Welcome TICA Friends!

Our June newsletter reminds us that not only fun and friendship can be found in TICA's world, but that sometimes love and marriage can occur there too. I'm sure you'll enjoy reading our story on Janet Spain and Bob Rohraugh's journey from friendship to love and finally a wedding in a TICA show ring.

This issue also includes stories with some great reminders, such as the money-saving story on how to use TICA credits and a great reunion story that highlights the power of microchips.

Let us know what you think about the stories in this month's issue and tell us some of the topics you'd like to see in a future issue by emailing us  at newsletter@tica.org.

TICA Reminds Clients to Use Their Credits
Did you register a litter, renew your membership or order a pedigree and inadvertently overpay?  Did you throw that Executive Office notice of CREDIT DUE in a drawer, intending to use it on that next registration or to order a Yearbook - and then totally forgot about it?   Well, now it is easier than ever to keep track of any overpayments and credits. 
Simply log in to your TDS (TICA Data System) account and look for the "Available Credit" amount prominently displayed, in red, on the upper left hand panel.  The credit will automatically be available to you as an offset to your next TDS transaction! 
If you don't currently have a TDS account, there is no charge to open one and it is simple to do.  Click here and follow the prompts.
Credits aren't just available for services ordered through TDS Online.  They can be used for ANY transaction requiring payment to TICA's Executive Office.  
Simply note the amount of credit displayed in your TDS account and indicate you would like to use your credit as/part of payment when you send in your work via email to submit.work@tica.org or by fax to +1 (956) 428-8047.

A look inside TICA members' Janet Spain and Bob Rohrbaugh wedding during the Westchester Feline Club Cat Show May 20, 2017 at the Ramada Fishkill Conference Center in Fishkill, NY.

Love at First Showing: TICA Members Marry at Cat Show
They say love sometimes finds us in places we never think to look.

Members find not only fun and friendship through TICA, but sometimes love too. Bob Rohrbaugh and Janet Spain, found a friendship at a TICA cat show 15 years ago and that later turned into love and now marriage.

After attending numerous shows where Bob was showing Toygers and Janet Savannahs, the two got to know each other better and through their love of exotic breeds they found love themselves.

Janet recently told PEOPLE magazine, "Once we became a couple and started to travel and show our cats together, we spent many nights in hotels and show halls playing together. [The cats] had no idea that they were different breeds. They were friends like we were friends."

The couple became engaged two years ago, where else but at a TICA show in Florida.

"Once the judging was over, we brought our cats back to the hotel room," recalls Spain. "It was a beautiful evening ... We walked down to the beach with a bottle of champagne, glasses and a beach towel to watch the sunset. Bob leaned over and kissed me, and said 'will you marry me?' It was most romantic and, of course, I said 'Yes.'"

When it came time to plan their wedding there was no doubt where it should take place. Bob, now the secretary of the Westchester Feline Club and Janet, the club's show manager, were married last month by senior ab judge and minister Rene Knapp at the Club's 2017 show.
"We had our boy Midnight in a groom outfit, and the girl Toyger dressed as a bride at the show," Janet said. "They were not part of the ceremony, but helped share our celebration."
Do you have a story of fun, friendship or love found through TICA? Email us the details at newsletter@tica.org  

Debbi Hogg and her cat Joey
Cat Reunited with Owner After Two Years:
A Story of Hope and the Power of Microchips
Two-years ago, Debbi Hogg's mostly indoor household cat Joey went missing after wandering into the garage and out the open door.
Debbi immediately began her two-year search for Joey, which included offering a reward for his return, notifying shelters, posting information on local South Carolina social media pages, hanging signs on telephone poles and endless trips throughout her Charlotte-area neighborhood.
"I remained hopeful but as time passed the less likely it seemed that I would see him again," said Debbi. I felt like either something tragic happened, like he got hit by a car or that a coyote got him, or that someone found him and did not know he was missing or had a microchip."
During her search she received many calls from neighbors who saw stray cats. While none of the tips turned out to be Joey, she was able to find homes and proper vetting for two of the lost cats.
Debbi's hard work recently paid off when her prayers were answered after she got a call from the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Animal Care & Control saying they had found her loving cat.
Joey, who most likely had been living off the generosity of neighbors who had left food and water out for him, was found on the doorstep of a woman who lived just two miles away. The woman brought him to Animal Care & Control where the agency checked Joey for a microchip, and found contact information that led them to Debbi.
After being reunited, following what seemed like a lifetime, Joey leaped into Debbi's arms, nuzzled her neck and slipped back into his old ways within a week. "After two years I can tell he still remembers things. Last week he tried to crawl into the tiny hole he used as a kitten, but now only one paw could fit."
Debbi believes her story will give hope to owners of lost pets and remind pet-parents of the importance of microchips. "Chances are I never would have been reunited with Joey if I hadn't microchipped him and kept my information current."
Charlotte-Mecklenberg Animal Care & Control says that last year alone they reunited 19 cats and 914 dogs with owners thanks to microchips. Past reunions have included pets missing for as long as five years, including a dog found in Charlotte that had gone missing in New York. 

Members At Work

Forth Worth Feline Fanciers Round Up Results with Dallas Expo Show Partnership.  TICA and Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Products hosted a great turnout at the TICA booth during the Dallas Expo Show, May 20-21 at the Dallas Market Hall in Dallas Texas. Christie and Stephen Montgomery introduced hundreds of spectators to TICA's world and Dr. Elsey's products. As a result, TICA recruited at least five people to the exhibitor world including three new entries for the Oklahoma City show the following weekend, and when one couple asked they explained just how to transfer their cat's Fife registration to TICA. To find out how your club can take part in an Expo show contact Roeann Fulkerson at rfulkerson@tica.org or Cheryl Hogan at  cheryl@glory2glory.com .

Have you worked on a project that helps promote better care and understanding of cats? Or did your media report on your event? We'd love to hear about it and share with other TICA members. Please send photos and information about any projects you are working on or media clips to Newsletter@tica.org

ASK TICA colorful-fireworks.jpg

Q. My town is planning a big fireworks display next month and I know my cats will go crazy. How do I keep pets calm and safe during these loud celebrations?
A.  Your cats are not alone, nearly forty percent of felines are afraid of fireworks. Unlike people, cats don't associate the loud noise, flashes, and burning smell of pyrotechnics with celebrations. To keep your cat calm and safe during the "rockets red glare," TICA recommends the following tips:

  • Keep unused fireworks away from pets. Some fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as arsenic, potassium nitrate, and other heavy metals.
  • Once the festivities begin, keep your pets in a safe escape-proof room where they can feel comfortable.
  • Keep sights and sounds outside by lowering the blinds and turning on the television. Play soothing music in the background to counteract loud noises.
  • Give overly anxious pets special attention and speak in soothing tones to help them relax.
  • Make sure your cats have proper identification tags with up-to-date information. 
  • If your pets aren't already microchipped, talk with your veterinarian about microchipping. This simple procedure can greatly improve your chances of getting your pets back if they become lost.

Do you have a question to ask TICA about breeding, shows or anything about cats in general? No question is too big or small to ask. Just send your question to Newsletter@tica.org  and we will answer your question in a future issue of the newsletter.

Click the photo to see cats working at Ferray Corporation.

Tokyo Firm Employs Cats to Reduce Stress in the Workplace
Japanese workers have long been known for working long hours, having high stress levels and being unable to own pets due to limited time and restrictions from their landlords. The Tokyo based IT company Ferray Corporation claims to have the cure with cats!
Hidenobu Fukuda, who heads the firm, introduced an "office cat" policy back in 2000 at the request of one of his employees, allowing staffers to bring their felines to work. Today, the company is home to nine rescue cats who eat, sleep and walk freely throughout the workplace to comfort and help relieve the stress levels of employees. They also welcome employees who bring their pets to the office, making every day "Bring Your Pet to Work Day."
As a result, the company has reported a positive impact on workers' productivity and morale since adding cats to the workplace. Specifically, they note that o ffice communication has dramatically improved, and credit the cats with having helped strengthen their team spirit and alleviate stress.
The firm values their feline friends so much that they encourage their employees to be involved in rescuing and adopting by paying workers a bonus of 5,000 yen ($45) for every cat they rescue.
The trend seems to be catching on with other Japanese companies. Among them, Oracle Japan employed an Old English Sheepdog as a "greeting and healing ambassador" and Pasona Group "hired" two goats and two alpacas as full-time employees used for healing purposes.
Does your office allow pets? If so, let us know or tell us your thoughts of pets in the workplace at newsletter@tica.org.

Meet the Purrmaids: TICA's Newest and Cutest Business Partners
Meet the Purrmaids TICA's newest Endorsement of Excellence recipient and home to a variety of adoptable cat mermaid plush toys, each with distinct personalities.

Each Purrmaid is complete with masterful embroidery, hand-sewn with soft minky fabric, and filled with soft polyester. Each large Purrmaid retails for $40 plus shipping & handling. 

Current adoptions are open for: 

  • The Calicoi (half Calico, half Koi). They are shy and love to observe the beauty of the world while admiring the wonders of life. Calicoi always keep your deepest secrets locked away in their hearts.
  • The Toygershark (half Toyger, half shark). They are the friendly ambassadors of the waters, spreading love wherever they go. If someone is hurt, the Toygershark will come to their rescue.
  • The Siamese Betta (half Siamese, half Betta fish). They are the sassiest of the waters, who love to talk, gossip and whisper secrets, but are quick to tell you of any wrongdoing.
  • The Orange Tabby (a Mackerel). They are the most mischievous, with a clever mind and talent for practical jokes, but are also the most loyal of companions who will always answer the call for help.
A "Black Baby Purr" is also available for $15. They are known to roam the sea while playing games. Some hide in cookie jars while others have been found stealing tuna or cheddar from freshly made sandwiches.

For more information or to adopt a Purrmaid of your own visit Purrmaids.com.

Cat Writers' 2016 Muse Medallion Award-Winning Book
"Cats for the GENIUS"
As cat owners know, proper care of felines takes time, a lot of knowledge, and a lifetime commitment. Ramona D. Marek's award-winning new book, Cats for the GENIUS, shows new cat owners how to build a foundation for a long, healthy, happy relationship with their most recent feline family member.
This easy-to-read book serves as a comprehensive guide to teach new owners how to be exceptional cat parents. Topics range from finding the right breed and preparing your home for your cat's arrival, to the basics of food, nutrition and grooming. There is also extensive information on health and behavior. The author shares many of her own personal cat experiences throughout the book and each chapter includes useful tips, such as how to make a homemade non-toxic household cleaner.
"This is a great book for cat owners and want-to-be cat owners," said 11 year-old cat owner Ashby Fulkerson. "After reading this book you will know a lot about caring for cats. I think my cat is happier because I read this guide. It's long, but I enjoyed it. I particularly liked the section on communicating because it teaches the basics of what a cat is saying. The part on cat behavior was useful because it explains why they scratch furniture."
A look inside the book, including the table of contents and summary of chapters, can be found here.
About the Author: Award-winning author, Ramona D. Marek, MS Ed. is a life-long cat lover who grew up writing fantasy stories about animals. More recently, her work about the mystery, myths and misunderstanding of cats and other animals, has been published in many outlets including Animal Wellness, Catnip (Tufts), Cat Talk, CatWatch and DogWatch (Cornell), CAT FANCY, and Pet Product News International.
Ramona grew up with dogs as pets and while in high school, along with her siblings, devised a supreme master plan to add a cat to their family. Today she is the owner of a 12 year-old Siberian named Tsarevich Ivan and nine year-old Natasha Fatale.
Read more about Ramona's cat-owning experiences and her journey to becoming an award-winning pet author here.

Do you have a book about cats or pets that you would like TICA to review. Send us your suggestions at newsletter@tica.org

An Update from the WINN Foundation

2017 Winn Media Award. BJ Bangs was recently presented with the 2017 Winn Media award at the annual BlogPaws Conference in Myrtle Beach, SC. Winn's Executive Director, Dr. Vicki Thayer, made the announcement in a streaming video at the conference awards ceremony. BlogPaws highlights the work of all bloggers, writers and individuals who promote information about pets. BJ Bangs was selected in part because she absolutely loves cats. Her blog,  Paws for Reflection focuses on anything and everything that impacts cats around the world. This includes travel, book reviews, rescue, state and local legislation affecting pets, and problems caused by pet overpopulation. Currently she is focusing on the Feline Fix by Five program endorsed by Winn and other organizations through sharing the initiative's goals and story with others.
The final countdown to register for Winn's Symposium! Are you ready? 
Winn's Symposium Registration will be open until June 26th. The scheduled speaker is Dr. Niels Pedersen from the University of California-Davis. He will discuss current information on FIP diagnosis, prevention and treatment. Additional details and registration information can be found  here.
Winn Ads for Cat Show Catalogs. There are updated ads available from Winn for cat show catalogs. Contact Winn at info@winnfelinefoundation.org for any materials that might be needed by members.
June Planned Giving Tax Tip: How to Take Advantage of Matching Funds
An often overlooked way to make charitable contributions is by using other peoples' money.  Socially conscious businesses may donate a portion of their proceeds to charity or by offering matching funds. 
For example, the online retailer Amazon has a program called Amazon Smile.  By enrolling and using the "Smile" site Amazon will make donations of 0.5% of qualifying purchases.  You need to sign up and select the Winn Feline Foundation Inc.  Winn also works with the IGive and Giving Assistant programs to receive additional contributions.
Some employers will also match employee donations to qualified charities (usually up to a certain amount).  If your employer has a matching program but needs additional information to include Winn, we can assist them with any paperwork. When you donate, the following email acknowledgment has a method to check if your employer will offer a matching donation or view Winn's matching gift program webpage
Don't forget at tax time that you can only deduct the amount of your charitable contributions, not money given by others.

Cats Among Blood Donors at Michigan State University

Millions of Americans are saved each year by those who donate blood. But often unreported are the many dogs and cats who help save the lives of other animals through blood donor programs.
For more than 40 years, the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine has used blood donations from volunteer cats and dogs to give transfusions to animals in need. Blood is often used for transfusions to treat anemia, low red blood cell counts, and for blood loss during surgery or trauma, among other uses.
Michigan State annually provides the clinic approximately 400 units of canine blood transfusions and about 100 units of feline blood transfusions.

Image source: Instagram user omar_mainecoon
Stephy Hirst with her almost 4 foot Maine Coon Omar

  New Record Holder for World's Longest Cat

Meet Omar, quite possibly the world's longest cat. This Maine Coon, owned by Stephy Hirst of Melbourne, Australia, measures 3 feet 11 inches (120 centimeters) in length.

The current record-holder is a cat named Ludo, from West Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, who measures 3 feet 10.59 inches (118.33 centimeters).
Hirst says she has submitted Omar's measurements to Guinness but the record hasn't yet been confirmed. Stay tuned.

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