Monday, December 31, 2012

last visitor of the year

When I tried to get out of bed this morning, I lost my balance and fell back into the bed. That was the first sign that today was not going to go well. I quickly realized everything was spinning and I was dizzy - welcome back my friend vertigo. I spent nearly all day resting my head against a pillow, sleeping as being conscious was miserable. And sadly I haven't had a touch of alcohol! I even had to cancel my plans to celebrate the new year with friends. Sigh.

Even though I felt horrid, I did get to spend four hours this morning cuddling with my Oliver in bed. I also had the opportunity to look his injuries over in the daylight and his claws weren't as bad off as they first appeared last night. The claws are still in rough shape but at least they are still there! Seeing that brightened my spirits a little. I decided to hold off on the vet visit for now and to continue to observe him for other signs of distress.

Thanks everyone for the kind emails and comments. I greatly appreciate all the feedback. One follower mentioned Oliver might have internal injuries if he was hit by a car, which is something I hadn't considered. Seeing that he let me hold him many times today and I could touch him anywhere without him reacting, I'm thinking he's most likely fine, but again, I will be observing him closely.

Laura saw the white cat again this evening. It was visiting with Theo through the front porch door. Then a little while later, I saw it walking away from the backyard, it's really big. Apparently, the fight with Oliver wasn't enough to keep it away. Sigh.

Since it's been coming around more, I thought I should review the images from the back porch camera to see if it has come onto the back porch yet. And indeed, it showed up about 2:15 this morning.


As you can see, the visiting cat is wearing a collar. It's not a cat I recognize from the neighborhood. Oliver and MK are sharing the bed as they both intently watch this interloper.


The visitor rolls in the nip...


and plays with Oliver's toys. But it doesn't express much interest in the food.


Now I'll need to figure out what to do with this visiting cat. Next time I get the chance I will see if it's friendly and has any identification on the collar.

Isn't there some kind of superstition about the first unexpected visitor of the new year? Something about if they are a dark haired gentleman then you will have good luck for that year. I suppose it's good this visitor came before the start of the new year! I think this is the first lighter colored cat that has visited.

It's really hard not being able to fully protect the ones you love. I so wish I could bring Oliver and his family inside so they could all be safe and fully cared for, but with feral cats, it doesn't work that way. I obviously need more practice at learning how to do what I can to help and then to let go of what I can't control. Sigh.

I'll let you know a little secret, I'm working on a therapeutic approach to get Oliver to stop spraying so maybe someday he can be a full-time inside kitty! If it works, you'll hear a lot more about it!

Meanwhile, I'll focus on apprehending this collared visitor! But first, I think it's time for bed once again.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

winding down the year

As 2012 comes to a close, I look back over the year and find myself very thankful for the health and wellbeing of the cats. All five permanent residents, four outside and the one foster cat have all had good years. For this I am immensely thankful. Hopefully, this doesn't change in the last hours of the year.



Every so often Oliver has a way of giving me a scare and Sunday was one of those days. In the morning Laura broke up a fight between Oliver and a white cat that lives down on the opposite corner of the block. Oliver went chasing after the white cat. When Oliver didn't return all day I got worried. It's very unlike him to be gone for that long and to miss his wet-food breakfast.

I walked around the block and the alleys but found no sign of him. Since I didn't find his body along the road, I was hoping he was okay and just visiting with his family. Yes, I worry about Oliver quite a bit and I always imagine the worst.

He finally reappeared on the back porch around mid-afternoon. I picked up him and gave him an inspection and he seemed fine. I didn't notice any obvious wounds. He refused to tell me where he had been. A little while later I noticed there was spots of dried blood on my shirt.

With Laura's help we did a more thorough inspection and found he had a small cut and a patch of missing fur on his front leg. Even more disturbing is that most all of his front claws on both paws have been torn off. Most all of them are nearly completely gone. He must be in a fair amount of pain, but he's not showing any signs of it.

battle wound on front leg
I can't think how this could have happened. A cat fight wouldn't result with missing claws. He would have had to be scratching something hard for a long time. It's hard to leave him out there this evening but I'm not sure what else to do.

Ever sine returning, he's been hyper-vigilant about every movement that might be something. The slightest little thing startles him. He's having a hard time settling, it's like he's experiencing post traumatic stress. MK is cuddling with him in his heated loft bed tonight, hopefully that helps soothe his pain.

Oliver and MK cuddling in Oliver's loft bed
Come daylight on Monday, Laura and I will give him an even more thorough inspection and depending on what we find, I may take him over to get looked over by the vet. I don't want any of his wounds to get infected. And some pain medicine might be in order.


To calm some of my anxiety this evening, I went ahead and put another collar on Oliver. We'll see how long this one lasts. I've started looking around for GPS tracking devices, so that way I'll be able to keep an eye on his whereabouts. Now I need to start saving my pennies for such a gadget.

So, here's to finishing 2012 with everyone staying healthy and well!! I hope your 2013 is filled with abundant blessings! Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Three years of Theo!

It's Theo's Gotcha Day!!! Three years ago sweet Theo appeared so cold and hungry at my in-laws' farm in rural Indiana. I offered him my warm lap and he instantly melted into me.


Of course I flew him the 2,000 miles home! He's got such a wonderful personality, he loves life. He brings me great joy with all his crazy antics and his affectionate, sweet nature. He's not afraid to ask for what he wants or even just demand it!

To celebrate Theo, I bought him his favorite toy of all time, the Neko Flies Kragonfly, known in house as the "bug toy". The old one wore out, so it was time he got a new one for his big day.















Even though Theo is approaching five years of age, he still has the moves! Every night, after I snuggle with Buddy for a few minutes, Theo hops up on my chest for his nightly loves. He purrs and drools as I scratch his cheeks and love on him. I also thank him for being such a delightful cat and I rejoice in my decision to bring him home. As I fall asleep, he settles on the bed pressing against me for his nightly sleep.

Thank you Theo for three wonderful years!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

newsy stuffs

With all the bad news lately, I thought it might be good to highlight some positive news.

I saw this news article the other day in the local paper, now I see it is getting more attention. Meet Sable, a working senior cat. Every school day she's out there on the sidewalk helping the school children cross the road safely.
Photo courtesy of Yakima Herald
Sable looks like Oliver! Maybe I should get him an orange safety vest too. CNN picked up the story:


In other news, the 2012 Home for the Holidays pet adoption event is now over. Over $6,000 was raised for the Community Cat Coalition (helps feral cats) and more money was raised for the many other animal rescue groups who participated. And then there are all the dogs and cats that were adopted!! I haven't got a total on number of cats and dogs who found new homes, but it was a lot! Seeing all those animals find their new homes was exhilarating! I want to say a huge thank you to Janet the owner of Paddywack, an amazing local pet products store who donated so much to make this event a huge success!! 


Hershey remains home with me, even though lots of people looked him over, no one wanted to take him home. At the end of the event, as I was driving Hershey home, I felt a huge feeling of relief, that no one had taken my Hershey from me! He's still available for adoption even though my heart doesn't want to give him up, I know it'll be better for him and for my resident cats. Meanwhile he can stay here as long as it takes, although that might not be long as Janet from Paddywack has invited him to hang out in their adoption room with several other wonderful cats. From what I hear, cats don't have to wait long to get adopted from there. So, when an opening comes, we'll give that a try!

Oh, and a short follow-up on last week's picture of Theo climbing the window. That's just something he does when he gets his crazies on. He's not chasing bugs or anything, he just runs around the house and then tries to climb the walls! It's amazing how far he can pull himself up with those long front legs! You should have seen him before we found out his thyroid was hyperactive! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holiday gift giving guide

In case you are struggling to find some cat-themed gifts for the crazy-cat person in your life, here are a few ideas.


Christmas Cats, an album of familiar Christmas tunes sung by meowing cats lyrics. Very creative. It's available to enjoy on Spotify or you can buy it for your crazy-cat person on Amazon.com.







Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure. Comes with six cats. One of the product features listed on the Amazon.com listing: "Great conversational piece" hmmm. Sure thing!






Crafting with Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat. From the Amazon.com book description: "Crafting with Cat Hair shows readers how to transform stray clumps of fur into soft and adorable handicrafts. From kitty tote bags and finger puppets to fluffy cat toys, picture frames, and more, these projects are cat-friendly, eco-friendly, and require no special equipment or training. You can make most of these projects in under an hour—with a little help, of course, from your feline friends!"



Purfect Feline Gray Kitty Cat Ceiling Fan Light Pull. How many feline enthusiasts do you know who have a ceiling fan that's just screaming for a cat-themed light pull? I'm looking at my ceiling fan right now and thinking, it's missing something - it needs a little more cat!






Hot Sox Originals Classic Cats Crew Socks, Hemp Heather, Medium. Cat socks are always a good option. There are many styles to choose from. Everyone can always use another pair of socks.




Ceramic Cat Kitten Measuring Cups / Bowls. At $50, these are a little pricey, but you know, for the cat-loving person who loves spending time in the kitchen, these might just be the purrfect thing. Of course, you'll also need to get the Set of 4 measuring spoons.




The Sitting Pretty Dip Bowl and Spreader Set looks pretty cool too.




Kitty salt and pepper shakers, how cool! Sitting Pretty Salt and Pepper Set. Sadly these are currently out of stock, maybe they will be back in time for next year.




Ishpingo wood sculpture, 'Playtime Kitty'. For the person who has everything, I bet they might enjoy a hand carved kitty sculpture from Peru. I like these.





Safety Cat Women's Self Defense Keychain - Purple. This keychain comes in many different colors. I'm not a woman, but I like the idea of this. A simple device that could truly hurt someone enough to be able to get away. The product description states, "When holding the Safety Cat, your two fingers will be placed in the eyes of the cat and the face of the cat will rest securely in the palm of your hand. The smooth, sleek design of the Safety Cat will feel very comfortable in your hand and you will be able to grasp it firmly. Remember, the Safety Cat is used for self defense purposes only, but if you're fighting for your life the unique design of the Safety Cat is made for striking at the eyes of your attacker or attacking any fleshy part of the body."



And my favorite gift I've saved for last - the Feral Cat Hat by Catnip Hill. These handmade fleece hats were featured on Modern Cat last year. Part of the profits from these hats funds TNR work in Michigan. They come in five sizes and random colors!

Good luck on your holiday gift giving! I hope Santa is kind to you this year.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

weekend adventure

Hershey got the day off from the Home for the Holidays adoption event on Sunday. When I got there Sunday morning to get him ready for the day, I learned that he had an overnight litter box accident.

When Hershey uses the litter box he balances all four paws on the rim of the box and does his business. For whatever reason he insists that no paws touch the litter while he's going! It's quite the balancing act, but he always manages it without problem. At the adoption event they use the Worlds Best Cat Litter which is a lot lighter than the clay litter we use at home, and they only use a small amount in each box. So, after everyone left for the night and it was safe, he went to use the box. When he balanced up on the edge he sent all the litter and soft poop sailing all throughout his cage. Poor guy, I feel bad that he had to sleep in that mess.

The event organizer kindly cleaned up his cage in the morning, but poor Hershey had poop caked all in his long fur. Figuring that people might not want to adopt a poopy smelling cat, we took him home for a bath. After the bath he still had an undesirable odor, so he got a second bath to get whatever we had missed in the first round. He wasn't very happy about that.

Thankfully, at last weekend's adoption event a fellow independent trapper had instructed me in how to properly scruff a cat! That skill came in very handy when bathing sweet Hershey. Now I know how to properly scruff a cat!

After cleaning Hershey up, we decided to give him the day off so he could rest and fully dry - he very much appreciated that! I went back and hung out at the event for a few more hours. After thoroughly cleaning Hershey's cage, I set it up with the digital picture frame of him and a sign saying "I'm still available for adoption, I'm just home resting today."


Meanwhile,  I got to hang out with some awesome cat people and meet more wonderful cats!

This was a formerly feral kitten who is being tamed. He looks like a mini-Max!

Olive, a shy girl, reminds me of Willow!

I got to hold Olive for quite sometime! She loves being held, which is lovely!

Confident Fanta showing off his beautiful orange coat

When Fanta arrived at the event for his first weekend, he was so scared, he immediately tried to disappear in his bed and was shaking like crazy. Now, near the end of his second weekend he's all confident and working his cage like a pro, luring prospective adopters to give him a look! 

The Home for the Holidays event is a big fundraiser for the Community Cat Coalition as well as lots of other great animal rescue groups. One of the many items available for a donation is a private label wine, known as the Christmas Cat Cab. Tiny Tim is on the label, he was a tiny runt kitten who was rescued and lovingly nursed to health by a CCC volunteer. There were many times when his health was touch and go, but it now appears he will make it and he goes to his new forever home next weekend!


Here's a closeup of the label:

The photo on the label was done by Artis Photography, the official Home for the Holidays photographer who has been taking the santa photos. They're donating the proceeds from all the santa photos to various rescue groups. On Saturday, they took over 50 santa photos with pets! They typically do about 30 a day. Santa was looking rather tired at the end of the day, he said he his cheeks hurt from all the smiling! 

So, Hershey will return next weekend for one more shot of finding a forever home before Christmas. In the mean time, he'll get lots of plays and loves. It's great to snuggle him as he smells as clean and fresh!

I recently learned of a new cat-blogger who has decided to step into the world of TNR. She lives in Florida and has been documenting her TNR adventure on her blog, My Feral Family. If anyone is near her and knows resources that might be helpful for her, please her know. She is in need of borrowing a drop trap.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Home for the Holidays - weekend 2

Something in my heart broke yesterday when I heard the news that elementary school children were massacred in Connecticut. My prayers are with all those who are hurting as a result of this horrid act.

Hershey is once again at the Home for the Holidays adoption event! Everyone told me he would be much less stressed on his second weekend and guess what? They were right! He's much more relaxed and himself, which is so lovely. Seeing him less stressed has made me much less stressed too.


He has a new neighbor for this weekend, Oski, a gorgeous tabby. I very much feel in love with this little guy's coloring and his personality is amazingly sweet! He's less than a year old and very cuddly. Laura held him for awhile and was tempted to take him home! No more cats!

Oski
Oski
The star attraction of the night was Nick, a seven week old tiny kitten. He was rescued from the street at 4 weeks of age and given to one of the CCC volunteers, who is now doing an amazing job raising him. When he's old enough he'll be available for adoption too!




Hershey is once again spending the night in his cage. Hopefully Saturday will be his day to go to his new forever home! Giving him up will be hard but I do know it is ultimately the best for him. He will be a great blessing for someone.


And, for some really exciting news. I won a give-away from Cat Chat a little bit ago, something I really, really wanted, so I'm thrilled to have won!! And the item arrived yesterday! I can't wait to try it out, it'll be so much fun. You'll just have to wait to see what it is!

Theo guards the new fun mystery item!