Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blog the Change: How two kitties changed my life

My kitties are not rescues. They were not officially adopted. They were not given to me by a friend, the woman next door, or as a gift from a boyfriend. No, my kitties were a spur-of-the-moment decision, made when someone had a dog crate full of free kittens at a yard sale that I stopped at. It was hot, they were in the sun. I felt bad. I chose one, a tiny black kitty. She looked so sad and lonely that less than five minutes later I was carrying out her tuxedo brother as well. They were meant to be a gift to my father, a cat man if there ever was one. They never made it there. Instead they are currently snoring beside me, one at my feet and one in the window sill. My babies. My life. 

The kitties, ready to go to
their new home
As an adult I had never been a cat person. I liked them well enough, but never really wanted one of my own. My (then) fiance, now husband, had mentioned getting one several times when we first moved in together, always to be shot down by me. It was always too much work, too much responsibility. And the expense of pet ownership was overwhelming! So we were cat-less, enjoying life without hairballs or litter boxes. Until last June.

I still cannot tell you what made me decide to bring these two furballs into my life. Yes, they were meant for my father, but I don't even think I was home from the yard sale before I knew that they were with me to stay. My Boots, my Bruin; I cannot imagine my life without them now. There are the little changes that have come with having kitties - I sleep curled up on my side now, not spread out, because the kitties take up too much room on the bed. PetSmart is a new favorite store. And I keep vinegar on hand at all times for those days when my cat thinks it is 100% okay to pee in the hamper. Little changes, things I barely notice. Then there are the big changes....

Boots & Bruin, inspecting
a new toy
I have always been a coupon person, so the day the kitties came home I began looking online for deals and coupons. Though I found a good amount, I realized there were only one or two sites really dedicated to finding pet deals. Instead I had to sift through other sites, keeping an eagle eye out for that mention about Fancy Feast and Science Diet. That is how Four Paw Savings, and my presence in the blogging world, began. And I love it! Through it I have learned so much, met so many people, and gotten involved in so many great causes (like this one!). Now instead of watching TV when I have nothing else to do, I work on my blog. I research. I write, delete, then write again. I read about blogging, and ways to make it better. I teach myself basic HTML. And I read LOTS of other pet blogs. Without my babies I never would have entered into this world, would not be writing this now, and would have no idea that causes like Blog the Change even existed.

Boots, the feline face
of Four Paw Savings
I run a pet savings blog, so when there is a super deal, I hear about it. It did not take me very long to realize that 1.) I was able to get tons of pet food for super cheap (most of it I didn't need), and 2.) that many people who really needed these deals knew nothing about them. I began to wonder if there were such things as "pet food banks." Just like the people food banks, but with pet food. I was excited to discover that yes, there were indeed pet food banks, but that sadly none existed near me. Instead those living in my area, when unable to feed their pets are forced to surrender them to shelters, or *gasp!* abandon them on the streets. That was all it took for me. Last November I contacted a local food bank run through a church in town, told them my idea, and they now distribute pet food to local families in need, as well as seniors who are struggling to feed their furry companions. The pet food is currently mostly donated by me and people I know, but it is a start. Someday I hope to have a "real" pet food bank, one that requires a storage facility and has volunteers and donation bins and cool t-shirts that say "STAFF" on them. It is a dream, a goal, a future endeavor that without my kitties I never would have even known was possible.

Bruin, my pretty girl
It is incredible to think about how much my life has changed in less than a year, all because I took in two kitties out of the hot sun one day at a yard sale. I love my life with them. They make me so happy, and helped fill a life that I never realized was so empty. My husband loves them too, often texting me during the day that he misses the kitties while at work. For someone who was not a cat person a year ago, I certainly spend much of my life around them. I now regularly volunteer with an adoption center, donate food to local shelters, maintain Four Paw Savings, and even one day hope to have a sanctuary for all those wonderful kitties who are considered "unadoptable" because of medical status (such as FIV/FIL) or special needs. For a 20-something year old who still had no clue what she wanted from life a year ago, I think I have certainly found my place.

Want to start your own pet food bank? Here are some great links to get you started:
Animal Shelter Tips
Save Our Pets Food Banks
Pikes Peak Pet Pantry

I am going to ask that all of you who read this blog and use this deals, please take some of them and donate the products to either a local shelter or rescue group. There are many great deals to grab, even free ones, and all it takes is a bit of your time. If you think that requesting a free sample of dog food to donate is not worth it, please realize that every little bit helps. Those small donations add up to make a really big difference. Need a place to start? Check out the "freebie" tag on this site. 

(This post was written as a part of "Blog the Change")


Cathy Keisha said...

Just came over from the BTC4A blog hop. This was a great article. We're always looking for deals and coupons too especially since the sale price of Fancy Feast has gone up. I'd heard about Pet Food Banks and will research them. Thanks for sharing.

BtC4animals said...

I love the concept of pet food pantries. All too often, those in need of food give up what little they have for their pets. And when you can find a deal, it's easy to donate. Terrific hands-on helping! Way to go! I hope others are inspired by your story. I know I am!

Thanks for Blogging the Change,
Kim Clune

Yoda_the_Dog said...

By my definition, you rescued those kitties!

Mom is hopeless with RSS feed readers. There is a great Blogger widget you can add to your blog so peeps can get the blog through email. We would love to follow!

Kim said...

I don't know who I want to thank more - you or your kittens! lol Thanks to them, you've been inspired to truly make a difference in this world for animals. Beyond awesome!!

Pup Fan said...

So awesome that you took the initiative to start a pet food bank! You rock. :)

Donna and the Dogs said...

That is so great that your cats led you to this blog, and that this blog led you to creating a food bank to help other animals in your area. How wonderful - and all because you felt bad for some kittens in a box out in the sun!!

Prudence said...

What a wonderful post, it's amazing how these 2 kittens helped you discover your passion! We're glad we found you via the BeTheChange Hop!

Hrana za pse said...

I incidently found your blog and I am going to follow it for sure. You saved beautiful furballs. I also have two cats and they make my day with their tricks just as I get up from bed. They are sooo hyperactive :)

Are your cats also so sensitive about the cat food? My animals at best tolerate cold pressed food all other cause them digestive problems.

cat food said...

Pet is like our family. They are consider as the member of the family. The sweetest pet is the cat, in every home there is a cat that gives laughter and bonding in the family.