Cat Rescue Bleg – Phoenix Area

From commentor OnlyMike:

Longtime lurker first time poster. I’m having a rough time this Christmas. The situation is entirely of my own making but it’s also affecting my two cats whose only fault is having me as an owner (at least one of them would argue as to just who owns whom). I live in Phoenix and am being evicted and need to find homes for both ASAP…

I can’t send pictures so I guess I can only describe them. Both are fixed but their shots are not current (it’s been over two years since they’ve been to a vet.) One is a long haired male tuxedo cat – very pretty. Not the smartest cat in the world (understatement) but one of the most lovable. He doesn’t particularly like to be picked up but loves to be petted and loves to curl up at my side and purr contentedly. Named Phantom because he has a black face with white markings like the mask of the phantom of the opera. I never actually call him Phantom though – I call him Goofyboy or (don’t know why) Spoob.

The female is basically my feline version of Rosie. Her name is Sophia but I call her Skronk (again don’t know why but it seems to fit). She was left behind by her owners in one of the apartments here when they moved and I took her because no one else would. She’s a tan and black striped short hair. She’s whip-smart and very funny but can be maddening – she’s going to do what she wants to do and that is pretty much that. I love her to pieces but she can be a handful – John Cole level patience will be required.

They’re both great cats but different as night and day. The reason I named the female Sophia is I stopped and watched part of an old Golden Girls episode where the Estelle Getty character (Sophia) was being talked about for her scrappiness and obstinance and I thought “ah perfect!” I got her in 2007 and I think she was less than a year old then – she started going into heat about two months later. She’s tiny but seems to think she’s a lioness. Phantom is a big guy – not quite Tunch size but he’s big. But with the dainty little cry of a kitten. I love both of them and have spent the last few days apologizing to them. It would be nice to get them into a new (better) home.

If you have any leads, send me an email at AnneLaurie (at) — click on my name in the right-hand column. I realize that lots of regular readers won’t see this, so yeah, I’m planning on re-posting in a couple days.

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76 replies
  1. 1
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    So glad you picked this up Anne. Lets hope that the brilliant BJ community can once again step up to the plate.

  2. 2
    Joy in FL says:

    I can’t help you with your cats. But I just want to send you a kind word.

    Obviously I don’t know your situation, but I know anyone can do things that have disastrous consequences. Move through this part of your life the best you can and grow from what you experience.

    May your Phantom and Sophia find a home and may you have what you need.

  3. 3
    BGinCHI says:

    Hang in there, man. I hope things improve for you and I’m sending out all the positive karma I can your way.

    Thanks for posting this, AL.

  4. 4

    I’m allergic to cats, but I’ll put the word out in my area of the Valley. Hang in there, Mike.

  5. 5
    Libby's Person says:

    Let us know if there’s anything that a little cash could do to help; for example, if getting them up to date on their shots would help them find a new home, or if OnlyMike runs out of time and needs to board them for a while. I’d certainly be willing to pitch in.

  6. 6
    Raven says:

    Just in off the long highway, any word on how OnlyMike is?

  7. 7
    elisabeth says:

    What Libby’s Person said.

  8. 8
    Raven says:

    Oh no, I went up to water my dermisted beetles and dropped the container. I think I got them all with the mini vac but shit!

  9. 9
    Rosie Outlook says:

    What are dermisted beetles and why do you have them? Are they pet food?

  10. 10
    Raven says:

    @Rosie Outlook: No, they are my flesh eating beetles I am raising for a taxidermy project.

  11. 11
    The Dangerman says:


    … flesh eating beetles …

    Oh, is THAT all? ;-)

    Also sending out most positive thoughts to the original poster; evictions and homelessness sucks. Hang in there, Dude.

  12. 12
    MazeDancer says:

    As Libby’s Person said, and Elizabeth seconded, if temp home for kitties – say while poster is on the sofa circuit for a bit – can be found with $ support, I’m in. Or maybe a rescue group would foster if they knew it was temporary and the twosome came funded.

    Otherwise, there has to be some way to find pics of the kitties. Or a vid from holding the computer camera, if there is one over them. Or some friend or neighbor – or even a passing stranger – with a cell phone camera. Or something.

    Imagine Anne Laurie would post if they could be emailed. Going to be so much easier to find homes with pics. Maybe even a full-up Phoenix rescue group would at least come take pics? BJ reader in Phoenix who could go take pics?

    So sorry, OnlyMike, you’re in this situation. May it turn around to something good.

  13. 13
    Linda Featheringill says:


    Oh, no! You may have to have the house fumigated to get rid of all living critters. And then start over.

    And now your minivac contains a colony of flesh eaters?

  14. 14
    onlymike says:

    Hi guys. I’m okay but my friend never called so I’m bummed about that. I understand if she’s unable to help but I can’t believe she didn’t call me. On the other hand since I hadn’t spoken to her in over a year and then when I did call it was to ask for a favor … one of those reap what you sow kind of things I guess. I only have a few friends and I’ve just ignored them – don’t answer my landline phone and dropped my cell phone service over a year ago – don’t open mail etc. I slept as late as I possibly could today (which for me is very late. I’m watching half watching Indiana Jones on TV and half websurfing. One cat is in my lap kneading away and one is curled up at my side.

  15. 15
    Schlemizel says:

    OnlyMike – that may be one of the loveliest descriptions of two cats ever. You gave us a good sense of their personality and what it would take to be their owners. Other than being 1200 Miles away & having two PItA kittehs already I’d sure love to grab that little girl.

    I hope everything works out for them and for you.

  16. 16
    onlymike says:


  17. 17
    Raven says:

    @The Dangerman: I’m sorry, I’m waxed from a long, tense drive, I shouldn’t have posted.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    Jane2 says:

    @onlymike Can we (I) help with kitty food etc in the meantime? I’d be happy to work thru Anne Laurie to get you something to tide you over.

  20. 20
    Schlemizel says:


    That sounds like my dear old friend, dark depression. Don’t give up – get yourself to a free clinic or similar. You may not even realize how that bastard will fuck you up. A lot of what you said are things I have done myself. I have screwed up friendships and jobs sinking into that hole. You won’t ‘snap out of it’ and you really can’t pull yourself up by your bootstraps – you need professional help.

  21. 21
    The Dangerman says:


    …I shouldn’t have posted.

    Not at all; I learned something new. Never heard of such a thing (and, if Flesh Eating is involved, there’s a large cat in WV that wants to chat with you).

  22. 22
    onlymike says:

    The yikes!!! was intended to be a response to Raven’s dermisted beetles. I’ll say again “Yikes!”

  23. 23
    Raven says:

    @onlymike: Part of the great wheel of life. I thought it was a good way to honor the big Redfish I caught on Turkey Day.

    Have you read Darkness Visible by William Styron? My ex had major depression issues and the book can be an incredible help.

  24. 24
    Raven says:

    Merry Xmas from Popeye! How bout that Dawg!

  25. 25
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: so how can I send you a check?

  26. 26
    mai naem says:

    I’m in Phoenix. I can’t help with taking the cats but I can ask a couple of people. This might be a stupid question but do you have any pics of the cats. I have a friend who works at a vet. She may have some leads. Also have you tried the Animal Welfare League. BTW, your description of yourself does sound like depression. You need to get in somewhere and get some help. Sounds like you need housing where they’ll take the cats more than you need to get rid of the cats. Yeah, I know it’s easy for me to say.

  27. 27
    onlymike says:

    @Raven</a@Raven: Oh I understand that – I remember when you were commenting about them when you first got them – I’m talking about dropping the container.
    I’m having trouble with my computer – it keeps kicking me out of BJ (and other sites as well – have a hell of a time reading TBogg) so my responses are being delayed

  28. 28
    Schlemizel says:

    @Raven: The book can be had for free online!

    Here is the link to the PDF but if you google it is available in other formats like kindle and HTTP

  29. 29
    Raven says:

    @onlymike: Yea it was stupid. I’m wired and shaky from the drive and I should have let them be. I think I got all of them with the little vac I had right there.

  30. 30
    Raven says:

    @Schlemizel: I recently read his daughters book. She recounts that the book had and incredible impact on many people. It became a real problem with people asking him for advice and approaching him on the street.

  31. 31
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Schlemizel: Thank you for posting this link. I’ve already saved it to my computer.

  32. 32
    Raven says:

    @PurpleGirl: Check out Tidewater Morning too.

  33. 33
    Suzanne says:

    I’m in Phoenix and I’m already past my pet quotient, but I will put the word out. In the meantime, can I help with cat food?

  34. 34
    Shadows mom says:

    @onlymike I wish you the very best. I can say from personal experience that it is possible to transcend the bleakest of times and come through to a better tomorrow. It does sound like you have some depression issues and I hope that you can find help to get you through this challenging time,

  35. 35
    nellcote says:

    check out your local food bank/pantry. They often also offer pet food as well.

  36. 36
    TooManyJens says:

    I have family in Phoenix. They can’t have cats but I put the word out in case they know anyone.

    Onlymike, I hope you’re OK and you keep checking in with us. I’ve had what you have, and I know there lots of others here who have as well. Please take care of yourself.

  37. 37
    onlymike says:

    @eclare:I don’t know how that would work – it’s pretty clear that I’m going to need help with this but I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know if my checking acct is closed or not – I think there was about a dollar left in it so it should still be open. Should I e-mail Anne Laurie my address – is that how it’s done?
    Before anyone sends me anything I need to let you all know more about me: I knew this was coming. I’ve just let it happen. In early 2009 my Aunt died and left me some money (about 60K) and I’ve spent it all – I haven’t lived extravagantly but that money could have been life-changing and I knew that. I kept telling myself that I would start looking for a job in the spring and then of course that I would start looking for a job in the summer and then… well you get the idea. I could have used the money for new clothes, better apt and some education perhaps – I could have changed my life, gotten a job and invested the money wisely so I would have a nest egg but I didn’t. Instead I just stayed in my apartment and grew more and more isolated from the few friends I have and here’s where I am. I know and have known I’m mentally ill beyond mere depression (not a danger to others kind of mentally ill BTW) but I’ve known all of this – I was in therapy for a while but gave up on it and I guess on myself. But I can’t stress enough that I knew that all of this was coming it would just be a matter of how it played out. Even as I kept telling myself that I would get a job and wouldn’t let this happen at some level I knew this was what was coming

  38. 38
    nellcote says:

    FWIW Safeway delivers in the Phoenix area with a minumum order of $49.

  39. 39
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: Yes please see if you can set something up with Anne. I appreciate your honesty, but I don’t care that you knew this was coming. What I do know is that I can do something to help with cat food, people food, etc.

  40. 40
    onlymike says:

    I’d like to tell you a little about my late Aunt Flo if I may. She was awesome – I miss her still. She was physically frail but mentally sharp as a tack. I was living with her so she wouldn’t have to go to a nursing home. I continued to keep my apartment because she was adamant about not having the cats in her house (I think they could have adapted to being outdoor cats but I didn’t push it) I would go to my apt in the evenings and spend some time with them and feed them canned cat food and make sure they had enough kibble to get through the day. Anyway about my Aunt – I learned about what a true swing voter is through her – she had been a republican forever but was disenchanted with the Bush administration (not as much as she should have been but oh well…) and wavering on voting for McCain – she like Obama but that need to vote R was strong – and then McCain chose Palin for a running mate – that was strike one – his behavior during the financial crisis was strike two but strike three surprised me – when Colin Powell endorsed Obama that’s when she told me “I think I’m going to have to vote for your guy.”
    So there are voters who can be swung(?) and endorsements can make a difference.
    BTW this lady went on a tour of Australia by herself when she was in her late 70s and already physically frail – she was a pistol.
    There aren’t many things I’m proud of but I am proud that I was able to keep her from having to go to a nursing home – she could have afforded it (her estate was about 120K – split 4 ways) but didn’t want to give up her independence and never had to thankfully.

  41. 41
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Joy in FL:

    Mike, I can’t help you with your cats. But I just want to send you a kind word.

    Obviously I don’t know your situation, but I know anyone can do things that have disastrous consequences. Move through this part of your life the best you can and grow from what you experience.

    May your Phantom and Sophia find a home and may you have what you need.

    I cannot do better than this, so I’ll quote it. Good thoughts to you.

  42. 42
    elisabeth says:

    Heh. Sounds like me from 2007 to 2008. Sold a house in MS and pocketed almost! 50k. Moved to Vermont without a job or apartment. Got lucky on the latter and not so on the former. I lived off of that money for a year and not always wisely. Ended up dedaulting on my student loans and credit card. Cable got cut off and almost lost electric. Cut myself off from friends years ago. Figured I’d do it to them before they did it to me. That’s partly why I’m alone on Christmas.

    Anyway, now I have a crappy job not in the field for which I am now repaying those student loans bvut I am in my “forver” home with my two feline reasons for living.

  43. 43
    onlymike says:

    @eclare: I’ll e-mail AL my address. Thankyou.

  44. 44
    elisabeth says:

    (Typing on a phone sucks!)

    Anyway, you’re not the only one who has ever acted … unwisely. :) And good luck!

  45. 45
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @onlymike: And I can’t stress enough that you needed, and need medical treatment. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on the internet, but I suspect that you failed to avoid this to the extent that you are ill and did not get treatment. Please look into what resources for mental health – with an MD who has psychiatry as board certification – treatment are available to you. Look to your local NAMI for ideas or email me at FLSgreen at Gmail dot com. I can point you to a NAMI in your area who should have an idea what it’s like for low cost tx on the ground there.

  46. 46
    onlymike says:

    @Suzanne: I do need cat food and cat litter – I haven’t e-mailed my address to AL yet I’ll do that next. Thank you and thanks to everyone at Balloon Juice.

  47. 47
    karen marie says:

    @onlymike: I’m hearing you, kid. I’m a hair away from homeless myself. Walked away from an underwater house in MA a year ago, drove out to AZ last December with what I could fit in my small car, hoping my brother could rescue me. Alas, he wasn’t doing all that well either, so I’m renting a room at this point, sort of working, earning enough to just get the rent paid and feed myself, my little spaniel and my 10-year-old cat. I will live in my car with the two of them, if it comes to that. I can’t give them up.

  48. 48
    Ruckus says:

    Don’t know if you saw the info on the VA from the other night. But there is a 24/7/365 number to call, 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 if you can’t wait till Wed. Please get your butt over to the VA or call. You have been there before and know they can help.
    There are way too many of us close to or in a similar situation and I’ll bet we have a pretty good idea what it generally feels like. The VA has been wonderful for me I know that and appreciate it more than I can explain. There are many people here rooting for you and many willing to help in whatever way they can. Take advantage of us, it’s OK.

  49. 49
    onlymike says:

    @Ruckus: I did get the number last night, thanks. I’m going to call tomorrow. I sent Anne Laurie my physical address. I want to thank everyone again – it does help to know people care. I just honestly don’t know if I can turn things around at this point – but what else can I do – I can’t keep going like this obviously and I’m not suicidal so …I have to try.

  50. 50
    Suzanne says:

    @karen marie: Are you in the Phoenix/East Valley area? My mom might be looking for a roommate, and she is OK with pets, if you need somewhere to live.

  51. 51
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: it just hit me, Western Union. Where’s the closest Western Union to you, probably in a grocery store, so you can pick up food and litter all at once? And your Aunt Flo sounds like a great woman, so glad you were able to let her stay at home.

  52. 52
    onlymike says:

    @eclare: There’s a Western Union just around the corner – BTW when I sent AL my physical address I sent the wrong street number. I just sent her another email correcting it. My street number 611 but I sent her 1601 – the street number of a house in Anchorage Alaska that I moved away from in 1996! I’m seriously losing it – pretty sad when you don’t know your own address.

  53. 53
    onlymike says:

    @onlymike: Also AL sent me the numbers for three no-kill shelters in Phoenix which is good to know – I’d rather get them into a home right away than in a shelter but better than having them put down. I just couldn’t do that to them.

  54. 54
    onlymike says:

    @eclare: There’s a Safeway that has a Western Union service close by – Safeway #0174. Is that enough information? I found it on a site listing Western Union Agents but it doesn’t give an ID # for the Western Union agent itself so I’m assuming the Store # will be enough. It’s only about a block from me.

  55. 55
    demz taters says:

    @karen marie: Hello from another Mass-to-Arizona transplant!

  56. 56
    SuzieC says:

    From my sister who volunteers with these groups;, HALO Animal Rescue, or Ruby Ranch.

  57. 57
    J R in WV says:


    We’ve all had time in our lives where things look pretty bleak.

    45 years ago I was in Philly w/o job or money, I passed out free newspapers and asked for donations to raise money to get back home. One tiny step away from panhandling.

    You need at least anti-depressant meds, and probably others. There are a host of medications for different types of mental imbalances. I see that knowing this and being able to take advantage of this are not the same thing.

    Your cats sound like really good companions, and you need to take care of yourself so you can continue to take care of them, I wish I could take them, but we’re already full of cat!

    Best of Luck!

  58. 58
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: should be there in fifteen minutes. Get cat food, and go to the VA and tell them you are in a crisis and need to see someone ASAP. Any issues with Western Union, they have my cell. Clerk here said AZ was weird to ship to.

  59. 59
    onlymike says:

    @eclare: Thankyou so much – my situation has been getting rapidly – i still can’t believe that my friend never called back. Maybe my desperation wass a little too much and caused her to recoil, maybe she’s just overwhelmed by the holidays I don’t know. If she had called me back and told me she couldn’t help, that money was too tight or something like that I would have understood. One of the things I realized while speaking to her was how much I’d missed her. I’d realized it before of course and just not done anything about it but hearing her voice just made it so blindingly clear.
    I haven’t called the Va het but will as soon as I get back = it’s going to take me a little while to get out of the apt it’s gotten to the point where I have to psych myself up to do it especialyy if it’s during daylight hours but the cats are getting hungry (ran out of kibbe this morning early) so thats a big motivator.
    I’m still hoping that some B’Juicers will be able to take them rather than a shelter but at least there are no-kill options so that makes me feel better.
    Thankyou again I’ll update you as soosn as i get back.
    Shhould I start commenting in the next open thread or stick with this one?

  60. 60
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: let’s just stick with this one to know you got the Cash. Just Picked up my Xanax ER, I know what it’s like to not be able to leave the house. If you get cat food and call the VA today, you will have accomplished a lot in just two days. Baby steps are the way to go.

  61. 61
    onlymike says:

    @eclare: I got a email from AL syaing she would repost this tomorrow so yeah for now lets continue on here. I haven’t left yet – it’s probably going to take me another half hour.

  62. 62
    pat schulz says:

    Don’t know if anyone has mentioned this group, but Lost Our Homes rescue kicks in for EXACTLY the reason you are in dire straits. They might be able to offer some help in your situation, foster or perhaps another good solution – PLEASE give them a call!


  63. 63
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: have you made it out?

  64. 64
    onlymike says:

    @eclare: I’m back – having trouble with my computer – there was a form i had to fill out and the form requiures your first and last name and city and state. I told him that you had left your cell #. He said it was a requirement of western union not the store’s policy. Can you email AL with the info and i’ll check my email later.
    I had a dollar and some change so I bought a couple cans of catfood so they’re okay for now. I was going to go to QuikTrip around the corner early this morning and get a can but they cost more and the kibble lasted longer than i thought it would so I waited until today when the store was open so I gould get two insted of one.
    I’m worried about my computer goint out on me. It wouldn’t come up at all earlier. I’m going to run out of my service in a week or so; i get it through the apt complex so even if i had the money i don’t know if they’d allow me to buy it since i’m being evicted. I’m going to be really cut off when that happens but now i’m worried if the computer will even last that long.
    And I haven’t called the VA yet – i don’t know why i feel apprehensive about it but i do. The number is a 24hr hotline so i can still call later.
    thank you again

  65. 65
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: please let me know that you get my email. And I know it’s hard, but getting help was the best thing I ever did. Just meeting people who had the same issues helped. Again, baby steps. Just call tomorrow but explain your situation, you might be surprised. It is never as hard as you think it will be, for 99% of things.

  66. 66
    onlymike says:

    @eclare: Hi – I don’t know if i have or not – are you in Canada? If so then I got it. I will call the VA I promise. And i know that they can help. Just having everybody here showing such concern helps – it really does.

  67. 67
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: Canada? No I’m in TN and I sent that info in the personal email. But if anything goes wrong tomorrow email me and I’ll take care of it during lunch. I go back to cube town tomorrow and have less time to flow threads, but let’s get y’all taken care of.

  68. 68
    onlymike says:

    Then I haven’t gotten your email – i just checked again. Can you try sending it again?

  69. 69
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: I just sent the info to AL and to you. And if your computer goes out, remember the library has free ones.

  70. 70
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: Keep me posted, again, I can go out during lunch if I need to redo anything.

  71. 71
    onlymike says:

    @eclare: I have it now – i just called the VA (phew!) and they put in a consult for me – someone is going to be calling me back this afternoon so I can’t go to the store until this evening (the Western Union agent is 8a-8p so I should still be good.)

  72. 72
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: Yeah! That’s great news!

  73. 73
    Denali says:

    So glad you took that step and called!

  74. 74
    onlymike says:

    @eclare: Still awaiting the call. BTW the message in your email didn’t show up. I see the beginning of it in the email alert – but when I click on the email itself it’s just your name and city and state (?) I’ve been in contact with other Balloon Juicers over the last couple of days and haven’t seen that so I don’t know what’s causing that. I keep reclicking on it to see if it will come up but it comes up the same. All I have is: I was afraid there would be issues. The clerk I dealt with asid she had seen such requirements for … and that’s whats in the email alert line not in the email itself. Just letting you know this in case there was something in there that I haven’t responded to.
    Another Bj’er has sent me a link to change that John Madigan thing so I’ll be doing that this afternoon. Right now I’m going to update everyone on another thread – I’m pretty sure we’re the only two still in this one.
    Thanks again

  75. 75
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: Hmmmm, don’t know what happened, my phone has been acting funny lately. All I was saying was that the clerk said she had seen all of these requirements for sending money to other countries, but never for a state. I blame your batshit crazy governor. Anyway, good luck with everything, and again, look at all of the progress you’ve made in a few days!

  76. 76
    eclare says:

    @onlymike: Oh, and I’ll stop in this thread and follow in the other one so you don’t have to update two.

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