Pet Projects: Celebrating strays of all stripes and stuff

Please send any Long Beach or Seal Beach pet-related events or projects to [email protected]. Posting subject to approval.

Virtually Pets

This week, we’re celebrating strays, both literally and literarily. On Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m., ailurophilic author Britt Collins will sign her book “Strays” (Simon & Schuster, 2017), at the exceptional Moon Cat Café, surrounded by ankle rubbers and shoelace tanglers.

“Strays” is “The Incredible Journey” melded with “Harry and Tonto.” It recounts a physical journey from place to place as well as a metaphysical one of discovering an internal path. Michael, who has strayed from a life complicated by transitory success, family dysfunction and addiction, has a chance meeting with another stray, a little tabby whom he found soaking wet and injured in front of the Tabor Hill Café in Portland, Oregon. Michael has been living on the road and on the streets for a good long time, but the little cat reawakens his love for animals and the capacity to care for someone as needy and lost as he is. He names the cat Tabor, and soon is spending every cent he can scrounge on food, a leash and harness, and iodine and herbal solutions to heal her wounds. The two of them become inseparable and travel from place to place, camping out in the wild. Because this is a true story, Michael doesn’t magically abandon his self-defeating habits, but his desire to put the cat first shines through.

Meanwhile, in a nicer area of Portland, Ron Buss is frantically looking for his cat, Mata Hairi, who has disappeared. Ron’s a loner, too—he’s more comfortable in the company of his cats than with people (surely that must resonate with some of you)—and Mata’s sudden absence is filling him with terror. He has a neighborhood nemesis, a brute named Jack who regularly terrorizes the cats and harasses Ron because he’s gay. Jack is suspect but loudly denies any involvement.

Throughout the book, Ron goes to extremes to find Mata. He posts signs everywhere in the neighborhood and consults a pet psychic, who gives him a horrible prediction. Meanwhile, Michael becomes increasingly attached to Tabor and travels with her everywhere, including to his home in Montana.

Of course, you don’t need to be told that Mata and Tabor are the same cat. Michael winds up making a difficult decision at the end of the book. This isn’t a spoiler—if the story were fiction, it might be. But you know that Collins wrote the book to show the sense of purpose and unselfishness in two individuals, and she succeeded.

It’s also probably no surprise that Collins is as cat happy as some of us. After the book’s final chapter, there are some strong words, delivered in her British no-nonsense tone, about the thousands of mistreated and unwanted animals euthanized in shelters and how we as a community can help. Adoption and not buying online from a breeder, she states, is the best way to “save a cat or dog from a sad, uncertain future.” And what she didn’t say but what we can deduce from Mata/Tabor’s adventures is this: for the sake of all that’s furry, keep your cats indoors—it’s safer.


Moon Cat is a mobile cat café where, as I always say, the excellent coffee and pastries are outshined only by the cats. This week, Moon Cat will feature furries from Zoey’s Place Rescue, most of them the strays that Britt Collins celebrates. Here are a few samples from around Long Beach.

Cast-Off Kitties

From Zoey’s Place Rescue

Kamiko resembles what Mata/Tabor probably looks like. She was born to a feral mom in the rescuer’s garage. She’s 5 months old, talkative, affectionate and very playful. To adopt, email [email protected] or call (310) 897-9422.

From Kitty Katchers

Victoria was found on the streets of Long Beach but somehow wound up in the Downey Shelter. She’s a year old and very friendly, although it’ll take her a little while to acclimatize to new digs. But hey, that’s a cat. She’s spayed, vaxxed and chipped—to adopt, call Kitty Katchers at (562) 254-0558.

From rear: Jolly, Traaxas and Edwina            Jolly


From Wrigley Kittens

A little over two years ago, when they were just tiny baby kittens, these beautiful white cats, named Edwina and Jolly, and their four litter mates were trapped in the Wrigley Neighborhood of Long Beach. They were dirty, sickly, feral kittens who were hungry enough to go into the traps set for them. The bunch comprised 10 all-white kittens and another bunch of black-and-white and gray-and-white kittens, and the trappers referred to them as the cows and the ghosts. All the kittens were cleaned up and put into foster homes in pairs, and all their mamas and papas were TNR’d. The kittens were fed well, tested, vaccinated. and eventually spayed and neutered. The rescue got lucky and was able to arrange to get all the kittens on an ASPCA transport to a rescue facility in Seattle, where they have great success with adoptions. But one risk that foster families take is getting emotionally attached. Eddy and Jolly’s foster fell in love with her little ghosts and couldn’t bear to send them away. She said she wanted to adopt them and keep them forever.

Forever lasted two years. She and her family are being transferred for work to Hawaii and they can’t take the cats. So Eddy and Jolly, along with their cousin Traxxas, are in urgent need of forever homes that are truly for forever. To adopt these beauties, email [email protected].


Tootie                                                                                                   Frutie

From Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS)

Many strays wind up in public shelters—ask Lady or the Tramp. ACS is loaded with them. To adopt from a shelter as well as a rescue not only saves a life but also leaves room for another one. Tootie (ID#A612344 ) is an uncommon chocolate brown tuxie—a little “Tootie Roll,” as it were, and Frutie (ID# A612345) is his partner in crime—er, equally fun male roommate. Both are 4 months old and have a long time ahead on the charts! Take two—they’re small. All rootie? To adopt Tootie and Frutie, visit the ACS side of the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS.

Drifter Dogs

From Live Love Rescue

All the better to lick you with! It’s Netty, an active girl sure to steal your heart! She’s got the drive of a working dog and needs the perfect human to help refine her skills. She’s social with people and other dogs of all sizes, but we’re not sure about kitties, so a cat-free home would be ideal. Netty is learning to walk calmly on the leash and to feel comfortable in her crate as well as in the car. Netty’s a Malinois, and true to the breed, she can be anxious, but with a strong leader, she quickly realizes she’s safe and settles right down. She is making great strides in every regard! A perfect day for Netty would inclue a leisurely jog or hike, fetch time plus training, couch cuddles, and finally then a sunset walk where she can look lovingly into your eyes and show you just how happy she is. Oh, and food—she loves to eat! Netty is ideal for an experienced Malinois owner or someone committed to the training and activity she requires to be a calm and happy girl. Netty is 6 years old, 80 pounds, and ready for her forever home! Visit for an adoption application.

From Fix Long Beach

Nola is one great dog! She’s a border collie/Lab who was saved from Long Beach streets. She’s a high-energy love bug who is eager to love and please her people. She’s enjoying her foster’s home, but she also likes spending time outside catching and chasing a ball. She’s fully potty trained—she signals when she needs to be let out and knows how to use a pee pad. She’s also fully crate trained and sleeps in her crate all night without any problems. Nola knows her basic commands and is treat driven. She needs exercise, but boy, does she love people! She “marched” in this year’s Pride Parade and had the best time meeting people and trying out her doggy manners on the other dogs. She’s submissive with them but still enjoys making new friends. Most of all, Nola need love, affection and to be a part of a family who will treat her like family. If I were you, though, I’d watch what you say around her—those ears pick up everything! To adopt Nola, email [email protected].

From K9 Kismet Rescue

They call her Pixie the pint-size pistol and leader of the Fab 4! Pixie and her three siblings were found emaciated, neglected and abused in the desert. She was the leader of her pack, caregiver and protector to them all. Since rescued, three of the Fab 4 have found their forever homes and families, and Pixie is ready for hers! She can be a little shy and timid with new people and surroundings at first but quickly warms up. She is a 16-month-old dachshund/min-pin mix; she’s cat, dog  and kid friendly; house-trained and crate-trained, knows basic commands, walks great on a leash, and would love to have a lap and or a family full of laps to call her own.

Things to Do, Pets to Support

Fix Long Beach Free Spay/Neuter Clinic—sponsored by Friends of Long Beach Animals (FOLBA)

Saturday, Aug. 11, 7:30 a.m.–3 p.m., Ramona Park, 3301 E. 65th St. at Obispo Avenue, Long Beach.

Have your cat spayed or neutered free with appointment and qualifications; vet appointment with voucher, minimal charge for dogs and cats; flea meds $10; shots and dewormer $10 each; nail trimming, $10.

It’s now the law to fix your pets in Long Beach and many Southern California cities. It’s also kitten season, still burgeoning and blooming, and crowding shelters with cats and kittens that will likely be subject to euthanasia if a rescue doesn’t pull them or people come to adopt them.

To provide this costly service to our Long Beach residents who otherwise couldn’t afford it, Fix Long Beach offers this service free of charge.

Make an appointment through IM or email at [email protected] for your dog, and include (1) your name, (2) address, (3) phone number, (4) pet’s name, (5) age, (6) sex, (7) breed, and (8) weight, and Fix will see if they can schedule you. You can also come as a standby, but be there at 8:30 a.m. Make sure that your pet has had nothing to eat or drink past 10 p.m. the previous night.

Vouchers are provided through Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) Spay/Neuter Assistance Voucher Program and may be used at specified veterinary clinics. They are available for pets who don’t have appointments or dogs too large to fit on the truck.

To donate, visit our page. In-kind donations such as leashes, collars and toys can be brought to our event or ordered through our Amazon wish list. 

For both spay/neuter and vaccinations, all dogs must be on sturdy leashes and all cats must be in dedicated carriers. Fix thanks you in advance for being responsible for your pet’s health and for helping to reduce shelter overpopulation and euthanasia.

Kitten Lady Hannah Shaw

Saving Kittens’ Lives workshop and fundraiser, with Kitten Lady Hannah Shaw

Saturday, Sept. 15, 2–4 p.m., El Dorado Park West Community Center, 2800 N. Studebaker Road, Long Beach

Tickets: $39.95; a portion of ticket sales will benefit The Little Lion Foundation.

If you’re expecting an eccentric cat person raving about kitties, yes. But you have no idea where her whimsies will take you or how much you’ll learn about cat care! Hannah Shaw can captivate an audience the way that little birdie does to the cat on the other side of the window—she’ll teach you how to care for underage, orphaned kittens so that more lives will be saved. Best of all, your ticket purchase will help The Little Lion Foundation do just that as well! Purchase tickets here.

Pet First Aid and CPR Class

Saturday, Sept. 29, Bloomfield Animal Hospital, 20927 Norwalk Blvd., Lakewood.

Free event; register online here.

Join up to learn how to administer CPR and first aid to your pet. This event could save your pet’s life.

‘Show Us Your Kitties!’ Calendar Contest, benefitting Helen Sanders Cat Paws

Contest runs through Sept. 30; guidelines here.

Cost is $10 to reserve a date for your cat on the calendar; $1 per vote for an entire page, $5 minimum starting vote.

Want to help Helen Sanders CatPAWS raise money to save cats from public shelters? Submit a photo of your kitty and/or vote for your favorite kitties! Also, because CatPAWS believes in working with other groups toward our common goal of saving more lives, you may designate an organization other than Helen Sanders CatPAWS as a recipient when you enter. If you are one of the top three winners, a portion of the money raised after expenses will go to that group! For $10, you can also reserve a date for your own cat’s birthday. All funds benefit pets.

Pup-Crawl for Dog-toberfest, to Benefit Fix Long Beach

Saturday, Oct. 20, 5–9 p.m., Red Leprechaun, 4000 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach.

Tickets: $50; includes drink tickets and appetizer.

Hop on The Big Red Bus for all the fun you can handle! Fix Long Beach’s fund-raiser will begin at Red Leprechaun and stop at Malainey’s Grill, Shenanigans and Gallagher’s. Your ticket includes a drink ticket for beer, wine or champagne, and appetizers at one location. Drink sales will continue on the bus for an additional cost. You’ll meet at the Red Leprechaun at 5 p.m., The Big Red Bus will pick up at 6 p.m., and you’ll return to The Red Lep at 9 p.m. The Red Leprechaun will be staying open late for dinner. We are looking for sponsors, so if you know a business or individual that would like to fly their banner on the bus, please email [email protected]. All proceeds will go toward Fix’s goal of spay/neuter and rescue in the LBC.


Photo courtesy of West Coast Animal Rescue.

Pet Adoption Locations

The following pet-related businesses regularly feature cat, dog and rabbit adoptions. If you’re a Long Beach-area rescue and don’t see your adoption event listed here, please email [email protected].

 Petco Animal Supplies, Marina Shores, 6500 Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach

Helen Sanders CatPAWS permanent adoption center.

Rabbit Rescue Inc., adoptable rabbits daily.

Live Love Animal Rescue, first Sunday of the month, 1–3 p.m.

Unleashed by Petco, 600 Redondo Ave.

Foreverhome Pet Rescue, Inc., Sundays, noon–4 p.m.

PetSmart, Long Beach Exchange, 3871 N Lakewood Blvd.

The Cat Cove, Saturdays, noon–4 p.m.

Jellicle Cats Foundation, Saturdays, noon-4 p.m.

PetSmart Signal Hill, 2550 Cherry Ave., Signal Hill.

Kitty Katchers, Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Stray Cat Alliance, permanent adoption center.

PetSmart Compton, 1775 South Alameda St., Compton.

Zazzy Cats Kitty Rescue, permanent adoption center.

Rabbit Rescue Inc., one adoptable rabbit daily.

PetSmart Seal Beach, 12341 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach.

Helen Sanders CatPAWS permanent adoption center, store hours

West Coast Animal Rescue, Saturdays, noon–4 p.m.

Dogs in Need, Saturdays, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

Pet Food Express, 4220 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach.

Pet Food Express Cat Adoption Center, permanent adoption center, business hours

alternate weekends, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Fix Long Beach, occasional weekends

Live Love Animal Rescue, first Saturday of each month, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

Ozzie and Friends Rescue, 11 a.m.–2 p.m., alternate Sundays.

The Little Lion Foundation, alternate weekends, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Zazzy Cats

Bank of America, 5101 East Second St., Long Beach

Long Beach Spay & Neuter Foundation, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

Strut Your Mutt

Register for Best Friends’ ‘Strut Your Mutt’ Walk Event

Imagine this: You’re surrounded by animal lovers just like you. Everywhere you look, there are dogs of all shapes and sizes, all happy with tails wagging. Excitement is in the air.

You don’t have to imagine it. That’s what Best Friends’ Strut Your Mutt is all about! This year’s LA Strut takes place Oct. 20 (time to be announced) at Exposition Park. This fur-filled festival not only rallies friends, family and neighbors to help save the lives of homeless pets in your community but it also supports the lifesaving work of Best Friends Animal Society. You can find everything you need to know right here.

BARK Therapy Dogs Reading with Kids

See website for information

Founded in 2007, BARK (Beach Animals Reading with Kids) is a nonprofit all-volunteer program that encourages children to increase their reading skills and self-confidence by reading aloud to certified therapy dogs. Students sometimes find it intimidating to read in front of classmates but love to read to the non-judgmental, calming dogs. BARK now has 170 teams listening to kids in more than 100 schools and libraries in California—Long Beach libraries visited monthly are Bach, El Dorado, Bayshore, Brewitt and Los Altos; outlying-area libraries include Hawaiian Gardens, Iacoboni and Los Alamitos. BARK teams also visit nursing homes, senior living facilities and veteran centers. They even de-stress college students during finals week! For all events, check out BARK’s calendar. To find information about volunteering your furry buddy or to arrange a visit to your school, library or other community, contact the group at [email protected] or (562) 235-8835.

SNP/LA Mobile Low-Cost Pet Vaccines

Locations and dates vary; visit link in text

For low-cost vaccines, visit this link Note that pet owners must be 18 years or older, all pets must be on leashes or in carriers, and only healthy and non-pregnant animals will be vaccinated. Please bring prior vaccination information with you to the clinic. Vaccination and microchip services are provided for pets residing in any city. Licensing is provided for residents within our jurisdiction at Saturday clinics; please bring your renewal notice and rabies certificate with you. Low/cost spay/neuter information is also available through SNP/LA.

Free Pet Food Distributions

Papa, a big “teddy bear’ of a dog, sits with his human in Ashlee’s Pet Care station at Beacon for Him.

Beacon for Him has extended an outreach for people experiencing homelessness and their pets. Pet food, primarily dog food, is available at their facility at 439 West Anaheim St., Mondays from 9 a.m. to noon and Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m.. A dog-washing station with a stainless-steel tub is also available onsite at these hours. Donations and supplies such as shampoo, flea control and, of course, pet food are always gratefully accepted.

The Pet Food Bank is sponsored by Christian Outreach in Action . COA is located at 515 E. 3rd St., Long Beach. Hours are Thursday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m..

Contact The Pet Food Bank in Seal Beach at [email protected] if you or your organization wants to help people feed their pets.

Pets of the Homeless is the angel host that provides so many collection places across the country for homeless people to care for their animals as best as they can. Please support them through a cash donation, or bring food to the Long Beach-area drop-off center, Trendi Pawz Grooming, 3726 E. 7th St, Long Beach. Access this link for resources and donation areas in SoCal and across the country.

Shelter Enrichment - Copy

Shelter-Enrichment Supplies Needed for ACS Dogs and Cats!

Drop-off: Wednesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach

Individual donations requested.

ACS is continuing our kennel enrichment activities for our canine guests here and could use so more donations (there are plenty for the cats!). Here is what’s needed:

  • creamy peanut butter
  • yogurt
  • beef broth (canned or in the box)
  • chicken broth (canned or in the box)
  • incense
  • carabiner clips (heavy duty)
  • ice cube trays
  • pipe cleaners
  • toilet paper/paper towel rolls
  • cat toys
  • corks from bottles (for cat toys)
  • catnip
  • canned cat and dog food

Donations are tax deductible. Our pups and kitties say thanks so much!

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Kate Karp is the Pets Columnist for the Long Beach Post covering the world of animal activism, pet adoptions and lots of cute cats. She’s called Long Beach home since 1994 and has written for the Post for about 10 years. Kate’s day job is as a copyeditor, which she discovered a love for during her 30-year tenure as a teacher. She describes the job as “like taking the rough edges off a beautiful sculpture.”