“I love my life. I love each day. Now there are some parts of my days that get annoying at times. But you have to overlook those little things in life. If something gets too uncomfortable for me, I simply move along to something else. I love humans. I think each of you is special and I think most of you don’t know it – or you have forgotten it. So I like to remind people how special they are. But not everyone understands that about me. It’s ok. But I have a wish for you. I wish you could stop for a moment each day and appreciate your inner beauty. Some of you pay too much attention to what you think are mistakes or flaws. You focus on negativity and you feel worse each day. If you start focusing on positive things, you will be far more happy. This is a truth that I understand. And it is my mission to share this with anyone who will listen to me. Appreciate yourself even when you feel no one else does. I appreciate you.”
“So many things make me happy and filled with gratitude. Standing in the sun makes me feel charged with energy. Spending time outside with my friends fills my heart with contentment. My friend Finnegan and I start each day by grooming one another and feeling great appreciation for all that we have. I live with other horses who have, like me, known great pain and sadness and challenges that are profoundly difficult. But when you make it through to the other side of that, and have been shown love and kindness, you heal in a very deep way. With that healing comes deep gratitude, for you know you have seen the worst there is to see, and you realize that love brought you through to something so magnificent in life. And with each step you take, you get more brave and secure, and you start to open to new friends. You find hope. You feel peace. And you find deep love in all places around you. That is what it is like to heal. We hope you will come visit us and experience this for yourselves some day too. And then take it with you and spread it like seeds being planted around the world. That is what I am here for. And I am blessed.”
“Have you ever seen my tail in action? A cat’s tail is a wondrous thing. We balance with them. We think with them. And we announce our annoyance of others with them at times too. I love my tail. Yet, I’ve never even seen it. I was born without eyes. And I have learned to explore and appreciate life to the max. Nothing is too high for me to climb. No toy is impossible for me to play with. No heart is out of my reach to touch. My purr is superbly loud. My skills of chasing and catching flies would astound you. Because I have learned to do all of this without eyes but only with feeling. I can feel my way through anything. What I notice with people is that they seem to be afraid to feel things with great depth. Yet, if you did, and you dedicated yourself to exploring that to the fullest, you’d find that you are amazingly sensitive and special creatures. We cats know that. And I know that even though I do not have eyes to see you. I see you in a way that I only wish you could see yourselves.”
“Let me tell you about what makes me happy. There is so much love in this world if you’d really stop for a second and look around you. I’ve noticed humans feeling so heavy about things. But they seem to then accept a notion that you can’t change them. Everything can be changed! I see it every day. Please don’t accept someone else’s hopelessness and fear as your own. If each of us could hold on to the truth about hope and love and kindness, then we’d all create magnificent change together. We do it in our barn every day. I can tell you it works. It fills my heart with joy when I feel someone come in who may be a bit lost or sad. They will come over to see me and my other animal friends and you can feel them reach into their hearts with the genuineness of a child. For a moment, they forget their worries. And when they do, their hearts fill with joy and wonder and hope. This is what makes me happy. Let’s make happiness and kindness the next pandemic. Wanna join me? Let’s just do it!”
“I think it is important to dream. And it is not a waste of your time to spend time imagining and visualizing things. I love when people come sit in my room with me and my cat friends. If they are too much in their heads, it is not much fun. But when they let go and play with our cat toys and get silly, then they start to loosen up and we see the true human inside all the chaos. I love when humans make up games and play. You can feel them relax and become more creative and in their hearts. It’s my favorite thing to watch. I don’t think people see that about me. Because they have a notion that I’m not participating with them. But I’m just being peaceful. And peaceful is good. My advice? Play more. Dream more. And feel more peace. I hope you can find that for yourself.”
“I grew up needing to be tough to survive. It became my identity. I thought it was kind of cool. I could push my way through anything. I’m a big goat. But while I was pushing everyone around, I was missing the finer points of life. I’m still learning. I’m trying. First I had to unlearn my ways that I thought I had to be. That is not easy is it? It’s hard sometimes to discover who we are. Who am I? What am I here for? What is my purpose? Indeed, that is what life is about. I’m figuring that out now. And I’m taking time to find the answer to those questions. I am grateful to have a chance to find out the answers. I hope you do too.”
If ever there were a poster cat of Spring Farm CARES, Max would be the ideal candidate. Max is the embodiment of all that Spring Farm CARES is here for. Check out his incredible story…
Max was born in 2014 and came to the farm in 2016 after he had been hit by a car and not only lost his tail but also then was left bowel and bladder incontinent. Max has had lots of medical issues stemming from his original injuries. But he remains a most loving and friendly boy. After years of expressing his bladder twice a day for him, in 2020 we suddenly were faced with a situation where we could no longer get the urine out. His bladder stopped functioning at all. But Max clearly was not ready to call it a day, even though his body was in dire straits. It required a lot of research, ingenuity, and two gifted surgeons to get him where he is today.
Max has had a port installed directly into his bladder that attaches to a connection on the outside of his belly. Three times a day, we attach a syringe to that port and remove the urine. While this sounds extreme, and also understanding that not every cat would be comfortable with this, Max is thriving. The port does not seem to bother him at all and he totally leaves it alone. He is the happiest and most comfortable that he has been since he came to us. Max has our on staff veterinarian, Dr. Christine to thank for all of this as she felt his intense desire to live. And he does thank her everyday since she is his favorite human and he lives in her office with her. Max is an amazing cat, living an amazing life. Your support gives him a second chance that he’d otherwise never have had.
Amazingly, Max does not have any sponsors and would love some. He could use several actually!
“What brings me happiness is being a cat. I love being a cat. I love how my body moves. I love my purr. I love being able to climb and scratch and roll and stretch. I also love my other cat friends. I don’t know if I’ve found very many humans though that appreciate being a human as much as I do being a cat. Humans tend to think too much. And you think that is intelligence. But intelligence is also knowing when to not over think things. Intelligence is about being. Just being. When is the last time you allowed yourself to just be in a moment without timing it or worrying if you should be another way or do something different? It is true that cats do not have the worries that you do. But don’t underestimate what we know and understand. Because sometimes just appreciating each other is the greatest form of intelligence anyone can ever have. It is heart smart. You should love being human as much as I love being a cat.”
“I love feeling peacefulness. There is a special quiet that happens just after sunset that I love. It makes me feel comforted deep inside. I didn’t always feel this peace. It took me many years to find it actually. When I was younger, I just was consumed with my body and how nice it moved and how fast I could run. But life changed for me over the years. When I suddenly could no longer run and it became difficult to even walk due to an injury, then my priorities changed. Life became uncertain for me. I didn’t have a job anymore. And I was no longer needed because I couldn’t work. When I ended up in a place where I was appreciated not for what I could do but for who I really am, everything changed. When you find a place like that in your life, embrace it. Because the true meaning of life is the deep peace in moments of your day where you are sure you are right where you belong. The quest to find that place is within you. It is your inner peace and knowing that you are ok exactly how you are. You are needed in this world to be exactly who you are. And I take comfort knowing you are out there being the best you that you can be. That is what I have learned in my life.”
“When you close your eyes at night after your day is done, do you feel content? Do you rest with a sigh of how good your day was or how full your heart is? Or do you count the items you didn’t get done and worry about what the next day will be like? Each day, we have an opportunity to be grateful for exactly what we have in this moment. We owe it to ourselves to be thankful for what we do have and not measure our lives or our days by what we got done or didn’t get to. Why would a cat tell you this? Because I feel endless humans come in to my room with the worries of all they didn’t do or should have done or think they can’t do. And through that fog, we can’t reach them. My cat friends and I try. But until you stop measuring your days by worries about what you don’t have or can’t find, you will never understand the riches that you already have inside your heart. If you could go to bed tonight and fill your thoughts with all you have to be grateful for, you will wake up truly different tomorrow. I’ve always wanted to say this. Thank you.”
From Finnegan: “I can tell you what I’m grateful for. I’m grateful to have a place I can trust to call home. I’ve been in some tough places in my life. Never able to measure up to what I was supposed to be. The truth is that I am a noble horse and I like to share my heart and my connection to this planet. My heart is soft, my temper is steady, and I am strong in my resolve to experience all I can in life with kindness and humility. There were people who were not kind to me, yet I do not blame all people. I’ve seen too many humans not be willing to forgive and move forward in life. I’ve also experienced humans walking carelessly through life. Life is a precious thing. I’ll tell you this. When you almost lose that gift of life, you find you have a deeper appreciation for the tiniest of things that you may not have even noticed before. Why not look for those now? Let’s all appreciate one another. That would be a very big change in the world.”
We are so excited! We’ve all been working hard at our gift to you for the holiday season. From November 25ththrough December 31st we will be posting a message from one of our animals along with their photo. Animals are so great at keeping us present and reminding us of what truly is important. So join us each day for an inspirational message of love and hope.
Toby says: “We miss all of our human visitors. We hope next year you can all come back! Please join us to hear our messages. We’ve all been working hard to get these messages to you. Put your stress aside just for a bit each day and find hope and inspiration!”
It’s time for our featured animal of the week: Cashew
Cashew is estimated to have been born in 2014 and came to the farm in 2018 with six other mini-donkeys. All of them came from a very bad neglect situation. They suffered from very overgrown feet and they were in overall poor condition. But three years later, they are all doing great. Cashew is a very happy guy who loves playing and living a life in safety. He is a little bit on the quiet side at first but once he feels more secure, he opens up a bit more.
Donkeys are very sensitive beings who have frequently been portrayed as stubborn. But in reality, they are just very careful and want to be sure footed in life. They are amazingly loving and loyal and incredibly special creatures. We love our 13 donkey residents!
It’s time for our Featured Animal of the Week – Sesame
Sesame is estimated to have been born in 2017 and arrived at the farm in 2018. Sesame was found by a landlord who was cleaning an apartment after tenants left and opened a dresser drawer to have a cat come bolting out. She had been abandoned and locked in there for days. Luckily, they were able to catch her and they brought her to us. Sesame is very shy but also extremely friendly. That experience was very traumatic for her but she has learned to trust again.
Even though Sesame is shy, she is still very curious. She loves to climb up very high and watch everything from above. She also loves to go outside on her enclosed porch. Someone donated us a big wheel that the cats can run on. Many of the cats will not even try to use it. But Sesame loves to jump on and take a spin.
Sesame currently does not have a sponsor but would love one! The animals truly do feel the energy of being sponsored. And animals can have more than one sponsor too!
Gilligan is estimated to have been born in 2015 and came to the farm in 2020 with his goat friend Max. Both were from a serious neglect case and both were in need of immediate help. We took them in to rehab them and they have both recovered well. But Gilligan was not socialized well as a youngster and can be very difficult to handle. He is a very big boy. We have seen him calming down some as he was neutered and also as he is handled more in a safe environment and he is trusting more. He is a good boy and he has found help and safety here at Spring Farm CARES.
Gilligan is the only one of our goats right now who does not have a sponsor! The animals truly feel the energy of being sponsored and Gilligan would love to be sponsored.
Lucy is a special goose with a real miracle story. There are so many ways you help create miracles here at that farm. We are so grateful for your support.
There are many ways you can help on our mission. Lucy is just one example of an animal whose lived was saved but who also then reaches out to help heal the human hearts around her as well. These are precious stories. All made possible by you.
Meia is a cat who has really grown and come a long way in her life. She was found living under a dumpster at a factory with several other cats. She came in 2013 at just a few months old but she was born feral and at first wanted nothing to do with humans. We let her grow and explore on her own terms without pushing her to be something she couldn’t be. Today, Meia is the first cat in her room to come running and greet her caretakers. She is super cuddly and is the chief cuddle/snuggler for all of her cat friends. If any of the cats want to curl up with someone, they choose Meia. She also is best friends with Chester, a cat who really needed a good friend. Meia has come a long way and we are delighted to see how she has expanded and grown in her life.
Meia would love to have a sponsor! The animals do feel the energy of being sponsored! And they can have more than one sponsor as well.
Dougie has been around the farm for a long time. He is estimated to be about 15 years old and he showed up on the farm in 2010. We assumed he was dumped here. It took us a while to catch him in a humane trap and we had him neutered and vaccinated. But Dougie made it very clear to us that he in no way wanted to live inside. So we put him in our barn hoping he’d be a barn cat. But Dougie crossed our highway into our nature sanctuary and he stayed there for several years. He had shelter in our hay storage barn and food and water. He became the nature sanctuary mascot. But in 2018, Dougie suddenly crossed back to the animal sanctuary side of the road and began living on our enclosed front porch. He eluded humane traps over the years as we tried to catch him to vaccinate him. But he just would not go in.
Until one day, he showed up severely limping and obviously in need of help. He began sleeping on the outside ledges of our enclosed cat porches and was huddled up next to some of our cats on the inside of the screening. Clearly, he wanted to come inside. So we set out a trap on one of the porches at night and were relieved to find him in one the next morning. Dougie let us treat him and then we tried him once again inside a cat room. We chose the room that he hung out closest to when he was outside. That seemed to be his preferred choice of cat friends.
Dougie does not let anyone pet him and we make it a point to let him live the way he wants to live. He is inside now out of the elements and as a now senior cat, he seems quite pleased with his decision. He keeps tabs on all activity in his room but he just participates at a distance from humans.
Dougie does not currently have a sponsor but I’m sure he’d love one (or more!). The animals truly do feel the energy of their sponsors!
Ziek is a Quarter Horse gelding who was born in 1999. He came to the farm in 2016 with his donkey friend Henry. Ziek has a lot of trouble with allergies and is on medication as well as allergy shots. He also gets weekly acupuncture treatments which is a very big accomplishment given that Ziek absolutely hated needles when he came here.
Ziek is very happy here and is bonded with his pasture mate Brandy. He loves being outside and is especially happy to see fall arrive as that is his favorite time of year. Ziek is a very kind horse who has definitely seen a lot of wear and tear over the course of his life. He also can be just a tad stubborn but we won’t tell him I said that! He is happy to be in retirement now and we do all we can to treat his allergies as well as his physical aches and pains.
Ziek would love another sponsor! (They can have more than one sponsor!)
Dakota is about 11 years old and came to the farm in 2020 after being found as a stray when she showed up in a humane trap that someone set while looking for their own missing cat. Attempts were made to find her owner with no success. She was very thin and looked like she had been out on the streets for quite some time and was clearly looking for help. Dakota is very friendly and outgoing and is also the dominant cat in her room. She is very playful and absolutely adores having her belly rubbed. She is not big on other cats but tolerates them. She also likes to sleep on her back a lot and has the humorous tendency to pick objects or beds to lie on that are too small for her.
Allison is about 4 years old and came to the farm in 2019. Allison was originally brought into another rescue but she is very shy and had trouble finding a home so we were asked if she could be transferred to us for permanent sanctuary. Allison is very playful and loves her toys. She loves spending most of her time up on a cat tree where she can look down at everything going on in her room. She adores her other cat friends and is very happy. She has even started letting some of her caretakers pet her a bit as she walks by them. Allison clearly freaks out when she goes out on her enclosed cat porch and the world outside her room terrifies her. So we just give Allison her space where she feels safe and we let her set her own boundaries on her terms.
Take a walk down memory lane with us. We would like for you to share your memories and stories with us.
This year marks our 30th Anniversary and the release of our book “The Magic Years” which is a compilation of articles from 30 years of newsletters. Due to Covid, we never got to do any of the events we hoped to do to mark our 30-year anniversary. So we are looking for alternative ways to share our mission. We need your help.
We would like to hear from you as to how Spring Farm CARES has touched your life. It can be a memory or story about a specific animal here that touched your heart. Or an experience from a workshop, consultation, or tour meeting the animals in person. It can be sharing what being on the farm means to you or even how an article in one of our newsletters or Facebook page and blog has touched your heart or enriched your life.
We will then connect with you through Zoom to have you share your story, which will be recorded, and we will put together some video presentations to help commemorate the first 30 years and why our mission is so important. We hope you will share with us so that we can help inspire others as well. Your stories will touch others hearts too.
Zoom calls will be no longer than 15 minutes of your time. We will ask you to sign a release for us to use some or all of your story/memory.