Since I am a Cat Wrangler- The Year in Round-up

It’s 3;00 a.m. and the ground crunches underfoot as I make my way to the barn to feed the cats. Along the way, I stop to fill the feral feeders and pet Turner, Tandem and Axle who come out to greet me. They are healthy kitties, fat and sassy with lots of warm fur to insulate them against what I suspect is going to be a long cold winter. The rain stopped the other day and snow is predicted later on. I stop to turn on the heater in the barn to help the cats stay comfortable.

As I fill up their trays with food and dish out canned food for them, I stop and think of the cats who have passed through my hands in 2011. The ones who were adopted out and the ones who just couldn’t overcome illness, sickness or their previous abuse. And of course, the ones who are still living with us.

I remember Dobby the black tomcat who I found in January curled under my car at the Target store. Brooklyn the pregnant calico girl giving birth to 5 stillborn kittens. Gideon and Sharky who went on to become beloved barn cats in Scio, the adoption of core kitties still living and thriving in their new home in South Salem.

I remembered with great sadness the passing of the special ones; Shell, Guinevere, Jetta, Blosson, Frasier and Cyrus.

It was a hard year on kitties around this area. People bugging out in the middle of the night and leaving their animals behind without so much of a thought of what might happen to them. I could never do that-and perhaps because of the numbers I now am caring for, I should have said “NO” more often when the phone rang or the emails arrived.

I think of Fiona beating the odds of the mast cell cancer in her ears. She is 9 months cancer-free a survivor, despite the vets’ dire predictions that the “cancer will return.”

Then my thoughts rest on those of you who have stopped for a moment in your busy lives and freely given of yourself to this group. Whether it was a card dropped in the mail with a prayer attached giving me the strength to continue, or opening up your pocketbooks or wallets and donating to the latest cause- there is just no way of adequately thanking you.

Every time I was at the end of my rope questioning not only my sanity but if I was following the right path, some miracle appeared in my day that gave me the means to go on- and gave so many kittens and cats a chance at a better life than they ever lived before.

So God Bless you- Thank You- I share my grateful and tearful kisses cast into the icy wind of the morning- hoping they reach those intended and bless them in their day.

These “lost cause” kitties were given a chance because of you giving me hope during some dark and dismal days.

You allowed Torah, the four-pawed declawed orange senior girl dumped in a park to die to have three weeks of a life with comfort, love and excellent vet care.

Your gifts gave Shell and four of her colony-mates a world they had never encountered- and I was blessed enough to share their story while they touched folks from all over the world.

So to thank you- I will continue doing what God intended me to do; to help, to share the stories and as much as some of you insist to me that I am your inspiration- I have to say that “No, YOU are my inspiration.” Your cards and letters and emails have meant the world to me and more importantly have changed the lives of so many cats this year-

Happy Mew Year’s To ALL!

also two new websites are under works and should be online soon- www.feralcatnews.com and www.feralkittennews.com - look for them toward the middle of Jan!

Pippi is off the adoption list

Pretty much confirmed today by the feline specialist that dear, sweet Pippi has dry FIP. It is a shame because I had a family interested in adopting her and I had to call the Langdon’s tonight and deliver the bad news that she isn’t going to be adopted out.

My plan is since her only symptom at this time is her milky eye- to just leave her be and when she starts exhibiting the other symptoms of dry FIP; loss of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, fevers, I will decide then what to do next. Right now her appetite is great, she is playing and exhibiting normal behavior. Any additional tests will eat away with the next spay and neuter fund which will be swallowed tomorrow when the final 6 kittens are done. She can have at least a year of life with the dry form, the wet is more pervasive and aggressive and the kittens die quickly.

The FIP although called “Infectious” is not contagious. It is a common virus most cats are subjected to- it is just in some cats, the virus mutates and causes these awful chain of events to unfold in their bodies. There is currently a study being done out of Tennessee on FIP kittens and cats but other than being able to extend the lives of the cats up to 6 months, there is no miracle cure in sight.

the balance shifts

i should have called mr. cool “relentless.” neutered, and now allowed full range of the house and enclosure, he is making up for lost time in getting pets and attention. although the tom tendencies are still in play (it will take a few months for him to get rid of all that tomcatness) he is establishing his place among the group.

i had to laugh last night, he jumped on mike’s night table and started demanding to be petted. i had four cats on my lap at the time and he is quickly learning my lap only holds four. so he shifted his attention to mike who only had taylor on his lap.

mr cool jumped on the table and started meowing. when mike didn’t respond, mr cool put his paw lightly on mike’s arm (which mike likely didn’t feel) still no response, so mike got lightly bitten on the hand (no skin break) but it was as if MC was saying “Hey pay attention to me!”

So he got his pets and he rolled over and over on the small table until in his frenzy, he rolled right off the table and onto the carpet.

he is sparring with Baker my highest alpha, he has issues with McKee and Donovan and he and Trump haven’t reached an understanding yet. He is slowly finding his way and it will get a bit easier after the 30th when I take the final group of kittens in for their spay and neuters.

The weather is slamming rain right now with high winds and this excites him. He runs from the cat enclosure to the house when the winds are the highest and then decides that inside the tunnels is the safest place to stay. I am grateful I had the foresight to put two tunnels in place when we built the connection to the house because once he is in the tunnel, he will not allow any cat to venture inside.

He is a sweet, sweet boy and he needs his own place where he can reign supreme. Even though he is a mackeral tabby and they are so common out here, plus he is 4 years old, I am hopeful of finding him a permanent home. He would make a great cat for the local library!

End of the Year thoughts

Last night on the way back from the vet’s, I was driving in the right lane on a four lane highway. There was a suburban next to me in the left lane and I heard a lot of whooping and hollering coming from the driver and someone else- but with five cats in the car, I wasn’t paying attention to any other noise other than the meows. Suddenly, the suburban sped up and as it did, I saw from the corner of my eye, this fool on a bicycle! He had apparently been clinging to the driver’s side door handle and imitating a “jackass.” The bicycle rider dropped back pedaled furiously and cut right in front of me!

Not having any other option, I slammed on my brakes. Hook was in a soft sided carrier on the seat and he went flying off the seat and on to the floor. Thankfully, there were no cars behind me or I could have been in a mess. The guy on the bike (a teenager) laughed, flipped me off and took off down the alleyway. The suburban was nowhere in sight.

I don’t own a cell phone, so all I could do was pull over and shake it off. I checked on Hook, but I didn’t want him loose in my car, so all I could do was unzip the carrier and see if he was still okay. He appeared to be, so we went on home.

When I released the boys into the house, Hook was limping pretty bad. His back leg would make a thump on the ground and he wasn’t keen on doing any weight bearing. I put him inside one of my cages to let him rest and checked on him through the night. This morning, although he has a slight limp, he seems okay.

I fell asleep exhausted at about 3:00 a.m. after Pippi’s last meds. I had the strangest dream.

I dreamed that I was visited by old school mates of mine. Gals I grew up with who have gone on to have families, great marriages, careers.

They descended on my house, driving fancy cars and dressed to the nines. They inspected my home from top to bottom and made notes on their clipboards. There were five of them, and they all commented on what an “odd little life,” Mike and I led.

Jodi, now an industrial engineer left tips on how to finish out the bathroom ceiling, and the bedroom. Kelly an owner of a maid service seemed disgusted at finding cat litter on the bottom of her shoe. They all wanted to know about my kids and I talked about my cats!
Tara who is an accountant asked to see how much monies went into these creatures. I told her it was none of her business and ushered them all outside and told them nicely to go back home to their perfect little lives.

Give me imperfect any day. Give me someone who would stop their car and pick up an injured creature off the road and set it off to the side or take it to the vet. Give me someone who has to think about how much money they are spending and where instead of going to the mall and filling their bags with merchandise that is pricey and will put them into debt.

Give me a man with such a kind heart that even though he doesn’t care for cats (or he didn’t before he met me) would allow his young wife to bring in a litter of 8 abandoned kittens and set them up in the bedroom to take care of them.

Give me those kind of people and we will make a colony of caretakers that othes who rush around in their day on their cell phones know nothing about.

Something changed for me internally that day long ago when my daddy, my now ex-husband and my doctor came into that private room at the hospital and told me my newborn son died. Something cracked inside of me, changed me forever and made me who I am today. A woman who would do anything for a cat or a person in trouble. No one quite understands me, heck I don’t even understand myself at times. But this year- innudated with more kittens than I ever remember that people were just casting aside, I learned lessons about myself that even the most educated teachers could reveal.

I learned about trust, compassion, patience and most of all, I learned about prayer. I also found that there are Kitty Angels that watch over my group and to ALL of them I extend my thanks. You’ve made it possible for me to continue on this path- even after I lost my job, lost my hope and almost lost my faith.

Spay Day doesn’t go as planned

Took five cats in today two spays and three neuters but they wouldn’t spay Pippi, that discolored eye turned out to be anterior uvitis which means that somewhere in her system there is some sort of infection and I was told the infection is quite painful. They did not wish to add to her pain by spaying her as well.

She is on steriods, antibiotics, eye ointment for a week then I need to take her back for a pre-check.

Poor kitty- it bumped the bill up along with Fog having a yeast infection in his ear and Mr. Cool had an infection in his ear as well- can’t catch a break with these kitties lately! Just think, in two more days, we do it all over again.

Hook is limping right now- I put him in the bedroom then I had to run to the store to get some rubber gloves. I think he might have fallen off the bed. I put him in the cage for the night to see if rest will straigten out his owie…

Merry Christmas~

If you look for Me at Christmas
You won’t need a special star.
I’m no longer just in Bethlehem,
I’m right there where you are.
You may not be aware of Me,
amid the celebration.
You’ll have to look beyond the stores,
And past the decorations.

But if you take one moment
From the list of things to do
And listen closely with your heart-
I’m there so close to you.
You’re the one I want to be with,
You’re the reason that I came,
And you’ll find me in the stillness,
where I’m whispering your name.

Taylor Update

Tay is home for Christmas but there is a possibility she may lose her eye. The suspect that she also caught feline herpes in her compromised state and she must have rubbed her eye on the carpet picking up a foreign object which they pulled out of her eye. She is back home now and resting,her eye looks like a swollen mess and she has more ointment to put on it and some eye drops as well. I am to flush her eye out several times a day with sterilized saline and water and take her to the vet after Christmas if the eye doesn’t stop looking so angry.

Poor girl, she has been through it but it will be a Merry Christmas because she is still with us this day.

Taylor is at the ER vets tonight

It started a few hours ago, she began to have problems breathing and then all this goo just started pouring out of one of her eyes! I swear she looked like a soap dispenser that just burst. I had to take her to the ER Vet which is over two hours from here. But so close to the holiday this was my only option. They wanted two hundred dollars before they would even see her! sigh…..

All I can do right now is pray that she will be okay. She wasn’t dehydrated, she had no fever, she had a normal dinner and used the litter pan. I am not sure what is going on but her one eye looks so angry it is almost swollen shut. I am supposed to call in the morning and check on her and see if and when she can come home.

Pop is asleep and I didn’t wake him up. I didn’t want to distress him and it would have taken me longer to get there if I had to wait for him to get dressed and get ready. Plus he would have only driven the speed limit and I admit- I broke some speed laws on my way there.

Meet the 2011 Miller Gang

Will try my luck in showing you the rescued kitties who live with us. If any trip that deep lever of your heart and you just want to adopt them- PLEASE let me know. I have ways of getting kittens across country if at all possible!

donandquince
Donovan & Quince

arby

Arby

shyann

ShyAnn

scotty

Scotty

mercedes

Mercedes

Taylor

Taylor

Reese

Reese

Chandler

Chandler

mcgee and salem

McGee & Salem

MK

MK (Mystery Kitty)

H&S

Hemingway & Sawyer

fiona

Fiona

trump

Trump

piper

Piper

Squirrel

Squirrel

pippi

Pippi

wiley

Wiley

Mr Cool

Mr. Cool

fog

Fog