Sunday, October 4, 2015

Rambler and Blue get a home!

"Hey Lady, be sure you initial all the boxes on that contract!"

They have a new housemate--a dachshund who just loooooved them!

Kittens made a rapid move to a foster home

Two out the door! The two kittens Branden and Nikki rescued when they found them boxed up outside the barn are in a foster home. Mary Beth adopted Whitten from us (formerly Ferdinand), and has a guest room (and a ten year-old son who loves cats), so she picked them up this morning.

They look like they had a great day (photo nipped from Facebook):

When I went to break down the box they were left in, I found a note on the side:

I think it is supposed to say "Please take care of them."

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Kittens dumped while I was traveling

My cat caretakers were greeted by this box last week while I was traveling for work, sitting next to the door to the cat facility, which is a mere four feet from the roadway:

The box contained these two little girls:

They are healthy and friendly, but of course unplanned, so now we are having to figure them into the budget. At least they are not shy kittens, and did not get loose from the box! I have put food in the lower barn, in case any escaped unnoticed, or if a mom cat was dumped as well.

On the "planned" side, handsome Half Moon was neutered last week and will be going back to his colony in Waverly:

Two kittens were just adopted and will be delivered to their new home in Vestal tomorrow, Rambler and Blue! I'll posted photos of them later today. Now I'm out the door for a cat litter/cat food run.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Other donations!

While Amazon Wish Lists are wonderful, other friends have given in other ways. Here's a shout out to Nancy for kitten food from Ithaca Feed and Pet (almost gone already!) and Jan, who gave a generous donation via PayPal! I'm clearly going to be busy writing thankyou notes this weekend!

This is an example of the fuzzy photos my phone now takes after the water disaster, drat it all! I did store it in rice to dry it out, and the phone works OK. But not the camera. This is not going to help with taking photos of cats.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I can't thank people enough for all the canned food and other needed items that have arrived over this past month! Seriously, I was eating ramen and the cats and kittens were eating canned food...this is such a huge help! (On an unrelated note, how is it that Ramen is cheaper than it was when I was in college? How scary is that when you think of what it's made of, and who has to make it and how little they get paid to do so)?

From Sara. Sara also sent feather toys and more paper plates which arrived the next day, but my phone got wet and now the camera takes blurry photos :(

From Carolyn:

From Christy and Gordon:


From Gretchen:

From Elizabeth:

I also got a seventy five dollar Amazon card from work for the extra effort of our team, so that all went for canned food, too!

There is a link in the right column to our Amazon Wish List. You can also find it here. And remember, even if you are scraping by on ramen yourself, just reading this blog is a great help...a donation in itself. Every uptick in stats helps ward off compassion fatigue! Thanks, everyone!

Tiger Tom and Siggy check in

Snagged from Facebook...Tiger Tom and Ziggy (previously Siggy) of the three legs hang out on the high kitty shelves of their home. Clearly having only three legs doesn't slow Ziggy down from climbing!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Roadside and Craigslist provide great cat furniture

If there's one thing Craigslist has an abundance of, it's entertainment centers. You know, those huge overgrown bookshelves built to hold heavy electronics that are now obsolete in the new era of flatscreen TVs and MPG players. Early this spring I came across one in an interesting shape that was already taken apart, for twenty bucks, so I drove down past Owego to pick it up. It sat here leaning again a wall all summer until I finally decided I would hate myself if I tripped over it all winter. I got out the jigsaw to cut some holes, and put it together. I still had some new carpet tiles (also Craigslist from about a year ago) and found cat beds online for five bucks each. My hope is that with more places to sleep, the cats in the house will not all feel like they have to sleep with me this winter, or at least will have many sleeping options when I push them out of bed.

So far, other than the lower level, they are not particularly interested. I've started scattering treats around, and I'll make some other adjustments. So don't go out and buy one of your own! For all I know, this experiment will be a flop.

Then while driving into town to feed the Fast Food Ferals, I saw someone packing up a roadside sale with lots of old furniture. The last thing I really need is more furniture, but my car turned around on its own (I swear!). I saw an antique couch and asked how much, certain that it would be more than I would be willing to pay. But the guy said just 30 dollars, so we loaded it in my car and he even lent a bungie cord. A quick session with the Bissel Spot Bot and I had not only guest seating, but a place for cat beds when there are no guests here:

And the cats love it. So that was a success at least, and I won't feel so badly when I have to tip Fluffy or Pickles off the bed, since they insist on sleeping right by my head, which is no fun at all.

Spot and the ear mites!

Poor Spot was a tom cat who was hanging out near a house at the edge of Van Etten, with a big red wound behind his right ear from scratching desperately at ear mites, poor boy.

Luckily Karen, the landowner fed him and was worried about him. I finally managed to get over with a trap, and as we talked, he warily checked it out and finally went inside. Once here, I put some Revolution on him to start killing off those ear mites and set him up in a cage. Karen called the SPCA of Tompkins County and they were able to fit him in the next week. By today (the day of his appointment) he had stopped scratching and his ear had scabbed. The veterinarian's today cleaned out his ears, soaked off the scab, treated the ears with Ivermectin, and gave him a dose of Advantage II. That's quite a big dose of mite killer (since I had given him Revolution eight days earlier) but he seems to be OK. He got his rabies and FVRCP, and is sporting an eartip. I think someone ran a comb through him as well, because he is looking quite dapper!

He likes to be petted and scritched under the chin, but he has swatted me once or twice. I'll take him back home with a cage so he can learn to let Karen pet him as well, and hopefully he can be an indoor/outdoor cat. If he refuses to stay inside, at least he'll have a shelter and there are lots of places to hide there.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Goodbye to Beemer

The goal of trap/neuter/return is to "get to zero." Sadly, this means that the spay/neutered cats in the colony have to pass on to achieve that. Poor Beemer never really seemed suited to outdoor life. He clearly had been someone's pet at some point, but when pushed, he would lash out with claws blazing, so he wasn't suitable for adoption. He had a long coat, which meant he was more likely to mat up. And he was male, which also meant he was more likely to fight. Beemer lived on the colony up on hill, with friends and neighbors who have to deal regularly with drop-off cats. He was here last year to get mats combed out and his ears cleaned. Luckily he didn't mind going into traps to be captured for care when needed and he had caretakers who watched out for him when he needed some assistance.

At the end of August, he was missing for a number of days, then showed up very, very thin. Was he ill? Had he been shut up in someone's garage for a week? His caretakers trapped him and brought him on down to me. I figured we'd see if he was eating, drinking, peeing and pooping, to rule out an obstruction or urinary blockage (since, being a free-roaming cat, there would be no previous history to provide the veterinarian), and then send him off to a vet. He enjoyed petting (to his usual point), was hydrated, was enthused by wet and dry food, and seemed to be doing OK. However on Saturday night he did not eat, and on Sunday he simply laid down quietly and began breathing from the gut. And then he was gone.

We have never tested any of the outdoor cats up on the hill for FeLV/FIV (except for those who were being brought in for adoption) so he easily could have been dealing with on of those diseases. At least he didn't hide and die off in the weeds and rain.

There is an earlier post about Beemer's colony here. He will be laid to rest in the Memory Garden here.

Now Grey Kitty is the last cat up on the hill.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Getting eaten out of house and home

Nom, nom, nom....

Yes, the kittens are eating us out of house and home. They go through two big bags of Kitten Chow weekly, and two 34 count boxes of wet food. So if anyone is shopping this weekend and would like to grab us kitten chow or canned food (of any size and any quantity) the kittens would greatly appreciate it. We really need the wet food for feral kitten taming. They need to loooove humans, and they won't loooove humans who hand out only dry kibble.

And paper! We go through so many paper plates! With the weather hot, it is important that dirty wet food dishes not sit out, so we feed on paper plates that can be immediately disposed of.

Our mail carrier also left some used towels hanging off the mailbox, bless her! We can always use towels, should you ever change the colors in your bathroom, downsize your linen closet, or find any in the "free" pile at a garage sale.

Friends and neighbors sometimes bring by what their own finicky cats won't eat. Valarie and Craig's Delilah cat has been especially picky:

And more sadly, we sometimes learn friends have lost a beloved cat, by what turns up on the porch. Ollie was our neighbor's sweet pudgy orange longhaired cat with diabetes who used to stay here when they went on longer vacations. It was really kind of them to think of us when dealing with the sadness of losing him. I'll miss him as well. He was a sweet boy.

Thank you to everyone who has helped out the summer. I'm still picking away at my thank you notes and taking kitten photos for the blog on to get them adopted. All of the shelters are swamped with kittens, so many have no place to go, especially the shy ones.

If anyone would like to donate via mail, we have an Amazon wish list here at this link!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Jack and The Leewit share summer!

Our cats have a catio, and Jack and The Leewit have a "Purrfect Fence" at their home and can enjoy the summer sun.

All cats should be so lucky to have both a safe indoor and outdoor life! Thanks for the photos, Mary. You remind me to get out and enjoy this warmth while we have it!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Found cat returned to owner!

I finished up a very small colony in Van Etten, and just a few days after returning the feral momcat to her new spayed and kittenless life back home, her owner called that a new friendly cat had appeared. I asked her to feed him, and due to work travel, delayed in picking him up until the owner contacted me again in despair. The little guy was there every day, and she was worried he would get hit in the road, where traffic was heavier than normal due to cars being diverted around construction

He was indeed a sweet guy...and neutered! My friend Suzan from Found Animals Foundation was visiting for the Cornell Maddies Shelter Medicine Conference in Ithaca, and she gave him a scan. No microchip. So I contacted the SPCA in his county.

A week later the owner contacted me again. She had seen what looked like this cat posted as Lost on Facebook. She tracked down the person who posted the message and gave her my phone number (Note to readers: PLEASE don't give out my phone number! In this case it worked out OK, but other times that can make my life hell). I sent the woman a video of the kitty in my care and she was overjoyed that he was her "Jack."

Turns out she lived up in the woods above the home of the colony caretaker and her cat was trekking through the woods to visit a new place. I brought along a couple of collars and tags for her to train him with, and she also is going to get him microchipped. It's so nice to meet a thankful cat owner who was actively searching for their cat! Jack had originally been found as an unneutered stray, and she took him to the Chemung SPCA to be neutered and vaccinated. It would be nice if every stray found such a happy ending.

He might have started hanging out at the neighbor's house because Momcat was now fixed and didn't have kittens to protect. She probably had been driving him off, previously. There's nothing more fierce than a momcat protecting her kittens! While the caretaker had checked with neighbors, this house was up behind another on a shared driveway, and could not be seen from the road.

Indoor/Outdoor cat? Collar and/or microchip that guy!


August already! Just when I was feeling summer might be under's pretty much gone!

It seems like I've been living behind my computer for work. Coraline has been keeping me company

Coraline is a tiny little girl from the Stinkbug litter. She's very quiet and sweet, and is going to be a slim, thoughtful little girl. I have to confess she is one of my favorites.

If my butt is taking up too much room on the chair, she is happy to snooze near me on the table as I work:

It's odd to have a crowd of friendly kittens! They follow me around like a little cloud.

My apologies for being absent from the blog. So much to few hours in the day. If anyone has a hint on how to add a few more, I'd appreciate learning your secret!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Trip to NYC

I don't often find myself in New York City, and a work gathering gave me the opportunity to visit Manhattan. I have visited tons of US cities, and I do have to admit, NYC is different.

First, there are people. Many, many people at all hours of the day or night. The sidewalks are busy at all times (although they were not as full as is hyped on television) The streets are a sea of yellow cabs. For a scant five minutes I was alone by myself, when my colleagues decided to go out for a few more hours, and I decided to head back to the hotel.

In Philadelphia, hailing a cab takes a minute or two. In NYC, I headed to an intersection, stuck out my hand, and in ten seconds a cab had swerved to connect with me. I had two insane cab experiences, where I simply could not look out the window at how close the cab cut it when zipping between vehicles. I had one ride that was sane enough that I could enjoy the view.

I experienced Uber for the first time. Nice cars, nice drivers, and no floundering around at the end of the drive paying the driver. The app tells you when they will arrive (usually a scant few minutes), and with an account (colleague accounts, not mine) payment is already arranged. The Uber rides were all sane rides.

My ex would have enjoyed the firehouse across from a restaurant where we ate. They had numerous calls while we were there, and watching them BACK the truck in on the narrow street into an even more narrow firehouse was a joy. Amazing.

In case you ever wondered, NYC dog walkers are in fact exactly like what you see on television, minus a few dogs (in this case):

So that, in a nutshell, was my visit to Manhattan.

As always, I was still happy to get home to my stringlight lit porch, kittens, home brewed coffee and a pot of homemade chili.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Fluffy was sick, but is better again

Fluffy gave me a big scare a week or so ago. He was very lethargic, lost some weight, was making a choking noise (but not frequently enough to indicate an actual obstruction), and was hanging out away from me and all of the other cats. Because he's a senior, I figured it was better to be safe rather than sorry, and hauled him off to the veterinarian after only a day and a half of signs of illness. Dr. Christine Armao felt it was an allergic upper respiratory infection, their first of the season. Fluffy got some fluids and a steroid shot and within 12 hours was feeling much better. They sent me home with an antibiotic "just in case" since the weekend was arriving, but he did not seem to need it.

Long live the king!

Valentina decide to come up limping badly in the cat facility. I figured I'd give her 24 hours. The next day...uh oh...she was holding the front paw up. The leg was not swollen or misshapen, but who knows what's up with out a radiograph? I caged her up for 48 hours and then let her out for an experimental walk. Limp would mean "off to the vet." No limp would mean "cage rest for a number of weeks." Fate gave us "No Limp." So I let her out to eat wet food with the other cats, and put her back in her cage when I'm done cleaning. Luckily, she walks right back in on her own when I put her dry food inside, so she must not be too upset by the confinement.

Thinking of doing cat rescue? Remember, things like this happen almost monthly. It's not just worming, vaccinations and spay/neuter, and you can't just "wait and see" all the time.

Another lucky side effect of Valentina being caged...she's far more affectionate than her previously very shy self.

It's ALWAYS the prettiest ones who end up with something that puts a "hold" on their adoption. Hopefully, in Valentina's case, this will make her more adoptable, if she becomes more affectionate.

Kittens ready to go next weekend

So many kittens, some friendly, some shy. With at least four who are very friendly, it's time to get them up on Petfinder and have an adoption gathering next weekend.

Blue is female a super cute. While she was a longhair as a small kitten, she is a fuzzy shorthair now, which means she'll probably be fuzzier in he winter, and grow a fuzzy tail. Her coat should be easy to take care of.

Rambler is an extremely friendly, glossy black cat. He's going to be someone's close friend and confidant, and he'll have some handsome black panther looks.

Coraline is hiding, peeved that I cleaned her ears!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

New kitten "Deci" ("Number 10")

Deci is the 10th kitten Debra has rescued in Waverly. I'm not sure where she's going to go with naming now that she is up to ten! Little Deci is now here at The Owl House getting her dirty ears attended to, and being vaccinated and wormed. She tested negative for FeLV/FIV at Stray Haven (thank you, Stray Haven!).

She is ridiculously cute, and obviously has good taste in play zones...choosing the family heirloom.

Pickles has turned out to be quite the kitten babysitter. It appears Deci's tough stance is all bluff, as you'll see when she falls off the chair.

Deci is currently on stray hold and will be available for adoption after a week or so!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Tara the cat wins the Hero Dog Award

Remember Tara, the cat who saved the young son in her family from a wandering dog who attacked? She has won the Hero Dog Award from the SPCA LA. Follow the link to see a great photo of her with her award, and a story via NPR!

Here is the original rescue video via security cameras (warning: alarming bite video)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Kittens and more kittens...

I've been way behind in blogging...apologies to donors and regular readers! I have more to post, but I thought I would at least get the most recent litter posted. This batch of hissy cuties was caught all in one day. The kittens were caught using a droptrap, while mom-cat glared at me, and then mom-cat was caught a few hours later in a traditional cage trap. Mom will get spayed and go back to the very kind woman who has been feeding her for a few years, and I'm working on the kittens to tame them and get them homes.

Here are mom and Lemur before they were captured:

I made the mistake of stopping at a garage sale in Spencer yesterday and---just guess--they had an abandoned calico with kittens under their mobile home. They will call me once the kittens get old enough to peek out.