Tom Tom, aka Sir Teddy Thompson, Puff Daddy
Hi, my name is Erica and I am a cat addict. According to my boyfriend, I have a 'cat collection'. Which I don't deny. I, in fact, have an entire cat room dedicated to just them.
So just in case you forgot that I am cat crazy, here is a little somethin' to refresh you.
Here are a few pics of my fur babies and my favorite cat videos online.
The Cat Room.
Cousteau aka CO-COnut, Beefcake, Cousteau Dynamite, Black Panther, Coco berry pie
Maybelline, my roomie from college's cat is Cousteau's wife.
Cousteau is the nastiest cat I have ever had. He stinks, he doesn't wash himself, and has 'confetti parties' where he goes in the litter box and has the time of his life by rolling around and meowing for about 20 minutes in the litter. He is so loud in there that you can hear him across the house with the door closed. But I love him. I think Maybelline is his wife.
Bad selfie of me, but epic picture of Cousteau.
Delilah, my first fur baby. AKA Delilah Claire Foster, Teeter Totter Baby Otter, and B-A-B-Y (spelled out)
My days go something like this. I wake up, brush my teeth, and turn into a category 5 hurricane hurrying through my day trying to accomplish as many tasks as possible. I don't have time to stop to look at the news or worry about what other people are saying about the world. Truth be told that I would not have a facebook page if it weren't for PEP!
It's sad to me to see that Facebook has brought the worst out in people. The fact that it has become a platform to publicly bash people and say that their lifestyle is wrong, simply flabbergasts me. I don't think I have ever used the word 'flabbergasts', but I simply just don't know how to put it.
How is it that so many 'Christians' can be so judgmental and so hateful?! People, don't you remember that Jesus associated with the sinners, and showed them the way, the truth, and the life through love?!!!! Being Christ-like has never seemed so unappealing to me. For your information, I am a Christian, with a capital C! But if I weren't and the only exposure I had to Jesus Christ and God was through facebook, I'd be damned to convert. If I had never personally known the gifts and the blessings that God provides until this era of social media, I would probably be an atheist for life. What kind of religion preys on humiliating people and taking away their rights as human beings?
What I am saying is that who are we to judge others? Who are we to say one person is a terrible human being? Who are we to say that one person is messing up the whole country?
To me, my problems are my own. They are not for anyone else to deal with, and they are not caused from anyone else. My President, my country; sure I may not agree with everything, but honestly, I don't pay attention to it enough to say that it is either ruining or prospering my life.
You are the only thing that stands in the way. Don't let the government or politics be an excuse for the things that aren't working out for you. Shouldn't we pray instead of complain? Shouldn't we strive to take action if we see problems in the world? Your voice can only take you so far. If you are constantly bashing 'sinners', then they will stop paying attention and that includes stopping them from seeing what Christianity has to offer. Doesn't that defeat living a Christlike life? Aren't we supposed to be LIVING the gospel? People will begin to shut down after a while. No one wants to feel hate. No one wants to feel unloved. Where does it get us anyway?
All in all, I am a very happy person. I don't have cable and I don't have time to even look at the news. I honestly don't know what is going on in the world in a given day. Call me stupid or whatever, but I am just too busy trying to change the things I don't like about it to get caught up in my own agendas. My life isn't for myself. Anyone who is a Christian should agree with that statement. We Christians should be here serving others. My purpose is to help the creature's that God put on this Earth.
What is yours?
If my facebook posts isn't enough evidence of the fact that I am a major animal freak, my wardrobe will let you know. I LOVE clothes with animals on them. Here are my picks of my new animal favs online.
OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ted Baker, Dachshund clutch $180
Stella McCartney Kids, (yes, I still shop kids) $20
Feline Meow Tee $65
Emily celestial cat-print T-shirt $115
Miriam Merenfeld Gold Engraved Elephant Pendant $65
MSGM animal print top $271.51
Cat's Meow Dress $115
Stella McCartney Kids Mia Dress $75
Liberty London Tropical Elephant Scarf $135
Francophile Feline Top $37.99
Kenneth Jay Lane Gold Chain and Elephant Necklace $118.00
Topshop Jungle Animal Bralet $32.00
Trina Turk Elephant Charm Bracelet $150
A girl can dream.... Mary Katrantzou India-bird and postage-stamp print dress $846
WOOF!! John Lewis Radley Women's Printed Leather Strap Watch $98
I feel as the cat queen, I am owed these. Charolette Olympia Kitty Flats $702
I love anything with bad ass panther cats. Forever 21 $15.80
This photo sums up the past week of my life. Yes I look rough, but I can explain. For the past year I have felt extremely tired, run down, battled illness, and headaches constantly. What I just thought was a common cold was actually a really serious sinus infection that my ENT said I've probably had for years. I immediately went in for x-rays after my first visit with him and then had a cat scan. He took one look into my nose and knew I needed surgery as soon as possible. I had a severe deviated septum, which a normal septum is straight, mine looked more like a side ways 'V'. After working very hard on what turned out to be a very successful Mad Hatter Tea Party Fundraiser that we held for PEP!, I was looking forward to surgery and a couple of days just laying around in bed, writing thank you cards, and maybe cleaning up my computer.
Well that wasn't the case at all. I had my surgery last Tuesday, (a septoplasty and endoscopic sinus surgery), where I believe they broke and aligned my septum, sucked out the infection and widened my nasal passages. I get totally grossed out with body stuff so I honestly don't know exactly what they did cause I get nauseous thinking about it. I thought my recovery would have had me in bed for 2-3 days, but as of today, I am still in bed. In fact, today is a huge improvement cause this is the first time I open my computer in a week.
Today with a very puffy nose.
Each day I've come to realize that I had no idea what I was getting into with this surgery. I'm glad I didn't know cause I probably wouldn't have gotten it done. I've been such a zombie for so long. I'm really ready to get back on my feet but it will take time. I have to be extra cautious with my recovery. Thanks to Evan, he has been helping me out so much. I am so grateful for him taking care of my whining, helpless, snotty, bloody, baby self. He has been so great. He has stayed next to me hours on end and even puts his headphones on to watch movies or whatever when I am asleep.
Please continue to pray for my recovery cause this SUCKS majorly and it's killing me to sit still with all these PEP! ideas and this stuff floating in my head along with the plastic stints in my nose.
Look at this sweet baby! And that is just what she is. Her name is Fancy. And I like to call her Ms.Fancy. She is a black lab mix (but mostly lab). She is our KTAL News 6 pet of the week
. She was so calm and such a pleasure to work with on air. She sat in my lap the entire time and didn't budge. I just loved her temperament. If you are looking for the loyalty of a lab and the calmness of a Japanese Chin, then Fancy may be the pup for you. She is 5 months old and has been raised since a baby.
Her litter mates have been adopted and they are reported to be wonderful and smart dogs. They are all crate trained, including Fancy. That right there takes the cake. Many people overlook that step in the puppy process. It can be very tiresome and tedious to crate training. If you are interested in adopting Fancy call Bistineau Paws Puppy Rescue
at 318-751-0481. Her adoption fee is $60 and that comes with a spay voucher, and she is UTD on all her shots!
Sweet little Fancy.
She is totally a cuddle bug.
With Amanda Eppler, Founder of Bistineau Paws.
And an update....Remember Tanner, that beautiful pyrenees mix I showed last week on the news. Well he found a home! See as an animal rescuer, it's hard to not fall in love with them all. And Tanner, now Jack is no exception to that. Sue Sandifer, who had picked up Tanner from Bossier Animal Control brought Tanner to the station and fell hard for him. We are so glad that 'Jack' has a forever home. He is a little shy, but I know that he will make a wonderful wonderful pup!
Tanner, now named Jack, is last week's pet of the week.
How can anyone resist that face?! This is Tanner. He is a Great Pyranese/ Shepard mix pup. I was happy to show him off as our KTAL News 6 Pet of the Week
. I know it was early, so he wasn't all tail wags or puppy kisses, but I know he has a story. Sue Sandifer, PEP's Director, fostered him for the night so she could bring him on the news. She said that he is just so sweet but there are a lot of layers he needs to shed. She sent me a photo of Tanner right after she picked him up from the shelter and immediately he reminded me of my Joey. I could just tell in his eyes that he has been through a lot. We will never know what happend to Tanner, but I do believe that like Joey, he will move on and become a great pet for someone.
Tanner after he was picked up at the shelter.
Tanner is from the Bossier Animal Shelter, which is a publicly funded animal control center. They are a kill shelter, but don't worry cause Tanner is marked to be adopted for now. He is guessed to be 6-8 months old. His adoption fee is $60, a great deal for a lifetime of love! Which comes with a neuter voucher and his shots. If you would like to add Tanner to your family you can call 318-741-8499.
Watch Tanner on KTAL News Channel 6
Tanner warming up in the news room.
Yes that is me... and my friend Danny with a superimposed cat head. My life is not just ruled by the 3 cats and 2 dogs that I live with. But it is ruled by the estimated 6 million animals euthanized each year in the US. I am a sucker for animals, enough so to have devoted every spare second to trying to change the world. I dream big and once I get something in my head, it's hard to talk me out of it. 1 animal getting killed for the sole reason of ignorance is too much for me. I can't let 6 million pass me by. I applaud all the rescues, shelters, and advocates giving pets a second chance at life. Those people work so hard each day and the work never ends. My goal and my purpose in this world is to change the lives of animals everywhere, making sure that every one of them has a home and is wanted. I also hope to one day lighten the load of everyone who works tirelessly helping animals each day. Animal welfare workers... Can you imagine a day where the phone wouldn't ring once asking about surrendering an animal? What a dream right?!
Pinky and I with some volunteers from LA Baby Momma's Rescue at story time at Cedar Grove Library.
Well, I'm here to say that it will happen! Actually, I guess not me directly cause I truly believe God has enlisted me to do the things I am doing with PEP! I don't believe that I am creative enough or have the energy on my own to keep up with the work God has cut out for me. But I'm giving it my all each day. And I won't stop till there is no work left to do! Join us in growing our nation to become more aware about the needs and care for a pet. Help us to grow PEP! and help us to turn kids into animal heroes!! Click here
for more info to get involved!
I have a confession, I love being 'The PEP! Lady'. What is not to love about snuggling a sweet pup or kitty first thing on a Tuesday morning? I am past due on my blogging, but here is our latest KTAL Channel 6 pet of the week! His name is Tator!
Tator is a corgi/ rat terrier mix and let me tell you, he is a ham!!! He had such a sweet little personality. He snuggled me in the news room as we waited to go on air. He was so gentle. As he warmed up (which only took a second) he gracefully flipped over on his back so I can give him a tummy rub. He did great on air (I'll post the clip later today).
Tator being a camera hog.
Me and Tator snuggling in the news room.
It's too early.
He is neutered, microchipped, crate trained, and up to date on shots. He can be yours for $100. He is up for adoption through Circle of Hope NWLA
which is a great organization that fosters dogs and sets up adoption days in partnership with the Desoto Parish Humane Society. If it weren't for organizations like these, animals in high kill shelters such as Desoto's would never get a chance. For more info on Tator call 318-458-7647.
What is your idea for a dream vacation? I have two. First, My ideal vacation would to be a beached whale drinking fruity cocktails in the sun. My second one would be to visit a spa resort for at least 2 weeks where they feed me very healthy, cleansing food, and I would do an intensive amount of yoga and therapy. Lucky for me, I just had a vacation that was very rejuvenating. It was not very long or relaxing per se, being bundled in 4 layers of snow gear and trekking through the snow and ice, but I turned off my cell phone and emails and I mentally checked out. It was just what I needed.
I won't lie, working a full time job, running AND growing a full time non-profit, managing real life stuff, all those things have forced me to let myself go. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love getting did up. Lately, I have not had much time to to do that or have had the time to participate at an event that requires me to get fancy. Not only have I given up all of my hobbies and pretty much all of my social life, but giving up my heels and makeup has been really humbling. Dedicating any and all extra time to PEP! has become my life.
Don't get me wrong. I am so in love with PEP! and how things are going for us, but truthfully I wish I didn't have to do it. I wish the problem that PEP! is aiming to tackle wasn't there to begin with. I'm sure many animal welfare workers, like I ,would like to be a couch potato sometimes and watch tv. Right now my television intake is at 0 hours per week. 0! Compare that to Nielsen Research, that the average American watches 34 hours of television per week. An extra 34 hours a week would at least allow me to blow dry my hair so I don't have to wear a hat, mind you -a very cute hat, or exercise. No time for myself means no time for loved ones. I have very little time to speak with my friends or family. I talk to my parents about once a month on the phone, which I know they miss me, but what may seem like a selfish deed for avoiding conversation is really just a selfless act working towards something that is bigger than me.
And the big thing that I'm talking about is a big mess that we, as animal rescuers, are cleaning up. I will speak for most of us and say that we wish the mess wasn't there to begin with. But it's not. Remember 'The Hangover'? Imagine if you were the housekeeper who came in to clean the mess in the hotel room the next day. Imagine that right as you finish cleaning up their mess, someone else came in to destroy the room once again.
That is basically what we are doing everyday. Each day in America over 11,000 cats and dogs are euthanized. Just in our State of Louisiana 353 are put down each day. Who would be there fighting for them if we weren't? And the fight doesn't seem to end. It is a round the clock battle to find homes for the homeless, save the injured, and find justice for the abused.
As animal rescuers, we unite for one goal, that no healthy adoptable pet be euthanized ever again. We are all working to reverse the statistics. Years of neglect from past generations has built up to a mountain of stark facts and proof that the welfare of animals has been a low priority in this country. Of course we are working on immediate action, that is where animal rescuers come in. Follow any animal rescue site on Facebook or Twitter and see for yourself that Animal rescuers do not live for themselves. They are not posting about themselves or their day, but they are posting for a cause. We are called to make a change for the lives of animals. Because they have no one else to pull them out of the situations that they have entered- all
through no fault of their own. Too many pet owners have fallen short with the animals that were entrusted to them. There is a false perception that when surrendering pets to the shelter that they are guaranteed to find a home, but we all know that is not true. A shelter is in no way obligated to find a home for a pet that one has seized responsibility for. Therefore, animals don't have choice whether to enter into a kill or no kill shelter or whether they can choose to be euthanized or not. It is the owner's.
Not only do we face the inevitable like pet overpopulation and over crowding in shelters, which is a direct punch to these animals, but we are combatting animal cruelty as well. Most people do not see the faces of animals who have been abused. Most people believe that it is too difficult to hear of these stories or look at the horrendous photos. I'm not telling you that you need to see to believe, cause believe me it is out there. But just be informed that is it happening. Just yesterday in East Texas a family's pet was skinned alive. Whether you believe that animals have feelings or a soul is a question for yourself. But despite the chance that they don't, I can see the reflection of my soul in their eyes and that is enough for me.
We do not become immune to hearing and seeing cases of animal cruelty. It is just as hard for us to face as it is to anyone else but we are compelled to do something about it. And I hope those of you reading will feel compelled to do something as well. Personally, I believe that everyone is a piece to the puzzle to making the world a better place. Everyone has their calling. Whether you are already working for change be it- animal welfare, hunger, pollution, poverty, equality,.....the list goes on. Or you choose to just be good at what you do, contributing to society and issues help makes the world go round and in turn a better place. Contribute your gifts and skills to make a change. Millions already have and I am one of them.
PEP! is what drives me. The thought of a day where no animal is put to sleep just cause there is no one out there to save them or love them is what gets me out of bed each morning, including waking up early on weekends when I would rather to sleep in. I want nothing more out of my life by the time I die than to have made a change in the lives of animals and a dent in the statistics. I am not speaking of hundreds or thousands, I am talking millions. What I wish is that the billions of animals who have already lost their lives, would have had a second chance at life. I just wish there wasn't a need for animal rescuers- That there would be no problem to overcome.
But that is why PEP! is here. Through practicing prevention PEP! is here to create a better future for our upcoming generations. We are teaching kids that animals deserve kindness, love, attention, care, and companionship. Time, resources, and energy are key to raising a happy and healthy pet. So many people assume that it's too easy. Raising an animal can be very hard and stressful at times. We are teaching kids to be prepared before getting a pet, and we are teaching them to be responsible once they do. The lack of effort to be a good pet owner puts so many pets out of a home. Look on sites like Craigslist to see evidence of careless pet ownership. So many people are willing to surrender their pets due to 'circumstances'. Given, there are cases when people absolutely can not care for their pets anymore, but any shelter worker will tell you that most surrenders occur either cause their pets were not spayed and had babies or cause caring for the pet has turned out to be more work than expected.
It is a privilege to own a pet. We as people are blessed to have furry creatures that we can cuddle with, laugh at, and live among. We have all loved animals at some point in our lives, especially as kids when our idols were cartoon characters like Mikey Mouse or in my case a little dog named Poochie. Think of the joy and love that they and our pets have provided for us. We are lucky to have them and peacefully live among them. They are very well equipped with sharp teeth and claws to injure us but they choose not to. What will you choose to do?
If you have finished reading this very long blog post, I challenge you to take charge and make a difference in some way. Kids are doing it every day, if they can do it, why can't you? Our latest PEP! Star, Stevie Nelson
has raised over $38,000 for homeless pets at the age of 6. And last month's PEP! Star Emily Rose, rather than playing video games or doing kids stuff, has recruited plenty of her friends to help with PEP! on the weekends.
Take it from me. All animal organizations need help. If you don't like animals, fine. That doesn't matter. There are so many needs to fill with each organization, and I believe that everyone holds a talent that we can utilize. I'm on this Earth for a purpose. I am blessed to know what it is. It is a true gift to know that my absolute existence is for this reason. I hope that everyone can find that one day.
I'll close with this. I love PEP! We are 3 years old this month. We have done so much as a team and we are growing like wild fire. We are only as good as the people who help us to continue our mission. Without them, we would be no where. They are in the same boat as I am. We work tirelessly because we know that our message works. Kids are listening, adapting, and learning; and so are the adults and teachers who have sat through a PEP! Talk
. Nothing is better than to hear a kid learn the importance of spaying and neutering their pet, or why it's good to adopt versus shop. But it's also very touching to receive an email from a teacher saying that we turned their perspective and are now providing their pet, who was once an indoor pet turned outdoor pet because of overactivity, attention each day.
We are doing this everyday and aiming to reach kids everywhere. The more kids we reach the better, because when they grow up, they will have the knowledge. And because of that they will have conquered and reduced a problem that at one point seemed unattainable.
I ask from all of you readers to help me carry on my vacation in the real world to provide just a little bit. Help make things a little easier for us, for all animal welfare workers out there. Visit our site
and find out a few ways to get involved or make a difference.
Truthfully, I'm just pooped and I need the assistance. Obviously the vacation was not long enough, but I have to keep going with it.
Here is how to help: Visit our events page to see if you are available to help. Or give us your feed back
, you can win a PEP! water bottle, or tell us your ideas on how to make PEP! even more fun and exciting. Browse our site at www.ilovepep.org
and get to know us. Help us recruit volunteers or sign up teachers for a free PEP! Talk. Or donate
to keep our efforts affloat, your gift is tax deductible. Call and ask us and we can put you to work. I guarantee it. Every little bit counts.
And at the very least I ask you to please spay and neuter your pet. Your pet can be responsible for up to 16 offspring a year which can multiply into the thousands in just a matter of years. That small effort will bring exponential change to all pets everywhere who are looking for a second chance at life.
For low cost spay and neuter in Shreveport/ Bossier please contact Robinson's Rescue
located at 2515 Line Ave. Call for your appointment today: 318-221-0017
Aaaaahhh. A break. I am checking out of town for a few days. At this time tomorrow I will have pampered myself with an almost expired spa gift certificate and a blow out at Chemistry Salon. It's sad that I had to take a day off of work cause I had no other free days to do so but I'm thrilled the hard work and the lack of free weekends has been paying off.
After my spa-venture. I begin my first vacation in over 2 years! I am going skiing in Crested Butte, Colorado. I'm sure I will be sore and cold most of the time, but it will be great to get a breather.
With that said, I'm checking out of PEP! for a few days too. I am trying to promise myself to not work on any PEP while I'm off. No emails, no phone calls, no texts... ugh... I don't know if I will be able to do it, but I'll give it a good shot.
Love you PEP! I'll see you in a few days! xoxoxo