“HALP!!”….

There I was, nice sunny afternoon curled up in my chair outside trying to rest and “Brring…bring…” phone rings. Farmer has a cat caught in a trap since early this morning- can I take the cat?

I do a mental count of the cats here- I have one free cage, okay, I will take the cat,  because who knows how long the cat will stay in the trap waiting to find someone willing to accept a feral cat. The farm is about 10 minutes from my vet, so I ask the farmer if he minds taking the cat straight to the vet for evaluation and I will take it from there. No problem- off they go.

I settle back, breathe try to relax- phone rings again- this time, it’s the vet’s office: Uh Mary Anne, the cat is lactating!” Uh oh- I ask to speak to the farmer and he gets on the phone, and while I am explaining to him that he needs to take mom back home and let her go because we do not know how many kittens she has, where they are, or how old they are- they may not survive without her. He’s reluctant to do that. He doesn’t want any more cats on his property and people dump them there all the time. Then his cell phone rings and it’s his wife. She informs him that right after they left- 8 kittens came scampering out from under the barn and they were playing out in the sun!

Great news on my end, I ask him to have his wife collect all the babies, get the mom spayed- she will give milk after 30 hours. I will come and collect the babies, and fetch mom in the morning and reunite the family when it is safe to do so.

So right now, I have 10 kittens inside the bedroom- and after dividing up the donated kitten food of last week with my 5 foster families- I have 1 case of kitten food, and one bag of dry kitten chow to feed this kitten explosion! LOL  If anyone can send IAMS canned and dry Kitten or Fancy Feast canned  Kitten or Purina Kitten Chow it is desperately needed! We have 5 females- and 5 males. Three which are black, one a beautiful charcoal gray stripey girl- and six tuxedos.

I have to admit that I was concerned when they first came here because although they look fat and healthy- they were all just lying around doing nothing which is not common for 4 week old babies. But at the 2 a.m. feeding, more of them are coming around and moving about and playing with each other. I have given all them a mixture of KMR, B-12- mashed chicken livers  and baby food with Karo Syrup (doesn’t that sound just yummy?) LOL  They are starting to come out of their shell and they are absolutely adorable little monsters prepared to eat us out of house and home! LOL  Eight in one litter and the two meth babies now reside in the bedroom.

My volunteer photographer is coming over at 10 to take photos which I will post as soon as I receive them. I don’t know what’s more daunting right now- figuring out how I am going to feed them all- or figuring out 8 more names for these beauties! 🙂 Although Mom might want her babies back, it is all dependent on her- how feral she really is (and I suspect she is not) I think what happened is this farm is off a main road but tucked back into trees and someone just dumped the whole family on these people. These kittens are NOT feral. They are balanced, fat and they look healthy. Mom was tested, she is negative. Mom is also black-

But these kittens won’t smell the same to mom- plus there are two that don’t belong in the litter and that means that if mom gets aggressive or ignores them all, we won’t be able to put mom with her babies which would be a shame.

If anyone is doing the math- we now have 28 kittens rescued right now in need of homes- Six have been “pre-adopted”  The other kittens will cycle out of foster care in about 4 weeks time. YIKES!  That’s a lot of kittens for so early in the season. The bright spot is that out of the ten, there are only two that are still truly bottle babies.

Mr. Magoo

A series of unfortunate incidences has left Mr. Magoo loose and running on our property which is unfortunate as his corneas are ulcerated. I was carrying him inside the cat carrier to the cage, and he was coming out of sedation. He is a very stout kitty and he was moving around a lot when the handle broke, the carrier crashes to the ground, the door flies open and off he flew! He is now under the house with the other cats and I have set up the traps but not confident that he will go into one of them. I will probably just end up trapping Bentley who can’t say no to any cat food no matter where it is!  I am sad and concerned not only because of the possibility of this cat going blind, but while he was sedated, I asked them to please put a pheromone collar on him which they did. These collars are NOT breakaways. Not safe for outdoor cats to wear collars that aren’t breakaway.

Not sure what is going to happen though I am grateful that the carrier broke on my property and not near the vet’s office where all he had to do was dart into a busy street and have it end badly. I’ve been out several times looking for him with no luck- he is dust in the wind. 🙁

Mr. Magoo

This poor kitty, regardless of us not having  quite enough funds to cover the vet visit, he is going to the vet today. His eyes look so painful, they make me weep just looking at him. I have tricked him into the cat carrier, and I was grateful that he didn’t attack me. I think he would have if he felt better. I will have to drop him at the vet this morning, when I take Mo in to be spayed and just hope they accept him. They will have to sedate him to examine him- but I can’t let him continue like this much longer. His eyes are worse than Chessa’s were and I found out over the last few days they are from the same litter. 🙁  I don’t think he is feral- I just think he is terrified.)

Chessa’s Story

When we get in a cat whose behavior is so puzzling and unpredictable, I have to wonder about the story behind the behavior. Cats aren’t born aggressive and ill-natured, they are made that way by experiences, neglect, abuse, ignorance. Chessa is an unprovoked attacker. Without warning of any type- she will latch on for the kill. Her favorite trick is when I am feeding her or am inside the enclosure with her- she’ll just leap on my leg and bite my kneecap. No twitching, no tail down, or ears flat, eyes narrowing- just a straight frontal  attack.

This came to a forefront yesterday when I had to take her in to see my vet. Her eyes are such a mess- she has severe conjunctivitis, her eyes, they are blue but they have a film over them- so her corneas look opaque- she has major drainage from her eyes that consists mostly of blood and her third eyelid- all you can see are her blood vessels coming down into the eye which is not normal. This kitty has been sick for a very long time without any type of vet intervention. If these drops (that have steroids in the) don’t work, she will be blind by year’s end. That was the consensus.

My vet said that this happens when as kittens, especially in crowded conditions catch calici or get an URI and no one does a damn thing about it. True enough, I did some digging after the visit yesterday and found out that when Chessa was born, all the kittens (according to the hoarder) had “icky eyes” and she had “no money to take them to the vet!” So they suffered needlessly. I don’t know what happened to the rest of her litter, but I can tell you that Chessa has been in a lot of pain for a long time- which would sort of explain her unprovoked attacks.

Yesterday at the vet, I held her the entire time they were messing with her- and they did everything. They dilated, they scoped, they pulled the eyelids, the third eye, they numbed her up- dialated her again looking for corneal ulcers which would indicate diabetes (she is also pumping out an amazing amount of urine). No corneal ulcers yeah! But just really nasty eyes. I am now tasked to four times a day, putting drops in her eyes. We should know in a few days if the drops are going to work, but I was told that if nothing happens in 4 days to cease and desist all drops.

I was amazed that she was so good, being poked and prodded. She’d been on the table for about 30 minutes while he pulled and poked and investigated. I had told him about her MO and that there was no warning- when suddenly, she sprang out from under the towel, straight for my hand- I jumped back almost tripped over the cat carrier- and one of her teeth just grazed my knuckle. I got lucky- I have 7 holes in my kneecaps right now with her name on them.

My vet just looked at me and seemed really surprised at how agile this fatty catty is- and said “Well, you warned me at least!”  He did not get chomped, she was after me.

Now, my challenge lies in how to get her to accept drops in her eyes four times a day without putting me on the menu! LOL  I just keep asking her- “Please don’t bite me- I am only trying to help you.” So far the towel trick is working- I am able to wrap her up, and lift her to the table and sneak in one drop into each eye- but this is just the first  day. I am sure she is going to try and find a way to get back at me regardless if I am helping her to see or not. Dr. Steve said that right now, with her vision, it would be the same as if someone grabbed my glasses and smeared Vaseline all over the lenses – that is how she sees right now- which also may be why she attacks without warning.

Such a sweet girl with such a bad beginning. The only thing we can do from here on in, is let her have a peaceful life as she gets older and try to establish a mutual trust between us. I also have to trust that the vet bill will be paid soon- yesterday was $265.00 with meds and lab work. And we just gave them a $300.00 payment to pay down the bill.

But we love her because of her feral tendencies and despite them. I just hope that the day will come that I can go into the cat enclosure without wearing knee pads!

 

MeowVillage Swap

This morning, I met with Kathy of MeowVillage and presented her with Odie. Odie is destined to go to a barn- which he will love because he is quite the hunter. Generally, the females are the best hunters as they have to provide for their kittens. I will never be able to adopt this beautiful boy out to a home because as desperately as he WANTS to be petted- he can’t handle the stimulation and he lashes out. At least at the barn, he will have the freedom that cats need and he won’t have to just live in the cage for his entire life. They will keep him inside of a cage for 30 days before letting him out and at my request, they will keep the cage available for him 24/7.

In exchange, we got a 9 year old black cat who has infected eyes from some sort of injury. Right now, Stryker is in the cage vacated by Odie and he is scared to death. I finally went out and covered the catio with the catio cover and now Stryker is hiding inside of his new, quiet cave. I call him Stryker because that’s what he is doing right now, he is striking out in fear not aggression. I know he is not aggressive, because he tried to climb the walls of the cage to escape and the walls are not climbable. They have been covered with linoleum because this cage is where the toms live post neuter. So to prevent Stryker from hurting himself- I covered the catio.

He won’t go back inside of a carrier, so I put instead, a big cardboard box with a heat pad inside. It may be Spring in some areas but right now it is stormy, cold and blowing like a banshee outside. he is a pretty boy and he already made a huge mess in there that I managed to clean out while he was inside the cage. To his credit, he did not attack me although he had ample opportunity to do so. Another way I know that he is not feral.

Mike has a new doctor now, and I like this guy. He is a vascular surgeon and he pulls no punches! Mike got a big dose of reality yesterday as this doctor told him what is what. On the ride home, Mike was unusually quiet and I have to hope and pray that he was digesting all that the doctor told him which was this:

Mr. Miller, you are too fat. You need to eat slower, and eat less. You need to stay off the leg all day if possible. If your leg isn’t elevated, it will swell. When it swells ulcers form and you risk losing your leg. If you don’t elevate it you will spend the rest of your life in wound care. Do you want to spend the rest of your life in wound care?

If you don’t exercise any way you can, you will lose your leg or your life. If you don’t use your CPAP on a nightly basis, you could lose your leg or worse. You have to wear compression stockings no matter how much you hate to! If you don’t, you lose your leg- simple as that. You are not like most people- not only do you have Diabetes but you have DVT, neuropathy, veinous statis and congestive heart failure. Your kidneys are borderline, your heart is struggling. Using your CPAP will in time reverse the damage to your heart- from here on in, I want you to write down everything you eat on a daily basis and also record how long it takes you to eat the meal in front of you.” (Mike tends to gulp down food in seconds).

We will go back in 2 weeks where they will perform an ultrasound of his leg to determine if they can do an ablasion on the leaky valves in his leg. If they are going to do this procedure it will be done the very next day because as the doc said : “Time is of the essence!”  So far, Mike has been staying off his leg today and elevating it. I just hope it lasts. He usually stops doing what the doctors ask him to do a few days after he gets a lecture. I told the doctor thank you for his directness and told him I was tired of being a nag and asking Mike to constantly get off his leg and get back in his chair. The doctor told me that I can’t do that- I can’t police Mike’s every move. he has to WANT to get better and do it himself. So he essentially gave me permission NOT to be a nag! 🙂

Also today the rest of the unclaimed kittens are at a local adoption event with a friend of mine. I hope they all find potential new, loving homes as they will be spayed/neutered in 3 weeks-

“Ms. Chessa”

Here she is and I have to say, I am head over heels in love with this sweet old girl. She is 10 years old and has survived some pretty nasty beginnings but now she can relax and know that her meals will arrive on time with lots of love attached!

The Flood of Kittens

It is unprecedented for us, but this year finds us with 19 kittens in Foster care! There are two more that are here with me- Draco and Muggles- fast running out of supplies and most of them will be hopefully moving on to new homes (via other rescues). But they will be weaned off the bottle soon and returning here to be spayed/neutered and fed! Draco and Muggles are now eating canned kitten food, which is another unprecedented event for us. We usually don’t wean them until they are around 6 weeks old- but this year out of necessity and the fact that the formula no longer satisfies- we have accelerated the weaning process. We are feeding currently FF kitten food wet and Iams Kitten food dry. I just updated the wish list if someone has a few dollars they don’t need- well, we need the food. And still the phone rings constantly with people having abandoned kittens. Our Inn is full up at this time. It is just crazy madness at the moment.

Ashley is coming back to us on Saturday. Apparently she has been hiding under the bed of the Meowvillage volunteer since being dropped off over two weeks ago. They want to take another kitty in her place, so Barney, a 4 year old mack tabby tomcat (no more!) will be switched for her. Barney wandered into a garage in Albany and immediately started baptizing the walls, the cars, the equipment etc… He was finally trapped on Tues. Neutered on Weds and will be at Meowvillage on Saturday. He is not feral- but he hasn’t been inside a home either for a very long time where Ash has been living with us. They just don’t feel it would be fair to Ash to put her in a barn or a shop- so she will be picked up by me on Saturday.

Thanks for any help you can be with the kitten food. Adults are covered, it is the kittens who need the help.