We are very fortunate Moosey and Sammy were able to take time out of their busy schedule to visit with us today. They are among the blogging kitties who dedicate time and talents to help other kitties find a forever home.
We always confuse the name of their blog when we try to remember it, so we bookmarked them in our browser by their dad’s nickname, Meowmeowmans. But the name of their blog is actually Animal Shelter Volunteer Life.
We didn’t know when we scheduled the interview that their blog would be among the finalists for the 2012 Petties | DogTime’s Pet Blog Awards in the Best Rescue Cause Blog category. It’s quite an honor to be nominated. We don’t think our friends Moosey and Sammy will mind if we wish all the finalists in the Petties well.
And now the moment you’re impatiently awaiting – the interview.
FFF: Your blog opened in December of 2008 in order to share the experiences of volunteering with Pet Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), a no kill shelter in Norwalk, Connecticut. We noticed your humans post more often on the blog than either of you do, but we assume this is all done under your snoopervision and with your consent. Would you introduce us to your humans and tell us a little about yourselves too?
Sammy and Moosey: Hi, everybuddy! Thanks for interviewing us … we’re totally flattered!
Moosey: Yes, we definitely make sure our mom and dad run everything by us before posting anything on the blog. Sometimes, there’s just no accounting for human decision-making, so we do find it important to closely snoopervise them. Besides, PAWS is near and dear to our whole family. We (and two of the cats who came before us) came from there.
Sammy: And our mom, Tracey, and dad, Kevin, reconnected and fell in love while volunteering there. They had worked together like a billion squillion years ago, and they had not seen each other for many years until one day when they happened to both be volunteering on the same day.
Sammy: Dad, who does PR and communications during the day, has been volunteering at PAWS for about 14 years. And Mom, who is in marketing, has been there about 9 years. We figured since they both spend so much time with the PAWS cats, we might as well have some sort of record about what they do there. We also figured it would help the adoptable PAWS cats get some more exposure, too. Best of all, if the dad is THERE with that infernal flashy box of his, he won’t be pointing it at us!
Moosey: Speak for yourself, Dootie. I kind of like it when Dad takes MY picture! Anyway, you guys wanted to know about us, too, right? Well, PAWS rescued me and a bunch of other cats from a kill shelter, where we ended up as the result of an awful hoarding situation. I’m about 7 years old, and our parents gotcha’d me about 4 years ago. I’m a sensitive mancat, and it took me a while to really be comfortable when I first came home. But it’s all good now.
Sammy: And mom and dad adopted me from PAWS about 6 years ago. I thought this was especially pawsome, because not many people would even consider adopting an older cat. Considering that the v-e-t says I’m somewhere between 17 and 19, Mom and Dad have only known me as a “very mature” mancat. I’m a pretty easygoing guy, and made myself at home from day one. PAWS rescued me from a kill shelter, where I ended up after being found in a feral cat colony. I love both the mom and the dad, but I have to say that I’m more attached to the mom.
Moosey: And I’m closer pals with the dad!
FFF: One of the things we like about your blog – aside from the fact it has two handsome kitties running it – is that there have been so many successful adoption stories over the years. Our only local shelter is a high kill shelter that just recently opened to rescue groups, so we are pleased to hear more success stories with the shelter animals Jan photographs. The rescue group coordinator has told her that without good photos there are no rescues. We just love the fun photos you guys take to highlight the PAWS cats looking for a home. Jan says the cats don’t stop moving when the cage is opened. How do you get them to stay still for the camera?
Sammy: Again, I’m just glad whenever Dad’s NOT taking pictures of ME. I do have to say that he’s pretty patient with that camera, though. He’ll just sit there, or even lay on the floor … for, like, forever … to try and get a good shot.
Moosey: Dad says it really helps that some of the cats at PAWS live in “open” rooms, without cages. Those cats are pretty relaxed, and they sit still a lot better. The cats who do live in cages all get extended time out to stretch their legs and roam around, which helps them to calm down and be better about sitting still, too. And since the mom and dad are at PAWS so much, the cats know and feel comfortable around them. Props like feather toys and crinkly paper can help focus a kitteh’s attention towards the camera, too (Mom helps with that part). Dad uses a digital camera, so he can take lots of pictures and choose the bestest ones.
Sammy: Oh, and we want to give huge thanks for people like Jan who help those animals in kill shelters find homes. We know you Funny Farmers sometimes get a little exasperated with her, but we have to say that Jan is a true heroine in our book!
FFF: You guys do a write-up on your blog about the personality of each cat going through PAWS. What about you two? Tell us a little about your personality, nicknames and favorite trouble … um, mischievous antics.
Moosey: I’m silly, sensitive, sweet, and playful. I also like to do some stuff that’s a bit out of the ordinary. For instance, I love playing with water. Just by sitting on the edge of the bathtub and talking, I can get the mom and the dad to turn on the bathtub faucet. Cool, huh? Then I stick my head under the trickling water. It’s SO FUN!
Sammy: (laughing) Dude, you are so crazy! That water thing is totally beyond me.
Moosey: I also love lettuce, ice cream, and yogurt – heck, I’m pretty much interested in whatever the humans are eating. I’ve been told many of the things I do (including the shower, the fascination with human food, and having a special connection with Dad) are uncannily like the behavior of Angel Graphite (one of the cats who came before). I never knew him, but I think he brought me together with the mom and the dad, so that would explain why I so often “channel my inner Graphite.”
Moosey: Other things you might not know about me … I like to catch flies (and eat them, whenever possible); I use Flonase (one drop in each nostril daily) for sinusitis: and I sleep with the humans every night. I really am a good boy, and don’t cause too much trouble. I will tap Mom and Dad’s foreheads with my paw if they sleep in too long (hey, we need our breakfast!), but that’s being HELPFUL, not mischievous. Plus, I’m what the humans call “polite” — I always bring a gift (my fleecy mouse) to present to the mom and dad when I come downstairs for family time. My nicknames are Mootie, Cootie (but not because I have bugs or anything), Peepers, Church, and the Baby.
Sammy: Seriously, how do the humans even come up with these nicknames? Mine are Dootie, the Doots, Mama’s Baby, the Hungry Badger, and Smoochie Boy. Well, we sure do love the mom and the dad, so we humor them.
Sammy: I’d describe myself as mature, sweet, slow (hey, I have arthritis, and I’m like 18 or 19, depending upon who you ask), and impatient (when it comes to food). I’m actually still a pretty good eater, even though I don’t have too many teeth left. I take Cosequin for my arthritis and methimazole for my hyperthyroidism. I love sunpuddle surfing, and am a connoisseur of sleeping places … baskets, beds, boxes … I love them all. I like window whiffies and bird and squirrel TV. And of course, I look forward to “family time” every night, especially laying on the couch between the mom and the dad. I also love a good massage. And being brushed (and brushing myself)!
Moosey: Better you than me, Sammy. I think the brush is SCARY. I do not like being brushed one bit.
Sammy: Moosey’s aversion to being brushed means more for me. It’s a win-win situation!
Sammy: As for mischievous behavior, I’m sort of past that stage. As long as you don’t count marching around the bedroom meowing at night … hey, just because the humans are sleeping doesn’t mean we cats don’t need a snack. A few years back, I used to chase Moosey when he would pester me repeatedly. But I’ve mellowed as I’ve gotten older. Plus, Moosey and I have pretty much come to an agreement. Other than sniffing me ALL THE TIME, he’s very sweet to me. It’s like he recognizes that I’ve lost a few steps, so he’s a lot more patient and gentle with me now. He even waits for me at the bottom of the stairs when we’re headed to the kitchen. Truth be told, he’s really a great little brofur.
Moosey: ::blushes:: Aw, shucks. Fanks, Sammy. You’re a great brofur, too.
FFF: Sammy, you’re a member of the Kool Senior Kitty Klub, and Moosey, you joined the Tabby Cat Club, so we know you get to participate in some of the regular pet blogging activities around the web. Last year you both, along with several PAWS kitties, went trick or treating together and won a Halloween contest. You two won 3rd Place in the 2011 Cat Division in a St. Patricks Day contest. What other type of blogging activities interest you?
Moosey: Halloween was so much fun! By the way, you’ll be happy to know that all the cats who went trick or treating with us have been adopted. We like to dress up for holiday celebrations, and do things like the Dr. Seuss Day Challenge and Meow Like A Pirate Day. And we try to get our adoptable PAWS pals involved whenever we can. It is our alma mater, after all, and there are some really great kittehs (and woofies) there. We like to enter the PAWS kittehs in contests, too … our shelter friends Pepper, Gadget and Jasmine all won photo contests through our blog. And since we have enough stuff of our own (according to the mom and dad, anyhow), the prizes usually go to the cats at the shelter.
Sammy: Yeah, we’re all about the fun. We enjoy making friends, and sharing about the cats up for adoption at PAWS. Our ultimate wish is for all of them (and homeless pets everywhere) to find forever homes as loving as the one we have. So if you’re looking for a new best friend, be sure to have your humans adopt!
Sammy: We also like being a part of cause-related events like Livestrong Day, Blogblast for Peace, and National Feral Cat Day. It’s exciting and really powerful when pets and their humans the World over unite for a cause!
FFF: Are you planning any blogging changes or adventures you’d like to share with readers?
Moosey: Well, we convinced the mom to put together a fun “Best Lapcat” contest for the cats of PAWS, so one of our upcoming posts will be a rundown of how it all went, complete with pictures, descriptions of the finalists, and a selection of the winner.
Sammy: Other than that, what we post depends upon the pictures of the PAWS cats Dad manages to take that week. And the experiences that he and Mom have while they volunteer. Once they report back to us, Moosey and I give them some direction about what to do.
FFF: You guys are so generous to give your humans and their volunteer efforts so much space on your blog. We assume you don’t mind since you’re both sweethearts. (Oops, did we really say that about two mancats?) But we hope you might share a little insight into what you consider the best and the worst parts of blogging for shelter cats.
Sammy: Moosey and I realize that we were totally lucky to end up at PAWS. And to be discovered there and gotcha’d by Mom and Dad. So I think the best part about blogging about shelter cats is being able to give the cats still there a voice, and some always needed exposure. You just never know where that forever home is going to come from.
Moosey: Oh, and of course we LOVE that we’ve made so many wonderful and amazing friends through blogging. The fact that our blog is primarily about shelter cats kind of makes us unique, so that may have something to do with why cats and their people remember us. The pet blogging world is such an amazing, generous and loving community, and we are so honored to be a small part of it.
Sammy: The worst part has to be when blogging friends (animal and human) we’ve made have to go to the Bridge. They may live in other states, or even halfway around the world, but these are real friendships, and just as we share in their joys, so too do we share in their sadness when things aren’t so happy.
Moosey: That is so, so true, Doots.
FFF: Do you have any words of advice for new bloggers?
Sammy: Just have fun, and be yourselves. You don’t have to try to measure up, or do things like “everybody else.” Your blog should be a reflection of YOU, because you are special.
Moosey: Uh-huh. And don’t get discouraged if you don’t have many visitors or followers at first. If you are consistent, participate in some activities on the blogosphere, and comment on blogs you like, friends and followers will come.
Sammy and Moosey: This was so much fun! Thank you so much for interviewing us, Cyndi, Percy, Rusty and Cameron. You kittehs are terrific interviewers (and great pals)!
Thank you, Sammy and Moosey. We enjoyed your visit and hope we can sit down and trade shelter stories one day. Rusty and our woofie Merci both came from a high-kill shelter, so we’re glad to know there are shelters like PAWS so kitties will have a better chance at being adopted into a forever home.
Be sure to stop by Moosey & Sammy’s blog.