Mr. Frisky was my first rescue. He was a street cat who showed up about a week after the Holidays. I suspect he was a “gift” to someone who didn’t want him, because no one in the neighborhood had ever seen him before. He was so friendly and so hungry and thin, I opened a can of albacore tuna and gave it to him. He ate the whole thing so fast I was afraid he’d get sick. He finished eating and sat down to wash his face. It was clear he had no plans to leave!
Over the following weeks I continued to feed him and give him a place to sleep. I went door to door and put up flyers, notified local shelters and rescues, veterinary clinics. He had no microchip, no collar, and no one in the neighborhood had ever seen him before that week he showed up at my house.
It became clear he was here to stay, so it was off to the Veterinarian for exam, vaccinations, neuter, microchip, the works! The Veterinarian declared him a Russian Blue mix of approximately 1.5 years of age, male (which had been obvious being un-neutered), and in good health. I named him Frisky because he was very playful and it was also the brand of food he liked best.
Over the next several weeks, it became clear who was in charge (not me). I filled his fancy new water bowl twice daily but it was rarely used as he insisted on drinking out of my water glass instead. If I slept past morning treat time (I kept dry food out all the time for grazing), he would grab a mouthful of my hair and pull it to wake me up. We ate dinner together and had long conversations. As long as I talked, he mewled back. He would sit regally to survey his new domain in the evenings, and it wasn’t long before he became Mr. Frisky or The Czar.
As he aged, he still remained very Royal, and was never a fan of being held. He preferred sitting on me or laying on the pillow just above my head while I slept. Up until he was 15 he continued to race around the house with his toys. As he aged towards 19, the arthritis in his hips slowed him down and he preferred laying in the sunshine patches by the window, or on the heating pad with the dog.
He passed away a few weeks before his 20th birthday, of just plain old age. He’d been a part of my life for 18 years. He was such a force, such a personality, I will never forget him. When I started this Organization, it seemed appropriate to name it in his Honor.
For many years Lauren has (and currently does) rescued, fostered, and fospiced (hospice foster) cats, dogs, and wildlife. Many of the cats and dogs are seniors and have a high level of medical needs, requiring daily IV fluids and injections. She does this work in addition to running this Organization.
The Early Years
Since she was a child Lauren loved animals. She was always trying to help strays and neglected animals, even then. As an adult she began volunteering at animal shelters and rescues, eventually learning how to do Vet Tech work, run Volunteer programs, and plan and host fundraisers.
One of the programs she was thankful to part of was delivering pet food and supplies to homebound or in hospice pet parents at the end stages of AIDS. Spending time with those pet parents, bringing their pet to see them once they went to hospice, and helping arrange new homes for their pets so at the end so they were not in anguish over their pet having nowhere to go.
Sheltering and Speaking
In addition to her animal sheltering work, Lauren advises shelters and rescues on animal care and volunteer programs, and speaks at schools and civic fairs about the humane treatment of pets (via Zoom since the Pandemic). She has also been on the radio talking about her rescue work and answering pet care questions. In the coming year, Lauren will be hosting live Zooms for Pet Parents on pet care and rescue.
Linda Schleicher-Dilks is a Northern girl living in the South who in her spare time enjoys reading literature by female authors and eating frozen yogurt. She currently cares for a small group of community cats in New Orleans and she hopes to be friends with every feline she meets.
Dr. Mullen has provided the Veterinary care and direction of care teams for our rescues, strays, and ferals for over a decade. He will be a Veterinary advisor to us as we work towards building free Veterinary clinics.
Dave McWhorter is originally from northern New York State and has previous non-profit experience. He has also volunteered at his local animal shelters, and cared for rescue dogs and cats.