Sunday, November 23, 2014

Kittens in the kitchen

Well, not IN the kitchen, but pretty close. Right in the traffic lane, so these guys get lots of attention and treats.

The little shorthair gray guy is pretty much tame. The white girl is coming along, especially if I have baby food on a spoon. The little coonie is still full hisses!

"New" cage for the Candor kittens

The three little spitters from Candor are doing well. They are not upstairs, because I did not want them to be out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Given that they are pretty old, they need some serious immersion in human life to tame up. I don't have a big cage in the house, so I went cruising on Craiglist.

I struck some good luck: someone had two cages of the sort I like best ($200 plus with shipping and usually $225 in the walk-in stores) for sale for $125. When I emailed offering $100, I learned that it was another rescue, so I had no problem giving the $125. However when I asked what they had housed, I was told "raccoons." That took them off the market for me. I have a strict "wildlife only" and "cats only" rule for cages and carriers here. Raccoons can carry a nasty roundworm called baylisascaris, and the eggs can be destroyed only by heat...even bleach won't do it. Because I own one of these cages already, I know how many nooks and crannies they have, so I gave my apologies and backed out of consideration.

Back on Craigslist I went, and found a new post for exactly the same cage for $100. I hoped it had housed ferrets who, while stinky, tend to be fairly clean little beasts, but it was not to be. Rats. Now, I really like rats. They are cute and intelligent fellows. Their urine, however, if not cleaned up right away, creates scale that is very hard to remove. Not impossible, but veeeeery hard. I know this intimately from my past work in lab animal science.

So I am scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing.

It would be nice to be able to buy these things new, but $125 saved is a chunk of cash. I'm looking forward to getting these kittens out of their small cage into this large two level one.

But I still have another whole level to go. Sigh.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis

One of the major perks of my job is travel. While I often am stuck in a hotel, sometimes I do venture out. On my most recent trip to St. Louis, we were actual loaded on a bus for a tour (part of a team-building exercise). We stopped at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis and I must share some photos here. This artwork is not painted. Everything is created with tiny tiny tiles.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

New kittens

It has been a busy time full of distractions and I haven't gotten much up here. I put things up on Facebook but then forget that many of my family, friends, and adopters are not on Facebook and I need to also post them here. Blogger is a much better place to put things, because I can find them again. Finding old posts on Facebook is an exercise in futility (unless some can post a easy way to search for them) although it is a better place to keep photos.

This past week someone tagged me on Facebook when they saw a post about feral kittens near me who needed a place to go. When I contacted the original poster, thinking I would have to set traps to catch the little guys, it turned out the couple who found them had already captured them. They were loose in a small bedroom in their mobile home, so we had to spend some time propping up furniture and catching them. I only suffered two small scratches. Two of them (the long-furred ones) are quite wild:

The little grey guy was tamed up enough to go to the veterinarian yesterday where he tested negative for FeLV/FIV. I think the white one would be far calmer if the little tiger coonie kitten (who is quite scared) wasn't always hissing, so I will need to separate them soon.

I am trying something new, which is to only feed them when I am there. I am not leaving dry food for them in the cage 24/7 as I normally do. I want every interaction with me to be associated with food. Of course they have water all the time. They are a bit old for taming, but they can't go back where they were (their mom was hit by a car). So I'm going to be quite interactive with them.

The great room, where they are currently stationed, needs to be painted, so I may take on that project now, so the kittens see me moving around. I've also opened the door to let my cats and Molly check them out (although after an initial visit, all of my animals are, like, "meh, boring.") I can't get stuck with more unadoptable shy cats. If I could tame up the two long-hairs, they would both get homes right away, as I have people looking for long-hair kittens. The white one is drop-dead gorgeous, and everyone wants a "Maine Coon type" kitten.

The gray shorthair is taming up fast enough that he should be adoptable while still small.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kittens in the house - Octave and Nueve

These aren't great photos or video, but I'm getting them up here so these kittens can be seen for adoption!

Octave, cute little male tiger. Afraid of nothing! Well, except vacuum cleaners.

Nueve, dilute calico female. Shy, but quickly coming out of her shell.

These two are not littermates, but they have become friends.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fall Festival!

This week was a blur! Has it already been six days since the Harvest Festival at Baker Florist? We did in fact make it. Debra zoomed over from Waverly to help put up the booth. I was keeping my fingers crossed that the tent I picked up at a garage sale last year (which I had not yet even taken out of its wheeled bag) was as nice as the seller said it would be. I didn't even know what color it might be! It lacked stakes, but it went up like a dream and was in perfect condition. It was much nicer than one I might have been able to get at a big-box store (which are temperamental to get up and down, are flimsy and turn into twisted metal in a rain storm). So from now on we can look as professional as the rest of the vendors at these events!

It was quite warm...almost 80. Because I live only 3 miles away, I swapped the cats out in two-hour intervals. Corky, Coyote, and Lucy made the trip. It was a first for Coyote and Lucy. Corky is an old hand at it.

Beautiful Coyote waits for a home.

Shy little Lucy wasn't sure what to make of all the motorcycles driving by enjoying the beautiful weather

While there were no adoptions, we did get some donations, people picked up adoption flyers to post for us, and we had two great offers to help as we go forward. It was a gorgeous day, the company was good, and it's always fun to hang out with kids, as I often don't get that chance. Lots of people took our free ID tags that we give out, and each of those has our card in the baggie they come in, so I do hope we get some more blog readers (and a few more pets get tags so they can be immediately returned if they get lost!)

This time, upon breaking down, I packed everything in a big plastic tub instead of using LL Bean bags like I have previously, so everything will stay safe and clean until the next outing!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Second bed...claimed by cats

It's 2 a.m. I spent the evening working on booth info, and drank waaaay too much coffee. So I'll post the new bed. I had picked up a Jenny Lind bed at a garage sale last year. I may horrify some folks by showing that I painted it gray. But there was no way I would ever sand down all those curves to be able to refinish it as natural wood. Besides, I'm no where near the only one.

Pitter has a very self-satisfied look on her face.

The mattress I bought for cheap off Craigslist is decent quality but very firm. I looked on Amazon for a topper, but they were ridiculously expensive for what they are. In reading the comments, one man said "You might as well just fold a comforter in half and put a regular mattress pad over it for the same softness!"

Hmmmm... I dragged out every extra blanket I own that is not in use, and put them under the mattress protector. And now it is PERFECT! Thank you, unknown Amazon commentor!

Now I have sleep-worthy beds in both downstairs living rooms. No more dragging of furniture, and I can sleep wherever the temperature happens to be the most comfortable at that particular time of year.

Kitten-catching advice via phone

It went something like this. My sister calls and says: "Hi Susan, it's Linda. Dave and Ruth have stray cats and kittens everywhere! Here's Dave!"

OK, it wasn't quite like that. There were probably six or seven additional sentences, but it's after midnight a day later, so my memory is a blur. I had a rapid conversation with Dave about how to catch the kittens (discovered in a cellar) and reintroduce them to the mom (who Dave had found, with a youngster who was probably from a previous litter, a few days earlier).

He did good. Mom has been reunited with all three kittens (Number Three played hard to get for a long while). Linda asked me via text "If they are around eight inches long can you guess how old they are?" My reply was something like "LOL! No!" So she texted me a photo:

I love the tape measure touch!

I told her I guessed 5-6 weeks but couldn't be sure based on the photo. Then Dave and Ruth were off to go buy kitten chow and canned food.

I'm not sure if this family unit is coming my way or not. But a least they have their mom. Kitten-care is so much easier with a mom in the picture!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

We will be at the Baker Florist Fall Festival tomorrow (Sunday!)

Everything happens at the last minute around here. If you need an excuse to get out this weekend, come visit us at the Baker Florist Fall Festival tomorrow, Sunday, from 10-4. I stopped by to buy some tiny pumpkins for my fence when I saw the balloons flying, and they had a space available.

I have zero time for this, but I MUST get these kitties adopted before snow flies!

If you are local, stop by! There are apples, pumpkins, baked goods, beautiful crafts and FREE COFFEE! It's just what you need to kick off your fall. COME TO THE FOUR CORNERS IN SPENCER NY. YOU CAN'T MISS IT!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Remember Me Thursday is today, September 25!

What can you do? When you hear a friend mention they are looking for a pet, please steer them toward a shelter or rescue.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Kitty-Kitty and Nueve, and Octave

Sooo sleepy. But I must post this cuteness. Here are Kitty-Kitty and her single kitten Nueve, in Waverly with Debra:

And here is little Octave, another singleton!

And now to bed... (12:51 am)

Winter is coming

I hate the fact that somehow summer passed me by. Here we are, counting down to winter again. Gah!

Last winter was hideous. Just hideous. This year I've decided to give up on the "dragging of furniture from one room to another" to deal with the switch from summer warmth to winter ice and then back again once spring comes. It's not like I have tons of company here that I need to be set up like a parlor with fancy furniture. Out goes one of the couches and in comes another twin bed, so each downstairs room has one.

Someone is one their way to look at the couch/chaise now. Nope--Update, it's sold! That was fast!

To take care of the cat fur before the chaise went to its new home, I used this handy Pledge Fabric Sweeper on the left in this photo:

They are pricey: over $20! But they can be emptied and they live forever as long as you don't sit on yours, so they are worth the money. I seem to recall I had a huge coupon for mine and purchased it back when they were first introduced. It's several years old and still going strong.

While moving furniture around, I discovered the cats had been at my thrift-store velvet chair! Ack! I had picked up what I thought was double-sided sticky tape strips at a conference, but they turned out to be Fresh Kitty plastic corner protectors (on the right in the photo above). They are barely visible, and I'll let you know if they work, since they also are an investment.

With the money from selling the chaise, I'll purchase another twin mattress (very carefully) on Craigslist. It won't be a good one, but whatever bed I'm not using will just be a pseudo-couch anyway.

I already picked up a second bed frame for $25 when Debra took me to visit Crooked River Co-op in Waverly, where we hope to one day have a booth (or booths) to raise money for rescue work.

The bed is a little chewed up around the edges because the actual head and foot boards are just press-board, but the room is so dim I can't even tell, now that it's set up. If I find I'm sleeping in one room more than the other, all I have to move is the good mattress from one bed to another, rather than swapping the couch and the bed back and forth.

While Debra was showing me all the wonderful antique and thrift stores in downtown Waverly, I checked off two things from my list of things I watch for.

I've been watching for this nut-grinder for over 30 years! It's just like the one my Mom has (or had--does she still have it?). Hers is a different green, but it is the niftiest little thing. When we were too little to actually bake, Mom would let us grind the nuts with this, since it was virtually impossible to hurt ourselves with it. I've been chopping nuts by hand all these years because everything else I've found has been too expensive or too ungainly. And this was only a buck! I hope seeing it makes my Mom and my sisters smile.

Now that cold weather is coming, I also drink more tea. My current teapot holds too much for just myself flying solo. If I make a half-pot it gets cold too fast. If I make a full pot I use two teabags, which is a waste. So I've been looking for a cheap but cute smaller pot. I certainly wasn't looking for cat-shaped one, but when Debra took me across the street to the The Red Door, there it was!

Rattling around thrift stores was merely secondary to the real purpose of visiting Waverly. First and foremost, to pick up my little Molly dog after I returned from work travel. Second (and cutest--sorry Molly!) to visit the new kittens and a rescued mom cat. More to come!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Adoption Maze at Stoughton Farm

Stoughton Farm in Newark Valley has an adoption themed maze this year!

They also have openings for shelters to table and show their adoptable pets. Shall we go?

This is so great of them to make their maze with this theme! What better way to get this message to kids?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Next up: Corky!

Seven is out the door into a great home! We have ten more cats to go, and we have five, yes five kittens still on the streets that will be arriving soon.

Now it's Corky's turn. Corky has been here over a year. He was found shivering under a shed in a nearby village. Like Seven, Corky was rescued by Debra. The veterinarian who neutered him found two of his baby teeth buried in his gumline, and she felt his jaw had been broken in the past, and the teeth were absorbed in the wound. The teeth were removed, and Corky has a sweet little sneer due to the past jaw injury.

He is very friendly, comical, cute-and-handsome-at-the-same-time kitty. He is just over a year old He likes big brave friendly kitties. He picks on shy or snitty female kitties. He would be best with a great big laid-back adult male cat, or in a home by himself. He is (of course) a neutered male, FeLV/FIV negative, vaccinated, robust and healthy.

When two boxes of toys arrived (I combined them into one), he was the first cat to dive right in. The other cats allowed him to distribute the toys so there was no effort required on their part to access their new playthings (Thank you, Melissa, for the toys for the cats, and the wonderful coffee for me!)

New things are always a bright spot of the day in the cat facility, where everyday life can get to be rather ho-hum for the long-term resident kitties. Gifts for the cats are always appreciated, as they quickly live and die, either by being dissected by cats, tossed in a water bowl, or buried in a cat box just for fun. Corky will show you just how much they are appreciated:

To receive an application to adopt Corky, send us an email here! We adopt to indoor-only homes, within two hours of our area for friendly cats, and only in the immediate area for shy cats, although we have been known to make exceptions.

Corky's adoption fee is $50 (checks payable to our veterinarian for future care of rescued cats) but will be waived if you show proof of having purchased a large cat-scratching tree.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Totally not cat-related. Sweet spider-dog pranks innocents

OK, just for the record, I hate pranks on innocent people. I think they are cruel.

I also hate spiders. You want to see me break my neck? Watch me when I discover I didn't see the wolf spider in the shower until after I turned the shower on and stepped inside.

But this is so incredibly AWFULLY well done, I was laughing out loud. So I am sharing it. And I think the poor people who were pranked deserve a free cruise or something. 100 lottery tickets. Dinner at the fanciest restaurant in town. I would have probably peed my pants.

If you want to skip the swamp monster, move ahead to 30 seconds.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Seven plays with Bear's tail and gets smacked....gently

We have quite a few applications on Seven, and I'm checking veterinarian's references tomorrow. Work was quite busy today after the long weekend, so my apologies to anyone who hasn't heard from us!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Another colony gone. That's a good thing!

Note: this post was edited on 9/1/14 to add more of the backstory of this colony - SG.

Unfortunately, I dropped off the radar of a lot of my former colonies when I ditched my second phone number. I'd been planning to check in with several of them, but Carol from Lockwood found me first, by calling my work phone and leaving a message that she no longer needed the two shelters we had brought her years ago, and did I want them back?

When I arrived, the two last cats of the extended colony greeted me. One, a shy calico, trotted around behind the house. This lovely dilute torti was perfectly happy to greet me and get a scratch under the chin. Both of these formerly feral cat now eat inside the house, and come in for the night. The feral colony of six original cats (2002), plus cats that were later abandoned in the area, is no more. Over all those years, only one litter of kittens was born, to one of two new female cats who were abandoned on the road in 2009. This dilute torti was one of those female cats. The kittens were Burp, Fart, and Hiccup! Carol kidded me (or half-kidded me!) that this was one of "my foster cats" that I had promised to take in for adoption. I kidded back that this was HER abandoned cat to begin with. While I wish I could take in every cat that might one day tame up, as this sweetheart certainly did, I'd be hoarder if I did so. This girl was a lucky one, and now sleeps safe and warm at night.

Carol and I had a good visit, and we loaded up the shelters. I'll clean out the bedding, and they'll be available for the next colony.

Some people will say: "Twelve years to get rid of 15 or so cats? I could have just killed them in one day." Right. Except you wouldn't. The local shelter receives no funding for cat control and accepts cats as they have space--funded all on the donations of cat lovers. No one gives them money to "kill cats" and the towns and county don't even give them money to help them. This woman had basically been held hostage by kittens every summer. People dumped cats, cats had kittens, and as a caring person, she fed them and found them homes, to have it all repeated every year, to the point where she could not travel to see her family. For twelve years, she has been kitten free, except for one summer. However because she had a relationship with a feral cat were instantly gone! She is now regularly able to visit her children. Where are the volunteer cat killers who run around helping people "get rid of their cats" and can do it publicly and will come back when needed...all for free? I guarantee if you hang out your shingle advertising help "killing cats" someone in a uniform will be knocking on your door in short order.

Sure, Carol had to feed these few cats every day, and take them to the veterinarian when they were sick. She was doing that anyway...with far more cats. And these cats give back to her in company and comfort, with no fears that they will pop out more kittens. TNR is not "responsibility free" but it does reduce the work, heartache, and the number of hunting cats outdoors.

These shelters were donated to me--they were not ones we built--and for my life I can't remember who gave them to us. Do they look familiar to anyone?

Checking in on Beemer's colony

During our veggie swap, Beemer showed up for a photo opportunity:

This colony has the Cadillac of cat shelters, but they don't often use it, because there are so many other great places to hide, including a workshop.

He comes in the house now and lets Valarie pet him. He was a bit wary today, with me poking around. But no semi-tame cat turns down treats!

There are only two cats at this colony now. A new pet-able (but not grab-able) cat has shown up, and they are trying to catch him.

Feed your local cat lady

The bounty of summer is ready to share, and I'm blessed to have neighbors who share with me. Earlier this summer Debra and Christy made a gift of fruits and veggies:

Yesterday, Valarie and I worked a trade. I got the more plentiful end of the deal: cucumbers and a pepper for pickles, zucchini for bread, and an additional grocery bag of brown rice and wheat pasta. She got Swiss chard from my garden. Swiss chard, kale, cherry tomatoes, and a zucchini that is just starting to bear are all I have this year. I have a start on the bread. I probably grate and freeze what extra zucchini I end up with, for bread later this year

Do you share your garden veggies with others, and (or) end up with gifts from them as well?