aka Chez Cameron
Called the Cat Whisperer even among other cat ladies, I have a magical ability where I open my door and stray animals come inside whether I want them to or not. There must be a sign nearby that says, “Lady here will feed you! Make very sad eyes at her!” Whether seniors, blind, mentally challenged, abandoned, neglected, or just socially awkward, they are all welcome at Skyla’s Home for Wayward Strays. Or were. Not now. Dudes, I’ve got my hands full already.
The Furbrats (past & present)
My senior dog. Y’all might recall a fundraiser for her when she was ill a few years ago. Despite being seventeen and living with Cushing’s, she continues spreading joy to everyone, visiting the hospital once a week as a Trent Hills Therapy Dog.
I lost my eldest on June 2, 2014 and I miss her terribly.
He was a Maine Coon, so very large. Sadly Ollie aka Giant Cat died late 2015.
Socially Awkward Cat
The next oldest, now about seventeen. You know how you imagine rich kids who grow up isolated and later have no idea how to interact with others? That’s him. He’s polydactyl and it’s possible that affects his self-esteem.
Miss Dinah Fantastico
AKA Bitch Face. A stray I acquired fall 2010–she was starving under a dumpster. Now she eats a lot, lounges on my books, and glares at everyone.
Not a stray. She’s had no trauma in her life except for when she went to the vet to be spayed, which I’ve never been forgiven for. As such, she does not appropriately worship me.
Yes, Zara’s saber-tooth cat was named after him. He is also known as Special In The Head Cat. He was abandoned out in the country in the dead of winter, sick and dehydrated but at least found. On Valentine’s Day, in fact. He’s on Twitter.
Vincent: Beast Lord of Trent Hills
Found starving December 2013 outside of my apartment building. A handsome boy now that he’s healthy. Never found his owners (no one was looking) though he dislikes Dinah and I continue to try to find a home for him.
Technically still my mum’s cat; he now lives with me and she provides food/vet care. Another beta male feline, he fits in well with the crew living under the cruel tyranny of my two females (FELINE MISANDRY).
AKA Rodney 2.0. Jones is a sweet little guy brought in from a feral colony where he wasn’t actually a feral. I fell in love with him immediately. He’s named after the cat from Alien/Aliens.
The most evil rabbit you will meet. I lost her at the age of twelve.
In Memory Of…
A senior boy I found in the summer of 2013, staved and dehydrated, running out on the road. Got him safely inside and settled a day later with the Humane Society, but found out two weeks later–during which time he had not been claimed–that he had congestive heart failure, his lungs were 75% filled with fluids, and he had to be humanely euthanized.
He’s not one of my pets, no, and I only had him for twenty-four hours, but he’s one of many animals who are abandoned. Others I’ve rescued ended up with happily ever afters but I’ll never forget his sad ending. He died safe and cared for with a full belly, which is more than he likely had for most of his life, but it breaks my heart that wherever he came from, no one looked for him and certainly no one mourned him.
And someone should mourn him.
So I would like you to know him, to teach your kids to respect the sacred responsibility of caring for a life, and to reach out and help animals in need when you see them.
I’m a volunteer and board member with the Cat Care Initiative, a local group dedicated to dealing with the extreme cat over-population here–cottagers feed cats and adopt kittens during the summer, and then leave them in the fall when they go home. As a result, many unaltered cats roam and feral colonies form. These cats often starve and freeze come winter. CCI traps, spays/neuters, and releases feral cats, and for kittens and non-ferals who can be placed in homes, they foster them and attempt to get them adopted. They accept PayPal donations if you have the money to spare.
Also, for Sophie’s fundraiser a few years ago, I offered one of my unpublished books as a PWYC to help with her vet bills. For the first half of 2014, I serialized it for free and offered a donation spot. Now it’s available wherever books are sold. Buying ebooks direct helps me out a lot as I get the money immediately and I don’t have to split it with a distributor. Finally, there’s my Patreon page which supports me immensely.
When buying my ebooks direct, that extra money goes toward pet food, litter, and vet bills for my crew and whoever else comes along.
I guarantee there are organizations in your area who are in need of help with neglected, abused, and abandoned animals. Please get involved: they need you, and your life will be that much richer for providing them help. And please don’t buy–adopt!