by Kimberly Wade
You’ve probably heard me mention, whether through this column or my personal and our Nevada Humane Society social media, a couple of kitties who have really touched my heart—Charlie Brown and Peppermint Pati. Next Wednesday, June 7, is their birthday, so I wanted to share their unique journey and ask if you’d donate to us in their honor—because since then, we’ve saved so many lives that came from similar circumstances.
I had been with the organization for about a year when our Operations Director, Denise, and our Cat Care Manager, Vonice, went out to rescue some cats. They were called after a home in Reno caught fire (Truth? This is awful, but a meth lab blew up, causing the home to explode) and burned to the ground, because nearby residents kept hearing cats meowing from within the debris. It was sad, unfortunate, and frustrating all at once. The cats appeared to be somewhat feral, not socialized to humans, and scared of what had happened. It wasn’t clear if they lived in the home or roamed the neighborhood, but no one claimed them, and no one cared. No one, that is, except Nevada Humane Society.
Denise and Vonice went out to the home and found several cats. Mama, a beautiful calico, was easy to get—she pranced her way right into a humane cat trap seeking food. Her kids, who we now know as Charlie Brown and Peppermint Pati, were a bit harder, but after several hours we were able to get them, together, also in a humane cat trap after bribing them with stinky tuna. The three of them were brought back to Nevada Humane Society, covered in dirt and soot from the fire, a bit underweight, and not quite sure what to do with us humans.
I was actually one of the first people to meet them because it was my job to get to know them, take some photos and start to promote them to the public. Luckily none of them had injuries or sustained severe smoke inhalation, so they were able to be overcome their adventure quickly. Mama kitty was the first to be adopted, but Charlie and Pati were not very social. They were about four months old so we put them into a foster home to see how they did with people and other cats. They remained there for about six months. As the foster had a full home and we wanted to try to find them forever homes, they came back to the shelter.
We knew putting them in a kennel wouldn’t cut it, so we put them in our admin offices to give them space and more contact with humans. I immediately volunteered my office, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Charlie and Pati stayed hidden in my office for months. It took a year before they really began to come around. We knew they weren’t the typical affectionate, friendly cats and therefore knew it would take a special person to adopt them. We also knew we didn’t want to put them into our Barn Cat program, because to be honest—they didn’t seem to have the street smarts other outdoor kitties did. So they stayed with me and became our office kitties.
Several years later, during a special adoption event, Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days, I made it official and adopted them. They reside with me still today, and let’s be honest, I spend more time at the office than I do at my home so they probably see me more than my own pets!
Today, six years later, Charlie and Pati are finally social(ish). Though they may not be lap cats, they throw themselves against my shoulder, or my face, begging for attention and treats. They have cat trees and water fountains and toys and cat grass and so much more. They are spoiled, on so many levels, not just by me, but by everyone else whose hearts they have stolen. They even have their own Instagram, the NHSBossCats and their duties are to supervise us human servants, making sure we are at their beck and call every day.
I adore these two, with their unique purrsonalities, introverted quirks and simple beauty. Office pets, as many of you know, are a benefit in the work environment. They relieve stress, keep things fun and assist with sending emails before your message is complete and hanging up on VIPs. Looking for an office pet? Adopt!
In honor of Charlie and Pati’s 6th birthday, would you donate to all of our pets who still need homes? We have about 200 cats and 180 dogs in our care (not including foster homes) and they need you. When you donate, the funds go to providing care to those like Charlie and Pati, who came out of a tough situation and need help. Donations may be sent to 2825-B Longley Lane, Reno, NV 89502 or called in to me at 775-856-2000 ext. 324. Thank you for celebrating Charlie and Pati’s 6th birthday by giving back to those that need it.
P.S. Speaking of feral kitties, we’ve enhanced our Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program thanks to funding by PetSmart Charities. We now offer more TNR in Washoe County (775-856-2000 ext. 200 for details) and have kicked it off in Carson City (775-887-2171 for details) to stray and feral cats in the community. We’re here to spay/neuter and vaccinate to keep them healthy and to humanely reduce the pet population.