I once again find myself traveling, far away from home, which means far away from my cats. I can't tell you where I am just yet, because first, I want to offer up a challenge for you to solve.
This evening I had the privilege of meeting up with a delightful and amazingly gifted cat blogger that most of you know. And of course, I also got to meet her three precious cats. Now, here's the challenge - take a look at these kitties and can you identify the cats and thus the blog? First one to identify all three cats correctly wins a prize! Oh, and before I post the pictures, I must appologize for my poor photography - the kitties were shy, so they wouldn't let me get to close and they didn't want to look at me!
Hint #1: The order of the cats in these photos corresponds to the order in which the cats came into the blogger's life.
Leave your answers in the comments, first one with the right answers gets the prize!! If no one gets it correct I'll post another hint. Good luck!!
I recently met up with Lauren Glickman, Executive Director of the Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project (FCSNP), a 501(c)3 non-profit, amazing spay/neuter clinic. She gave me a tour and told me how they do what they do. Before I started the tour, I dropped off a cat (The Duchess, you can read her story here) for her spay and then later was able to follow her progress through the clinic.
There are many amazing things about FCSNP, where to start?! They provide free spay/neuter and rabies vaccination for feral cats who receive an eartip while the suggested donation for owned and adoptable cats (non-eartipped) is $25 for spay and $15 for neuter.
According to their website, they have altered 85,063 cats since they started in 1997 and 5,384 cats so far in 2013. Wow, that's a lot of cats!
FCSNP is a National Mentoring Organization, which means they have all the information posted on their website for someone to replicate the clinic. Because they are committed to helping end domestic cat overpopulation, they want others to have all the tools they need to open a successful spay/neuter clinic, so they provide all their forms and every little detail of how they do what they do.
I'll share with you the photos I took from the tour and rest easy, I won't be showing any blood and guts! They average around 50 cats per day, so they are setup to be very efficient.
The anesthesia station, where the cat is sedated, examined and weighed. I learned that sedated cats don't blink their eyes, so an ointment is placed in their eyes to keep their eyes from drying up.
Here is The Duchess, sedated and now getting her tummy
scrubbed clean after it was shaved.
This volunteer is getting the carriers prepped for the post-op
cats to recover as their sedation wears off.
Each cat is given a number on their medical record. One copy of the number is stuck to the cat's head using medical tape and the other copy is attached to their carrier or trap. This allows for tracking of the cat during the process and ensures the correct cat is returned to the correct carrier or trap.
Shaving tummy furs
The Duchess is sedated and on anesthesia gas, awaiting her surgery.
The vet is spaying a cat in the surgery suite, which is equipped with multiple tables.
The Duchess getting her spay.
Once the surgery is complete, the cats are placed back in the carrier or trap they arrived in. Before they are put back in, the bedding is changed. The cats are wrapped up to stay warm and they are attended to frequently to make sure they are recovering without any problems. The "Blood Sample" tag indicates that the owner is has paid an extra $5 for a blood sample, most likely so the cat can be tested for FIV and FeLV.
Still sedated, The Duchess is carried from the operating table back to her trap for post-op recovery.
The Duchess, going back in her trap so she can wake up.
Sleeping off the anesthesia.
This beautiful kitty is waiting for surgery.
FCSNP works all this amazingness with the help of over 60 volunteers and only 5 paid staff. I'm very grateful to have this amazing resource nearby. They are truly an awesome organization who is working hard to make a difference in the lives of the community cats.
It's probably been six months since I've seen Nora, Oliver's only daughter.
Oliver hasn't told me any bad news about her, so I figured she was doing ok and she was just keeping a low profile. Last week, I was amazed to see her hanging out with Oliver in his enclosed back porch. Up until that moment, I had never seen her in the porch, she's still quite feral and will not share a yard with humans. She saw me looking at her on the porch and took off. Seeing her alive and well brought be great joy!
The last few nights I've happen to see her on the feedercam, having a nighttime snack. She seems to come for a snack around 9-10pm PST. Yea for Nora!! It warms my heart knowing that Oliver's family feels welcome to visit him. Pierre and MK spend most of their afternoons, all evening and early mornings here, I just wish they would all take up permanent residence here, like Oliver!
The results came back on Belle's giardia test and she passed!! No more giardiases!! So, that means her new humans came and picked her up on Friday night. So, Belle will be spending her first night in her new home!
My heart is feeling both joy for her that she will be going to a good home where she will be spoiled and forever loved and I feel sad as I will miss her. She was the one in the litter who I bonded with the most. I could have very easily kept her if we had room for another cat. She has a very sweet temperament.
A very scared Belle, the day after she was trapped