Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happy National Feral Cat Day!

Farewell to Wildrun. Good morning to The Owl House

Please reset your links to the new blog!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Time to winterize!

If you have feral cat shelters (or need to build some), here is a great video on winterizing.

I've met Wheeler and I have to say it gives me faith in humanity to see an "adventure guy" holding and snuggling with a cat, and taking care of yard ferals. So often people who care about cats are stereotyped as ragged women who have nothing better to do with their lives. Wheeler has a LOT to do in his life, but he and Sara still take time out to make sure a living creature in his sphere is warm and fed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dumping cats

I often guess that some of the fixed cats that show up on my doorstep, like Portia and Arthur, were trapped away from loving homes and dumped here

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Remember Simon?

Clearly he knows how to get in the spirit of Halloween:

Here's his original pet profile. Don't bother clicking on the video icon, as it doesn't work any longer.

Simon was one of those "I wish I could just keep him" cats.

Thank you, Cary!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

A new Pauli photo from the home front

"Enzo and Pauli seem to be getting along well. I wanted to share this picture with you. After a rough day of playing the boys were very tired! Here they are napping together!"

It has been a great week for pictures. This summer has been a blur, and it sort of grounds things for me when fall rolls around and so many of these summer foundlings are safe in homes for the winter.

New slings

My mother and my sister Kathy visited a few weeks ago. They both have made tons of cat toys for the crew. Kathy took interest in the ferret hammocks that we've been using for the cats. I sent her an old one in the mail, and she sent back two "first issues."

One of them never even made it to a cage. An adopter saw them and ended up buying one. The second one I finally installed in Gawain's cage. I'm tracking how long it lasts, and whether there are any laundry issues, etc. so Kathy can improve on her design. I understand she as already made some changes.

I'll get a photo of Gawain in his hammock when he'll finally sit still.

Past Pauli photo I meant to post...

Pauli winding his way through the guitar collection in his new home. I took this on the night he was adopted:

Faith sure misses him!

Kittens check in! Couldn't have done it without you.

Awhile ago you endured my rant about a crate full of kittens that had been abandoned on my road. A number of you responded with donations large and small, and/or encouragement, to help get the cats fixed. I think you deserve the credit here! Five of the six are already altered (or in the case of one, scheduled to be altered) and in homes!

And not just "homes." They are the kind of good homes that send us back photos. Here's three!

"Frack" is now Mimi (a much-improved name)

Moses is Petie:

Orion is now Yoshie:

Thank you again. I just wanted you to see the goodness you have wrought. And thank you to their adopters. Welcome to the Wildrun family!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

I don't want a dumpster.

But I may have no option. The garbage is piling up. Thank goodness I have the chicken coop in the barn to lock it all up in. The Barton Transfer Station is closed after being totally wiped out by the Flood, and all other waste disposal sites are for flood debris. "Home pick-up continues" but I don't have home pickup. I can't justify paying for the disposal of heavy heavy trash (cat litter) than I can fit in my vehicle. If I were to have to pay for bag tags for every bag of garbage I generate, my trash would probably cost me hundreds of dollars a month. You can only put one cat-box worth of cat litter in a single bag, and I dump 14 boxes twice a week.

Also, dumpsters attract critters and flies. In my nice cool barn, the trash stays fairly non-offensive. But out in the sun in a metal dumpster...not a good thing. Baking cat litter? This is not something I want to smell and I'm sure no one else wants to, either.

Maybe it's something I can just do in the short term. I just have no clue where I would put a dumpster where it wouldn't be the focal point of anyone driving up my quiet country road.

At any rate, I've made the calls to local trash removal companies, and we'll see.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Last two kittens in the cat facility


and Mariah!

However there are still three big kittens, and three tiny kittens, in the house. More of them tomorrow!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Orzo finds a home

I failed to note last week that on Thursday Orzo was adopted. His adopter ended up on a back-road adventure trying to get here, because a bridge was out, but Orzo is now safely in his home in Vestal (above the flood line, thankfully)!

I'm not certain why most of my adoptions are coming from Owego/Binghamton. I don't mind, because the quality of homes has been great lately. I assume I no longer get inquiries from Ithaca because locals want to support their own Tompkins County SPCA (a good thing!). But it does mean I probably should shift my advertising and outreach to the south.

And for good measure, here is Orzo's brother, Beans.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lots of kitten inquiries, and here comes Autumn

You know fall is here, when your adoptees are trying on their Halloween costumes. Apparently Henry didn't think too much of his cowboy hat (Photo snitched from Audrey's Facebook page)

I've been getting a flurry of adoption requests, and it's hard to answer them because some of them are far away (how far away is "too far away for me to manage?"). It's tough saying "no" to people who are over 2 hours away, because they feel it must be something in their application, when in fact it's just the nature of the beast. If something goes wrong, I have a hard time arranging to get that kitten back. If she gets sick right after adoption, I can't afford to reimburse a vet many states away. If the kitten isn't altered yet, I have to follow up on spay-neuter and, God forbid, what happens if this kitten gets loose, like Tyler did? I have one potential home that is on my way to my sister's recital in Clinton on Sunday. That works out OK because I could visit the home, drop the kitten off, they can spend the day with her, and I could pick her up on the way home if they decided she wasn't a match.

Some people are 5 or more hours away, and they would gladly drive all the way here. If the kitten were altered, I might feel comfortable enough to let them take the kitten that day, if I can speak with their veterinarian, etc. and it is a very friendly kitten. But if the kitten isn't fixed yet, even with the best of adopters, "anything can happen." Heck, the best cat owners I know have had cats get loose through no fault of their own.

And what if the person drove all that way, and I ended up saying "no?" I very rarely say no, but I have in the past when the person clearly is not taking the time to listen to me, is pooh-poohing everything I say ("Oh, I'm sure he doesn't need to be shut up in a separate room. Our dog LOVES cats") or if the person is alarmingly rough with the cat (I've had that happen only once). I know people sometimes don't follow my advice, but I want them to be the kind of person who will at least sit and listen to it respectfully. I can usually get a good sense of a person on the phone before meeting them in person, but that doesn't give me a good sense of their mate or their children.

The general public is also getting more and more used to the idea of "roadside adoptions" (making all arrangements via phone and internet, and taking possession of the pet at a halfway point). Except in very rare circumstances, I am uncomfortable with these. Even if the adoption seems excellent, I don't like promoting the idea that this is a good way to do adoption. It can be in exceptional circumstances, but I am uncomfortable with it as a general practice. I have heard from the local shelters who end up with some of those pets (usually puppies)when the rescue (in a far-off state) can't take the pup back when the adopter gives it up four months later because the cute little pup has grown up into a big boisterous teenager. This is less of an issue with cats but still...adoption is adoption.

What adopters also don't understand is that there is a new kitten market out there. I have had people inquire who want to adopt my cutest dirt-cheap $50 kittens---to "re-adopt" them for $275 in low-kitten areas. This means I end up being extra-careful with legitimate adopters who just want to kitten to adopt. Good adopters don't understand why I'm being cautious--because truly good people don't understand that there are not-so-good people out there.

(If you just thought "Oh my God, people actually do that?" then you know why good adopters are also bewildered).

I've also had people who seemed like good long-distance homes pull out the night before or the day of my drive to their location. "Oh, we found another kitten at our local shelter last night. We'll send a donation for your time and expense." In 100% of those cases, I've never received a donation, and with adult cats, that means I've invested in a follow-up vet exam and second FeLV/FIV test that the cat would not normally have needed. I'm always shocked when this happens, because the person seemed so nice, and so enthusiastic. How could anyone say "Oh, sorry" the morning of adoption. Why did they GO to another shelter if they had confirmed an adoption with me?

There is no point bringing up all these situations with the good adopter who doesn't understand why I'm asking 100 questions of them. They just say "But I wouldn't do that." And they probably wouldn't. But because people have in the past, I have to weigh the well-being of the kitten, any my emotional well-being, against my assessment of their personality via phone and email. It's a tough call.

But let's not get too dramatic. Most often the issue is just spay/neuter. Spay/neuter is the foundation stone of stopping euthanasia in shelters. If a kitten is fixed, I'll even gladly drive them 4-5 hours to an excellent new home, if time permits. But if the kitten isn't fixed, there are too many loose ends and extra worries, and I just don't have time for extra worries. I can adopt an unfixed kitten to a home ten miles from me and know I can pick her up for her spay/neuter appointment that Friday, help find her if she gets lost, or get her to the vet if she starts sneezing two days after adoption. I can't do that when someone is far away.

There are so many kittens out there. We are not yet at the point--as with puppies--where spay/neuter has succeeded so well that someone must reach out a few states to adopt a homeless pup. If there isn't a fluffy kitten on Petfinder this week, there will be a fluffy kitten on Petfinder next week. I really want it to be MY fluffy kitten that people end up adopting, but sometimes it may not happen.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Goodbye Facebook (sort of), Hello Again Blogger

Last week I stumbled across this article that states Blogger is a dying web site.

I love my blog dearly, but have used it less often in favor of Facebook, which is more immediate. Until this week, that is, when Facebook shot itself in its foot by changing its format into this confusing mess that takes away all that was helpful about Facebook. They've split the news feed into "top stories" and "recent posts" and only people I visit frequently show up on the feed (I'm told I can change this, but it has not succeeded for me). They've added a ticker on the right, which means instead of getting all your info in a nice simple stream, you have two places to look.

I feel like the execs at Facebook enjoy herding their faithful users around like cattle every few months. "Let's see what they'll do if we make them go THIS way now..." "HAHAHAHA look at the hits on our help pages!"

Well, I'm not a cow, and cats are notoriously hard to herd. So I'm jumping ship, even though part of my paying job is promoting social media. Blogs are, after all, the very first child of the Social Media concept.

I will use Facebook to keep up on my friends and colleagues who are there. Facebook is still the best, most immediate tool for instant information (vital right now, with people trying to find resources to recover from the flood). But it is now more of a corporate community tool than a personal one, and I find my friends, family, and adopters enjoy the blog more, anyway.

So stuff it. Blogger is far from dead!

I also appreciate the original, simple format of Blogger. I find that the fancier a blog format gets (whether on Blogger or any other hosting service), the less likely I am to read it. I want to click and read. I don't want to have to search around on sidebars, or wade through crap on the top to see if there is an actual recent post.

To those of you who have faithfully clicked here to find nothing day after day, I am committed to posting here again, as well as linking to blogs with a similar focus.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Kitten monsters...but cute ones

Today, Saturday, will be a day of getting things done. I need to get photos of all these kittens to update their Petfinder pages. Their current photos show them as little furballs. I need to follow-up with people who have been emailing about adopting. Things are getting so confusing that I think I need to build an Excel spreadsheet to keep track!

Sunday I plan to be open for adoptions for anyone crazy enough to come all this way to see a kitten they can't pick up yet (because they won't be fixed until next week). Local adopters can take a kitten on foster-to-adopt, and they need to relinquish the kitten when his or her spay/neuter appointment comes up.

Don't you want to have this little paper-shredder in your life?

Yes, Kathy, that is your envelope. Your slings arrived, and I'll post on them today!

Humane Society of Binghamton Needs Help!

From the Humane Society:

The Flood of 2011 forced the Humane Society to evacuate our 2 Jackson Street Binghamton shelter and temporarily suspend operations. All the animals have been relocated and are safe. We are now working on the first phase of the recovery plan in an effort to return to full operations as soon as possible.

We are aware the shelter sustained damage and have received preliminary reports of 4 feet of water in the building. The extent of the damage cannot be assessed until we are able to return to the building.

When we evacuated we were unable to take food or supplies and are in need of the following:

Pedigree adult complete nutrition dog food
Canned dog food
Purina kitten chow
Purina cat chow
Canned cat food
Cat litter
Paper towels
Hand sanitizer
Laundry Soap
Dish Soap
Large heavy duty garbage bags
Towels and blankets
Monetary donations are also needed.

All supplies can be taken to 1946 NYS Rt.12, in the town of Chenango (Next to Allen Veterinary Hospital) where we are temporarily housing the animals. Allen Veterinary Hospital is assisting us with housing some of our animals which is allowing us to provide a more comfortable environment for all of them. We are grateful beyond words!

If you have any questions, please send an email to We will respond as quickly as we can.

The Humane Society would like to thank everyone for their concern and generosity while we, likemuch of our community, rebound from this event.
Thank you.
Karen Matson
Executive Director

In Spencer, NY, Wildrun will accept donations to take this upcoming Thursday when I finally make a run to Schoharie to drop off their donations. I'll go by way of Chenango.

Pauli keeps a pup in line

As I had mentioned earlier, Pauli went off to his new home...just in time to be surrounded by the flood of the century. His house was up on hill, so hopefully his family is safe. I'll send a message off to them today.

Their dog was just too much for small kittens, but Pauli let Enzo know he wasn't going to arch up, spit, and run away like a kitten.

The most perfect kittens in the world

Yes, I have more kittens. A young woman and her mother contacted me with the same old sad story. Someone dumped a cat last year. They listened to the Hater Advice and "didn't feed her, but she stayed" (Hey, Haters, do you know anything about cats? If someone dumps a scared cat out in the country, she's going to stay where there's a roof, not wander off into the wilderness for some mythical food bowl). She had a litter of kittens this spring that survived, and then this second litter that clearly was not going to be able to.

The young woman rescued the kittens and bottle-fed them as best she could (which was pretty good!) and I took them on the condition they get mom and the other kittens fixed.

On the up side, these have been the easiest kittens I've ever raised. The practically feed themselves. They are LOOSE in my bathroom. They stay in their little box on it's side, and then toddle off to a cat box with paper towels in it and use it. The kitten with goopy eyes cleared up almost immediately with eye meds. They roll, purr, and play. If they test negative for FeLV/FIV they will have been the perfect kittens. Knock on wood.

Here is one, eating dinner:

Thursday, September 08, 2011


It's just totally overwhelming. I didn't even know that Candor (just eight miles from me) had gotten totally nailed. And Owego is just drowned.

Post Note: I am fine, and the cats are fine. Some past adopters have gotten flooded or near-flooded or are stuck in their villages due to flooding.

"You've Received An Award!"

Maybe you've received an email like that, and you are pleased and surprised. You put their little html graphic and link on your web page to proudly display that you are a "great cat shelter" or "great cat rescue" or just a downright "great person" or "great blogger."

Sometimes these awards are legit. They will usually mention something about you--an exact blog post you wrote, or something special you did. But quite often they are just a way for you to become a free portal to a web site that hosts Google ads. They want visits to their site generated by your page, so that visitors (your readers) will click on a Google ad and get them money.

That's all. Sad, isn't it?

So the next time your are offered an "award"..go visit the page offering it. If it hosts lots of ads, like Google ads, and especially if the "award" code is on their page available for anyone to pick's no honor. They don't mind if just anyone lifts the code and posts their "award" because all they want is more traffic. They don't want to honor you. They want to use you. You'll often find that these web sites haven't even screened out puppy-mill ads from their Google ads (an option they have), and that this web site that told you that you do such great work rescuing animals, is actually making money from puppy-mill and for-profit breeder ads.

Does that mean anyone hosting Google ads is bad? Absolutely not. Just make sure if you are directing traffic to a site with Google ads, that you are doing so knowingly, and the ads are those you would want your readers to visit.

Last weekend...

I met Stephanie and georg here to get their donations for the Animal Shelter of Schoharie last Sunday. And now it's underwater.

credit Alicia Rieselman, Facebook.

The Take A Break next door must be completely covered.

Worst over for me; worst to come for Owego/Binghamton

The sun started to come up and I went outside to discover what I'm glad I did NOT know last night. The creek had relocated to travel down the road, and dumped back in across my field, just barely flooding the bottom of the barn. I pushed some logs out of the road so traffic could get through, then later this morning went out and shoveled off all of the debris.

If I had seen all that water last night, I would have had a fit. I'm glad I was oblivious.

I had three kittens slated to be altered at Cornerstone today. I was sure I could not get out, but I took my cellphone to check. It was worse than I ever could have expected. I couldn't even make it to the usual "you can finally get a signal here" spot, but luckily I could get two bars right where the flooding took the road, so I could let them know I wouldn't make it.

This creek is normally so small you could travel down it in a kayak (if it were deep enough) and touch either side with your paddle. Seriously. Now it is filling the entire valley.

Time to turn around. I could get two bars here, so I made my calls, took photos, and chatted with the folks who got this far with me.

This is awful

I'm standing outside, and all I can hear is water, water, water as my two creeks roar down my hill. The water churning down those creeks may be carving out bridges and flooding out my neighbors. My house is up on a hill, and water goes through one side of my basement wall and out the other, so I'm in no danger of flooding. But so many others are losing their homes tonight. It's insane and sad.

I've never heard such a roar. All I hear is water coming from the sky, and water coming down the hill. Donna and Tim moved with their animals, and their mom and her animals, into the second floor of their shop. I called my sister last night--she was at a rehearsal miles from home, and I hope she was able to make it back tonight, and that her house doesn't flood yet again.

All these people losing their homes to the water, with insurance that won't pay a dime because flooding isn't covered...

Facebook is a lifeline. It's the only way to find out what's going on, anymore.

Stay safe, everyone. Stay safe.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

I loooove this photo

I got some precious "human" time when I zipped over to Binghamton on Sunday for a donation pick-up at Pete's Legacy Diner. george (Tiger Tom's new mom) was waiting in the parking lot, and Stephanie (ZuZu and Jasper, in the photo) found me when my tiny Kia emerged from the shadow of george's SUV. We had breakfast and conversation, and then she sent me this photo of Z and J. Beautiful, isn't it?

In addition to supplies for the flood region, Stephanie also sent a window perch to replace the beat-up one in the cat facility.

I did not make it to Schoharie this weekend. My power was out at my house on Sunday, and Monday it poured. So I'm aiming for this coming weekend to drop donations at the Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Veterinary Practice News

While this is a web page rather than a blog, it looks like they have daily updates, so I'm blogrolling it. I thought others might be interested. It's Veterinary Practice News at

Friday, September 02, 2011

funny pictures - Market research gone horribly wrong
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Pauli gets adopted!

Pauli was dumped here back in March. Now he has a guitar collection, and I guarantee we'll be getting video of him playing tag with the yorkie he's sharing his new home with.

Everyone loves Pauli, and I want to let you know, you'd be happy to see him where he is now!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Photos from this weekend

Christy took some great photos of the kittens and cats this weekend. These are my two favorites.

They kept their eyes open for Christy. :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

There are not enough ways to say "thanks."

Today Christy came by bearing cherry tomatoes, peaches, peach jam, flowers, and a check, and three people have sent vet bill money via Paypal after my rant over the six (cute, cute, cute!) kittens that were dumped here. I'm getting some sweet cat toys out to you all (made by my mother and sister!)--except maybe to Singapore. I'll have to ask the postmaster here whether I can ship dried catnip overseas.

Thank you all! I also need to point out that money is not the only thing that lifts my spirits. Just checking my stats on the blog and seeing the people who check in over and over again--even when I'm so poor at blogging regularly--that is a huge lift as well.

I took yesterday and today off from work. Yesterday, I went to the Glimmerglass Opera (now actually the Glimmerglass Festival), complements of my sister Linda and the opera (i.e. a comp ticket). She has played with them for over 20 years, and yes even so, I have never been to an opera, which really is a heinous sin. I'll blog more about it on my personal blog later today. Let's just say I was lucky enough to experience an incredible singer and actor--so incredible that I keep going over and over the opera in my mind.

I got to see Sylvester, who lived here for a few years before Linda adopted him (Note to friends of Wildrun--Sylvie is Storm's brother). I got a short glimpse of Harley, who is also a Wildrun kitten, but he disappeared as soon as Molly-the-dog started bouncing around the house.

I had planned on camping before I discovered I was in desperate need of a new sleeping bag. You just can't leave a cloth bag in a closet for four years unused. Too bad...the omnipresent clouds gave way around 1:00 pm yesterday just before the opera began, and central NY is now as glorious as only central NYS can be on a sunny cool summer day. This morning the sun rose in a cloudless sky and I can now take PICTURES OF KITTENS without a flash.

I'm also using the day to get paperwork in order, taking thank-yous to the post office, and paying bills, bills, bills. Kittens are romping in both the house and the cat facility. The lazy sunny day offsets their boundless energy. What normally would freak me out (too many kittens!) at the moment is amusing and happily distracting.

Musicians have been very kind to Wildrun. Our most recent adopter pulled up and noted the Syracuse Symphony magnet on my car (a great way to be immediately approved for adoption around here). She is of a musical background as well. There seems to be a great bond between musicians and cats, and the fact that several musicians have adopted us, is probably the one thing gives my life a periodic boost of the ethereal. I'm not sure how to explain it; again, I'll try a bit more on my personal blog, later. But just as an example, to go out on my porch and see the flowers, the sweet peaches, and then--on a more mercenarial note--discover I won't have to put more bills on the credit card when the mortgage comes due on Friday because I have some help with the vet costs of these kittens--is unexplainably wonderful. It is a great gift. At some point in my life, I want to raise flower, just so I can drive around and give them to everyone I love.

And on a perfect, perfect sunny day, such a gift even makes work enjoyable.

Kitten photos soon!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Eleven kittens in-house. Two are spoken for!

What a devil of a time I had taking photos tonight. Every time the flash went off, little kittens squinched their eyes tightly closed. I'll need to go out at lunch tomorrow and try to get some more!

The new litter (6) and Mariah (the abandoned Manx) all tested negative for FeLV/FIV/Heartworm. A sister of one of the vet techs is looking for a kitten, so they were snapping photos and sending them off to Maine. Little Frack (brown tiger w/white female) has been chosen! Hopefully I can get her fattened up, fixed (and hernia repaired) and recovered before the end of August when she would make the trip north.

Then today we had a visitor, and the little black fuzz ball with extra toes was chosen! They are all still skinny, wormy, and the little black one decided to hack up some foam right then, but he ate and drank tonight, and seems fine. They have had two doses of worm medicine, and are now on FortiFlora to help their little guts recover. So I have three cats "adopted" and yet they are all still here. At least they are chosen!

I finally managed to get a good photo of Mariah, the fast-as-lightning Manx. It's good for her to have other kittens to play with, because she was getting bitey, as single kittens often do. Once everyone seems healthy, I probably will cage her up with the new kittens, but until then, I'm letting her romp with them, but put her back in her own cage alone.

They are pretty kittens.

The kittens in the house are extremely amusing, and were very sweet to their visitor today. If it weren't for the fact that the new black kitten is sporting extra toes, Noodles might have been adopted instead, because he did the old "let me gaze soulfully up directly into your eyes" routine.

Good boy! Keep it up!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Six, yes SIX kittens abandoned

A neighbor came lugging a crate (no door!) up the path the day before yesterday. It contained SIX kittens that she had found at the intersection just before my house. Just out of sight of my door--where they could have brought them had they had guts to do so.

Thank you, someone, for taking another $1100 from me. $1100 that no one has, right now.

FeLV/FIV tests @ $30 each = $180
FVRCP @ $4 each = $24
Capstar @ $2 each = $12
Rabies (when old enough) @ $5 each =$30
3 pediatric neuters = $300
3 pediatric spays = $400
Hernia repair on 2 = $150

Total = $1096

That doesn't include food, litter, worming, and further flea treatment.

Just think. If you'd gotten your own cat fixed at your vet ($250) or local spay/neuter clinic ($50, or sometimes free) you wouldn't be stealing from me, and from the veterinarians who give a discount.

And, worse yet, your cat is going to have another litter. And another. And another.

Bless you, Carmen, for stopping when you saw something that didn't look right!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Curtains for the cat facility

There are various piles of supplies for projects lying around my house, and the barn. There is a pile of boards in the upstairs hallway to finish off the window shelves in the boarding rooms. A pile of fleece next to the sewing machine in the kitchen for cat facility curtains; wood in the barn for trimming out the windows there; shutters for the house laying on the bench in the workshop waiting to be painted. This weekend I resolved that one pile would go away, and given the heat we've had, I chose curtains, so I could shut out the blazing sun for the first half of each day. My house, for some unknown reason, faces west and gets no real sun until late afternoon. The cat facility faces south east, and the sun smacks it straight on around 8:00 am each summers' day.

I am not a particularly patient person, and I had to stop myself from making one curtain, going out the facility to put it up; make another curtain...

I cut out a single pair and put that ONE pair up to make sure I hadn't made some hideous mistake in measurement, and then finished the rest. The material is so loud it was hard to get a photo of it that didn't make it look even louder, so I laid in next to the window trying to get some natural light

I got light alright. I also got a cat. Cricket found it quite a comfy spot to stretch out her aging single hind leg.

The curtains are up now. They probably should have been wider and longer to cover better in the winter, but they are better than nothing. Probably by winter these will need some replacements, anyway. Curtains and cats aren't known to get along all that well.

TigerTom gets another 15 minutes of fame on Life With Cats

TigerTom's story is on Life With Cats!

Life With Cats is on Facebook, so if you are a FB fan, please "like" them to say thanks and see their other uplifting cat stories every day.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thai gets a pledge of a new home

Thai had visitors Friday, and they have pledged to give him a home, once some interior construction going on in their home is complete. Having had a adopted kitten get briefly lost in non-sheetrocked walls last year, I'm just as happy to have Thai here until everything is buttoned up at his new place. Plus he can keep little Mariah company until she's big enough to hold her own with the other kittens. They are very cat savvy folks, so he will have a great home!

He love to chase and leap over her. I'm sure tiny spitfire Mariah is looking for someone to wrestle with, but thankfully Thai realizes that would be an uneven match, and he is very gentle with her, confining their play to tag-and-chase.

That is FOUR adult adoptions within just three weeks, which is really incredible. The kittens are at the perfect age for adoption now, so I'm going to spend this weekend getting some decent photos of them, so I don't end up with teenagers instead of kittens this fall.

Good words continue to come in via Facebook about TigerTom. He seems to be hanging on with Georg and Jazz while they are working--at least, I see lots of photos of him on a desk!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

TigerTom says "Tails Up!"

This is what I like to see. He's still a night owl, though, hiding during the day. But at least he is exploring and being affectionate! Once he realizes life isn't as boring during the day in his new home as it is here, I expect he'll become more outgoing during the daylight hours as well.

So things are going well for TigerTom!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

TigerTom in his new home

On Sunday I delivered TigerTom to his new home with Georg and Jazz in Endicott. Georg promised me she would keep me updated via Facebook, and she has been true to her word. This is good, as otherwise I would likely be a basket case, since he is such a shy boy. Any one who knows TigerTom won't be surprised that he hid in his little box in a caterpillar ball.

Tonight, there was some very good news on Facebook!
I sat down next to Tiger Tom, while he was in the shower stall. Not only did he do serious rising butt syndrome, he rolled over and let me have the belly, and rubbed his face against me. Then he stood up and purred. And walked out of the shower stall. It was wonderful.

Then Jazz approached the door, and he ran back into the shower stall. So I left the bathroom and he repeated it all for Jazz. Progress!!!

They are going to let him graduate from the bathroom to their office tomorrow.

I'm so glad he is coming out of his shell--even faster than I would have expected.

On my way home, coming through Owego, I had to turn around to take a shot of a Shelter Pet Project billboard!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tyler checks in! Lots of new posts today! be sure to scroll down!

Kim sent photos of Tyler! I knew he was doing OK because Portia's adopters said they had met him and he had even let them pet him. I'm pleased to see him in his classic "Tyler pose" with his paws stretched out in front of him (he loves windows!) Check out all those toys. Lucky cat!

Kim reports that Portia's new name, in her new home with the "other Kim", is "Alice." She definitely is an "Alice." :)

Great "find the kittens!" post

At Covered in Cat Hair.

New Fast Food Feral

Rumor has it there is a mom cat and kittens at the Fast Food Feral feeding station. I've only seen the mom and I sure wish those kittens would show themselves! At the "old" site, before Wicks was demolished, the kittens were all born under a pile of debris that was easy to trap at. Now there is nothing but woods and the gardens at Tompkins Co Solid Waste and I have no idea where their home base is.

Yesterday I went by to feed the cats, and mom cat was headed back, having checked the feeding station and found an empty bowl. She clearly understood that I was the "bringer of food" because she crouched down in the drive and waited for me to come back from filling it. By the time I turned my car around, she was trotting back to have dinner. No kittens in view.

She is a drop-dead beautiful gray, white and black tri-color. I have never seen such a thing in my life. This photo is too distant, but maybe you can make out what I mean.

"You can't see me if I lay flat...right here in the middle of the road."

I sure hope she's tame. I'd love to not have to bring her back once I catch her!

Jasper and ZuZu check in

I always love getting photos of Jasper and ZuZu from Stephanie. They are the perfect balance of "Beautiful Lady" and "All-American Tuxedo-Boy."

Maestro checks in

I'm behind in posting adopter photos from this week! Valarie took pictures of Maestro when she was visiting Ashley.

"The cute “little” fluffball has turned into big fluffball. He is still a little shy and won’t come out when there are a bunch of people at the house but he does come out when I go to visit… Probably because every time I go, Ashley brings out the treats for him. All she has to do is say, “Maestro, treats… Maestro, treats!!” and he comes running."

Maestro was rescued by Christy and Gordon. When I sent them this photo via Facebook, Christy sent back a kitten shot:

I don't need to gush over how gorgeous he is. His photos speak for themselves!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Can't keep a good kitten down

Mariah (so named because she runs like the wind, i.e "They call the wind....") spent one day squalling, the next day in stunned silence, and she has finally blossomed into normal kittenhood. She is providing a proper diversion to Thai, who has been treating her like a self-ambulating cat toy. Mariah discovered Thai's twitching tail this evening.

Those few of you who are not living where it is 106 freaking degrees may not realize we are in the middle of a heat wave of undetermined end. My impression is that most of my readers are also staring at their thermometers in disbelief.

Some people may think a "heat wave" ends if the temperature drops below 95. I personally require a rainstorm and less than 85 F to qualify. While winter requires mere money to maintain legal and comfortable temperatures (and lots of it), summer requires strategy. Big window fans get turned on as soon as the outside temperature drops, which didn't happen tonight until 10:00 pm. Then all the cats get liberty, all the water gets replaced so flying fur doesn't lie on the surface. About 11:30 pm it has grown cool enough that kittens really wish to play. About 1:00 am everyone has been combed and petted, and I have taken a nap on the new vinyl floor. Then I come in to wash dishes!

I have small quiet fans for cats who are recovering from surgery in cages. Again: strategy. Some cats don't mind air hitting them directly. It annoys others, in which case fans need to be set to move the air without being pointed right at the cat. All of the cats get wet food in addition to their dry, and surgery cats get baby food mixed with water to be sure they are inspired to eat and get fluids.

In the morning, I'll get out to the facility before the sun hits the windows. Fans come down, windows get closed and curtained to bar the sun and heat, grumpy cats who love their windows are consoled. The facility is positively dark, and it will stay so until night falls again. This dance happens about once every three years when we have a nasty heat wave. The last two years we have been spared.

I'm loving the cool vinyl floor. The timing for that was perfect.

Tomorrow a.m. I get to sleep in. What bliss. The alarm is set for 7:30---right before the sun hits those windows.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Where are they now: Plato and Socrates

I got photos of these handsome fellows, Casey and Austin, in my email today, and for a moment, I couldn't recall who they were:

Then I put two and two together. It was Plato and Socrates from way back in my West Danby days! They were captured as feral kittens from behind McDonalds on Elmira Road in Ithaca. One day I was in the line at Kmart, and there was a student-age woman in front of me with a box of kitten chow. I immediately put on my "holier than thou" education cap, thinking to engage her in conversation about the best way to take care of her new kitten. But when I said "Got a kitten?" she said "No, but I'm thinking about getting one, and I wanted to have everything on hand."

Well! Didn't that burst my holier-than-thou bubble! So I mentioned Wildrun rescued kittens, and I had some at that time, and didn't she start interviewing me, when I'd planned on interviewing her. I gave her my info, and she did come over. She decided she wanted two kittens. I was concerned because one of them was still quite shy, and insisted on hanging onto them another week. When a week passed, and one kitten was still quite shy, Janet assured me she could handle them, and with reservations I let them go.

She reassured me that all had turned out well a few months later by sending this great photo that I have cherished. It hangs on my wall by my computer:

There was no way I would have been able to get little scarves and hats on those kittens! It was clear they were doing very well.

As with most of my kittens, they faded off into time with their new owners. I mentally wished them well, enjoyed the photo, and figured I would never hear from them again.

Until today when I got an email labeled "Alumni of Wildrun"

11 years ago, I adopted two stray grey male kitties from your service. I wanted to send updated pictures and let you know they are doing wonderful, happy and healthy little boys (well, they aren’t that little). Casey weighs in at about 18.2 pounds and Austin at 15.5 pounds. Both are extremely healthy (always have annual blood work done and frequent teeth cleaning every few years), just big cats (more like tigers. LOL) Attached you will find a few pic’s of them.

Thank you for your service! These two little guys have brought so much love to my life and I am very grateful that 11 years ago, I met one of your workers in the Kmart and found out she had kittens available. Casey and Austin were found behind McDonalds with their two sisters.

This has just been a great week! So many nice things have happened (even with the 100 degree heat) that I haven't even had time to blog them all. I wrote back, and Janet sent the photo just above, and that will hang next to the Christmas photo.

What is really sweet to think back on is what I had for a cat facility back then. And boy, was I proud of it:

Tompkins County Trust actually let me take out a loan to buy that little cat shed. I dug a trench for legal electric, and traded cat trapping to an electrician friend to get it wired. I never did finish it off completely before we moved to the farm on Owl Creek.

And here are Casey and Austin--then Plato and Socrates--in the shed as kittens:

Did you adopt your pet from a shelter? Sent them a photo and a note and make their day, like Janet made mine.