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Blume inspires cat lovers at book signing event on Kaua‘i

There’s something special about caring for animals in need, and on Friday, July 7, Jason Blume shared all about the gratification that he gets from having fostered more than 40 neonatal kittens through the Kaua‘i Humane Society at his book-signing event at the shelter.

In his book, “Happy Tails: Life Lessons from Rescued Cats & Kittens,” there are some of the more than 2,500 photographs of cats he and his partner have photographed at the shelter and their home over the last five years, along with stories about cats that he says everyone can learn from.

All proceeds from the book signing went to the society, and a portion of all proceeds goes to the society from his online sales, as “Happy Tails” can be purchased on Amazon as well. Included within are stories about an individual cat from the shelter in each chapter.

Blume also shared about the numerous cats he has photographed over the years, and went over the highlights of that experience with a slide show. The audience enjoyed their time spent at the event, laughing at his cat humor and taking in the adorable photographs of cats and kittens.

Blume, a resident of Princeville, gave a heartfelt account of how he became a pet owner of three cats and came to foster two kittens and feed 16 homeless cats each evening.

“Right now I’m fostering number 40 and 41, and their names are ‘Uno’ and ‘Dos,’ and I got them when they were approximately 8 days old and they’re two identical twin black cat sisters,” he said.

“I had them for about seven weeks, and I am hopelessly in love, and these just might be the most cuddly, affectionate kittens I have ever had. I spent this morning on my computer with two kittens on my shoulders purring, pressed against my neck. It was just so beautiful, so heavenly.”

He continued, “I have three permanent residents (spelled “purr-manent,” he added,) and they are what I call ‘foster failures,’ meaning I never intended to adopt a pet because I was traveling a tremendous amount to teach songwriting all around the world.”

He said he has become known as “The Crazy Cat Man” because of his great dedication to and love of cats. As Blume talked about his early experiences fostering a mother cat and her kittens, it was a touching story that shows how compassionate animals can be.

“The first time I fostered I got a mama cat. It was a package deal with five babies. It sounded like a lot, but she did all the work. She was nursing them. I didn’t have to do it. I didn’t have to bottle-feed or do much of anything,” he said.

“She was the most amazing mother. She was starving when I got her. Who knows how long she had been out on the street, but she was emaciated when I got her, trying to feed five babies. When they started to eat solid food she would not eat until all of her babies had eaten.”

At the book signing there was an array of snacks and drinks available for attendees. About 20 people showed up, many of whom after perusing the snack table visited a fun corner of the room where kittens up for adoption could be found.

For $25, a person could adopt and take home one of the precious animals. There were three at the book signing, two were gray with stripes and one was black. Blume tried helping out with some kitten selfies, demonstrating his knowledge of photographing animals by his snapping fingers and shaking keys to get a kitten’s attention for a photo.

Suzanne Larson, visiting from Bishop, California, said she heard about the event and had to come check it out. She has her own black cat, “Buddy.”

Larson is a major fan of cats.

“I’ve done volunteering, and I can’t get enough of the cats. I love going in and loving on them and snuggling with them and making them feel at home and comfortable with people,” she said.

Getting published wasn’t easy for Blume. But through Blue Mountain Arts in June 2023, he was able to publish “Happy Tails” after attempting to publish 11 other books, all of which were rejected.

Blume has a great love of cats, which is demonstrated through his fostering and having written “Happy Tails,” but he too has a passion for songwriting, has written hit songs for various artists and books about songwriting as well.

He is the author of “6 Steps to Songwriting Success,” “This Business of Songwriting,” and “Inside Songwriting,” all by Billboard Books/Penguin/Random House.

His songs have been recorded by artists, including Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, Jesse McCartney, Hey Violet, J’Son, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra (Kid Pan Alley,) and country music stars such as the Oak Ridge Boys, John Berry, Collin Raye and Steve Azar.

When it comes to fostering and adopting pets, Blume exclaimed, “I do have some advice: Do it! With a big exclamation mark. There are no words to describe how much that has added to my life. Yes, it’s work.

“But for one thing, it does not have to be bottle feeding. You can foster a cat of any age. You can foster an elderly cat. You can give it an opportunity to live out its life at your home.”

He added, “Anything you can possibly need is provided by the humane society. It’s a win-win situation. I joke and I say it’s like ‘try before you buy.’ You can test out the cat and see if you bond. If you do, you can foster it as long as you want, or as little as you want.”

The Kaua‘i Humane Society provides foster “parents” of pets with food and supplies, instructions, veterinary care and other necessary assistance. The society is the only open-intake shelter on the island, and is a nonprofit organization.

It has held a no-kill status since 2019, and in 2021 the society’s positive release outcome rate averaged 96 percent for all animals.

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Monique Kemper is a lifelong North Shore resident who lives in Princeville and writes periodically for The Garden Island.
Source: The Garden Island

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