Seven cats own me. Yes, seven. They’re all rejects from the animal rescue I volunteered with, unadoptable for one reason or another. Back in 2010, my husband and I had lost a very important furry member of our family to cancer. It was a heart-wrenching experience that I would never wish on anyone. While grieving, we decided to adopt another cat. We already had 4 other cats, but it wasn’t the same after losing a such a huge personality in our home. After searching for our new companion, we finally found him at a local animal rescue. He was sitting in a cage with another kitty. As soon as we approached his cage, he greeted us, rolling around on his back, letting us touch his belly. He was a giant cat full of love. And he was sitting in a cage with his sister, who was skittish and afraid of people. We adopted them both. We named him Castiel, her Ishtar. I also started volunteering with the rescue.
Over the years, I fell in love with the rejects, the cats that were unadoptable.
During Superstorm Sandy, we evacuated the animal rescue’s shelter. We took home Boots. He was super-scared at the shelter and we wanted to work with him in a home environment. Boots never went back to the shelter. He loves being around people. First-time foster failure, here!
Tesla was dumped in our feral cat colony by the shelter (animal dumping is illegal in NJ). She became very friendly with me but was skittish with everyone else. So, I took her home. She fit right in and is best buds with Castiel. The two of them are always close in tow.
We have more. I can write all day about my cats, but that’s not what you came here to read.
Since each of my cats’ personalties are so different, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when I want to buy them a gift or do something special. One likes to play fetch, the other likes to roll around in catnip, and another likes to snuggle on the couch. If you’ve got a multi-pet home (with multiple personalities, like mine) or just one pet, you’re going to need a few ideas to help you celebrate National Pet Day on April 11th!
1. BUY OR MAKE A NEW TOY
Playing is a fundamental way for your pet to exercise their body and mind. It taps into their primitive hunting instincts. And it’s a healthy way to dispel energy or aggression. There’s lots of DIY tutorials that instruct you how to make pet toys from household items. Get inspired from BarkPost’s list for dogs, or World’s Best Cat Litter’s blog post for cat toys! Not the creative type? These mini tennis balls provide your pooch or kitty with hours of fun! Or give your pup a challenging toy to retrieve his treats!
2. BAKE YOUR PET A SPECIAL TREAT
Hands down, homemade treats are the best. And I don’t think that notion stops when you’re human! Plus, when you bake the treat, you know exactly what’s going into it – there aren’t any nasty preservative or byproducts. This recipe perfect for peanut butter-loving pooches, while this one is sets the bar high for the fancy feline who loves salmon!
3. SPEND QUALITY TIME PLAYING
If you’ve got a busy schedule, consider taking your pet out on a playdate. You can go to a local doggy park, go exploring, hike your favorite trail, etc. The possibilities are endless. Your pet loves you and wants to spend time with you. She’ll appreciate this. Cats can be equally adventurous as dogs and some enjoy spending time outdoors on a harness. Just be sure to make sure your pets are up-to-date on vaccination schedules according to your local laws.
4. HAVE A CHILLAX DAY
Sometimes Castiel would rather spend time on my lap hanging out than fetch a mousy or play in catnip. And that’s totally cool. Spending the day together is what’s important. Cozy up together on the couch or in bed, throw on your favorite movie, read a book (bonus points for reading out loud to your pet!), or just talk. And if you have a senior pet having mobility issues, this is the perfect way to show him some love!
5. CROSS OFF AN ITEM On YOUR BUCKET LIST
Creating a bucket list isn’t as morbid as it sounds. It’s actually a fun way to set goals and plan the things you want to do. Creating a bucket list for you and your pet gives your plenty to do together. You’ll always have something to do, and there’s no room for boredom.
Don’t have a pet, but want to celebrate National Pet Day? Get inspired with a few of our ideas!
- Host a fundraiser for your local animal shelter/rescue.
- Volunteer at your local animal shelter.
- Considering fostering an animal awaiting adoption.
- Donate to a local animal rescue.
- Adopt, Don’t Shop! Fall in love with a new furry friend!