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Comfort for Critters

~ Celebrating 10 Years & 50,000 Blankets ~

april 2018 CRITTER NEWS!

Spring has sprung and has blessed CFC with a fantastic March. More importantly, the shelters and homeless pets we comfort were blessed as well!

We not only shipped over 1,000 blankets for the 7th month in a row...we were able to donate over 1,600 blankets in March! Together we helped 66 different shelters and our blankets found their way to over half of the states in the US! Of course, all of this was only accomplished with YOUR help and the other 100+ volunteers and supporters during the month.

However you helped us last month ... making blankets, donating yarn, sponsoring a shipment or just sending an encouraging card... please know that your efforts are truly appreciated and truly do make a difference. You have told over 1,600 homeless pets that they are NOT forgotten!

    Blessings, 

Linda

Your Beautiful Creations!

a Special thank you from ... Whitman County!

     

"Thank you very much for the blankets! I have attached some pictures of animals using them! Thank you so much!" (Pets pictured left to right: Cory, Jules, Triscuit)

~ Whitman County Humane Society

Shelters Who Received Our Blankets in march

  1. ADOPT - Naperville, IL
  2. A Forever Home Animal Rescue - Tavares, FL
  3. Alton Area Animal Aid Association - Godfrey, IL
  4. Animal Protective Association of Missouri - St. Louis, MO
  5. Animal Protective League - Springfield, IL
  6. ARF-IL/Animal Rescue Foundation - Lisle, IL
  7. Arizona Humane Society - Phoenix, AZ
  8. Asheville Humane Society - Asheville, NC
  9. Aurora Animal Control Shelter - Aurora, IL
  10. Berkeley County Humane Society - Martinsburg, WV
  11. Bideawee - Westhampton, NY
  12. Blessed Bonds - Palos Park, IL
  13. Boone Area Humane Society - Boone, IA
  14. Brampton Animal Services - Brampton, ON
  15. Bucks County SPCA - Lahaska, PA
  16. Buddy Foundation - Arlington Heights, IL
  17. Cat Guardians - Lombard, IL
  18. Catnap from the Heart - LaGrange Park, IL
  19. Chenango SPCA - Norwich, NY
  20. Clay County Animal Services - Green Cove Springs, FL
  21. Cocheco Valley Humane Society - Dover, NH
  22. Connecticut Humane Society - Newington, CT
  23. Dane County Humane Society - Madison, WI
  24. Davis County Animal Services - Fruit Heights, UT
  25. DAWS - Bethel, CT
  26. Delaware Humane Association - Rehoboth Beach, DE
  27. Delaware SPCA - Rehoboth Beach, DE
  28. DuPage County Animal Control Shelter - Wheaton, IL
  29. Emerald City Pet Rescue - Seattle, WA
  30. Fox Valley Animal Welfare League - North Aurora, IL
  31. Friends of Felines - Stamford, CT
  32. Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit - Dearborn, MI
  33. Harmony House for Cats - Chicago, IL
  34. Headwaters Animal Shelter - Park Rapids, MN
  35. Helping Paws Pet Haven - Huntington, IN
  36. Hinsdale Humane Society - Hinsdale, IL
  37. Humane Rescue Alliance - Washington, DC
  38. Humane Society of Hancock County - Findlay, OH
  39. Kendall County Animal Shelter - Yorkville, IL
  40. Kindred Kitties - Kenosha, WI
  41. Lawrence County Humane Society - New Castle, PA
  42. Little Shelter Animal Rescue - Huntington, NY
  43. Lowell Humane Society - Lowell, MA
  44. Marion County Animal Services - Ocala, FL
  45. Mary's Kitty Korner - Granby, CT
  46. Midland OSPCA - Port McNicoll, Ontario
  47. Monroe County Animal Shelter - Madisonville, TN
  48. Montgomery County SPCA - Conshohocken, PA
  49. Naperville Area Humane Society - Naperville, IL
  50. North Shore Animal League America - Port Washington, NY
  51. North Texas Cat Rescue - McKinney, TX
  52. Operation Kindness - Carrollton, TX
  53. Orillia OSPCA - Orillia, Ontario
  54. Pawmetto LIfeline - Columbia, SC
  55. PAWS - Norwalk, CT
  56. Quincy Humane Society - Quincy, IL
  57. Red River SPCA - Whitesboro, TX
  58. Roanoke Valley SPCA - Roanoke, VA
  59. Royce's Rescues - Richboro, PA
  60. Saving Cats & Kittens in Michigan - Westland, MI
  61. Spay & Stay - Vernon Hills, IL
  62. Stevens-Swan Human Society - Utica, NY
  63. Tails Humane Society - DeKalb, IL
  64. Triple R Pets - Willow Springs, IL
  65. West Suburban Humane Society - Downers Grove, IL
  66. Will County Humane Society - Shorewood, IL

 For a complete list of shelters we support ...

Click here!

Shelter Thank You's...

"Thank you so much for the wonderful blankets you sent. It is so appreciated!! They always go to such great use. We really appreciate your support. Warmest wags!!" ~ Humane Society of Utah

"The Humane Society of Hancock County sincerely thanks you for the gift of the handmade blankets made for the animals in our care. We truly appreciate your thoughtfulness. The staff is dedicated to helping the homeless animals in every possible way. We thank you for thinking of the animals." ~ Humane Society & SPCA of Hancock County

"We got our box of beautiful, comforting blankets for the cats. I swear, each box is more beautiful than the last. Our kits and adopters love them! Thank you so much for including our furbabies in your donations!" ~  CatVando

"Thank you again for what all your amazing people do. The animals truly do love them and sleep better because of them. THANK YOU!" ~ Kane County Animal Control Shelter

"We want to be sure you know how very, very much we appreciate the beautiful handmade blankets that have been provided to APL's animals. Staff members are excited when the blankets arrive, the animals find comfort and the adopters are thrilled with them. Our gratitude is to you and your participants!" ~ Animal Protective League

Arrowhead Union High School Helps Wisconsin Pets!

One of the most rewarding aspects of CFC, is getting young people involved, and working with the leaders that help make this happen. One such leader is Kevin Lewandowski, School Psychologist and Key Club Advisor at the Arrowhead Union High School in Hartland, Wisconsin. He really got his school, and the students, behind the idea of reaching out to others!

He organized and planned a series of blanket making events, over multiple days, at this high school, as another way to get the kids involved in volunteering. He estimates that over 100 students were involved, volunteering a total of 260 hours. Wow!  The group made a total of 300 blankets, which is simply amazing! The blankets will be sent to a number of Wisconsin shelters, which participate in our program. I'm sure every shelter, and every pet, will love their soft fleece blanket and feel the caring tied into each one.

Lewandowski shared that the whole event turned out to be a lot of fun for the school. "The students really liked the opportunity to make these blankets to support local shelters," says Lewandowski. He had to overcome some obstacles to success, including securing all that fleece! Between receiving a grant and doing additional fundraising, that obstacle was overcome.

I was thrilled every time he emailed me with an update or question. I feel this is such an important lesson to be teaching the next generation, I was thrilled to help in any way I could. A big thank you goes to Kevin for organizing this project, on top of everything else in his job. Thank you Kevin... from the lucky pets, to the students lucky enough to have you as a leader!

Pets you are helping!

Shipping Funds Always Needed...

We now have some new ways to help us ship the 1,000+ blankets we donate to shelters each and every month. Visit Amazon or Etsy to purchase one of our inexpensive "Remnants Reborn" blankets created by Linda, CFC's founder, using only remnant yarn after making shelter blankets. You'll be sponsoring a big box of 20 blankets, which will be shipped to a shelter outside of Illinois!

If you're a fiber-artist yourself, you may prefer to purchase a pair of our "Comfort Paws" earrings, also created by Linda. They're under $10 and with the proceeds we can support a local Illinois shelter with our blankets!

             

Each item comes with the above card, to explain how it's helping homeless pets, so it makes a great gift!

Check out the current selection!


Compass Montessori School Helps shelter Pets!

Compass Montessori School, located in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, honored CFC this Valentine's Day by helping out shelter pets in their state!

This charter school enrolls children preschool age through 12th grade. It's their tradition to "Spread the Love" in their local community by volunteering on Valentine's Day. They've helped food banks, retirement homes, state parks, and now Comfort for Critters!

This year Amy, who coordinates this program, gathered all the 9-12 year olds, and helped them create some amazing things for two Colorado animal shelters. Together they made 10 dog blankets, 12 cat blankets and over 50 tug-toys for dogs! Their creations went to the Cat Care Society in Lakewood, CO and the Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies in Arvada, CO.

They are celebrating 20 years as a school this year, and you can see from the kids' faces how much they love helping others. CFC is grateful to Amy for reaching out to us and keeping us in the loop as she managed this project. We're also thankful that she shared all these pictures!

Some of Colorado's homeless pets are more comfortable because of these great kids. Their comfy blanket will be with them for their lifetime. The lesson they learned, that volunteering can be a blast, is likely to last a lifetime too!

      

Love Languages of Cats

Humans clearly have “love languages” – defined as the way they express, and like to receive, love. So why not cats? Your kitty expresses themselves each and every day….are you missing their signals or receiving them loud and clear? Check out the three “love languages” of cats and see which your little one prefers (or maybe they like all three!).

Communication

Communication is the clearest way for many people to understand, especially when it comes to purring. Hearing your cat purr whenever they are around you, is a sure sign of love. Often this purr is a bit different than other times your cat purrs, and engages their entire body. They are saving this type of purr, just for you.

Check out the opposite end for another sign. When your cat holds their tail in a relaxed position and just flicks the very tip…that’s a sign of love and happiness too.

Demonstration

Cats have many tools to use when it comes to demonstrating their love. One of the most common is when they “knead” you. They are showing the same attachment to you, as they did when they nursed as a baby, labeling you as very special indeed. They may even move in for the “head-butt”, which for a cat is a huge signal. This is their way of dousing you with pheromones, which tag you as their “possession” (from a cat, that’s a compliment).

Does your cat lick your hair? They are actually grooming you, as their way of showing love (as they would to each other). They are expressing that you are part of their family and they are caring for you as they would a kitten or sibling.

If you’ve ever considered your cat to be more of a dog, because of the way they follow you around, greet you at the door, or are always hanging around you…they are showing you love. This includes all the times they are rubbing your legs and seemingly trying to trip you!

A final way cats demonstrate their love can be a bit unsettling. If you have an outdoor cat which brings you pieces of what they’ve killed, considered yourself loved. Cats are natural hunters, so when they share their “prizes” with you, they are giving you a tangible present!

Trust

The language of trust is the most overlooked, but once it’s explained, it’s hard to miss. If your kitty stretches out on her back, exposing her tummy, this is huge! She is putting herself in a vulnerable position and making herself defenseless. A cat would never take this position without complete trust in you. If they roll around at your feet, in an attempt to get your attention, this again means they feel loved and safe. They are letting themselves be vulnerable, simply because they feel protected by you.

Another time which they will only turn to those they love, is at nap time. When a kitty chooses your lap to curl up on and doze, you should feel special. This is their most vulnerable time, which is why they often go to a high perch or tuck themselves into a protected nook. If they lay out in the open, on your warm lap, they completely trust you to keep them from harm. Through trust, they are expressing bonding and love.

The Trifecta!

One behavior, the “slow blink”, perfectly blends all three love languages. Cats typically only lock eyes with people they know well and have come to trust. When they gaze at you and give you a slooowww blllinnnkk, they are communicating to you love and demonstrating their own sort-of-kiss. Try responding with a slow blink the next time you’re treated to this!

As with humans, cats can express themselves in multiple love languages. Consider yourself honored if your kitty chooses more than one, and remind yourself that this is just one more way that we receive comfort FROM our companion animals.

Together we have shipped 56,021 blankets!

March Blessings...

1,679 Blankets

66 Shelters*

26 States

112 Volunteers

  • We comforted a record number of pets in March by donating 1,679 blankets!
  • 66 different shelters, in 26 states (*plus Ontario, Canada) received our blankets, and most received a handful of toys as well.
  • These blessings were only possible because of the 112 volunteers who helped last month. Thank you!

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Special thank you from ... Furry Friends!

"Thank you, Comfort for Critters, for sending us goodies for our foster animals! Tucker, one of our foster's resident cats, tested them out and gave his stamp of approval.

We can't wait to use them and hand these blankets and balls out when our animal get adopted. Thank you very much!!"

~ Furry Friends Animal Rescue

CFC Wants Your Ideas!

I love to see the creativity of our volunteers, shown in the blankets they make for shelter pets. I am inspired daily by the volunteers’ blankets and want to share their ideas, just as often as I can!

If you have a unique idea for making a pet blanket, please consider sharing it with me, so that I can blog about it or post it on Facebook. Your fellow volunteers will thank you! Here are just a few ideas that have come across my desk lately…

(Read more)

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What CFC Volunteers Have to Say....

  • "I make blankets to give warmth to kitties living in the shelter. Hopefully the blankets will be attractive to people adopting the cats and provide the cat's scent when the forever family takes it home." ~ Elizabeth L. in Chevy Chase, MD
  • "I feel all animals deserve to feel loved. I think the blankets will help because the pets will leave the shelter with something that is theirs." ~ Carol M. in Joliet, IL
  • "I respect the mission of Comfort for Critters. I think the blankets will help, because everyone needs a cozy blanket!" ~ Ingrid R. in Wichita, KS
  • "I enjoy creating things and by giving those items away, it is so gratifying to know someone or something will benefit for those creations. Animals are scared and a metal floor is not a place any of them should sleep on. I know the blankets offer them physical comfort and hopefully some calm. Thank you for founding this organization to bring comfort to the lost, forgotten, and temporarily unwanted." Maxine B. in Akron, OH

A few friendly reminders...

Once you have some blankets made, please check our "Shelters Supported" page to find a shelter near you (or at least one in your state). Feel free to ship your blankets directly to them, or drop them off. The shelters rarely notify me when they receive blankets, so please let me know via our website form or in an email. 


Don’t forget to leave your name and address on the blankets or materials you drop-off at CFC headquarters in Glen Ellyn, IL so that I can send a thank you note.


Remember that we are all juggling CFC, jobs, pets and kids! We do reply to every inquiry, but it may take a day or two. Thanks for your patience!

3 South 139 Sequoia Drive

Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Linda Kastiel Kozlowski, Founder  info@Comfortforcritters.org