Another early morning

I write about this extensively in my book, about how I get unsocialized kitties to let down their guard and let me in. I generally work during their heaviest prey time which is between 2:00 and 6:00 a.m. This is when their prey (mice) are alert and active and the Queen will leave the nest to go hunting.

Although they weren’t with the Queen long enough, somehow, deep inside of these kitties lies the natural instinct to prey, play and pounce during this period of time.

I use an interactive toy and just lie in bed very still working them closer. Once they are involved in the play, I slowly sit up and become a bit larger propped up by my pillows, sleep still in my eyes and fog on my brain.

After I play with them a bit and have expended that nervous energy, I will quietly move and scruff a kitten and place him in my lap. This morning, it was Scotty’s turn to be petted.

I reached over and lifted him and placed him on my lap. One hand on his scruff the other wrapped a bit around him for security. I started petting him, careful to avoid his beautiful eyes. I talked to him and just kept stroking him and gradually I felt him relax. I pulled my arm that was securing him to my lap away and he didn’t jump off and run away- instead he settled down rolled over and displayed his beautiful belly for a tummy rub!

It brought a smile to my face that he felt he could trust me. We sat there in the early morning hours- me unplugged from my world, lost in the wonder of his soft fur and listening to him purrng away.

It is a quiet time, before the day catches me full in it’s grasp and there will be interruptions in the day, food issues to deal with, fights to break up, litter pans to scoop and oh so many distractions and worries.

But for just one moment- there is a brief spot in time where a once-traumatized kitten sleeps on my lap showing no fear and the world stays at arm’s length.

I don’t know what will happen today. Who might call and ask me to take in their cat because they are fighting a losing battle with the bank and the bank is winning. I don’t know if the carport recently damaged in a high wind storm will finally end up collapsing on our car by the weight of the rain on the roof. The insurance company said “Sorry Act of God,” when they came out to inspect the damage and saw half a pine tree top sticking out of our roof. I had a Christmas tree over my car way before Christmas… at least, I still have a roof over my head after that scary storm the other night.

I don’t know if Mike will fall again and if he does, I don’t know if he will be able to get up on his own.

But what I know is that for one brief moment, I am lost in the wonder of a kitten who had been shoved into a letter box and left to die. I see his trust starting to develop and marvel at his striking mackeral tabbiness on my lap. For that one moment however brief, before the day assaults me- I smile and know that all is right with my world.

Prey/Pray Time

At 4:00 a.m. the kittens are amped up in full prey mode. Chasing each other across the room and across the bed they scramble for tails, paws, my toes anything that moves. Arby isn’t vomiting anymore- he was needing a second worming which he got and he is back in fine-style joining the early morning chase.

I’ve given up trying to sleep as they prey. Instead, I turn the low light on, stay on my back and pray for them, for my friends who are struggling, for my parents who are without belief, for the world for everything.

It isn’t meditative prayer by any means. Interruptions occur without warning as Reese decides to tackle my toes, or Scotty bounces across my chest. Pippi will come up and mew in my face. When I looked at her this morning, I thought to myself how pretty torties are and she is no exception. They look like God has splashed brilliant paint across them and with Pippi, she has a white and gold cross right across her chest that runs down through her legs. I had never noticed that before. Pippi is blind in one eye. I am not sure why- but I see the difference in her gaze and I have tested her a few times- she is a one-eyed kitty. There are no cataracts, just a glaze across her eye. I will get her checked out when she goes for her spay.

I think to myself during this reflective time if perhaps I am nuts. This year, overloaded with young kittens, I have ten spays to somehow put together. Add to that Mr. Cool who is upstairs and a tomcat it’s going to be a struggle to get these done without impacting our regular bills.

But, as the kittens leap about the room, I know in my heart that I have done the right thing. Scotty had he been left where he was without discovering, would have died a horrible, slow death.

The business kitties-they would have stayed where they were found-hiding out in the blackberries, freezing in this crazy weather and only getting food when the people who owned the business decided it was time to feed them.

Mr. Cool would have been eventually hit by a car on a busy road as he scavenged for food and Pippi and Piper, McGee and Donovan would have been left to starve to death.

So I guess it evens out even when it unsettles my heart. I did the right thing, and on my my Christmas List this year are eleven items- neuters for all the cats.

My article in the India magazine Cats and Kittens is now out. My hope is that in sharing the story about the black kitten left on the streets of India to die- it will inspire others in that country to step forward and help a kitten much like Jigyasa did. That to me would be a true Christmas Miracle!

Here is Jigyasa’s story:
One Act

Christmas Blessings to All-

Tis the Season for Giving not Taking

I allow myself twice a month to indulge in an exotic coffee at a local coffee stand. This morning, the gal who waited on me told me that her first customer of the day stole all her tips out of the tip jar!

First of all, this is such a small town so he probably only got $2.00 if that! But this is a season of giving- so what gives him the right to take this away from her? She just asked me to pray for him that he would be convicted in his heart of taking her hard-earned money.

Patti is a wonderful lady who loves cats and she works hard for a living. It just boggles my mind that someone had the audacity to steal from her.

On a kitten note, Arby started vomiting last night. I suspect he needs to be de-wormed so I captured him and put him in the cage for a few days so I can watch him and medicate him as needed. He was fairly easy to catch-so I know God was in the details there because he has been hiding under the bed. A bit of hissing and some bluffing when I went to pick him up but that was all and that was a welcome relief.

Scotty says hello

scottyLast night, we had a photo shoot on the bed with Scotty, Pippi and Reese- Arby stayed under the bed where it is safer and no stupid human is trying to make friends with him- though he comes out from time to time to see what the fuss is all about. Here are some of the photos:




Felinexpress wins the Muse Medallion!

I am so proud, I just learned my website felinexpress won the Cat Writers’ Association Muse Medallion for another year! There was stiff competition this year and I am pleased that we took it home. The judge’s comment was this-
: “Overall a very nice site that gives the reader plenty to click on but does not overload the reader information. It’s there if the reader wants it but it isn’t pushed.”
The Muse Medallion goes to: Mary Anne Miller for
Yay! This year it was a tie, and also won the Muse. If you haven’t been to that website you should go- it is a holistic website for cat lovers and it ROCKS!

You can see what the Muse Medallion looks like on the homepage of felinexpress. I am so thrilled to say that we have won every year since 2006 and this year the judge nailed it right on the head what I want to keep accomplishing on this website. I want to present information for cat lovers that doesn’t get caught up in such technical details that you get lost trying to figure it out. Just straightforward information to people who love cats based on what I have gone through with my kitties.

Arby makes his appearance

Last night, I turned on the low light in the bedroom, laid down on my side on the bed and took out my secret weapon for scared kitties

In just a matter of minutes, Arby was out from under the bed and joining in the play. I had some braised meat left over from dinner and I had chopped this up really fine and rolled it into small cream cheese balls. Those were at the ready. After about ten minutes of play, I dropped the meat balls on the floor and he was all over them. He is now out in the room playing with the others!

He has a striking mackeral tabby pattern- did you know that Mackeral Tabby isn’t a type of cat- but it is the pattern on the coat. They call it a Mackeral Tabby pattern because if you look at the face of these beautiful kittens or cats, you will see a dark M appeaing between their eyes and forehead.

Arby is now safe, he is out of the wind, the storms away from the nutrias. He doesn’t have to worry that the people in the care of him might forget to feed him, give him fresh water or even acknowledge he is alive.
He is a cute little bugger, I will give him that!

Mike said of the three business kitties we should name them “Eeenie,” “Meenie,” we don’t want no” MO”

It’s an old joke between us but it is still funny.

So in the bedroom, we have Arby, Scotty, Reese and Pippi. Upstairs we have Mr. Cool who loves people but he isn’t so keen with other cats right now.

In the barn we have Macy, Chalk, Tugboat, and Wiley.

On the porch are Puzzle, Baker, Turner, Barnum, Mecedes, MK, Chaplain, Tandem and Axle. In the house/enclosure we have Dash, McGee, Trump, Squirrel,Sierra, Taylor Riddle, ShyAnne, Fiona,Donovan, Fog, Piper,Tandy, Quincy,m Turtle and Mamasan- whew! I think the humans need to move out and make room for the cats! LOL

I got him!

Finally after days of sweat and prayers, I captured the final kitten at that local business. And just in time too as the weather last night was so nasty and scary. I woke up at 2:00 a.m. the wind was just howling. I ran to the back door to call the barn kitties in and I heard this moaning sound. I thought at first it was the wind, but it wasn’t-it was MK and he was terrrified. I called to him and he came running over through the darkness and leaped into the door (It’s a double dutch door and I only had the top opened). Three other cats leaped in right behind him!

This morning with all the limbs down, I worked on the cat alley and moved all the furniture and beds under cover- some were exposed a bit. Now if it gets really wild and cold, if they huddle on the giant condo they w ill be completely out of the weather. They aren’t liking the new spot yet- but it will grow on them.

The new kitty has been flea-treated and de-wormed and is in the bedroom with his brother and sister and the tortie girl Pippi. he spat and hissed at me, but I was able to bare handed lift him out of the trap and pet him a bit before letting him go.

The Under the Bed Kittens

It has been less than a month since the two kittens decided to make the underside of the bed their security cave.

Although there were times when I just wanted to peer under the bed and scoop these cuties into my lap, I refrained myself. I liken their hiding to how I felt when I was a kid. One of my relatives liked to hide in my bedroom closet and jump out and yell BOO at me when I was just about asleep. To this day, I cannot sleep with a closet door opened in the room and when we built our master closet, I begged Mike not to put doors on it- so he didn’t. We are all victims of our early experiences good or bad. I used to cower under the covers, figuring that if I couldn’t see the boogey man, he wasn’t there. It’s the same with the kittens. They can see the predator (me) at least my feet when I come into the room. They are in a dark place and no one can sneak up on them. I am not about to destroy the illusion. I kept to the schedule of feedings and litter pan scoopings and today both kitties, Scotty and Reese are out from under the bed and playing in the room!

I think the problem comes when people are working with unsocialized kittens that people are impatient. They want instant results. Perhaps they feel because they “saved” this kitten or cat from the “big bad outside,” the cat should be grateful, jump into their lap immediately purring and wanting a cuddle. It doesn’t work that way. Cats aren’t wired like that.

Here is Scotty, sorry about the red background but I only had the night light glowing. He is out from under the bed and enjoying his added space to roam in.