Comfort for Critters

~ Celebrating 10 Years & 50,000 Blankets ~

March 2018 ~ CRITTER NEWS!

By the meteorological calendar, spring starts on March 1st. Living in the Chicago area, Spring can't come soon Happy Spring everyone! I'm anxious for my Crocuses (or Croci) to start popping through the frozen soil and I'm anxious about the upcoming Kitten Season. There's not much I can do to speed up the flowers, but I am doing everything I can to stock up the shelters! Kitten Season starts in March, and ends around June, so now is the time to get crafting. I know you are!

There's also great news to report in the state of California. Right now over 230 towns and counties across the US have banned the sale of pets from commercial facilities (ie. "mills") in pet stores. For the first time, an entire state has passed this same legislation. Way to go CA! This helps the pets, forced to live in horrible surroundings, but also animal shelters pets since they will no longer compete with puppies and kittens shipped from these "mills" into area pet stores. I sure hope other states adopt this same philosophy!

Together we comforted over 1,000 pets again in February, even though it was a short month. Thank you everyone! I also wanted to mention that I do record your address, when you provide it, so that I can send a thank you card. I keep this info (but I don't share it with anyone!) so once you give it to me, you don't need to provide it again every time you drop something off or sending me a notice that you've taken blankets to a shelter. I'm so appreciative of the time you spend making blankets, that I'd like to save you a bit of time, if I can!

                                                                               Go out and enjoy Spring...but bring yarn!


Your Beautiful Creations!

Shelters who received our blankets in February

A Forever Home - Tavares, FL

Almost Home - Elk Grove Village, IL

Animal Adoption Center - Lindenwold, NJ

Animal Defense League of Texas - San Antonio, TX

Animal Friends of Westmoreland - Youngwood, PA

ARF-IL- Lisle, IL

Bucks County Humane Society - Lahaska, PA

Cat Welfare Advocates - San Jose, CA

Cedar Bend Humane Society - Waterloo, IA

City Critters - New York, NY

Collin County Animal Services - McKinney, TX

DuPage County Animal Control Shelter - Wheaton, IL

East Providence Animal Control Shelter - East Providence, RI

Ellis County SPCA - Waxahachie, TX

First Avenue Shelter- Eugene, OR

Furry Friends Animal Rescue - Plano, TX

Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies - Arvada, CO

Hermitage Cat Shelter - Tucson, AZ

House Rabbit Society of Chicago - Westchester, IL

Humane Haven - Bolingbrook, IL

Humane Society of Delaware County - Delaware, OH

Humane Society of Harrisburg Area - Harrisburg, PA

Little Shelter Animal Rescue - Huntington, NY

Lowell Humane Society - Lowell, MA

Lulu's Locker Rescue - Chicago, IL

Marion County Animal Services - Ocala, FL

Miami-Dade Animal Services - Doral, FL

Montgomery County Animal Shelter - Conroe, TX

Naperville Area Humane Society - Naperville, IL

Nebraska Humane Society - Omaha, NE

New Hampshire SPCA - Stratham, NH

North Shore Animal League America - Port Washington, NY

North Texas Cat Rescue - McKinney, TX

PAWS - Pueblo, CO

PAWS - Norwalk, CT

Pitter Patter Feline Rescue - Stamford, CT

Rhode Island SPCA - East Providence, RI

Royce's Rescues - Richboro, PA

Seattle Area Feline Rescue - Shoreline, WA

Spay & Stay - Vernon Hills, IL

St. Francis Society Animal Rescue - Tampa, FL

Tails Humane Society - DeKalb, IL

Unleashed Pet Rescue - Mission, KS

West Suburban Humane Society - Downers Grove, IL

Whitley County Humane Society - Columbia City, IN

Whitman County Humane Society - Pullman, WA

Will County Humane Society - Shorewood, IL

For a complete list of shelters we support - click here!

Pets you are helping!

fun & easy indoor game for pups!

It’s been cold and snowy in the Midwest, so the two daily walks my pups get, just haven’t been happening. I know I miss the exercise, and I can imagine they do as well. To help pass the days inside, keep them alert, and give them a bit of exercise, we’ve been playing a fun “ball-game” that’s easy to put together and they really seem to enjoy it.

You’ll need an old muffin tin, a dozen tennis balls and some dog treats.  I started by putting a treat in each muffin cup and topped it with a tennis ball to “hide” it. You may also only put 2-3 treats in a couple of the cups, so they have to hunt down their treats! Since we have hardwood floors, I put a small dot of flannel on the bottom of the four corners of the muffin tin, so that it doesn’t scratch the floor as it’s gets scooted around by battling pups!

They seem to enjoy using their noses to dig out the tennis balls and see if there’s a reward or not. Fairly soon they were able to tell whether or not there’s a treat in an individual cup, without digging out the ball. Impressive!

If your dog loves tennis balls they may also enjoy pushing them around the room, even after the game ends. My younger dog will usually take one of the balls up to her bed, which is adorable. One word of warning is in order. Be sure to watch your step as they play. The balls will go everywhere. You’ll also have to search around a bit to collect them all. I consider this my part of the game!  It gives me some much needed exercise, until the weather breaks and we can get back out for a long walk!

Shelter "thank you's" . . .

  • "The Prattville Autauga Humane Society is so thankful for your recent gift of homemade blankets. They are just beautiful. I posted a photo of them on our shelter's Facebook page and a link to your group and it has inspired such a response! Local women can't wait to put their talents and knitting needles to use!" ~  Prattville/Autauga Humane Society -  Prattville, AL
  • "We'd like to thank you for your donated blankets! The cats and kittens in our care will put them to good use both before and after adoption!" ~ Capital Area Humane Society - Lansing, MI
  • "Our adopters love the blankets to take home with their new babies! They are always beautiful and we are so appreciative of the time and care that goes into each one!" ~ North Texas Cat Rescue - McKinney, TX
  • "Thank you so very much for your very generous donation of the blankets to the Fox Valley Animal Welfare League. We appreciate your kindness to the animals. You are very important to us and we cannot thank you enough for your continued support, it is truly appreciated." ~ Fox Valley Animal Welfare League - North Aurora, IL
  • "Thank you so very much for the box of beautiful, handmade blankets for our Emerald City Pet Rescue dogs, cats and critters! The blankets are amazing and will be put to use immediately. Our animals will love them! Thank you for thinking of ECPR!" ~ Emerald City Pet Rescue - Seattle, WA

What CFC Volunteers Have to Say....

Thank you for all the great comments left on the website. I read each one and I'm thrilled to work alongside such a great group of volunteers. Here's just a sampling of why other volunteers enjoy helping us, help homeless pets!

  • "I was looking for a way to support shelter animals and saw two articles about this organization. I know how much my cats like their own special blankets and am sure a shelter animal will as well." ~ Monica A. of North Bellmore, NY
  • "I love animals! We adopted two dogs from the Cedar Bend Humane Society and I would like to do what I can to help. My dogs are very attached to their blankets. I think easing their transition is a great idea. We all love our blankies!" ~ Kim C. of Grundy Center, IA
  • "I want to improve my knitting and crocheting skills. What better way to do that and help homeless animals too! My furbaby loves the blankets I've knitted for her. I'm hoping some dog or cat will feel that sense of comfort with a blanket of their own."  ~ Margo K. of Chelmsford, MA
  • "I have adopted a number of cats over the years from Almost Home. Love the caring people I've encountered there. Since retiring I enjoy being able to put to use some crafting skills and provide a comfy place for the cats and dogs waiting for their forever home. I think having some warm, colorful blankets in with the animals adds a 'homey' touch and reaffirms to prospective pet owners that the animals are being lovingly cared for."  ~ Helen S. of Carol Stream, IL

Remnant Challenge Follow Up!

If you read our January newsletter, you may remember the "Remnant Challenge" from CFC volunteer Kate, in Port Washington, NY. She challenged us to purchase a quantity of inexpensive remnant yarn at a garage sale, on eBay, etc. and see how many colorful blankets we could make from it.

Kate was joined by two friends (Donna and Meri), for this challenge, and together they created 33 Valentine's Day themed blankets (at right). They really enjoyed creating the colorful and unique blankets together. The shelter loved them so much that they posted these great pictures on Social Media (see below).

This trio is already getting ready for St. Patrick's Day! They broke down and purchased some green yarn, but I'm sure it'll be well-worth it to see cute kitties on their emerald green creations. I hope to see pictures!

Thank you ladies for sharing this fun idea and sharing your creativity with shelter pets!


Why Cats "Knead"

(Pictured: Kitty at the Treehouse Humane Society in Chicago, kneading their brand new CFC blanket.)Many of our volunteers picture cats and kittens kneading their creations, as they make each blanket. I’ve often seen my own kitties kneading away on their blankies, until they snuggle down. So why do they knead the blankets anyway? It’s been a long-held misconception that a cat’s kneading is the result of being weaned too early, or too late. This thankfully, is not true.

The motion the cat is creating when kneading, is exactly what they did as a nursing kitten, massaging their mother’s belly to keep the milk flowing. A happy kitty is one that continues to knead soft surfaces, repeating a comforting behavior they learned early on. Sometimes a kitty will even suckle their blanket a bit, further reinforcing that this behavior was learned while nursing. Not every cat kneads the same way. Some will extend their claws, others will not. Some will even use all four legs to knead!

Mother cats have also been known to knead the sleeping area for her kittens to make it more comfortable. The kittens obviously learn that kneading the bedding is a great way to make a bed more comfortable. So all in all, kneading is associated with happy memories for a kitty.

If you find yourself being “kneaded” by a cat, consider yourself lucky. If you see that your kitty is kneading the beautiful blanket you’ve crafted for them, be assured that they are happy and comfortable indeed!

(Pictured: A kitty at the Tree House Humane Society in Chicago, IL kneading their brand new CFC blanket.)

Our amazon & Etsy Blankets Make Great Gifts!

Here's an easy way to help us ship blankets and find a great gift for the animal-lover in your life.

Purchase one of our exclusive "Remnants Reborn" blankets, which are made by Linda, CFC's founder, using only remnant yarn, leftover after making shelter blankets. They are sold on Amazon and Etsy at a price that covers the shipment of a box of blankets. The recipient will receive a beautiful blanket and learn that a big box of blankets is being shipped to an animal shelter because of the purchase!

This card is included with their gift blanket:

A beautiful blanket PLUS sponsoring a shipment of blankets, equals a meaningful gift for any pet lover!  

                                                                    Click here for more info!

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Together we have delivered 54,342 blankets!

february Blessings...

1,086 Blankets

47 Shelters

19 States

105 Volunteers

  • We comforted over a thousand homeless pets in February, by donating over 1,086 blankets!
  • 47 different shelters, in 19 states, received our blankets, and most received a handful of toys as well.
  • These blessings were only possible, due to the 105 volunteers (not including some groups!) and supporters who helped last month. Thank you!

thank you from ...hEAVEN CAN WAIT animal society

"On Thursday we received a wonderful donation of crocheted blankets for the kitties! An amazing CFC volunteer dedicated her time to making these beautiful blankets for our little ones!

Thank you so much to everyone at Comfort for Critters for this kind gesture. Our little "Lincoln" (pictured) loves them!"

~ Heaven Can Wait Animal Society

University of AZ Helps Pets!

Check out these members of the Honors Student Council, at the University of Arizona. They are dropping off their handmade blankets to the Hermitage Cat Shelter in Tucson, Arizona.

This group made 54 colorful fleece blankets! Maddy, the Philanthropy Committee head, planned this event for the council's members. "As a club, we are very passionate about animals and love helping out local shelters here in Tuscon," says Maddy.

They made the blankets, hoping to comfort shelter pets and in some way help them find their forever homes. As Maddy shares, "this entire experience has been amazing, from making the blankets to dropping them off at the shelter. Thank you for all you guys do!"

Thank YOU Maddy...we're thrilled to have your group on the CFC team!

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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 in your state). Feel free to ship your blankets directly to the shelter, or drop them off, and just let me know how many you donated. Don't forget to ask for a tax receipt, since many of the shelters can provide this!

  • 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 you a thank you note.

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

3 South 139 Sequoia Drive - Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Linda Kastiel Kozlowski