Meet our Halfway House Cattery caretaker + Blanco is a deaf kitten who knows sign language + Get in quick for our Goodwill Wine Mother's Day special 
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Autumn 2016
This newsletter is produced by volunteers. 4 Paws is a non-profit organisation providing refuge for homeless dogs and cats on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
Email Editor
Email Editor
In this edition of 4 Paws Tales:

From the Editor's desk

Hello friend:
Welcome to our feline-friendly issue where we throw a spotlight on 4 Paws Halfway House Cattery and some of the special cats that live there. Caretaker Rie Mitchell does a wonderful job in often trying conditions.

Also, Blanco, a gorgeous deaf kitten featured in our last issue, still hasn't found a home. His ingenious foster carer Anne has taught him sign language.

Need a gift for Mum (or yourself) this weekend? Don't forget to check out our Goodwill Wine Mother's Day special in the Special Offers section at the bottom of this newsletter. It is exceptional value and funds raised go 
to saving the lives of homeless animals on the Sunshine Coast.
Helen Lester


Taking special care of other people's felines

Caring for homeless moggies, who can spend a long time at Halfway House Cattery waiting for a forever home, is a special calling.
Hearts of gold: Rie Mitchell and Torrens.
RIE MITCHELL is a shy person who doesn’t like posing for photographs. However, she possesses two essential qualities that make her a first-class cattery caretaker: she has a heart of gold and she also speaks fluent ‘cat’.
The rescue moggies in her charge at 4 Paws Animal Rescue’s Halfway House Cattery at Sippy Downs, receive exceptional loving care as they wait patiently for forever homes.
Rie knows what it’s like to be without a home. She became a bit of a stray herself four years ago when funding cuts to her Sydney not-for-profit job left her over 60 and out of work in a city where rents are high.
Struggling to make ends meet in a makeshift granny flat on the Sunshine Coast, the long-time cat lover jumped at the chance when she heard there was a caretaker’s job going with 4 Paws.
She has been Caretaker for almost four years, living on site. Her role includes cuddling cats, cleaning out cages, feeding, grooming and giving medication.
At present, it is an emergency situation at Halfway House with 16 cats in residence, stretching resources to the maximum.
There are not enough foster homes on the Coast to house all the cats that come to 4 Paws. Halfway House exists as a haven where homeless cats can be safely homed until they are adopted by loving families.
“Most of our cats are surrendered,” Rie explains, “and occasionally they come from the Pound.”
Elderly owners, she says, often have to part with their much-loved pets when they move into aged care accommodation.
“People who rent are finding it really hard to find accommodation with pets.”
While some cats are adopted quite quickly, others have to wait patiently. Adoptions at the moment are extremely slow.
A very popular resident at Halfway House is Torrens, a sweet and amiable Tabby who has been at Halfway House for a year.
Torrens was a small kitten living in danger on the streets in the Torres Strait Islands, when a young man saved him. Soon after taking in Torrens, the fellow received a work transfer to the Sunshine Coast.
Knowing he could not have Torrens in his new rental accommodation, the man flew Torrens to the Sunshine Coast and placed him in the care of 4 Paws to save his life.
Torrens then spent six months in the home of a foster carer, but moved to Halfway House when they sold their house.
Torrens is sweet natured, playful and social with other cats. He is exceptional in that he likes everyone he meets.
Rie can’t understand why Torrens hasn’t been adopted in all this time, but she has a theory. She says people looking for a cat will say they are not fussy about what sort of cat they get, but they mostly end up taking home the pretty, more exotic breeds.

“Torrens has the most soulful eyes as he stares into your eyes. He likes to follow you around, just to be with you.”
Because Torrens gets on with other cats, he is able to roam freely inside the cattery with other friendly felines.
Rie says the cats at Halfway House are eager for affection. She becomes emotional as she speaks about their plight.
“All the cats that come here, one way or another, are unique. They all deserve good homes,” she says.
While overseeing a never-ending influx of homeless cats can be emotionally gruelling, Rie says her favourite thing about working at Halfway House is when a cat finds a forever home that’s perfect for them.
“We had a lady come in and she was old and it was an old cat she was looking at - it was love at first sight.”
Some cats can be more difficult to place in a suitable home. Koko is a small, beautiful, older cat that suffers from arthritis. Rie has set up a special litter tray covered with artificial grass for stability for her.
Rie says Koko is “a gorgeous little girl”, however someone will have to be prepared to go the extra mile with her care.
It takes time and patience by people adopting a rescue cat until they reap the rewards, Rie says.
She says people had to understand that cats could easily live to 20 and were part of the family, not just accessories.
Are you a cat lover with some spare time on your hands? We have the purrrfect job for you. 4 Paws is seeking adult volunteers to help Rie look after the cats at Halfway House Cattery. Duties will include cleaning the cattery and grooming and socialising the cats for a few hours each week.
If you can help, please email Julie:
Are you interested in adopting Torrens or another of our 4 Paws cats? Click here to go to our Adoptions Form. Koko needs a permanent foster carer to take special care of her. Click here to find out more about Koko.  
Torrens: an extraordinary Tabby with soulful eyes.
Sweet Koko needs a permanent home with a special foster carer.
Tabby Cats: facts and myths
According to Wikipedia: “A tabby is any domestic cat that has a coat featuring distinctive stripes, dots, lines or swirling patterns, usually together with a mark resembling an 'M' on its forehead.” 

Tabbies are not a distinct breed. The tabby pattern can be found in many breeds and mixed breeds. 

Tabbies are considered by some enthusiasts to be more intelligent than other cats. Some say their personalities are more like those of dogs – they like to follow you around.
Tabby cats are respected in both the Islamic and Christian traditions. Each tradition has an account of how the tabby got the distinct  “M” marking on its forehead. Some Muslims say the Prophet Mohammed made the mark when he placed his hand on the head of a favourite cat, Muezza, who had saved his life. In the Christian version, the Virgin Mary made the “M” mark on the forehead of a Tabby that snuggled next to the baby Jesus on a freezing night to keep him warm.

Adopt me!

Blanco, a deaf kitten who has learnt sign language

Blanco: 9 months, male
BLANCO was found wandering in an industrial estate in Caloundra when he was seven weeks old. While this must have been a terrifying experience for a totally deaf kitten, it hasn't stopped him developing into a brave, inquisitive and cheeky young cat.

Blanco has been with his 4 Paws foster carer, Anne, since he was found. She has found a way to communicate with him using sign language.

 "It's pretty basic," Anne explains. "A teaspoon held up means it's food time. When he sees it he gets so excited."

"He understands the finger up with a stern face means 'no', and he knows the beckon sign for 'come here' - although being a cat, he doesn't necessarily come..."

Blanco is not allowed in the occupied bedrooms at night

"He goes to bed when we go and doesn't make a sound until he sees one of us up and about. Then he chats and purrs."

Blanco has to be an indoor cat due to his deafness. He loves people of all ages and just wants to play with his human friends and be cuddled. Hide and seek around the furniture is a favourite game. He's not keen on other cats and has only met a dog once before, which resulted in raised hackles and a lot of yowling - from the dog too!

This adorable kitten is full of fun and mischief. He likes to sit close to you, but not on your knee. He follows you around the house when you are in. He thinks vacuuming is a game, and you don't have to worry about waking him up if he's asleep. Loud children or storms cannot phase him. Everyone who meets him loves him. 

If you are interested in adopting Blanco and would like to meet him, please contact us. Blanco lives with his foster carer at Buderim. You won't be disappointed when you meet him ... he is adorable. 

here to go to the adoption process page on the 4 Paws website.
Adoption fee: $195
Adoption Tally 2016
Pets adopted since the start of the year
Dogs adopted: 8
Cats adopted: 2
Number of pets currently in the care of 4 Paws
Dogs: 62
Cats: 46

President's note

I HOPE you have enjoyed reading about our Halfway House Cattery caretaker, Rie Mitchell, and meeting some of our beautiful cats. Rie is a wonderful example of someone who puts her love of animals into practical action. She sees the uniqueness and beauty in each cat and works tirelessly so they may find suitable forever homes. We greatly appreciate all that she does.

4 Paws is again preparing for its annual fundraising "walk" in July or August. No date has been set yet, however we would love an organised "can-do" volunteer to co-ordinate the event.

This month is 4 Paws Animal Rescue Inc.'s eleventh anniversary. While we have placed many beautiful homeless pets in forever homes over this time, sadly, the number of animals coming to us has increased. In order to continue the important work we do on the Sunshine Coast, we need new volunteers to step up and help out, even in small ways. Some of our volunteers have been working tirelessly for a decade and are now elderly or have health issues. Volunteering can range from making items to sell at our Kawana stall to fostering a homeless cat or dog or driving pets to vet appointments.

Please consider putting your love and concern for animals into action.  I'd love to hear from you if you think you might be able to help in some way. 

We now have a sausage sizzle at Bunnings Caloundra on the fourth Tuesday of each month. 

- Julie Penlington
To support the work of 4 Paws, click on the red Donate link below to take you to our 4 Paws donation page. 

Sponsor me!

Mia: 15 years, Chihuahua, Female, 1.7 kg

Mia will remain as a 4 Paws Permanent Resident to ensure that she has a beautiful retirement. She has undergone major surgery and recovered with very good results. Mia's nature is very sweet and she absolutely adores her Permanent Carer.

Mia is toilet trained, travels well in the car, is very friendly and sleeps a lot. She enjoys small amounts of time outside in the sun to have a sniff and walk around. Due to being deaf she is totally quiet. She is quite alert though, and from her bed she will watch her human company around the home.

Mia shows excitement by running up to you wagging her tail wanting a cuddle.

Mia's monthly sponsorship is $50 - contact us if you'd like to sponsor her.

To learn more about sponsoring a Permanent Resident, please click here

Pets available for adoption

Click on the photo of a pet below to go to the 4 Paws website adoption process page. To see other pets available for adoption click here to go to our website. Navigate to the pages for cat and dog adoptions.
Alfie: 3 years, Shih Tzu Cross, male
Alfie, sadly, did not have a good start to life and needs a calm home and an owner who can show him the gentle patience and love he deserves.
This handsome boy has not been given much love or attention and requires some gentle training. He loves praise and is a quick learner. 
Sociable with other dogs, Alfie travels well in a car and loves his walks.
Adoption fee: $425
Teddy: 13 months, Terrier X, male
Teddy just loves life and everyone he meets. This inside/outside boy is toilet trained and sleeps in his own bed at night. Teddy gets on well with other dogs, walks well on lead and is great in the car. He rarely barks and has basic obedience skills. Teddy learns quickly because he is so eager to please.
Because he is still young, Teddy needs a loving forever family that will spend time with him and continue his training.
Adoption fee: $425
Holly and Slate must be adopted together
Holly: 1 year, Chocolate Point Ragdoll, female
Slate: 11 months, Russian Blue x Ragdoll, male

Holly and Slate are best friends that need a special home where they can be together. They are both placid and smoochy. They would fit well into a family as they have lived with children (over five years), a small dog and a parrot. Holly loves to sleep in unusual positions and Slate really loves his food!
Adoption fee: $350 for the pair 

Save that date!

Volunteers needed for Sausage Sizzle
Are you a natural with a pair of barbecue tongs? 4 Paws is seeking volunteers to help out at our fundraising sausage sizzles at Caloundra Bunnings on the 4th Tuesday of every month.
There are 2 shifts:
  • 7.30am -12.00 noon (7.30 set up for an 8.00 start) and
  • 12.00 noon - 4.00pm (clean up and pack down 3.30-4.00)
The dates we have for the year are:
  • 24 May
  • 28 June
  • 26 July
  • 23 August
  • 27 September
  • 25 October
  • 22 November
  • 27 December
Please contact Cass at and indicate:
  • which date/s you will be available and 
  • what shift time/s you can do
Kawana Stall Dates

Was playing 'shop' your favourite game as a child? Volunteers are always needed at our 4 Paws fundraising stall at Kawana Shoppingworld. Contact Bev Fleming if you'd like to help. The stall sells well-priced gifts suitable for pets and people.

May 10, 11
July 5, 6
September 20, 21
November 8, 9


Special Offers

The new 2016/2017 Entertainment Books are coming soon!
Order your new 2016|2017 Entertainment ™  Membership today to receive up to $195 in Early Bird Offers!
Choose from the traditional 
Entertainment™ Book or the NEW Entertainment™ Digital Membership, which puts the value of the Book into your iPhone or Android smartphone!
Each membership has hundreds of 50 per cent off and two-for-one offers for restaurants, cafés, attractions, hotels, shopping, groceries and travel. The are more than 2,000 offers that you can use whenever you like until 1st June 2017.
4 Paws Animal rescue Inc. retains 20 per cent of the price of each Membership sold, which goes towards our fundraising!
Order now:
If you have any questions, please contact Diane Gowans on 0437 060 816.

Goodwill Wine Mother's Day special - exceptional value

Celebrate Mother's Day with a beautiful drop and support a cause you love. 4 Paws Animal Rescue and Goodwill Wine are offering you a selection of Mother's Day wines at significantly discounted prices. Buy some for Mum - or treat yourself! Fifty per cent of the profit comes back to us. Please click on this link to purchase
Have you recently moved or changed your contact details? If so, please let Cass our Secretary know by emailing her at

Copyright © 2016 4 Paws Animal Rescue Inc., All rights reserved.

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