Monday, March 4, 2013

Paws for a Cause with Linda Rettstatt

The Term ‘Cat Owner’ is a Misnomer

In my childhood, we almost always had pets—dogs, a cat (the ‘a’ being the operative term as my mother was not a fan of felines), gold fish, those little tiny turtles…well, you get the picture. I’ve always loved animals mainly because you have to do so little to be loved in return. They don’t have expectations about how you look, how you dress, or what kind of car you drive. But in my early adult years after I moved out of my parents’ home and from apartment to apartment, I didn’t have any pets. Except for those three years I lived with friends in a mountain cabin commune of sorts and our cat got pregnant when someone tossed her outside in the middle of the night because of her yowling. She got what she wanted, and we got five kittens.

Later, I shared living space with others for whom having an animal in the house was not a popular option. But three years ago, I found myself living alone. And after exposure to a friend’s seven cats, I remembered how much I love cats. I needed a cat. I wanted a cat. I wanted a little furball who would come running when I walked in at the end of the day, who would look at me adoringly and curl up in my lap. So I visited local shelters and I ended up with Binky, a six-year-old tuxedo cat who had been surrendered for adoption. I was now a cat owner.

Oh, but wait. I forgot the one basic rule of cat ownership. It does not mean you own a cat. It really means a cat owns you. The day I brought Binky home and turned her loose in my apartment to let her explore her new space, she soon disappeared. I’m on the third floor and since I was sure she couldn’t open the door by herself, I knew she had to be in here somewhere. After searching every possible hiding place, I heard a noise in the kitchen. I found Binky—curled up on the top shelf inside one of the overhead cabinets right next to the wine glasses. I deduced that she either had a drinking issue or was masterful at opening doors. What I soon discovered was that whoever installed the cabinets had not finished off the one corner on the back of the one cabinet—and she found that little opening and her safe place.

But it didn’t take Binky long to get comfortable and learn the lay of the land. I used to keep a juice glass of water on the nightstand beside my bed at night. I awoke in the middle of the night to a lapping sound. Yep, Binky was helping herself to a drink—from my water glass (which is now her water glass.) I couldn’t find her one day when I came in from work. What I did find was a mound underneath the blankets on my bed. Yep, Binky had made herself at home on my 1200 thread count sheets (my one good luxury pair.) Remember me mentioning that my mother was not a cat lover? I have a rocking chair that had been my mother’s. Of all of the furniture in my living room, Binky decided that was to be her chair. I have to admit I found that amusing.

It really only took her about three months to train me. I’m adept now at launching myself out of bed at an ungodly hour when I don’t have to work (usually prompted by Binky licking my face) to give her breakfast on schedule. I’ve adapted to sleeping on one third of the bed so that she can comfortably curl up in ‘her space.’ I plan my vacation time around when I can find a cat sitter to either live in or come by twice a day to feed and care for Binky. I fear boarding her will only bring back nightmares of her incarceration in the shelter and then I’ll have to find her a therapist. One of my friends and her husband sometimes come in to care for her and even plan their evening to stay for an hour and watch TV so she has some company. They’re apparently owned by Binky, too.

That first day I brought her home, I called a friend and said, “Guess what—I’m a cat owner.” Oh, I was so naïve. In fact, Binky is the cat AND the owner. She owns me, lock, stock and heartstrings. And you know, I wouldn’t trade her for anything.

Linda Rettstatt
Writing for Women

Hello Everyone! We have a total of 59 blogs that have gotten together to help raise money for a great cause. There are going to be some awesome prizes up for grabs for people that donate money to the cause. Here is a little about the company that we are raising the money for:

Paws With A Cause® enhances the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities nationally through custom-trained Assistance Dogs.

PAWS® increases awareness of the rights and roles of Assistance Dog teams through education and advocacy. Founded in 1979, Paws With A Cause is dedicated to helping its clients who are challenged by many disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Seizure Disorders, and Hearing Disorders to name just some. Each of our dogs are trained to meet the specific needs of our clients. Tasks may include opening and closing doors, picking up objects, pulling a wheelchair, turning lights on and off, and alerting a person to particular sounds like a telephone, doorbell, smoke detector and many others. Our dogs change lives by enhancing the independence of our clients. By just opening a door, a dog opens up the world for a person with a disability and your donations will go to making that happen. PAWS thanks you so much for your donation and allowing us to open more doors.

Paws With A Cause
4646 South Division
Wayland, MI 49348

How to donate:

1. Go to
2. Click on "Make a Donation"
3. Enter a amount you wish to donate. Everibbon will add a small fee to your donation for processing. My fee for donating $5.00 was .49 cents. So keep this in mind when deciding your donation amount. You will receive 1 entry into the giveaway for every $1 you donate.
4. In the box that says "on the behalf of" please put your name. This is the name that will be listed on the everibbon website so put a name you do not mind being visible to everyone. Do not check the box to make a anonymous donation because I will not be able to track your donation to enter you into the giveaways.
5. Next it will ask you for your credit or debit card information.
6. Then it will ask for your email address to send you a receipt. This is so that you can submit it for tax purposes.
7. Ta Da! Your all done making your donation. Now you need to contact Danielle to enter the giveaway.
8. Please email Danielle at with the name you used to donate your money. For example the name I used to donate on behalf of was Romance Book Junkies. Do not send me your name off your credit or debit card because I will not be able to see this. Along with the name you used please tell me how much you donated and if you live in the US or are International.
9. Your all done. Thank you for donating!

Warning: Do not try to email Danielle the name and donation amount of another person that is not yourself. If Danielle recieves more than one email with the same persons name and donation amount she will have to ask for your copy of the receipt from everibbon to verify that you are the correct winner. Thank you.

We will have 3 winners for the main giveaway.
We have 2 $65 gift certificates to any online book store.
Also we have a huge box of books and swag from Romance Book Junkies for US residents only.
Good luck to all and thank you for helping make this fundraiser a success.

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