Summer 2008 Foster Kittens

January 25, 2007

Hi everybody. We are: Lilly, Oscar, Charlie, Romeo, Merrium and Bella and we are looking for loving homes. We’ll tell you some about each one of us and you can see our pictures too. Please note that all kittens must either be adopted in pairs, or adopted to a home that already has a kitty.

Lilly: My name is Lilly and I might be the sweetest, most cuddly cat you have ever met. I am the ultimate lap cat. I was probably someone’s pet from the time I was a baby kitten, and then they abandoned me. I was found roaming around a feral cat colony in Roxbury, very lonely and desperate for human care. Aside from cuddling and eating, I like to play with little balls and attack my step-brothers and sisters. I would like a home where my family has lots of love and attention to give to me. I am a Calico – mostly white with some orange and black mixed in, mostly on my tail! I am almost five months old.

Oscar: Like all my brothers and sisters, I was found running around Jamaica Plain wild as can be. However, I am was the first to become really cuddly and tame, mostly because our foster parents fed me these treats that I LOVED. I realized that if someone gives me such good treats, there is no reason to be scared. I like to play, lay in your lap, and purr as loudly as possible. (Oscar, below, loves to have his picture taken and to the right cuddles with his step-sister Lilly.)

Romeo (and Charlie, right): Me and my brother Charlie are still the most wild of this bunch, so we will either need a family with patience to do more socializing for us, or we will need to wait a few more weeks until we relax a little. We were wild when our foster-family got us and even with those yummy treats, we stay a bit nervous. However, when we are not fretting and being skittish, we love to cuddle with our step-sister Lilly and she will lick our ears for us which we really like. We also enjoy playing with the sparkling green ball, and sneaking cat treats when our foster parents are not looking. If you are patient with us and rub us a lot, we will purr, but we are still a little scared of people.

Romeo (below)

Romeo

Merrium (and Bella): We are friendlier than our brothers Charlie and Romeo, but still a little more scared than our brother Oscar and step-sister Lilly. Merrium (that’s me) is an instant purring machine once you rub me and I also like my chin rubbed. I am a brown tabby. My sister Bella is a gray tabby, and she likes to be rubbed too, once you catch her! I am easy to catch if, say, you would like to feed me some TUNA. My number one favorite food. We would like to go to a loving home that will keep us forever, be very nice to us, and play with us and rub us a lot. Thank you. Our foster parents say we should be totally socialized in a week or two.

Bella (first)

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Merrium (second)

Thanks for reading about us!

Adoption Info: We can only go to homes that are SURE they can keep us and provide vet care for our whole lives (it is so traumatic to be give up for adoption after having been street kittens!) and we need to go to indoor-only homes – safe and sound away from cars, other animals, and disease!

The adoption donation for each kitten is $125 which goes directly to our shelter to cover our expenses. At a great discount – the shelter loses money on every adoption! – our adoption donation includes spay/neuter (typically over $200 regular priced at a vet), distemper and rabies shots, deworming, earmite and flea treatment, and a check-up. There is a discount of $25 if you adopt two kitties.

VISITING US! If you would like to visit the crew of kittens, please email a little bit about yourself or your family. We will start seeing potential adoptive parents next Wednesday July 2. If you decide you would like to adopt one or two of us, the shelter requests that you fill out a simple adoption application where we check a vet reference and a personal reference to make sure that you will be a good home – it is hard to believe, but many people out there do not care well for their cats, and we want to make sure that the kitties go to a safe and loving home.

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Update On The Abandoned Cats

January 23, 2007

A big big thank you to some very kind and generous folks who have contributed to the health care for the abandoned cats I wrote about a few posts ago. Abby is living with us and happy as can be, and I will pick up the four other cats tomorrow, and they will go to the vet on Thursday for a check-up and then on Sunday they will move into a very nice barn that is warm and where they will have all the food they could want (in fact, they could stand to go on a big of a diet – they are quite round, as you will see when I post pictures soon).

Dealing with their situation has led me to a lot of thinking on animals and how we should care for them. I feel prepared to have any of them euthanized if it is clear that he or she cannot enjoy a good quality of life – but if they are all healthy, I think they will have a very nice time as they live out their remaining years playing in the hay (they are staying in a hay barn) and eating and generally just hanging out. They will also get human interaction from the people who live in the house near the barn. I regret a little bit that they won’t be indoor/outdoor cats (as they were prior to their abandonment), but I still think they can be happy and enjoy life.

Thank you for all of those who have offered feedback and support – moral and financial!

Much peace,
Elizabeth (and Abby, J.R., Goldie, Calico, and Baby)


Vegetarian Appetizers

January 23, 2007

FUUSM is having a fundraising event on Feb 24 – the Starry Night Band will be playing and we’ll have wonderful appetizers and drinks, before and after the lovely music. The Green Sanctuary committee is sponsoring the food and encouraging folks to make apps. that are low on the food chain. I’ll be posting appetizer recipes for those that aren’t used to making things without meat. Ideally, all food would be made without meat, or milk or egg based products, but of course food with those things isn’t banned. Here are some ideas to start everyone off – including some tips on cooking low on the food chain.

Milk and butter: Soy milk almost always works to replace cow’s milk without anyone being able to tell the difference. This is also the case with butter – there is soy butter that tastes just as yummy as milk-based butter. All soy milk seems to work the same for me – if you need something thicker, try soy creamer which is whiter and thicker (http://www.silksoymilk.com/Products/SilkCreamer.aspx). I think the best soy butter is Earth Balance (http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html) but there are other kinds that work well.

Appetizer ideas:

Baked Veggies

This is a simple but very yummy (and healthy) option. Get some asparagus, baby carrots, potatoes (ideally some yellow, some red, some sweet) chopped into 1/4 inch cubes, butternut squash cubes, mushrooms (if you like them – I don’t!), and some onions. Put aluminum foil down on a cookie sheet. Lay out all the veggies flat. You can season them separately – for instance, putting some oregano and basil on the regular potatoes, soy butter on the sweet potatoes, some rosemary on the asparagus, etc. – and then drizzle olive oil over them all. Bake until soft. These can be served with toothpicks or with forks on a small plate. If you make sure they are tender, they are actually very yummy at room temperature. No need to keep them hot/warm unless you just want to. You could include a balsamic vinegar sauce if you want to get very fancy.

Balsamic Vinegar Sauce

1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1 onion, chopped finely
3 tablespoons of finely chopped rosemary (ideally fresh, but dried will do)
1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley (ideally fresh, but dried is fine)
juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook onion in cider vinegar until soft. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients, mixing well. Simmer. Depending on your preference, you can let sit overnight (so flavor soaks in) and then strain out the onions and spices, or you can leave them in. If you plan to keep the sauce heated with a little flame, you can use soy butter instead of olive oil. But if you aren’t going to keep it heated, the butter will congeal which isn’t so nice.

Creole Stuffed Mushrooms

1 serving olive oil cooking spray — (5 one-second sprays per serving)
1 pound button mushrooms — about 24 large mushrooms
1 tbsp. water
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
10 oz frozen chopped spinach — thawed and drained
2 1/2 slices whole-wheat bread — chopped into bread crumbs
1 tsp Creole seasoning — or Cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp ground turmeric

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat a jelly roll pan with cooking spray.

2. Remove mushroom stems from caps and finely chop stems; reserve caps and set aside.

3. Heat water in a large skillet over high heat. Sauté mushroom stems, onion, pepper and spinach until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in remaining ingredients until well-combined.

4. Stuff each mushroom cap with 2 tablespoons of filling mixture. Place mushrooms, stuffed sides up, on jellyroll pan. Bake, uncovered, 15 minutes; serve warm.

(The mushrooms can be stuffed in advance, covered, refrigerated and then baked later in the day to save on last minute preparation time.)

Endive, Pear and Walnut Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

For appetizers, serve these in cupcake holders and forks available.

This salad calls for Asian pears, also known as Chinese or apple pears. If you can’t find those, Bartlett or Anjou pears will do just fine.

(Double if you want to make a lot.)

4 medium-size heads of Belgian endive, leaves separated and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bunch of watercress, rinsed and torn into small pieces (I think you can also get canned watercress which is fine too)
1 large Asian pear, peeled, cored and sliced (not too thin)
2 oz. of chopped walnuts

Mix all together, toss with vinaigrette. Makes six regular servings. 12-14 app. size servings.

Topenade Cucumber Pedestals

3 cucumbers, peeled and sliced down the middle, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups sundried black olives, pitted and minced
1/4 cup red onion, minced
1/4 cup cucumber, minced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, minced
1 teaspoon thyme minced (fresh is ideal but not needed)
1/2 tablespoon oregano, minced (fresh is ideal but not needed)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Using a small teaspoon, scoop half of the seedbed out of each cucumber round forming small cups. Set aside. Using mortar and pestle (or something else you can mush it all together with) mix the remaining ingredients until a slightly formed paste. With each cucumber cup scoop about a tablespoon of topenade into each cup. Garnish with oregano leaf (if you have one) and chill before serving. (Serves 6 to 8 so if this is for the fundraiser, you might want to double or triple this)

 


Roasted Artichoke with Chipotle Aioli

1 large artichoke
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup aioli sauce
½ cup soy milk
¼ teaspoon of mustard
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
dash of salt
¼ teaspoon of paprika
6 teaspoons of vegetable oil
1/2 tsp hot sauce (optional)
1/4 cup enchilada sauce
juice of one lime (about 2 tbsp)
dash cayenne (optional)
1/2 tsp chipotle powder

In a medium sized pot, place artichoke in water and bring water to a boil. Cover, reduce heat slightly and allow to steam for 15 minutes. Remove artichoke from pot, place in baking pan and drizzle with olive oil, garlic and salt.

To make the aioli sauce, combine 1/2 cup of soy milk, 1/4 teaspoon mustard,
2 teaspoons of lemon juice, dash of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of paprika. Use a low setting and do not over mix. Slowly add the oil, a few drops at a time. This will cause the mixture to thicken. Once all the ingredients have been added, mix until a smooth texture is achieved. Keep it refrigerated.

Bake artichoke in 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, until soft. Meanwhile, blend together white sauce, hot sauce, enchilada sauce, lime, cayenne and chipotle until well mixed. When artichoke is done cooking, allow to cool slightly. To eat, pull leaves from the artichoke, dip in chipotle sauce. For apps – artichoke leaves can be separated and people can pick them up individually, and dip into sauce that they put on their plate – or they can be put on plates with a dollop of sauce to start with and people can just pick up the plates with 2-3 leaves and sauce.

 

More to come!


Like Joys and Concerns… Amplified

January 23, 2007

Over at Trivium there is a great quote, I’m sure most appreciated by those of us having come from evangelical or charismatic backgrounds. The author writes:

One of the things we did at my church, many Charismatic churches do this, was to have a time to “Testify”. It was joys and concerns… amplified. There where the normal uplifting stories, the normal, yet utterly tragic, sorrows. A common phrase though, no matter what the person or family was going through, was something like “I just thank God to be with you here today”.

That’s such a great way to put it. I never thought of it like that… joys and concerns amplified. It is just so funny to think what the faces of the congregation might look like if you had a very subdue, low-key, nice joys and concerns in a charismatic church, or, on the other hand, a time to “testify” in a UU church. Makes me laugh just thinking about it. Reminds me of when I was trying to figure out how we could anoint people with oil at a healing service last year… somehow I just couldn’t come up with a way to do it that wouldn’t freak people out.


Abandoned Cats – Ethical Issues

January 22, 2007

A woman from my church left town rather quickly, for reasons I won’t go into, and left behind five cats. Since I have experience with cats and connections to shelters, I volunteered to help figure out what to do about the situation. They were scheduled to be euthanized last week, an understandable response by some people in the congregation wanting to help. I intervened, however, in order to see if there was another option since the cats could have some more years ahead of them.

The situation is that the cats are aged 5, 6, and three over the age of 10. The six year old is currently living with us, can be an indoor cat, and we’ll find her a permanent home. She is very friendly and the shelter we work with kindly paid for her health care.

I’ve struggled a lot about what to do with the others. At first, I thought that the kindest thing to do would be to euthanize them, given that they cannot be indoor cats and they are older. They’ve always lived outside, and are quite skiddish, although not wild. But, of course, after I saw them, and spoke with someone else who is involved in caring for them, it seemed perhaps easiest to euthanize them, but not really necessary.

It has raised issues for me about how much energy can/should be put into caring for abandoned animals, and what is a reasonable cost for health care for animals that are abandoned and older. Given that so many humans lack in basic needs, how much is justifiable to spend on non-human animals? But, this argument carried to its logical conclusion would mean that we would spend no money on animals because ALL the money spent on animals could be used to meet unmet human needs – food, health care, shelter.

I posted to the UFETA (Unitarian Universalists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and it sparked quite a debate about the best thing to do in such a situation – some claiming that the most compassionate thing to do is to euthanize them, and others insisting that just because an animal is older and abandoned doesn’t diminish the worth of his or her life and that I should take pains to make sure they are cared for. Many suggested getting in touch with shelters for help and funding, not realizing that every single shelter is overburdened with animals and underfunded. It isn’t like you can just call people up and – viola! – you get the resources you need. This has been a huge effort thus far and it isn’t like I can just dedicate days to caring for abandoned cats.

I’m still not sure it is the best answer, but someone from church volunteered their barn as a place where the kitties can live out their remaining years. Our shelter will provide a little insulated kitty hut and food for them. However, they all need check-ups to make sure they are not in pain or carrying disease. I don’t want people to feel at all pressured, but if you feel so inclined to help the little guys out, you can make a paypal donation to my paypal account (email elizabeth199 at gmail dot com if you want the paypal email). Although I can’t imagine getting more than what the cost is to get basic shots and check-ups for four cats, if that would happen, I would just donate the rest to the shelter we voluneer for.

I welcome feedback/wisdom on how to proceed with the kitties, and also thoughts on the broader ethical issue of how to use scarce resources of time and money. I know I could dedicate my whole life to caring for abandoned cats in just the Boston area – as many volunteers from our shelter do – and only make a dent. There seems to be such a black hole of need for time and resources for all causes. I suppose we can all just do all we can do…

Much peace, Elizabeth


For those who like cat pictures…

January 22, 2007


This is Abby (formally known as Friskey) who is the kitty that we are fostering. I tried to get her to smile, but since she only has one fang tooth left, she refused.


Elizabeth’s Little Blog After One Year

January 17, 2007

Here are some of my favorite posts from the last year – not all qualify for blog award categories. I just like them.

Now things will be less disasterous. On the 2006 elections.

Resistance
Reflections on Dorothy Solle’s writings on resistance.

Ms. Magazine Feature: We Had Abortions On how the anti-abortion movement has, in large part, succeeded in making abortion difficult to obtain and something shameful.

Book Review: The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony

Take that Left Wing Freak Show Back to Where It Belongs Some thoughts on learning to love people as people and trying to remember that those with whom we disagree aren’t freak shows or crazy or weird but typically just normal people trying to make sense of a very difficult world.

Thinking About Being Sick for Ten Years

Things I Learned in My Megachurch Youth Group

Christianity Without Christ?

I didn’t think to include my body image posts, but some kind soul nominated them for the best cultural commentary or review. So here they are for your reading pleasure.
Thank you Reese Witherspoon
Underweight Models Banned from Fashion Week
Loving those curves?
Healthy Bodies
Now this is an image of beauty that makes me happier

I had other posts I liked, but this is getting to be enough. Sometimes I bore myself with myself. I’m sure you know how it is.