Monday, September 22, 2014

a full day

I had some reading to do for work this morning, so I went out to the garage to hang out with Bert. I think he liked the company.


I know I did!


When I look at these pictures of Bert, I think about how I was so close to releasing him back to the TNR site because he was bitey and swatty. I'm so grateful I gave him more time as he really turned a corner! Hopefully he's destined to be a spoiled inside kitty for the rest of his life.


Buddy's slowly going downhill. His age is catching up to him as evidenced by a number of little things. He eats as he always has (like a horse), but he's slowly losing weight. He feels and looks frail. His back legs are very unsteady and tremble. He's starting to hork more. And he's been sporting that "I'm not feeling so good" look. I think I may make an appointment for him to get some diagnostics. I would appreciate purrs for his wellbeing.


I recently bought Buddy another heating pad. He's got two now and I'm about to get him another. He needs one for each of his favorite spots.


Oliver enjoys sprawling in his heated loft bed on the back porch.

I heard some very sad news today. John, a friend and fellow TNR guy who caretakes a small backyard colony of black feral cats, lost one of his beloved cats today. Apparently Uncle got hit by a car in the road. Breaks my heart to hear of a loved feral passing away like this. Even more sad is that John was making great progress taming Uncle and had visions of him becoming an inside cat. Rest in peace sweet Uncle, know you are dearly loved.

John's beautiful feral family: Grandma, Little Mama, and Uncle all posing in front of their heated and insulated home that John built for them.
photo courtesy of John
This news significantly heightened my anxiety about Oliver and his family being outside. We live near some busy roads. Every day I see them alive and well I give thanks for another day.


Over the summer I've been locking Oliver on the back porch at night for his safety. If I don't, he'll go roaming and pick fights with neighbor cats. A few months ago, Pierre decided that he wanted to be locked on the back porch with Oliver every night. After Oliver is secured, Pierre shows up outside the screen door and waits to be let in. I love having both of them secured each night, that way I know they are both safe. I only wish MK and Nora would join him!


Fulfilling Pierre's wish posed quite the logistical challenge due to the fact that he's still semi-feral and keeps a distance from me. The solution involves the use of fancy technology - a string! It's tied it to the handle on the guillotine door. The string goes up to the ceiling and across the room to the mudroom door and back down. When it's time to lock Oliver away, I close the guillotine cat door by hand and then go over to the other end of the room and pull the string which opens the guillotine door and Pierre hops right in!  Old school but it works.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

even more Bert

I'm really falling for Bert and his easy going, lovey ways.


I'm trying to spend as much time with him as I can as he gets bored living out in the garage.


He's too busy cuddling to blog.


His first Nipnanner!! He loves it!


The compounded antibiotic he gets has been causing him to hork,
so I've been giving him a tuna juice appetizer and chaser. He's not a fan of all these liquids getting squirted in his mouth but he's so chill about it all. The tuna seems to help him keep down the medicine.


He just can't get enough head rubs and cuddles.

Hopefully the little blood parasites are dying a miserable, painful death.

Bye bye little nasty parasites! Hello to loves!!



Watching Oliver's family get some dinner

Friday, September 19, 2014

lunch

My schedule sometimes allows me to come home for lunch. Who wants a crowded, annoying lunch room when you can have a peaceful lunch with the kitties?!

Anytime I sit at the table, Buddy demands tummy rubs and he won't take no for an answer!


We sometimes work out a compromise where he drapes himself across my arm, 
waiting ever so impatiently as I eat.


And sometimes he bails on the tummy rubs and goes for my lunch!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Rose's Gotcha Day!

Four years ago today we found Rose hiding in the engine compartment of a truck in front of our house! Poor thing, she was tiny, dirty, and scared.



She was so tiny and kitten-cute!

Even as an adult-cat, we think she's quite adorable. We only wish she would let us touch her so we could love on her! But she continues to keep her distance from the evil humans. 


Must admire her beauty from a far.


Happy Gotcha Day Rose, even though we can't touch you and every time we get near,
you freak out like you're about to be eaten alive, we still love you!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Odyssey has a home!

Pairing Odyssey and Breezy together worked great as they became great playmates! They wrestled, chased and had all sorts of crazy kitten fun! 


And now they are in their new forever home! We brought them to their new place on Saturday and they have settled in very nicely. We got the first update on Sunday:
Odyssey is out of hiding and they are playing like crazy. We've decided to rename Breezy to Moxie and Odyssey to Molly. They are both so sweet, eating well and quite cuddly. We couldn't be happier with them!
Yea for sweet Odyssey and Breezy. It's hard to say goodbye, but it's heart warming to know they are settling in nicely and already being loved!

When I got back home on Saturday, the house was so oddly quiet with no kittens! With the little attention hogs gone, the love starved adult cats took no time to grab some cuddly time with me. They waited for their turns.
Sept 6, 2014 12:51pm

Sept 6, 2014 1:15pm

Sept 6, 2014 1:22pm
Be well little Odyssey and Breezy! I will miss you but I'm also very happy for you.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

more Bert

Remember Bert? He's the sweet brown tabby who has been living in my garage after I trapped him back in June at a nearby large TNR site. He had an old flea collar on him and seemed friendly. He also appeared to have some medical challenges.






I built Bert this bridge to go between his napping place and his eating place.

It also works well for tummy tubs.


I first took him to my vet in early August, when he was diagnosed with giardia and possibly Mycoplasma (blood-based bacterial parasite). Now, a month later, it was time to follow-up with the vet.


He showed the vet what a lover boy he really he. Bert's tummy still looks a bit large and feels more solid than other cats I have felt. The vet felt around his abdomen and didn't find anything unusual. She thought it felt better than last time. I have been fearing he might have kidney failure since he drinks a ton of water and has huge pees - so the vet got a urine sample and some blood.

The results showed he has regenerative anemia, which she believes is caused by the Mycoplasma. She thinks this might account for the enlarge spleen we saw on the x-rays from the previous visit. The spleen is responsible for filtering the blood and recycling those red blood cells - so with his blood needing more red blood cells, his poor spleen has been working overtime! She also indicated the slight heart murmur might be from the thin anemic blood - thus that might fix itself when the Mycoplasma is gone.

His urinalysis seemed to indicate his kidneys are working ok, so she's not suspecting kidney failure - so, we're still not sure why all the water and pee. He'll be getting an antibiotic for a few weeks and then another check-up!


Go little Bert!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

rethinking the cat

The Humane Society of the United States has been hosting a symposium across the country called Rethinking The Cat. The event is being held in six cities across the US, with the next one being next Tuesday in Syracuse, NY. The last one will be held in the Seattle area in mid October. It's a free, all day event that has two tracks, Community Cats and Adoptable/Shelter Cats. It looks great!

The Lynnwood, WA one is very close to where I live, so I registered to go. A few days later, I was asked if I wanted to be the speaker to represent the Community Cat Coalition for the panel discussion section. So, now I'm one of the official speakers! I get 25-minutes to talk about the CCC's mission, successes and failures. Wowza!

After committing to do this, I started to wonder about who the other panel speakers are. I remembered something about a guy from the Audubon Society being on the panel, that made me nervous. So, I started to do a little research as to who the other two panel speakers are. Bob Sallinger is the Conservation Director of the Audubon Society of Portland, Oregon and Karen Kraus is the Excutive Director of the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon.

I came across an article written jointly by both Bob and Karen in the Portland Tribune that really got me excited, as I think it embodies the mission of the CCC, Working Together to Find Solution To Cat, Bird Struggle - Portland Tribune - wow! I am so thrilled to see their shared vision for finding a solution when so many bird and cat advocacy groups are pitted against each other.
Most importantly, we agree that the real solution to these issues must focus on establishing a culture of more responsible pet ownership. Neither rounding up feral cats nor trap, neuter and return programs alone will be successful as long as there is a steady stream of new cats entering the environment on a daily basis. Focusing solely on feral cats misses the point - studies show that well-fed, free-roaming pet cats are just as likely to hunt wild birds as feral cats do, and somewhere in the lineage of every feral cat is an abandoned or unfixed pet. Real solutions need to focus on the root of the problem and that lies with pet owners.
By finding common ground, we can and will move ahead while other cities continue to disagree on how to help cats and wildlife. There are no perfect solutions, but when mired in arguing, there are no solutions at all.
- Bob Sallinger and Karen Kraus 

I so agree with where Bob and Karen are coming from. I like TNR as a short term solution to keep the feral cat population in check, but ultimately it's not the answer. The community cat puzzle will not be solved by TNR alone, as the feral cat problem is less about cats and more about irresponsible humans.

I'm honored to get to share the stage with two people who really understand the problem and want to work to find solutions more than they want to fight with each other. How awesome it will be to share about the Community Cat Coalition and what we are doing to help the cause.

Has anyone attended one of these symposiums? If so, please let me know what it was like.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

he never forgets

Back before Oliver and his family showed up, the inside kitties used to occupy the enclosed back porch. They loved being out there and would often lounge, like they still do on the enclosed front porch. It's been years now since they have visited the back porch.

April 10, 2010

June 1, 2010

August 14, 2010
All the kitties have forgotten the back porch was once their territory, except for Theo. Everyday he wants back out on HIS porch.


Everyday he does his best to reclaim his territory.


Poor Theo.