Meet Wyatt, this week’s featured Sketchbook Cat.
Wyatt was found wandering the streets of Oakland after his caretaker passed away. Thanks to the kind folks at Cat Town, he’s in a loving foster home, but he’s still awaiting his forever family. Though Wyatt was a little shy when he was in the shelter, once he was placed with his foster family, his snuggly, gentle, and mellow personality blossomed.
Wyatt is relaxed and welcoming around other pets. He’s neutered, and current on all of his shots. He has also tested positive for FIV — but don’t let this deter you from opening your heart to this extra-special, charming fellow.
With a high quality diet, regular vet checkups, and a low-stress, indoor environment, FIV+ cats can enjoy long, healthy lives. Some FIV+ cats never show symptoms at all. FIV can’t be passed to humans, and is transmitted from cat to cat only through deep, serious bite wounds, or from mother cat to kitten. It can’t be spread in casual cat interactions, so no need to fear day-to-day kitty cuddling, bowl sharing, or playing.
Thanks to Maddie’s Fund, Wyatt’s adoption fee is waived, and Cat Town covers his vet bills for life. All that’s missing is you!
Want to welcome a FIV+ cat into your life? Learn more in the articles below:
The Oakland Internet Cat Video Festival is approaching, which is like something out of my wildest dreams. Imagine it: a whole afternoon/evening devoted to cats, cat adoption, feline-themed music, and, of course, internet cat videos. This is just wonderful.
I’m especially happy to learn that much of the festival centers around educating folks about cat adoption and fostering: two issues near and dear to my heart, thanks to my darling teenage cat Orangina, who came into my life many years ago as a very ill, very scared foster kitten. She has since blossomed into the sweetest cat I’ve ever known.
In honor of the festival (and cats in general), I’ve been sketching some of the wonderful cats available for adoption through Cat Town and the East Bay SPCA. This week, I was drawn to the story of Dynamo!, a gentle elder cat who is blind in both eyes. According to Cat Town’s Facebook page, Dynamo! (exclamation point included!) is a loving, mellow, easy-going cat who has seen some very hard times: he arrived at the shelter undernourished, with matted fur that had to be shaved off in places. I was so charmed by his sweet expression and trusting nature in this video. I wanted to draw Dynamo! surrounded the vibrant motion and sensations springtime brings.
Unfortunately, I’m limited to one cat, but if you’re interested in possibly being Dynamo’s forever family, here’s how to get in touch with Cat Town. And in case you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to adopt a blind cat, here are a few tips and suggestions adapted from Our Happy Cats: Living with Blind Cats and Blind Cat Rescue:
- Blind cats can get around just as easily as sighted cats can. Their whiskers and acute sense of smell help them navigate.
- To make your home more “blind cat friendly,” keep your kitty’s food, water, and litter in the same spots, and avoid moving furniture around.
- Sound is the magic ingredient for playtime with your blind cat. Choose toys that crinkle, snap, or rattle to pique your cat’s sharp sense of hearing.
- When approaching your blind kitty, make a sound so she knows you’re near. This will help her feel less startled or frightened.
Towards a kind home for Dynamo! and all dear creatures who need one!
A crane I sketched at UC-Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, as part of Danny Neece’s “Illustrating Animals” class.
Just down the street, there’s an apartment building with a front yard covered in lush ferns, palms, and cycads. Their emerald leaves are feathery and bold, and etch out beautiful shapes against the building’s brick wall. Here’s a sculpture I made from cardboard tubes, using the plants’ fringed, pinnate shapes and bright green summertime hue as inspiration:
I’d been wanting to create a costume in honor of Lake Merritt’s Canada Geese ever since my hurriedly-put-together CatBot 3000 costume. So this past Halloween, I decided it was time to take the plunge: cover the floors, buy the chicken wire, whip up the papier-mâché, and bring this giant goose to life.
Before I started, I sketched out a general idea of what the goose might look like. From the Catbot experience, I learned that being able to sit down while wearing the costume was key, as was being able to actually see.
Since this was going to require a pretty big armature, I took a trip to the hardware store for a roll of chicken wire, or what they more fancifully referred to as “poultry wire.” Since I’d be snipping the wire and applying papier-mâché in the middle of our living room, I also decided to get a large blue tarp to lay down on the floor, to avoid tracking glue everywhere, or puncturing bare feet or paw pads.
What seems like many moons ago, I stopped updating and checking Facebook, nigh on abandoned my already-barely-updated Twitter feed, put the blog on ice (obviously!), and sashayed into an email response mode which could be generously described as “slothlike.” There wasn’t anything in particular that motivated this decision, just a guiding motivation to focus on life outside the digital world for a while.