Yard clean-up

Even though the weather is hot right now, there are clear signs that winter is just around the corner. We dragged this trailer out from under the trees this morning and took it on a dump run. As we were clearing out yard debris from the storm last year that had accumulated in our trailer, I took a look around at what other people were dumping. We are a wasteful society, most of us lazy beyond measure, throwing away computers, bathroom sinks, bookcases, headboards, anything we no longer deem acceptable for us. It was a true reflection on how the human race feels it must overpower anything in its path and conquer it. I saw all sorts of wildlife roaming the waste piles, a lot of cats skinny beyond measure. I counted at least ten strays prowling the refuse.

The relentless heat

Today I hung out in the cat enclosure most of the day with the cats. It’s probably the coolest place when the mercury is on the rise. Set underneath the centuries old pine tree and situated so that it catches even the slightest wind, I love spending time out there. I discovered a new toy that kept me entertained and the kitties cool. I have a really old turbo tracker. The cardboard center has long turned into shredded sweet under the manipulations of so many claws. The ball that should stay in the track has long since disappeared, because a feral cat can out think any smart toy created. So today, I took the darn thing out and gave it a good scrubbing. As I watched the water fill the track, an idea started to form. Dragging the hose into the enclosure, I carefully filled up the outside track with water and took a ping pong ball and floated it in the water. Once the water spitting monster had been safely stowed away, the kitties discovered their bravery and came to investigate this cool new toy. They chased the ball in the water, their paws making ripples which coaxed the ball to perform more water manuevers. I was happy to see a few even drinking out of the track, in this heat, the more water they consume, the better I like it.

I put Madison downstairs today with Guinevere. Guinevere, clearly insulted that HER space was being invaded, hobbled over to the side of the bed and wedged herself between the bed and the wall, no easy feat for her. Madison would come close to say hello only to be met with an evil growl and formidable hiss. Maddy would back up and finally spent the majority of the day under the cat hammock. This evening, it started to cool down, so I put Maddy upstairs again. Tomorrow it is only supposed to be 70 versus the 91 that it reached today.

I had a lady call about a kitten, but she flunked my phone interview. She wants to declaw, doesn’t see anything wrong with it and would ask her vet to all four-paw declaw! I can sometimes go along with front-paw declaw (in circumstances that don’t involve saving the furniture) but no self-respecting vet I know would four paw declaw! I almost told her where she could put it, but I held off.

I heard from the last adopted parents and they are thrilled with their companions. Monroe has been renamed Kobee, and Lei is excelling in obedience class and subsequently destroying anything she finds laying on the floor at night while her new owners slumber. I need to warn them to keep her away from cardboard boxes!

Well it is sticky-hot and I am going to sign off for now. We are staying home this Labor Day Weekend- I can’t even remember the last time Mike and I went anywhere together for a few days. When you have so many animals, it is difficult to find someone responsible enough to care for them like you do. I know when I was out at my folks for those 8 days, I worried about all the animals even though Mike was home caring for them.

Do you have any in another color?

I swear, if I hear that one more time, I believe I will throw something at the person asking! Had a woman come by tonight and she wants a cat. But she wants one of “color” so I guess, black, black and white, grey and white, or grey and black don’t qualify. They are kittens, they come as they are. You don’t order them in patterns and colors unless you are dealing with a breeder. I am not a breeder, I am a rescuer. I wasn’t impressed with her anyway and her daughter was running after the cats in the enclosure and clapping her hands. I tried to get her to stop, but her mom got a bit offended at my intervention. I sent them on their way pretty quickly.

Truman has injured his leg somehow. I have him on cage rest and hope by tomorrow he will be better. I am hoping he just jammed his leg, but lameness is also a sign of the calici virus (as my friend Dusty just reminded me). Hopefully though, it is just a sore leg and nothing more sinister.

Successful adoption

I have been communicating with a woman via email about Monroe. Yesterday, her and her daughter came by to take a look at my kittens and see my set-up. I was very impressed, she was immaculately dressed, her daughter was gentle and quiet with the animals. I had sequestered the kittens in the house and the other cats were in the enclosure. We sat in the living room while the kittens investigated these new people. In the end, they were captivated with Monroe and decided that wanted him. She also blessed me with giving me a large donation to my cause.

Monroe went to the vet yesterday before they arrived. I didn’t think his forked tail and his kink in the middle was something that would have to be amputated, but I am not a vet, nor do I play one on the Internet. I was right, the tail was genetically altered and will be perfectly fine. Besides, it just adds to his charm.

I didn’t check out the house this time. I know, I know, with the McKinley scare what was I thinking? But, I had a really good feeling about this family. They behaved wonderfully with my cats. Most people come here and start chasing around the kittens and cats so they can hold them! I tell people all the time that my cats don’t TRUST automatically. Most of them have been hurt by people and therefore that folds over to how they react. These two sat on the couch, let the cats come to them and never showed anything but interest and love.

Since he has left, I have received three emails from her about how delightful he is! He is living with five people and a cavalier spaniel, he will be an inside only kitty and he slept with the daughter last night. They have all flipped over him inside and out! YAY!!! Sure takes the sting away from what happened to McKinley and restores my faith in humankind.

I heard from the editor in India. The magazine is out now, and I am being sent a copy of it. Should be interesting to see what types of other articles are in the magazine. She also said the “check is in the mail.”

Prowler is back on medication for her UTI. Ever since the pet food recall scare she hasn’t been doing to good. She isn’t peeing blood anymore, but she still has those spasms and can’t pass much urine. He put her on a heavy-duty antibiotic and a muscle relaxer to “put out the fire.” I hope it works, she is pretty miserable.

Morning begins early here

The weather turned cold last night and more cats were inside this morning then ever before. The kittens played most of the night throughout the house. I woke expecting to find some breakage, but the only victim of the kitten prey was the paper towel holder. They leaped high enough to break the spindle away and carry off the towels. The towels had no defensive weapons and this morning it looked like it had snowed Bounty in my kitchen.

I got a call last night about Monroe. The home sounds promising, but what people say and what they actually are in real life can sometimes be deceiving as I found out when McKinley went out to his new home. I know I can’t let one wacko stop the adoption of these beautiful creatures. But it has made me very leery. I changed my application form, and am now charging a straight price for every cat and kitten. Before, it was only a donation. I suspect if they can’t come up with the little money I am asking $40.00 then they don’t deserve to have a cat or kitten because they wouldn’t be able to pay for its care.

I am going to open up the rest of the house today and let the two newcomers Babycakes and Madison in with the rest of the clowder. It should be interesting. I really like Madison. She has beautiful coloring, her face is distinct and she has a quiet yet commanding presence about her. I have never seen a long hair tortie such as she is. Her, I would love to keep. But I hope to find homes for the rest of the group now up for adoption here:

K9 Homefinders

Starting to hate the telephone

I am not going to be answering my phone for awhile. I keep getting calls from people who are finding kittens and cats. When I tell them that I cannot take anymore, some of these people start getting mad at ME! As if it is my fault the cats are out there fending for themselves. This last call was about a mother cat and kittens out at the high school. Five tuxedo babies and mom that I am supposed to just stop everything and run over and scoop up and save. I told the lady that I am full up and cannot take anymore for quite awhile. I suggested she try and trap the family (my traps are still on loan) and then call around to the shelters to see if they have room. Even as I suggested it, I knew the shelters are as full as my home. But it is always worth a shot. The gal was going on and on about how unfair the situation was for the kittens, how they are starving and why don’t I do something? Why don’t I do something? Probably because I realize I am at my limit now. Taking in any more cats or kittens would be suicidal for them and for me.

It’s so easy people SPAY AND NEUTER! That’s the formula to fix this problem. Unless you are an ethical cat breeder- SPAY AND NEUTER! God it just makes me nuts how people don’t see this!

The heirarchy

I ask a lot of my crew at times, bringing in newly abandoned, dumped or homeless kitties. For the most part, they handle it well and I am allowed to merge the newcomer into the group (after vet checks and neuters) with little resistance from my clowder. It means that kitties can get socialized with others quicker, but there are times when I miscalculate the mood of the group and cause an uprising.

This morning, an uprising happened when Riley became face-to-face with Babycakes for the first time. Because she still smells strongly of medicine and stress, he reacted by striking out at her. No warning growl, hiss or swipe, just full frontal attack. I intervened quickly and gathered up defenseless Babycakes into my arms and took her back upstairs. Without claws, she cannot be what she is supposed to be, predator and protector. Some asshole decided her or his furniture was worth more than what God gave BC in the beginning, her claws.

Now BC is back with the group and all is quiet. Riley is upstairs in pop’s room where he is chilling. The only cat he will come in contact with is Madison if Madison decides to come out of the hall closet where she has been sleeping since she arrived here. The screen door will protect both from kitty warfare.

I am starting up adoptions again, only this time only through Petfinders and I have also revamped my applications. I am going to charge a higher fee for adoptions. Nothing startling, but more than I have in the beginning. I am also going to charge anyone who calls me and wants me to take their kitten/cat (if I do decide to take it). Because, this is getting bloody ridiculous. Ever since i came out from under the radar here in town, more and more cats are being “left” on our property for me to find. I have to find a way to achieve balance again or my sanity (if I had any in the first place) is going to suffer greatly.

It’s an epidemic

Another kitten arrived, this one with a severely broken tail. Hmmm- also the two cats greeted each other as if they were old friends. This new kitten is about 8 weeks old and is mildly Siamese. Scared to death of the dog, doesn’t have much of a voice when he meows. I am calling him Monroe. (I’m on a presidential kick of late). He’s a sweet little bug and has bonded immediately with Mike. He slept with us last night. Guinevere wasn’t very pleased but oh well. My rooms are fast becoming full.

Forgot to mention that Madison’s tail is also severely broken.

The missing link

Every time I open the back door, I expect to see Cleo laying on the easy chair exposing his white belly to the world and wanting a good tummy rub. In the morning when I feed the horses, I find myself wistfully looking up at the rafters and hoping I see his royal gray and whiteness looking down at me. But, he is gone, and my mind knows this. It is just getting my heart to accept it before I can go on.

I had to laugh this morning, it’s laundry day, and I just dumped the laundry on the couch before we ran out the door to take Kody to be spayed. I figured, the cats’ wouldn’t be able to get on the clean clothes if the clothes were covered by the laundry basket which is actually a plastic bin. When I got home, I went to fold the clothes and there sleeping on top of the pile of clothes under the plastic bin was Prowler and Truman. They must have both burrowed through the clothes pile, coming up and under the jumble of clothes and made a nice nest for themselves.

Kody tried to bite the vet tech today! I was so shocked, I have never seen this behavior with her before. It was after the thermometer was inserted, and the tech had backed away that Kody turned her head, snarled and snapped. She just missed the poor girl’s wrist! I grabbed her muzzle, wrapped my hand around it and told her sternly that this type of behavior will not fly and it was totally unacceptable. I just hope after we left her, she didn’t hurt anyone. Maybe she is out of sorts because of Lei being gone.