Celebrating Our Pumpkin-Colored Friends

Abner cat The Lily Pond Animal Sanctuary and Gardens

The rich colors of the Autumn season and the many pumpkins on display around the neighborhood have inspired us to celebrate two of our pumpkin-colored pets here at the sanctuary!

ABNER is a senior kitty who arrived at The Lily Pond in February 2017. He once had a family who decided they didn’t want him anymore and abandoned him on the side of the freeway. They simply pulled into a rest stop, opened the car door so he could jump out, slammed the door and sped away. Abner was left alone and confused in a snow bank in the middle of a cold February day in upstate New York. Fortunately, a kind soul in the parking lot witnessed the heartless act, scooped him up and took him home. Unfortunately, they could not keep him and began contacting rescues. Fortunately, one of the rescues called The Lily Pond to ask if we could accept a friendly neutered cat in need of a home. We immediately agreed. Best decision ever!!

With his ready purr, wide staring eyes, and charming personality, this ginger kitty won us over immediately. He is always helpful at mealtimes, hopping up on the counter to step in all the food bowls before we fill them. Abner has always been a little clumsy, often missing the mark and falling flat on his back. We caregivers have learned to act as his safety net, rushing to his side when we notice him preparing to leap. He only has this issue when jumping in an upward direction. Several times, we’ve seen him at the top of the highest cat tree aiming to jump a long way down to a nearby chair. He sails through the air and always lands successfully into the center of the cushion with a loud plunk! We’re also pretty sure there’s a saber-toothed tiger in his gene pool judging from the size of his front fangs. Never one to bite, he just shows them off when he sleeps with his mouth wide open.

Abner’s a big mush who love to snuggle, but it wasn’t long before a curious thing began to occur at the cat house. Not only does Abner sleep in the most comical positions, but the other cats seem to think it a good idea to plop right down on top of him and take a nap! We’ve never seen any of the cats do this to any other cat, but they all seem to agree that Abner is quite a comfy spot upon which to settle down for a lengthy snooze. And Abner doesn’t seem to mind either. We wonder if he might have a blinking neon sign over his head only visible to cats that reads “Comfy Pillow Here.” Check out these hilarious photos of “Abner the Pumpkin Pillow!” ????

TIG is a senior Cocker Spaniel who arrived at The Lily Pond in September 2018 with his friends Brodie and Jeb. They were a neglect case; former working dogs at a local hunt club who had been left alone in the basement of a condemned house after their owners moved out due to a fire. The three amigos arrived at the sanctuary covered in fleas and matts and Tig’s ears were a solid carpet of burrs. Fortunately, our groomer was up to the challenge and all three looked like brand new dogs. We were told that Tig is 15 years old, but he has the energy of a youngster. He is often so excited to go outside that he launches himself in the air, and for just a moment he rather resembles a dog-shaped kite flying high at the end of a leash-shaped string.

Tig fancies himself the alpha dog despite being the smallest member of our pack. This is not hard to understand when you consider that he was one of the top bird dogs at the hunt club. He was so famous for flushing out pheasants in large quantity that he earned the nickname “The Boss.” Tig arrived at the sanctuary most definitely not housebroken and with little to show in the way of basic obedience skills, but his refusal to chew on toys and instead just carry them around in his mouth harkens back to his training in handling a bird without damaging it. This dog loves to chase a ball, but has not quite grasped the protocol of a game of fetch wherein the dog drops the ball so it can be thrown again. Nope. Once Tig has the ball, he’s keeping it! Our boy has many other talents, particularly the ability to knock over a water bowl no matter how well-secured. He has a signature technique of running at full speed and pouncing on the bowl such that it launches into showering orbit with a kick of his back foot. He practices daily and we strongly suspect he sets goals for both the number of bowls toppled and the height of the waterfall.