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.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Last weekend's ranking: "Very Good!"

Note: names and links still need to be added, and you can be sure there's a typo or two.

At the very last minute, I decided to throw together an adoption event for's 15th Birthday. I wimped out a bit, and did not put my address in the press release, because I really wanted people to RSVP. We have restrictions on adoptions --- indoor only homes, etc. -- and it can be awkward for folks to show up and then be told that no, that can't have that kitten if they plan to let her outdoors. If they email or call, I can send an application and they'll know ahead of time.

Indeed one person who inquired went to the Cortland County SPCA and adopted a cat instead. That's makes me as happy as if one of my own were adopted. A rescued cat is a rescued cat!

This event was going to be held downstairs, to show off the new vinyl that took so many four-letter words to lay down, that I did not blog about it. I am so happy with it. It has entirely changed the look of the downstairs. Here is the floor before the cats from the house were brought out to grace my electro-colored cages, as my mom looks on (thanks, sister Kathy, for taking the photos!).

Tyler had been adopted earlier by Kim, who had adopted Hope this winter. She visited with Portia while she was here, and shared Portia's story with friends who lived in an apartment that required that cats be declawed. They arrived sharply at 1:00 pm as soon as we were open to the public. Portia lobbied well, and left to a new life!

Then Georg and Jazz arrived, having emailed ahead that they wanted to adopt one our long-termers. Afternoon is a really bad time to visit the shy cats. They all sit like lumps, hoping everyone will go away. TigerTom was no exception, but they chose him anyway. They had met him before, on an earlier visit a few years ago. I took some video of him that night so they could see that he really was, after dark anyway, a sweet cat:

TigerTom needs a vet check and a microchip before he can go on to his new life!

Georg brought along a whole bag of catnip toys she had made, which we immediately passed out to the cats. I have a great video of Morgaine playing with one, however it's not yet uploaded to Youtube.

In addition to adopters, Nancy, Brigid, Marina, and Lori came to visit and help, and my mother and my sister came absolutely laden with more homemade cat toys, and even a great plastic jar to display them. I also had all sorts of Petfinder swag to give away. Here's the loot we got, and the loot we were giving away:

After the event, I set the bag of toys down on the floor and stepped outside.

Thai got into them and gave them his feline seal of approval:

So three adult cats were adopted, which is HUGE. Jane from work posted TigerTom on Petfinder's Facebook page and he got 843 "likes" and 83 comments! The day before the event, a guy showed up at my door--cash in hand-- and had the old trucks hauled away within a few hours. We all had a fun time with the cats and having some food and good conversation.

Alas, but the goddess of fate can never let things go unchallenged! I went out to tuck in the cats at dusk, and waaaaaaay down the road I heard something that no one wants to hear:

I could hear the kitten squalling as night fell, far from the house, so I grabbed a crate, flashlight, and can of cat food. I didn't need it. All I had to do was keep mewing, and the kitten kept squalling. And there she was, in the grass just a foot off the pavement--- a three and a half week old Manx kitten with a bloody nose from being thrown out of a car.

She still needs to be bottle fed, and she has finally calmed down a bit.

So, down three cats, up one kitten!

This is why I don't like publicizing that I have a cat facility. Immediately after putting in the press release, I began receiving email after email from nice people who had had cats and kittens dumped on them. I still haven't been able to answer them all. And obviously someone figured they'd just bring me one of their own.

Still, it was an A-plus weekend.

More photos to come. Now I really want to just go feed that kitten one more time and go to bed!

Except I have to do one more thing: Check out the adoption counter at Petfinder to see how the numbers are rolling in:

Three of those ten THOUSAND plus weekend adoptions are ours, out here in the middle of nowhere, at Wildrun.

Adoption much to say, so few hours to sleep

Tyler, Portia, and Tiger Tom were adopted!

Lots more to say...tomorrow....

Sunday, July 10, 2011

4:00 am upgrade

Yesterday I started the re-paint, re-floor project in the long-term room of the cat facility. It hurt to rip out and throw away the carpet I had been so proud of five years ago, but it was time to make the switch to vinyl, for health reasons. It also will be nice to cross vacuuming off the list of twice-daily tasks. I'm sure Donna and Tim will appreciate the break as well, when they care for the cats.

Last year I had started painting the room, and had chosen a pale lavender. That was a mistake. First of all, the walls needed to be primed. A yellow cast came through the paint, turning it a hideous blah gray. Second, the room has only one window, and really needed a brighter color to perk it up. So the project stalled, and there it sat.

Yesterday I dragged everything out of the room, painted while the carpet was down so I could feel free to make a mess, cut up and carried out the carpet, and laid out the vinyl. It's the flexible kind, so you can abuse the heck out of it without worrying about tears and creases. It costs more, but I would have destroyed a cheaper vinyl trying to lay it alone.

I also had to remove the old carpeting from the posts they use to climb up on the wall perches. That was a joy. And then put new carpeting on. I had a little left over from the carpet I put in the house last year.

So here is what it looked like before:

And here it is this morning:

Because I needed to get the cats back into the room, I had to keep working until it was useable again, so the cats and I were partying up there until 4:00 am. They are quite active at night! Then I had to herd them back in, since the new floor and the paint smell made them wary. But they seem quite content this morning.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

It's a "Go!" Short notice adoption event next Saturday!

Want to Help with our Adoption Event?

Next weekend is's 15th Birthday, and they are having a nationwide Big Birthday Adoption Weekend with a goal of adopting out 15,000 homeless pets. Wildrun is going to be open Saturday 1-4pm. We have KITTENS and lots of lovely friendly adult cats. We already have two "friends of Wildrun" who have indicated they would like to adopt next week, so we have a good start!

Our events are small, friendly, and low-key, but it sure helps to have other people. You never know--with the extra publicity, we could get a crowd! We need a few volunteers to:

Greet people

Assist with parking

Take photos

Freshen cages

Help paint this week!

Relax afterward!



Petfinder Big Birthday Adoption Event at Wildrun

SATURDAY, 7/16, 1PM - 4PM

WILDRUN - Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Purina One food recall


MDA issues consumer advisory for Purina One Vibrant Maturity 7+ Adult Premium Dry Cat Food ST. PAUL, Minn. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is alerting consumers to avoid feeding or handling the lot identified below of Purina One Vibrant Maturity 7+ Adult Premium Dry Cat Food which was manufactured in November, 2010 by Nestlé Purina PetCare Company (NPPC), of St. Louis, Missouri. State agriculture department product sampling determined one bag of the finished product to be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. The company is cooperating with MDA, and is investigating the matter. This advisory is limited to product bearing the following lot code information: Product Name: Purina One Vibrant Maturity 7+ Adult Premium Cat Food Bag Size 3.5 lb. "Best By" Date & Production Code*MAY 2012 03341084 1936L11 Bag UPC Code 17800 01885 *"Best By" Date and Production Code is found on the back or bottom of the bag. There are no reports of human or animal illnesses associated with consumption of this product. Consumers are asked to discard the product if they have any at home. For further information, please call NPPC toll-free at 1-800-982-6559.

Girl Bob is all grown up!

Girl Bob is now Hope, and her family has sent us photos. They feel she needs a somewhat bouncier friend in addition to her cuddle buddy pictured here, and will be visiting next week to see if anyone we have here (Tyler perhaps?) might be a match! After all, they were pretty close friends when she was still here.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Kittens, laughter in fur

I'm fond of telling people that it's best to get an adult cat, because then you can have some idea of what the cat's personality is like. Do you want a cat who will greet your visitors? A cat who prefers to sit next to you rather than on you? A cat that will remain overtly playful? A stoic cat? Then adopt an adult cat whose personality is already pretty clear.

I also like to say "kittenhood lasts only short while." Then you are stuck with what you get.

However, I can't blame people for wanting to enjoy that "short while." There is nothing as cute and as fun to have around as a kitten. They remind us of what it's like to live in the moment, when everything is new, and it's OK (and even preferable) to be slightly dumb, and surprised by everything we encounter.

I know I'm really enjoying these four I have now. I need to get them FeLV/FIV tested and out of here. Their ear mites now seem to be under control, and they are as friendly as can be. I wish I could say the same of their mother, who still hides in the closet.

There is a reason there are so many kitten videos on YouTube. People just want to take a moment and laugh.

Although there's no guarantee that your kitten will grow up to be Maru.

Cute stuff - "CattyStacks"

They call them Catty Stacks. Cute,huh?