Happy Mother's Day to ALL Mothers!

 After reading many beautiful and heartwarming articles written by mothers and daughters about Mother's Day, I wanted to share some of the photos and stories of animals I've seen around the world taking care of their young.  Some of you know that I've been involved in animal rescue for many years and have a soft spot in my heart for all animals.  I am always amazed at how protective and caring animals are of their offspring.

  I really wanted to write a post in honor of all mothers and especially those that are often overlooked on Mother's Day each year.  If you have pets you are a mother they could not survive without you!  I wrote a similar post about animal mothers and their offspring for mothers day a couple of years ago.  One of my readers was very grateful that I had posted it.  Sadly not humans have a mother at all or one that they are close to. 

My husband and I have also taken in several stray pregnant cats.  We found homes for all of the babies and mothers including the seven orange ones in the second photo down.  We actually kept the mothers - Princess (the black cat) and Peaches (orange cat) for ourselves. 

The monkeys that I saw at the Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali we're so fun to watch.  The babies were so cute and well taken care of by their mothers.   I thought this mother was showing tremendous patience with her little one.Bali-345410_960_720
Bali-345410_960_720Here is a mother monkey feeding her baby what appears to be some coconut:
Bali-345410_960_720I saw many elephant mothers with their babies in the Serengeti National Park while in Tanzania:
Bali-345410_960_720Although I love all animals, I'm normally a little afraid of horses because they are so big.  I did see this mother and baby last month while I was visiting a park in Belize.
Bali-345410_960_720Here is a lion with its pride in the Serengeti of Tanzania:
Bali-345410_960_720Here is a penguin family I saw on an excursion in Punta Arenas, Chile on my way to Antarctica a few years ago.  This Family is in their borough (home).  One thing I learned about penguins on this trip is that they mate for life.
Bali-345410_960_720Here is a mother and baby sea lion nursing that I saw it last summer at an aquarium in Curacao:
Bali-345410_960_720I saw this litter of puppies in Alaska about two years ago when I went dog sledding on the Mendenhall glacier:
Bali-345410_960_720Here is our cat peaches with her seven one week old kittens.  We took peaches in when we were alerted by a rescue organization that she was lying next to a dumpster nursing her seven one week old kittens.  We kept her in a bathroom away from our other cats until we were able to take her to a vet the next day when we learned that peaches was FIV positive (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) which meant she could not be around our cats as it can be spread to others.  We had to wait until the kittens were older before we could test them.  Only two of the seven turned out positive. 

I was able to find a home for them with a friend who lived hundreds of miles away in Kansas City.  We did purchase a new drug called T-cyte in hopes that treating the kittens while they were very young would make them turn F IV negative.  Miraculously the drug worked and the kittens are very health healthy and are no longer F I V positive.  Peaches is probably about seven years old now. 

Peaches is kept healthy getting a shot every six months of T-cyte which costs about $60 dollars a month.  Although she needs to be kept in an area of our home away from her other cats, we adopted another F I V positive cat named Piney who is also being treated with T-cyte and is also very healthy.  You can learn more about T-cyte which has helped cats with FeLV as well here.

Here is a family of Sand Hill cranes that live in our neighborhood in Florida.  The babies grow up very quickly but the mother and father stay with them until they are full grown.  As you can see there is a photo of one of the parents feeding a baby.  I apologize for this not being a good photo but I didn't want to get very close to them and upset the parents.  The last photo of these birds was taken only 30 days after the first two so you see how fast they grow.



Although these iguanas I saw in Mexico are not furry and cute likes some of the other animals I've shown you, I thought it was a cute picture of what appears to be a mother iguana with her baby:
Bali-345410_960_720Although this is not a great photo of a mother giraffe with two babies that I saw in the Serengeti national Park I thought I would share it:

 Lastly I wanted to share some photos of our cat Princess.  We found her in a junkyard about nine years ago when she was less than a year-old so she was basically a kitten herself.  It was obvious she was very pregnant so we took her in.  Princess said probably lived in that junkyard her whole life and was very feral and scared of humans.  Once she had her three kittens she was a very good mother and very protective of her babies.  We were very grateful to find good homes for all of her kittens when they were a few months old.  Princess still lives with us and is a very sweet cat that causes no trouble and no one would ever guess that she spent the first part of her life in a junkyard and was feral as a young cat.



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 Do you have any special animal stories to share for Mother's Day or a soft spot in your heart for them like I do?  

Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the internet.  I would love to hear any comments or questions that you have.  I hope that you have a wonderful Mother's Day however you decide to celebrate it.



Draw Me LIke One of Your French Girls - If You Must


One of my main goals for 2016 was to take some photos of my cats that I am proud of.  I wrote about it on this post.  I will be honest with you, it's it's not been as easy as I thought it would be.  Cats move very quickly and some of mine our seemingly camera shy.  The above photo of my oldest named Chanel (a Himalayan Persian rescue cat) is especially camera shy so I was happy to get this shot of her.

The title of this post " Draw Me Like One of Your French Girls" was taken from the movie "The Titanic" .  This movie came out in 1997.  It's hard for me to believe it is almost a twenty-year-old movie as people still watch it a lot nowadays.

As you can see Fleur LOVES the camera.  She seems to like posing in front of flowers.  She was found in a flower bed when she was only a few weeks old almost 9 years ago.  We took her in as a foster cat around that time.  I think after nine years she will be with us for good ;)


 Here is another of my "foster" cats named Peanut.  He will be 10 years old this fall.  I'm grateful that he is not very camera shy either!


And here is peanut again while I am practicing with a new Focus type lens that I've been having a tough time learning to use:


Here are some of my very camera shy kitties.  The black one is named Princess and is about nine years old.  The Siamese looking one is named Sasha who just turned six.  The Tortoiseshell cat is named Piney.  Piney is FIV positive and about  four years old.  She is kept healthy with a fairly new drug the few people know about called T-cyte.  Many people ask me if it is expensive.  It costs us about $60 dollars each time she gets a shot which is about twice a year.  



 Here is peaches sporting her lion cut.  She is normally very fluffy so we get her groomed during the summer because it's so hot here in Florida.  Peaches is also FIV positive. We took her in more than two years ago when she was found nursing seven two week old kittens next to a dumpster.  We took her to the vet the next day and learned she was F I V positive.  Only two of the kittens tested FIV positive, but after six doses of T-cyte when they were very young they became negative.  T-cyte truly is a miracle drug in my opinion.

We don't know peaches exact age.  All of our cats are rescues so we don't know most of their exact birthdays.  The only one we know for sure is our oldest who is pictured at the top she was born in her foster home on May 29, 2004.

Cat-1212646_960_720Lastly I will leave you photos of Elizabeth and Jasmine.  They are sisters who are approximately 10 years old.  Elizabeth, pictured first, looks like she got into my eyeliner.  They were the first foster cats that we took in.  They were very lucky to survive as they were found in a barn in the middle of the winter in Ohio.  Their mother had been stepped on by a horse.  Luckily they are happy and healthy cats now. 


I think Jasmine tries to make me feel guilty when I'm packing to go out of town :)


Thank you so much for stopping by to see my first kids.  I will continue to work on their portraits throughout 2016 and beyond.  I would love to hear your comments and advice on taking pictures of pets.  As always you can use my photo for free using my Pixabay account here.  I hope you all have a wonderful week!




Remembering Coco Six Years Later



In spite of March 19, 2010 being one of the worse days of my life, I want to honor Coco who was diagnosed with GI lymphoma at age 4. We did everything we could and she defied the odds and was in remission until she was almost 6. She was a rescue that we got when she was 8 weeks old with her sister Chanel who we thankfully still have.

Please remember you can get a full breed  cat or dog at a rescue shelter. Coco was a Himalayan Persian. She was so sweet and smart. She played fetch - even by herself. She would throw her toys downstairs herself and go get them. She also had a butterfly that she carried everywhere and always slept next to. Losing a pet is always hard. I just wish she could have stayed with us longer.


 When she passed away I wanted to know how long the PAIN would last.  I've learned that, for me, it never really goes away.  I've learned how to deal with it though.  As far as getting another pet...I felt wrong doing that, but I think it's a personal decision when and if a person chooses to get a new pet.  I waited five weeks (as long as I could) and got Sasha from our local shelter.  She had been left there the day before.  The doctor said she was five weeks old when we brought her to the doctor - coincidence?

For me, one of the hardest things about traveling is missing my family and pets and one of the best things is coming home to them. This is Sasha who we rescued when she was 5 weeks old from a shelter. I say she is Siamese (but is probably a mix) and think she is beautiful! A few people have said that her face is funny as it's asymmetrical. She is glued to my side and can be fast asleep but follows me and sits on the counter while I brush my teeth at night.

Cat-1212647_960_720I did feel a little better after I got Sasha.  Here are she and I about a week after she joined our rather large family:


Here is Chanel taking time to smell the flowers: 


I know that it talking about the loss of a pet is not the most uplifting topic.  I do appreciate you stopping by and reading about my Coco.  I've learned that losing a pet can be like losing a small child.  Don't be afraid to reach out for help of any kind if it happens to you.  Take care my friends!



My Travel and Photography Goals for 2016


The above photo is of my angel Coco who left us on March 19, 2010

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I stopped making New Year's Resolutions a long time ago when I realized that I never kept any of them and they always seemed to be the same.  I do believe that setting goals at any time of the year is a good thing for me to do.  Although I do plan to travel this year I want to take more photos while I'm at home.  I especially want to take more photos of my family, cats and friends.

I also got a new lens for my camera that will take really great bokeh photos.  It's a very different type of lens than I'm used to working with. I think that it's going to require a lot of practice as it has controls on the lens itself.  I would like to create some prettier and more colorful bokeh photos than the one of my chandelier you see above with one of my favorite quotes by Dorothea Lange.

CatsAbove are Peanut (age 9) and Princess (age 8)
CatsThe above photo is Jasmine who is ten years old and is Elizabeth's sister seen below who is also ten years old.  They were our first "foster kittens that we fell in love with and decided to keep.

This is Coco's sister Chanel.  She will be twelve years old on May 29, 2016.  We got them from a rescue organization when they were only eight weeks old.  We miss Coco very much, but are so happy to have her sister with us still.

This is Fleur who is almost eight.  She was another foster kitten that we thought it best to stay with us.

This is Jack who is about four years old.  Someone left him at our house when he was about six months old.  Our veterinarian believes he is a Main Coon cat.  He weighs about twenty pounds, but the doctor does not think he is overweight.
Cat-762079Finally, we have two FIV positive (Feline immunodeficiency Virus) cats you can see below.  The orange cat's name is Peaches and the grayish brown cat is named Piney.  Peaches is about five years old and Piney is about four years old.  Since all of our cats are rescues, we don't have definite birth dates for any besides Chanel.  Piney and Peaches have their own room and balcony in our home,  The risk of them infecting our other cats with FIV is very low, but we've decided not to take any chances.

Piney and Peaches are kept healthy with a fairly new drug called T-Cyte.  Few people know about this medication so I will post the link here.  It's not as expensive as one might think it would be.




What are your goals for 2016?  I hope the new year is starting well for all of you!  Have a wonderful week!



Ruth and Idgie: An Abandoned Paralyzed Cat and Dachshund are Adopted and Inseparable


Ruth and Idgie were named after the characters in the popular movie "Fried Green Tomatoes"  Ruth is a partially paralyzed cat, but can still get around (a little slowly) to eat and use her litter box.  Here is their new home's, Hollywood Hounz, address and phone number in case you ever want to visit Ruth and Idgie or adopt some of their beautiful cats.  

        Hollywood Hounz

  • 4243 W Lake Mary Blvd
    Lake Mary, FL 32746
  • Phone number: (407) 688-7626

.  Please be sure to watch the following video about this Dachshund named Idgie and partially paralyzed cat named Ruth:  The following two minute video can be found on Youtube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AkTdvTOngo


Ruth and Idgie being visited by another rescue cat who is on a diet and has lost weight since being taken in by Hollywood Hounz:
Pano (1 of 1)-350Ruth and Idgie getting ready for a nap in their bed:
Pano (1 of 1)-350Pano (1 of 1)-350Idgie:
Pano (1 of 1)-350Here are some other beautiful rescue cats at Hollywood Hounz.  Most are available for adoption:
Pano (1 of 1)-350This beauty is a Maine Coon cat:
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Pano (1 of 1)-350There are some adorable kittens available for adoption too:
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Pano (1 of 1)-350Their store/boutique is very nice!
Pano (1 of 1)-350I will leave you with a short video I made of my husband feeding Ruth and Idgie treats:

I will leave you with a photo of Ruth and I.  As always I appreciate your visit.  Please feel free to leave me any questions or comments.  Have a great week everyone!



Seeking Solace With Santorini's Cats at Kamari Beach

“You can judge a man's true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.” ― Paul McCartney

It did my heart good to see how well cats are treated on the island of Santorini in Greece.  While I was there I visited a restaurant several times where there were several kittens and cats. After what happened in Bali last year:  “Knowing it and seeing it are two different things.” ― Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay , I told myself that I was going to avoid all stray cats and kittens because I couldn't take the heart ache of having something happen again like in Bali.  

I told the owner at this restaurant that I was  going to go buy a big bag of cat food for the cats that I saw lounging around on a couch in his restaurant.  He seemed offended and said "I feed and water them every day".  It did my heart good and restored my faith in humanity for a while.  I went back there more than once.  I needed to seek the solace and comfort get away from the tourists given the fact that this vacation was not what I had expected it to be.  If you read my last post:  What Do You Do When a Tragedy or Emergency Happens at Home While Traveling?  you know what I'm talking about.  The food was wonderful the service was great and I highly recommend that you stop by this restaurant if you are ever in Santorini.  I just wanted to write about this wonderful experience because it did help me get through a tough time.   Yes I was on a beautiful tropical island and I had my camera so I was able to take pictures, but in all honesty I couldn't wait to get home.  

Santorini is an incredibly beautiful island and I would like to believe that someday I can go back and truly enjoy it.    Having said that, the world is a big place and there are many other places I want to see you as well.  

Visiting this restaurant was one of the bright spots of my vacation in Santorini.  Thank you to the owner for taking such great care of those cats.  As you can see they are very happy and healthy looking,  

I was very happy to learn about a group on Santorini that helps the numerous strays on the island.   Santorini Animal Welfare Society (SAWA) is an animal welfare association this gorgeous island. They are a small organization and mainly focus on spay/neutering which is extremely important in stray populations.

Here are some photos of Kamari Beach:

Pano (1 of 1)-337I loved the colorful boats and cabanas all over the beach!

Pano (1 of 1)-337It's a very popular place!
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Pano (1 of 1)-337I loved watching the kids play on the rocks
Pano (1 of 1)-337Kamari Beach is a really relaxing area away from the crowds of Oia
Pano (1 of 1)-337There were many, many nice restaurants overlooking the sea
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Pano (1 of 1)-337The beaches are a little rocky - I live near Clearwater Florida where the sand is like baby powder so it's just different to me.
Pano (1 of 1)-337It was nice strolling down the streets lining Kamari Beach
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Pano (1 of 1)-323I found this pretty church on one of the side streets

Pano (1 of 1)-323I also found some nice boutiques with pretty clothes and a happy cat :)

Pano (1 of 1)-323Then I found  a nice, away from the crowds restaurant named Koutouki tou bekri AKA as"cat heaven: 
Pano (1 of 1)-323They were allowed inside out of the hot sun and allowed to rest on a nice and comfortable couch.
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My two very well behaved and entertaining dinner companions:
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Pano (1 of 1)-323Kissing kittens:

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For dinner I had sparkling water with lemon ( my usual) and grilled halloumi cheese with tomatoes and pita.  Very yummy!
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And my favorite apple pie with just "a little" ice cream ;)

Pano (13 of 15)Here is their contact information if you want to visit them which I highly recommend!

Pano (1 of 1)-323Playful, happy, and healthy kittens!
Pano (1 of 1)-323Below is a beautiful table handcrafted by the owner:
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 I will leave you with the message I left in their guest book - they have no idea how much they helped me !!!

Pano (1 of 1)-323 Thank you so much for your visit.  As always, your comments and or questions are always appreciated.  have a wonderful week my friends!