The Scratching Post is a weekly newsletter from pets columnist Kate Karp, bringing you all the latest news on pet adoptions, animal welfare and ways to get involved. Sign up here.

Remembering orphaned pets

Everyone gets to see a first sunrise. Sadly, for some, the sun sets too soon and is often obscured by tragedy—illness, accident, violence, unbearable sadness.

Memorials and vigils held at sunset offer some peace and comfort for the ones who remember. Remember Me Thursday, a global nonprofit that works to raise awareness and adoption of orphaned pets, calls for worldwide candlelight vigils on the fourth Thursday of September to literally shine a light on all the pets waiting in shelters and rescues. On Sept. 28, Helen Sanders CatPAWS cat rescue will hold its own vigil on the sand in Seal Beach.

The CatPAWS event will take place at 6:30 p.m. on the sand at First and Ocean in Seal Beach, by the Beach House restaurant and the plaque commemorating the rescue’s namesake, Helen Sanders. Sanders was a fixture in Seal Beach, pedaling her giant tricycle laden with cat food through town and to the jetties, where she whittled down the number of unfixed cats through TNR before there was a name for the practice, let alone an acronym. When she died in 2005, volunteers counted eight “Jetty Cats” that remained of the scores that had scampered over the rocks when Sanders began her efforts. That also left thousands fewer potential orphaned kittens to worry over.

You’re invited to come to the ceremony and bring photos and stories of pets, to share. Flameless candles and cookies will be provided along with a beautiful sunset on the beach to grace the memory of the hundreds of newborn kittens euthanized because there was no one to bottle-feed them, puppies infected with deadly parvovirus born to overbred mothers in puppy mills, and every other orphaned pet everywhere. They’ll all have their own symbolic sunset and a promise to continue to do better.

Enter the Remember Me Thursday 2023 contest with your adopted pet’s story to win food and money for your favorite shelter or rescue.

Pets to adopt or foster

Helen Sanders CatPAWS has fended off many untimely sunsets for orphaned kittens. Here are a few at the beginning of hopefully long, healthy lives. Access this link to see all the cats presently in fosters and at the adoption center at the Seal Beach PetSmart, and find out how to fill out adoption applications. All CatPAWS cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, defleaed and dewormed, and vetted.

From top left, meet Timmy, Annie, Hattie and Charlie, the latest lucky little CatPAWS fosters at about 9 weeks as of this writing. Their foster, Annelle, is all snookie-ookie-doodle-doo about them, and so is everyone else at the rescue. “They’re very high energy, then they crash in my lap to sleep and cuddle,” Annelle said. “They have good appetites—they all come running when I tell them it’s time for a meal. Sounds like a herd of elephants! I’ve noticed that when they pair up to sleep, it’s one brother and one sister. Very endearing.” Oh, and they have excellent litter box habits.

Yellowstone and Zion were adopted as kittens and were happy and content until they weren’t. With the advent of a new baby and moving to a new home, their owners decided that there was no more time for kitties. So, they both had to go. Yellowstone,  a beautiful boy with bright golden eyes and the most kissable pink nose; and Zion, jaunty as can be with his black beret against snowy-white fur, are back as adults in foster homes. CatPAWS would love for these affable, easygoing boys to go to a real forever home together, since they’ve been mates since they were tiny kittens and now have only each other. CatPAWS is offering a two-for-one adoption fee of just $50! Please consider these beautiful boys and give them the stable, loving home they deserve.

Pet events

Kitty and canine calendars!

As the leaves fall in certain parts of the country, the leaves of our calendars are down to about two and a half months. A few of our local rescues are putting together their annual compendia of their pinup pups and kitties to adorn you wall and make the day a little more palatable. Proceeds from the calendars will help fund all the good things that each rescue does, which you can read about on their websites. You can find details on the following links:

  • The Seal Beach Animal Care Center has two calendars going on—one for dogs and the other for cats! You have until Oct. 22 to enter your buddy and then urge on your buddies to donate some funds fur a vote. Top votes get to grace a month. Calendars go on sale in November.

Pet Food Express Pet Fair: Saturday, Sept. 23 and Sunday, Sept. 24, Bixby Knolls location, 4220 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach; and  Belmont Shore location, 5265 E 2nd St, Long Beach, events free, adoption fees vary

Roll up September with the chance to give pets good homes and find out the best ways to feed them. Saturday events take place 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and include Just Food for Dogs Meet and Greet and Weruva Meet and Greet, with free goodies and advice, both locations, and Long Beach Animal Care Services’ adoption event, Belmont Shore location. On Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., join the Cat Cove and The Little Lion Foundation for kitty rescues at the Bixby Knolls location. Pet Food Express has on hand some of the highest-quality food, toys and accessories for you to bless your furry bestie with!

To see a list of local animal rescue groups, click here.