Put zip into the self-isolation blahs with some Zazzy! These adoptable cats do great at binge-watching, silly games and plain napping

Virtually Pets

At Zazzy Cats Kitty Rescue, every cat is Zazzy.

Zazzy’s founder, Jimmy Naccarato, picked the name for the nonprofit after watching an otherwise shortsighted and ill-informed episode of “The Big Bang Theory.” In the show, Sheldon named his horde (and very close to hoard) of cats after Manhattan Project Scientists—Enrico Fermi, Richard Feynman, and other mouthfuls—except for one tabby whom Sheldon named Zazzles “because he’s so—zazzy!” The name struck Jimmy as funny and cute, and perfect for a kitty nonprofit.

The name is the only thing Zazzy Cats has in common with the episode. The volunteers—the rescue’s all-volunteer and gets by financially by a whisker—scoop high-risk cats—injured and curably ill animals, pregnant mothers, bottle-feeding kittens—from shelters and streets mostly in Long Beach and get them veterinary care and spay or neuter them.

“We have a lot of people reach out to us to try to keep cats out of the shelter,” said Laura Altmann, the board of directors’ secretary. “It helps alleviate some of our shelter’s pressures and financial burden. If we can assist with that by keeping more cats out, it helps a lot.”

All the cats go to fosters who bottle-feed orphaned kittens, play with the cats, continue with any medical needs, and love them to the outer planets and back. By the time they’re ready to adopt—and the volunteers are more fussy than Sheldon was about homes—they’re healthy, beautiful felines. And plenty zazzy, too.

Roni Naccarato, Jimmy’s sister, is cofounder of the organization. She works with the team to go over adoption applications and submit them to the fosters, many of whom have known the cats from scratch. During the pandemic, Zazzy board members have done Zoom or FaceTime meet-and-greets with the potential adopters; if everything goes well, Zazzy meets with the adopters in a closed-off location, with everyone masked and appropriately garbed.

“We’re constantly cleaning, and you’re not around a million people at once,” Altmann said.

During “normal” times, Zazzy Cats and other rescue groups have regular adoption events at pet-supply stores where people can see, cuddle and play with kitties. They won’t be able to do that for a while, so The Scratching Post has been posting videos as a distant second. You’ll still find them all so—zazzy.

cat with gray ears and eye masks, white nose bridge, cheeks, and legs, and gray splotch on back, stares at camera as she rests on a white pillow and plaid bedspread.

Nubbins is about a year old. She was found on the street with most of her tail missing and in pain. The human that found her alerted the Zazzy volunteers; the veterinarian told them that her poor tail likely got caught in a car engine. Her tail was recently removed, and she has a perky little nub tail now. So—Nubbins! Nubbins is unarguably not a fan of dogs. She’s still on the fence—not literally, because she stays inside—about other cats—she’s cranky about them all. However, people and kittens are her favorite things. She loves to cuddle and hang out and is ready to transfer all that to a forever person!


jet black cat stretched lenghthwise--appears very long--on brown hardwood floor.

She’s so loooooong! Jet, a lovely year-old charmer, isn’t camera shy either. She was saved with her mom and five siblings from a shelter. She’s active and social, and adores her foster family, which includes other cats, a dog and older children. She loves attention and being petted—and that purr! She’d make a great companion and a purrfect addition to any loving home.



Orange cat with white belly lies comically on his back on a round cat toy with a tunnel-shape scratching post next to him.

Conor, 10 months old, is a laid-back kinda guy who’s a little shy. It sometimes takes him a minute to warm up to new people, but once he knows that you’re a nice person, he’s a complete snuggle bug! With proper introduction, he gets along great with other cats, he’s very curious about dogs, again, when introduced properly. He also has impeccable litter-box manners. Conor’s perfect home should be on the quiet side, with people speaking sweetly. Since loud noise and excitement can take him by surprise, small children aren’t the best fit. He has few demands other than a sunny spot to lie back in and a person to enjoy TV with. Oh yes—he’s a sucker for a good belly rub, as you can see!




Pretty tortie cat meatloafing on a bedspread.

Epinoe looks like a kitten, but she’s actually 2 years old! She was pulled from the shelter sick and pregnant, just about ready to pop out seven beautiful kittens. Sadly, only five survived the traumatic labor she endured, and even with critical care, ultimately only two made it. Both found loving homes, and now it’s Epinoe’s turn. She’s healthy, vibrant, and full of trust and unconditional love. She loves absolutely everyone—people, dogs, kids and especially other cats. In fact, it would be great for her to be in a home with another cat. She has been a beautiful addition to her foster home and has overcome so much in her short life. Her foster mama will miss her when she gets a home of her very own.


calico cat face with eerie green eyes, pupils dark on top and lighter on bottom.

We couldn’t get a video of Epinoe because she just wasn’t having any of it that day (you know cats), but the eyes have it in the still photos.


calico cat face with huge ears, held by human hands

And we won’t even talk about the ears!


Like all grassroots nonprofits, Zazzy Cats needs donations to cover food and medical expense. Access their donations page here.  


Donate during the pandemic

Stray Cat Alliance is prepping up for kitten season, which has already started. They’re going to need bottle feeders, formula, spay/neuter procedures for the cats they trap and lots of cat-related things. Join them on their social media link on May 5. Details on event and donation available here.

If you can see the bottom of the kibble bag:

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. 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 at a local pet-supply store. Monetary donations made on the organization’s page will help the effort along.

The Dog Bakery, remaining open for pooch pastries and doggie desserts, will also help people who have lost their jobs and are in financial distress to give their dogs a basic meal. Health-care employees and other essential workers can apply for this. During the stay-at-home order, the owners, Rocky Kanaka and Kelly Hannaford will deliver dog food to people who are struggling with job loss, can’t leave their homes or deserve appreciation. Access this link to fill out a form if you need food for your dog or wish to donate to the effort. Check out this video for more details.

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 five cities in the Long Beach shelter’s service area—Long Beach, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, Signal Hill and Cerritos.

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.

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.

tiny black newborn kitten with white paws and white marks on chest sits up with his legs splayed out as he's fed from a bottle

Adopt, adopt, adopt

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.

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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.”