What the Devil?

This woman called last night asking if I had any kittens up for adoption. I told her I did and she made arrangements to come by this morning and take a look at them, fill out the application and see where it goes.

When she came inside, I wasn’t that impressed. She looked like she had just rolled out of bed so that was the first alarm bell that went off.

The five kittens were on the cat post (about 6 feet tall) they were on the top post. She squealed with delight- ran over and scooped up Magoo. Before I could even stop her, she dropped him straight on the floor-picked up another kitten- Reese dropped her right on top of Magoo and then did this weird dance around them while squealing “Kitty fight-Kitty fight!” Needless to say, she didn’t stay longer than the two seconds it took me to gather my wits about me and run her out of the house!

I’m sitting here thinking WTH? And she wants me to adopt a kitten to her? I think she was puzzled- she had no idea why I turned into the hostess from hell. Magoo is okay, he is tough, but Reese is a bit more fragile and she is hiding right now under the couch. Probably wondering when the crazy woman is going to come back to finish the “fight.”

“Only 675 to go..”

These were the words Mike spoke to me first thing this morning. I looked up at him puzzled, then smiled as I got the connection. Last night, we watched the Nat. Geo special, The Lady with 700 cats!

I was totally mesmerized at Lynea’s operation in Central California and I chuckled a lot as she gave it to the callers pretty good over the phone when they called her to take their now unwanted kittens. She always took the kittens but on the stipulation that the caller had to bring the mother and get her spayed when he dropped the kittens off! You go girl!

None of the cats are caged (unless they are new to the compound or ill) and there were more than a few humorous moments when the staff went searching for a gray kitty the owner who surrendered him wanted him back! Thankfully he was microchipped, so they finally found him.

She touched me deep and her website is here if you haven’t seen it before. I won’t be able to rescue 700 when and if my sanctuary does open, but I can at least help out 100 if not a few more.

Right now my biggest challenge is getting through all the red tape and the fees of going non-profit. There are fees to the State, the IRS, the Justice Department and of course to the wonderful man handling all that red tape to begin with. I don’t have 700 to go- I have 800- dollars that is to get this all finished. But God willing and the creek don’t rise- I’ll see what I can do.

Happy day everyone. This is the last day of the Jamboree in town and most of the crazies will be gone by tomorrow and the normal crazies will come back outside of their home and resume their life. Gotta love small towns!
Cat House on the Kings

Is God a Mean God?

Someone in Italy who emailed me recently about a newborn kitten they found just let me know that the kitten had lost his life. Then, she told me that God must be mean for allowing her to accept a life to save and than taking it from her.

After thinking about it for a bit, I could not let the comment go unanswered….here is my reply…..

I need to respond to this email on many levels. First to all, God is not mean. You know that old saying, He will not give you more than you can handle? Sometimes, when we stop believing in ourselves in our abilities, in the gifts He has given us to share, He sends us a wake-up call. A tiny little kitten. A small beating heart that fits in the palm of our hand. He asks us- “Are you up to the challenge? Can you forget your desires, your wants? Can you put your life on hold for this tiny being I have sent to you? Are you brave enough to try?”

After the initial panic, the check to see that KMR is still stockpiled in the pantry, the bottles that were stored through last kitten season are pulled out and washed. A tiny bed of warmth is created for this kitten and our life stops all normalcy.

We stay up all hours, feeding, stimulating, cuddling, cooing, praying, worrying and watching. We wash endless bedding, stuff socks with Minute Rice, drink gallons of strong coffee, grab naps when we can, all the time praying that the planets are lined up, Karma is smiling and this little life will continue.

Sometimes, in the middle of it all, the life winks out. You are left crying, crushed, wondering what you did wrong, what could you do right, differently, what would have mattered?

But what matters has already been learned. The mistakes made, the right choices revealed, the time spent with the kitten, the time sharing of this tiny bit of love. It may be stored in a numb brain, but when the time is right, the details will surface again. You will share it either with another fragile life, new on the planet, or with someone who has found an orphaned kitten and wonders what to do next.

No, God is not mean. We just have to realize that the lessons He teaches are sometimes so deep, that in order to learn them, we have to travel through our own pain into a place of deeper understanding.

I wrote this email and sent it- and just hope she understands the importance of the single action- the fact that she cared enough to try.

The instructions clearly said-

Keep the cat quiet for 12-24 hours- right! Magoo who got neutered yesterday has other ideas. I placed him in the bedroom and went to close the door and he shot past me like a whirlwind and bolted down the tunnels.

The boys don’t seem to mind their missing parts, the girls however, they do need the recoup time. They need to stay quiet, low to the ground and just decompress. Their bellies are sore and you can tell they are in the part of the word of NDW or Not Doing Well as my vet says. Thankfully, it only lasts for about two days and then they can go on the active adopt list and find a hopefully loving, adoptive home.

One caller got testy with me yesterday. She had come by to see the kittens and fell in love with Reese- a 3 month old cow kitty. She wanted her and she wanted her NOW! She wanted to take this kitten home (unspayed) and she told me- “I will get her spayed!” Well, I have heard that before and no longer trust that comment anymore than I currently trust the government. So I told her that I would get her spayed when it is time, and once she is spayed, and the woman passes the application period, Reese can go home with her. The woman hung up on me. She did however offer me more money to “sweeten the pot,” but i know better. Except in extreme circumstances, no kitten leaves this house until they are neutered.

So Magoo who the office staff completely flipped for is racing around the house like an Indy 500 contestant and the girls are lying in their respective beds wondering why they feel so sore.

It’s life and despite yesterday’s horrible misfortune, it continues on here.

Coming home~

Sometime last night, Slim my semi-feral barn cat was struck by a car. With two broken legs he somehow managed to bring himself home and die on his favorite bed of hay in the barn. My heart is breaking for him, but he was the type of cat who could not get along with the other cats. He loved Mike and I- but when another cat came close to him and he was inside of a home or a room, all hell would break loose. Outside however, he mixed freely with the other barn cats without incident.

Slim showed up here about a year ago. I suspect he was a part of the litter that I had adopted out- and the woman for whatever reason tired of him and brought him back a year later without alerting me. The reason I suspect this is because he immediately went over to our dog and snuggled down. This litter I reference were raised at the belly of our spayed female- that is where they slept and found comfort and she stimulated them to poop as well.

I called the woman but the phone had been disconnected and I drove over there but the house was empty. Slim stayed on, refusing to come indoors and play nice with the others. If I brought him indoors, he sprayed like a fire hose marking everything in his path until the door of freedom was opened and off he went to hunt in the barn.

Slim- now you run in heaven’s grasses with the ones who traveled this way before you. I am sorry I let you down my black friend- please know that you were loved.

She approaches……

She approaches, but only in the darkness. When all lights are extinguished and the world is quiet, the bushes outside by our fence rustle and the calico steps out. I have seen her before many times, she is shy perhaps born that way or evolving into such a creature of beauty but whose distrust of humans is so strong that it keeps her at arm’s length at all times.

The motion detector when it goes off no longer prompts her to flee to safer ground. She has been here feeding before and she knows she can do so with no one disturbing her. But still, she hesitates gauging the distance to the top of the feeder. I can almost hear her thinking, wondering if there is another cat up on the platform out of sight that might knock her back on the ground should she try to eat. But, trusting her instincts, she begins to climb slowly up the post toward the food.

Her climb is a struggle. Her back legs are bent at an awkward angle. Evidence of either inbreeding, trauma or a collision with a moving object or worse but my mind doesn’t want to go there. She walks with her back legs bent outward, her paws on tippy toes. But she is determined and hungry and so she climbs.

This calico who I have named Bonnie is a clear picture of the type of life an unwanted stray lives. If you don’t see these stray cats then they don’t exist. If you don’t care about cats in general, they don’t exist. If you hate cats- then you make sure they don’t exist.

Everyone seems to lay blame on the cats. It it their fault the bird population is dwindling (hogwash!) It is their fault they are out there in the first place. Another piece of bullspit. It is a human’s fault for their existence, because someone, somewhere along the way in the past, let an un-neutered cat outside out of anger, frustration or carelessness and this cat was left to survive. So that is what they do to the best of their ability.

So Bonnie climbs and my barn cats seem to acknowledge her limits and leave her alone as she reaches the summit- the ultimate prize, the feast. She quickly gobbles the food on the trays and then quicker than her trip up the post she goes down again to let the bushes and the world swallow her.

She is trap savvy, she is an old soul and within her lies stories that would make nightmares seem an escape. But she can come here, she can feed and one day, perhaps I will see her in the full sunlight. Perhaps she will learn that this is a safe place and if anyone does harm to her and I see them- there will be hell to pay.

I write about her today although she has been with me a long time, because I heard from my mother yesterday. They lost pretty recently their 26 year old tuxedo kitty Boots. He had health issues as he grew older and they finally made the painful decision to let him go.

Mother swore; “No more CATS!” But my father, well he had other plans. He is the one who taught me passion and love for these animals so long ago. Soon, a calico showed up and against my mom’s wishes, Daddy fed her on the porch and she “adopted” my parents as her own.

Well, it is summer and even in a small town or maybe because of it, there is evil afoot and my dad saw four teenage boys walking away with Callie. He couldn’t go after them or stop them- he is in his 90′s. He could only stay behind and wonder and worry.

She was gone four days and when she returned, she had changed. Instead of being friendly, she was skittish, hiding from sight and not eating much. I encouraged my mom to bring her inside, to keep her safe. I don’t know what these kids did to her, but from the sound of it- it wasn’t good. And now Callie has stories that would make nightmares a relief and she is another casuality of cat-haters.

My parents are not close enough that I can just drive over and assess Callie and help her through her PTSD. But what I can do is continue to care for the lost and the hungry. The ones who show up in the middle of the night looking for food and safety just like Bonnie.

Hmmm- Maybe we should remodel the living room?

Mr Totem, the lethargic, laying around kitty diagnosed with Heinz Body Anemia has transformed himself into a Lear Jet overnight. The vitamin b-12 shot, combined with the elixer and being fed pureed liver parts (cooked of course but still UGH!) has given this kitten his wings! He is flying around the living room today. He actually leaped over the top of my head this morning as I was bending over picking up kitty toys on the floor. I felt the rush of air past my ear, just like you would a bullet passing nearby!

He seems to have taken an interest in hands. They are simply not safe near him. “If it moves, then it has to be prey mom!” I have lost count of the puncture marks on my hands at this point.

This kitty is purr-fectly delightful. He has taken to crawling up Mike’s arm and he crawls underneath the sleeve of Mike’s shirt, pokes his head out of the collar and falls asleep. I need to get a photo- it is the funniest thing to see. His rear legs poking out near Mike’s elbow and his head resting on Mike’s neck! I don’t think this kitten is going to be going anywhere. He has found his permanent home right here. If his flying abilities continue, we will seriously consider turning the living room into an airport!

Totem visits the vet

Totem has Heinz Body Anemia because of all the fleas he had to endure. This is why he hasn’t been keen on eating much and has been sleeping pretty much since I brought him home.

The good news is getting rid of the fleas was the first step to helping him out. He had three baths yesterday and then I treated him with Kitty Advantage and flea combed him boiling the survivors in hot water. He was given a shot and I was given some tincture to give him and it was suggested to feed him boiled, pureed liver (ugh!) for a few days to help him out.

He tested negative for the bad stuff and honestly, he screamed like a bobcat when they tried to draw blood from him! I have never interfered with their back procedures until today- he sounded like they were killing him! Turns out, not only was the pump a bit dry but he hates, hates, hates being restrained!

So he gets lots of TLC and liver to eat and his supplements and hopefully soon he will be right as rain.

I made an appointment for Thursday to get Magoo neutered. He has been trying like crazy to get Reese pregnant lately and thankfully, she isn’t old enough for that to happen!

The bottle babies are on their way over the mountain with my friend Rachel. She came a few minutes to pick them up. Seems their TNR program in their area is so successful there are NO kittens available for people to adopt! That’s cool-

There ought to be a law

totem

I should not be allowed to go out of the house during kitten season at all. God has a strange sense of humor. This morning I went to mail a card to my parents and in front of the post office, what do I see, but a small kitten. He is scared and hot and crying and no one is around.

I have no cat carrier, no cardboard box, so what do I do? I pick him up and plop him in my purse!

I call him Totem because I toted em home-

Oh- Gotta love Kitten Season

Along with the gallons of coffee I am consuming lately, the four babies are doing well. There eyes aren’t opened yet, but I see no worrisome discharge around their eyes or their nose either, which means hopefully they are fairly healthy. Their genders are nebulous at this point- and I always get it wrong at this age- so they are for now nameless.

Magoo has taken a great interest in these newcomers and he lays down by their box watching through the screen. I am not sure if he thinks they are easy prey or if he is truly worried about them. Mike says he thinks the formula is drawing his interest. Magoo is crazy for milk and milk products and shows no ill effects from drinking a bit of cow’s milk or eating a scoop of cottage cheese.

Delilah is mothering them- doing all she is capable of doing in cleaning them and stimulating them which takes a great load off of me. If she could feed them, I am sure she would be happy to take over one of my shifts.

A woman called me this morning wanting a cat for her two autistic boys (both in their teens) But what she wants, I cannot supply. She wants a Ragdoll type of kitty or a long-hair female. This time around- I have mostly males. The long-haired older kitties I have were rescued from some pretty bad abuse issues and I am hesitant to put them in a house that is as loud as hers sounded on the phone. They need a much older, male kitty as they are less apt to react to chaos as the females do.