Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hurricane Gustav and Gulf Coast pets/animals

Hurricane Gustav is headed for the Gulf Coast. A massive evacuation has taken place, but of course there are still people and pets in the path of the storm, and the storm could shift to the east or west. has a blog with updates on the storm, and information they receive from members and organizations involved with regional support.

If you learn of other blogs or up-to-the-minute online sources, please post them in the comments, and I'll add them to this post. I'll be moving this post to the top of the blog each day.

Updates: The following sites also have up-to-date information:

Best Friends Animal Society via their Twitter feed.

Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) via their home page. forums (Thank you, Connie, for the ARNO and NOLA links).

FEMA has a registry for people attempting to local displaced family members

Let's hope and pray Gustav that lessons learned from Katrina shine, and rebuilt levees hold. So far we've seen a successful evacuation, and pet-friendly evacuation buses. Let's see what else we've learned.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Music to mow to.

Yesterday I was mowing and this song came on the radio headphones. I thought I'd share.

The only other version of this on YouTube had scary promo photos of Montgomery Gentry. The lyrics on the screen distract from the song, but you can always close your eyes.

I appear to have caught myself a stomach bug. Lovely.

"You can't see me!" Adopter photo

Holly mentioned this photo when I ran into her yesterday, and I told her it sounded way too blog-worthy to pass up. And Yes, Holly makes her beds. It's just that Jack unmakes them.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A wandering Saturday

What a sweet day.

Got up. Made coffee, bottle-fed kittens, cleaned the cat facility, hugged cats, read newspaper with Bear on the porch with coffee and some (old) donuts. Lamented that 6 donuts is too many for a single person to eat before they are no longer fresh (small store, no bakery, can't buy less than six). Checked garbage level in garbage cans, and money level in wallet, and determined trash run could wait until next week. Washed dishes, picked up house, answered email. Drove to Ithaca, fed Fast Food Ferals and South Hill Cats. Waved at staff member at lumber yard. On the way to the Farmer's Market, passed lawn sale. Uh oh. Turned around. Found tacky artificial tree that I've always wanted ($75 in stores) for $7. Bought tacky tree. Discovered it had tacky dragonfly string lights already on it. Laughed. Went to Farmer's Market. Knew no one, but enjoyed the crowds. Noted that flowers go for $15 a bunch. Didn't buy any veggies because I could get them from Spencer farm stands on the way home. Drove to various stores looking for planters on sale to grow fall lettuce on the porch (failed; nothing on sale; I'll find something in the barn I can use instead). While in Walmart, grabbed a cart and stocked up on 8 bags of cat litter and 2 bags of Purina Indoor Cat cat food. Now I don't have to go into town at all the rest of this week.

Ran into Holly (Jack's mom) in Walmart and got updated on Jack's health issues, and enjoyed some human conversation as well! Parched...bought a soda off the McDonald's dollar menu. Started to head home and then realized I had meant to get a library card because I've re-read all the books in the house (previously I used Christopher Robin's card). Turned around, drove to the Tompkins County Library 25 minutes before closing, got myself a library card, and took out three books. While leaving, ran into Nancy J. on the sidewalk, (adopter of Romulus, Wizard, and Rune). Went out to dinner at Diamonds (she paid to save me the walk to the ATM; I'll pay next time).

Great conversation. Real human contact!!!!

Drove home. Scraped paint off the house for an hour. Put tacky fake tree in the Great Room. It looks wonderful! And seven feet tall. Laughed at tree again. Mowed until dark. Called my mother. More great human contact. Went out and bottle-fed kittens. Cleaned cat facility. Tucked Bear into downstairs of cat facility for the night.

Counted myself damned lucky. What a great day.

Friend/adopter's grooming blog

I've been enjoying reading Nancy's grooming (plus) blog Hair of the Dogs at It nice to have blog friends close by, so I don't feel quite like such an anamoly. There just aren't enough hours in the day to talk to everyone by phone, so it's nice to be able to check in on other people's busy lives at any hour, by blog.

If you haven't been following the blog comment I've learned this week that beautiful Ramona and Harper from the Caturday blog(who live in NH) came from Paradise Gardens, which is about an hour and 45 minutes from me, and does great work. Caturday is a blog I've been reading a long time, and they do great work, too, taking gorgeous photos for their local shelter, and probably a lot more I don't know about.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cosmo(ic) coincidences

The other day, I received a gift from the Stouts, which will take care of Lily's spay, plus some.
"Here is a pittance in memory of two friends - Russ Colton and John Goodrow. And for Linda Barton, who did something freakishly nice for us when she absolutely did not have to. :) Love, C and G, Peet and Paat."

And on the same day I received an adopter photo of Cosmo (kitten photo here), one of the kittens that C and G rescued. All grown up and obviously well-loved:

Here is to kind people all across the spectrum, who are friends to one another, and by being friends to the person next to them, reach out an unknowing hand to another person down the line.

Pass it on. Just pass it on.

With much love to you all, from Cosmo's rescuers and the friends they honor, to Cosmo's adopters.

The Wildrun Clan

Caging feral momcats

I snitched this caging option from a visit to Paradise Gardens Animal Haven in nearby Woodhull, NY.

You take two standard wire dog crates of the same size, fold the back doors in flat on the floor, cover the bottom with towels, and provide attached bowls of food and water for mom, and low bowls for the kittens. The cages are held securely together --back to back-- with plastic wire ties (cable ties, zip ties, etc.) This provides room for the kittens to play. I added a sling in case mom wanted to get away from the kids. So far she has not wanted to.

In this set up, there are doors at both ends, so you can easily clean the cat box, or replace food, and play with the kittens.

To get mom and her babies out of the previous cage and into this one, I placed the plastic lid to the Rubbermaid bin that is her bed right over the top of her and her kittens. And held it SECURELY when I moved the bin from the small cage to the new set up.


Isn't it a great setup? This is the second year I've used it, and it works great. The best way to learn new things is to visit other rescue organizations and shelters.

Just a quick plug for Niagara Falls

While I was traveling from Buffalo to Pittsburgh, it came to light that another speaker had never seen Niagara Falls! Well!

Should you ever be in Buffalo, the trip to Niagara is a mere 20 minutes, and it's easy in, easy out. The highway will spit you right out into the parking lot, and if you get there early, you may even be able to park right by the pathway entrance, as we did.

The American falls are only a 7 minute stroll into the park. You can walk over to the Canada side via footbridge. The signs as to whether a passport are not required were vague. They basically said that U.S. citizens should be able to get back with photo ID and supporting documents, but frankly, I don't walk around with my birth certificate in my pocket, so I guess it's time to get a passport if I wish to visit my neighbors to the north.

From the Canada site:
If you are a citizen of the United States, you do not need a passport to enter Canada. However, you should carry proof of your citizenship, such as a birth certificate, certificate of citizenship or naturalization, as well as a photo ID. If you are a permanent resident of the U.S., you should bring your Permanent Resident Card (i.e. green card) with you.

Get a passport.

Parking is only $10, and a ticket for all the of special tour options was under $50. We just walked in to visit the falls and headed out again. Given how quickly I got to Buffalo (3 hours) if I ever need to just get away for two days and do something fun and simple, I may zip over to Niagara and do all those silly things I've never done, like the Maid of the Mist boat tour.

The people watching options are endless, so while going with a friend would be optimal, going alone would be fun as well.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What is feral?

While traveling, I learned of a Critter Control franchise owner who was found guilty of animal cruelty for capturing and dispatching three feral cats in response to a complaint by a TV station concerning a colony of cats behind their building.

A pest-control operator will have to get his license re-certified but is not facing jail time after being convicted yesterday of misdemeanor animal-cruelty charges in Henrico County.

But Keith Copi, who operates the Richmond-area Critter Control franchise, said after court that the convictions further cloud animal-cruelty laws and will make it difficult for homeowners and businesses to deal with nuisance animals.

"You'd be better off trying to get rid of a homeless person camping in your yard than having to deal with a stray cat," Copi said.

He said that state laws defining so-called companion animals are so inclusive that animals ranging from house mice to snakes might be covered by state animalprotection laws.

Copi received three 12-month jail terms, all suspended, and was fined $250 for each of the three cats he gassed.

He acknowledged in Henrico General District Court yesterday that he gassed the cats he trapped in June in a parking area behind WRLH Fox 35 television studios in the 1900 block of Westmoreland Road. He said he was not aware of an emergency law passed in February banning the use of a gas chamber in killing companion animals; nor did he know that feral cats must be euthanized by a veterinarian.

Here, WVRA, a Richmond radio station, discusses whether feral cats should be considered companion animals.

Here is the Richmond SPCAs timeline in blog format (bottom to top)

The Richmond SPCA is responding to this situation by training community members in trap/neuter/return.

As a former wildlife control contractor who handled cats, I frequently spoke at wildlife conferences and explained to my colleagues that the killing of cats, whether feral or friendly, was not permitted by a non-owner. In NYS, if a stray cat shows up at your rural barn, no, you can't fetch the gun and shoot it. The cat could be someone's pet. In addition, it is illegal to dispatch a cat with a firearm in a non-emergency. CO2, while considered "humane" in the wildlife control field, is reviled in domestic animal control, and is often illegal for use on non-wildlife. In places where gas chambers are still used for dogs and cats, members of the community are fighting to end the practice.

The issue is not, to my mind, whether a feral cat is a pettable companion animal. It is whether a third party on the scene is capable of telling for certain that a cat in a trap is a born-on-site feral cat, or a lost pet cat. Or, whether that feral cat might in fact be treasured by someone. My Fast Food Ferals are neutered and rabies vaccinated. They are fed every day. Whether or not they can be petted, one can argue they have been provided with all the same care received by an outdoor pet cat. They are loved by the person who cares for them. Does "companion" really require physical contact?

Animal control shelters exist (and hold stray animals for 3-5 days by law in most cases) specifically to sift out the wanted from the unwanted. If your cat doesn't show up for a day or two, whether on your front porch or at your feeding station behind the local TV station, you can go to the local shelters to see if your cat is there.

If a wildlife control business sets traps and immediately kills your cat, you don't have that option.

In this situation, it appears to me the contractor used his natural resources text as his guide, rather than domestic animal control and animal cruelty laws. On one hand we can point at wildlife control manuals that state CO2 is the most humane option for dispatching raccoons, skunks, etc. and on the other we have state laws that specifically forbid its use on a raccoon-sized animal like a cat, on the grounds that it is inhumane. How can that be?

Is it any wonder that wildlife control contractors are confused?

Luckily, in NYS we have a wildlife control manual that gives WCOs a heads up on cats.

It was Mr. Copi who was charged with animal cruelty---not the TV station who hired him. That is the most important lesson for WCOs. When it comes down to the wire, the one held responsible is the one who took the final action. The business owner is expected to know the law, even if the TV station made the call and paid the bill for the removal.

Most of my friends who are WCOs have made arrangements with their local shelter to accept the cats they capture. Many of them include a donation with any cat they bring in. Some even are involved in TNR, if the landowner is willing to pay them for it. Others wisely say "no way, I'm staying right away from cats."

However, I do know at least one business who catches cats and then dumps them--unneutered and unvaccinated--at farms (with permission), thinking this is humane. This is also illegal in NYS, permission or no.

Unfortunately, in this case it still appears as if the point is being lost. The question isn't "is a feral cat a companion animal." The question is "how do we tell with 100% certainty that one cat is beloved and another is not?" Answer: "You can't."

Domestic animal control laws were put in place to protect the public and safeguard property (the pet). That is why there is a holding period. That is why cats and dogs should be handled by DOMESTIC animal control specialists (or with the cooperation of domestic animal control specialists), not strictly by wildlife control specialists for hire.

Only a holding period -- or reporting a captured cat as "found" to your local shelter -- can answer the question "does anyone care for this dog or cat?" before the decision is made to kill it or give it away.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Happy to be home

Thank you to Cary and Donna for taking care of my clan (house-sitting, even!) while I was traveling for work. Cary even sent me kitten photos daily, and took wee little Tinkerbell (aka Scrabble) home with her to continue bottle-feeding because she wasn't keeping up with her sibs.

I came home to a shining clean cat facility and very happy cats. Well, except feral Lily, who hissed at me when her kittens came tumbling over to say "hi" to me.

It's good to be home

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Emergency kit returned, and new FFF cat

I gathered together the very simple stuff that I normally carry in a cat crate as an "emergency kit." This is different from the standard trapping gear I have when I go out to catch cats. So we are back in the saddle again.

I went and looked for the kitten, and did not find him. In the light of day I could see there were four houses very closes by, one of which had called me about kittens before. So I left a note on that person's door to call me if the kitten surfaced...if he had not already.

Then I went to feed the Fast Food Feral, and this fellow was crossing the bridge to come over to eat just as I arrived.

He (or she) is new, and young--maybe just under a year old? He also doesn't seem feral. He just sauntered away, and stopped to look at me several times. So I'll get some traps out to catch him next week.

This is why Trap/Neuter/Return works. Not, as often claimed, because resident cats will keep new cats away. It's because the caretaker(s) visit every day to feed resident cats, notice new cats, and remove or sterilize them before they have kittens.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Reality check

I headed out tonight to feed Gillian in Ithaca, with some errands in mind, and a personal experiment that involved a diary and a dark restaurant. For some reason I thought it would be enlightening. In a way it was. But I don't much care anymore.

It was nowhere near as enlightening as the drive home. When I came down a dark straight stretch of Crumtown Road, there was a small yellow kitten in my headlights. Maybe seven weeks old.

This was nothing that hasn't happened a few score times before. I pulled over and could hear him mewing plaintively in the weeds. Good sign! Tame kitten! Probably dumped only that evening by some jerk. I stepped out and mewed. He mewed back, but farther away. I turned back to the truck.

And realized I had nothing. No net, no cat food, no pillowcase, and not even a damned flashlight for God's sake!


The kitten and I played a tormenting dance of echoing mews in the darkness until finally for the first time in my life I was forced to leave a kitten behind. With a flashlight, a can of tuna, and a net, catching that kitten would have been no big deal. You just locate the kitten, toss some tuna into his flight path, wait until he starts gnawing away, and net him.

But somewhere along the line, my own problems, my job, and lately my self-absorption over Christopher Robin's "walk-away" eclipsed something that has been core for me for 30 years. Not only was I without those basics, but I had driven around that way all summer! This wasn't one day's lapse. This was some huge hole I had let develop, and now there was a little mew in the darkness paying the price. I could keep chasing him in vain, and if he possibly had a momcat around, I would be chasing him farther away from her. Normally I would have flashlight and could cast around to find a glimmer of eyes.

But I had no flashlight. Not even a flashlight!

So I left him behind. There wasn't enough gas in the truck to get home and return, and the gas station in Spencer only takes credit cards at night. It was going to be morning before I could return, and I can only hope he uses typical dumped-kitten defense and just stays put. Luckily it is warm and not raining, and he was right near a house (no one home; I left a note). I don't even have all my friend's phone numbers programmed into my cell phone so that I could call for help. Another thing I've just neglected to do.

Driving home I was in shock, thinking about all the other holes I was letting grow larger and larger, eating up what used to be "me." I began making mental lists of what I need to do this weekend and early next week to stop this backslide.

I have been doing a lot to keep things in order. And that's important. And I've been happy with the progress--and still am. But what is "order" if you forget what you were doing all of this for? I've created this bunker mentality. That's got to go.

I have people coming to look at cats this weekend. I've also been putting off putting some of the really shy guys into foster homes (because if are unhappy in a foster home, it means some really tough decisions to be made).

Wildrun was so named because that's what I used to do: run around and catch wild critters--including wild cats. Such a simple thing. Yet all these other things developed over time: the spay/neuter movement, the cat facility, the public outreach, off-site adoptions, open houses, etc. Not to mention work, as well as just the day-to-day of life. And somewhere along the line, I took the cat crate out of the truck so I would have the space to haul some mundane thing (probably trash), and never put it back.

This isn't a matter of TIME. This is a matter of PRIORITY.

No comments on this post, please. This is something I just need to work out this weekend. I'm sure you've all had your own "oh shit" moments in your life. I just had one of mine.

Amazing Snarky Blog!

I was running through my bloglist today and picked up Fugly Horse of the Day from Pet Connection.

I've only spent just a few minutes reading it, and hey, this is a damned good blog about horse welfare, horse rescue, ethical horse breeding, and professionalism, with no punches pulled. I found the snarkiness makes you want to arch your neck and start kicking out about your own cause as well.

Yes, I do believe you can be a blog about "professionalism" even while using terms like "freakin' asshat." I doubt I could pull it off, but Fugley Horse does.

Hey, it's Friday! Be wicked productive at work today, and at quitting time, run like hell! Have a great weekend.

Nothing beats a good wash

Tonight I was invited to a regular "Thursday Girls Night Out". It was great to sit and listen to people laugh in a group again. Having Nancy's dog Jack at our feet begging pizza crust was also enjoyably familiar. I do miss having Sadie around. It's fun to listen to new people and new stories. And I will have to go back for another gathering, since I went and forgot the bowl I brought!

Thanks for the invite, Nancy!

Afterward, I went and stopped at two stores for the "pre-back-to-school" sales, since the shelves are being cleared of summer stuff. Normally I have a fairly large expense that falls due this time of year--but no longer. It sort of made it feel like I had an extra $200 in the bank (even though I don't really). I permitted myself a small splurge when I discovered 5x6 pillar candles and some porch string lights on sale. In fact, the candles were so cheap (and are now confirmed to burn very well and smell great too) I may go buy them out tomorrow so I'll be set for winter. And the string lights...well, I've been looking at them all summer and couldn't justify buying them full price. Now I'll have an incentive to finish the trim on the porch so I can hang them. I'll put them on a timer, and I won't have to leave the two automatic porch lights on all night long. That should save a few watts, and make me smile as well.

When I got home there were kittens to feed! They get cuter every day.

Scrabble is still too small for my comfort, but she sure knows how to pull on a bottle! As you can see, they are also learning to wash. Lily let me touch her head today. She didn't much like it, but she put up with it, and she has been oh-so-good about me handling the kittens.

Okay, the dishes are washed, Bear is tucked in the barn, and it's closing in on 2 am. Time for bed!

A kitty litter box for humans

No, really!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Emmi explores

Emmi is checking out the big, big house. She started in the guest room, graduated to the upstairs, and down has ventured down. She deals well with being hissed at. When she's had enough of being followed by Ivan or Squeak, she growls, I hear her, and rescue her.

She very much likes windows.

Eight years of blogging

Yes, really!

It occurred to me that the Election is this November. I had begun my Cat Out Loud blog out of my disbelief that George W. Bush could possibly be elected way back then, and my fear that he would.

Eight years!

The blog lasted longer than the marriage. :)

And so did many of you.

Hug your cat, hug the ones you love, and send me a toast on the weekend, will you?

Oh, the dog? Oh, yeah, I guess the dog will do for a hug, too (just kidding; I love dogs, too)

Love you all.

Raise your hand if you remember the late, great, Edloe. If you do, you are a true cat blogger. And probably old, too. Ha!

If not, Google "Edloe" "R.I.P." and you'll see the most blogged cat on the internet. And you can read here about how cat blogging began.

Drat. If that link takes you to a registration window for the NYTimes, go here instead and then click on the very top link.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Letting it go.

I discovered today that Christopher Robin apparently took a solid week off and left town to continue his journey in storybook land...and left Gillian and the south hill cats to go unfed for what would have been seven days, without thinking to give me a heads up so I could feed them, or arrange for them to be fed.

I drove in tonight to feed them, and I should be able to get out each night the rest of this week as well. At first I was angry. Then I just took a deep breath and let it go. This is the way it is; the way it is going to be, and my getting angry is not going to make one whit of difference. In Christopher Robin's toy box, the rest of us are plush animals, and plush animals don't feel pain.

Lily's kittens are getting restless. It's time to set up a back-to-back cages with a box they can crawl in and out of. Bear is interested in them, but I'm not sure he wants to play with them...or eat them. So we'll just keep him away from the kittens until they are larger and mom is FeLV/FIV tested.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Nancy has a blog!

Local readers will know Nancy C., a longtime fosterer, friend, barn-painter, cat shelter builder, and all around life saver. She has begun a blog on her new venture into the world of dog grooming.

This is the third adopter/fosterer to start a blog! Valarie posts her photography on CNY Photography and Martha has begun Pots By Martha.

Saudi Arabia bans dogs and cats as pets

Every once in awhile you read something on the internet that causes you to think "this can't possibly be real"

And "If I post that, sure as heck in two days it'll turn out to be a myth, or misunderstood."

Out of the many blogs that are posting on the subject, that particular posts seems to address a variety of issues rather than just the "pets as ways for men to make passes" issue.

The kittens grow...

...But little Scrabble (at the far back, Scrabbling to get out) is still quite runty compared to siblings, so Scrabble is fed KMR an extra four times a day. Lily lets me take them from her, but when I remove the first kitten I usually lay a small towel over her head. I mean, look at that face? Would you take those kittens away? The day I decided to trust her is probably the day I'd get nailed.

She's such a good mom.

Willow is an older feral kitten we took at the same time as this family and he is not interested in taming up at all. He is a little wild child.

So what are garbage bags doing in a photo about kitten feeding? Well, they don't belong. But the next task is cat box cleaning. I'm about to let Emmi out of the guest room to meet the clan, but I'm not sure how fussy she is about shared cat boxes. So all the cat boxes are getting scrubbed, filled, and the cat box areas mopped.

Maybe we'll get an Emmi picture next. Maybe.

First up, Jack and Holly

Saturday, I finally made it over to Cayuga Heights to visit Jack and Holly. It took an emergency to do it. Jack was partially blocked, which he kindly announced by peeing brown urine in Holly's tub. She took him to the vet that very day. A urinary sample revealed crystals and blood, and now Jack is on Baytril (for his urinary infection -- the blood) and (must go look up brand of food!) for his blockage.

Male cats have very very narrow urinary passages. Some cats develop crystals and stones due to an imbalance in the ph of their urine. Because the passage is so small, they can causes blockages, and irritation. Irritation can cause infection, and scarring can narrow the passage even further. And we know what happens then!

Jack was lucky in that he had an observant mom, and he wasn't blocked. So hopefully his new diet will clear him up. He wasn't being a particular helpful boy about taking his pills, so I showed Holly how I put the cat between my knees and pop the pill down his throat, if the cat is a wiggler. She was already familiar with the move, but hadn't tried it on him yet.

I had a wonderful lunch with Holly, with Jack peering cautiously out the window as we sat on the deck, and she sent me home with Jack's dry food, and a load of canned wet food for the Wildrun cats.

It was great seeing Jack! He's grown up into such a handsome fellow, and has a huge handsome house to match.

Time to get blogging

As usual, it is the poor blog that gets the short end of the stick --- which means everyone who clicks here each day hoping perhaps to see something new is getting the figurative rolled up newspaper on the nose, too.

We're a bit short staffed at work: staff on work travel, staff on vacation, vacant position, so I've been busy. Nonetheless, I recognize that I've got things I need to wrap up in short order, and thanks that I need to post here before they are forgotten.

In addition are the home improvements, namely painting, at this point, because painting is affordable, and paint weather is running out day by day. Soon it will be winter, and all of this, indoors and out, needs to be finished up well before then. It's big house. And since its a dramatic house outside (red) I've decided it should be a dramatic house inside. I painted 1/8 of the Great Room and stared at it for three solid weeks before deciding that yes, I do want a dark brown ceiling. So, here goes!

Quite a change from the "barely tan" walls and white ceiling of yesteryear.

(As I sit here on the porch blogging, Bear -- the cat who managed to haul open a latched door in the barn and break out a window this winter -- right now cannot figure out that if he pushed the unlatched walk-through door of the barn right now, he can get out and join me up here at the house. It's not without reason that I call him "BoxOfRocks").

So watch for much-belated posts on every thing from donations, to new kittens, to friends.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Feline body types

I was reading over my blog comments today, and clicked on a commentor's name, and found their blog. I didn't read carefully , because, of course, I progressed straight to the photos. And after I reached photo number three I realized, these weren't mainland U.S. kitties.

It's interesting that when you look at photos on the various cat blogs, you can tell our wide-faced usually double-coated North American cats from the narrow-faced sometimes single-coated cats of warmer climes. There is some overlap, but after you've looked at enough street cats, on enough blogs, it only takes a click or two to realize you aren't in your own back yard.

Guess who's back.

We have a "no questions asked" return policy.

And sometimes, it gets used.

Emmi is back.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Thanks to everyone, for being there

Yesterday the song "You Find Out Who Your Friends Are" came on the radio while I was driving, and seemed fitting given that I had dinner with Nancy last night (kitten fosterer extraordinaire, shy-dog fosterer for the TCSPCA). The excuse was that she wanted to set up a blog, but mostly we talked, I ate her wonderful dinner, and we talked and I healed. And I didn't let her free until 11:30 pm.

Note to self: Buy a watch today.

She's working today, but I'm looking forward to seeing her new blog up and running, with her adventures in learning dog grooming. And maybe she can ultimately share some shy-dog socialization tips when she has another foster. Socializing cats is a picnic compared to socializing scared adult dogs.

Today I'm off to see Holly at noon, for lunch, to pick up cat food, and to visit with Jack. Jack has some urinary issues, unfortunately, and is being a bad boy about taking his pills. So there should be a blog post about neutered-male urinary issues coming up.

And I have emails from adopters and colleague that I have not yet answered. Whoever thought that cat rescue would bring so many great people into a person's life?

Anywhere, here's the song. And I think the best part about having friends, is the water in the face at the end. We all need a good cold dose of reality sometimes, and THAT's what friends are best at. :)

I could do without the gratuitous bikini shots, but hey, it is country music video sung by a guy.

After my trip to town, it's "clean the cat facility from top to bottom" day. I've been spending so much time working on the house, the cats are surely feeling lonely watching me out the windows. "Hey, come paint OUR rooms!"

Friday, August 01, 2008

For once...

An entirely different sort of animal tale.

Silence = busyness

My photo blog of Lily and her kittens was a bit of a cheat, the other day. Although I'm sure people would far rather see kitten photos and no words, than words and no kitten photos!

For the family and close friends, I just want to let you know that things are going pretty darned well, under the circumstances. The lawn is staying mowed, the house (exterior) is slowly getting painted, and the inside of the house continues to be defleaed (as I call it) of years of accumulated clutter, and room by room I am painting things up. Mr. Natural Gas Guy has been a regular visitor, and it is the gas lease that will enable me to keep this place. I hope I have managed to protect the property well enough with amendments.

As I dispose of things, and finish paperwork responsibilities, things are slowly becoming more and more manageable. I highly recommend streamlining life. I don't recommend divorcing to do it, however!

The next task to add is an overhaul of the cat facility, or "Tabby Abbey" as I've recently dubbed it (No, that is NOT the new farm name). Now that there aren't as many humans around, it seems like inanimate objects are getting names, rather like naming your boat or car.

There is SO much junk that just needs to go. Nuisance cages need to be disposed of. Tiny plastic crates that I have used need to be washed and bagged up. I haven't used them for years, but I do periodically give them away with kitten adoptions. People give them to ME, so I have a pile of them, and they are no good to me if they are dusty when someone wants one. There is just too much "stuff" in the "headbanger" room (very low ceilings, therefore the name). I mean, goodness sake, I even have an autoclave. I don't want to give up my autoclave, but it's just going to rot if it sits here unused. So I guess I need to call Mr. Autoclave Guy, get it serviced, and donate it to a local spay/neuter clinic.

I have some really nice stuff that people gave me, but I have not used for five years or more. It needs to go. Every extra few seconds I spend maneuvering around unused objects (or cleaning them--again) are seconds lost.

And yes, there WILL be a party when the bulk of this work is done!

Lily has a runty kitten who needs extra feeding, so I'll pick up more KMR tonight. I'm going to make a spay appointment for Lily at the end of next week, and put the kittens into a foster home. They will only be four weeks old, but she doesn't seem to be producing enough milk for them on her own, and she needs to return to her colony before she forgets the territory. She is a great mom cat, but she is truly feral. She loves her wet food, though, and pokes her head out and sniffs every time I walk by, just to check to make sure I haven't left her some.

I'm going to be traveling a bit in the future and will have a cat-savvy housesitter. So does anyone want to foster some itty-bitty kitties for for about five days in a couple of weeks?

Debra (of the Waverly colony) came up with the great idea of giving this batch of kittens "game names." So we've decided on Yahtzee, Sudoku, and, and, oh drat, I forget. Debra? One of them is already crawling out of box (the runt--which makes her easy to grab to feed). I'll probably bring the kittens in the house once Lily is FeLV/FIV tested. That will thrill my house cats to no end. KITTENS!!!

Debra is also building a poster for Espie and Dude. Debra has great luck placing hard-to-place cats by postering the world on their behalf. Dude and Espie need homes of their own. They are far too nice to be stuck here. I'm so busy with personal things, it's easy to get complacent. It's good to have people like Debra to give me a kick in the butt about finding these older kits homes!

I do have some leads on places for two of the scaredy cats, and Kitty Corn. And I may have found a poor fool who will take Storm as a "I know I can't touch her but I have a big house" cat. Storm is actually quite cuddly with someone she knows, so hopefully she would warm up in a new home over time. Again, these long-termers need homes. They can't stay here forever. I never intended Wildrun to be a permanent cat sanctuary.

So that's the update! More kitten pictures soon!