In The Wake of Diabetes

He sits on his recliner more than half the day now. His left hand trembles constantly, at times, the shaking is so severe the kittens attack the fingers thinking them prey.

He can’t see very well anymore so exta lighting has been added to the living room. Several black cat tails got smushed before the lighting was added.

I watch this man and think back to when we met. How active he was, how often his laughter filled the room and I find myself becoming so angry at this diabetic invader who has now claimed the majority of his life.

I can care for the abused kitten, the one pushed down a dry well, or the near-drowning victim at the lake. But, I am powerless to help the man I love except to remember to be patient and loving towards him, even if I have to repeat the same sentence to him every time, or clean up his messes around the house.

My mother keeps telling me I am strong, but I don’t feel very strong, or brave. I just feel quite tired most of the time.

This flu doesn’t help the the situation. It has settled in my chest and last night I started coughing and couldn’t stop for several minutes. Kitties who had settled on my chest earlier, flew off in panic and even Gretchen came out of her kennel to stand by me. Mike slept through it all. He didn’t even hear my distress. I can’t help him and he can no longer help me. It makes life here somewhat tenuous at times.


His eye is getting worse so first thing in the morning, I will be calling the vet and taking him in for a recheck. I hope I am not coughing by then, I am on the tail end of the swine flu. It’s a brutal flu folks and when I don’t feel good, the cats all know this and they crowd around me. This flu is so miserable that I can’t even have them on any part of my body or it aches. Besides, when the coughing starts, the cats get scared and split with claws fully extended. Not fun!

We are short-staffed at work and I did make an appearance but really couldn’t do my shift. I called one of the other girls to come in for me and she came at 8:00 so I could go home.

I am going to go crawl into bed right now. The docs have given me lidocaine to gargle with and it is seriously like trying to gargle with elmer’s glue! But, it does numb up the throat and stop the coughing. Silly me, I thought I needed antibiotics, but the docs say that antibiotics can make the flu worse. So it is ibuprofen and rest and lots of fluids. I am on the downward spiral of the virus and no longer contagious. I will log in again when the vet has been consulted about little Wallie

It’s more prevalent than drugs..

This morning when I went to the grocery store, there was a young girl standing outside in the pouring rain (and wind). My heart sank as I walked closer and noticed she had a small orange kitten in her hands and a cat carrier at her feet.

Approaching her, her eyes lit up and she thrust this baby into the rain and said “Wanna kitten?” I hustled into the shelter of the roof so the kitten wouldn’t get so wet and I took the little one from her and snuggled him. He was a beauty, he was orange and white, reminescent of my Prowler girl. He was all of about 5 weeks old and should have been snuggled down with mom, not produced as a sacrifice for a smitten kitten shopper!

I asked how old the kitten was and glancing down into her carrier saw at least 4 more, one pure white, one off beige and the others shadowed in the back.

“He is seven weeks old” she proclaimed. I looked at her and that is when I lost it. I didn’t take him or any of the others, but I lectured her about spaying and neutering and told her these kittens were in no way 7 weeks old but more like five! I could tell I hit her with the truth because then she became defensive (not what I wanted) I had kept my tone gentle and tried to deliver my lecture with love, even though part of me wanted to throttle her for bringing these wee ones into the cold.

I think at the end of the exchange, I got through to her though, because when I came back out,she was putting the kitten into the carrier and preparing to leave. She simply did not want to believe that some crazy cat person had told her the kittens need to stay with mom till they are at least 12 weeks old!

I feel sad for the kittens left to an unknown fate. Sad for the fact that I am full up and I couldn’t extend my home to just a few more rescues. I don’t know if dogs are being adopted right now, but most certainly kittens aren’t. People are to worried in these troubled times and are unwilling to take in any extra mouths to feed.

Even though it broke my heart, I had to say “No” and walk away.

These ol bones…..

These old bones don’t navigate the stairs very well anymore. I have moved Wall-E downstairs to the bedroom and I “thought” I wallied-proofed the room. But he has gotten out several times and scampered back upstairs to “his closet. I finally figured out that he was squeezing under the door and so I have put up a bit of a cardboard challenge for him. Now, he seems content to lay in his carrier which is propped open.

He shares the bedroom with Fiona. Fiona is a calico who used to be kept in a bird cage on the back porch of a bird hoarders home! For this reason, she isn’t keen on socializing with more than one cat at a time. She was kept in the same birdcage for a year and a half. Fiona has no knowledge what wet food is, she will only eat Whiskas dry which was the kibble that was tossed to her from time to time. When she arrived here she was rail skinny and she has filled out to be a beautiful if somewhat unbalanced cat when it comes to socialization. If you pet her, she will bite you. If you stop petting her, she will bite you. If you walk away she will follow and head nudge you to the point she almost knocks you over. She is a funny duck.

She seems okay with the new addition and I know that she won’t eat his wet food.

With him downstairs, he is easier to visit and now i just have to climb the stairs twice a day to empty out litter pans

Cat-Free Zone

This morning it was decided to bar the cat door that is in the bathroom door. Our bathroom is so small anyway, but this morning when I got out of the shower, there were twelve cats on the floor! I didn’t need a bathmat, I had cats to step on- which is where the problem lies. I stood there for over twenty minutes trying to get the cats to move. Some of them, very kindly did so and jumped up on the towels or on my bathrobe! Hard to get ready for the day with so much “help” nearby.

Had to take Wallie to the vet today. His left eye was swollen up although there was no discharge. I suspected that he might have an abscess ready to blow, and turns out I was right. Warm compresses to the eye resulted in the decompression of the wound. I didn’t want the vet to give him steriods so settled for antibiotics and a watchful eye on him for now.

Here is another photo taken before the abscess was ready to strike. But you can see the left eye isn’t symmetrical in nature. 1brightalert

Sharing Tummy Tickles and Drinks

We shared tummy tickles and drinks tonight! I know it sounds like a hot date, but it was with Wallie. I discovered that although he is uneasy to be held for any length of time, he soon found that gentle rubs underneath his belly turned him into a jelly roll and he presented his stomach to me for tickles and rubs! he was so darn cute, his paws straight up in the air as I gently teased his belly. I had my ulterior motives as he hadn’t pooped yet. A few minutes of belly tickles and he hopped into the litter pan and houston, we had poop.

He cries for a bit when I leave him and it breaks my heart, but I can’t have him with the others yet. He still needs to be tested and he isn’t old enough. He is eating and tonight even decided to try out some water. he’s a real charmer this one. I wish I could just spend all my time with him but that is impossible. I do try and make every second with him count though.

Kitten in Distress

1wallieThis morning when I was at the Gleaners, I heard the cries of a kitten that sounded in distress. I finally managed to locate the kitten, he was wedged between a board and the wall and was not happy about not being able to move about.

I took a deep breath and grabbed him- he tried to bite me and he has a formidable hiss. He is about 5 weeks old and is a Mackeral Tabby. I was going to call him Cobra because he hisses so, but would rather he have a mellow name. Call me crazy, but I believe that cats grow into names, so I try not to name them anything negative.

I have named him Wallie and he is upstairs adjusting to everything. Because he is so young, I have him in the closet. He has eaten a bit, and taken some formula but mostly he stays hidden wondering what in the world has happened to his littermates and mom.

Found a home for Sheba

Tonight, Sheba will go to her new home which is on a farm with five acres. The acreage is fully fenced, there are several large sheds converted into cat houses and right now there are only 5 cats living there all neutered.

The gentleman will leave Sheba in the shop for a week until she gets used to the place, then she will have the run of the land. He feeds dry only and has a passion for strays. I met him at the cat food aisle at Wal-Mart recently and we got to talking.

Although she would be better being an inside cat because she is so affectionate, she will still have his company on weekends when he isn’t working and his wife is home all the time. Not the most ideal of homes, but in this economy I have to stay realistic. She is getting swallowed up here and at least in the new place she won’t be so outnumbered.

Winter Homes for Ferals

I have devised a way of making secure, insulated homes for several of the outdoor cats here. The homes have to be in sheltered areas- not in the open as they are not weatherproofed- but they are snug and warm.

You need:

Cat Carriers
Large empty cardboard boxes big enough so the carriers can set inside of them.
Several large plastic garbage bags.
1 roll of micro fiber insulation
several large heavy towels or lap blankets

Place the cat carrier into the plastic garbage bag so the opening of the bag coincides with the entrance into the carrier. Place the covered carrier into the box (make sure the box has enough space on the sides to accomodate the fiber insulation. Stuff the openings of the sides and backs of the boxes with the insulation, packing it down tightly. Use duct tape to help secure the sides of the box to the carrier and then cover the carrier with the towel or blanket for added warmth leaving enough room for a doorway the cat can scoot under.
Place the carrier somewhere that is covered and let the cat find its own home. Works great! Take the door off the carrier and stow it nearby if needed.