Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I think this is fitting.

The busy season begins

So we have a feral kitty in Van Etten nursing two kittens, two shy female cats that we just spayed that came to us from a nearby trailer park, and two boys (one neutered and one not) who are a little worse for wear this harsh winter. Beemer here is a newbie at a nearby neutered colony and he has a Thursday appointment to be neutered.

Here they are in their traps, donated to us by the Petco Foundation via their Cat Trap Depot workshops and Susan Rosenberg (who is now with Greater Good) and caught in just a few moments at feeding time by Valarie, their caretaker extraordinaire:

Gray Kitty, who was neutered last year, has a bite in his ear, probably dealt by Beemer, and needs his vaccinations updated.

Gray Kitty, while shy outdoors, likes having his chin scritched. I think he's on his way to being a friendly fellow and he'll likely worm his way into his caretaker's home soon. ;)

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Are any readers here going to the BlogPaws conference in Las Vegas? Please leave a comment if you are!

Bo fetches

I've been allowing Bo to come downstairs. He's a sweet cat who never picks on anyone, unlike his brother Davis, who will stalk poor Nellie. He doesn't touch her, but just the staring makes my home a House of Hisses which spikes my blood pressure.

I discovered Bo likes to carry a particular toy around. I would turn around and find the toy was often near me, even though I had moved from spot to spot with my laptop to work. Today I discovered he will fetch.

Sort of.

He's such a sweet boy. This weekend is "promotion weekend." I've been lax about getting these cats on all the different adoption portals. It's time to take some photos!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lupé has kittens!

Lupé is a community cat living in Van Etten. Her caretakers had made arrangements to get her altered, and I lent them a trap to pre-bait and catch her. True to Murphy's Law, she failed to show the day before her surgery, and missed her appointment. A new appointment was made.

However, a few days later she presented her caretakers with these two little gems:

Too late! Once she can be away from her kittens for a day, we'll get her to a veterinarian for FeLV/FIV testing so we can promote these cuties and hopefully get them pre-adopted so they can go straight into homes once they are ready to go. Her caretakers have her shut in their greenhouse where she is snug and warm.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cricket stops looking for Ivan.

She also has stopped eating, sleeping with me, or taking any interest in anything. She just sits on the couch in the great room and stares at the upholstery.

When the weather got nice I let her out on the catio, as she has been begging for. She went outside and howled and howled like she had been when looking for him in the house. Then she came back in, and it was like she had given up. She just went to the couch and only budges to go to the cat box. She won't even lay on the soft blanket there. She just lies on the bare cushion.

I did cook her some chicken. She had a few bites of that last night. That's the last thing she ate on her own. Baby food...nope. A/D. Nope. So I've resorted to syringe-feeding her.

My poor old girl.

Spring is time for....stinkbugs!

Last night I was working upstairs on the computer (as I am now) and I hear a loud buzzing like a horsefly. I ducked away, and the cats all ran after it. Thinking it might be a wasp, I got up and headed over.

It was a good old stink bug, and the kittens were learning why you don't bite one. Yuck! They stared at it for a few moments and then stalked off.

I try to keep the furniture up here covered since it gets so little human use. Clearly I am failing.

Bo has it rough, right?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Bo helps blog

And he also still needs a home, along with his brother Davis. They are currently the "upstairs" cats.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Meet Lucy and her sister

Somehow my phone number ended up on the Internet. The phone rang and it was a local number and I picked it up. I ended up with three cats from a nearby trailer park who were originally rescued from the feral population there, but the man who rescued them was moving to another trailer in the park, and also could not afford to get vaccinations and spay/neuter for three cats. Given that it would have cost around $600, I can sympathize.

I had all three cats transferred to us, and had the male (a cute friendly tiger with white) altered and vaccinated, but then the temperature plunged and I had no space for him without heating additional space in the barn. I called the original owner and his sister, who had expressed interest in keeping him, agreed to take him back.

But the two little girls are here to stay. Here is Lucy, who is a little treat hound and is coming around nicely:

Here is her little sister, who doesn't have a name, primarily because she spent all of her time hiding. And she still does here, too:

I have to think of just the right name for her. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body. I can pick her up and she just shivers, but doesn't scramble, bite, or scratch. She has a cute little face, but a long way to go before she is adoptable:

So that's how it goes. Two get homes, and two come in.

Actually three, because little Hope is coming back. More on that tomorrow.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Arthur checks in, too!

And speaking of relaxed...I think it is clear that Arthur is really relaxed in his new place.

Now I get photos by text, too. It's kitty feedback, 24 hours a day. Gotta love it.

TinyCat checks in...with a real photo. On paper!

It has been so long since someone has sent me an actual photo in the mail I wasn't quite sure what to do with it! TinyCat clearly is relaxed in his new home. Remember everyone, I love photos. I'm not always so good about getting them all up, but I try! I'll try even harder, because I love having these permanently in the blog.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Rocket checks in

Actually, I stole her photo off Facebook. Here's her kitten shot.

Cricket looks for Ivan

It used to be every day. Now it's about every other day. Cricket is certain I've left Ivan on the porch or the catio, or he's somewhere she hasn't checked. I would have thought Nellie would have been the cat who missed him most, but Cricket is disturbed she can't find him, and hops around the house, from door to door, to cat-box room, to all the sleeping spots, just in case.

We all miss him.

Command central gets a makeover

I normally communicate about cat rescue using a economy laptop I purchased earlier this year. But all the "guts" of my rescue and paying-job communication lives upstairs on an old Dell tower CPU that I inherited when the company I work for was first sold to a larger corporation. They sent us new laptops at that time, and no one wanted to old stuff, so it became disenfranchised, and therefore our own. My
Dell therefore became my communication drone.

Every now and then I go up there to dust everything off. Modem, router, phone base, cell booster, monitor, etc. You'd think that would be enough right?

Oh, no. Because I have cats!

Every now and wireless. Why? A cat has stepped on the "off" button on the battery backup.

Now and then, I hear a crash upstairs. A cat has knocked down one of my garage-sale speakers. I go back up and prop things up again. Wires get tangled.

A cat chews through the skinny cord on the router. No wireless. Buy new router. New router wire goes over old wires. Wires get more tangled.

Cat knocks down power surge protector. I pick it up and cram it back behind the CPU to make it more secure. Wires become more tangled.

You get the drift.

It got so I hated to even look at it. I had small panic attacks anytime I walked up the stairs.

If this looks not-so-bad to you, it's because I was too embarrassed to show you the worst.

I used to have a very nice monitor (expensive! flatscreen!) but after 6 years of hard use it slowly began to flicker to the point I could no longer tolerate it. A few months ago I dragged out my old huge warhorse of a monitor that weighs about half as much as I do, and I've tried to use that instead. However the cats like lying on it and looking out the window so, you guessed it, I experience even more cat-related outages.

I finally decided all these little stressful things had to go, one by one. So yesterday I went on an economy shopping trip looking for a cheap, thin, flat-screen monitor (Acer, $79, Staples, SCORE!) and some clearance items to help protect my equipment and wires. I'll let you know in 60 days whether I was successful or not.

As you can see, Davis is already looking for ways to seek and destroy even as I clean up (Yes, I still need to finish painting back there).

You know how they tell you to plug in first A, then B, then C, etc? The heck with it. I got so frustrated I just turned everything off, unplugged it all, swore at the wires as I attempted to get them in some sort of order, plugged them all back in, and turned everything back on.

And here I am. Still. Knock on wood.

Arthur gets a home!

Arthur in his new living room.

After being here five, yes five, long years, Arthur has finally scored a home of his own. People have been interested in him various times, but have always been distracted by another cat or kitten. Arthur is a big cat with a huge personality. He finally found a place that values him for exactly that!

He is living with his new mom and a corgi named Sausage, down in Athens PA. He did a week of "pre-adopt" to make sure he and Sausage would get along. Arthur never thought much of my Molly dog, but apparently he is less offended by bigger dogs who aren't as wiggly as Molly is, because he and Sausage seem to be doing OK. Arthur came back after his pre-adopt week for a dental (one extraction and some tarter), and back to his new home he went!

He has his own room, and even a little electric fireplace. Sausage isn't into getting up on furniture, so it looks like the upper cushy level of the home will be Arthur's exclusive domain.

He's a very lucky cat, and he deserves it after waiting so long! Thank you, Shelly, for adopting him!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2014 Budweiser Super Bowl Commercial

I figured I'd better post this for my family, because it's just too cute for words.

(Hey, sorry if you got an error. Apparently I did not copy from the Budweiser YouTube version and copied an unauthorized version that was removed. I have replaced it with a link from the Bud YouTube channel).

And then of course, who can forget last year's:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The best presents are sometimes the most basic ones

I hadn't seen Gretchen, a past volunteer, then adopter, now friend (the best part of rescue work), since before Christmas, so when we met at our usual watering hole in Owego after a very long hiatus, she had presents for the cats:

Of the basics of cat rescue (above and beyond food, of course, which many rescues are picky about), cat litter and paper towels head the list. They are depressing to buy because--while for one cat they aren't that expensive--to manage the care of a bunch of cats, they take a bite out of the budget.

I am always so surprised and thrilled when a person comes to visit the cats for the first time, perhaps to adopt, and they come toting a great big package of paper towels. I have to admit, the fact that they realized we would need these and brought them before they even learned whether this was a nice place (versus a frightening dump) always impresses me. And those people almost always turn out to be some of the nicest people I have ever met.

Toys are always appreciated from those who know us (and from those who are mailing gifts--obviously paper towels would be a bit ungainly and pricey to ship!). New toys are great, not only for the cats, but for the experience of adopters. Shabby, fur-covered cat toys make potential adopters shake their heads quietly in concern. They may not say anything, but believe me, they are thinking it. So to have the option of throwing out old toys and replacing them with new keeps the cats interested, and the adopters more comfortable interacting with them. Also, should any cat fall ill, even with a sniffle, all the toys have to go in the trash and be replaced with new, so that virus doesn't hang out after the place is disinfected.

Yet paper towels are gold. They may seem to be a modest $10 donation to the person giving them (well, almost $11 or more now), but they are 1/3 to 1/2 of a bag of good-quality cat food for us! The cats can get by without premium toys if they need to, but a place like this can't function without cat litter and paper towels. And if the day came when there were only X dollars to spend and all three had to be purchased, it's the quality of the cat food which would have to go down to afford them all. You only save about $2 if you skimp on the quality of paper towels. You save $20, and can buy almost two more bags of economy food, if you go down to lower-quality food. And that's not a place we would want to be. Back when we only had younger cats, a few weeks of a cheaper food wasn't too much of a concern. I recall the days of ping-ponging between a lower-grade food and Purina One depending on my budget. But now that we have four senior sanctuaried (non-adoptable, except to the most understanding of homes) cats who are over 13, two senior adoptables, and three 3+ year old adults, skimping on food could result in huge veterinary bills (Decent kitten chow is actually fairly affordable compared to high-quality adult food).

Luckily, early last spring we received a HUGE donation of quality food, so the cats will stay on that gravy train until probably March.

So thank you, Gretchen and Brian, for the gift!

Here's little Zoe, their Owl House cat:

I still have past thank-you posts to make for other gifts the cats received this holiday season as well. And our 2013 wrap-up newsletter should be in the mail soon.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

TinyCat gets a home.

Good deeds multiply! Over a year ago I helped catch a scared, shy cat in a trailer park, who had been abandoned by the family of a man who passed away. The woman who lived next door had looked for help for the cat, fed him, and kept an eye on my traps. I went into her home one day to meet her cats (so I know she has a lovely home and takes wonderful care of her cats). The day before yesterday she sent me an email: her beloved 16 year old cat had passed away this fall.

And she had fallen in love with TinyCat online.

So finally this handsome and hilarious guy gets a home. Although I don't know what Molly will do without her kitten to play with. I may need to bring the upstairs kittens down to keep her occupied!