How a Cat Sanctuary Comes to Life
As you know, Cats and dogs are supposed to be like oil and water, where the two in most cases never get along, except maybe when they’re raised together. They usually chase each other off on the street when they meet. But enter one Giant Boston Terrier, not Boston Bulldog as these do not exist, gotten from Austin Boston Rescue in Texas. This guy was quite a character from the very start. When his new humans met him for the first time, he was about eighteen months old and full of energy. It was love at first pounce for Mark, Jo Ann, Dorothy, and this Boston Terrier later to be called Bogey. Yes, after Humphrey Bogart. After he was adopted into the family he spent a bit over a year traveling the country in the cab of a tractor-trailer with Mom and Dad covering most of the 48 contiguous states, Quebec, and Ontario, Canada. Wherever he went, he brought a smile along with a bit of comedy and cheer. As an example, one time Mark and Jo Ann had to stay in a hotel while their truck was in the shop in Joplin, Missouri. When they walked down the hall heading to their room, with Bogey leading the way and snorting as he went, one of the guest room doors opened up as a woman poked her head out looking for the source of the noise in the hall. At the time Bogey was introduced, she commented she thought she had heard a potbelly pig in the hall. They all shared a laugh over that one, and a new friendship was born. That’s only one of many examples we can tell about the types of fun and cheer he would bring wherever he went.
Now to the cats and dogs. This dog started what is known today as Crazy Cat Sanctuary & Black Cat Rescue when he and the family called San Antonio, TX home. When he would go out for a walk, he would find kittens and young cats under bushes up and down the street as he walked the block. He would not move on until one of his humans picked up the kitten and told him they would take care of it until they found it a new home. His third rescue was a seven-week-old kitten that someone dumped over his back fence, figuring he would tear it up. One fence on either side of him that would have happened but not in his yard. The moment Bogey saw this squirming bundle, he decided it was time to take action. He dashed into the house to find his humans Sister (Dorothy), and Mom (Jo Ann). He dashed around going from room to room searching then went dashing outside and back in until they followed him. When they finally did, he showed them his newest discovery, later to be known as Madeline. When he heard the front door, he dashed back into the house and went to Dad (Mark) as he had done with Mom and Sister. Dad followed him out back to check out what had gotten him so excited, and was handed this new little bundle of fur. As I said, Bogey’s third rescue. The interesting thing about the two was that they became best friends. They napped together, played together, and generally stood watch together whenever daddy came home. Sadly, Madeline passed over the Rainbow Bridge in 2017 at age 13. But she had a good long life and brought much joy to the family and the Sanctuary.
The interesting thing about Bogey and cats is that if the cat was over six months old he would chase it off with no intention of hurting it, but if it was younger than six months he expected the humans to intervene and find it the help it needed and possibly a new furever home directly or through a no-kill shelter they worked with.
A few months later, one of Mark’s buddies had a cat who was living with his buddy and a woman who didn’t really like cats. One day, the woman put the cat in a room in their house with the windows closed and some open bottles of toxic cleaning solutions in the room. Had his friend not come home when he did, the cat would have died. Instead, Dad’s buddy called and asked if they might be interested in taking in another cat, and of course Dad said yes. In about an hour this new cat arrived and Bogey was there to meet it. The new cat was a beautiful black Bombay. Her previous daddy, Mark’s buddy, called her Tituba and that is the name she still had until the day she passed on at age fourteen. When she came in and after a few hisses were exchanged they became fast friends. Tituba became known as Bogey’s third rescue for the sanctuary, and he oversaw the continued raising of these two kittens daily.
This attitude continued even as the family was preparing to move to Kentucky. One day, about two weeks before they were to leave, a big cat appeared at the front of the house. The difference was that Bogey didn’t chase him off, even though he was over six months old. He was a very big boy. He was a young, thirteen-pound Main Coon and had a very long, soft coat. The humans believe Tituba had something to do with Bogey not chasing him off. Mom told Dad about him on the phone as dad was preparing to come home after being gone for three weeks driving his tractor-trailer truck all over the country. When dad pulled up in front of the house in his truck, the first thing he saw was this big cat, and the second was his boy Bogey. The humans figured Bogey wanted to introduce this cat to Dad. Dad looked at Bogey whose tail nub was wagging to beat the band, then back at the cat and Dad pronounced “I guess you have a new home,” as he picked up the cat while loving on Bogey. Now it’s three cats and one Boston Terrier. This cat became known as Boots, Bogey’s fourth sanctuary rescue.
Time to hit the road with three cats and one Boston in kennel crates, two humans and a Ford Aerostar packed to the roof with supplies for humans and animals heading from Texas to Kentucky. While on the road they would run into Dad several times in his truck and Bogey and the cats would get excited as he would give attention to “His Kids”. First, south of Dallas as it seemed almost like he was following the same route as them, then the last meet-up with Dad was as they crossed into Kentucky for the first time as a whole family in their new home state. Mom and Sister knew Dad was behind them by about fifteen minutes as they pulled into the rest area car parking area. Shortly after that, Dad rolled into the Big Truck parking area and came across whistling. Bogey thought he heard something familiar and wanted out of his crate. After a few more minutes, Sister opened his door, and he saw Dad. Out of the crate and across the parking area, this twenty-nine-pound Boston shot, right into Dad. When do terriers settle down, you might wonder? Maybe around seven years old, and Bogey was a long way away from that. And he never really settled down until he was around eleven. Then he just slowed down a bit.
Move-in day, September 1, 2009. When Mom, Sister, the Cats, and Bogey got to their new house in the country, the cats were not to sure because there were several other cats left behind by the former tenants and the scent was strange. Bogey, however, had to immediately check out the new place, including the other cats. These cats passed his inspection, and he helped Mom and Sister to round them up into the kennel crates they had traveled across the country in and helped take them down to a no-kill shelter they had found. Unfortunately, there isn’t a no-kill shelter close by anymore, and that’s when Crazy Cat Sanctuary and Black Cat Rescue officially came into existence.
After everyone got settled in and life routines started working on the new property, several new kitties got dumped on the property and Bogey was the first to check each one out. Then he would do his “Bogey Dash”, as it became known, to attract human attention, with even Maddy and Tituba getting involved. Boots would just sit up on the top-level of his cat tree to watch the action outside his window as if to say, “Too much excitement, leave me out of it as I’m comfortable.” When the no-kill shelter changed to a kill shelter transfer point, the only choice was to take in new kitties and care for them on the property. This meant more food, litter, treats, and kitty boxes. It also meant more veterinary visits and money needed for that. Even with this going on, Bogey wanted to oversee everything and had Maddy and Tituba helping him.
One of the first customers for the new sanctuary was a dark calico female. She came to the sanctuary as a dumped kitty. But not just as a dump, but as a pregnant dump. Bogey found her hiding under the van one day and took the time to let her know he was not going to chase her or bite her. Upon realizing the calico was safe, Bogey went into his “Bogey Dash” to get human attention. Another interesting thing about Bogey was he only did his dash with the reason being a new rescue needing human attention. This new Calico tiger became a permanent rescue and was given the name, with the help of Sister who is a cat whisperer, of Ms. Callie. Even though she has since gone over the Rainbow Bridge, she, like Bogey, is still a special part of Crazy Cat Sanctuary and Black Cat Rescue. The sanctuary is still one of her babies as a permanent resident…but that is another story.
Regrettably, Bogey had to be put down due to a stroke and several seizures after it, and his quality of life just got too poor. He lived thirteen beautiful and eventful years, during which he helped many cats and kittens to get a second chance and fur-ever homes. Mr. Bogey, one special Giant Boston Terrier who had a heart for his feline friends, will live on as a special part of the Sanctuary and will always have a special spot in the hearts of his humans.
Crazy Cat Sanctuary and Black Cat Rescue, the rescue and sanctuary started by a Giant Boston Terrier and his two feline companions…and Sister, aka Dorothy.
Rest in Peace Bogey, Maddy, and Tituba.
*Humphrey Bogart was Bogey’s favorite actor.*