Dear Fire Station 49 in San Francisco

I’m sending this as an email to fireadministration@sfgov.org. You should write, too!

 

In response to the following article, I’m asking Fire Station 49 to reconsider the decision to remove their adorable Firefighter Cat, Edna.

San Francisco firefighters may be forced to surrender beloved station cat after anonymous complaint

IG: @fire_cat_edna

I mean, look at those pictures. How does separating this lovely kitty from the people who love her improve life in this firehouse? Your people have stressful jobs, having a small, non-judgemental, adorable piece of fluff to come back to can only improve their lives. Edna chose them for a reason. Cats know what they are doing.

You don’t have to take it from me. Here are a few reasons to allow Edna to stay:

1. Health benefits of having a cat:

Reduces stress and anxiety

Decreases risk of stroke

Therapeutic benefits

Boosts immunity

Lowers blood pressure

Decreases risk of heart disease and heart attacks

Lowers triglycerides and cholesterol levels

Increase sociability

Provide companionship

Aren’t these things you want for your firefighters?

 

 

2. Cats have a history of being in the workplace:

Whiskers in the Workplace

There is an entire IG account dedicated to Bookstore Cats:  @bookstorecats

Cats have a special history in firehouse and other first responder houses!

From stray to star – Flame, the Greenville firehouse cat, hits the big time

(IG: @flamethearsoncat)  Flame even made it onto My Cat From Hell on Animal Planet!

Stray Cat Wanders Into Fire House and Asks Everyone for “Help”

(IG: @station57cat)

Here is a list of FDNY Cats on Instagram:

FDNY Firehouse Cats Have Their Own Must-See Instagrams

If the FDNY can have cats, you can too!  Do you really want the FDNY to be a step ahead of you?

3. There are even children’s books written about Firehouse Cats!

The Fire Cat

Pete the Cat: Firefighter Pete

4. Perhaps most importantly, pets are family, not something to be gotten rid of due to one anonymous complaint. To separate your folks from their pet will cause them and her pain. They could be distracted, worrying about her. Do you want that.

The benefits far outweigh any downside, so please do the right thing.

 

Christmas Happiness

We counted down the days.  We wrapped all the gifts.  We got excited for the love and sharing.   Then in a short burst of energy way too early in the morning, the gifts have been opened, the food begins to flow and we settle in to the holiday spirit. The sharing, the caring, the specialness of this one day where we are supposed to enjoy all the blessings we have.  Today is special, celebrate damn it!    And we do.  All except one family member:  

She is doing the same thing she does everyday:   sitting on the bed, sunbathing.  A girl needs her vitamin D, don’t you know. 

Hey lady, don’t you want to play with your new toys?    Nope.

What about coming out to say hi?   Nope. 

And I realized she is happy there.  Warm sunshine makes her happy and so that is what she wants to do on Christmas.   Then I realized if she is happy doing that, that is what she should do.  But it’s such an every day thing!  So boring!  It’s the day to share and care and all that.   Then I further realized if she has incorporated happiness into her day every day, she gets to have a little piece of Christmas every day.  No need to save it up for one day a year.

I resolve to bring a little Christmas into each day by doing something I love to do or that makes someone else happy.   I hope you will, too. 

Happy Holidays!

A Cat’s Life

You might think with age comes experience and wisdom.. sometimes yes, sometimes no In the case of me and my cat, no. Yes, I grew up with both a dog and a cat, but we had them from the time they were babies. They knew us, they were of us. They never knew a bad day. My current cat chose me seven months ago. Poor baby was locked in a cage in a shelter, having at the age of two been turned in by a couple who ‘found’ her and kept her only for six months. How could they give her up? She is literally the cutest cat on the planet. See for yourself:
001 crop

She made clear to me from our first meeting that trust was not her middle name. That she did NOT want to play with me, but yet she did NOT like the shelter, no not one bit (though everyone there was ever so nice to her). I met her, I loved her sweet face, but she wanted no part of me. Until at the end of our second visit together, when I just wasn’t sure if she would ever tolerate me, I left my hand in her cat bed and she put her paw on top of it and looked at me as if to say: please don’t leave me here. Then I knew: this is a creature that just needs someone to love her.

And so my baby came home to stay. Ahem, she would like me to tell you that she decided to come home to check out my home, but now it really belongs to her (all true). What I didn’t know was that a relationship with a pet can develop just as a relationship with a person. Trust has to be built over time, especially when one party has been hurt in the past. This is a kitty who did not like being pet and despises being picked up. I count our milestones:
– the day she came out from hiding under the bed (after a week of laying on the bed and trying to play with her via toys)
– the day she ate in front of me, rather than scurrying to the food dish when I was in another room
– the day she came and hung out in the living room
– the day she sat on the left side of the couch, looked around and said: this is where I sit:

couch

– the day she stopped flinching when I tried to pet her (something which made my heart literally hurt and want to curse whoever was mean to her in previous days)
– the day she let me cut her nails without screaming bloody murder
– the day she rubbed against my leg when we returned home from a trip to the vet. A trip where she cried the entire way in the car and the entire way home, terrified. No, no, baby… no one will ever leave you in some strange, scary place again.
– the night she decided: I will sleep in bed with you, now.
– the night she got her moxy to demand the place she wants to sleep in the bed.
– the day she came and curled up at my feet as I was writing

I know we have a long way to go, but I now see that with love and acceptance, you can heel a creatures broken heart. Cats that act out just need love and attention to their needs. Trust me, they will respond. A lesson perhaps we should all learn (adopt your pet!), not only relating to the animals in our lives, but the people as well.