Pet Tips 'n' Tales: "A ‘Maverick’ Life"

Bonnie was born into cat rescuing. Her grandmother rescued cats, and so do her Texan Uncle, Nevada aunts and her mother in Cottage Grove who foster, bottle-feed and re-home kittens. For nearly four generations, Bonnie’s family has transported adopted cats to new homes; for the last 15 years she’s facilitated the rehoming of 400 purebred cats.

“I was mesmerized by my Grandmother’s gentle Persians,” said Bonnie. “When I was 20, I adopted my first. Its shelter explained the dire situation that his breed faces due to bad breeding, hoarders and grooming neglect. Cats are not Ming vases to put on a shelf. They are living mammals with needs. People become enamored with their beauty but don’t understand the grooming workload.”

Having had Persians for 50 years, I understand the grooming drawback. People think that cats are beautiful house jewelry but ‘forget’ to groom them. In two months of daily combing, our two cats, Whyspurr and Myster E., have shed a 2 foot-by-2 foot-by-2 foot pile of fur!

Bonnie and her husband Kevin adopted Maverick, 15 pounds, and Dallas, six pounds. When Maverick accompanies his family to Dutch Bros, the employees give him a dollop of whipping cream because he is so cute sitting on their vehicle’s console. He is also a friendly escape artist who wiggles under the fence and saunters into unsuspecting neighbors’ homes.

Dallas lost his left leg as a toddler-kitten. Cats need a front leg to balance on while grooming with the other paw, so bathing is difficult. Maverick, a loving caregiver to Dallas, solved the problem. He holds his smaller brother down with one leg or lies on him for a thorough licking session.

“Luckily, Maverick is an OCD groomer, so Dallas always looks his best,” laughs Bonnie. “He knows Maverick’s got him covered.”

The couple’s two children — Kaine, two years old and Teagan, five years old — are the fourth generation to love cats.

“Our boy is all boy,” said Bonnie. “He is built like a linebacker and carries a truck toy in one hand, and in the other he’s holding a small white stuffy-kitty, O.G., that he takes everywhere. When he is sleeping, I watch in awe as his tiny hand gropes for O.G..”

Teagan is a cat whisperer. When she was three-years-old, they were trying to catch a feral cat. She sat down and patiently talked to it for an hour until it approached her; no one else had been able to get close to it.

Most trick-or-treaters are interested in the candy — but not Teagan. She focuses on petting every cat she sees and she’s announced that she “needs a bigger bed because Maverick takes up too much room on my bed.”

“When I met Kevin, he was not a cat person,” Bonnie said of her husband. “Now, he sleeps with and baby talks to them”

Purr-obably because their sweet kitties are so loving, devoted and appreciate being rescued.

Bonnie’s Fluffy Cat Tips:

After a curious Maverick locked himself in a closet, he was gifted with a collar and bell to track his whereabouts. Bonnie uses a fine-toothed comb for her cats’ thick undercoat and a Slicker brush for the silky fur.

“If your cat is throwing up, look at their food,” said Bonnie. “Cats in the wild eat a raw diet and so do our kitties. We bought special food/water bowls to fit the cats smooshed faces. Persians are calmer than most domestic cats. They don’t tend to shred couches or curtains. Our cats play with a laser light, catnip mice, and Da Bird toys. Never de-claw a cat. It is like cutting off your finger to the first knuckle. Snail pellets are toxic to animals. In hot weather we put a blanket over a soft ice gel pack for them to lie on to stay cool.”

It’s a cat crisis! Bonnie’s rescue group has a Persians, Maine Coons, Burmese, Jungle Bobs, Savannahs, Bengals, Ragdolls and Chausies totaling 125 from breeders/hoarders. For more information, visit


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Humane Society for Neuter/Spay Assistance Program. 541-942-2789