Friday, August 31, 2007

Can you tell what this means?

It kittens who can really use a bath!

We've got three, with three more to come. Plus mom and her daughter from the previous year to spay. So we'll have nine kittens "in the house."

Sorry, I was traveling!

In a flurry, I was sent to Philadelphia for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute seminar on animal law, which was an incredible experience, (I can't link to the PBI catalog; they deleted this program because it is now past) and I highly recommend for anyone with a law, philosophy, or academic background, or who simply has grown too used to animal welfare conferences and would like to rub elbows with different professions.

I seriously wanted to blog my far-too-expensive hotel room, which I booked within two hours of leaving home. It was gorgeous, but a bit over-rated. A telephone in the bathroom? They advertised the flat screen TV as a benefit, but it made David Letterman look 4' tall and very fat. And the internet was an additional $12 after paying $200 for a room? $34 to park for the night? I don't think so? I love you, dear blog readers, but after maxing things out to pay for the room, I wasn't paying for internet time. Worse yet, there was no wireless at the conference. So I was pretty behind on work when I got home.


The conference was great. They have three of these in PA each year and I highly recommmend them. It's a pity they deleted them from their site after completion. Please, people, remember the blog community exists and we can promote your programs! "Done" is not "over" on the internet!

Governor Rendell gave an incredible keynote address on the problem of PA puppy mills, with his puppy mill rescue dog at his side.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Damn, it's hot, lady.

Damn, it's hot, lady. Can you do anything about this?

Yeah, I know you have all these fans. But really, it was so nice last week. Can't you turn back the dial? Thanks for letting us out of our cages so we can lay on this nice cool floor!

Oh, no fair! Those cute kittens get a ride in an air conditioned vehicle and don't have to come back again? Not fair at all! (Shakespeare, on the crate, says "take ME, take ME!")

Congrats, kittens, on your new home!!!!

Mamasita not only thinks it's hot, she has to dole out milk to her babies. She may need to move to the house tonight if the temps don't drop this evening. We don't have air conditioning, but it's significantly cooler in the Great Room.

Nick thinks it's hot, too, but won't stay in the house where it's cooler. However he's taking refuge under the picnic table because the big pine is dropping cones in the heat. And a pine cone that let loose 40 feet up is a dangerous missile.

We have been lucky this year. These are the first real "dog days" we've gotten.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Unexpected but (mostly) enjoyable kitten run

I think I mentioned earlier that a co-worker, who is due to travel at the end of this week, unexpectedly found a mom cat and kittens. The timing wasn't particularly good.

Well, I guess no one "expectedly" finds a mom cat and kittens.

I had thought I might be able to combine kitten pick-up with getting together with folks from work during the day sometime later this week, but that didn't work out. So Lynn and I decided to hop in our respective cars after work today and just start driving toward each other until we met.

Well, it wasn't quite that unscripted. I IM'd another coworker who was more familiar with the general area where Lynn and I planned to bump into one another. She suggested The Barley Creek Brewing Company as a place to rendezvous and eat.

Mark generously lent his car (and his cell phone) because the "Service Engine Soon" light was on in my truck. His car became a kitty transport vehicle (not for the first time).

The Brewery was great. Directions are on their website, if you are ever traveling along Rt. 80. Unfortunately, the gentleman seated next to me at the bar while I waited for Lynn was the typical guy you don't want to meet at a bar. I hoped when we shook hands that it wouldn't turn out that way, but you know when you have that feeling?


I didn't realize people still made racist comments to strangers and expected to be laughed at at this day and age. I am naive, aren't I? We were watching coverage of Vick pleading guilty to dog fighting, and this (white) gentleman went off on what he perceived to be the difference between "blacks" and "niggers." I sort of smiled at first and told him I didn't think it was anything I would be interested in hearing (I need to learn to give people the dark look they deserve. I must practice a good sneer. There are times when one MUST NOT SMILE). He proceeded to tell me (I won't repeat his theory). I said "Really, is that what you think? I see then we have the same problem with white people as well." He sort of looked at me, and like all folks of his sort, just assumed I couldn't possibly mean him. But he shut up on that topic.

People like that should be ejected from the building.

Lynn arrived and we relocated from the bar to a table. We ate, we talked, we had fun, we split the tab. We moved the kittens from her car to mine, and headed back in our respective directions in the rain.

I had picked up a six pack of their beer for Mark, in return for him lending me his car.It wasn't until I was paying for it that I noticed the name of the beer!

Okay. Really. I had no clue this place sold a beer by that name, and I picked it because it was India Pale Ale (Mark's preferred beer). The name was just too funny, being on a rescue run.

So the traveling kittens (and mom) come to Wildrun. Babies in the house once again:

It's 1:00 am. The cats are almost all tucked in, then it's off to bed.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Billee is settling in!

And as a bonus, we get a shot of Marbles (Casper) who was adopted last year! Watch your nose, Marbles! I understand Billee has been giving it a swat now and then!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

TWO kittens adopted!

Jacinto and his sister were adopted today. They need to hang out for a week, as Jacinto needs his rabies shot, and his sister needs to heal from her spay (and her tendency to nip stitches). But then they should be off to their new home next weekend!

Jack was in a total sulk. He could have had a home, but I brought one of the kittens into the house and he was totally offended. So when visitors arrived he was aloof and angry. Last week he was sucking up to Billee's adopter big time. Today he just stalked off and sneered.

So Susan's lesson: don't ever bring a kitten into the house on the same day someone might want to adopt Jack!

These two were adopted, just in time to take in some Jersey kittens. Yes, while we normally stick pretty close to home, I have a co-worker who rescued some kittens in New Jersey and she hasn't been able to find a Jersey rescue to take them yet. She has to travel for work at the end of next week, so I told her if she didn't find a place for them by then, I'd take them for her. They will be about five weeks old (with their too-young mom) when we pick them up next week.

We will of course blog the Jersey traffic.

No Coffee and Kittens on Sunday. Mark and I will be going to this with Hilary who adopted Max and Sam.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Pass it on.

"Show your support for animals in need through the Paws to Save Pets program. When you place a ribbon on the map, Merial will donate* $0.25 (up to a total of $100,000) to fund disaster relief and preparedness to help displaced pets.


*Funds donated by Merial through the Paws to Save Pets program will be divided equally between the Foundation and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF)."

If all those ribbons cover up the state lines, I hope people who post late in the game know their U.S. geography when they go to stick their ribbon up there!

(Scroll down for today's kitty picture post).

Monday, August 13, 2007

Uncomfy cats

Yesterday I noticed this little monster had chewed at her Friday spay incision, so it was an emergency trip to the vet this morning. Visions of dollar signs danced in my head, however my vet felt it was nothing that time, Clavamox, and a kitty cone wouldn't solve, and her behavior only cost $5 for meds, plus gas for the 45 mile trip.

Here, suffer in the Kitty Cone of Confinement, you little furball!

(You would think this thing would slow her down. No, she can still ambulate at mach speed, and has to be confined to a cage until she heals).

And then there is Nick, who voluntarily seeks out new and different ways to torture himself.

Today I resolved.... work, to answer every email (today plus the weekend), make every outgoing call, answer/return every incoming call, handle every issue, all by the end of the day.

And here it is, 10:00 pm. Yikes!

I should point out that at 6:30 pm Mark ordered me away from the computer for a walk and dinner, so I did get a break on this beautiful evening.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Billee was adopted.

Wish her well in her new home!

We have THREE, count them THREE.... food ferals.

When I went down to feed the cats on the fast food strip this weekend, for the first time in weeks I saw someone other than Tiger John. A black cat immediately came across the pawbridge when I loudly dropped the top on the feeding station. It was One Ear! Whom I haven't seen in at least a year. Right behind him was Vannie. So we have at least three cats still working in the fast food strip in Ithaca.

One Ear looked rough around the edges, so it looks like it's time to catch them all for shots and a look-see.

So, Kat, you are caring for at least three, right now.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

We still have kittens in the house.

And they may think they are big and tough.

But they are really quite silly, as all kittens are.

Many more blog posts to come, but I want to give each their due above the fold!

Sadie has left the room.

Actually, Anne helped her pass over yesterday, and I just wasn't up to posting it.

Thank you, Nancy, for your gift in her honor. Please give a hug to Jack for me.

And a thank you to all of Sadie's friends, who have shared their kind thoughts with us.

The only way I used to be able to prove I was sane was my claim to dog-caretaker-ship.

"Hey, she has 20 cats for adoption plus 8 pets cats. That's just crazy."

"Yeah, well, we do have a dog."

"Well, I guess that's OK then."

Miss you, Sadie.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Saying goodbye to Sadie...

(Sadie, with Mark, last year).

Who knew that the passing of a dog would be so much harder than the passing of a cat? Sadie is finally nearing the end of her days. She has had issues with her hind legs since she was young, and has had severe arthritis for the last two years. We chose to put her on drugs rather than put her down. She has been virtually pain free since then. But the cost of those drugs was the health of her liver and probably her kidneys. She's had regular blood tests to monitor her organ function. And then she showed signs of anemia at her last vet check and Mark began baking up liver treats for her. She liked those for a few months, but then began just letting them drop. "No more, please."

We also could be suddenly dealing with something entirely different. Cancer?

She has been going up and down these past six months, but this weekend it appears she's not coming back up. She's decided she no longer wants to eat at all, and she tosses up anything we do get into her. She's not just being picky, as she has in the past. She's saying "no."

So Mark called Anne, our vet, to let her know we will be needing her to come out some time in the next day or so. And we have stopped trying to force food down Sadie.

When cats get ill, they don't seem to expect anything of you. It's their own dying, and they are going to do it their way. With the cats who have passed from my life, it was clear when it was time to go.

But Sadie (who is sleeping here in the den with us right now) still is pretty happy about her regular routine things. She still wags her tail, still wants to go for her walks, even though "a walk" now is just a short excursion off the porch. She can still, just barely, make it up the steps. But if she stumbles on the way down, she stays down. She doesn't even try to get up until Mark sets her on her feet.

But she's dying. It's clear she doesn't want to go. But the body has just reached its end. She still shows no sign of pain, but her back legs don't bend and she drags her feet due to the arthritic stiffness. She's grown much weaker just today. Her lack of eating doesn't seem to be due to depression. She seems alert enough. She's just more food.

Dogs are so expressive. They relate much more directly to the actions of humans. They expect so much more, and feel that much more is expected of them.

I think she feels puzzled that she's not able to do what she thinks is expected of her. Go for her walks. Ask for her treats. Annoy Mark by coming over to push her head under his hand if he dares to talk to a cat. She just lays on her bed, and goes in and outside when we invite her to. She chooses to be in the same room as we are, so at least she's not avoiding us.

We wonder whether she'll be with us in the morning.

We are blessed that we have a vet who will come out when we need her. That isn't always an option in this day and age.

It's going to be awfully lonely around here.

Will dog-sit for flowers

I don't spend money on flowers anymore. I love having them around, but the cats have a tendency to tip vases to munch on those tasty pungent things, and I have a bad habit of leaving flowers around for far too long. I think they spend more time here as withered dead things than they do beautifying the house in their prime.

And besides, at 9.99-14.99 a bunch out of the store flower-buckets, that's a bag of cat food or 1/3 of a neuter. And of course EVERYTHING is measured in terms of cat food and neuters around here.

However I love FREE flowers. And of course, one doesn't charge one's friends money to watch their dog, especially a dog as easy to care for as Randy.

When Randy comes to stay, Randy's mom bring us these:

Our dog Sadie is very ill, so I asked Martha to bring one of Randy's beds so Randy wouldn't be taking up one of Sadies. Well, you could see how successful that idea was. Billee (tiger, ready to go to new adopter!), Squeak (our cat, not for adoption), and Jack (black) immediately confiscated the new cuddle space:

Thanks for the flowers, Martha! Randy's doing fine.

Rest in peace, Marvin

Thank you for being a faithful and loving friend to Donna, Tim, and to Gunsmoke, who will miss his companion I'm certain.

Dogs deserve heaven.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Sorry cats, it's back to grocery-grade cat food

My web page says "Please don't donate food! We have a source." Well, during the summer, the "source" runs out. Last summer I was able to stock up enough to make it all the way through, but this year, well, no such luck.

So the cats are on mid-grade Nine Lives and Purina, which means they'll get even fatter than they already are and gak up brightly colored cat gak due to the dyes. Please, cat food manufacturers, can't you get away from the brightly colored food?

(So yes, we are now taking dry food donations. It takes about three 16-18 lb bags a week to feed these guys and the Fast Food Ferals). And Cats Pride clay litter is always appreciated.

Sadly enough, grocery grade food costs me twice as much as my Science Diet did. And with no more Cats Pride at My Favorite Store in Ithaca (I DID look Nancy, really I did) I am now hauling out to Watkins Glen to the (okay I'll say it) Walmart there.

But the Walmart in Watkins gets big points! I always hate going through the line with ten bags of cat litter. I always get the anticipatable "Gosh, you must have lots of cats."

The lady managing the Walmart line in Watkins cast a critical eye on my cart and said "You must have a rescue!"

I could have KISSED her! When I told her she was the first person who had ever made that remark, she wryly said "Well, I try to use my brain."

Someone get her out of Walmart.

I tried to get photos of the cats. Really I did. But why, when you try to take a photo of yourself scritching a cat, does it always looks like you are throttling him instead? Really, Dude was purring. I promise.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Some things have to been seen... be believed

Thanks to Lynn, for sharing that.

Oh, uck.

Those of you who don't read my blog at midnight don't see the stuff I post and then delete.

The cats say: "Oh Lady. Grow up."

Thank God for cats.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Family tells me....

That people once had grand plans for an Ithaca/Elmira/Binghamton regional airport in Spencer way back when.

I can understand why.

Turn around, and....

You can see forever across Spencer.