Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Petsmart Charities Feline Forum in Chicago

Last Thursday I headed off on what turned out to be a glorious "working" vacation in Chicago at the Feline Forum. 600 (yes, six HUNDRED) cat folk, and I spent the first few hours spinning around as I ran into people from every conference I had ever been to. "Hi there!" "Hey, YOU are here too?" "Wow, what have you been up to?"

You would think after so many conferences, things would sound the same. But as more an more experts and field rescuers work with cats in more and more situations, new ideas emerge, and there is no shortage of people willing to share those ideas.

I didn't "cop out" of a single time slot. Usually there is at least one period where you tell yourself "I've heard that before" and take a break to go check email. But there was none of that this time around. There were concurrent sessions (which means, as much as you might like to, you couldn't see them all). The speakers were all wonderful, but I can't help but think Kit Jenkins (Petsmart Charities) and her constant flow of new ideas is like catnip to a cat person, so I'll mention her by name. I went to her session just to hear her wonderful delivery, and ended up leaving with my head buzzing with plans for the cat facility and a slight sense of chagrin that it took Kit's contagious charm to get my ass back in gear and get some work done at home. But that's Kit's magic.

I took the redeye train from Syracuse to Chicago (arrived in Chicago at 9:30 am Friday, left at 9:00 pm Sunday) which gave me nearly a full day on either side of the conference to explore what I could of the Windy City. I spent my money in street cafes and on water taxis. The weather was beautiful and I wish I'd had more time.

I'd heard about the famous glass balconies on the SkyDeck in Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower). While the view was amazing from the regular windows, the glass balcony was less than spectacular. It seems I'd read somewhere that it put you "thirty-some feet out" but the glass really only extended about eight feet at most, making you feel mostly like a goldfish in a very small tank. There were so many people trying to get on, it just wasn't worth it. I would suggest going early in the morning.

As promised, here's my photo of the ground.

It was a bit more Disneyesque than I expected, but I imagine it has to be to manage the number of people who wish to get up there. It was only $14, and worth it for the view, the educational displays, and the chance to take some truly spectacular photos.

Some day I'll go back with someone who is into kicking around the streets and waterways. It truly is a beautiful city.

I went to check out Sunday, and nearly extended my reservation to see if I could stowaway into the next conference!

As usual, there is a quirk to every trip I take. This time my truck broke down only a quarter mile out of the train station on my way home. Ah well. All is well now.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Burp gets adopted

Burp was off to his new home on Saturday, which he is sharing with two beautiful English bulldogs. He wouldn't sit still long enough for a decent goodbye photo!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Biggest cat shelter in the world

I poached this from Nancy's Facebook page. Look how fast this is going up! I know it looks huge, but to realize how huge...look all the way to the right at the tiny human on the roof.


I'm betting he puts in cat doors. If he does, we definitely will get photos.

And look, Nancy also posted a photo of house feral Handsome, who had lived the previous three years outdoors until she trapped him again and hauled him inside off the countryside. Handsome was here for a short stay last week to go to the vet for combo testing and booster shots.

It looks like he's settling in well. Stay smart, Handsome! Stay inside!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Kittens get a pit bull of their very own

Fart and Hiccup (Fart is now "Maple" and they are wondering about "Lily" for Hiccup) have a brave protector.

Although they seem more fascinated with the tail than the entire dog.

Meanwhile, little Burp is sleeping alone:

Oh, no, don't worry. :) He's fine. In fact, he trundles around the house amusing himself and trying to decide whether he should take on the big kittens.

You know the kittens got a great home if I get pictures the very first day! Maple still has diarrhea, but he's eating and playing in his new home. I think I'll send some Bene-bac their way until the lab results come back on the stool sample. I'm betting it's a parasite, but there's also the chance I wiped out all his gut flora over-worming him or something.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Three down!

Henry, Fart, and Hiccup were adopted this week!

Henry went to live with a friend referred by Christy and Gordon.

Fart (black and white) and Hiccup (full orange) were adopted by a couple today. Fart unfortunately has come down with yellowish loose stool (coccidia? giardia? getting into the adult urinary diet? Being wormed yesterday) but his adopter used to work in an animal shelter, and promised to keep Fart away from her own cat, so we will stay in close contact. I've sent a stool sample off for testing, so if there are any creepy crawlies they haven't been treated for, we'll soon know. I also sent them off as "foster to adopt" so technically they are still mine and I can arrange to get them treated. Fart's temp. was 101.5 which is normal for a kitten and he was eating and playing normally.

Damned kitten poop!

I'm now wavering on whom to send to Cornerstone for the off-site adoption cage. I probably should send Francine, who is larger, rather than Burp. Burp would be fine alone, but he's still tiny and could go next week. Francine needs a home ASAP and soon will be too large for an off-site adoption cage.

Three kittens in good homes! Fart and Hiccup should get new respectable cat names now.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

New kittens and a new Wildrun friend?

Yesterday, as I was preparing to mow my lawn (leisurely, from the seat of my new lawn tractor, yeehaw!) an S-10 (good taste in trucks) pulled over at the side of the road and a woman leaned out. She's a friend of Donna and Tim--without whom Wildrun would be up the creek without a paddle when I travel--and lives up the hill past Valarie and Craig (another vital Wildrun neighbor). People dump cats on her property (surprise) and she gets them all fixed.

Big heavy sigh of relief on my part--no kitties for me to take and get fixed!

However, a recently dropped mom had kittens, and two kittens had abscesses. She was in a quandry about what to do with them. I told her to bring them on down if she PROMISED she was getting the mom cat fixed.

Why would I take more kittens?

A) She's a neighbor, and Donna and Tim mentioned me to her and
B) She's a CARPENTER. A "built houses" sort of carpenter. And she said she'd be happy to help us out.

And anyone who has been here knows one thing we could seriously use is a carpenter. There's a ceiling downstairs that needs to be done, trim around all the windows, a new door for the downstairs, etc. etc. etc. Even ADVICE in this area would be a huge help. She already was giving advise on putting a plastic barrier up on the ceiling before covering it. And she emptied her wallet out to help with the kitten's vet bill. You can just tell when people you meet are "just get this problem out of my life and have a nice day" people, or when they are "help me with this problem, and I'll help you too" people.

However, the kittens don't have abscesses, they have cuterebra larvae, and unfortunately it appears the grubs may have died, which means they won't fall out on their own. I've got the kittens on antibiotics and will drag them into the vet with me Tuesday morning when I take the other kittens in to go into the vet's off-site adoption cage.

They are kind of puny but are eating fine on their own. I'm supplementing with KMR as well.

I've received quite a few emails from people asking me to take cats and kittens. I have an auto-response on my email saying I cannot. I now need to get in touch with Alden to see if he's interested in revamping my web site. I need to entirely redo it and get info sheets in .pdf in there, so I can send people there. There are enough resources around here now that people CAN get their own cats spay/neutered (this neighbor proves it) but they do need some help. I can send them to alleycat.org or neighborhoodcats.org, but it would help to have some local resource pages to save people some time.

On the continued up side, I am receiving more inquiries about adoptions. Thank goodness!

Friday, September 04, 2009

This week in rescue...

I figured I'd best update you all on the cats that came through this week. The Lockwood colony had three kittens and two females dumped on it. The kittens' mom is still drying up so won't be spayed until next Friday, but Winky, the other female, who has an injured eye went in this week.

It's so funny to try and explain thing to vets and vet staff. The hospital points out that Winky will be just fine the way she is. I point out that no one want to adopt a cat with a hole in her head, and we should consider removing the eye once she's available for adoption. They are concerned about unnecessary surgery; I am concerned about being stuck with a cat who could get eye infections and that no one will adopt for fear of future vet bills. Luckily I have a wonderful vet office that doesn't mind that give and take.

Handsome is from the Duboise Rd cats. Nancy set a trap for him (trap/neutered in 2006) and has decided perhaps to make him an indoor under-the-couch tiger. I took him in for a FeLV/FIV test and booster shots. The vet found this nasty thing growing on him:

So now he has absorbable stitches and no more nasty thing behind his ear.

This is the kittens' mom, Grey Lady. She's the one getting spayed next week.

Sadly, the two female cats will go back to the Lockwood colony until I have space for them here. Carol takes great care of her outdoor cats, but they ought not be there as they are too friendly. As soon as I adopt out two adults, they can come stay here. At least they will be spayed, vaccinated, have shelter, and be fed.

People who dump cats should be dropped naked in Siberia to see what it's like. Jerks.

Oh, and here are the kittens. How could I forget?

And Cheeto and Fiona take over Molly's crate

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Phillip becomes an East Coast traveler

Phillip was adopted by Christy and Gordon, and immediately donned a collar tag and was off to Connecticut for an end-of-summer vacation.

I think Phillip is going to be a spoiled rotten happy little cat. What do you think?