Friday, November 1, 2019

Rescue Meez: A Book Every Cat Lover Should Read

Rescue Meez book cover.
Many of you know how much I adore Siamese cats. What you may not know, however, is that I wasn't always so fond of the breed. It's rather embarrassing to admit, but there was a time in my life that - while I thought they were beautiful - I was perfectly content if a Siamese kept her distance from me.

You see, my parents got divorced when I was seven years old. My dad stayed in our house in the country while my mother, sister, and I moved into the city. At our country home, we always had several outdoor kitties. We had cats of nearly every color over the years - orange ones, a white one with a gray spot on his head, a calico, a brown tabby, solid gray cats, and we even had a Siamese or two!

At one point, we had a beautiful seal-point Siamese. Back then, I thought Siamese all looked the same - I thought they were all seal-point. I also didn't know about feral or semi-feral cats. I naively thought that all cats loved to be picked up, cuddled, and wanted to live inside.

I just loved how this Siamese cat looked. He or she was so gorgeous! I wanted to pick him or her up and cuddle him or her in my arms. So, one day I start walking toward the kitty to pet him or her. I didn't get within 10 feet before he or she gave me a nice loud hiss. I knew enough to back off, but I formed a belief that Siamese cats were mean and unfriendly.

Fast forward 10 years or more...and I meet Lita. Initially I didn't think of Lita as a Siamese - I was still under the impression that Siamese cats only had the one look. Lita was very friendly and affectionate.

When I moved here to Colorado with her, she became my best friend. She followed me around, listened to horribly boring textbooks with me, "helped" me eat my dinner in the evening, and told me when it was time for sleep. She was my constant companion.

Then one day, someone mentioned that she was a beautiful Siamese. Siamese?! But Lita was friendly and affectionate and she didn't look like the cats in The Lady and the Tramp! I learned that she was a blue lynx-point Siamese.

Over the years in volunteering with cat shelters, I met many more Siamese, mostly seal-point and blue lynx-point ones. Nearly all of them were incredibly friendly and affectionate and loved to be pet. After I started this blog, I also did some research about the Siamese and found that your typical Siamese cat will be intelligent, affectionate, and love people.

Now, I can't imagine my life without a Siamese in it! It would just be wrong.

Lita on the couch. She was young when this photo was taken.
My beautiful Lita when she was young.

So, after my beautiful and precious Lita passed away in 2018, I knew I wanted another Siamese kitty. I wanted to give another Siamese cat a good and loving home in her honor.

I am part of a wonderful Siamese cat group on Facebook, and I asked members where I might find another Siamese to bring home. Nearly everyone who answered recommended Siamese Cat Rescue Center. I had heard about this organization before and really admired the work they do. So, I seriously looked into the application process. I was about to start the process when I decided to see who might be available locally. A search on PetFinder led me to approximately six beautiful Siamese cats who were in my local area. Though I found some gorgeous blue lynx-points like Lita, I was afraid it would be too painful to have a kitty who looked so much like her so soon after she was gone,, though I do hope to be owned by one again someday. I emailed about a few kitties, a couple of seal-points and a flame-point.

I heard back about a cute seal-point first. After getting some questions answered, I scheduled a meet and greet with his foster mom. Carmine and I went to see him, and he told us in no uncertain terms that he was going to come home with us! Anyone who is owned by a Siamese knows that you can try, but arguing with one is futile, so you might as well just do what they say! And that's what I did. After he finished his antibiotics for  an upper respiratory infection, he came to live with us. Tylan has been here for a year now.

Several weeks back, I was talking to our good friend Katherine from Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat. She told me about this book she was reading - Rescue Meez. I immediately looked it up and thought it sounded fantastic, so I wasted no time getting in contact with the author, Siri Zwemke. I was overjoyed when she agreed to send me a copy of Rescue Meez for review - I was practically jumping up and down!

Tylan in his green cube.

Book Description

From the back of the book, "A true story of the many mistakes made, both humorous and sad, as we began and grew a cat rescue organization. Over 20 years we covered 15 states and saved over 12,000 cats. Focusing on Siamese (known as Meezers) but touching the hearts of all animal lovers, laugh and cry with us as we catch flying ferals, diaper our soulmates, and swim with cats."

This book chronicles Siri's journey as she grows from a, "crazy cat lady" to the head of a successful non-profit organization.

My Thoughts

Let me preface this by saying, yes, I'm a little biased. I love cats, and I adore Siamese. I was really looking forward to reading this book.

That being said, I've read many cat books - not all of them have lived up to my expectations.

I have to say that this one exceeded my expectations!

As a writer myself, I find it distracting when there are a lot of grammatical errors and typos in a book. If there are too many errors, I find myself focusing on the errors instead of enjoying the book. Siri's book is impeccably written, which allowed me to enjoy her book all the more.

I love how Siiri fell into cat rescue. Her search for another soulmate cat after losing her beloved Beeky led to the collection of Siamese cats in her home, which eventually resulted in her getting involved in rescue work.

I loved reading about the individual stories of the cats Siri's rescued over the years. The one that touched me the most was the story of Tiki, a kitty who was badly injured and didn't appear to have any fight left in him. After trying everything she could to get him to eat with no success, Siri decided to give Tiki a nice bath. Tiki began to relax as Siri lovingly bathed him. He even began to purr. After he had been dried off, Tiki promptly went to his food bowl and began to chow down!

This story touched me so much because it reminded me so much of both Jewel and Lita. Love pulled both girls through some really tough times - it even helped Lita come back from the brink of death in December, 2017. Tiki's story just reaffirmed to me how powerful love can be. Siri followed her heart, gave Tiki the love he needed, and helped him find the fight he had within himself to live.

One of the things that struck me about this book is that it's so honest. I've been involved with a few different rescue organizations and animal shelters over the past 15 years, and I've always felt that transparency is vital. However, what I've seen most organizations do is try to gloss over mistakes instead of taking responsibility for them, facing them head-on, and then learning from them.

Siri admits her mistakes. She can laugh about the humorous ones, and she learns from the sad ones. I found it so refreshing to see someone be so vulnerable and honest. I think all rescue organizations should strive to follow her example.

Another thing I wish more rescue organizations would do is personality match. Siri tells us how some adopters get annoyed at all the questions she asks them before matching them with a cat, but personally, I would love it if more organizations did this. Most of the organizations and shelters I've worked with will tell a potential adopter about a cat and let the adopter decide if they think the cat would fit well in their home. While I'm sure personality matching isn't an exact science, I believe more cat rescue organizations would do well to adopt a process similar to that of the Siamese Cat Rescue's.

Tylan on the couch.

I know quite a bit about Siamese as a breed given all my research as well as being owned by Lita for 14 years (and now Tylan). However, I did learn something new about the breed. Siri describes how different color-pointed Siamese tend to have certain personality traits, and I found this very fascinating.

I love Tylan to pieces and would not trade him for anything. However, based on Siri's observations, it sounds like a flame-point Siamese may have matched Carmine's personality a little better. Carmine is a very laid back cat at home. Tylan can be a little too intense for him sometimes.

Who Should Read This Book?

I believe this book would appeal to many types of people, including:
  • Cat lovers: All cat lovers, not just those who love Siamese cats. Siri shares her love of cats with us in this book. She also shares the stories of many individual cats. If you like cats, I believe you'll love this book.
  • Anyone Involved With (or Wanting to Get Involved With) Rescue: Anyone who is involved with rescue should read this book. Siri is forthright with her mistakes. You can learn the lessons she did, hopefully without having to make the same mistakes yourself.
  • Anyone Who Likes Love Stories: Not only does Siri share her search for a soulmate cat with us, she shares her journey of finding her human soulmate with us as well. 
  • Anyone Who Enjoys Inspirational Stories: Siri triumphed over numerous obstacles in forming a successful non-profit organization. Her story is an inspirational one. 
Honestly, I don't feel like I've done this book justice in this review. So, if I've piqued your interest in the slightest, please go pick up a copy of Rescue Meez and read it. You won't be disappointed!

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of "Rescue Meez" by Siri Zwemke for a fair and honest review. Receiving the book did not influence my opinions in any way. All opinions expressed on Fur Everywhere are my own. 


  1. I'll definitely add this book to my 'to be read' list! Our Chili Bruce probably has some Siamese in him; the vet says we can tell by his body and head shape. His supposedly twin brofur does NOT have these characteristics, but they surely are a bonded pair, so we won't quibble over lineages, etc...LOL!

  2. I definitely want to read this. It is on my Goodreads want to read list. I hope to have a meezer someday. XO

  3. This sounds like an awesome book!

    My human once had a black cat whose mother was Siamese. He was basically Siamese in every way except color - build, personality, voice, etc.!

  4. That does sound good, really good, and I think Seal qualifies as Siamese...or mostly.

  5. Meezers (6), are the kitties we have always had since being married...I never had cats, Hubby had a few tabbies before he met me.
    Kitties that are so called oriental shorthairs are also fun kitties, very similar to meezers. I met a few in other families over the years. The most fun one was a black rascal...she was so sweet and so naughty at the same time, MOL!

    That sounds like a good book to ask for a Christmas gift...

    1. Ingrid did you know that Oriental Shorthairs ARE part Siamese?? That is why they are so similar!!!

    2. Yes, I did know that, that is why they; even though not considered meezers, really are, MOL!

  6. Aww, that book sounds great! Thank you for sharing about it with us. :)

  7. OH Sierra what a way to start (or not start) a love relationship with the Siamese breed! My best friend Estalitta (R.I.P.) had a Sealpoint named Tayo. He was the coolest cat ever. I wanted a Siamese for years but never had the chance until I was 33 & Mingflower the Bluepoint came into my Life. Had her 18 1/2 years. She was my 'baby suck'. Then I was adopted by Nylablue my Bluepoint Siamese/Birman cross. She was with me for almost 9 years as you probably recall. Then I met Purrince Siddhartha Henry my Burmese boy & I can say I love that breed too. Tho' we did not have enough time together. BellaDharma is a Oriental Shorthair & has Siamese in thing I can say abput Siamese/Birman/Burmese is they know their own minds & we are utterly powerless over them! And Tylan sure proves THAT theory. Happy Anniversary to you both. It has been a rough year I have given Tylan a 2nd chance & so much truly belong together! (((hugs))) Sherri-Ellen & **purrsss** BellaDharma