies require a more intensive fostering experience that takes them back to the beginning of the trust-building process and slowly rebuilds the relationship step by step. Sometimes, as part of building that relationship, the foster parent will use another cat that doesn’t have trust issues with humans, and they can show by example that not all people are scary. Sometimes, this results in a very close bond developing between the two, and in order not to break that trust, we try to find a special forever home that will take them both. Alvia & Joey are such a pair, and we are looking for a special person or family who has the time and patience to provide the type of forever home that will allow Alvia to reach her full potential, knowing that she may require some extra time to adjust. In the meantime,

throughout this process, she will accept all the love, intelligence, and attention that Joey has to offer not just to Alvia, but to the humans in his life. Alvia is a 4-month-old spayed female. She was brought to us after she had an unpleasant encounter with a car engine that resulted in part of her cheek being injured. Although the physical damage has healed, overcoming the emotional damage has been a challenge. Over the weeks, she has made great progress from a terrified kitten afraid of everything, to a playful active kitten, running and playing with the other cats. At certain times, in certain places, she will allow her foster mom to pet her and she’ll purr and really seem to enjoy it—but generally, she is still leery of you getting too close, although she does like to be in the same room. This is one of the ongoing issues that will need to continue to be worked on in her forever home and we feel that she will progress more quickly in a setting with fewer cats, where she and Joey will be the center of attention. Joey is a beautiful 11-month-old neutered male that is still living with his foster family, which consists of several other cats of different ages, including Alvia, and also a large golden retriever. He is a sweet, loving cat and, being part Siamese, he is very curious, very smart, and thinks he needs to be very involved in everything that goes on in the house! Joey’s only issue is that he doesn’t like being separated from his humans, and will vocalize his displeasure in true Siamese fashion. Both cats are ready to start on the next stage of their adventure. If you feel you would like to be involved in the next chapter of “The Tale of Alvia & Joey,” please contact The Little Cats’ Rescue at (727) 807-7260.

(Article excerpt from The Tampa Tribune)

Eateries to raise funds BY MEGAN HUSSEY Special Correspondent

Sweet Tomatoes, at 10156 U.S. 19 North in Port Richey, 1 mile north of Gulf View Square mall, is set to host a series of “Fun-Raisers” to benefit The Little Cats’ Rescue, a Trinity-based all-volunteer, nonprofit, no-kill cat rescue and adoption organization that has been serving Pasco and surrounding areas since 2003. Sweet Tomatoes is “an awesome restaurant with something for everyone—even vegan,” said RaeAnna Saks, founder and CEO of The Little Cats’ Rescue. “We’ll have fun, good eats, and the restaurant will donate 15% of the sales generated. You must bring the flier with you to the cashier (to present with the purchase of a meal and a beverage). We plan to have this fundraiser every 4th Thursday of the month.” Joe Lasala, a Little Cats’ Rescue volunteer, came up with the idea. “I learned about Sweet Tomatoes’ Fun-Raiser community outreach program last month when they first opened the Port Richey location and held a benefit for the American Red Cross,” Lasala said. Tracy Marks, public relations specialist at Sweet Tomatoes, said the fund-raiser reflects the restaurant’s ongoing commitment to community service. “We’ve had the Fun-Raising program in place for five years,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to reach out to the community, and while people help out they can enjoy a healthy meal.” The Fun-Raiser will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Proceeds will help feed and provide medical care for abused, abandoned, stray and feral cats and kittens rescued by The Little Cats’ Rescue. The no-kill shelter traps, spays, neuters and returns feral cats to their colonies where they are monitored and fed daily. In addition, all cats are tested for feline leukemia, dewormed and vaccinated. Adoptable cats stay at the organization’s sanctuary, at foster homes and at its adoption center at the Trinity Petsmart.

Volunteers Needed! Please call TLC at

(727) 807-7260

Helping hands and loving hearts are needed at our cat sanctuary in New Port Richey.

Thank you!

Profile for Joe Lasala

THE INSIDE SCOOP! Summer 2011  

The 'Mewsletter' of The Little Cats' Rescue

THE INSIDE SCOOP! Summer 2011  

The 'Mewsletter' of The Little Cats' Rescue