Category Archives: Resources

Noelle Sparks

October 29, 2014

Looking to show the world what you do in your spare time? If you love what we do, help spread the word about us. 

Print this flyer out and share it with your local rescues, shelters, vets, Pet Smart events and more!  Share us with your friends and with the groups you belong to. Let’s get more volunteers and help more kitties who Imagine Home make it a reality!

 Flyer

Signs of Illness in Cats

Many pet guardians don’t realize that problems often develop slowly and cats especially don’t show symptoms until a disease is already advanced. If you can detect things early, you have a much better chance of addressing a problem successfully, and you’ll also save yourself money by avoiding costly veterinary fees for treating an advanced illness. (Read more.)

Understanding How Lost Pets Behave

Want to find lost pets? Whether you’re a shelter worker trying to help a guardian find a missing pet or you’ve lost a pet yourself, the first step to successfully locating a lost pet is to understand how they behave.

Lost pets do not behave like pets in their own homes. They demonstrate distinct patterns of behavior common in lost dogs and cats, often so different from their usual behaviors that their guardians fail to find them even when nearby.

Missing Pet Partnership (MPP), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reuniting people with their lost pets, has studied the issue of lost companion animals and discovered that understanding those patterns of behavior can dramatically increase the chances that a lost dog or cat will be recovered. Read more.

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)

Looking for information on:

  • What is feline leukemia virus?
  • How common is the infection?
  • How is FeLV spread?
  • What cats are at greatest risk of infection?
  • What does FeLV do to a cat?
  • What are the signs of disease caused by FeLV?
  • I understand there are two stages of FeLV infection. What are they?
  • How is infection diagnosed?
  • How can I keep my cat from becoming infected?
  • I just discovered that one of my cats has FeLV, yet I have other cats as well. What should I do?

Read the answers here: www.vet.cornell.edu/FHC/health_resources/brochure_felv.cfm

Imagine Home’s Month of Gratitude, Day 2

Today, we express our gratitude for Jack the Cat.
The story of Jack the Cat is a sad and cautionary tale, but there are also many layers to what happened.

Our lesson of love from Jack

Our lesson of love from Jack

First, the story, directly from Jack’s Facebook page FAQ section, found here:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/jack-the-cat-is-lost-in-aa-baggage-at-jfk/updated-faqs-10211/158135107609782

“1. How was Jack lost?
The bottom line is this: we don’t really know at this time. Here is what we do know: On August 25, 2011, Karen checked Jack and her other cat, Barry, into the American Airlines system to fly on her flight, but travelling as “checked baggage.” Each cat was flying in its own crate. She went through the TSA system with them, reloading them into their carriers and securing the carriers per AA policies. She then said goodbye to them and went up to the passenger area to have something to eat before the flight. Approximately 30 minutes after leaving the cats, she was called by a baggage supervisor to come back to the baggage area because one of the cats had been lost. When she returned to the baggage area, she saw the empty carrier that had contained Jack. Barry was still secure in his carrier. After walking around the baggage area and calling for Jack for over an hour, Karen was advised to take the last flight out and they would call her as soon as they found him. She got on that later flight with Barry. Jack has not been seen since.”

This is the outside layer of Jack. This is the part that makes us cry.

The next layer of Jack is the day that he was found. October 25, 2011, 2 months to the day from being lost.

The very worst, most heartbreaking layer to Jack’s story was November 6, 2011, when it was determined that Jack was suffering, and he was helped to cross over to the Rainbow Bridge. Jack had starved for 2 full months. His aunt posted the following on that sad day:

Dear FoJs:

It is with tears that I must tell you that Jack has gone over the rainbow bridge. (continued in 1st comment) He was with Karen yesterday, and his condition was worsening. He was treated overnight, and she (and I) both had extensive conversations with the vets at Blue Pearl regarding his condition. Jack had extensive wounds on the back of his body, and the wounds were unable to heal because his skin had deteriorated due to the malnutrition that occurred while he was lost. Despite antibiotics, the infections were worsening, and his skin was continuing to deteriorate. He needed surgery to treat the wounds, but there was not enough available skin to close the wounds after the surgery. The vet compared his skin condition to having severe burns over 50-60% of his body. The vet was very clear that she had conferred with every possible doctor regarding options for Jack, but none of them left him with a substantial chance of survival and all of them involved him suffering. Jack had been through so much, and the last thing anyone wanted was for him to suffer more. Jack was bathed in love and crossed over just a few minutes ago.”

In between those heart wrenching days, miracles occurred. JFK Airport was shut down because of Hurricane Irene. Karen, Jack’s mom felt helpless. But through the miracle of Facebook shares, search parties were organized to do the job that airline employees were not doing. Lasting friendships were started during those dark days. That’s one happy layer to Jack’s story. The searchers became a group called “FoJs” or “Friends of Jack.” They have reunions, some meet more casually, and still others created discussion groups and grass-roots movements on a variety of topics involving cats.

That’s yet another layer of Jack.

Then there is our layer. Your Imagine Home admins arrived at our layer in a round-about way, through another group. That group shall not be named here, as it is not worth mention, other than to say that it taught us what we did not want to do. Here we stand, in honor of Jack in all that we do. Jack opened our eyes to the sad plight of animals everywhere. The germ of an idea that came about because of Jack grew into what you now see as Imagine Home. We are still nowhere close to realizing all of our dreams and goals. We dream of a day that we no longer have to teach people that animals are not playthings to discard and mistreat at will. We also realized somewhere along the way that the hearts of those who love cats sometimes need healing. We believe that by healing hearts and minds, we can also heal the souls of the helpless cats that we strive to help. (*what we call the paw of Jack.)

And the other layer to that layer? We realize that we are nowhere without our friends, fans and followers. We thank you all. And today, as we do every single day, we thank Jack the Cat for teaching us that there is no such thing as “just a cat.” Look at the layers of love that Jack built. ~noelle~

Feline Obesity: An Epidemic of Fat Cats

When was the last time you saw an obese lion? How about a chubby cheetah? Or a fat tiger? Have you ever seen an overweight leopard or panther? If you have ever watched nature programs on TV, I am sure that you know the answer to the questions just posed.

The answer is “never”.

The next questions are also easy ones to answer – even if you are like me and turn your head when these scenes pop up on the screen!

Do these wild cats eat a dry food diet that is full of starchy carbohydrates in the form of grains? Do they eat a water-depleted diet in the form of dry kibble? Is their diet one that derives much of its protein from plants (versus meat) as is true of many dry food diets? … (Continue Reading)