Barnum update

As a last ditch effort last night, I gave the kitty a bit of a shot of expresso. I said a prayer over him and climbed into bed to catch a few hours of sleep. He was listless, hot and not in the moment. When I woke up, I was delighted to see him sitting up in cage and this morning, although he looks a bit ragged around the edges, he is here, he is eating and drinking and his temp is 102.6. I will take that over 103.9 any day! I will continue antibiotics and treatment for ringworm and just see how it goes. Thanks for the prayers folks- much appreciated!

This is the type of morning when rescue sucks

For whatever reason, sweet, playful 2 month old Barnum is sliding downhill rapidly. He went from a kitty attacking our feet to a kitty just lying on the floor unwilling to move. I had a feeling something wasn’t right with him from the beginning, but I was hoping it was just a matter of an over-aggressive sister. Bailey has wanted to kill him from the start. I am talking full-frontal assault, teeth bared, claws out…scary stuff. I separated them immediately, but any time she found a way to get him- she would.

I am giving him fluids, he is eating, not drinking not moving much.He vomits a lot and has diarrhea bad.  He is also covered in ringworm (another indication his immune system is beat to hell) IF I took him in, it would be several hundred dollars to treat him as they would put him in isolation and everything they would do, I am doing for him now. He is a black kitty with a sweet personality but black kittens, they just don’t get adopted. They call it fading kitten syndrome. They don’t know why it happens, it just does. They go from vibrant to loving, to listless and lethargic at the turn of a dime. He laid in my lap all night barely moving. Didn’t squawk when I gave him fluids. I would dearly love my whirling dervish back. Please pray that I am wrong and he is just having a bad day.

Salem

He was rescued by me as a small kitten right before he was going to become a boa constrictor’s lunch. He was about 10 days old at the time. The guy’s girlfriend called me in a panic and said when the boyfriend announced his plans for this kitten- she cleverly got him so drunk that he passed out on the couch. I was at the home within a half hour and took this kitten into my life.

He did not like being inside a room from the very beginning, so I raised him in the barn and when he was 3 years old, he was adopted out but it didn’t work so five days later he was home. He would have been 8 years old this year and this morning, I found him passed away on our stoop.

There was not a mark on him and I am mystified because he hardly ever left the barn he called home. The look on his face was quite peaceful and I laid him in the forest and told him he will be missed. I saw him yesterday, there is an elevated cage on the side of the barn that he liked to sleep in. He got his lovins, his food both wet and dry and that was the last time I saw him alive. I heard a cat scream early this morning and thinking it was a fight, I got out of bed. it was 3:00 a.m. and looked out back, turned on all the lights of the enclosures and checked to see if anything was amiss. No one looked like they were fighting01misc 013 and I did not check the front yard. If I had, I would have found him. I try not to use the front yard when it comes to the cats- everything happens in the four acres behind the house. I believe now what I heard was Salem getting hit on the road. He came home to die.

He was just a black kitty and the dark swallowed him last night and now he is in the light. Bless you Salem, for all your quirks, you sure brought me a lot of smiles over the years.

“We want a kitten”

The call I just got was a bit strange. The mother wants a cat for her family while admitting her 2 year old daughter likes to drag them around by the tail and maul them! While it is refreshing to have a mother to be so upfront about this behavior, it also just reinforces our policy. It is very rare that we adopt to a family with kids under the age of two, just for that reason alone. They are to young to  understand how to properly treat cats unless they have the right parents who have taught them right from wrong. I think they equate cats with dolls or something, although I grew up with cats sleeping in my crib and never mauled them. Some of the photos of me carrying these large cats make me cringe- as they were so big- I couldn’t carry them properly. But I never dragged them around by their ears or their tail or my parents would have tanned my hide.

I Can’t Believe I Caught Him!

As to who “He” is, I am referring to PITA (I will let you figure out what those initials really stand for!) He is/was a tomcat who showed up here over a year ago. Beautiful cat but mean as dirt. He wouldn’t go into the traps- not even the drop trap. I gave up trying to catch him a few months ago and started killing him with kindness. I don’t think he knew what to make of me- and last night, when he came in to feed- I sat down on the ground and talked to him. For the first time- he came over and let me pet him without fleeing or growling or striking at me. I sat there wondering what he would do if I picked him up and took him over to one of the outside cages and put him inside. Because of how mean he is to the other cats and how scared he is of people, I almost didn’t take the chance, but then deep breath, I stood up and he didn’t run! I bent over to pet him- scruffed his neck and duckwalked him over to the cage and lifted him in. It was over before he could process that it happened! He is now at the vet’s getting neutered which soon means that there will be no more fighting, spraying, running off the other cats from the food trays and territorial behavior. he really is a gorgeous white and orange boy with muted colors and long hair. I will probably change his name and try to find him a home, if he does indeed belong to someone and I have walked both sides of the road in the past looking for his owners- he will just go back home minus his jewels. :)

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Journey’s Visit

My vet believes she is about 10 years old based on the bluing showing in her eyes. She only weighs 40 pounds! He thinks she should at least weigh 60. Her teeth are good- which is a plus but the rest of her is a bit of a mess. He could dock her ears but he doesn’t want to do it until she is better shape. I was given a 2 week period to put  my TLC in her and then he wants to see her back. He does NOT like how skinny she is and the fact that you can see her pelvic bone and ribs. If she doesn’t gain any weight- he says he either would suspect a non performing thyroid gland or cancer. He wants her fed three times a day- NO commercial dog food (because of the terrible shape of her skin) She will get a raw diet. The blackness on her belly and around her privates are based (according to him) from long-term chronic trauma and abuse. The discoloration will not go away.

I asked him what he really thought about her chances at life, and he just looked at her and said that in the past, he has seen dogs much like her (and worse). After the visits he always thinks “Egads what if?” But often, he said he is surprised and with constant food, good shelter and TLC they actually turn around and turn into dogs and not walking skeletons. One thing I like about Dr. Steve is he always wants to give them a chance, so I am hoping that Journey can turn this all around and surprise him. If she doesn’t gain weight then he will determine what to do next- films, bloodwork- whatever works.

Quincy loves her and is very gentle when he is with her. She just seems to have a very sweet spirit and regardless how long she will live- she will have a home here with us. I have to laugh though- the baby kittens truly scare her. I  let them out several times a day to race the room and she moves faster than I have ever seen her move to get out of the way of their craziness.

All cats, all kittens ALL Healthy! YAY! Three of the boys- Bojo- Winston and Frog go in Monday to my vet for their neuter. Like I said before, I am so done with bargain basement spays and neuters. That leaves the last bottle babies to do:Linus, Star, Lionel, Barnum and Baily plus the ten kittens in foster care right now- which by the way, all the families have fallen in love with them and want to adopt them! Big relief there- I talked to a liquor store owner the other day in another part of the town and she agreed to let me put a donation box on her counter. Who knows, maybe someone soused enough might have mercy on these kittens and dump their liquor money in the jar- the kittens photos are all over the jar. :)

Journey’s Start

The other morning, I was at the dog pound on personal business. I was NOT looking for a dog in any shape or form. The pound does not handle cats but they often get donations of cat food both dry and wet and look to unload them on rescues.

While I was there, they were discussing a recent stray drop off saying it was a shame that this senior dog had been abandoned. One of the deputies was saying that when she went to get the “stray” out of the car, the dog was sitting on the lap of the passenger and was spread-eagled and straddled so they had a hard time removing her. When the family drove away, the dog went nuts and tried to chase them down then howled until they were out of sight.

She had been with them awhile, but no one apparently was to interested in her.

I heard my voice say: “May I see her?”

She was in an outside pen, surrounded by Pits and Pit-mixes. The other dogs were bouncing off the ceilings, barking it was pure chaos and she was in her kennel just shaking like a leaf in the wind. She looked so pathetic, her eyes locked with mine sent a message and then I heard myself say “I’ll take her!”

Neither the vet or the shelter can tell me what breed she is- the only distinct feature on her is the knowledge bump on her head that tells me she is some sort of hound. They called her a “Hospice Rescue” so she was “AS IS” at no charge. According to the vet who saw her, she could live 10 minutes, 10 days or 10 years. Apparently, when she was a puppy, she had earmites that were ignored and her ears are a mess. They are cauliflower ears and the vet said that she has shaken them so much, they have broke open and bled that there is nothing left for her to bleed out from. They are bright red, extremely painful and I am treating them holistically at the moment to try and give her at least some relief. She is super skinny, she has been here four days and already gained 5 pounds! They were calling her Pumpkin Pie, we call her Journey.

She has never seen a cat before and she watches them but not in a predatory nature. She walks kind of goofy- and she has scars all over her body as if she was somehow a bait dog? I don’t know her story, but I know her spirit and it is sweet. She has met Quincy and fallen in love with him as well as some other dogs that belong to a friend of mine. Her muzzle and face are gray, but her teeth are in really good shape, so I am wondering if she might just look old based on what she has been through?

This morning, I discovered when I took her out to do the feedings that she chases the flashlight on the ground much like a small kitten chases a laser light! Silly girl- She dances on her hind legs and the first time she met Mike, she danced in front of him then put her front paws on his wheelchair armrests and lopped him in the face. He was smitten.

Here she is on her first day with us-01journeyfirstdayThe kittens scare her when they run over the top of her in play so it is an adjustment period for all of us.

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Brambles at the vet

She is still running a fever although I wonder if that might be because she gets so worked up in the carrier?I tried to keep her loose in the car (bad idea) she wants on my shoulder and head bumping my face (makes it hard to see to drive)!  I have to laugh though and wish I did have a video camera, because what she does is hook her front paws (she has only three claws on one foot now- the other claws are gone and the pads split):( But she will hook her front paws into the door of the carrier and then with her paws still grasping the door she flips UPSIDE down and stands on her head while we are traveling down the road! LOL  I think she is trying to say “Mom, I am too darn cute to be in this carrier!” She stays that way until she realizes it doesn’t work and then she just goes back to trying to grab me for which I am somewhat grateful her claws are gone right now!

All this extra vet cost and care for her and the others has really jerked our vet bill up. If anyone can send us anything- and I mean anything- we would be so grateful. It’s a song I sing way to often, but this time there is desperation in my asking. I have never let this bill get so high in all the years of rescue, but it couldn’t be helped. if I hadn’t acted quickly some pretty nice kitties might not be here right now.

Progress Report

I just went in to do the afternoon feed and popped open a can of food and they ALL came running even Brambles!  Her incision still looks like she was in a train wreck, but her appetite is back. All of them are now eating- their food of choice Fancy Feast Chicken Classic. Thank you Mr. Field Mouse!!!!!!!!!!!

Barn Cat to the Rescue!

Mr. McGee is possibly my best hunter even though he is a male. Typically in the cat world the females are the ones who provide the food to the family. None of the five kitties recently spayed are eating and we are going into a week which is a definite red zone for kitties. McGee happened to catch a huge field mouse this morning and I saw him carrying this proudly back to the house. I always interfere when my barn cats catch prey and if they are okay- I let the prey go, if not, they are dispatched quickly and buried. This field mouse was perfectly fine. I managed to wrangle it away from an indignant McGee and I was headed out to the creek to release it, when I had an idea.

I have a small mesh cage in the hay barn. It’s quite small, a pet store going out of business gave it to me. I use it in traps sometimes and bait it with a live mouse to entice trap savvy cats into the humane trap. The mesh is so small not even a kitten can get a claw through it. I popped mr field mouse into the trap and brought him into the house.

I set him in the bedroom and opened up several cans of kitty krack (Fancy Feast) I spooned out the food and set the bowls near the trap. The mouse had a lot of straw to hide under but you could see the straw moving and hear the mouse squeaking. IT WORKED! All the cats are now eating- the smell, the sounds of their natural prey stimulated appetites and they started chowing down. NO MOUSE WAS HARMED IN THIS EXPERIMENT- Mr. Mouse has been given his freedom and the cats are a bit livelier than they have been since this experience.