RaeAnna Saks–founder and CEO of The Little Cats’ Rescue, the New Port Richey cat rescue and sanctuary—recalls the first cat she loved and felt truly connected with. But, Saks points out, she grew up with dogs: her family always had a dog; never a cat—Saks remains a dog lover, usually living with one, amidst the 50 cats who reside at the Rescue. I asked Saks, having known roughly a zillion more cats than most of us, to name the qualities of kitties she prizes most, and what, in her view, makes them special. (Saks also acknowledges—at the risk of sparking some controversy—that she’s found, in her vast feline experience, that some cats are truly special, while others are nice and cute, and all, but unexceptional.) She traces her migration from the New Jersey/New York area to Florida, with periodic forays to California (which she loves, but finds too expensive), recounting her arrival in the Tampa area, and volunteering at Big Cat Rescue, then known as Wildlife on Easy Street. Presaging that Saks would end up rescuing, and caring for, cats for the better part of 50 years, her stint there, amidst a sanctuary that housed lions, tigers, and other big cats, she was drawn toward ministering to the domestic cats that roamed the property. This flows into explaining the factors—and people, including her Mom—prompting the creation of The Little Cats Rescue, drawn partly to the TLC acronym (though the acronym now seems to encompass all the words: TLCR), launched some 20 years ago, first in a condo, shifting into a home; the residential location dictates the maximum population of 50 cats. We discuss some of the Rescue’s fundamental traits, including that the largely one-woman operation is all volunteer–no paid staff, though the mortgage of the home that houses Saks and the slew of cats is covered—she says there is a Board of Directors, but currently no succession plan if some unforeseen circumstance prevented her from continuing to lead TLCR. She notes there are no longer offsite adoption events—they used to happen regularly at nearby PetSmarts locations—and there’s been minimal adoption activity of late. We also talk about how The Little Cats Rescue is funded (mostly donations and fundraisers), and volunteer opportunities; she would welcome more help. (https://www.thelittlecatsrescue.org/, https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleCatsRescue, https://www.instagram.com/thelittlecatsrescue/)
ALSO: I spoke briefly with H. H. German, founder of Sigma comics, and the writer-creator of “Here Comes Calico,” believed to be the first comic-book hero dedicated to fighting animal abuse. We’ve closely tracked “Calico” as it’s unfolded across its eight-issue series, and I’ve periodically talked with German, starting around the publication of the first issue. Now, issue number seven has been launched on Kickstarter, so we’re nearing the end of the series. In today’s conversation, we discussed how the idea for “Here Comes Calico” was born (German recalled that he initially conceived telling the “Calico” story as a novel), and how the relatively new and unquestionably indie series has consistently generated enthusiasm and significant sales at comic book conventions across the country. German revealed that there will be a second “Calico” series, and that he’s already been preparing storylines for the new series. (https://sigmacomics.com/, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sigmacomics/here-comes-calico-issue-7/ https://www.instagram.com/sigma_comics/)
COMEDY CORNER: Sean Cullen’s “Cats” (https://seancullen.com/)
MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals
NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: We didn’t play “Name That Animal Tune” today.
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