For the last couple of nights, I have been hearing cat fights outside. By the time I get dressed and get outside, the noise subsides- except for last night. To my surprise the two ferals inside the deck enclosure Malcolm and Striker are fighting. I called George and asked him to come over tomorrow. We are going to extend their territory and give them a place where they can get outside..yes another catio, but basically right now, they are in a wooden box. A big wooden box with windows, but it is still a wooden box. We are going to give them a bit of a sun roof. a solid roof except for the piece of plastic that will be their sun roof. The sides will be wired and screened so they can have fresh air and I hope this extension will stop the ugly fighting. I am sure Striker is just annoyed at his freedom being taken from him (karen had him roaming her property) Malcom is a sweet boy and he is just caught in the crossfire. I just hope it won’t rain so we can provide them some relief.
“Hi there, you might remember me as ‘Stumbles.’ I was the six-month old mackeral tabby kitty that fell into the care of CATS Inc., after someone intentionally broke my leg. I was found in a pretty rough neighborhood, and even though the people who found me wanted me back, it was decided I would go to a better life. I was pretty relieved to hear this because the person who hit me could still have been lurking around. Now, I am in a town far away living with two wonderful people (they love to spoil me!)
I had a cast on my leg, seemed like forever. When they took it off the first time, they found pressure sores and nasty stuff and had to clean me up and reapply it. But now it is all gone and I can run and play with Rob and Jen.
Can you tell I am in a good place? I even have a kickin bow-tie collar. Such a distinguished gentleman that I am.Even my new name is elegant. They call me Murphy!
Gotta go, my pillow is calling my name!”
Patience has been in and out of the house now for about a month. Her night terrors are still so evident that when she starts her anxious meowing at 1:00 a.m. and continues it non-stop, I eventually cave and let her out at 4:00 a.m. I don’t wish her to be outside. Not with two neighbors not fond of cats and I know she wanders. I have tried all my tricks to calm her down; harp music, leaving on lights, putting her in a room with calmer cat, feeding her, holding her and finally giving her one-on-one playtime and nothing was working.
Thursday when I took Blake to the vet- I also bought a nutureCALM24/7 pheremone collar. I have Feliway diffusers burning 24/7 at the sanctuary in most of the rooms but they seemed to have little effect on Patience. I was skeptical that this collar would even work, but I wanted to give it a shot.
Just like clock-work that night at 9:00 p.m. she was waiting at the door to come in. I brought her in and fastened the collar on her, stepping back to see how she would react with something around her neck. She wasn’t even concerned. I fed her and just let her be and she joined the other cats in the outside enclosure.
At ten when I headed for bed, I sent a prayer skyward asking God to please let her get through the night without the demons chasing her. She woke me at 3:00 a.m. She gave two plaintive squeaks, then all was quiet! I went out of the bedroom to find her, she was curled up asleep on one of the cat towers! With a big smile, I headed back to bed.
She has been in the house ever since with the collar still on. Although in the beginning in the daytime, she was pacing a bit, she has quieted down and now just wants me to pet her and love on her.
Th collar is manufactured by meridian animal health. When you first fasten it on, all this powder falls off of it, but this powder is what activates the pheroemones. The pheromoens it gives off mimics the calming scent the Queen carries for her kittens. It has not only given Patience the time she needs to face her fears, but it has made her adoptable for the first time in her life.
This kitty born in a hoarder’s home with little hope of a normal life, now has an opportunity to be someone’s beloved pet and be cherished and cared for the rest of her life.
These photos were taken this morning. She isn’t caged any longer and this is the calmest I have ever seen her. For her to finally find her peace is a true Easter Blessing and we couldn’t have achieved this stage without the help of meridian animal health and their amazing collar.
Here she was the first night with us:
One of the recent rescues from Karen, Blake is a charming, older gentleman with no teeth and so many mouth issues, his tongue keeps hanging out. But until we get more weight on him, mouth issues are put on hold.
He is an elevator butt kitty in fine style. When I start to scratch “that” special spot, he raises his hind end, bends his head and grabs a piece of straw. As I continue scratching- he will fling his head from side-to-side and that straw stays firmly in his grasp. Then he leans his head way back and flings the straw across the room and grabs another one! LOL It is hysterical and he does it everytime. He is a YOuTube candidate if I ever saw one.My camera takes decent still shots, but not videos. I think Blake would go viral and what that would say about stray cats would be so wonderful, he could be an ambassador!
I had a wild idea yesterday and went and talked with a local shop owner. In our town we unfortunately have a large population of homeless. They sit on the streets and in parking lots with their cardboard signs begging for help. One group really upsets me because there are four people and five dogs. They always try to put the dogs into the road where cars have to either stop to avoid hitting the dogs, or swerve around them.
So I got to thinking and after Easter, I am going to take a piece of foamboard and place all the photos of my “homeless” kitties on it. The sign will say something like “Homeless- Please Help!” and when people do stop, they will see it is cats and kittens in need of a home, not someone wanting to scam them out of money. I will have my adoption forms ready, a pre-addressed stamped envelope and if the person is serious, they can take the form home, fill it out and mail it in and I will be in touch with them after. I have the shopkeeper’s permission to squat outside her store.
Don’t know if it will work or not- it just may amuse people, might tick off others and Mike said he will be parked nearby just in case with B-Dog. It would also be a good vehicle for me to educate people about TNR-
Agatha was surrendered over to the sanctuary in December of last year. She had been found wandering a neighborhood in Portland and the woman who initially picked her up had no clue about how to care for a cat- let alone a calico with a HUGE attitude! We met at a fast food restaurant in Albany and she was transferred to our care.
From the get-go she was pure calico in attitude. Unable to get along with any other cat here, I pushed hard to find her a home where she would be able to thrive and be loved. I got lucky finding Christy and her family and off she went. She had no other cats in the home, just a dog Darcie who is a dachsund chihuahua mix-she had a 10 year old boy Tyler who loved her at first sight and a wife and a hubby. It was a match made in heaven.
This morning, Christy called me to fill me on Ms. Agatha and how she rules the roost. She sleeps with Tyler every night on his bed. She waits at the window for him to come home from school, then the minute he opens the door, he has to go and sit on the couch so they can have a pet fest. Then she follows him all over the house, interferes with him doing his homework (she dances across his paperwork or keyboard). But Christy says the funniest thing that Agatha does is Darcie is quite the barker. They can scold her for barking till the cows come home, but if this little dog wants to bark she does.
Recently, Agatha has developed an anti-barking campaign. When Darcie starts up her yapping, Agatha will slide off the couch, walk over to the little dog and with claws tucked in- whap her across the nose! Christy laughed and said it has worked so well that now, all Agatha has to do is show up in the room when the dog is going off and Darcie shuts up and slides under the dining room table. LOL
Gotta love Calicos-
Here is the Queen of the Castle- Agatha
It is time of growth, and rebirth. The celebration of all things living, yet in my world it also brings an influx of emails from confused people who are finding days old kittens with no idea of what to do next to save the wee ones. I just received an email from a gal in the UK who has a 5 day old kitten she found. This wee one hasn’t eaten in two days, and I doubt when she gets my email, I don’t think this little one will be around to try and save.
I receive emails from all around the world- it boggles my mind really. People in Africa, Scotland, I had a soldier in Afghanistan contact me. Innocent lives just left in places unimaginable and people stumbling on them and trying their best to do what’s right, to right the wrong done to the tiny creatures.
Sometimes the Lord shines through and kittens live. Tank- the kitty the soldier found now rides in Scott’s rucksack! The kitten in Hawaii now has a palatial home to live in and all the mice he could possibly wish to chase across the floor. I am grateful that Tania and I formed kwww.kitten-rescue.com and I miss my old online partner so much. She took her life several years ago. An awesome rescuer of kittens in Australia, she was unable to find the tools to rescue herself.
So the website exists and is found by the kind souls who find themselves at a loss as to what to do next with a tiny life found in their day.
Please offer prayers for the kitty in the UK that he/she can survive the odds and grow to be the magnificent cat who will be loved by the woman who found her alone and abandoned in a nest of weeds.
He arrived with six others on March 9th, 2014. Although owned by two other rescuers, this black and white, long-haired kitten had yet to be neutered. March 10th an appointment was made to get him clipped. He was so matted, the vet took pity on me and clipped the worst mats off this unsocialized kitten while he was sedated.
It is 4:38 a.m. Edison has been here a month now. I am sitting on the bedroom floor with my kitten bait (a pouch of turkey/ham thinly sliced). I do my standard kitty call in a soft voice, but it doesn’t matter- seven kittens from the living room come skidding down the hallway and slide into the screen door preventing them entry into the bedroom. For now, they are now ignored. They will be treated later. I toss several large pieces of meat onto the floor and dim the lights. The Edison Project is commencing.
He has been lurking underneath the bed now for a month. He would hiss and growl when we gained entry into the bedroom then slip underneath the bed (still growling) I have let him be- he is eating, he is drinking and using the litterpans. I know he needs to have mats removed, be de-wormed because of tapes. They put flea treatment on him at the time of surgery but that time has passed, he needs new treatment. Adding deworming medicine to food no matter how tasty or stinky has been a bust. He won’t even lick a drop of the food. I wish I had his sense of smell!
I have to wonder. Karen told me she got this kitten from a fellow rescuer. I know this rescuer well. She is passionate about spaying and neutering. So passionate, that her beater car bears a chart of numbers of how many kittens she is responsible for neutering. I can’t think she had this kitten and didn’t neuter him. Her vet neuters at 3 months old.
Edison sits across the room staring at me. I am careful not to meet his gaze and keep my eyes half-shut and my head down. I give my kitty call and toss out more turkey ham. After a few moments of consideration, he goes for the meat dragging it off into the corner away from the silly human who is sitting motionless on the floor.
Edison is beautiful. I call him my goofball, he makes this charming, trilling noise to the other cats at the door, much like the sounds they make when they see a bird outside the window but a bit louder. He has a black face with a split at the nose and mouth of white. There is a small black dot under his lip- a beauty mark. His chest is white and he has one white toe on his right front leg. I toss more turkey/ham this time closer to where I am sitting.
He peeks around the corner- he is half-lying under the bed. I see him but ignore him. I grin as he slides like a soldier during combat on the ground towards the coveted reward. He snags the meat and to my surprise, instead of scooting down around the bed and out of sight, he stays put about a foot from my left leg and eats his fill.
I hear labored breathing, but his eyes and nose are clear of discharge. Suspect he is stressed- waiting for the stupid human to spring up and surprise him and startle him or hurt him. I stay motionless except to toss more meat and call to him. If I am not mistaken, this is the first time a human has tried to make gentle-contact with him and he’s not quite sure what to make of it.
As I sit and write in my notebook (paper not electronic) I am reading out loud to him the words that are forming. I want him to get used to my voice and associate it with good things. He has moved a bit closer to me and I sense him watching me but I avert my eyes. I keep writing and reading and ignore him.
This process is never easy on cat/kitten or human. In the years of developing this process, I have found that they are scared of anything taller than they are (predators) so I lower the threat by sitting.
As a silly human, my first instinct needs to be set on the side. I so want to just scoop him up and tell him it’s alright, that no one will hurt him. Pet him and love on him and bring him into the world of trust. But that is the last thing you should do in this situation. He would run for the safety of the bed and not be seen for weeks.
They run on their own timetable and as humans, we need to reset our expectations. Although we easily follow a routine schedule, stray cats retain their own tempo. I move only when he shows me he is ready to accept more change. At least for now, I have located his Achilles Heel…turkey ham!
This morning, we were trying to figure out how to put screen into the cage where Quinn one of the new “feral” cats (courtesy of Karen) now resides. It is a converted guinea pig cage and on the top level is a cat house and their food. On the bottom level past the ramp there are the litter pans.
We decided the best way was to move the cat house so that Quinn would be able to scramble down the ramp, hide in the bottom and we put a piece of wood and a heavy rock over the opening so there would be no surprises.
The first part worked like clockwork. The minute I moved the cat house, Quinn scrambled down the ramp and we shut off the excess hole. The screen was applied.
So there is Quinn hanging and glaring at us at the farthest corner of the bottom of the cage, clinging to a board. I didn’t want to terrorize the poor kitty but I used a stick to see if I could dislodge him and get him moving. He wasn’t having any of it. So I grabbed a blanket to see if I could herd him up the ramp and George steps up and says “Let me go in there, shut the door, and I will pick him up and take him up the ramp!” Now George is much smaller than I am and he can fit inside such a space. Bless his heart- he wrapped up Quinn in a blanket, stroked his fur and talked to him (there was no biting or clawing) and then gently put him on the ramp and herded him the rest of the way up the ramp. We closed the hole and now George is inside putting in the rest of the screen.
I would say this goes above and beyond in my book-
George the cat-friendly handyman
Just what we need another cat, but one showed up this morning a young tom looking fairly haggard. He is a long hair tuxedo boy very striking- traps and food laid out- no way was he going to go that route. I see his ears aren’t tipped so he isn’t a runaway from a local feral cat colony around the corner. He bears a striking resemblance to a cat I saw at Karen’s when I went to pick up the original seven. She told me he was very aggressive and he was “No Touch.” I would hate to think she did this- but someone dumped him somewhere. He has already picked three fights with my barn cats and I grabbed my catch pole (which I hate) but I can’t have an aggressive tom roaming. He seemed to sense my intentions and took off in a run toward the creek. I am sure he will be back.
This morning when I went into the deck enclosure, one of the black boys stuck his head out of the house and said hello. I sat down on the straw and talked to him as I dished his food being careful not to look in his eyes. Then Striker, who was also in the house bapped the friendly one on the nose and he withdrew rather quickly. It was as if Striker was telling Malcolm- “Enough already, don’t encourage the human!”
George the handyman is here today, he will be putting in more windows in the deck enclosure, screening in the rest of the cage where Quinn is and putting pet proof screen on the porch enclosure where we ran out. Then I think I am done with this very nice man but he has asked if he can come back with his grand-daughter so she can visit the cats.
Phantom, she came to feed tonight, and I decided to try and grab her. I opened up the catio door over my head and then just reached down to pet her. She allowed me to touch her so I took a deep breath and scruffed her (no struggle) she is way to weak. I picked her up and placed her in the catio and shut the door. By the time I made it to the inside of the house so I could open the window and let her into the cage, she had found an escape hatch (a 2.5″ opening) and wiggled free! Any well-fed healthy cat would have gotten stuck, but she is so depleted, she managed to escape rather quickly. Now I fear, it will be months before she will be trust me again. Dang-it I had her- I really did. I wish that hole had been sealed, but with the window closed she found a way out.