Hemster – The sweet and mellow old man of the house. Hemi came to live with us after his owner passed away. Hemi is a Polydactyl cat, named after Ernest Hemingway, a lover of polydactyl cats. Hemi spends his days relaxing on the dining room chairs, waiting by the pantry in the mornings and evenings until his meals are served. He likes to cuddle on my side of the bed at night. He’s a real sweetheart, always patient with a very go-with-the-flow attitude. He has the funniest and most unique sounding meow. It is impossible to describe in written words – almost like a hum combined with a raspy meow. It never fails to make me laugh each morning. We don’t know Hemi’s exact age, as his history before we had him wasn’t all that clear, but we estimate him to have been born in 2000-2002. Hemi has recently been diagnosed with diabetes. It has been a challenge to get him regulated, but he’s getting there. He’s my baby and a joy. I feel so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to be his mom. I love him so much!

Slim, Tuna, Panther, Bro – These are just a few of Gutter’s nicknames over the years. Gutter has been with me for his entire life. He was was found at around 5 weeks of age stuck in a roadside drain and had to be blasted out with the fireman’s hose. Bloated with parasites, malnourished and just flat out scraggly is how Gutter came to me. Well, you could say he has more than made up for it. Gutter and I have a special bond, as he was my first cat. Growing up, we had one outdoor cat that was a stray, but never an indoor cat. I inherited him after one of the vet’s that I’ve worked with for years found him stuck in the drain that day and brought him to the animal hospital where I have worked for years. He and I have been besties from the start. Gutter is vocal and obsessed with food. He has the best (and sometimes irritating) antics. Like most cats, Gutter loves attention and affection on his terms. He is accustomed to loud crowds and guests coming in and out of the house. Nothing really phases him. He loves a good nap, but does enjoy running through the house carrying a mouse toy in his mouth, “singing the song of his people” as I like to call it. My siblings (who grew up with Gutter) and I joke and say his life’s mission is to make it to Dunkin’ Donuts. He LOVES food. The boy will do anything for food. He’s my little trouble maker and I love him so much. Gutter is the second oldest in the house. He was born March of 2004 – We joke and say he shares a birthday with his favorite uncle, my oldest younger brother. :) I love him so much!

Levi aka Neens, Doots or Soowee is my angel child, my vigilant protector, always by my side watching out for me. We’ve been best friends from the start. Levi was born in 2005. Energetic and full of life, but also content to lay at my feet, Levi is my constant companion. He loves to ride in the car. As long as he’s with his people, he’s happy. Levi and I have been together since he was just a little 7 week old ball of fluff. I was there the day my cousin brought his father home as a puppy. I fell in love with Australian Shepherds that day and knew I wanted one of my one. Levi’s favorite game is “chase the stick”. All you have to say is, “Do you wannaaaaaa plaaaaayyyy stick?!” and he’s jumping up and down with excitement. He looks at frisbees and tennis balls with complete disinterest, but sticks are his thing and always have been. Levi is an intelligent and gentle soul with a love for all animals and (most) people. :) He loves our cats and is gentle as can be with them. He is fascinated by our Chinchilla, Granger and is always watching him. True to his breed, Levi is a natural “herder”. He’s always herded small children and is constantly intervening when our two labs, Reese and Red are rough-housing. Levi and my youngest brother have always had a close bond. My not so little “little” brother and I joke and say that Levi is a Wookie-Human hybrid. (Star Wars nerds, yes!) Levi has this funny “call”/ greeting he does when I come home and it sounds so much like Chewbacca from Star Wars (hence the fabricated Wookie heritage). He does it every time I come home from work or after being away for a few hours. It always brings a smile to my face and never fails to melt my heart. Levi brings joy to my life daily with his antics and the often comical expressions in his big, blue eyes. He’s one-in-a-million – a once in a lifetime friend. I love him so much!

Big Red or Reddy Boy as I call him is a big, loveable baby! At about 100 lbs, Red has no idea how large he is. His favorite place to be is snuggled under the covers with my husband or lying on the couch with his enormous paws up in the air. Red and my husband are absolutely inseparable best friends, but he loves his mom too. 😉 Red is a true to his breed – gentle and kind with a love for the water. Red loves to “stalk” the birds on the beach (as if they can’t see him) and loves to play fetch with his tennis ball. His absolute favorite game in the world is tug-of-war. Not many dogs are strong enough to compete with Big Red at tug-of-war. Our friend’s enormous Rottweiler is about the only dog that has ever been able to out “tug” Red. Red and my husband play tug of war and my husband grabs at Red’s legs in an attempt to distract him. Red has learned to tuck his legs under his body when his dad makes a grab for them. He’s a smart pup. Red loves other animals and is incredibly gentle with them. He especially loves cats! I have fostered numerous kittens over the years and Red is fascinated with them. He will sit by their crate all day just waiting to lick them. Red has quite the collection of tricks – he and my husband are always up for entertaining a crowd. Red is a 2005 baby like his brother, Levi. He and Levi are just one week apart to the day (Levi is exactly 7 days older). Red comes from a line of dogs bred for assistance work and is actually a registered service animal. He loves to go anywhere and everywhere with my husband. Red is watchful and never fails to let me know when someone is at the door or in the yard. Like most labs, Red is a lover of food. His favorite “treat” is to lick the leftovers out of yogurt cups (of all things!) He also likes noodles – go figure! Red even knows what the word noodle means – it’s hilarious to watch his ears perk up when my husband asks him if he “wants a nooooodle”. Red is larger than life and loved by all. He’s one of a kind for sure and I love him so much!

Aries is loud, talkative and full of personality. She has an ever-growing vocabulary, always coming up with or mimicking something she’s heard around the house. From the sound of the back door opening, closing and locking to the Hunger Games whistle, she’s always making us laugh with her antics. She asks our dogs if they are hungry, want to go potty. She even fusses at the dogs when they get too rowdy! The latest addition to her vocabulary is Fozzie Bear’s “Waka Waka Waka” . All day long, it’s “Waka, Waka, Waka!” :) Aries came to us from a young couple before my husband and I were married. She is most definitely a daddy’s girl. She and my husband have quite the bond. She and I coeexist – haha. 😉 I feed her, water her and keep her habitat nice and tidy and she refrains from biting me – most of the time. I love her despite her periodic crankiness 😉 .

Lena Marie, Marie or Pickle was found as a kitten running around on a dirt road by herself. She was found and brought to the animal hospital by a former co-worker. Pixel was born in 2010. My little “Alien Eyes” girl is sweet, affectionate and beautiful. Pixel, though tiny and loving is also a spit fire when need be. She definitely holds her own with our two boy cats, always keeping them in check. Pixel lost her left front leg as a kitten to a freak accident, but that doesn’t slow her down. She and Gutter are best buddies and sometimes frenemies :D. Pixel loves to perch atop the back of the couch surveying her kingdom like the queen she is! She loves to run and jump up on my husband when he gets home. She spends most of her evenings on the couch in his lap or curled up on my pillow. When she’s not lounging on the couch or on my pillow, she can be found stalking Granger, the chinchilla or sitting below Aries’ habitat. She could sit and watch Granger or Aries for hours – her own personal Netflix HAHA! Lena has this sweet little chirpy meow she does when she greets you and she arches her back in a way that looks like she’s almost standing on her back feet. Pix, also a polydactyl has a giant toe on her remaining front leg that we joke and say is her “kick stand”. It’s almost like the uses it to balance. She’s always making me smile, brings me joy and is one of a kind, amazing cat -I love her so much!

(null)Sushi Clawdelia
My little Woosh, Boots, Sushi Clawdelia was born in 2011 a beautiful polydactyl torti, tiny as can be. She was dumped in the bushes near our home with her presumed litter mate at the age of 3 weeks by a heartless soul. Our neighbor witnessed the heartless soul leaving the helpless creatures to die and brought them to me. I had, for as long as I can remember wanted a torti and I’ve always had a soft spot for polydactyl cats. Sushi has been my baby from that night forward. I adopted her orange tabby sister out to a veterinarian I worked with at the time -She is living the life! Sushi is tiny, (dwarfed actually), doesn’t see well and has had a condition called mega colon that requires multiple medications each day since kitten-hood. She is the most loving and affectionate cat, always wanting to be with me. She follows me around the house and prefers to be carried. If I’m sitting at my desk, she’s in my lap. Sush sleeps on my chest each night purring and “making biscuits”. She’s incredibly sweet, but does have her feisty “torti” moments. She doesn’t allow the “big” cats to bully her around. :) She too, like her sister loves to watch Granger. She seems to be fascinated by Granger running on his exercise wheel. Sushi came into my life unexpectedly, as all great things do. As cliche as it sounds, she’s changed my life. She’s made me better. Kinder. She is one of those blessings I didn’t know I needed – an incredible once in a lifetime gift. I love her so much!

Oh Reese or Piecer as she is usually called is a ball of light and energy and joy and T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Reese was born in 2012 and came to us from a veterinarian as a 3 month old puppy that had been returned by the stellar people that purchased her from a pet store. She was signed over to a veterinarian after developing pneumonia, but TLC and antibiotics knocked that out. We adopted her from the veterinarian that treated her. Reese was slow to adapt to life outside of a puppy mill situation, but she is an INCREDIBLE girl! Loving and playful, she is a typical labrador. She is never without a toy or two or three in her mouth. She LOVES to retrieve and loves to wrestle with her big brothers, Levi and Red. Reese loves to run in the backyard and scavenge for treats. She also enjoys sleeping on the couch while her parents play Mario Kart or watch tv. She’s still so much of a puppy and is often a handful, but a loveable little handful. She definitely keeps Levi and Red young. She keeps her parents busy. I love her so much!

Granger or Grange is a speedy, furry little love bug – my first chinchilla. He was born in July 2014, so he’s still a relative baby :). Chinchilla was given to me by a veterinarian and good friend. He spends his days lounging in his cardboard tubes and his evenings running like Jack Lalanne on his exercise wheel, all the while crunching on his hay and hay pellets. His favorite treat in the world is dried bananas. He knows what the word means. All I have to say is, “Grange, you want a ‘nana?” and he comes running! Granger loves to interact with his sister, Reese. She comes up to smell his enclosure and Granger comes running and flops onto his side and tries to wrestle with her. He’s a loving little guy with personality to spare. I love him so!

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