Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Litterbox... blogging for Best Friends.

It's Blogathon!

Check this one out! I didn't blog as my chosen charity did not have an online payment system, and then I realized I'd missed the July 21 deadline. But that's no reason not to send some traffic onto another critter blogger. She's helping Tri County Humane.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Sorry so sparse on blogging... here's a picture of little Dude, who after having his face shaved at the vet, and ears cleaned, is feeling much better, thank you.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A very, very, very fine house...

A) I returned the "I had four kittens then didn't want to eat for ten days" momma cat to Swartwood (she's fine now)

B) Brought two more kittens (tentatively adopted) into the house, to be sure they won't catch some sneezy thing before they can go to their new homes, since one of the feral kids in the cat facility has a sneeze

C) Took in two feral females; they have spay appointments tomorrow. Thank you to Kathy on German Cross Road for lending us a really nice cage. I found one more in my back room, so I'm all set for these ladies.

D) I decided my own pet cats should have the photo highlight today, since they've been putting up with hyper kittens for the past few weeks, disrupting their lives. This is Ivan, the Russian-blue type, and ("Nervous") Nellie on the floor. And yes, Nellie is well-fed. Ivan isn't poorly padded either.


Check out the rejected mug shots.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I hate people who dump kittens.

Someday I'll catch someone doing it, and it won't be pretty.

This is what today brought us (the yucky stuff around the kitten's mouth is baby food). I got an email from our neighbors who have been victims of serious cat dumping, and yet another kitten had shown up. I had to go into town to pick up my lightning-blasted computer from Ohm Electronics, so I swung by to pick this kitten up from their garage. They had him all set up in a plastic cat crate, with a towel and two little bowls. We had assumed he was feral, and he had been on the porch near raccoons, so frankly, I was planning on taking him straight to the vet to be evaluated. Had he been feral, with raccoon bites, as well as sick, he probably would have been euthanized.

However, by the time I got my computer, the vet was closed. I took him home and thought "Well, I guess I'll give him a last meal of baby food." And that's when he started to purr.


He's totally tame. Someone ditched this little kitten to fend for himself.

He's had a bath (no bites on him that I could see), some eye meds, (Donna, are you still checking in? Thanks for the eye meds!!!!) and some baby food. He purrs like a trooper. Poor little guy. At any rate, this meant I was late getting back to work, so I'm working a bit late tonight.

Until I get a new wireless router, blogging will be light. My office is bearable for about ten hours before I can't stand the heat anymore. I can't bring my computer downstairs until I get the new router, and although I love ya'll, it's just too darned hot to work up here again until 9:00 pm when the temps drop. Once it cools down, I also need to spend time with the cats and get the fans in the windows to bring the cool night air in to prepare for another hot day.

So when the heat is nasty, there just aren't enough hours in the day.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A weekend to catch up...

Last night I returned the feral mom cat from Swartwood, now that her kittens are weaned and she has been spayed and recovered. The second mom cat was spayed yesterday, along with the mom of the feral kittens that just came in. I made two more spay appointments but the soonest I could get was next Thursday. So I'll take some traps by the neighbors house and have them get those two pregnant cats.

Since almost my entire office fried in the lightning (hopefully something can be salvaged from the computer, but the fax, modem, and the router are history)I need to spend some time today catching up at work. Thankfully I have my own laptop available.

Weekends are also "big clean" days in the cat facility. I have foster homes who are willing to take kittens, so everyone needs to get wormed, and treated a second time for fleas and earmites so they go out the door "clean."

Flyers need to be done, and kittens need to be updated online. We need to get them HOMES!!!!

Right now we are housecleaning. Uck.

I hope you all are having a productive weekend!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Let's hope they are right when they lightening...

...doesn't strike twice.

(sorry about the misspelling up there, but I don't dare change in case someone has linked to the post)

For anyone trying to reach me today, contact will be sporadic due to a lightning strike. The cats are all fine, but some electronics are DOA and this tree will soon be passing on to Woodchip Heaven. I'm back up on the internet, having gotten a new modem from the cable company and hooked up to my laptop. But my desktop is enroute to the computer doctor, and I'm hoping perhaps just a fuse got zapped.

JUST what I needed right now.

But, everyone is safe, and the tree didn't fall on the house---yet. That makes me happy.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Send thoughts or prayers to all those who need them.

I just got an email, that Donna, the lovely older woman I met just once, who owns the two female cats I caught eight weeks ago who had kittens here, is very ill. I only met her the one time, and she was so concerned about her cats.

Please send good thoughts to all strangers in need, and if there is someone in your life who would benefit from a phone call or a visit this weekend, or who could use a word or a hug, I hope you might share that, for Donna's sake, and the sake of all good people who would so appreciate some quiet company for a bit.

Blogathon 2006

If I were to blog for SOS, would anyone else stay up late to keep me going during the Blogathon?

I'm wondering if my wireless would reach to the cat facility and I could blog from there? Because I would definitely need something to keep me up for 24 hours. Hey, the 29th is a Saturday. Perhaps a party?

(Post note: Uh oh. I think the 29th is my husband's family reunion? Now what have I gone and done?)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Anybody local have large wire dog crates they can lend for three weeks?

There are some pregnant mommas at the same place where the kittens were caught who need to be captured riiiiiighhht now. Look at those bellies.

I can't believe these landowners are even still sane after all of this.

I think I have two cages, if I release my black momma cat back to her old home (someone has moved in who will feed them it appears), and move Sammy into the cat room.

I think the landowners here can keep the cats confined until they are ready to release. But if they catch some males before the females, we are going to need a few cages to keep them in.

If you are within an hour of Spencer NY and have a "large dog" wire crate kicking around that you are sure you won't need, let me know. I promise to return it.

Thanks again!

Okay, Knuckles isn't the only weird kitten in the world

Someone arrived on this blog by Googling "Kitten chews off own whiskers."

Knuckles had only whisker stubs, which just fell out this week. He did have a single whisker, and I took to calling him "One Whisker Running" until he chewed that one off, too. Mark now calls him Dash, although perhaps we should call him Energizer, since he keeps going, and going, and going....

He now has very fine new whiskers growing. I brought him in a kitten from the cat facility to play with. I brought him the biggest most active black fluffy one, and he's already played the poor thing into submission. But at least now he's letting his whiskers grow back. And he's stopped biting during play now that he has a kitten friend who chews back.

Gretchen and Troy, he should be ready to wreck havoc on your apartment again, soon!

"No pets" housing

I am a fence-sitter on the "no pets" housing issue. There are animal groups who take landlords to task for not allowing pets.

When I was a landlord, we permitted pets. We even permitted one big dog-aggressive pit bull. The owner took her bully-owning responsibilities quite seriously, thank goodness.

At any rate, this past weekend I was at the solid waste transfer station and a pickup truck pulled in behind me with a couch and rolls and rolls of carpeting. A weary looking woman and a male friend unloaded the carnage, which I assumed was flood damage.

The couch and carpet looked like heck. It looked like it had been through a flood, indeed.

She saw the signs on my truck and engaged me in conversation. She needed cat help. I said I'd help her out "because it's clear you lost everything."

"Oh this," she said, "isn't from the flood. This is from an apartment I rent. I let the tenant have a dog. One little dog. And the apartment is entirely destroyed. All the furniture. All the carpet."

What do you say to a person who has been set back perhaps an entire year's net rental income when the tenant's dog destroys EVERYTHING (because the dog owner did not care enough to walk or train the poor dog?) Will a $500 deposit pay for new furniture, new carpet, or a new gymsealed hardwood floor to prevent future problems? Not to mention that the place will still possibly smell?

So I can understand why a landlord--especially a small business landlord--after getting burned once, says "No more."

When I was an apartment dweller, Bramble used to launch herself up the fake woodwork...and slide down. When I moved out, I purchased new trim molding and replaced everything she had damaged. At another apartment, I moved out a week early so I could flea bomb the place well before anyone else would move in. I needed my deposit. That $250 was gold to me. That was a whole paycheck to me. Not every renter would take such steps, especially if the damage their pet caused exceeds what the deposit is.

Oh, but at the last place we rented, Bramble pissed at one spot by the door, staining the beige carpet a vague pink. She started having health issues and we stopped letting her outdoors. Peeing by the door was her method of protest. I'm afraid in that case we just cleaned it as best we could. We were bad pet-owner-renters, there. Mark did build two nice small decks on the place, so I hope they felt it was a fair trade!

I still can't find my camera...

so if you haven't already, hit up the The Blogpound for your kitten fix.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Netting kittens-looks scary, but they are safe now

Yesterday, a quick twenty minutes nabbed the kittens up the road. We put out a paper plate of wet food, making sure it was close enough to the side porch for the kittens to see and smell, but far enough away that there wouldn't be any obstacles when I netted them.

I forgot to send myself the photo of them eating, so I'll add that later.

We gave the momcat some wet food on another porch to keep her occupied. Once all three kittens found the food, I went over and crouched near them with the net. These guys were used to people being around, so did not run away. Usually the kittens will run away, but if you sit quietly with the net hovering over the plate (yes, your arm does get tired) they will creep back. Then once all three are eating, you bring the net down flat over all three. And you get a moment of panic until they all calm down.

Whenever possible, you want to net all of the kittens at once. If you nab them one at a time, the last ones often won't come out until they are really hungry. The last thing you want is one little terrified holdout hiding somewhere where you can't get them. The shy ones will sometimes only eat if they see their buddies eating. If you catch the brave buddies, then the shy ones won't come out at all. So be patient until everyone is at the plate.

Bring the net down flat from above and hold it down hard. Do not swoosh the net from the side, or lift it at all after bringing it down. They will dart out from under it, and you won't be catching them again anytime soon with a net.

NEVER let anyone help you get the kittens out of the net. Do it all yourself, so if any bites occur, you are the only one at risk. I would recommend thin flexible gloves, such as deerskin or police gloves. Big heavy gloves will be too difficult to work with.

The kittens can then be transferred from the net to the crate by setting the crate on end. I use a basic cheap Kmart fishing net. The mesh is nylon, so it's pretty thick and doesn't cut into the kitten. But it's big enough that they get a little tangled and you don't lose them. It's not so big that they can get their head through it (this kind of net is bad with medium sized birds, who can get heads and wings through the mesh.).

The first time you do this, if possible, carry the kittens in the net to an enclosed area (building vestibule, screened porch, in your truck, etc.) before transferring them to a crate, so if a kitten gets loose, he or she is confined.

Smaller kittens often don't use their teeth as their first defense, but if these kittens were much larger, they would have learned, so be careful! Your health department will not be happy if you or a "helper" gets bitten.

It looks traumatic, but they survive the experience and are safely crated. I put the plate of food in the crate, and they were eating again within two minutes.

Thank you to everyone for your donations. There was $90 in my tip jar when this started, and there is $280 there now. Sarah left $50 at my vet office, and Alice gave a check for $75 when I stopped by with her paperwork for her two adopted kittens. So we have enough to get these kittens and their mom fixed. I promise not to beg on this blog too much, but at this time I'm pretty much cash-and-carry. If I don't have the cash, I can't get the cats.

It's pretty unusual for us to have this many kittens in the system at one time (sixteen) that are all going to need vetting around the same time. Not to mention the adults who come through the pipeline as well.

The major reason I won't beg too much is because fellow not-particularly-rich cat caretakers always give money! I asked them not to give when I posted my appeal, but of course they did (and of course, I didn't say no). I know you can't really afford it either.

Thank you to you all! Congratulations. Via Internet, you just saved four cats from life as a feral. Hopefully soon they will all be curled up on someone's couch somewhere for the next 17 years.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Got the kittens!

Valarie called this morning and I ran over at noon (which, in my time, is actually 12:45--you can pretty much tack 30-40 minutes onto any response I promise you this summer). The kittens were really easy to catch by setting out a paper plate with wet cat food, and bringing a fish net (K mart, seven bucks) down flat over them. I have photos, but I can't find my camera and borrowed Mark's. My computer won't read his cards, so I'll probably have to ask him to forward them to me from his job tomorrow.

Valarie and her husband have four new female cats hanging out this year, and a few males. This is discouraging, since they got all the local strays rounded up and into homes last year. I saw the kittens' mom. She is very friendly and quite pretty. The rest are feral.

Valarie sent me this photo just now, of one of the feral females, chowing down on her porch. They will keep the adults, but we need to get them fixed before there are more kittens.

Valarie has just named her "Dixie."

I think it fits her.

Starry starry night...too

Whoa. I put up a thoroughly depressed post here yesterday, which I've resaved as a draft (I haven't deleted it) so it doesn't appear. I didn't mean to get quite that sad with the world. Thank you, Leigh-Ann and Bcats for your caring comments.

Oh, ow, and I see a long sweet email from my sister. Sorry Linda. I'm fine, I promise.

It is very depressing when people who know me adopt from another shelter outside of our county. Usually they are only acquaintances and quite honestly forgot about me or didn't have my number. Or they suddenly decide they want a kitten NOW and I am not open to the public.

Or they were driving by the shelter, and it was a spur-of-the-moment decision. Some shelters are frankly gorgeous, and people stop in to "see the building" and end up taking home a kitten or, better yet, an adult cat. Good for the shelter! That's the point of a gorgeous building.

A saved kitten in a home is a saved kitten, no matter where it is adopted.

Still, when you are sitting here thinking that gosh, that person mentioned they'd be wanting a cat soon, it will be so nice to find a home for one of these guys...and then you learn months later that they already got a cat, and they got it somewhere else, and not even in this county, where we so desperately need help, and where people call when they want a cat RESCUED...well. It is a let-down.

Well, enough on that. Mark would like to borrow the laptop.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

We are, after all, the "AMERICAN cat project"

"In the absence of governmental checks and balances present in other areas of our national life, the only effective restraint upon executive policy and power in the area of national defense and international affairs may lie in an enlightened citizenry.... Without an informed and free press, there cannot be an enlightened people."

(Sadly, even as I linked this excellent article about concerns with our executive branch, I noticed the CSM site has an ad that states you can get a $145,000 mortgage for $484 a month--a patent lie that draws a dreaming American further and further into debt. FYI, a $120,000 mortgage is going to run you over $1000 a month with escrow...if you ever really want to pay it off).

When my local college bookstore stuffs their bags with credit card offer, getting students hooked and in debt, and "good responsible" websites get profit from ads that similarly destroy the financial security of an American family, it's kind of hard to criticize our own government for causing the slow death of freedom here. We are all doing it...for our own profit...all the while claiming we are only supporting liberty.

Yeah, right. We are supporting personal profit. Period.

To anyone I have not called back...

I will today. I promise!!!!

The Blogpound has the perfect book...

...for people like me.

Also, for literal reading, Cats in the News has quite a few articles up.

Friday, July 07, 2006


This kitten just makes me smile. I can't help it.

And then there's Dustin, who always climbs to the to the top of the cages and then can't get down.

Gettin kittens adopted

The kittens are all getting to the adoption stage, which means I need to get my butt in gear to find them homes. Several have been adopted by responsible folk to whom I dare send a pre-eight-week-old kitten. I worry about them getting an upper respiratory here, since Billee and Esperanza both are getting over severe sniffles after their spays. While B and E are in quarentine downstairs, there is still the possibility that I could drag up upstairs. Every now and then a cat upstairs sneezes and I'm on pins and needles. But so far no one has resolved into the serious sneezing and congestion that B and E (and Knuckles) experienced.

So I've been taking photos to feature the kittens online and in posters. Above is a kitten I originally named Hobart (from a science fantasy book called Fool On The Hill, set in Ithaca, which features a feral cat, a stray dog, numerous fairies, a war, and a kite-flying hero on the slopes of Cornell University), until Hobart turned out to be a female (whoopsie!). Gretchen, who has been visiting at lunchtime from her job almost every day, is partial to her, and may be taking her home.

I thought I'd post "her" kitten's photo in case she wants to show her off to friends. :)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Spotlight on...the senior cats

I realize I haven't blogged much on my old guys lately. They are all doing really well so I felt I should post them so their visitors can get a glimpse of them. Sammy especially has come around. He has put on weight and shed out his old fur. He used to just hide in his cage, but now he comes right up to the door and meows for attention, even from strangers. I usually leave the door open to his cage, like this...

...and yesterday, for the first time he jumped out on his own. Usually I have to put him on the floor to make him explore. He used to just jump up on the windowsill to ask to be put in his cage again. Slowly he began checking to place out. I was pleased to see him explore on his own and forgot that the door to the "Big Cat" room was open. Sammy strolled right in, said "Hi" to everyone there, and proceeded to munch down on their cat bowl. So it looks like Sam will soon move into the Cat Room. I'll probably put his cage in there, too, and shut him up at night, to be certain he doesn't get picked on and to make sure he gets his k/d diet.

Miles has also put on weight and his coat has grown in nice and glossy. It's very fine and has to be combed regularly, because he gets mats easily. But they come right out. He loves to sit on my lap and get petted.

Gunsmoke is also in good weight. He and Miles (as well as Sammy) had their teeth cleaned (and some pulled) but Gunsmoke has a ton of old fur that needs to come out. Russian Blues have very dense coats. Luckily Smoke likes to be combed. My own pet cat, Ivan, who is also a RB type, hates it. HATES it. BITE THAT HAND hates it. But not Gunsmoke. He put up with having this clod combed out. And I can get a clod like that out of him every day. Once it's all gone, I think he'll be fine with just a periodic combing.

I would like to announce that I managed to post this with a kitten sitting on the touch pad. I think I deserve a round of applause from those who know that is no easy feat!

Monday, July 03, 2006

No room at the inn....

Okay. Here is the word.


The people who sent these photos need help, and I'm tapped out. I'm out of foster homes, out of room at my place, and out of money. The people who have these kittens have already rescue EIGHT cats/kittens dumped on their property so far this year, rescued five last year, and even sent me $100 this spring even though they themselves are spending money at the vet. They are an average hardworking family who happen to live on a rural corner where people dump cats.

They didn't ask for help. They just sent the photos. That's "HELP!!!" in capital letters, without the words.

If anyone locally can foster kittens, or send quality adopters our way, I'd appreciate it. That would get eight friendly kittens out of my place so these wild little guys can come in. I also have four kittens in foster homes now who still need homes.

(THANK you, foster homes!)

They can be seen on our Petfinder site I'll be sure it's updated tonight and tomorrow.

If you are not already rescuing cats yourself or have not already adopted from us and would like to help, anything you can put in the tip jar in the right hand column would help save these guys from a life as a feral cat. (UPDATE 11:00 am 7/4: $190 so far! Thank you!). Please, if you are already helping cats or already gave us an adoption donation, use your money in your own home circle rather than sending it to us!

And yes, you can visit us. Email for an appointment, and we are planning to be open to the public on Sundays from now on.

But at this point, the spring flood of kittens has wiped me out. If we can get these kittens now, they can be tamed and get into homes. If they stay out there any longer, they will be too old to become pet cats. We had four litters come through in May/June and we've got three litters out there who need to come off the streets.

Please, in your own community there are people just like us, helping cats (dogs, children, neighbors...) Take a moment to check your wallet and see if there is someone local you can afford to help. Do you have an extra room where you could play with kittens for a few weeks until they are old enough for adoption? Did your friend just mention their old beloved cat passed away and they are looking for a kitten? Did a neighbor get flooded out in the Southern Tier or in PA?

Send animal lovers to a shelter or a placement group like ours. We are everywhere! Send a donation to the Red Cross, or send a check directly to your neighbor, if they lost their property in the flood. Whether you are an "animal person" or a "people person" or both, this has been a rough summer so far.

This weekend I found a little mutt dog and went door to door in our rural backwoods neighborhood to try and find the owner. While I was very happy to knock on doors and see indoor dogs, safely secured, with collars and tags, it almost drove me to tears to see the Bichons, Papillons, Jack Russell Terriers, etc., obviously all purchased from breeders and pet stores. Not one mutt. NOT A SINGLE MUTT with a collar, tag, behind a safe screen door, sleeping in Dad's chair while he was in town.

Please! Adopt from a shelter! Why spend $600 for a purpose-bred dog when there are dogs in your shelter just begging for a home for $65--and may even already be altered!

Thank you to the woman I ran into at Cornell today who had just adopted a Ubiquious Black Lab Mix (named Albert, I think?) from Stray Haven in Waverly New York. You made my day.

We need your help. They need your help. Please, support your local shelter or rescue group. Get to know them first, if you need to. But help if you can.

If you can, please link this post. I really want to be able to help these kittens.

Two foster homes, and $300 bucks. That's what it would take to get these guys out from under these porch steps.

If you can foster (and live within an hour of Spencer NY which is between Owego and Ithaca) please email info @ (with no spaces and a real dot for "dot"). We can only take foster homes within an hour of us so if a kitten starts to sneeze or presents other problems, we can get him back from you ASAP and in to the vet.

Thank you for the response so far!!!! (July 4)

July 7--Thank you for the $280 in donations. I'll be trying to catch the little guys this weekend!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Thank you, Cornerstone!

I was just updating an old blog post that people were finding when they were searching for one of my vet clinics. When I checked out their own new website at" I found this:
We are also committed to providing for animals in need of special care through our work with local rescue organizations and individuals.
Cool! The street cats say "thank you," Cornerstone!