Tico: Loving, Focused & Loyal
I met Julie and her stunning dog, Tico, as they walked along Evanston's lakefront path on a delightful summer evening. Turns out, our lives had crossed as music professionals a few years back. We did Tico's shoot at Wilmett's Gilson Park during sunset (my favorite time of day to shoot outdoors). Tico is a natural in front of the camera - so much so that Julie is pursuing a modeling career for Tico!
How did Tico come into your life?
Tico came into my life by chance. I was looking for a young dog - not a puppy - for a rescue. I contacted Belgian Tervuren Rescue and they pointed me in the direction of Cher Lee in Ohio. She had an unwanted litter. When I saw photos of the puppies, I changed my mind and decided that I would go through the requisite puppy stage which can be rough - especially in the middle of Chicago's harsh winters. Cher drove with Tico and his brother and sister to Chicago. Tico chose me - he was the first one out of the truck and into my arms with tons of kisses. When he came into my house for the first time, he kissed my older dog, then went to the dog bed and started nibbling on a bone. He was immediately relaxed and felt at home.
What are Tico's likes and dislikes?
Tico is passionate about tennis balls. He loves any kind of ball, but tennis balls are by far his favorite. He will do anything - at all - for a tennis ball. He loves to lie on his back while sleeping. This is a "Terv" thing, apparently. He also loves sheep herding. At first he was too excited, then nervous, and eventually he became very confident and his entire demeanor changed once he had a job. He needed a job as his mind is very sharp and active. What Tico doesn't like is getting his nails clipped. Luckily he doesn't need to do this very often as he is very active.
Such a memorable experience participating in The Catnip Times' first Meow Meetup in Chicago! Held at the Donald Stevens Convention Center over the weekend of July 28-29 , people flocked from near and far, including Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, California and Florida. I had the pleasure of meeting and conversing with many fantastic cat people, vendors, and the incredible Lauren Mieli (founder of The Catnip Times).
Folks of all ages were dressed in cat themed clothes, complete with "cattoos" and ears. Energetic kittens scampered about the cat adoption room, yoga studio and agility course. And who could resist the teeny tiny kittens from the Windy Kitty Cat Cafe and Lounge? One interesting tidbit - when I asked attendees how many cats they had, the average response was four. Definitely looking forward to next year's event!
by Dana, loving mother of her adopted cats Timmy & Piper
Timmy: Loving, Curious & Friendly
Likes: garbage, spying on neighbors & making new friends
Timmy is a rescue cat who came into our lives in November of 2014. My family and I had just walked into Petco to pick up some cat food when we saw this friendly little fellow sitting in a cage near the door. He was very interested in us, becoming visibly animated and excited as we approached his cage. His name plaque read "Timothy." We were tickled by that; such a cute name for a little gray cat. My sister and I asked if we could play with him, and that's all it took for us to decide that he needed to become part of our family.
His first day home, my husband (then boyfriend) came for a visit. A lifelong dog lover, he immediately formed a bond with Timmy that completely transformed him into a cat person. When we got engaged a few months later, the joke was that he wouldn't marry me unless Timmy and I were a packaged deal.
The bond I have with Timmy is unlike any I've ever had with another cat. When I'm home, we are rarely apart. He follows me from room to room, content just to be in the same space as me. He likes to end the night by hopping up on the bed and propping himself up comfortably against my leg or hip. One of his most endearing qualities is the way in which he demands both food and attention by meowing a particularly high-pitched, kitten-like meow, tilting his head up towards the ceiling like a little wolf pup howling at the moon. He runs to the door every time we have visitors, eager to make new friends. He likes to oversee garbage day, watching intently out the window to make sure everything goes according to plan. I think everything he does is adorable, but as his Mom I'm clearly biased. That day at Petco nearly four years ago surely was fate, and I am so grateful to have my little Timmy boy in my life.
Piper: Sweet, Sassy & Stubborn
LIKES: food (it's the love of her life and the reason she gets up every morning)
My husband and I rescued Piper in April of 2017. Once again, we had wandered into Petco to pick up cat food. Against my better judgment, I found myself walking towards the area where they keep rescued cats available for adoption. In a small, cramped little cage, I saw a fuzzy black cat, so small she resembled a kitten. She began nuzzling the glass of her cage as I approached her. She tracked my movements, pawing at the cage and meowing at me. I was captivated by her, to say the least. I gave my husband a look, and he just knew it meant she'd soon be coming home with us.
When we got her home a few days later, the little cat I'd perceived to be so friendly seemed to flip her personality. She hissed at everything and shied away from the windows because merely viewing the outside world terrified her. The sound of the garage door opening was enough to raise her hackles and make her growl. She was perpetually frightened, hiding under the desk and bed in a tight crouch, and only coming out for food. A few weeks later, when she seemed a bit more comfortable with her new surroundings, we began the very slow process of introducing her to our cat Timmy. It didn't go well. I agonized over my decision to bring her home. I thought I was doing the right thing in rescuing another cat, but now I had second thoughts. Was I merely creating a life of misery for both cats because of my selfish desire to bring a second cat home? It broke my heart to think that I was making either one of my cats unhappy, but my husband encouraged me to be patient and have faith. We continued with the painstakingly slow introduction process, and by September the two were able to live side by side.
We continue to be amazed by how far Piper has come. While still shy with strangers, she will greet members of our extended family at the door. She loves to nuzzle us when she wants attention, and she emits the cutest little outraged meow in the mornings when demanding breakfast. Once afraid to be so exposed, she will now curl up on our bed and settle in with us for the night. She is sweet and sassy as can be, always reminding us that she's truly the one in charge. Our continued love and patience encouraged her to emerge from her shell, and that is the greatest gift she could have ever given us.