The Escapees

I saw Dash, Chappy, Gadget, Poe and Turtle yesterday and also this morning. At least they didn’t bolt for the hills and are sticking close to home for now. I am leaving the door to their enclosure open and feeding inside of it, but I am also feeding them under the house. I don’t want them to go hungry while they decide what they are going to do. I was asked by a friend, why I don’t trap them. They won’t go in the traps, I already know this and I risk trapping the mom skunk and her 6 babies in the process. Something I would rather not do.

This morning when I went to feed, I had my orange feral cat come rushing up to me to say hello. It took me by surprise because this is a cat that has not let me even come close to her and has just been hanging out in the shadows. I bent down to pet her and the reaction I got was unsettling. Super affectionate to the point that I had to pick up a large stick and use it to herd her away from me. The flip in her personality is so quick that it could be an exposure to rabies. :( I know if I call my vet, the only recourse he will take is to send her to her death- so I have her on quarantine in one of our largest cages in the barn. If I was working with her on a daily basis and she flipped like this, I would know it is because I had finally got her to trust people, but out of the blue like this- with a wild skunk that I am seeing earlier and earlier in the day- rabies has to at least be considered. There are two types of rabies, the furious form and the paralytic form. Quarantine is 45 days with her being vaccinated in 30 days if no other signs appear. I hope I am just being over-cautious and this little girl is just tired of hiding in the shadows. Time will tell- of course this is the only cat on the premises not vaccinated against rabies- couldn’t get close enough to her. So the countdown starts today. Never a dull moment around here it seems.

George is back to finish the roof. he is also going to make a sheltered feeder off the side of the house so I can feed the escapees in the rain without them getting wet. Pushing food under the house although it works for them- is a bit hard on this 60 year old back and legs!

 

 

Surprise this morning

Woke up to a kitty licking my face. I turned on the light and saw Bentley- one of my outside kitties perched on my chest! How did he get in here? With a sick feeling, I rushed outside to find the cat sanctuary door wide open and no evidence of the cats anywhere around. In my state of mind yesterday, I must have neglected to lock it when I left after the night feeding. Chapppy, Dash, Salem, Gadget, Gidget, Poe, Turtle-all of them gone.

For Dash and Chappy who have called this sanctuary home for their entire lives, they must be so scared to be on the outside. The only thing I could think to do was to block the tunnels leading into the house and leave the outside sanctuary door open, hoping they will come back before something bad happens to them. We are talking 19 year old cats. I have let my neighbors know of the jailbreak and just hope they come home to eat and stay warm. I would love for Bentley to be an inside kitty, but he is a survivor of distemper and has neurological issues that cause him to get aggressive with the other cats or with us- that and he sprays like a firehose.

It’s been a chaotic week. They have closed my mother’s bed with the death curtain yesterday and are giving her three days max before she is gone. The director told my sister (who is there now with her) that she has never seen anyone hang onto life so hard without eating enough to keep a bird alive. She is maybe drinking 4 inches of Boost in a 24 hr period. I thought I wouldn’t cry when I got word that her life was just about over. I thought wrong and now because I wasn’t focused-  I have 8 cats outside for the first time in their lives and no way to find them until they decide to be found.

Saying Goodbye is Never Easy

I found myself yet again, having to say goodbye to a very old feline friend- Mercedes. We put her down early this morning and she went swiftly so she could get out of pain. After putting up all the money to get her teeth pulled and give her a chance at more living, we found ourselves instead with a kitty in incredible pain. In the middle of the night, she would wake us up screaming. She would be on the cat post and she was frantically clawing at her mouth. The first few times, I flew out of bed thinking she had a string or thread wrapped around her tongue, but that sadly was not the case. She had a whopping case of stomatitis which would require weekly trips at first to the vet for depo shots- then the possible full extraction of all her teeth if the steroids (after 6 weeks) didn’t work.

 

Did I want to put her through all that misery just because of how special she is?No, I did not and made the difficult decision to let her go. So fly now Missy Mercedes, you are free of pain and chasing all those heavenly mice to your ultimate satisfaction. We shall miss you- you had a good run of 14 years-

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“Operation Roof Repair” Underway

Thanks in large part to Lowe’s Home Improvement Center, our project is now underway to replace the roof of the stall enclosure, insulate the roof and put in a ceiling. Lowe’s made us a handsome offer for supplies once they saw  my wish list. Not only can I get the roof completely done, but I can also pay George up front to do the work and have a bit left to put on our now manageable $400.00 vet bill! I was so thrilled to find Lowe’s so cooperative toward our ultimate goal- Beats the competition telling us they will give us 10% off the total bill-

First order of business- go and fetch the supplies:

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Next on the agenda- clear out the stall enclosure of all stored items:

One would think, ,I have too many cat carriers!

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now the inside is almost empty, time for the roof to come off!01moreinsides

The man of the hour- here’s George!

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So the project should be completed by Tuesday (according to George) We also had to destroy 5 yellow jacket nests- YUCK! One was the size of a basketball hanging under the eaves out of sight. Thank God George saw it before the wasps saw him-

Insulation going up!

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He’s home!!!!!

He wasn’t eating for them but the minute I got him  home, he inhaled a bowl of food then begged to go outside. He has so many stitches in him but it is a joy to watch him move because he does so easily and I can see that although he is in pain- it isn’t like the pain he was in. I missed him more than I thought I would and he about flew across the lobby when he saw me sitting there waiting for them to bring him out. They have him on three different pain pills and an antibiotic and I bought him one of those Kong soft collars to keep him from biting at his leg. The trimline I had is a bit ruined after Quincy decided to try and rub it off his neck so long ago after his surgery. This kong collar is inflatable so it also works as a pretty good pillow but I am not going to put it on him until night before we go to bed. I’m just so glad he is home and he made it through all that pain and emerged with a smile and a wag of his tail.

 

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Just Passing the Word Along

Maddie’s Barn Cat Apprenticeship at Austin Pets Alive!

Are you passionate about feline welfare? Do you want to defend the lives of feral and semi-feral cats by implementing a sustainable, lifesaving program in your community? If so, our Barn Cat Apprenticeship may be just for you!

Who should apply:

These apprenticeship opportunities are for shelter/rescue organization directors, staff and volunteers who are interested in learning how to be most effective at implementing this type of program in their organization.

How does it work?

The Barn Cat Apprenticeship is three days, plus travel. Students will receive three inspiring days at Austin Pets Alive! in Austin, Texas, packed with information that will provide a fresh and exciting outlook on how to foster hope, health and happiness for their feral and semi-feral cat programs.

The dates and number of candidates:

Apprenticeship programs will run October, November and December 2016. A total of six apprentices will be selected, two per month. Dates will be determined based on availability of the selected candidates.

Student candidates may select a first and second choice months for their availability. Candidate assignments will be determined on a first come first served basis.

Application deadline for all three months: September 6th, 2016

Stipend:

A $1,500 stipend will be awarded to the organization of each student chosen to cover travel and lodging of the student.

How to apply:

Applications are accepted now through September 6th for all three months. All six students will be selected by September 20, with notices going out to those selected by the next week.

When selected, students are required to read and watch these online materials before going to APA!. Email your application to monica.frenden@austinpetsalive.org.

 

 

 

APPLY TODAY!

Prayers for Cooper Please

He will get his leg amputated this morning. I know that over-all this is the best solution for him- but I am putting him in incredible short-term pain by deciding to do this. he is still dragging his now useless leg behind him. As I think I stated before, the vet left a sharp point of bone that is digging into Cooper’s muscle and making it hard for him to want to walk on that leg. The vet said he could smooth out the bone but he couldn’t guarantee that Coop would ever walk right again, which means that if it didn’t work, Coop would have to have yet another operation to remove the leg. I didn’t think that was quite fair.

Since this was a vet mistake, they are only charging us for the anesthesia. I just hope that Cooper will forgive me in the coming days for deciding to do this rotten thing to him.

Elliott Update

They have flushed out his wounds, given him a shot of covenia and he will be neutered today. He  was extremely lucky as kitties go- he is a stranger to us, a new kitty at our sanctuary. He was full of fleas so they have dealt with that issue as well. He seems to be pretty calm until he is put into a cage no matter the size he goes ballistic.

The last time I was witness to a HBC it did not turn out well for the driver or the cat. The driver swerved to miss the kitty but hit it anyway and then hit a pole. The kitty did not make it in the swerve it was hit twice. :( But Elliott used one of this lives up that’s for sure.

My next challenge before in is headed by this question: Do I save cats, or do I save a building? A few months ago, our one cat enclosure suffered damage in a storm and there is a hole in the roof. The enclosure is also not fully insulated and I did a quick tab and we are looking at a cost of about $1,900.00 to replace the roof- insulate the sucker all the way around and make it usable in all weather situations. I have about $900.00 left from the sale- which still brings us up short to do the repairs. Plus nothing left over to pay George to do all that hard work. I talked to a local home improvement center about this damage and brought in all the documents needed to prove we are a non-profit. They were kind enough to tell me I could get all supplies at their cost- but as of yet, they haven’t got back to me as to how much this cost would be.

So now with two new arrivals in need of TLC and meds, I am wondering if it would be better to just buy a large tarp and have George go up on the roof and cover the damage and wait until the money becomes available to fix the whole building? The manager suggested I take out a credit card for their center, but I don’t make any money- everything goes to the cats so that wouldn’t work. So I am conflicted. If I fix the building- it would easily house 15 cats with no problems- or I could keep it as storage which forces me to keep my population low because I have no room for newcomers.

Adding to this is that Cooper’s surgery did not go as planned and he still isn’t using his leg. He is scheduled to have his leg amputated on Monday. I was told they wouldn’t charge me full price because the vet didn’t see or find the sharp bone that is now poking a hole in my dog’s tissue, but I am sure there will be some charges. So again- do I save the animals- or the building?