Virtually pets

Last week, The Scratching Post featured black cats that you could adopt and a bit about the mythology that slinks around them. Before All Hallows’ Eve melds into Dia de los Muertos, we want to give one final homage, a scratch under the chin and a bloop to the nose to the color complement to Halloween cats: orange ones.

The Celtic celebration of Samhain (pronounced SOW-wen) is the parent or maybe the grandparent of Halloween. It’s still celebrated today by neo-pagans, Wiccans and other nature-based practitioners who want to observe the beginning of winter and honor loved humans and animals who have passed. Black is one of the representative colors of the ancient celebration and any likely before it that celebrated the turn of the earth into darkness, to night, to sleep.

Harvesting the crops and sharing them with living friends and families and dead ancestors was central to the celebration; hence, orange and gold predominated in the colors corresponding to the holiday. Animals associated with the holiday include the cat, of course, and the familiar—pun intended—bats, owls and ravens. Not as well known are huge, lumbering sows, wild-eyed horses and a weird shape-shifting creature called a pooka.

The pooka that most people my age are most familiar with is the 6-foot-4-inch rabbit from the delightful 1950 Jimmy Stewart film “Harvey,” but as far as I’m concerned, “shape shifting” means “cats.” Ever wonder how they squeeze into that three-inch space between the top of the kitchen cabinet and the ceiling or disappear entirely, only to come out from behind something after you’ve papered the neighborhood with flyers and put an announcement on every social media platform in cyberspace?

And speaking of cats, orange ones specifically, here’s a veritable harvest waiting to share themselves and enjoy themselves with you. Not that orange cats have much difficulty getting adopted—people find them winning—but any occasion can transform itself into being a reason for adoption.

white cat with orange points sits on blanket
This cutie is approximately 8 months old and super-loving. His name is Bob. He does take time to get to know other kitties, but once they make friends, he does well. He’s a playful guy that would do well either with or without another kitty in the home. Apply to adopt him here, from The Little Lion Foundation.
orange cat with white chest and black collar sits in front of a black-and-white print.
This is Sherbert, who is now 1 year old. He’s an odd duck… er, cat. He loves to play with running water, and he loves to get his head wet when he drinks out of his water fountain. Hmm—maybe there is some duck DNA in him. He loves dogs and does OK with other kitties. He’s a friendly, funny fellow fondly wishing for his forever home. Contact the Jellicle Cats Rescue Foundation at [email protected] to adopt Sherbert.
fluffy orange cat sits in a faux-brick house, in the doorway, with Home Sweet HOme above.
Maggie May is very much at home but would prefer to be in yours.
Upper part of large orange cat lies on a surface and looks downward left.
Do you love Tommy Pickles’ freckled schnoz? Tommy Pickles and his momma Maggie May were TNRed in South Los Angeles years and years ago, and now they are in a foster home, and waiting for a chance to finally know what a forever home is! Tommy is a giant chonk of love, and you can hear him purring from across the room. He’s about 7 years old, and is as sweet as the freckles on his nose are kissable. His momma Maggie May is around 11 years old, and has had several teeth extracted, which makes her look very serious. She takes a minute to warm up to strangers, but wait until you see the biscuits she makes when she’s content. We would love for Tommy and Maggie to get adopted together. Contact the Jellicle Cats Rescue Foundation at [email protected] to adopt Sherbert.
Kiko, 5 years old, was found living in a parking lot in a very small space between two walls. She’s named for a Japanese empress. She starts off shy and is just learning how to live in a house. She loves wet food and will come running the second you pop open the cans. To adopt her, fill out an application from The Cat Cove.
cat with orange mask and saddle, white chest and legs, and blue collar looks out a kennel with a pink blanket on the bottom.
Douglas, 3 years old, was thrown out of a van into a local park. He needs to spend his winter—and the rest of his life—in a place that has the proper love and respect for animals.
orange cat with white bib sits in kennel with blanket
Boots, age 3, was surrendered by his owner. Let’s not let that happen ever again.

Douglas and Boots are available to adopt at Long Beach Animal Care Services, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach, at the entrance to El Dorado Park. Adoptions are done through appointment; contact [email protected] to make one. Check out all their other adoptables on the shelter’s website!

Just fur fun

Halloween Spooktacular Pet Costume Contest, hosted by the Bluff Heights Neighborhood Association, Inc.: to 3 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 4, free, access link here

Many of Long Beach’s cats, dogs, hamsters, bunnies and anything you can squeeze into a cute suit will enter a virtual Halloween contest and get some real treats for their tricks, like totes, T-shirts and gift certificates. The Bluff Heights Neighborhood Association is inviting Long Beach residents to submit photos of their pets either on the above link or at [email protected] with “Bluff Heights Halloween Pet Photo” in the subject line. Include your pet’s name, your name, the species of your pet, your email and a brief description of the costume. No humans in photos, please—pets don’t need cuteness (or weirdness) help, and keep the costumes appropriate and inoffensive. The photos will become property of the Bluff Heights Neighborhood Association and may be seen on their Facebook and other social-media pages, where you can like your favorites. Winners will be announced at 9 p.m., Nov. 4.

Virtual Cats and Mats Yoga with the Feline Good Social Club Cats: Saturday, Oct. 31, free, access link here

Yoga practice can be augmented in the presence of cats! Feline Good Social Club has hosted several such events, but this time, you’ll have to bring your own cat! The club’s “supurr-special yoga buddy,” Melissa Ann Clark, will come to the yoga lounge one Saturday purr month to host yoga live-stream sessions with a holiday theme. This month’s theme will, of course, be Halloween, and all the felines haunting the lounge will be slinking in and out as the event continues. No cat? Adopt one from the Virtual Pets section!

Bulldog-themed safety-mask preorder: Southern California Bulldog Rescue, $11 each

What better way to protect yourself and others from those coronavirus cooties than with a faithful bulldog guardian at the gate! They’re two-ply non-medical grade protection that feel good and comfy. They’re also hand-washable. Best of all, these whimsical wearables support Southern California Bulldog Rescue! Order them here.

Help wanted, help given

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

Kitten season is just about up, but kittens still enter shelters. 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. But before you jump in, consider these steps outlined here. 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.

If you can see the bottom of the kibble bag:

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

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.

Long Beach Animal Care Services monthly adoptions: Every second Saturday of each month, store hours, Pet Supplies Plus, 2086 N. Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, adoption fees apply.

Long Beach Animal Care Services shows up with its fabulous Adoption Waggin’ equipped with air conditioning, running water and comfy kennels with cats, dogs and bunnies waiting to go home. Masks and social distancing required for visitors.

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.