Author Archives: Mia V

A Year of Cats!

scraps logoA record 355 cats and kittens have come to SCRAPS in the first two weeks of September.  Last year during the same period, SCRAPS impounded 150 cats and kittens.

“This September we have had an overwhelming number of cats brought in,” said Nancy Hill, Director of SCRAPS.  “If we adopted one cat per day, it would take almost a year to empty out our cat room.”

Unfortunately, SCRAPS doesn’t have a year to find homes for these animals.   So far this summer, over 500 kittens have been placed into the SCRAPS foster care program.  These babies are so young they must be hand-fed.  As they become available for adoption, they will continue to keep the cages full in our new facility.

All of the animals taken into SCRAPS are from the Spokane area – SCRAPS does not import animals from out of the area into our shelter.  These cats and kittens are from Spokane and need homes here in Spokane.

Please remember to spay/neuter, license and microchip your pets.

The SCRAPS cat room is nearing capacity and they need the public’s help in finding homes for all of the cats and kittens in their care. They are offering a special starting Friday, September 19th through Sunday, September 21st 2014. Owners can adopt an adult cat, young cat, or kitten for $15 – the cost of a license. This includes spay/neutering, micro-hipping, vaccinations, and exam.


SOURCE – SCRAPS press release, 9/18/2014

Featured Pet: Oreo #7414

Pet-of-the-Week-Oreo-7414-TVMeet Our Pet of the Week!

Name: Oreo #7414

Breed: Mixed breed (possibly some Jack Russell Terrier)

Likes: walking on a leash, sitting in a lap, eating treats, hunting for crumbs left in the couch, sniffing interesting smells

Dislikes: new people and places mixed with loud noises (needs some time to adjust to new things – a little shy but willing to get over it)

What He’s Looking for in a Family: anyone young or old who has the time to play and cuddle with him

Extra Extra: neutered

Adoption Fee: $87.04 (includes micro-chipping and licensing)

Q&A with Local Children’s Fantasy Author Jessica Rising at SpoCon!

jessicarising.JPGLast year we did a profile on local children’s fantasy author Jessica Rising. While she is just as amazing as she was back then (and it is totally worth it to check out the profile on her), lots of great things have happened to her since that time. She’s signed with a publisher and her post-apocalyptic middle-grade novel trilogy Guts and Glory, Freedom Fighters of Nil is now being released by Second Wind Publishing LLC. She’s done book readings and signings in Spokane and other areas of the Northwest AND she’s become kind of a big deal at SpoCon. Luckily even with her busy busy schedule she found time to answer some questions for us about the convention, writing, and being a nerd in this day and age.

Q. How many years have you been involved in SpoCon?
A. This was my second year at the con and my first as volunteer “staff”. I put that in quotes because I’m not currently official but I was involved in content meetings and their inevitable work this past year. That was a blast!

Q. What was your first SpoCon experience like?
A. It was pretty laid back. I had a selling and signing table which I was at most of the time. I was on two panels as well, which was so much fun that I insisted on attending a lot more this year. My first panel ever was just myself and C.J. Cherryh. That was pretty intimidating but exciting as well; she was wonderful!

Q. What has this year’s SpoCon experience been like for you?
A. Well, I can certainly say it wasn’t laid back! I attended about seven panels, taught two workshops, directed the Mad Marmot Variety Show, and spoke at C.J.’s tribute, as we have gotten to know each-other better over this past year. I was REALLY tired, REALLY busy… and had a LOT of fun! I wouldn’t change a thing about my experience this year (well… except maybe get a LITTLE more sleep).

Q. What were you most looking forward to at SpoCon this year?
A. Hands-down, my children’s writing workshop. I requested it from the SpoCon content team myself, as I really wanted to work with my actual readership one-on-one. It was a lot of fun. In the end, I think I may have learned more than they did. I was also looking forward to the panels. They’re always SO much fun!

Q. Have you been to other scifi/fantasy conventions? If so, how would you compare those conventions to SpoCon?
A. SpoCon is the only con I’ve ever attended. I know, I know. I plan on fixing that ASAP. I’m a little addicted now.

Q. Why do you think it’s important to have events like SpoCon?
A. Growing up as a nerd is not easy. At least it wasn’t when I was a kid. For an adult — especially these days — being a nerd is a little more acceptable for most people, but there are still more “normal” people out there who we work with, play with, and otherwise spend our time with. They can be great people, but they don’t understand fandom like we do. They don’t understand the obsessions we have. They can’t relate, and that can be really difficult to deal with. This is especially true for those of us who don’t have nerdy family or friends close by. To spend a whole weekend immersed in our very favorite things — with others who love them too — is invigorating. It re-energizes us, giving us the drive we need to keep going to our day jobs the rest of the year.
This year especially I felt even more than that. Surrounded by people who not only understand the things that drive my soul but also create those things AND think highly of my own work, I was revitalized to continue writing and to make it even better.

Q. What do you hope people get out of attending this event?
A. I hope people have fun, first and foremost. That’s what SpoCon is all about! Adding camaraderie, encouragement, family bonding, learning, growing, beauty, fandom, music…I could go on and on… well, that’s just icing on the cake!

Q. What are your favorite things about the convention?
A. The writing track of course. For me, networking with fellow authors at mealtimes, discussing nuances with up-in-coming authors at the panels, and teaching budding authors in the workshops is almost as great as writing. Almost. I also love the cosplay and being surrounded by my fellow nerds. It’s not just anywhere that I can begin a Monty Python quote and receive a perfectly timed finish from a bunch of people at the same time!

Q. Will you be participating again next year?
A. Yep! I also hope to continue working with the amazing content team on making next year, and every year after, better and better!

Q. What guests were you most excited to see this year, and who are your dream guests for future years and why?
A. I always love being around C.J. Cherryh so she’s definitely a number one! I was also excited to meet Scott C. Brown who I worked with on the Mad Marmot Show. The Handsome Author’s Society was a lot of fun to work and hang out with too. Roget Ratchford was also so fascinating!
As for future guests, as a bibliophile my first choices are authors. Stephen King would be AMAZING, though he’s difficult to book. I’d also love to see Terry Brooks, who calls the Inland Northwest home and even includes Spokane in some of his work. Rick Riordan would be a lot of fun, as would J.K. Rowling (also difficult to book). Outside of the book realm, I’m excited to meet just about anyone from the realms of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, though if they worked on Stargate I’d be pretty starstruck! (Pun totally intended.)

Q. Do you have anything else to add?
A. Just that SpoCon is only getting bigger and better, and I’m so excited to remain a part of it for many, many years to come!


*To keep up with Jessica Rising, her book releases, and all the random fun stuff she likes to write/talk about, find her on the web at her site or on Facebook! You can purchase books from Second Wind Publishing online (and it’s totally worth it, our blogger-gal Mia has read the first two books in the Guts and Glory trilogy and she loved them even as an adult reader). 

Featured Pet: Stuart #6924

stuartadoptedMeet Our Pet of the Week!

Name: Stuart #6924
Breed: Domestic Short Hair
Likes: cuddling, talking, playing with string and other dangly things, napping in the warm spot left on the couch after his people have been sitting there
Dislikes: outdoors (he’s declawed so needs to stay inside), an empty food dish
What He’s Looking for in a Family: kids and adults are fine as long as they are mellow and quiet and willing to give him lots of affection
Extra Extra: neutered and declawed on his front paws
Adoption Fee: $40 (includes micro-chipping and licensing)

ThisTV Movie Review: Star Trek II-Wrath of Khan

star-trek-ii-the-wrath-of-khan-poster-star-trek-movies-8475612-1707-2560“Jim Kirk was many things, but he was NEVER a boy scout.” Dr. Carol Marcus
“I don’t believe in a no-win scenario.” Admiral James T. Kirk

Once upon a time James T. Kirk was a captain. Then he was an admiral. Then he was a captain again. And then an admiral. And then he was dead, but not really. And how did all this ridiculous yo-yo-ing start?

Well …

Once upon a time there was a planet where a Big Bad with fabulous hair and a Latin accent was marooned by Captain Kirk and then forgotten. It left him feeling a bit … bitter.

Ok VERY bitter.

So when StarFleet returns to his crappy desert planet and starts poking around at things, this bitter Big Bad is quite ready to bring on an extreme level of vengeance to the universe.

And especially on James T. Kirk.

ST2_1The plot of Wrath of Khan basically breaks down like this: The Starship Reliant is tooling about the galaxy looking for a dead planet to do some science-y business on. Unfortunately the planet they come up with is less lifeless than it at first seems. Khan Noonien Singh, an old nemesis of Admiral Kirk’s from back in his original Captain-y run on television, has been living it up on this desolate wasteland and he’s ready to branch out and explore some new worlds. Within just a short period of time he’s taken control of the Reliant, stolen some swanky life-creating future-tech, and harassed the Enterprise and Kirk in an explosive and nearly life-taking way. Soon Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the jolly Enterprise crew must find a way to retake the future-tech, destroy Khan, and deal with some sudden and surprising family issues (surprise Kirk, it’s a boy!).

movies-star-trek-wrath-of-khanStar Trek 2: Wrath of Khan is not the first film in the Star Trek film series, but it is the first one many fans want to acknowledge exists. It’s the one with the great story, scene-chewing Big Bad, epically quotable dialogue, and wonderful, emotional, tragic ending. It’s the one that combines classic literature including Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities, and King Lear with the powered-up version of a 60’s campy scifi show. It’s the one that leads into the next one, and the next one, and the next one, where Admiral Kirk will find himself demoted, promoted, imprisoned, and sucked into a time vortex-y thing.

It’s the one where for a moment, a brief little hiccup of time, James T. Kirk admits he’s old and tired and worn out around the edges and maybe ready for all of the space adventuring to be over.

It’s a tiny little moment, a bit of quiet after Khan has stolen the life-creating future-tech and (supposedly) stranded Kirk and company inside a dead planet and Kirk has screamed Khan’s name in an iconic fashion. Kirk and his lost love interest Dr. Carol Marcus are having a heart-to-heart about life, the universe, and every secret child-shaped thing, when for just a minute – just a tiny little minute – he gives up.

Khan!!!Admiral Kirk, once the most infamous captain of the most infamous ship in StarFleet, has had enough. His ship is a mess, his crew is injured or dead, he’s stranded in a planet with his ex and his surprise son, his enemy from 15 years ago is out to get him, and he’s just had a birthday reminding him that his time in this crazy galaxy is running out.

It is such a brief moment really, and within minutes he’s off and running on another hair-brained scheme to save the day. BUT. But. That doesn’t make it any less of a profound look into the heart of this great man.

James T. Kirk is a legend. A hero. A rebel and a scoundrel and a bit of a man whore.

He’s larger than life. He’s the only one to ever beat the Kobayashi Maru no-win-scenario – because he totally cheated. He’s an idea, a concept, an ascendant point to aspire to.

But he’s also a man. A man with deep weariness who has been around the universe and back and isn’t sure he has it in himself to do it all again.

– Mia V.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, PG, 1982
Starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Ricardo Montalban
Directed by Nicholas Meyer
Written by Gene Roddenberry, Harve Bennet

*Watch Wratch of Khan on ThisTV: Friday 9/19 11:30pm, Tuesday 9/23 at 9:30pm, and Thursday 9/25 at 10:30am!


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ThisTV Movie Review: She’s Having a Baby

she_s_having_baby“People don’t mature anymore. They stay jackasses all their lives.” Grandpa Briggs

Before Kevin Bacon obsessed over horrible serial killers. Before Elizabeth McGovern was a high lady in England. Before Alec Baldwin was funny. Before any of them were famous for being serious actors, they were just a bunch of 80’s kids starring in a John Hughes movie (because that’s what kids in the 80s did).

The plot of She’s Having a Baby basically breaks down like this: Jefferson Briggs (Kevin Bacon) is young and confused and in love and adorable. He marries his sweetheart Kristie (Elizabeth McGovern) even though his handsome but somewhat skeazy bestie (Alec Baldwin) tells him not to. Jefferson wants to write novels and be happy and spends a lot of time worrying that it isn’t happening for him the way he wants it to. He lies his way into an advertising job (makes sense), buys a house, mows his lawn, tells everyone he’ll be a novelist someday, and keeps waiting for happiness to smack him in the face. Of course that isn’t how happiness in life works, but it takes him pretty much the whole film to figure that out.

She_s_Having_A_Baby_231790sPersonally I love She’s Having a Baby. It’s a very sweet, rather witty, somewhat more grown-up version of a John Hughes story. Of course even with that slightly more grown-up vibe, it is still littered liberally with John Hughes’ film fixtures: someone drives a ridiculous sporty 80’s car, parents/grandparents are bossy and clueless, dialogue is quick and pithy and a little sarcastic, Paul Gleason makes an appearance, much of the story takes place in the middle of Everywhere, Illinois, the main character spends the majority of the time questioning everything around them, and the soundtrack is rockin’ (I dare anyone to not tear up during This Woman’s Work at the end).

It’s a solid, good-natured dramedy that proves a point without being so in-your-face about it that you want to scream and throw things at the TV. Which is good, cause my roommate would be pissed if I messed up her giant swanky LED TV. It’s not as silly as Weird Science, not as overly dramatic as Pretty in Pink, but that nice middle of the road between funny and serious (it actually swings between a fully choreographed singing dancing lawnmowing number to a very intense birthing scene) like Breakfast Club.

bacon-mcgovern-shes-havingThere are, of course, some flaws. Like the great 80’s scifi features of yesteryear such as Space Mutiny and (original) Battlestar Galactica, She’s Having a Baby is extremely dated. The hair and the shoulderpads are too poofy, the walls are too pastel-washed, and the idea that a woman can get married, give up her job, and stay home with the kids forever cause the husband is working is an idea of a bygone era. It’s a perfect little time capsule of suburban, middle class, 80’s life, wrapped up in a sentimental John Hughes-shaped bow. Even the silly end credit scene, with the characters trying to figure out a baby name and lineup of big name stars of the 1980s (Wil Wheaton! Bill Murray! Dan Ackroyd!) throwing in an idea, is so dated it hurts.

Does this detract from the overall enjoyment you can experience watching this film? I don’t particularly think so BUT I am a product of those wonderful 80s and I love watching those old movies and laughing about just how much has changed – and how much has stayed the same – since then. Sure we’ve replaced typewriters with tablet computers, sweaters and long skirts with skinny jeans and hipster vests, and lifelong careers for the jobs of the moment, but deep down we want the same things now that they wanted back then – family, friends, happiness, and a sense of our place in the grand scheme of things.

– Mia V.

She’s Having a Baby, Rated PG-13, 1988
Starring Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth McGovern, Alec Baldwin
Directed by John Hughes
Written by John Hughes

*Watch She’s Having a Baby on ThisTV: Thursday 9/11 at 3pm and Tuesday 9/30 at 9am!

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Take a Walk in the Park for SCRAPS Hope Foundation!

walkintheparkIt’s time to put on your walking shoes and join SCRAPS for a fun-packed day to raise money to provide medical treatment to the homeless animals taken in by the shelter! You can walk with or without a dog, with your ‘pack’, in memory of a beloved pet, as a virtual walker, or even in honor of your cat.

A Walk in the Park on Saturday, September 27th 2014 from 10am-2pm, is a pledge walk to support the SCRAPS Hope Foundation Animal Medical Fund, which provides live-saving medical treatment, enrichment, and care to homeless dogs in our area.

Registration is free and can be done online at: (or on the date of the event). Once you have registered you can collect pledges from family, friends, and coworkers to help support animals in the care of SCRAPS Hope Foundation. Registration includes a doggie bag and a chance to win prizes for you and your pooch!

A Walk in the Park will take place at Prairie View Park on Spokane’s South Hill (61st Avenue and the Palouse Highway). It will feature a Puppy Track and a Big Dog Track for kids and adults.

Don’t let this great opportunity to get out and play with your dogs for a great cause pass you by! Register now for A Walk in the Park, start collecting pledges, and see you out there on September 27th!

Featured Pet: Allegra #6223

allegraadoptedAllegra (#6223) is a beautiful four-year-old long-haired Calico cat. She was picked up and brought in to SCRAPS and is now waiting for the perfect forever home. She’s very sweet and affectionate and does have a bit of a mischievous side to her. She’s happy to cuddle and nap with her family, but also likes to play on occasion. Allegra has a lovely long coat that she maintains fairly well on her own. But long hair can easily become tangled and matted and she’ll need to be brushed on a regular basis to keep her coat in great shape. The adoption fee for Allegra is $40 and includes spaying, micro-chipping, and licensing, among other things. If you are interested in adopting her, please head out to SCRAPS news location at 6815 E Trent, Spokane Valley, and ask for Allegra by ID number 6223!

Featured Pet: Spartacus #6597

spartacusadoptedSpartacus (#6597) is a four-year-old male Bernese Mountain Dog/Shepherd mix. He was picked up and brought in to SCRAPS and is now looking for a new forever home. He is young and full of energy and, while he wants to be a good boy, doesn’t always pay attention to what is being asked of him when he gets too excited. He would definitely benefit from some obedience classes and luckily SCRAPS offers them twice a month for FREE. He would be great with a family of adults and old kids, as his size and exuberance might be overwhelming for smaller children. The adoption fee for Spartacus is $87.04 and includes neutering, micro-chipping, and licensing, among other things. If you are interested in adopting him, please come to SCRAPS and ask for him by ID number 6597!

Featured Pet: Snookie #5821

Pet of the WeekSnookie (#5821) is a spayed two-year-old tortoiseshell tabby cat. She’s sweet and playful and loves to eat, which is evident by the extra pounds she is currently carrying around. She was brought in to SCRAPS along with 13 other cats after her previous owner passed away. While she was in a large pet family before she was taken care of very well and is now looking for a new home where she can find love – and hopefully a diet! She has no current health issues but will need to lose some weight so that she can stay healthy. She would be fine with a family of any size, with or without kids, and does well in a multiple cat household. The adoption fee for Snookie is $40 and includes micro-chipping and licensing, among other things. If you are interested in adopting her, please head out to SCRAPS new location at 6815 E Trent, Spokane Valley, and ask for Snookie by ID number 5281!