On the Calico Front

No one it appears can find this kitty. She got outside on the day I was to pick her up and no one has seen her since. I have been over there a few times looking for her but it is an isolated spot near the forest. She could be anywhere.

On Feb. 15th a near hairless tortie was rescued by our sanctuary

We named her Molly and here she is today. She will be put up for adoption this weekend. I call her our heat seeking missile because she always wants to be on my lap. I put her outside just to get a better photo of her- but she definitely prefers to be an inside kitty with only a few outside bathroom breaks- The only hair missing on her these days is on her tail.

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The Gravel Pit Kitty

Here is Cinders, the kitty who someone dumped up at the gravel pit high on the mountain near our home. She has been spayed, she is a bit pet aggressive and doesn’t seem to play well with others. Our hope is this weekend, we can put her up for adoption and find her a home where she will be the only kitty there.

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Calico Abuse

Yesterday, I was alerted to a situation involving an elderly woman and her son and a calico cat. The woman in her 80′s has been going downhill rapidly health wise and apparently her son is “paying her back” for past misdeeds by abusing her! One of the ways he is paying her back is systematically starving and terrorizing her calico cat. She has since been removed from the house and called me in tears asking me to take her cat. I will go and pick up the kitty today. I am told this kitty, once plump and healthy is rail skinny and although a loving pet is now “near feral.” Doesn’t surprise me that the behavior has changed. You starve a cat- what would you expect the cat to do? Embrace all humans from then on? The son is now in the hands of the legal system and the woman is living with other relatives and safe. All that is left is try and undo the damage done over the past few months to this kitty.


 

Quincy’s Training Begins

He is focused on the toy and when he sees a cat, the tug game becomes stronger and I turn him away from the temptation of chasing them. Then we play a game of fetch with it out in the back pasture. He is always on a long line just to be safe- but so far, he has looked but not chased anything but the toy. I am working towards having him just stop looking period. Even when we are tugging, I see his eye wander in the cat’s direction- that is when the command “Quincy watch me” comes into play and then when he does make contact with me, he gets a tasty treat.

One of the “feral” cats that was dropped here recently, came up to me this morning during feeding and headbumped me! This black boy is so beautiful and young. He was quickly captured and I took him into the vet this morning to be neutered. he has long tufts of black fur coming out his ears and the softest fur of any kitty around right now. He’s been here for months and I had about given up on him making any type of contact. But now that he has shown himself- he is a true love! I just wish he weren’t black, they don’t adopt out very quickly around here.

The Jury’s Still Out

 

Yesterday, there was an unfortunate incident involving Quincy and a new outside kitty. The kitty didn’t make it through the ordeal. I was understandably shook up and upset when it happened and Mike and I talked it over. It was decided to put Quincy up for an adoption to a loving NON cat home.

What happened is I let Quince off the lead in the back yard right at the edge of our pasture which is our routine. Out by the haybarn, there was a new black kitten who has been showing up in the mornings of late. Quincy saw him in the tall grass and took off and even though I called and ran after him, he was zoned in and going for it. His ears were full up, his tail was at full mast, he was bounding through the grass. In retrospect, I know he was playing. They did several rounds about the hay barn and then it was over. As it happened out of my eyesight- I was on one end of the barn headed in the other direction, I don’t know really what happened. I just found the kitten who had passed on.

Quincy came right to me. He didn’t bring me the kitten, he didn’t show any predatory instincts towards it. He seemed (for lack of a better adjective) confused about it all.
I pounced on him, put him on his back and pressed on his exposed belly. I was stunned and angry at the time, but I held him there for about a minute and then took him over and put him in his outside kennel. There was not a mark on the kitten. Did Quincy step on him? Roll on him? Did he die of a heart attack? I don’t know. I buried him in the forest and apologized for not watching out for him better.

In all other aspects, Quincy is a wonderful dog. He loves people, other dogs, he stopped chasing the inside kitties the second night he was here because I showed him under no circumstances would that be tolerated. It is when he is outside and he sees a cat in the field (not right next to him) but in the fields, he gets predatory. If you have ever seen a border collie work sheep- right before they are let into the pen or the field to do their work- they watch the herd with great intent. It is called “the eye.” They move very slowly (almost in slow motion) toward their “work” and then when released by the farmer.handler whatever, they run with intent and get to work. This is how he gets and he only does it outside when the cats are not grouped together.

So after having a night to think about it, pray about it and talk further with Mike and my best friend about all of this, I am going to try a couple more things to curb or redirect this behavior. We already have him with Cesar Milans Red Illusion collar which has worked out quite well. He has been able to stop chasing the inside kitties and in the first couple of days of his arrival here over a month ago, the chasing was pretty intense. The cats would take up hiding under the hospital bed and he would be poking his nose underneath and whining to get to them- but again, his tail was up, his ears were forward and he was playing.

Years ago, we bought a white german shepherd puppy from a local breeder. I was walking Ice in the back pasture on a long line and a bird flew by us quite low. Ice leaped straight up in the air, grabbed the bird in her jaws- crunched twice and ate the kill! Ice was 6 months old! On the way back to the house, a bunny ran across the field and it was all I could do to hold her back from killing it. Ice went back to the breeder that night and when we told the breeder why-she laughed and said that yes, she bred for high prey drive in her dogs.

What I saw in Quincy wasn’t that way. It was play and it occurred right after I had taken him on the Cascade trail early in the morning for a long walk (2 hours). We were off the beaten track on an old logging road and he was off leash and right ahead of me a few steps. We came to a curve in the trail and suddenly, he stopped- stiffened up- his hair rose on his hackles and he started growling. He backed up still staring off in the distance (I saw nothing out of the ordinary) but he was still backing up and so I started doing the same. I am not going to argue with a dog that has better scent then me. We started turning around to go back and he kept looking behind us just growling. When we had gone a little ways, I turned around to look back and saw the coyote on the ridge behind us!

So- because of this unfortunate incident, do I just give up on Quincy and put him into what I hope will be a better home than he has now? Or do I just try a couple more times to enforce to him that outside kitties are not sheep to be herded back to the group or to be chased into submission? As I stated above the jury is still out. You can weigh in with your comments if you wish.  I will also tell you that Quincy is the first dog who has loved me to the point that even when I am at my angriest and disciplining him with words and non violent action- his doggone tail wags furiously the whole time! He not only has the herding instincts bred in Rotties, but he is also part German Shepherd who are also herding dogs. Twice the temptation!

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Please join in offering trapping prayers

Just got back from a distress call from someone who lives on the outskirts of town. He and his wife noticed this morning, a calico cat lying on their sun deck and when they went outside to say hello, the cat woke up and dragged her hind legs and took off toward a bunch of thickets. He said he called everyone in existence and no one would help him, so I took off with my trapping gear and went over to see if I could find this injured cat.

No such luck- there has to be at least 4 miles of thicket brush she went into and although I called and popped cans and rattled food bags- the landscape was quiet. I set my traps hoping she was hungry enough and not wounded to the point of just vanishing into the thicket going to ground and dying. Please pray she smells the food and responds to the traps and we don’t catch a skunk, possum or coon in the process! I saw no blood trail but I also saw no kitty either.

Cinders tested negative and she will be ready to come home in about an hour. She was spayed and she was pregnant even though she is oh so young-

Thank you for your prayers

Dumped in a Rock Quarry

As usual, one kitty departs and another needy one arrives. Got the call last night from a caretaker couple who are watching a rockpit high in the hills. Someone had recently dumped a kitten on them (a common occurrence according to Rosalee) But this kitten kept trying to gain access to their motor home but didn’t get along with the rest of their crew. I left immediately to go and get here.

When I got up there and it was a lengthy drive, I knew why people chose this place to dump cats. The quarry is bordered by trees providing an excellent cover for cowards looking to abandon cats and dogs in the  middle of nowhere. Drive past the trees and you see the actual quarry and it is huge- open and barren of anything but scraped rocks and gravel. Any cat or kitten would be spotted immediately out in the open like that.

The older couple (they have 9 strays of their own) were absolutely delightful but overwhelmed. Their income barely covers their basic needs let alone the needs of the strays dumped there. Thankfully, all of their crew have been neutered.

The kitten is about 6months old. She is a Russian Blue mix and we are thinking about either calling her Cinders or Glitter. She is sweet and loving and who in the world could think that leaving her out there was a good thing to do? It boggles my mind. I’d like to find this person and dump him/her out in the middle of nowhere and wish them luck!

She has silver sparkles on her nose and face- she looks like glitter. I am waiting for my vet to open and get her in to be tested and spayed. I left the couple with a few bags of food for the rest of their crew. It will last them at least a month I hope. It is a long drive, but I told them we would help them out food-wise when we can. We get a lot of dry food donated here which is what really keeps this sanctuary going.

This morning when I went into the bedroom to check on her, she curled up in my lap and promptly fell asleep. I felt bad keeping her off food last night because she is a bit skinny- but I really wanted her to have a safe spay day today. Prayers that there is an opening for her today-

The hardest of decisions

On April 23, the calico mom arrived here and from the moment she came, she proved daily that she was a major danger not only to herself and her kittens but to the people around her that cared enough to try and reach her.

This morning when she made a full frontal assault to my chest head and neck, I knew that there are some cats who are just altered and beyond help. I knew what I needed to do, because even if she could be socialized to a certain point, she would always remain a liability once she was adopted out. I would have to ask to have her Bridge Pass stamped and send her on her way.

There were no funds readily available to do this- but I did it anyway. No cat should have to live with such terror in their heart. She did not go gently, I wish that she had, but she was ushered out of this life with as much dignity as my vet could provide for her.

It broke my heart- she was a beautiful calico and she had Persian in her as well, but some cats are so broken and it can take forever to fix them- so for that reason- I gave her final peace.

Goodbye beautiful girl- you will now rejoin  your family and live with no fear for eternity.

 

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Turning 60

A milestone birthday topped off with a call from my 90 year old mom who said “My baby is turning 60 today!” At least she remembered, her memory has started to fade recently and it is sad to see her in such a confused state of mind at times.

It’s no different from any other day, there are litterboxes to scoop, kitties to cuddle and lots of mouths to feed. Yesterday, I received a call from an elderly woman who was going blind and worried about her cat Mooch. She said the kitty was scratching herself to death and so her husband went over to a local store and bought Hartz flea shampoo, They bathed this unfortunate cat and she started having spasms and stopped eating. I rushed over with my handy dandy DAWN shampoo and gave the kitty two baths. She didn’t fight me at all, she was fairly limp until I finished. I gave her fluids and discovered a fair size lump under her right leg. The lump “floats” and it may just be a fatty tumor or something else. This couple, they are in their 90′s and are getting ready to be displaced from their home of 55 years. She pleaded with me to take her black kitty- but I told her I would rather Mooch stay where she is comfortable for now and then right before the big move, I will come and get her.

I called this morning and Mooch had eaten a big can of cat food that I left with the couple and she is no longer tearing at her skin. hopefully, I got to her in time. But I know from experience that these products can do more harm then good so time will tell. The couple lives about 10 minutes from me, so I will be able to check up on Mooch daily.