Kitten Season

We are barely into kitten season in this area and my phone is already ringing off the hook. How do I tell people on the other end that I can’t help this year, and really neither can most of the rescuers I know. All of us are full up whether it be dogs or cats, or rabbits or gerbils.

Last night one of the late night callers got really snippy with me and told me that if I don’t come and get this pregnant female in her shed, she won’t be responsible for what happens to this cat in her shed, I would be!her husband will probably shoot it! I cried after that phone call.

This hasn’t happened to this home in years, but I have so many cats right now that I actually ran out of cat food. I have a little that I can scrape by with until payday Weds. but with the added trips to the eye surgeon and mike’s medicine plus the fact that I broke his insulin bottle the other day…dang it- my emergency food money has been used up.

So this just keeps me in the reality of the moment and even though my phone is ringing and all these people need help- this year, I can’t help them and that just makes me sad leaving those cats and kittens to an uncertain fate. Gosh, if I could I would take them all- but I don’t just take them and feed them. I spay and neuter when necessary, medicate when needed, and provide long-term care both physically and mentally for these cats. People telling me that it my problem these cats are in their yards, sheds or on their property, need to take a good, hard look at how they care for their own animals. Not blame me for the situation.

Flea Season is approaching

Along with kitten season (which I dread) we also have flea season arriving. Even if your cats are indoor only cats, keeping them safely flea-treated is imperative.

When I rescued Torah who was crawling with fleas and even though her health was hanging on the edge, I flea treated her with my vet’s help. The fleas didn’t all die at once and some escaped. I found one in my car as well the other day which didn’t thrill me. I detest fleas. I have seen the damage they do to a young kitten. They are hardy species and have been a constant companion to both man and animal since the dawn of man. Interestingly, if an animal doesn’t build a nest- such as a beaver or seal, they don’t have fleas. This has nothing to do with the fact that both mammals are aquatic, because anyone who has bathed a flea-ridden cat knows that fleas can swim quite well and water alone does not kill them. Once they have found a host, the female flea can suck enough blood from that host to form her abdomen into the shape of a tiny pea. If you think about how tiny fleas are, that is a lot of blood.

In my multi-cat home during flea season, I save a tremendous expense each year by buying Large Dog Size Advantage and using this to flea-treat my cats. I also never purchase this product off of store shelves, or online. I always buy from my vet. They know the proper way to store it, plus (God-forbid) if something adverse should happen, I am covered because most clinics have the company’s guarantee on the products they buy.

In most instances, dog related health products are not safe for cats. But if you use the REGULAR Advantage, NOT the other products introduced later: K-9 Advantix or Advantage for Multi-Dogs your cats will be safe.

This doesn’t mean that you should rush out and buy a tube and apply it to your cats immediately- NO NO NO! There is a formula breakdown to use for this product and here it is:

If your cat is nine pounds or better you will need .8 mL (point 8) of Regular Large Dog Advantage.

Under 9 pounds (EXCEPT for KITTENS) .4 mL (point 4). Kittens should always be flea-treated by your vet with Kitten Advantage and no other product!

1 box of Large Dog Size Advantage contains 4 tubes. Each tube holds 4.0 mL of Advantage. One tube will treat five cats weighing 9 pounds or up. One Large Dog Size Advantage package will last your cats over 20 treatments.

Since it is not a good idea for you to just squirt the tube on your cat and try and figure out if you are giving the correct dosage- get a syringe from your vet. With fine needle-nose pliers break off the very tip of the needle to blunt it. Take a piece of sandpaper, and remove any rough edges. Just be sure you still have an injection hole so you can draw the flea treatment into the syringe. If your cats vary in weight (and they probably do) get two needles and treat each the same way.

With a black tip indelible marker, mark off the .8 and .4 on each syringe. The reason being- after a few uses, the factory marks will fade away and you won’t know how much to draw. Because the needle tip has been blunted, you can use this tip to apply the right amount of Advantage to your cat(s).

I have found that applying Advantage works best at feeding time. This eliminates the need for catching, scruffing or holding a squirming cat and cuts down on how often I get scratched in the process!

I buy the stinkiest fishiest wet cat food I can and just dump it into the feeders. When the cats come running, I just work my way down the line squirting every kitty’s neck with the flea treatment. The strong fishy smell helps cover-up the chemical smell of the Advantage and it works like a charm.

I rotate the flea treatments every month- Advantage then Frontline because fleas can build up resistance if you use the same product over and over. Tomorrow I will put the Frontline formula on my blog.

“Oh No Gretchen- Look out!

I don’t know if it is her exposure to all the kittens and cats here at the house, or her natural curiousity that gets Gretchen into trouble every year when the “black and white” babies return home.

Years ago, a mama skunk was hit on the road outside our home. Her babies were in the weeds running in circles and making these really high pitched squeals. I was afraid they were going to be hit by cars, so I grabbed several burlap sacks and scooped them up.

There were four of them, and I hand-raised them- what an adventure that was! LOL I learned quickly that before they spray, they warn you by lowering their heads and stamping their back feet.

They were released when they were old enough to fend for themselves, but no one told me that they return to their place of nuturing every year. So every year, we have had litters of skunks born under our home- PHEW!

Gretchen met one of the skunks two days ago. My husband is so dense right now (to many pills I think) He lets Gretchen in the house and shouts “Hey Mary Anne, does Gretchen smell like a skunk to you?”

Two years ago, I stumbled across a skunk at night, actually brushed it with my leg as I was going to the pasture around midnight. At first, I thought it was one of my barn cats, and when I reached down to “apologize” I got directly sprayed in the face, neck and chest. If anyone has ever been sprayed by a skunk, you can imagine how that felt. The spray is oily and the only thing that saved my eyes were my glasses.

I ran into the house and jumped into the shower. I hurled several times for the next couple of days. Now when I smell a skunk, my stomach rolls and I lose my lunch.

So Gretchen is now in kennel protection. If we are outside, she can come out and join us. But if we are not, she stays in her kennel. She isn’t happy as she loves to play in the long grasses in the pasture. But it is for her protection as well as mine. No more skunk encounters!

Thank God for Nature’s Miracle Skunk-off takes the odor right out of her coat!

I wrote about my skunk encounter here:


An Unconventional Life

My friend Rebecca came over earlier just to visit. I know that Becky does not care for cats which is why when we do get together, it is usually at the local diner for a cup of coffee and some fellowship. But she decided to arrive unannounced and as I opened the door, the cats scattered. Just this stray cat scramble, I could see set Becky on edge.

As she settled on the couch, Charlie, my most alpha returned and jumped on the back of the couch. I warned him back, but he wouldn’t be detered in his mission and he continued his advancement on my ill-at-ease friend. Cats seem to sense the people who are not fond of them. Perhaps they come to the timid knowing they are in full control, and the new guest isn’t going to squeal in delight and scoop up the “pretty kitty” for a good petting.

Becky scooted away and I suggested we perhaps go outside and sit at the picnic tables. She stood up just as Charlie gained the advantage of her lap and he slid down on the floor leaving behind a few scratch marks on her legs.

As we settled outside, several of my barn cats came by to say hello. I think that did it for Becky and she proceeded to tell me that she didn’t appreciate all this feline attention. She said she doesn’t understand me- how can I drive around town with cat carriers and cat food in my truck- wander into town with cat hair on my sweatshirt and share my life with all these cats!

During her ranting, I saw the erosion of a friendship founded in the Word just split apart. I wondered what was wrong with her that she couldn’t accept my deep respect and admiration for these creatures that the world had kicked around. So much for her witness and her Christian love for her sisters. I just let her spew her frustration and when she was done- I showed her the gate.

I said very little to her but I have to admit as she drove away, I was proud of my barn cats. One of them had walked all over her sportscar and left muddy prints on her windows. As her triade left a lasting impression on my heart, so did those pawprints on her window.

If her heaven exists without animals, I do not wish to go there. Instead, I will go where my cats before me have gone and we will enjoy our time without interruption.

Do i have an unconventional life? I suppose I do by most standards. I would prefer to spend a quiet moment witth one of my cats than an afternoon of coffee and fellowship with someone who doesn’t understand true love.

The Eyes Have It……

Mike has problems with his eyes and he will go in on Tuesday to get his cataracts in one eye removed. Then 6 weeks later, he will go in and have the second eye done. After that, it is another trip to the eye surgeon to find out in another surgery is in order. he has scar tissue in his right eye that is eroding the back of his retina. This surgery will be done in the hospital and then he will wear a patch for up to 6 weeks.

The herpes epidemic is slowly subsiding. Most of the mouth ulcers have vanished and I only have three cats actively sneezing at this time. I am also going non-profit. I found a way to do this at a lower cost than originally thought. Once it is done- I will announce my name and the goals of my organization. One of these goals is going to be to help the homeless feed their animals. There are so many homeless here and they have both cats and dogs with them.

I’ll let you know how it goes-

The Sneezing Meezers

URI has hit this home with a vengeance and I have been busy pushing pills down reluctant kitties throats. It hit about four days ago, right after Frasier was finally cleared health-wise. Muddy came down first with the multiple sneezing fits, watery discharge from the nose. I seriously need a gallon of clavamox right now to treat them all. Even though I isolated immediately, it didn’t matter- the airborne particles were in the air.
Currently under seige; Rocky, Taylor, Phoebe, Cyrus, Cole, Slim, Sharky, Sierra, Barnum, Chappy and Merlin.

I have discovered a sneaky way to pill cats that don’t want to be pilled. I spray or spread the tablets with either spray cheese or cream cheese. I oil my hands with PAM cooking spray and make small balls around each tablet. Then I stick one on my finger, open the mouth of the kitty and stick it to the top of their mouth. I follow it with a quick drizzle of water which loosens the pill and it goes down the throat quite easily.

I have never had so many cats sneezing all at once. I am adding GSE into the waterbowls, cleaning a scrubbing the food dishes four times a day and just praying that this burns out soon. The worse infected are Slim, Barnum, Phoebe and Cyrus. I am hoping the other cats don’t get it, but who knows at this point.

It is supposed to snow later tonight and yes, it is supposed to be Spingtime. I have been busy writing and working and tending to the sick kitties. Mike is getting ready for surgery next Tuesday. The diabetes has invaded his eyes. he has bleeders that are putting pressure on the back of his retinas and so they are going in to cut and cauterize the bleeders. He also has other issues with his eyes, but they want this taken care of first. I have asked for two days off from work so I can take care of him during his 48 hour recovery time.