The New Adventures Of Bravo!
Warm greetings to all of Stubbs's fans!
As this precious little fellow's new parents, we want to update you on his progress in his new home. We also promise to provide regular updates in the future - in fact, Stubbs himself may soon have a few words for the website, too!
First of all, as the 9/22 update indicates, Stubbs has a new name! He is now called "Bravo" - and that, in fact, is what he wants to say to all of you!! BRAVO to everyone who cared and prayed and helped in his rescue and recovery. Your loving thoughts and your contributions to C.A.R.E. made it possible for this bright little life to keep going and glowing.
Bravo came to live in his new home on September 8, just three days before terror hit our country. It was a good week to be a cat. Both Bravo and his big fur-sister, Eliza, were blissfully unaware of the tragedy and we were doubly grateful for their comforting presence. All four of us offer deepest condolences to anyone reading this who lost a friend or loved one on that awful day.
After a few hours in his new home, Bravo found his appetite and after a few days, he found his voice. Along the line, his playful personality began to emerge most distinctly at bedtime. Why 10:30 p.m. quickly became the favored time to bat at the doorstop, we're not sure, but the sounds were charming and comforting.
By the following week, he began to explore the stairs. They are carpeted and have a very gentle slope and we worked on them a couple at a time. Then his learning curve took a big leap and so did he! You just can't keep a good man down. Now he not only scampers up and down the stairs, he often parks himself on one, as a great and cozy spot from which to survey his domain.
On the medical front, Bravo's injured (left) front leg has healed well. It is very short and he uses it for balance if he is walking slowly but holds it up and out of the way if he is running. His injured (right) rear leg is still bandaged. It's quite bony at the bottom and he's had a few sores there that are still healing. We change the bandage, putting a new colorful "bootie" on him, every three days and it's always "family time" even Eliza sometime comes in to watch. In the weeks ahead, we'll be visiting surgeons for reevaluations and recommendations and investigating prosthesis possibilities. Stay tuned!
Bravo now has full run of the house and has selected his favorite spots, which occasionally coincide with Eliza's favorite spots and that keeps life interesting! He often visits me (his mom) in my home office, where I spend much of the day. And he is truly the most preciously loving little creature one could ever hope to meet. He purrs and stretches and reaches and snuggles and blinks and bumps and nuzzles and nibbles and then does it all over again. It is a joy and a privilege to be his parents.
We'll close with just a word about Bravo's family of origin - his mom, Scarlett, and his brothers and sisters. ALL of them need good homes, as do many other fur-children at C.A.R.E. So please if you can help, Bravo (the Cat Formerly Known as Stubbs!) would be very grateful. Thank you, and bravo, again, to all of you!
Season's greetings to all!
During the past few weeks, Our Man Bravo has been a busy boy. He's also been learning a very important new fact that whenever he is put in his carrier and driven someplace, he'll always come back home again to Mom and Dad.
You see, Bravo's visited several veterinarians lately, surgeons who saw him previously when he was in CARE's care and from whom we wanted to get opinions now on what, if any, surgery he might still need. We showed the doctors some home video of him running and jumping in what is now his "natural habitat" so that they could see how he's presently using his two shorter legs. It's the back one that's the prime concern, because the back legs get more "wear and tear" than the front.
Each veterinarian has a slightly different opinion, but all agree on one thing, Bravo's gotten very big and looks great! It's possible that he will need further surgery, but we're going slowly because he's already been through so much. So for now, at the doctors' suggestion, we're starting to take his little "bootie" off periodically to help the sores on the bottom of his foot; just like with people, the scabs need some air to heal. And we're keeping close tabs on him when we do that, to see how he uses and favors that leg. Also on the medical front, we've been in touch with a doctor who specializes in orthotics about a possible prosthesis, that is, a substitute leg. A few months ago, Bravo disposed of his first prosthetic device in short order by kicking it off! but there's a new, softer material on the market that may be more suitable and we want to consider giving that a try.
Even though Bravo is a good-if rather subdued-patient, he is always very happy to come home, a place that he seems now to recognize even before we get into the house. A couple of happy little meows emanate from the carrier as soon as I open the car door and he can hear the sound of the garage door closing. In a matter of seconds, he is out of his carrier and up on the family room couch enjoying a leisurely bath.
In the sibling department, we're happy to report that Bravo and eight-year-old Eliza have achieved a milestone - sharing the same piece of furniture at the same time! They both are fond of spending early mornings on the sofa in the living room, watching the day begin on the big-screen TV (aka picture window), and they now often occupy opposite ends of said sofa, perched contentedly atop the pillows.
As the holidays approach, Bravo has appointed himself chief inspector of all new packages or decorations to appear in his domain. Rest assured we are ensuring that they are all feline-friendly. And we're all looking forward to his first Christmas in his new home in any home, for that matter. He was a weeks-old kitten on the streets a year ago at this time.
Next month, we'll tell you all about Bravo's upcoming media appearance. He's set to appear on Animal Planet in February. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, warm holiday thanks to everyone who has cared so much about this precious little fellow during these past seven months since his rescue. Bravo to you!
Bravo's cable television debut took place on the evening of February 12 when the episode of Animal Planet's "Wild Rescues" series that featured his story aired for the first time. We all gathered around the television to watch Bravo, his mom and dad and big fur-sister Eliza. And though we were a tad embarrassed to see ourselves on camera, we were thrilled at the warm and sensitive way that Termite Art Productions, which produces Wild Rescues for Animal Planet, told the Stubbs/Bravo story. In anticipation of the broadcast, Bravo had been busy at the computer. From his new e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org , he sent an announcement message to a whole host of family and friends, including many people who'd been in touch with CARE on his behalf with donations and other offers of support when his story first broke. A couple dozen of those nice people wrote back after seeing the show, which kept Bravo very busy answering their messages. "Stubbs the Cat" was the first of three segments on this particular episode of Wild Rescues. It begins with a poignant message about the tragically large number of cats living on the streets of Los Angeles County then goes on to say that some are victims of abuse at the hands of disturbed individuals. Dr. George Grant, the veterinarian who performed all the initial post-rescue surgeries, is interviewed, as is Joanna Patrice, the CARE volunteer who put the word out to the trappers and without whose intervention, Stubbs would not have survived. The story of Stubbs's adoption is told, underscored by footage of him heading up the stairs in our home, and then with the happy ending in sight, the music changes. Renamed Bravo, our precious little fellow leaps up on the bed, plays with a catnip toy and bounds down the hall. The segment ends with a close-up of the star doing his best to win an Emmy for loudest purring of the year. Many thanks to everyone at Termite Art Productions for such a beautifully filmed, written and edited piece. If only more homeless cats had the chance for happy endings like this one.
On March 10, Our Man Bravo was the celebrity guest at CARE's annual fundraiser, titled "Stubbs to Bravo" in his honor. And while it was probably not how he would have chosen to spend an afternoon, his presence at this very special event clearly meant a great deal to a great many people. Logistically speaking, we started out with Bravo in a cage, but when he inelegantly but not unexpectedly curled up in the litter box, we decided to bring him out to greet guests. I subsequently carried him around for the next three hours and had the world's sorest arms the next day as a result! But it was well worth it. People petted him, posed with him and took his picture, and it was memorable indeed seeing first-hand how his story and survival continue to inspire. Bravo also took part in the award presentations, as CARE said a collective "Bravo!" to its 2002 honorees: South Bay's Daily Breeze newspaper, Larry and Felice Franks of Five Star Fence in Encino, Universal City attorney Robert Gentino, KTLA News and Patty Shenker of Pacific Palisades. We're grateful to all of them. The guardian angels of animal rescue had apparently put in a good word to the weather angels because this late winter Sunday was sunny and gorgeous and the view breathtaking from the private hilltop home in the Palisades where the event was held. More than 150 people attended and the gourmet vegan menu prepared by Native Foods was enormously popular. And thanks to the generosity of CARE friends who underwrote some of the costs, as well as merchants who donated silent auction items, the event raised more than $10,000 to support CARE's efforts. Behind the scenes, there were some unforgettable moments. Bravo's fur-mom, Scarlet, was also on hand for the occasion, and to everyone's great pleasure, she found a home as a result! As soon as her new mom and dad complete their move to another house, she'll be moving, too from the loving arms of CARE volunteer Mary Zupan (who also fostered Bravo) to her permanent digs in the valley. And perhaps the most unforgettable of all was in the form of a reunion. The five trappers who'd been part of the team that rescued Stubbs were invited to the benefit as CARE's guests, and we were honored that three of the five were able to attend. Bravo had sent them Christmas cards but this was the first time he had seen them since his rescue and our first chance to meet these intrepid and caring folks. What a very special thrill we are forever indebted to them and their colleagues.
The Pasadena Star-News ran a story called Bravo! Cat won't allow disability to slow him down in its April 24 issue. Staff writer Becky Oskin spoke to us by phone and also contacted CARE's Joanna Patrice for background information. Becky and staff photographer Josh Yomimoto then paid a visit to our home and while Bravo was a somewhat reluctant celebrity, he did allow his photo to be taken quite a few times and even welcomed the warm attentions of writer and photographer, both clearly animal lovers themselves. The story began on page 1 (!) and continued on an inside page, where the paper was kind enough to run a sidebar with information about CARE, including the phone and website. They also printed Bravo's e-mail address (email@example.com), and as a result, he is now regularly corresponding with a dog in a neighboring town who recently lost a leg to cancer and is presently undergoing chemotherapy. Bravo further honed his developing correspondence skills by sending thank-you notes to his friends at the Star-News. Completing Bravo's day of stardom was a few minutes of broadcast fame that began when KNX's Dick Helton called us for a phone interview after reading the Star-News story. His interview with Bravo's dad ran throughout the day on KNX 1070, in two versions of differing length. KNX, too, was nice enough to give CARE's website a spot. Bravo takes this all in his stride, untouched and unchanged by his continuing fame. So refreshing in this day and age, we think!
CLICK HERE to enjoy some poetic tributes to Bravo and other brave fur folk!
CLICK HERE to find other sites that covered Stubbs/Bravo's story.
Bravo had a TV spot on the KCBS morning news. Filming took place at the Ripley's Hollywood Museum, which was promoting a June 7 event that's part of Ripley's visits to various cities in search of animals "that can perform amazing stunts or remarkable tricks, exhibit extraordinary behavior, or possess amazing stories of survival." Bravo was recognized as an "amazing" fellow who "believe it or not" survived the un-survivable!
Yes, Bravo still lives with his mom and dad, Pam and Ritchie, in Southern California. His mom, Scarlet lived with Mary Zupan, who loved her well, until she crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2008.