This is my cat Jerry who died 1/2/12 of cancer. I had him a little less than 2 years, Jerry was about 18 or 19 when he died. He came from the ACCT (Animal Care and Control) In Philadelphia. He was at the shelter and going to be put to sleep, as he was very senior and quickly became very ill with severe pneumonia. Along with high blood sugar he was also very overweight and not very friendly.
One of the vet techs loved him and contacted me. I agreed to take him, she fostered him for about a month to get him over his illness, as he needed a lot of constant care, and I work long days. Jerry went through a lot and was doing fantastic. Dec 11, he was diagnosed with cancer and he died peacefully at the vet’s 1/2/12…I miss my pal a lot!
“I have been volunteering with rescue groups and wildlife rehab for many years. I grew up with cats, always had cats in my life. I was in the Army National Guard from 1980 to ’92 serving as an Infantry Recon Scout. I currently work for the City of Philadelphia at the airport as building maintenance supervisor.
I have been with Rescue Ink for a couple of years. I guess I’m the “cat guy”. I first met the guys went I heard about a rescue trip to Georgia that was put together by a mother’s and children’s rescue group from New Jersey (MOMS Rescue). Rescue Ink went to help out and I kind of showed up on my Harley. I rode about 1,000 miles to get there, mostly in the rain. I’ve been with Rescue Ink ever since. The guys say they rescued me from the streets of Philly after my wife left and I was pretty depressed. That made me “Alley Cat”.
I live with my eight rescued cats and help out a lot with rescue groups in Philly, including building and placing feral cat shelters around the city. I’m always doing something for animals, like investigating animal cruelty and abuse cases in my area that are reported to Rescue Ink. I still help out with some wildlife rehab — built some squirrel boxes recently, took an injured turtle to the hospital and moved a few off of the roads at my job. Through my Facebook page there have been animals adopted and fostered. There was even a lost dog in Florida that was reunited with his owner through my page.”
Above: (left) Al on his Swift Lucky Strike Bobber; (right) Assisting law enforcement and the SPCA on the scene of a cat hoarding situation.
“The tattoo on my back is my combat vehicle from when I was an Army Scout from 1980 to 1992. It has a dog and a cat as the gunners and “Abusers are Losers” on the side in red letters.”
“This one is from a trip to Canada, with Alley Cat, a maple leaf, and cat whiskers…”
Tattoo artist unknown.
“This is Hope. Hope was found on May 17, 2011 in a bank parking lot on a cool, rainy Tuesday morning. Hope was lying in a parking spot in a puddle. Bank employees were trying to make her get up and out of the space where she was lying. They did not realize she was too ill and near death to walk more than a few feet and collapse. I picked her up and took her to Kitty Cottage Adoption Center where she was dried and warmed, tested for FIV and FELK, given fluids, a bath, and more food. Hope was found to be missing many teeth, declawed, and weighing a little over 4 pounds. Hope should weigh about 8 to 10 pounds, she is a senior. The next morning Hope was taken to Veterinarian Dr. Opelski at Rothman Animal Hospital in NJ. Dr. Opelski felt she was very close to death when I picked her up from the pouring rain. The fluids she was given at Kitty Cottage saved her life. Hope also had a bad infection and high fever, she is also diabetic. The pads on Hope’s front paws were also badly damaged and burned, making it very difficult for her to walk. I gave her fluids twice a day for several days, started her on insulin and soaked her feet in Epsom salt baths till her feet healed, plus I gave her antibiotic shots and cream for her feet.
Now she has gained weight, eats great, plays with toys, and sleeps in her bed as I work on adjusting her insulin dosages to get her diabetes under control. Hope is very, very lucky to be alive.”
“Two more of my rescued cats, Tupelo and Jerry. Tupelo loves coconut popsicles. He is about 15. I adopted him in ’98. I adopted Jerry 1 1/2 years ago when he was near death at the shelter. He had pneumonia, was diabetic, and weighed 24 pounds. He is now 14 pounds and is doing great at 18 years old.”
“Tattoo of a cat sitting on top of a Harley emblem. She looks a lot like my Chloe RIP. Her tail is wrapped around the top of the “one”.
The other is commemorating the trip I did on my Harley to Georgia for the rescue where I met the guys from Rescue Ink. The tattoo shows my route from Pennsylvania to Georgia. Georgia has shelter bars through the state and a lock. Dangling on the lower left are keys to open the lock and free the animals.”
“Cats represent mystery and often we have a fear response to the mysterious. I’ve always run towards that particular light. I feel like I represent that energy — people will either run towards or away from someone who looks like me and I like evoking that kind of response.”
“The image above is the first cat Lance and I did together. I remember having to coach Lance away from giving the cat a mean look, or as I said at the time, the “flaming skull” look. I wanted as best we could, to achieve the level of cat inscrutability that I love so much. Read what you want into her expression — whatever you say can be right.”
[Above left] “This one embodies the traditional Koi imagery and of course, like every other tattoo I have, cats! Thus, the Fishcat (as opposed to the Catfish, natch).”
[Above right] “Although I’m not remembering the name of the artist, this one is a 19th century Japanese woodblock depicting a bake-neko, or Monster Cat.”
“The fishcat is a portrait of my longtime cat companion, Velouria, named after one of my favorite Pixies songs, and the feel of her fur! Although we’re not 100% on her age, I believe she’ll be 18 or 19 this summer. I’m not sure why, but other than her ears, I have yet to color her in. One of the amazing things about tattoo is that it’s always about the process.”
“Lance and I both collect iconic cat images. This one is part of the classic sailor tattoo lexicon.”
Japanese wood block artist Kuniyoshi (original shown above left).
“I love this because it is not what it appears to be. A mean looking cat head made of cute smaller cats — I thought it really spoke very specifically to the way I can be perceived.”