Virtually Pets

On Saturday, May 23, at noon sharp, Scott Perry married his cat, Olivia, in an Instagram ceremony attended by hundreds of well-wishers.

“It’s totally preposterous that a man could marry his cat in quarantine, but it’s for a good cause, Perry said, which should pause—yes, and paws, can’t let you down—to the idea of contacting the authorities. Perry, an entertainment-properties manager, planned the happy event as an attention grabber for kitten-season awareness and to raise funds for shelters and rescues that are dealing with it now.

Kitten season is now in full bloom, with unaltered cats taking advantage of the warm weather to breed countless kittens, nuptials or no. As happens every year, rescues and shelters are overwhelmed with the results of the unions and scramble to find adopters and fosters.

Rescues and fosters have also been overwhelmed during the COVID-19 pandemic, which further compromises how to deal with the thousands of kittens born during the period.

Quarantining during the pandemic has been mother to considerable invention—have you played our Long Beach Minecraft? —but Perry’s was a beaut.

“[The fundraiser] came together as a culmination of random events around the pandemic,” Perry said. “Olivia, who was previously named Colette, came from Best Friends 5 years ago. Meanwhile, I came across a party-supply store that was closing down and got decorations, and my friend took photos of me with Olivia.”

Smiling man, brown hair and receding hairline,about 40, with head tilted left in a black suit jacket, bowtie and white shirt, holds cat with gray ears and mask and white fur. There is an enlarged photo of a cat's head behind him in lace.
The happy couple ready to go on their furrymoon. Photo by Devin L’Amoreaux.

Rescues are always scrambling, to attract potential adopters. Without the benefit of in-person adoption events, this has become particularly difficult.

“My own Facebook page is always flooded,” Perry said. “This is the time, 5 years ago, when I adopted my cat. And it’s kitten season, and I wanted to bring awareness to it, so I announced it on my Facebook page, and contacted media. That was it.” The Perrys’ wedding had a strong presence on local news channels and social media.

The happy couple’s wedding page, Here Comes the Cat, features photos of Scott and Olivia; suggestions for travel and things to do in the area ( altogether consisting of sharply worded directives to stay home and spend time with loved ones), and a wedding registry.

If there’s a centerpiece at this banquet, the registry is it. There are no gifts requested—no rhinestone collars, no beluga caviar freeze-dried treats, no top-shelf dank catnip, no gilt-edge litter boxes. Perry said that he doesn’t need anything and neither does Olivia, which is pawtently obvious.

The link instead accesses Best Friends’ donation page, where guests and well-wishers can still help the Perrys reach their goal of $5,000. The donations will help to save lives and get cats and kittens into their own happy homes. Olivia also gave the catnip bouquet a toss-out to the pet community at large to help control the cat population everywhere.

Perry said that marriage hasn’t changed Olivia’s felines about him, or vice versa.

“ I love my cat, and she still wakes me up at 5 every morning to feed her,” he said.

He added that besides Best Friends, all shelters and rescues need support during kitten season. He suggested that people direct their “wedding gifts” to local recipients. There’s a listing of Long Beach-area animal shelters and rescues at the end of the article, under Adopt, adopt, adopt.

“More so than ever, your local shelter needs your support,” Perry said.  “And adopt a pet—know that it’s a lifetime commitment.”

No matter how a marriage plays out, adoptions are fur-ever.

To help fund spay/neuter and trap/spay-neuter/return programs, access any of the cat-rescue links listed under Adopt, adopt, adopt. And yes, adopt a kitten or an adult cat—the grownups get overlooked and left in shelters and rescues longer. Besides, love is lovelier the second time around.

You can swipe right on any of these sweethearts:

The trapper who snagged Angel thought he had future as a housecat. Instead of being wild and fancy free, Angel proved ready to settle down in an eternal relationship. He’s about a year old and is one of the sweetest cats ever. He loves to get your attention so you’ll pet him and pet him and… He’s good with other cats and loves children! He’s also never in a bad mood—what more could you want in a housemate! To adopt Angel, access and complete the application on this page.

Anne is a year-old brown tabby that loves to play the shy game but actually would like nothing more than to lounge around next to you! This sweet and loving furball is the purrfect domestic partner—look how good she is at making biscuits!  Please call 562-570-PETS or email [email protected] to make an appointment to meet her. Specify “Anne” and ID#A642922.

Wrigley Kittens is an organized grassroots group of animal lovers who perform trap/spay-neuter/release on cats on the streets where they live. Kittens from nabbed mamas—and sometimes, the mamas themselves—are almost always adoptable. Mac and Cheese are two such babies. Their mother, dubbed Broadway Mama, had a litter of 5 adorable little kittens. Broadway Mama herself turned out to be friendly rather than feral, and she got adopted after she was spayed. Three of the kittens went home as well, and now these 2 striped sweetie-pies remain. To adopt this cat-serole, contact [email protected].

white fluffy dog in black bowtie sits on oriental rug. A light-orange cat in a black top hat sits tall next to him.
Best man Godric poses with kitty groom Dumpling. Photo by Candler Flanagan.


Siamese kitten in top hat hugs light-orange cat in top hat. Both sit on Oriental rug.
Groom and groom: little Chance busses Dumpling on the ear prior to taking their wedding meows. Photo by Candler Flanagan.

Video by Candler Flanagan

I had to save this one for last. Little Chance, a playful, loving sweet Siamese boy, came to Helen Sanders CatPAWS with severely infected eyes but made an impressive recovery. He gets drops 3 times a day. He met Dumpling, a young adult male, in his foster home, and relentlessly pursued him until he agreed to live con-nibbly. Dumpling is an adorable roly-poly buff-color tabby, about a year old, who is on medication twice daily for intermittent seizures. He takes his meds calmly, as suits his docile nature. He would love a stress-free home with maybe a nonaggressive animal or two (he’s used to dogs). Even though Chance and Dumpling are a couple and it would be lovely to adopt them together, they’d be more than willing to separate if each could go to a happy home. They’re cats, after all. Visit Helen Sanders Cat Paws’ adoption page to complete an application.

 If you can see the bottom of the kibble bag:

Venerable animal-welfare group Friends of Long Beach Animals will have a pet-food giveaway on Thursday, June 4 at noon, in front of the Expo Center in Bixby Knolls (see graphic for details). The organization thanks the community for their generous donations during their May food drive. Fix Long Beach will host a drive-thru vaccination clinic at the giveaway; see Further assistance for details.

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. Fix’n Fidos is a nonprofit established by KTLA reporter Kacey Montoya to provide free spay/neuter to Southern California residents who can’t afford the procedures. Since there’s been a crimp in the mobile clinics’ availability, Montoya has shifted focus to people who may have trouble finding food for their friends. Monetary donations made on the organization’s page will help the effort along.

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, offers vouchers to cover spay/neuter procedures to anyone living in the 5 cities in the Long Beach shelter’s service area—Long Beach, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, Signal Hill and Cerritos.

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. 7th 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. 3rd St., Long Beach, Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m. Donations will be gratefully accepted at these locations as well.

Further assistance

Fix Long Beach will host a drive-thru clinic on Thursday, June 4, at the Expo Arts Center, 4321 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, alongside the Friends of Long Beach Animals pet food giveaway (see If you can see the bottom of the kibble bag). Vaccines at $10 per shot (sorry, no rabies at this time) will be available for dogs and cats, as will be spay/neuter vouchers, flea meds at $10 per dose, and free microchips. For your safety and that of volunteers, we require all humans to wear masks! Dogs must be on leash, and cats must be in carriers.

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 5 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. Beginning June 18, 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.

Adopt, adopt, adopt

Long Beach Animal Care Services has partnered with Best Friends Animal Society and adopets to bring you an online adoption event through May 31. From the comfort of your home, you can safely and securely apply to adopt a cat or a dog near you, arrange a meet-and-greet, complete the adoption application, and schedule a pet pickup. You can pay online. See the gallery of new buddies 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.