Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Espie believes in cable...Adopter photos

Here's Espie when she first came to us...kittens in tow!

I'm so glad to see some of these long-termers get homes!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Whose cute little face is that at the top of the stairs?

Could it be Dude?

Thanks, Debra. We're all looking forward to more, as he gets more relaxed in his new home.

I finally tracked down some Dude baby pictures!

Here's what he looked like the night he arrived, poor guy.

July 2006. Dude is almost three years old! Whoa, time goes too fast.

Tucking in the cats

I feel badly that I have not been posting more photos of the rescued cats. Mostly this is due to my failing camera. But that is a cop-out, as I have a pile of gift cards (by way of an award from work) to a camera store to replace it---I just need to pick one out and make a phone call.

Faith, Hope's mom, is such a little pistol. She now bounces right down out of her cage to be with the other cats, although she's still not quite sure of them. She loves the laser-pointer, and she plays with anything and everything. She is the cutest little cat that's come through this place in a long while. Maybe she's filling the spunky-black-and-white-girl-cat void left by Espie? Her fur is pretty dull, probably from her year on the streets. Given how shiny little Hope is, I'm betting once this sheds out, she'll be as pretty as her daughter.

She is so happy to be warm and well-fed. It's a joy to watch her zooming around the cat facility. She tends to trot rather than canter, and I've never seen a cat trot quite so quickly. I didn't think cat legs could move that fast.

I have someone in mind for her for a home. I'll let you know how it goes.

Quite the productive day

Every second or third Saturday is trash day. Once the weather warms up, it is almost every other Saturday because you just can't let trash cans full of cat litter go three weeks in the hot sun. Trust me on that.

The trash didn't even fill 1/3 of the truck, so I drove down to the lower barn to haul out yet more junk. I packed the truck full.

I've caught kittens (and a mom cat) for the Tioga County Solid Waste folks, so we get along pretty well. There's always a little cat chit-chat when I come in--not much, because they are always pretty busy. Today they pointed out their new wall-of-honor for their customer's visiting pooches.

They actually go right out to the parking lot and use their own camera to photograph the dogs riding shotgun who have accompanied their owners to the transfer station! I told them I was going to put Arthur in a harness and bring him in for a photo next time I came in, so there's a cat on the wall of honor, too. And I may just do that. Not much bothers Arthur.

On the way out to the transfer station, be-bopping over the hills, I noticed a sign for a maple sugar house. As I had promised to bring real maple syrup to the Humane Society of Schuyler County's pancake breakfast tomorrow, it was like fate dropped it right on me. I took a sharp right on the way home and got the most delightful surprise.

I thought I was going to find an open sugar house with the owner splitting wood outside or engaged in other chores to end up the season, and he'd come wandering over to let me in and sell me a quart of syrup. Instead, as I wound down the narrow dirt lane behind the dairy barn, I found a roped off lawn full of cars. It was an open house! OK, cool, LOTS of people buying maple syrup and getting tours, I thought.

Then I walked into a full fledged seriously country pancake breakfast! It reminded me of the roadhouses in Alaska, with the low ceilings and board walls. A young woman immediately invited me to sit at the bustling family-style tables, and I said I was just there to buy syrup, but I was grinning from ear to ear I was so surprised and pleased. Dad pointed me to the wall of syrup (liquid gold...ranging from tiny shot-sized bottles, to gallons. My quart was $16, and worth every cent). I paid at the kitchen window and Mom (I'm making assumptions here) was frying up a glorious pan of eggs. They were beautiful. The place was full of the sound and smell of cooking food, and the rumble of conversation and laughter. Maybe I should change my mind? But time was short. I asked how often they had an open house, and they said just once a year, the third Saturday in April--unless it was the day before Easter.

So remember that! I swear, I'm rounding up all my friends to go next year because this place was just about as as perfect as you could get.

Here you go! Real maple syrup for tomorrow. Although this time of year, you never know. Someone may have donated real syrup to the Humane Society for this event.

I love living here. Every time I contemplate moving, I run into something like this and am reminded of what I would never find anywhere else.

World of Pets Expo Today at the Ithaca mall!

Nancy, Wildrun fosterer, adopter, friends, and groomer extraordinaire will be there from noon to six today, so stop and say hi at her booth for The Grooming Room! If your dog needs a brush-out or nail clip, she'll take care of that for you today.

Have fun, Nancy!

Pancakes for pets on Sunday

Anyone else want to join us? It's a benefit breakfast for the Schuyler Humane Society at the Montour Falls Moose Lodge, Route 14, tomorrow, Sunday April 19.

It's $6.00/adults -- $3.00 children, and children five and under - Free. I realize my earlier post said $5, but that seems to have changed (and $6 makes more sense, anyway).

Judy will be there, and Debra and perhaps her mom and sister? We are planning on arriving at 9:30. If anyone else wants to meet us, let me know at info at americancat dot net (convert that to email address form). It's a good reason to get going in the morning! And they even say they have vegan options.

I'll try to remember to bring the real maple syrup!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Time to go out, Bear!

Bear has been taking advantage of the ton of work I'm churning out by sneaking into the snuggle ball by the bed and attempting to camouflage himself under kittens, hoping I'll forget to banish him to the cat facility for the night. Unfortunately for him, he's just too darned big.

Sorry, Bear, time to go visit the shelter kitties.

Monday, April 13, 2009

From a friend, today...

If you want someone who will eat whatever you put in front of him, and never say its not quite as good as his mother's...

.... then adopt a dog.

If you want someone always willing to go out, at any hour,for as long and wherever you want...

....then adopt a dog.

If you want someone who will never touch the remote, doesn't care about football, and can sit next to you as you watch romantic movies...

....then adopt a dog.

If you want someone who is content to get on your bed just to warm your feet and who you can push off if he snores...

...then adopt a dog.

If you want someone who never criticizes what you do, doesn't care if you are pretty or ugly, fat or thin, young or old, who acts as if every word you say is especially worthy of listening to, and loves you unconditionally, perpetually...

...then adopt a dog.

BUT, on the other hand...

If you want someone who will never come when you call, ignores you totally when you come home, leaves hair all over the place, walks all over you, runs around all night and only comes home to eat and sleep, and acts as if your entire existence is solely to ensure his happiness...





...then adopt a cat!

And for our dog-owning readers: grape and raisin toxicity

I didn't have a clue. Read about it here.

On the road for Easter

I stopped by to visit Jasper (the blocked kitty in the post below) and Zuzu on my way home today from Easter dinner with my family. Jasper's photos came out fuzzy, but Zuzu was turning herself inside out to get my attention. What a sweet and silly cat! (Valarie, Zuzu is the kitten you rescued).

Tinker discovered my armoire in the bathroom when I opened the door this morning. Oooo....fuzzy camouflage pants to snuggle into! They make me laugh. It's always good to have something to laugh about.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Vets and urinary blockages.

I have yet ANOTHER adopter who has taken their cat to their vet for a urinary blockage only to have the vet:

A) not do a urinalysis to determine if the cat has crystals in his urine and what type and

B) has NOT put the cat on a prescription diet to deal with whatever crystals he has and has just sent the cat home with antibiotics and instructions to be on "wet food."

I am so mad I could just SPIT! This is the third cat that adopters have called me on that have been back to their vet multiple times for the same problem, racking up huge bills, and the most basic work is never even done. A blockage can kill a cat. This is not something to mess around with!

These are three different vets! What the heck is going on? In this case, it's not even as if the vet thinks this is just a basic urinary tract infection. The vet even mentioned crystals...but did not prescribe a diet to fix the problem!

I am at a loss. There really are only two issues that bother me in veterinary medicine: the tendency of veterinary hospitals to move away from providing emergency care and referring clients to very-high-priced emergency clinics to cover evening hours (resulting in some of my past adopters choosing to let pets die or euthanize pets because they cannot afford the emergency fees after their first experience in this system), and the repeated feedback I get from adopters about blocked cats not receiving what "used to be" standard tests (urinalysis) and treatment via diet.

Post Note: Edited to remove "God damn it!" from the subject line, although I still feel like it should be there.

From Debra's Facebook page:

"Dude was downstairs last night playing laser tag. Let your friends know that Dude Easter Pics are coming! Take Care."

Whoo hoo! Shy little Dude is coming out of his shell in his new home.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Hope keeps Angus company

Angus is back from the vet, feeling pretty miserable, and Cary has sent us a shot of Hope keeping him company.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Not a good day for our adopters' dogs

Two of our closest friends/adopters took their dogs off to specialists today, and the news was not the best for either.

Hope's buddy Angus went in for a dental issue that turned out to be a large mass that has gone to biopsy. Angus is a shelter mascot, beloved by lots of kids, not to mention his mom Cary, so please send good thoughts his way.

And Jack (at left) -- owned by Nancy, who adopted Gizmo -- has a fatty tumor that, while not life-threatening, could cause some limitations in movement down the road, which is the last thing a mature dog needs. Nancy reports that "When he (the vet) got in there to see, he found it really grown into the muscle already - too close to the ligament and lower leg blood supply to remove. It is not bothering him much now, and that invasive surgery would have made him worse off. So the good news is no major surgery. the bad is that it is still in there. Hopefully it will stay a slow growing lypoma, and it will never bother him much." I'm partial to Jack because he reminds me so much of our Sadie dog.

A rough day for two good friends. But both have great vets and wonderful homes, so we'll be lobbying for happy endings! How can they not do well with all those kitty-vibes surrounding them?

Everpresent communication

By the wonders of modern technology (camera phones and email) adopters and friends can wake up and send me photos of their adopted cats while they are still brewing the coffee and rubbing the sleep out of their eyes.

Morning Simon and Cary!

Monday, April 06, 2009

A "real" home apparently suits Espie!

This is the lady cat who ruled the cat facility with an iron paw. "Don't even THINK of cuddling with me, thank you!"

Apparently being in a real house and home with plenty of love has mellowed her in short order.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Prayers for the victims at the Binghamton American Civic Association

There is a prayer service this evening. What an incredible tragedy, aimed at people who do nothing more than help other people. You watch these events on television, tell yourself "thank goodness it hasn't happened here yet." And then it does.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

I seem to recall a resolution...

...to blog every day. Like most resolutions, it is shabbily treated. There are cat boxes to clean, floors to vacuum, cats in the cat facility to tuck in, and a big orange stray outside I'm hoping ate the food I put out for him. How did it get to be Thursday, by the way?

Last week I was at the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies 2009 conference, which was really a lot of fun. For those who watched me whining on Facebook, you'll know it was an adventure for me to get there and back, what with canceled and delayed flights. Why I didn't drive...I just don't know.

Nonetheless it was a great conference. I made a point of going to the feral cat presentations of course,

as well as wildlife diseases, and then I spoke on wildlife handling. The conference committee was great, the exhibitors are getting to be old friends, and I'd just seen some of them at the Animal Welfare Federation of New Jersey conference four days before.

Most conferences have some sort of fundraiser, and silent auctions are deadly to me. I was a good girl this time. I was after this silly stuffed cat, but another attendee thought it was cute in its homeliness too, so when the price got around the cost of a neuter, I bowed out.

I'm afraid I did buy a sweatshirt I've been lusting over for years. (Ivan is lying outright on my forearm, purring his head off. Perhaps he's happy to see me blogging again? Or maybe he's hoping he'll get a Cheeze Doodle)

I really encourage anyone who is interested in animal welfare to pick one conference a year to go to. Before I got a job in animal welfare, I would go the the NYS Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference. I had no money, so I usually camped or slept in my truck, but I loved hanging out with people who cared about animals, and I got to meet all sorts of people who became life-long friends. My "vacation" each year was always a conference.

Every field has professional conferences. In animal welfare, we are lucky that there are more and more of them, so sooner or later, one is close by.

But now I'm home, safe and sound, at least for a bit. There are new feral cat adventures on the horizon for us--more on that to come!

And MORE pancakes, this time for Schuyler Humane

Benefit Breakfast for the Schuyler Humane Society
Montour Falls Moose Lodge, Route 14
– Sunday April 19
$6.00/adults -- $3.00 children
Children five and under - Free

Traditional Breakfast and
Vegan Breakfast

Raffle for Dog and Cat Goodie Baskets

The Schuyler Humane Society website is at www.schuylerhumane.org

Anybody want to go?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Kitten Palooza in NYC!

Do you ever wish there was a course in caring for those little feral spitters that you are trying to make into purring house kitties? The NYC Feral Cat Initiative is holding three workshops to help you out. For you lucky folks near NYC, you will want to check it out.