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Posts Tagged ‘cats’

Coco’s Cat Rescue Fundraiser at the Luna Blue Bar

Posted by Tony & Cheri on June 5, 2009

Update January 14, 2011. As of today the Luna Blue Hotel no longer supports Coco’s Cat Rescue. It has come to light that they along with others have acted in what we consider to be an unethical manner, attempting to undermine and destroy another local charity. We are saddened by this, as we believe all of the charities in Playa have a place and do good work in our community. We are therefore no longer supporting Coco’s Cat Rescue with our contributions, and we suggest our friends and followers of this blog take similar action. We hope in the future that they may learn to work more fully with the entire community.

We are sorry we haven’t blogged for a while…we have been traveling in southern California visiting our son and doing some very serious research on tourism (see photo below). 🙂

Now we’re back in Playa del Carmen, and tomorrow night–Saturday June 6, 2009–we will be hosting a fundraiser at the Luna Blue Bar for Coco’s Cat Rescue. Coco’s Cat Rescue is a relatively new organization here in Playa del Carmen dedicated to rescuing some of the many lost, abandoned and feral cats that live in the area. The good people at Coco’s Cat Rescue find adult feral cats, trap them, have them spayed or neutered with the assistance of local veterinarians and then release them. When kittens are found or captured, they are cared for by Coco’s until they can be adopted by someone who wants them. There are many, many stray cats in this area, so the work that Coco’s does is truly needed to control the feline population.

We know first hand the good work by the Coco’s Cat Rescue volunteers. The garden at the Luna Blue Hotel is not only home to our own cats Frankie & Osso (Bear, in English), but is an attraction to many of the feral cats, especially pregnant females who are looking for a quiet place to have a litter. Sadly, many of the adult cats are not strong enough to deliver healthy babies, and litters often don’t survive. But recently we discovered a mama and her five babies shortly after their birth and were able to feed mama and protect and tame the kittens until they were old enough to be weaned. Then Laura from Coco’s came and collected the kittens and made sure that they received food and medical care. She is taking care of them until someone comes along to adopt them. With their assistance, we’ve also trapped and neutred/spayed four other adult cats, including the mama of this litter.

Coco’s Cat Rescue is completely nonprofit and supported entirely by donations. Tomorrow, Saturday June 6 will be their first ever fundraiser, a party at the Luna Blue with music, food, drinks, kittens (for adoption or just cuddling) and best of all, a HUGE raffle of some amazing prizes, all donated by local businesses and generous supporters of Coco’s Cat Rescue.

Here are some of the great prizes a $50 peso raffle ticket might win:

  • Two trips on the Fat Cat catamaran (donated by Maureen)
  • Two Rio Secreto excursions (donated by Marissa)
  • $50 US gift certificate to Spa Itza (donated by Vanessa)
  • Three-night stay in a Tropical Hideaway room (a $270 US value) at the Luna Blue Hotel & Garden (donated by Tony & Cheri)
  • A $250 peso bar tab at the Luna Blue Bar (donated by Tony & Cheri)
  • Another $250 peso bar tab at the Luna Blue Bar (donated by Tony & Cheri)
  • A hand beaded necklace (donated by SPAY)
  • A second beaded necklace (donated by SPAY)
  • $50.00USD Barnes & Noble Gift Card to be used in any store or online (donated by Maureen)
  • $500 Peso Bar Tab at the Beer Bucket (donated by the Beer Bucket)
  • A Tote le Monde Duffel Bag (donated by Maureen)
  • Vintage (1948) Jomar Seed Pearl Lariat Style Necklace–60 inches…can be worn as a belt (donated by Maureen)
  • One night in a superior junior suite at La Tortuga from june 6th to dec.23rd, depending on availability (donated by Laura and Ana)
  • A $500 peso restaurant tab at El Bistro (donated by Laura and Ana)
  • Another $500 peso restaurant tab at El Bistro (donated by Laura and Ana)
  • Two Peanut Pet Shelter beer koozies (donated by Maureen)
  • Two free yoga classes at Yoga by the Way (donated by Ellen de Jonge)
  • Horseback riding for two people at Punto Venado (donated by Lisa)
  • Dinner for two at Babe’s Noodles & Bar (donated by Babes)
  • Gift certificate for breakfast or lunch for two people at Turtle Bay Café in Akumal (donated by Jen Smith)
  • One month of English classes at Harmon Hall in Playa del Carmen. The winner will have to pay for books, but the course has a value of 1600 pesos!!! (donated by Mark of Harmon Hall)
  • Two Catamaya catamaran sailing/snorkel trips (value $184 US!) (donated by Fabio of Catamaya)
  • One bottle of Gran Centenario Anejo Tequila, 695ml (donated by Libby of InTheRoo)
  • Lunch for two and day pass at Shangri La Caribe Hotel (donated by Shangri La Caribe)
  • $500 pesos gift certificate at Carboncitos restaurant (donated by Russell at Carboncito’s)
  • Two ATV rides with Yucatan Explorer(donated by Yucatan Explorer)
  • If you’re going to be in town, stop by tomorrow night, or stop by the Luna Blue Hotel or Bar on Calle 26 between 5th and 10th Avenues beforehand to buy tickets. If you’re not able to make it down to Playa, you can buy tickets online. Click here for information. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE PRESENT TO WIN!!! Unclaimed ticket numbers will be posted online here, and the organizers will arrange for pickup or delivery of any prizes won.

    Tomorrow night should be quite an event. Come hungry, as we will be selling Papa T’s famous Cheeseburgers in Playadise. The burgers and all the fixings have been donated by Rob & Michele of Buy Playa and Life’s a Beach blog, so 100% of the $50 peso sales price will go directly to Coco’s Cat Rescue.

    And in honor of the evening, the Luna Blue Bar will be offering a new coconut rum drink we call Coco’s Catini. Every Coco’s Catini will come with a souvenir kitty cat drink ornament, compliments of Coco’s supporter Vanessa. Thirty pesos from each drink sold will be donated to Coco’s.

    And starting around 9 pm, Playa’s own Bad Brad Ryan will be playing and singing for everyone’s enjoyment.

    In addition to the fundraiser, tomorrow evening is also a Tripadvisor member Meet-Up! If you are a regular member, poster or just reader of Tripadvisor’s Playa Del Carmen Forum, please stop by and say hello.

    On a personal note, it’s good to be home in Playa. And for those of you who are still asking (amazingly)…YES, Playa is still open. YES, the weather is beautiful. YES, it’s a great time of year to visit. And NO there is no danger (banditos, swine flu, drug cartels, pirates, etc.) It’s paradise down here. Hope to see you tomorrow night.

    And, as promised, here’s a picture of us in deep conversation with our business consultant back in the States.
    Cheri, Mickey Mouse & Tony at Disneyland, the Happiest Place on Earth

    Visit our new Facebook page and become a fan of Luna Blue Hotel & Bar!

    Posted in Activities, Events & Happenings, Friends, The Hotel & Bar | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

    Some Sad News for the Luna Blue Family

    Posted by Tony & Cheri on July 17, 2008

    BlueWe’re very sorry to say that Blue, the much beloved hotel cat of the Luna Blue, passed away today. Blue had been a member of our family since we found her in a litter of feral kittens that had been born in our garden about two years ago. Blue was the only one we could save, and we kept her and raised her.

    When we found her, she was the sickly runt of the litter, a frightened, hissing little ball of fur. She eventually grew into a wonderful pet and a great ambassador for our hotel. She lived in the garden of the hotel, or in bad weather inside the office. During last year’s tropical storm, she even got her own hotel room.

    She learned to love people and attention. She generally hung out during the day on the front desk and would think nothing of crawling into the lap of any guest sitting on one of our couches. She also loved lounging on the floor of the bar, watching the people go by. She made it a habit of sauntering up when we stood talking with people in the reception area, where she would lie down across our feet as if reminding us who was really in charge.

    Like all great cats, we didn’t own Blue; it was more the other way around. And Blue had more than just us at the hotel to adore her. She was a regular feature at Las Cazuelas, the tapas restaurant directly across the street. She knew she could count on Miguel, the owner, for a handout and would not be shooed away if she sat at customers’ feet begging for a bite of whatever was being served. The staff at Las Cazuelas is as sad as we are today.

    Blue went very suddenly. She became extremely ill last week and we took her to Paco, our favorite vet. It turns out that she had a blood deficiency which does not allow the blood to regenerate. Because of this, she was unable to fight off an infection that spread through her body. Paco gave her a full blood transfusion and massive antibiotics. She rallied for a day or two, and there was some hope that she would return to the Luna Blue. Yesterday she took a turn for the worst, and this morning Paco gave us the bad news that she would not recover, and that it was time to stop her suffering.

    Blue is going to be laid to rest in the garden at the Luna Blue, the only place she knew as home. She was a sweet, gentle cat, and we will miss her very much. 😦

    Posted in Friends, The Hotel & Bar | Tagged: , , , , | 11 Comments »

    We’re sure going to miss you, Belle

    Posted by Tony & Cheri on April 27, 2008

    Tomorrow afternoon we’re going to say goodbye to our longtime friend and companion, Belle. Belle Kitten showed up on Tony’s doorstep on Christmas Eve about 21 years ago and has been with him, and later both of us, ever since. She has lived with us now in multiple homes in two countries and survived a 4000 mile road trip, a lot of construction, a hurricane and the addition of two cats, a kitten, a dog and two puppies into her life. She has always been a tiny thing and has always loved finding the warmest spot around, usually someone’s lap. In her younger days, she would frequently come home with scratches and abscesses on her face after roaming the alley behind our house in San Francisco, due to fights, we assumed, with cats and who knows what else. For all her scrappiness on the street, she has a sweet, good natured personality and has even charmed one or two self-proclaimed cat haters over the years. And she purrs so loudly you can hear it across the room.

    Having our pets in our life is one of the main things that made our move to Mexico work for us. Because of them, it didn’t seem like we were leaving our old life behind but rather just moving it to a new location. Belle, especially, loved the climate change from chilly San Francisco to balmy Playa del Carmen. She really flourished in Mexico, even though she was already a pretty old girl when we arrived here three years ago.

    Sadly, it’s now her time to go. Her kidneys are failing and she is no longer eating, no matter what we tempt her with. Paco, our wonderful vet, has given her antibiotic and vitamin shots every day for the past week or so, but it hasn’t helped other than to buy us a little more time with her. He says she’s over 100 years old in people years, and we know that she has lived a long and happy life.

    Tomorrow on the deck that she loves so well, in the warm breeze and in our arms, we’ll put her down. Afterwards, we’ll bury her in the back yard with Carib, her friend who passed almost two years ago at the age of 18. But today we’re just going to give her love.

    We’re sure going to miss you, kitten. And so will your friends Shammy, Huggybear, Marley Buddha and Gypsy. 😦

    Posted in Friends, Living the Dream | Tagged: , , | 18 Comments »

    Naked in Playa….For a Good Cause

    Posted by Tony & Cheri on December 20, 2007

    The 2008 Peanut Pet Shelter CalendarIt’s not often that a mature man close to 60 years old is asked to pose nude for photographs…and to bring along his dog! Not having had such a request since the 1970’s (and that’s a whole other story!) Tony wasn’t sure he should be doffing his clothes for the whole world to see his middle age spread. But when he heard the reason why, he couldn’t refuse.

    The story starts with our friends Andy and Jen. Ex-pats from the UK, A&J moved to Playa last year and were amazed and saddened by the large numbers of dogs and cats that were abandoned to a life on the streets. Rather than just being sad, they decided to actually do something about it. And so was born the Peanut Pet Shelter of Playa Del Carmen.

    Andy & Thor in the 2008 Peanut Pet Shelter CalendarPet shelters are a rare thing south of the border. Animals have a different status in third world countries where resources are limited. People usually don’t treat pets like members of the family and certainly don’t spend time, money or emotion on street animals. So it was an uphill battle for the Peanut Pet Shelter to start up. But start up it did and it has become an important part of the community here.

    At their own expense Andy and Jen rescue dogs and cats, puppies and kittens from the street. Some are injured, some are ill and all are undernourished and in need of care. The pet shelter feeds them, houses them, gets them veterinarian treatment and then tries to find families to adopt them. The Peanut Pet Shelter exists on the considerable time, energy and money contributed by Andy and Jen. Their contributions are aided by charitable donations of locals and visitors. There have been a number of charity raffles and parties in Playa to help the shelter out…but the large number of animals in need requires more and more financial help.

    Not long ago someone came up with the idea of a calendar: a calendar of local men posing with their pet dogs…au naturel!!! It seemed right somehow. Down in the tropics we don’t usually wear a lot of clothes (although most of us wear some!). And if the local guys posing were not exactly Brad Pitt look-a-likes…well, that just emphasized the fun nature of it all.

    Señor February & Huggybear in the 2008 Peanut Pet Shelter CalendarSo for the last few weeks over a dozen of the braver and less inhibited men of Playa Del Carmen could be seen posing all over town with their pets or dogs rescued by the shelter. The guys are in “strategic” positions or locales which allow their personalities to shine through while obscuring their…well…you know. Some of the “models” are actually pretty good looking young guys. You girls out there will appreciate that. But the truth is, it was all for laughs, a good time and most importantly, to help a good cause. The Peanut Pet Shelter is now selling the calendars for $20.00. You can purchase them at the front desk of our own Luna Blue Hotel & Garden, or at the front desks of the La Tortuga or La Rana Cansada hotels. Or, you can order directly by going to www.paypal.com, clicking the Send Money tab and typing in peanutpetshelter@gmail.com. The cost of shipping is included in the $20.00 price. Unfortunately they cannot mail from Mexico but will be relying on volunteers to carry calendars back to the US to mail.

    Disclaimer: No pets or people were harmed during the making of this calendar. Pride, ego and vanity were put aside for this endeavor….so no snickering, please. All proceeds benefit the Peanut Pet Shelter of Playa del Carmen. And we better not see these on ebay for big bucks! 🙂

    So, if you’d like a really unique souvenir of your time in Playa del Carmen or are looking for that special gift to send to your maiden aunt in Utah, pick up a copy of the Peanut Pet Shelter 2008 Dogs & Dudes of Playa calendar. And of course, if you’d like Mister February to autograph it for you, just bring it by the Luna Blue. 🙂

    Posted in Events & Happenings, Friends, Living the Dream, The Hotel & Bar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

    We Live in a Zoo!

    Posted by Tony & Cheri on September 4, 2007

    Marley Buddha as a baby, with his best friend HuggybearDon’t get us wrong. We love our pets. That’s why when we moved to Mexico we brought Huggybear (our English bulldog) and our three cats, Shammy, Belle and Carib, on the 4000 mile journey. If it weren’t for them, we probably would have flown here. Carib passed away from old age about a year ago, but the rest of them are doing fine. But, since we live in a very small casita, we figured enough was enough.

    However, when we were given Captain Jack the Parrot as a present, we couldn’t say no. Besides, Captain Jack lived outside in a beautiful cage, so she really didn’t add to the chaos of the house. However, as regular blog readers remember, Captain Jack flew away just before Hurricane Dean. We hope she is doing well and has found some other parrots to live with.

    Still, we were left with a dog and two cats, and that seemed like plenty to us. Or at least to Tony. In April, while taking Huggybear for a bath at Paco’s, our favorite vet, Tony saw a kitten that Paco had up for adoption. It seems someone had brought a dying kitten in to Paco to be put to sleep. His eyes were so infected that Paco thought he was blind. He was weak, undernourished and had little chance of survival. However, the world’s best vet refused to give up, and by the time we saw the kitten, he was lively and well. Ugly as sin, badly cross-eyed, and probably with some long-term effects of his brush with death that we won’t even know for awhile, but alive and happy. Tony agreed with Paco that it was a pretty cute cat. He dropped off Huggybear and went to work. Marley Buddha & Huggybear

    Cheri went to pick Huggybear up a couple of hours later and returned already in love with the kitten. It didn’t take her long to convince Tony that they should adopt him. So the next day, a Saturday, we headed over to the clinic. They normally don’t work on Saturday, but we thought we’d take a chance. Sure enough, Paco was there and was delighted to hand us over the kitten. We took him home and named him Marley Buddha Mojito Francisco Hemingway Gumbo Head. We call him Marley Buddha, or Bood or short. He started right in terrorizing the older cats, demanding attention and playtime. For some strange reason, he bonded totally with our aged dog. The two of them became inseparable.

    So we were back to a dog and three cats. That’s it. No more. No mas. Finito.

    Then, five days ago, Tony was walking Huggybear early in the morning when he saw some people playing with a tiny puppy. He watched as the people then got into a car and began to drive away, leaving the dog on the street. He stopped them and asked if the puppy was theirs, and they said no. Tony picked the pup up. Someone had tied plastic Mardi Gras beads so tightly around her neck that it was digging into her skin. She wheezed, and mucus ran down the front of her nose. She was in bad shape. He brought her home.

    While she drank and ate, we called Andy & Jen. Andy & Jen are some very nice people who opened up the Peanut Pet Shelter in Playa del Carmen not too long ago. When they find an injured, stray or unwanted dog (or cat), they take it home, get it medical care, and try and find a new family to adopt it. They do all this strictly on donations that people give them. And a lot of money and time of their own. They do it because they’re good people. We asked if they had room for one more puppy. Andy sighed, and said that if they had to, they could find room. We said, don’t worry, we’ll take the puppy to the vet and get it fixed up. If needed, we could even keep her for a couple of days until they had more room.

    So, off we went to Paco with Gypsy. One of Andy & Jen’s rules is that if you find a dog, you must name it. Since our little one seemed to have been on the road by herself for a long time, we thought Gypsy was an appropriate name. Paco confirmed she was a she and that she would need to stay there 48 hours until antibiotics began to control her infections.

    48 hours was Saturday. Paco called to say he wouldn’t be able to meet us at his office but that he would see us the next day and deliver us the dog. We were actually kind of surprised at how disappointed we were that we weren’t going to be able to see the puppy that day. We imagined her all locked up and lonely in a cage. 😦 After we started to talk about the “poor puppy,” Tony suddenly said, “We are NOT going to keep this dog. We don’t have room for a second dog.” This of course started us both thinking…maybe we should keep the dog! After all, as much as we have always loved New Orleans, a puppy wrapped in Mardi Gras beads was a sure sign. We decided we would take the dog for a few days “on condition” to see how she fit in with the family. If if didn’t work out, we’d ask Andy & Jen to find her a home.

    Gypsy & TonyOn Sunday Paco called us to pick up Gypsy. She didn’t make it easy on us. She lept into our arms and proceeded to cover us with dog kisses. When we brought her home and introduced her to the rest of the family, her wagging, wriggling and racing through the house was uncontrollable. All the animals gathered together and proceeded to check each other out animal fashion. One big ole butt sniffing parade. After awhile, Shammy and Belle, the two elderly cats, wandered off to resume their normal routine. They had been through the new puppy phase ten years before with Huggybear and were not impressed. Marley Buddha was fascinated with this little thing that moved so fast. They raced around each other, Gypsy barking and Marley Buddha smacking her on the head with his paw. They seemed to be having a good time. Huggybear seemed to take to this little one the same as he did with Marley Buddha and began a tongue cleaning head to toe. It wasn’t long before Gypsy was covered in a layer of dog slobber.

    We think it took four hours. Four hours of tail wagging, licking, barking, peeing on the floor (15 times the first night), and general chaos of Marley chasing Gypsy, Gypsy chasing Marley, and Huggybear slobbering behind. Four hours until Tony said, “That’s it, we’re going to keep her.” Cheri of course knew that all along. 🙂 So, we have a new member of the family. We thought another dog was the last thing we needed in our lives. It turns out that a brand new puppy was exactly what we needed.

    Isn’t she cute??

    Posted in Living the Dream | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »