Virtually pets

“It is impossible to keep a straight face in the presence of one or more kittens,” said someone named Cynthia E. Varnado. I have no idea who Cynthia Varnado is or was, and I even checked Wikipedia. Whoever she is, she’s spot-on with that quote, particularly during this pandemic and all the small-business closures, personal loss and spiritual doldrums that it brought along.

The Feline Good Social Club is the best place for miles to cure whatever ails you now, whether it’s brought on by the blues, the news or a psychic bruise. The Social Club’s meowntra is “Get giddy with a kitty”—if you haven’t seen reporter Cheantay Jensen’s article yet, click this link—you’ll understand “giddy” very well!


The lounge’s founder, Pam Leslie, wrassled with her own pandemic-related worries. The Feline Good Social Club isn’t a for-profit business, but even as a registered nonprofit, there are bills to pay and kitties to feed and medical needs to address

“When we knew we were going to close down [back in March], it became a harsh reality, knowing we couldn’t open and we’d collect more bills in between,” Leslie said. “But our landlord’s been great—hasn’t given us any problem and continued to support our property needs. We had to do some alternative financing, but we’re hanging in.”

Leslie said that, even with the closure, she and her volunteers adopted out 40 cats and kittens during the months the lounge was closed. Social media and word-of-mouth were key. The cats themselves were all lounging in foster homes, and now they’re back lounging in the lounge and wreaking adorable havoc. You can book a 50-minute session here—the staff sterilizes the areas after each session and enforce social-distancing regulations for humans. Masks are required.

The cats, of course, are another story. Aside from the struggle to keep a straight face, it’s impussible to distance yourself from a determined kitty!

Except for a couple of resident felines, you can apply to adopt any cat or kitten who takes your fancy. Here are four candidates. The first three are from the aptly named Designer Litter. If you have designs on any of them, they’re all authentic and original creations. 

Videos by Cheantay Jensen




Like any rescue that loves all animals no matter what, Feline Good Social Club houses special-needs cats. Kit-Kat was born with cerebellar hypoplasia, also known as “wobbly cat syndrome.” You can’t use the phrase “suffers from” with his handicap, though. Kit Kat’s limbs may move oddly, but he doesn’t know he’s different. Watch him prance like a dressage horse in Cheantay’s videos.


Pet projects

Can’t be too careful: A man in a safety suit keeps a cat at arm’s length.

Safety alert for cats

There have been several reports of a deceased, mutilated cat or cats found in the vicinity of Bellflower Boulevard between East Eliot Avenue and Loynes Drive. There’s nothing conclusive, but please do the following if you see any pets in this condition:

  1. Take a photo if you can handle it, or find someone with a thicker skin to do it
  2. Report it to Long Beach Animal Care Services, [email protected] and to the police.
  3. Please, please, please, have your pets microchipped and keep them indoors. Coyotes are on the roam.

Jackson Galaxy’s Cat Camp: Saturday, Sept. 26, 11 a.m.–3:30 p.m. PDT, free! Register here.

If you’re all sad because you’d sewn labels on your cat’s collar and rehearsed “99 Things to Knock Off the Shelf” with your kitty cabal, and then Cat Camp was subsequently knocked off the shelf itself by the pandemic—tails up! Thanks to support from the Petco Foundation and Litter Genie, the camp’s going virtual and will be absolutely free of charge to the happy campers! Register, and then wait by the mousehole for a great time with Jackson Galaxy, the host of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell,” along with Kitten Lady Hannah Shaw and her straight-out hints for raising kittens. Enjoy question-and-answer, interactive activities that likely involve dangling things, and prizes to win, including a one-on-one consultation with Jackson Galaxy—all while your cats are walking on the keyboard and blocking the monitor. OK—ready? “99 things to knock off the shelf, 99 things to smack…


Best Friends Strut Your Mutt Day: Saturday, Oct. 24, register or donate here

The annual Strut Your Mutt dog walk, which has raised thousands of dollars for lifesaving projects, is going virtual like everything else. Best Friends has teamed up with local rescue groups, shelters, animal-welfare organizations and pet-community members for a virtual community walk and fundraiser to benefit homeless dogs and cats across the country. During this period of relative isolation, raising funds is more important than ever, so join up and participate in engaging opportunities to help throughout the season and build a virtual no-kill community. All funds raised go directly to lifesaving programs such as spay neuter services and adoption—and it’s all off leash!

Help wanted, help given

Second Annual Long Beach Gives: midnight–11:59, Thursday, Sept. 24, details here

Long Beach Gives started as a grad student project in 2018. In short, it’s 24 hours of donating to any of the 153 Long Beach charities in their aggregate. Last year’s inaugural event earned a combined total of over $822,000 for 93 local organizations, surpassing their initial goal of $350,000 by 300%, according to their website. This year’s impressive list of charities includes the following pet-related nonprofits: Fix Long Beach, Golden State Humane Society, Helen Sanders CatPAWS, Live Love Animal Rescue, Long Beach Spay & Neuter Foundation, Sparky and the Gang Animal Rescue, spcaLA and The Little Lion Foundation. Show your love and support for pets and the organizations that spend their money and themselves to help them—donate on Thursday, Sept. 23, between midnights.


DIY Kitten Care Kits available free at Long Beach Animal Care Services

It’s kitten season—the time of year when cats give birth. It starts in the spring—sometimes before, depending on the weather, peaks in midsummer, and ends in autumn. It occurs because so many cats are not spayed or neutered, and soon, kittens flood our shelter. It isn’t unusual to find nests of young, seemingly abandoned kittens during kitten season. It is a natural reaction to want to help, to save them.  If you are interested in obtaining a Kitten Care Kit made possible by Helen Sanders CatPAWS, please email [email protected].

Spay/neuter vouchers available at shelter

Long Beach Animal Care Services has spay/neuter vouchers available. They’ll take a healthy nip out of the cost of a procedure. Residents of any of the five cities served by the shelter—(see above)—can telephone the general number at 562-570-7387 to request a voucher.

The Spay/Neuter Project of Los Angeles (SNP/LA) is back in business for free and low-cost spay/neuter services, and they’re extending the hours of their vaccination clinics. The San Pedro clinic, located at 957 N. Gaffey St., will give shots every third Thursday between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Call 310-574-5555 to see if you qualify for services.

Calendars—save the date, and save some pets!

Helen Sanders CatPAWS Show Us Your Kitties 2020 calendar contest: through Sunday, Sept. 20, register your floomf here

Sick and tired of 2020 already? Let’s build a new year and help cats at the same time. Helen Sanders CatPAWS Show Us Your Kitties calendar contest is back, and it’s time to submit your photos! This year the rescue’s goal is to reach $10,000 so they can continue the lifesaving work to make sure every cat gets the best life (and home) possible. The rescue will try its best to place every photo they receive somewhere in the calendar, even if not in the top 13. Because times are tough and CatPAWS wants to encourage people to share their beloved kitty photos, they have waived the usual entry fee this year! You can reserve a day for your cat for $10—a birthday, a memorial, St. Gertrude’s Day… Read the full rules here.

 Southern California Bulldog Rescue’s No Bulldog Left Behind calendar contest: through Monday, Aug 31, register your slobbery baby here.

 Southern California Bulldog Rescue provides shelter, rehoming assistance, and funds for medical treatment for over 250 bulldogs each year coming from animal shelters, other rescue groups, and owners who wish to surrender their purebred pets. They rely on donations for support, and this calendar of jut-jawed beauties is their biggest fundraiser. Do you and your adorable, squatty little friend want to reserve a day or strive for an entire month? Of course you do! Find out how here.

If you can see the bottom of the kibble bag:

West Coast Toyota of Long Beach bought $3,000 worth of pet food last month to deliver to people in need in our community. If anyone you know is in this position, take a photo of the food you give to your pet, and include your name, contact information and a brief description of your work situation to [email protected]. Fix’n Fidos will deliver the food to you or arrange for you to pick it up.

Helen Sanders CatPAWS offers, through specific private donors, e-gift cards for people struggling during the crisis to buy food for their pets. The CatPAWS Spay/Neuter Fund, also privately funded, has vouchers available for anyone not able to go to the shelter for them. They also accept donations.

Pets of the Homeless’ home page gives a self-description as the only organization focusing only on providing food and care for pets belonging to homeless people. Businesses and other organizations across the country receive in-kind donations of food and other needs that the dogs and cats’ human families can pick up at outreach locations. The following Long Beach businesses will accept your donations:

Trendi Pawz, 3726 E. Seventh St., Long Beach

Belmont Heights Animal Hospital, 255 Redondo Ave., Long Beach

Paw Shoppe Pet Center, Inc., 6416 E. Spring St., Long Beach

Food and supplies are available at Beacon for Him Ministries, 1535 Gundry Ave. Long Beach, Mondays from 9 a.m. to noon and Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m.; and at Christian Outreach in Action, 515 E. Third St., Long Beach, Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m. Donations will be gratefully accepted at these locations as well.

 Adopt, adopt, adopt

spcaLA Are You Kitten Me? adoptions: Through Sept. 30, shelter hours at all spcaLA locations, $20 adoption fee for all felines

Help the community raise kittens born during kitten season and shine a spotlight on the adult cats passed over for their younger counterparts. Because of closures to the public, spcaLA will conduct all adoptions virtually, so check out these pointy-eared cuties here and complete an application on any of the adoptables’ pages. An spcaLA adoption counselor will contact you to complete the adoption. (This adoption special is for qualified adopters; exclusions may apply.)

 Helen Sanders CatPAWS adoption center: Daily, store hours, 2341 Seal Beach Blvd, Seal Beach, adoption fees apply.

Window-shopping’s a neat pastime and likely has become more common during the pandemic. Helen Sanders CatPAWS has applied window-shopping to cat adoption; you can peer at several of the fine felines through the windows of the PetSmart adoption center in Seal Beach. Sadly, no ear scratching or chin rubs at this time, but volunteers can answer questions and provide you with adoption information! Be sure to wear a mask. You can find adoption applications and all the kitties here.

The following pet-related businesses regularly feature cat, dog and rabbit adoptions, but as of now, adoptions are mainly by appointment. Click on the links for each rescue in case of updates or changes. These organizations operate through donations and grants, and anything you can give would be welcome. Please suggest any Long Beach-area rescues to add to the list.