Did he outsmart me?

This morning, my trap contained one of the mackerel tabby tomcats that I have been after now for a few weeks. He was just lying at the back, not moving when I picked up the cage, and he still didn’t move. I gently poked him with a finger- nothing.

I hurried into the barn and grabbed a carrier so I could transfer him carefully into the carrier and when I opened up the trap door- he just exploded and flew out of the trap over the carrier and vanished deep into the pasture grass! Dang it! I don’t want an intact Tom walking around because one of my neighbors have three cats all female and all intact. She doesn’t believe in spaying and neutering.

I thought he was hurt- either he was injured and adrenaline got the best of him or he was playing possum waiting for his opportunity to escape. Either way I have lost him probably for good.

The Cyrus Fund

01cyrusSince arriving here, Cyrus has pretty much been lurking inside of his carrier growling softly any time I drew near to him. He would lean his head out to eat wet food- ignoring the dry and drink the water bowl dry in my absence.

This morning when I went into feed, he had messed all over himself and his carrier (never a good sign) as he can get in and out of the carrier at will. I had no choice but to carefully remove him from his hiding place and clean everything (including him up)

I took a deep breath, slowed my breathing and reached in to scruff him. He allowed me to do this and when I placed my hand underneath his chest to support him, my fingers slipped into something gooey and wet. He has a festering wound under his right shoulder.

I just dropped him at the vet. They will have to sedate him to even draw blood. If he tests negative, they will go ahead and neuter him and we will see if we can make up to him for all he has gone through so far.

Our hope is we can offer him a life from here on in where he will never have to bare teeth or unsheathe his claws ever again! I have a soft spot for the older Toms who are forced to live life on the edge. Add to that his royal orangeness is actually quite sweet. He could have ripped me open at any time.

If you would like to send us your mad money, lunch money, coffee break or vending machine money- we would gladly put all of it toward his care.

2:42 Update- I am sorry to tell you that Cyrus was put to sleep this afternoon. He tested positive and he was fighting so many infected wounds on his poor body that we decided to give him final peace. I’m just sorry we didn’t get to him sooner.

Regarding the piles of cat food outside the fence area-

Thankfully, it turned out to be a good thing. The woman was looking for her lost cat (a black one) She thought he might be in the masses and was leaving food outside the fence to see if the black cats would come and eat the food so she could see them up close to see if Blackie was among them.

I  stopped by again a bit later in the day to talk to Chris and this elderly woman was at the fence. We went over to talk to her and she was describing her cat. When she said he had tufts of hair in between the pads of his feet and in his ears- I thought about Magic. He has the same thing. I went and fetched him and yes, it is her cat and they have been reunited! He has been missing since I first spotted this storage yard and he wasn’t neutered at the time. He is now! He went right to her and curled up in her lap- :) Show me smiling right now!

What are they up to?

This morning, I stopped by the storage yard where we recently TNR all the cats but four males. Chris was worried when I drove up and said she was just about ready to call me. Last night quite late (she keeps odd hours) she saw shadows moving outside. She went out to see what is going on and she saw two women crouched down by the outside of the fence pouring cat food on the ground outside the fence! She yelled at them and challenged what they were doing. They jumped into a waiting car and fled.

She took me over to where the woman were piling food. It is directly behind several large farm machines and out of sight from the motor home . They had also taken and stretched the fencing out from the base, so when an unsuspecting cat did come to eat- it would be outside of the fence and easy prey for whatever is planned for it. :(

I suspect they are up to no good for several reasons- first they are working only after midnight- second they are making sure that all the piles (we found 8 total) are behind some equipment, or some weeds where they can hide from the two caretakers.

I told Chris to get her husband to drive rebar into the wire to refasten the fence and we both scooped up the food piles and threw them away. I left her with more dry food and told her to start overfeeding the clowder so that none of them want anything extra to eat.

Don’t tell me to call the police, I will tell your right now, they won’t care. Short of taking the food in to be tested to see if it poisoned, Chris has no idea why these two ladies are doing this but she fears they are up to no good.

There are a lot of cats in this colony and they “look” like kittens but they aren’t. They are genetically stunted from inbreeding because Chris couldn’t find anyone who gave a darn about helping her get them fixed until I came along. Then thanks to the Kitty Angel Team who helped trap these cats- all of them (save four) have been fixed. I suggested they take some of the bigger boulders in the yard and pile them along the fenceline to stop this foolishness. I just hope no cat suddenly vanishes overnight.

Quincy

It has been one week since the incident with Quincy and the kitten. I have been working on training him with positive methods since that day. I am happy to report that now, he will walk with me leashless out to the back pasture and not even look at the cats in the yard. This morning, I was playing fetch with him and I threw the ball into the weeds flushing out Samson our big black barn cat. Sam broke through the weeds ran for the barn and Quincy didn’t even look like he wanted to give chase! He just looked at me like “Mom throw the ball already!”

My thanks to those of you who believed in me not throwing this wonderful dog away. For your links to other training methods which worked like a charm instead of following Cesar’s Way I thank you for that as well. My arm aches from playing “Tug” but it has paid off and it will continue to be the way I redirect his prey drive into a play drive.

This evening was the final confirmation that keeping Quincy was the right thing to do. I was feeding at the feeders and my back was to Quincy as he was lying in the yard behind me. When I turned around again, two cats had joined him in their snooze! His eyes opened a minute to see his new bed buddies, then he closed them again to catch some more Z’s NOT to catch a cat!

Meet Cyrus

This tomcat was just captured barehanded by your’s truly. I snuck up on him by the creek where he has been showing up lately to chase the fish and get a snack. Last night, I tucked a carrier into the bushes laid out some canned and dry food and this morning while he was busy chowing down- he got snagged.

He went ballistic in the carrier but once in the cage, he simmered down. He has been in a lot of fights and is an old boy. I will let him decompress for a few days then take him to be evaluated, tested and neutered. He reminds me a bit of Cyclone without all the laps around the ceiling though! Thank God for small favors!

01cyrus

My Mom

I often use this blog to post about the inhumane ways that people treat cats but this time, I am using this a springboard to post about my family. My mom just turned 90 and she is slipping away from us slowly day by day. It is as if she is losing bits and pieces of herself and lately, my oldest sister has been contributing to this decline. Whether she is doing it deliberately or not, I don’t know but she has really upset my mom.

My mom wants me to come and see her right NOW. I wish I could. Every fiber in my being wants to be there with her (despite our history together). I don’t want to get into her “business” my other sisters are doing that to their determent. I just want to go and spend a few days and give her lots of hugs and I can’t.

It isn’t Mike stopping me. He can’t go (though he wants to) but the trip by car is 20 hours and he can’t dangle his leg that long without repercussion. I have someone who would stay with him in my 3 day absence, and George bless his heart will be taking care of the cats. I will have to put Quincy with a friend who rescues dogs. He will be in jail for three days, but he will be okay. She has inside/outside runs for the dogs.

What is stopping me is finances. Seems it always stops me at every turn. We will soon be getting our tax refund back but we recently were served notice that we have to replace our carport roof (a tree went through it in a storm) The insurance didn’t cover it because it was an “act of God.” So we have to do it or we lose our house insurance and if that happens our loan company will drop us. I can’t justify spending the money needed to keep our home on this trip.

I broke my mom’ s heart yesterday when I explained this to her. I know she feels so alone and picked on right now and with her lapse of memory happening more and more often, there will come a time when I will call her and she may not know me. How bad is her memory, you might ask- I got a letter from her on Friday. I opened it up, there was a thank you card inside. I couldn’t think why she would be thanking me? I opened the card and it was completely blank. :( I went in and called her and she couldn’t even remember sending the card.

So, I just put a card to her in the mail. This one wasn’t blank, this one was full of the love I feel for her and the frustration I carry for not being there to let her know that not all her daughters are trying to take over her life and other things as she grows old.

Mike said I should just go and we will deal with the repercussions later. But, it’s not just us that would suffer, but the 21 cats who currently call this place home. I can’t risk that. All I can hope is my mom understands in her moments  of clarity that I DO love her and I would be there if things were different.

I just had to clear this out of my heart- thank you for listening. If you are lucky enough to still have your mom in your life, I suggest you call her and tell her how much you love her or visit and give her a hug. It can all change in a split second.

The other day, I was talking to my mom and she was repeating herself quite a bit. Then, she had a moment of clarity and she said: “Is this Mary Anne the baby of the family?” I said “Yes Mother, it’s me.  She was quiet and then she said: “Can I tell you something?”

I told her “Yes.” then she said-

“I miss myself.”

So do I mom, so do I.

On the Calico Front

No one it appears can find this kitty. She got outside on the day I was to pick her up and no one has seen her since. I have been over there a few times looking for her but it is an isolated spot near the forest. She could be anywhere.

On Feb. 15th a near hairless tortie was rescued by our sanctuary

We named her Molly and here she is today. She will be put up for adoption this weekend. I call her our heat seeking missile because she always wants to be on my lap. I put her outside just to get a better photo of her- but she definitely prefers to be an inside kitty with only a few outside bathroom breaks- The only hair missing on her these days is on her tail.

01molly2

 

01molly3

The Gravel Pit Kitty

Here is Cinders, the kitty who someone dumped up at the gravel pit high on the mountain near our home. She has been spayed, she is a bit pet aggressive and doesn’t seem to play well with others. Our hope is this weekend, we can put her up for adoption and find her a home where she will be the only kitty there.

01cinder5