Not that visiting my ex’s is a recurring theme here or anything, but this week we checked in on another one — a homeless cat I first encountered underneath a stairway in Baltimore, next door to a bar, took into my home after hearing she’d been kicked around some, then struggled to find a forever home for.
As it turned out, forever would be in Oklahoma, and therein lies a story.
It was January of this year, and a big snow was on the way to the northeast when Miley temporarily moved in. Word was, some of the street toughs had been kicking her, and she’d snuck into and been thrown out of the two bars on the corner before taking refuge under the stairs.
At the time I didn’t know she was a she, so I dubbed her Miles.
For months, no one stepped forward — not the cat’s previous owner, not a future one.
But then I heard from Kitty Diacon, who saw the video, read the story and said she’d love to have Miles, who by then was Miley — renamed after a visit to the vet, where she was checked out and determined to be spayed female.
Kitty lived in Oklahoma, but as it turned out, that wasn’t too big of a problem, as she was a truck driver and was able to schedule a load that would bring her near Baltimore.
I handed Miley over to Kitty in Frederick, Maryland, back in April, and made another video about that:
Miley logged thousands of miles in the truck before she got home and began adjusting to a new family in Waynoka, Oklahoma.
This week, our “Dog’s Country” travels — which were the reason I decided I couldn’t keep Miley — were taking us to the general vicinity of Oklahoma (i.e. Texas), so we called and asked if we could stop by for a visit with Miley.
Kitty was on the road, but she called and said I should drop by and see her husband John, who, due to a job-related medical disability, is home all the time. At the time she took Miley, she said she wanted her to help keep her husband company during the day.
A few readers expressed skepticism about it — worried that, given the animals in her truck, Kitty might have been one of those nefarious sorts who take in animals, then sell them to dogfighters or for use in medical labs.
In talking with her though, and especially after meeting her, I was convinced she was a true animal lover.
Turns out John is, too.
And he seems to have no shortage of company — eight dogs and three cats (not counting those Kitty was traveling with in the truck), two turtles, an 18-month old son and three baby possums he was nursing after his older son struck the momma possum with his car.
“We’ve got a soft spot for critters,” Kitty explains.
“Miley’s pretty well adusted,” Kitty said. “She’s getting John trained pretty good.” When her water dish runs dry, Miley goes and sits in the sink until the water is turned on. Then she likes to play with stream as it flows from the faucet.
She never did that at my house, but then I yelled at her when she jumped up on the kitchen counter.
When I stepped inside the Diacon’s home, Miley seemed to remember me immediately (or maybe that’s wishful thinking). She brushed up against me and let me pick her up, something she didn’t do that often when she lived with me.
John, a Navy veteran who was left with disc problems from driving a fertilizer truck and who’s still fighting his workmen’s comp case, spends time tending to the animals and his son, Patrick, and working on cars and radios in his garage.
John introduced me to the rest of the animals, and I spent a few more minutes petting Miley before saying goodbye.
If I had any doubts about Miley’s new home, they were gone by then.
(“Dog’s Country” is the continuing account of one man and one dog spending six months criss-crossing America)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 23rd, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ace does america, adopt, animals, baltimore, bar, cat, cats, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, ex-cat, john diacom, kitty diacom, miles, miley, new home, ohmidog!, oklahoma, pets, revisiting, truck driver, waynoka
My former cat Miley — the one I took in from the streets of South Baltimore for the winter — is still on the highway, having logged more than 5,000 since joining her new truck driver owner, Kitty.
Miley has now passed through Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia — and that’s just to name a few.
Kitty says Miley is doing wonderfully, and has taken well to living in the truck cab, along with Kitty’s other cat, Chuzzle, and two pit bulls.
They were in Louisville when she touched base with me, headed for Waco.
In another week or so, she predicted they’ll be back home in Oklahoma, where she expects Miley will keep her disabled husband John company as he works on CB radios in the garage. It’s not unusual for Kitty to be gone three weeks or more on the job.
Kitty said she kept Miley in her carrier for the first leg of their journey together — from Frederick, Maryland, where I dropped her off, to Bedford, Pennsylvania, where Kitty was taking a load of Oklahoma hot dogs to a Wal-Mart.
She went inside to do the paperwork and returned to the truck cab to find Miley had managed to pop it open and take up a more comfortable spot on a pillow on Kitty’s bunk — “as peaceful as she could be,” Kitty said. She hasn’t been back in the carrier since.
She’s doesn’t mind the noise and rumble of the big rig and is getting along fine with the dogs, but still hisses when Chuzzle, a male Persian cat, gets too close, especially when it’s time to eat.
“I can’t thank you enough,” Kitty told me, when, as I see it, she deserves the thanks for giving Miley a permanent home. “She is just so awesome”
Posted by John Woestendiek April 23rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, adopt, animals, cat, cats, chuzzle, foster, highways, home, kitty, miles, miley, ohmidog!, oklahoma, persian, pets, rescue, south baltimore, states, stray, streets, temporary, travel, traveling, truck driver, trucks, winter
A quick update on my former temporary cat Miley, now heading to Oklahoma with her new owner, Kitty, a truck driver who saw the ohmidog! video and offered to provide a home for the Baltimore street cat:
“Miley is settling in real well. She is still not sure about Chuzzle. When he gets to close she hisses and growls and runs to her food dish and starts eating her food, almost like she is afraid that Chuzzle is going to eat it.”
This does not surprise me. Miley, in the three months I kept her after taking her in, liked her food early and often – maybe a result of her time foraging on the street.
As soon as I got out of bed in the morning, she’d approach and give a prolonged meow, which didn’t sound like “meow” at all; really more of a wail that continued until breakfast was served. Between the wailing and blocking my path when I tried to walk, she trained me to fill her bowl first thing in the morning.
Annoying as that was, yes, I still miss my unofficial foster cat some. I still stumble out of bed some mornings and, in my pre-coffee haze, head for the cat food.
I’m sure Miley and Chuzzle will work things out, with help from Kitty, who should be arriving back home in Oklahoma soon. Her message was relayed by her husband, who said Kitty reports Miley is a “wonderful cat.”
“I’m looking forward to getting her home with me,” he said.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 18th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, animals, baltimore, bar cat, cat, cats, chuzzle, foster, kitty, miles, miley, ohmidog!, oklahoma, pets, rescue, road, shelter, south baltimore, street cat, truck driver
My temporary cat Miley has found a new home. She’s on her way to Oklahoma, once her new trucker owner drops off a load in Bedford, Pa.
She’ll make the journey with her new human — a woman who calls herself “Gipsy Kitten,” and who regularly drives her routes with her other cat, a Persian named “Chuzzle.”
Kitty, for short, emailed me a couple of weeks ago. She’d scene the original video I did about Miley, back when I took her — though I thought she was a he — in off the streets.
Miley was living under the stairway of an empty south Baltimore rowhouse, and reportedly getting mistreated. I didn’t want a cat, but between that and the big snow that was on the way, we decided she’d come home with me until suitable accomodations could be found.
Three months later, Ace and I had bonded with her, but some upcoming life changes (I’ll fill you in on later) required a new home be found, which was the original goal anyway.
Out of the blue, Kitty wrote, and after exchanging emails for a week, we made a plan. She’d sign up for a load in the area. I’d meet her with Miley.
This morning, Ace, Miley and I drove to Frederick and gave Miley to her new human, who also had her two dogs — Havoc and Bonkers — aboard the truck.
Kitty — obviously an animal lover herself — said she was moved by Miley’s story and wanted the cat to keep her husband company. He was disabled in a farming accident and spends most of his time at home in Waynoka, Okla.
This morning’s exchange went smoothly. Miley, who is known to hiss and moan at strange dogs and anything else she doesn’t like, didn’t hiss a bit.
Kitty says, if everybody gets along, Miley will have the run of the truck cab on the ride home.
For Miley, it should be an excellent adventure. For me, it’s a little sad but we shan’t dwell on that. My video tribute (above) will suffice.
Ace, I think, senses the loss as well. The two were cohabitating nicely, though they weren’t exactly snugglebuddies. I think he’ll be glad that the bed will go back to holding just two species at night.
Kitty said she’d keep us posted as she makes her way back home, and I’ll be passing on what she has to report. Safe travels Kitty, and Miley, and Chuzzle, and Bonkers, and Havoc.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 11th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, adopted, animal welfare, animals, bar cat, cat, foster, hauling, home, leon's, lighthouse, miley, mistreated, new home, ohmidog!, oklahoma, pets, reader, rescue, snow, south baltimore, temporary, truck, truck driver, trucker, truckin' cat, video, waynoka
We told you at the beginning of this week about Ella, a young pup found wandering in Dundalk who was scooped up by a good samaritan.
We’re happy to report at the end of the week that Ella has a new home, in Baltimore’s Riverside neighborhood.
An employee of K-9 Kraving found the dog not far from her home. After knocking on doors in the area, and finding no one who claimed the dog, she took her home, with plans to drop her by a shelter.
When a friend offered to care for the five-month-old pup until a home was found, Ella, as she’d been dubbed by then, was brought to South Baltimore, stopping by my house on the way for a quick photo session.
After her photo and story appeared on ohmidog!, and was picked up by other blogs and spread on Facebook, a Riverside resident — deeming Ella too cute to pass up — contacted Ella’s foster mom.
He met Ella earlier this week, and planned to pick her up today to bring her to her new home, where she will be known as Lily.
Now, if only Miley could be that lucky.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 27th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, baltimore, cat, dog, dogs, dundlak, ella, k-9 kraving, lily, miley, mix, mutt, ohmidog!, rescue, riverside, shelters, south baltimore, stray
There’s an unusual energy in my house these days.
Her name is Darcy.
That bouncing bundle of Boston terrier, who has graced both my home and the pages of ohmidog! before, is back with me for another week as her parents get hitched in Hawaii. That’s fine with Ace, who enjoys periodically frolicking with her, followed by long periods of rest. Ace rests, anyway. Darcy rarely does.
So it seemed the perfect time to test — with her owner’s permission, of course — the new “Zendog Calming Biscuits” that were sent to me by Cranimals, makers of organic cranberry dog treats and supplements.
There were a limited number of the ring-shaped treats in the sample package, and I debated whether it would be best to give them to Darcy, or myself. Going the latter route had the potential advantages of (A.) Me being so calm that Darcy would pick up my calm vibe and be calm herself, and (B) Me being so calm that I really wouldn’t care if she was bouncing off the walls.
Seeing as Darcy — who possesses both an overactive mind and an overactive bladder — doesn’t seem to absorb any of Ace’s calmness, and seeing as I just rent the walls she’d be bouncing off, I opted to try the biscuits on her.
First, we tried one in the morning. Darcy scarfed it down, then continued running around the house like a maniac, before settling down and gnawing on a long-since-spent marrow bone like there was no tomorrow. After about 30 minutes, she hopped into my chair, positioned herself behind me and fell asleep.
Was it the treat, or just her natural cycle? There’s really no way of knowing.
The next day we tried one in the afternoon, and it failed to slow her down at all. We tried one in the evening, but that’s when she usually quiets down anyway — apparently accustomed to an early bedtime. This morning I gave her another. She played all out with Ace for about an hour, which was enough to send Ace upstairs for a nap. Darcy kept going, like a pinball, for another hour — moving blankets around the house, gnawing the marrow bone, and looking for Miley the cat, who generally stays upstairs to avoid her.
Finally she laid down at my feet, farted a few times (not necessarily from the Zen biscuit, it’s just what she does), looked around, got up, sniffed around, licked the kitchen floor, ran some more, acted like she needed to pee, went outside, didn’t, came back in, went outside again, peed, came back in and eventually dozed off. Again, there’s no way of knowing if the biscuit played a role in that, or if she just played enough to get tired.
I was probably overcautious with the biscuits, not giving her more than one a day, but I didn’t want her to OD and get stuck in a permanent state of Zen. (Cranimals say there is no danger of that.)
The biscuits are formulated with organic pumpkin extract, a natural source of tryptophan. Tryptophan — the same thing that makes us humans doze off after a big turkey dinner — helps induce calm by promoting the synthesis of sseratonin and melatonin, which Cranimals describes as the Zen hormones of the body.
Cranimals says the biscuits calm nerves and stomachs and are made with all natural, healthy, human-grade ingredients. Sources tell us that the inventor of the treats, Dr. Wilma Pretorius, the managing director of Cranimals, enjoys them with cream cheese.
As for my experiment, it’s inconclusive. Darcy was a dervish for a good two hours after her most recent Zendog Calming Biscuit. Then again, praise Buddha, she is sleeping now. As for the last biscuit in my sample, I’m thinking I’ll save it for myself.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 18th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, biscuit, calm, calming, calming dog biscuit, cranberry, cranimals, darcy, dog, dogs, extract, functional, miley, natural, organic, pets, pumpkin, rest, sleep, tranquility, tranquilizer, tranquilizing, treat, treats, tryptophan, turkey, wilma pretorius, zen, zendog
Here in the winter of our discontent in Baltimore — the snowiest city (believe it!) in the continental United States – we are getting by, getting sore and getting a little tired of it.
Most dogs still seem to be loving it, but I think even among them, all the slip-sliding around might be starting to wear thin. Even these two American Eskimo dogs seemed to think it has all been a bit much.
As of Monday, 79.9 inches had fallen so far this winter, and more is coming down as we speak. We’ve had more than Rochester, more than Syracuse, more than Binghamton, and more, I think we can all agree, than enough.
The streets are lined with icebergs. Schools have been closed for a good week. Parking spaces are like gold. Getting anything accomplished takes four times as long as it normally does. Our back hurts, and we’re getting a little antsy, perhaps a little cranky.
Pets help us get through the cabin fever — as comforting as an old movie — countering the stress and loneliness and keeping us connected, however cut off from other humans we might feel.
I’m lucky enough to have three this week — my dog Ace, Darcy the Boston Terrier, who’s spending another week with me while her parents tie the knot in Hawaii, and my temporary cat Miley, still available for adoption, should you need a cat to help you through the winter.
All are co-existing nicely, if not as playfully as Ace and Darcy, who are more fun to watch than 90 percent of what’s on TV.
Sure, there is a downside. As we’re not getting to the park as much, my back yard is no longer the blank white canvas it was after the first snowfall, but a series of abstract yellow stains — like those inkblot tests — all punctuated with brown exclamation points.
I will get to it as I will get to most everything else this winter, including shoveling today’s snow:
Posted by John Woestendiek February 16th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2009, 2010, ace, aches, american eskimo dogs, animals, baltimore, boston terrier, cabin fever, city, cranky, darcy, dogs, inches, maryland, miley, pains, pets, record, shoveling, snow, snowfall, snowiest, snowiest city, surviving, weather, winter
Those guitar-playing birds we showed you yesterday were pretty cool, but they were just the opening act for Nora, the Piano Cat, shown here in a performance last year with the Klaipeda Chamber Orchestra in Lithuania.
The “CATcerto” was the project of Lithuanian conductor, composer and artist Mindaugas Piecaitis.
Nora, a rescued cat whose piano skills have been widely featured on the Internet, appeared via a pre-recorded video hookup.
For more information on the performance, visit catcerto.com.
If you would like to adopt a rescued cat and teach her to play piano, might I suggest Miley, whose musical talents are as yet untapped. (Piano not included.)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 7th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, art, artist, cat, catcerto, cats, chamber, composer, concert, conductor, klaipeda chamber orchestra, lithuania, miley, mindaugas piecaitis, music, nora, orchestra, pets, piano, playing, plays, the piano cat, video
OK, so maybe it was slightly more dramatic than my rescue of Miley, the cat living under a nail-filled stairway next to a south Baltimore bar, who — unlike the dog who floated at least 75 miles on an ice floe out to sea — is, by the way, still looking for a good home.
Baltic, the dog who floated down Poland’s Vistula River and into the Baltic Sea, has a new owner — the seaman who rescued him.
Wojciech Pelczarski of the Sea Fisheries Institute in Gdynia said the decision was made after the dog rejected six people who had claimed to be his original owner, NPR reported.
He suspected the would-be owners were merely trying to be part of the media attention surrounding the dog’s rescue.
Pelczarski, whose institute co-owns the research ship “Baltica” that rescued the dog, says Baltic — as he has been nicknamed — is sociable, affectionate and was getting his first bath since his icy ordeal because his fur was still salty.
The dog’s new master is Adam Buczynski, who pulled him to safety from an ice sheet in the Baltic Sea last week.
Buczynski and other crew members spotted the dog Jan. 25 floating at least 15 miles from land, shivering and precariously perched on an ice floe. The crew lowered a pontoon to the water and Buczynski, the ship mechanic, managed to grab the dog and pull him to safety.
“He was very lucky,” Pelczarski said. “If the vessel had passed him at night, no one would have spotted him.”
Baltic was first seen two days earlier on the Vistula River, 60 miles inland, drifting on ice past the city of Grudziadz, where local firefighters tried but failed to save him.
(Photos: Top, Baltic on ice, by Ryszard Moroz/Associated Press /IMGW; bottom, Baltic with Buczynski, by Krzysztof Mystkowski /Associated Press
Posted by John Woestendiek February 5th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adam buczynski, animals, baltic, baltica, cat, crew, dog, floating, gdynia, ice floe, media, miley, owner, owners, pets, polish, rescue, sea, sea fisheries institute, seaman, ship, vistula river, wojciech pelczarski
Turns out the cat I took in off the streets of South Baltimore — just to watch over until you (and I do mean you) adopt it — isn’t a boy after all.
Miles, from nowhere, is now officially Miley.
I first noticed Miley about two weeks ago, when I stepped out of Bill’s Lighthouse Inn for a cigarette. She was living on, and under, the wooden stairs of the empty house next door. I walked over and said hello, and she was happy for the company, making me think that she probably wasn’t one of the feral felines that roam the corner.
I gave her a spare dog biscuit that was in my coat pocket, which she ignored until I broke it up into little pieces. At that point, she scarfed it down and began nuzzling up against me.
After that, my dog Ace and I began stopping by on our way to Riverside Park to check on her, dropping her off some cat food from time to time — as others were doing as well, including Brooke, a neighbor who lives around the corner.
The cat spent most of her time in a well beneath the stairs, filled with wooden planks, which were full of nails she had to navigate past on her way in and out.
Four nights ago, Brooke and I happened to check on the cat at the same time. She’d been feeding her everyday, and even brought her home, only to learn that Miley, while she didn’t have any problem with Caesar the Rottweiller, didn’t get along with her two cats.
We’d both done some checking around to see if anyone knew the cat. Nobody did, but I found out she had squeezed her way into both the Lighthouse and Leon’s Bar, across the street, only to get ejected. There were some reports as well that some street corner lowlifes had been kicking her.
With a big snow on the way, we decided to take the cat, who I was calling Miles by then, to my house, TEMPORARILY, make sure she and Ace got along, and schedule an appointment with a vet to see if her limp, her scratches and her hair loss were signs of bigger problems.
Yesterday, Jill Shook, the veterinarian at City Pets on Charles Street, offered a complimentary check-up and pronounced Miles to be a 12-pound, three-to-four year old tabby, missing some teeth, but otherwise in good health. She also pronounced him to be a her.
Miley is spayed, has no microchip and tolerates dogs well. Her limp went away after a couple of days. Her hair, probably scraped off by the nails, is growing back in and her cuts are healing.
While I had my doubts at first — Miley apparently did not relieve herself during her first 24 hours in my home — she does know how to use a litter box. Fearing she might not, Brooke brought over some cat poop from her house (the gift that keeps on giving) to put in the litter box in hopes Miley would get the message. She did.
She’s a tough, independent and affectionate cat and all she needs now is a human. (Miley Cyrus fans are welcome to apply, as is Miley Cyrus). If you’re interested, contact me at email@example.com.
Meanwhile, I’d like to say a big thank you to Brooke DiRusso, for caring, and to Dr. Jill Shook at City Pets for the check-up.
In case you missed the original video on Miley, back when she was Miles, here it is again:
(Photos: John Woestendiek / ohmidog!)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 3rd, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abandoned, abused, baltimore, bar cat, bars, cat, cats, city pets, dr. jill shook, female, jill shook, light street, lighthouse, male, miles, miles from nowhere, miley, rescue, rescued, south baltimore, stairway, stairwell, stray, veterinarian