Pets & Wildlife

As long as I can remember, animals have been an important part of my life. I’m thankful that my parents encouraged and supported my love of cats, dogs, horses, and other creatures when I was young.

When my children came along, we wound up with a LOT of pets including multiple cats, two dogs, an indoor rabbit, a rat, a ferret, way too many gerbils–well, you get the idea! Over the years, however, as our cats and dogs aged or developed health problems, we lost them, one by one. Each loss was hard; some losses were devastating.

As of Spring 2023, it’s the longest I’ve ever been without at least one cat or one dog! When the time is right (and that time is not now), I would love to adopt a cat-friendly adult dog and two dog-tolerant adult cats (a bonded pair).

Scroll down for the three sections on this page–and lots of pictures!

Special Furriends * Ferals * Wildlife

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CICA (“SEE-sa”): December 23, 1981 – April 6, 2002

This beautiful Seal Point Siamese girl was my best friend for over 20 years. After her death, I created a memorial garden over her grave:


SPOTTY: September 1991 – August 23, 2006

Saying goodbye to this wonderful old beagle-lab girl
was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

A Special Tribute to a Much-Loved Dog


HONEY: February 15, 1994 – May 23, 2008

Goodbye to My Little “Velcro” Dog


CIRRUS: Spring 1997 – March 26, 2011

Cirrus was an enormous fuzzy cat with a wonderful, affectionate personality. We adopted her from the local SPCA in June 1997.


NIKO: Summer 2003 – May 18, 2014

I fell in love with Niko, a beautiful Lynx Point Siamese, after seeing his picture & bio on I adopted him on November 22, 2003.


CHESSIE CAT: 1996 – August 12, 2014

Chessie Cat (aka “Cat”) belonged to my uncle. After his death in December 2005, my mom took her in and gave her a home. After my mom’s death in November 2012, Cat came to live with me.


ECLIPSE: Summer 1997 – March 2015

Eclipse was adopted from our local SPCA in June 1997. She chose my youngest son as her special purrson, and she was the first kitty in our family to go to college! Wherever my son moved (including to Colorado), she was always home as long as she was with him. ❤


KAI: April 16, 2002 – November 14, 2016

My beautiful Flame Point Siamese, Kai, was one of the “Three Meezeketeers.” He and two of his siblings were adopted from a shelter in June 2002. Kai’s death was completely unexpected. The vet who helped him to the “Rainbow Bridge” said that he probably had hemangiosarcoma, the same silent form of cancer that took my dog Spotty’s life.


RILEY: September 2001 – March 21, 2017

Riley was a survivor, and he apparently had far more than the allotted “nine lives.”
The loss of this special cat truly broke my heart….

The Amazingly Wonderful Riley


AJA (“Asia“): April 16, 2002 – February 23, 2018

Aja was a Seal Point Siamese, and one of the “Three Meezeketeers.” While she liked her brothers, she was always, always Riley’s girl. I’d never had cats that bonded so closely. ❤


KIAN (“KEE-un”): April 16, 2002 – August 19, 2019

Handsome Kian was the last of the “Three Meezeketeers.” He and his siblings, Kai and Aja, brought so much joy. They were truly wonderful cats. Below is a link to the story of how I found three perfect Siamese kittens:

The Quest for a Kitten


SIMON (the grandcat): April 2007 – February 2020

My oldest son heard a kitten crying outside of his house late one night, and when the crying went on and on, he got a flashlight and found a tiny orange kitten, no more than about three weeks old. Was a mom cat moving her kittens and couldn’t come back for this one for some reason? My son brought the kitten in, made the decision to keep him, and named him Simon. I offered kitten care in the evenings while my son was at work, and the kitty’s other “grand-paw-rents” also helped out with bottle-feeding and the like during his early months. When my son moved out of state, of course Simon moved with him. It was always fun to visit with him, though, and to marvel at how such tiny, tiny kitten had grown up to be such a huge cat!

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In December 2016, I became aware of feral cats living on the campus of the school where I was teaching. I first thought there was just a mama cat and four kittens, but I ultimately trapped a total of seven adult cats (and had them spayed/neutered, ear-tipped, vaccinated, and returned to campus through a local TNR program) and five kittens who were all young enough to be socialized and adopted out by the local SPCA.

There are still three adult ferals on campus from this group, and they are fed each day. Two other ferals who used to be “regulars” now just show up occasionally, and one former feral is living the good life as an indoor-only kitty with a family on campus. ❤

The “regulars” as of Spring 2023 are “Callie” (calico female), “Birdie (long-haired black female), and “Max” (gray and white male):

You can read more about the ferals on my blog, “Simply Art-Rageous.”

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The variety of wildlife that I’ve seen in my yard is pretty amazing–especially since I’m not out in the woods somewhere. In addition to birds and squirrels, I’ve seen non-venomous snakes, lots of deer, raccoons, ‘possums, foxes, and bears!

Some of the more interesting wildlife experiences, however, have involved bats. For a number of years, a maternal colony of Big Brown bats would roost in the louvers of my attic to have and raise their babies. Caring for baby bats (under the supervision of a permitted wildlife rehabilitator) that sometimes fell from the louvers allowed me to move from fear to fascination, and then to sincere respect for and appreciation of bats and their role in our environment.

Here are some of the stories:

2005: Baby Bat

2010: Baby Bat

2011: Adult Big Brown Bat

2011: Baby Bats

2012 (and beyond): Baby Bats

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