You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to take a decent photograph of an acrylic (empty) dog house with a cute pix of a nondescript dog attached to the back. But after taking a lot of bad ones: too much glare, crappy backgrounds, poor lighting, I manged to get one or two that will do.
You’ll note (if you look closely) the
iconic easily recognized, trademarked graphic that belongs to Lollypop Farm the Humane Society of Greater Rochester.
More than 30 years ago, the very first cat that my then boyfriend (now husband) and I adopted from Lollypop Farm was a small black and white female that we named Cleopatra which we promptly shortened to Cleo. I dragged my boyfriend out to the animal shelter because, as I wisely explained to him, “You can’t have just one cat.”
Through one of those random acts of kindness, we had taken in a street stray kitty, interestingly enough, a black and white female that camped out on the front porch of the house where we lived. We had the larger of the apartments on the second floor of an older house. The married couple who lived in the largest apartment, on the first floor, had three male cats, didn’t think it was fair to their feline family to take in one more and helped to persuade
us me that we should. It wasn’t a hard sell. I’d grown up with cats and missed their company. And, in my family, we had never had “just one.”
This very determined cat had already made up her mind that she was going to be taken inside. Whether she lived with the downstairs or upstairs couple didn’t matter to her.
She waltzed into our apartment that first time like she owned it, settling in without any fuss. I waited two weeks before I explained to my boyfriend that we needed a second cat. “A cat by itself will be weird.” Not true but it was what I had at the time.
We went out to Lollypop Farm on a Saturday. As you might guess, the shelter looked vastly different than it does now. If I’m remembering correctly, there was a curved, turquoise blue wall that had these perches for cats to sit on. I remember a lot of cats and I remember that my eye was drawn to one very regal-looking small black and white cat sitting tall, her long black tail wrapped around her feet as she gazed across the space to where a crowd of us stood.
“Pick her up before someone else takes her,” I whispered to my boyfriend. She knew, this cat without a name, that he was the one she had to win over. She expertly worked her way up to his shoulder and sat there for a time, purring contentedly into his ear.
Sadie and Cleo looked like bookends, almost mirror images of each other. And, they were perfect cats. No issues, no emotional baggage from their respective lives on the street, no annoying habits. They moved twice with us – the first time when we left the apartment to move into our first house and the second time when we left the city for the suburbs, buying the house that had belonged to my grandparents. For the longest time, our neighbors thought that we had only one cat because they never saw the two together. One warm spring day, both cats decided to sun themselves outside on our front porch at opposite ends of the stoop. You wouldn’t have thought that was in any way remarkable except for the surprised reactions of the animal lovers in our neighborhood who always paid attention to these things.
My two lady cats.
Both of them lived to be 19 or 20 years old. They paved the way for all of the cats that we’ve had since their deaths. Over the years, two more would come from Lollypop Farm, including Onyx, one of the two cats that we have today.
Did you do the same thing that my family did - did you ever head out to Lollypop Farm because you wanted a cat, or a dog? Or a rabbit? Or a farm critter? I thought so. Well then. I’ll bet, just like me, you occasionally have loose pocket change that you’re not planning on spending. You carry it with you because you might need to fill a parking meter downtown or make change for a dollar or pacify your very young child with something that sits close to a cash register in a store or restaurant – a store or restaurant that has recently decided to help raise funds for Lollypop Farm by agreeing to display acrylic dog houses that are perfect for collecting loose change.
The donation containers can be found in local businesses throughout the area — there are quite a few Lollypop Farm volunteers, including myself, who have been going out into our neighborhoods asking for help with this fundraising campaign. Even the smallest amount helps the larger cause. Never underestimate what two quarters or one dollar can do, especially when they join up with lots of other loose change.
Gentle reminder: each time I blog about Lollypop Farm – the Humane Society of Greater Rochester, I speak for myself and not for any of the staff or other volunteers of this organization. Everything that I write about in these posts reflects my own thought and opinions.
For additional information about this fundraising program, please contact : Mike Kraus, Annual Giving Manager, (585) 223 – 1330 ext. 244 or email Mike at mkraus (at) lollypop (dot) org.