Tuesday, July 31, 2007

"A cat walked into a bar, sat down, ordered a beer, and started to knit..."

A few weeks ago I received a polite email in my inbox from Meredith:
"Hallmark has recently developed a brand new line of 'New Humor' cards, and as one section of this new line, the writers and artists at Hallmark have developed a series of cards based on the funny, friendly, and loving relationships between cats and their human companions."
She asked if I wanted to receive some greeting cards, and perhaps share them on the blog. Meredith mentioned she has a formerly feral cat. Anyone feral-savvy enough to use the words "formerly feral" definitely isn't just sucking up to the cat blogger. OK, so Meredith is for real. Send those cards my way!

In a few days a generous bundle of cards arrived. I naively expected some brightly humorous messages I could send to say...my mom, or some of my donors and volunteers...

Well. Maybe not. Was that cat really drinking a beer?

These aren't really cat-people cards. These are "FRIENDS of cat-people" cards!

Cat purists may find it somehow dishonorable to perch cats heads atop the rough edges of human behavior. I showed the series to a few cat folk. A familiar expression appeared on their faces. It was that look of disgust exhibited when one discovers the cat has peed in one's favorite shoes.

Some cat people just don't get poop jokes. Cat people live in constant fear that their house smells like cat box, and they worry they are the only ones who can't tell. That is why we look so stuck up all the time. We aren't snobs. We are just constantly sniffing.

Now dog people get poop jokes. When dogs fart, people laugh. When cats fart, everyone blames the dog.

My friends outside the Great Cat Circle laughed out loud when they read the cards. So friends who know you are far too over the edge about felines anyway will probably find the series hilarious.

Especially those guy friends who believe you are actually quite unbalanced to rescue cats but don't dare pick on you about it. Until they have a beer or two or three under their belts, that is.

You know who you are, guys.

I enjoyed this next one. I may send it off to the many sewers and knitters in my family. Use two chopsticks to turn a ball of yarn into a sweater? Puuleeze. How do they DO that?

I refrained from blogging the scatological card. Yeah, yeah, no sense of cat box humor. I kept wanting to grab a scoop.

I decided to go track down Hallmark and Shoebox on line.

Oh look! Shoebox has a blog.

Thanks, Meredith! I'll have to choose my victims...er...friends, carefully, when I send them.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Cat-cam...yes, I know I'm behind on my surfing

Yes, I realize everyone else has probably already seen this, but perhaps there are a few folks like myself with no time to surf anymore. Check out the photographs of Mr. Lee's daily walks with the Cat Cam. The photos are amazing...especially those of other cats.

Thanks to the feral cats yahoo group, which I've started to wander back into when I have time.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Droncit available in a spot-on formula

This is interesting. Droncit (a tapeworm medication) is available in a spot-on treatment in the U.K.

Friday, July 27, 2007

On Protest, Shame, and Scorn.

Post-note, this article of relevance.

I've stayed away from "issues" blogging for a couple of years. It means I grind my teeth a lot, instead.

Over the past few weeks, there has been much in the news and across the internet concerning the Michael Vick case. When it first received press, I thought "Perhaps I should send Mr. Vick--whether guilty or not-guilty--a thank-you card for finally bringing the wider issue of pit bull fighting and its accompanied abuse to the forefront." This is a widespread issue that is well-known in the animal advocacy community. Its impact ranges from the hideous violence of the dog pit, to the flood of unwanted pit bulls that fill up shelter runs and rob shelter time and funds, and that have created countless pit bull rescues who spend many more countless hours and dollars saving and re-homing those who may be re-homed.

The Vick's case has resulted in numerous articles and heartfelt appeals, as well as YouTube clips intended to be scornful and amusing.

As time goes on, however, I see more focus on scorning or making fun of Vick, examining and in many cases demonizing aspects of hip-hop culture, than on education about pit bull fighting. Much of the "education" has focused on hip-hop, rather than the widespread abuse of pitbulls--not just as "professional" fighting dogs, but as trophy pets thrown into random street fights--that commonly cross racial boundaries.

And there are, of course, attempts to make a few bucks with T-shirts, etc., scorning or defending Vick.

As a humane officer, I was pulled in for a radio interview on a proposed pit bull ban in Tompkins County way back in 1987. The pit bulls I see attached to heavy chains in back yards or that come strutting out to meet anyone who pulls in a drive are connected to owners who are white, not black. This isn't a new problem. I'm no dog fighting expert, but this is an old, old, problem that has reached historic cultural levels in the United States. It's there, it's everywhere.

The neighbor with the pit bull on the chain that snarled and lunged at me along my own driveway right-of-way when I lived in West Danby, and who said---when I asked to meet the dog so I didn't need to face this daily threat---"But we want her to be protective," was white, not black. Every pit bull owner I met on complaints when I was a humane officer was white, not black. Every home I visited during a dog enumeration where pit bulls ran out aggressive at my truck was white, not black.

The New Jersey woman I spoke to two weeks ago--who had bred a litter of pit bull pups to sell as was astonished to find out she couldn't find anyone to buy them because "the local shelters are full of pit bulls that people can just adopt"--is white. Here is another person who is totally unaware of the problem of pit bulls, who nonetheless brought more into the world thinking "everyone wants one because they are cool." Will her unsold pups end up in a NJ shelter, I wonder?

Recently, someone reported to me that they had gone to a public meeting on feral cats in her area. She reported how many of the cat advocates were strident and impolite from the get-go--something that makes those of us who are trying to portray trap/neuter/return as a valid management tool wince in embarrassment. Uncontrolled anger and name-calling (without immediate provocation) causes our opponents to file us right back into the "crazy cat lady box."

Save abusive anger, I tell myself, for when the opponent shows disrespect or anger. Dealing out "abuse in defense of abuse", well---it doesn't work. If we are promoting reason, thoughtfulness and compassion, we should be reasoned, thoughtful, and compassionate.

As I laughed with other friends over the YouTube clips of pitbulls pooping on Vicks jersey, and a pitbull taking great care to methodically tear up a bear in a Vicks jersey, it wasn't until this morning that it I noticed that we were all falling into our usual American metamorphisis--we are turning this anti-dog-fighting campaign into an anti-Vicks campaign.

The larger-than-life and hideous crime of dog fighting (whomever is responsible in this case) is being overshadowed by our continuing desire to demonize a larger-than-life celebrity.

I sat and thought about the concept of shame for awhile. Shame has a place. An important place. Society has a duty, in fact, to dole out shame. Shame is punishment intended to alter the way people act. But I'm not sure a lot of the shame we deal out (myself included) really has that intention. Sometimes its intended to just gather all we "true believers" together so we can feel better about ourselves. So we can assure ourselves "We aren't like that."

We so often turn issues into something we can scorn someone about, or laugh together about, or use as our own opportunity to release our own anger at any number of frustrations in our lives. I recognized this in myself as I giggled over the YouTube videos. But why giggle in comraderie at a YouTube video while I roll my eyes at angry sentimental TNR protesters (with whom I share a very real and physical bond, and whose frustrations I understand, and whom I know are broke and tired)?

Is it because the YouTube scorn is more professionally packaged? Or because it's packaged so I can get a laugh out of it?

I sympathize both with the video creators and the TNR advocates. But how have the video creators managed to make me cheer along with them, while I silently beg the TNR advocates to "please grow up?"

So this morning I decided to go educate myself a bit on pit bull rescue. It seems that is a more productive way of channeling my frustration over the abuse of these gorgeous and generous animals. I haven't had much time, but I was impressed with these sites so far:

Pit Bull Rescue Central
Pitbull Rescue San Diego
Missouri Pit Bull Rescue

The Michael Vick website is down due to exceeding bandwidth. The pit bull rescues are not. Let go give the pitbull rescue in your region some well-deserved web traffic.

Post Note: The ASPCA just sent out a member emailing with this link to their pit bull education.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My friend Cary sent me books in the mail...

...from her library, as I had just sent her some from mine.

Ditzy says, "Uh-uh. Not your books. MY books."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Oh My!

New friends may not know Wildrun was originally a wildlife control business...with rescued foxes in the backyard. Before cats pretty much took over...everything.

Please, I Can Has Firefox?

Love this one! And no, he's not stuffed.

Hey, I was takin' a nap, here!

A Fast Food Feral snoozes on a shelter. I keep calling him Tiger, but gosh, I need a more creative name.

Very fuzzy, as I was using my cheesy zoom on my cheesy camera, and he was pretty far away.

The Sunday hike, Finger Lakes Trail

I took the camera along on our Sunday walk. The Finger Lakes region has so many trails. It is easy to find one that is a distance appropriate for the time you have available. The white blazes indicate the Finger Lakes Trail system.

The trail we chose bordered Finger Lakes Land Trust land.

The trail guide we were using was published around 1992 and cited a view at this point. Well...trees grow a lot in 14 years...no valley view, but still beautiful.

Mmmmmmm...snack time.

All of this region was former farmstead. Day lilies grew in swaths where the old farmhouse likely once stood, and Sweet William dotted the forest floor.

And there are the ever-present stone walls.

And old roads:

Mark had packed lunch, but the forest was quite full of deerflies and I wasn't keen on eating on the back of the hatchback, so we mulled over where to stop for a picnic. There are lots of options in Ithaca, but we were packing alcohol. Suddenly we realized we were driving right by a winery I hadn't yet visited. So we stopped at Six Mile Creek Vineyard for a tasting ($1), bought a bottle of their wine, and wandered down to their pond.

And walked over to the vineyard:

Ah, relaxation. We can't afford to really do "vacations" but since we live in beautiful rural NYS, a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine, and thou, are more than enough.

Oh, yeah, and all that yummy processed packaged food stuff. Well, nobody's perfect.

I would have appreciated having Oscar around...

....when my father was dying.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Drop Trap Video!

I got an email today from a gentleman looking for a drop trap, and I visited Laura Burn's blog about drop traps for the first time in a long while.

She has a video posted now! It's very cool, if you have not seen it. You can view it here or order it if you have dial-up.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Emmi had better be watching Animal Planet

Valarie, here's your foster child in the Metro D.C. region! (VA, actually).

From Elizabeth:

Emmi (I decided on that .. ) is doing great!!! She and Oliver were best friends after only about 3 days, which was really only 3 evenings because she was in my room during the day. They now spend as much time together as possible, and they love to curl up in Emmi's little popup tent together. I have a few pictures of that on my camera, which I will try to upload this weekend. I did, however, get an AMAZINGLY cute picture with my cell phone last night, so I will attach that. I was watching a baseball game, and Emmi went and sat right in front of the tv, looking up at it. I am sending it along for your enjoyment :)

Hope all the other kitties are doing well!

Thanks, Elizabeth! We definitely want those "tent" photos.

No Coffee and Kittens Today

My husband requests my presence for a hike in the woods.
Husbands come first, when they ask.
Otherwise they get taken advantage of and their wives sneak 30 cats into their lives.

I'm off to hike!

It's OK. You can read it!

She done good. The book is great.
Anyone local want to borrow this?
If not, I'll mail it out to any readers in the U.S. who would like to borrow it.
Let me know!

Post Note: Please, someone borrow this thing! I have read it three times and must get it out of the house!

Post Post Note: Taken! Thanks!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Best Friends rescues cats in Nevada.

I have to say, Best Friends is just amazing. They have chosen a niche, and do it well. Once again they are responding to help a community who has found out their local "angel"--an animal sanctuary--has fallen for whatever reason into animal neglect.

Even if though it would be impossible for Best Friends to respond to every sanctuary disaster situation, their media machine is great at illuminating the problem without demonizing others, and promoting adoption, adoption, adoption, and responsible sanctuary management. They call for physical and labor donations (food and volunteers), not just cash. And they have an impact on behalf of every animal shelter in the country by showing that even the worst situation can become a solid program once again.

Because they are so "hands on" and offer education opportunities at their own sanctuary in Utah, people listen and remember. I can't count the number of people I've met (in my own region!) who have either gone out to, or aspire to visit, Best Friends. I even met a Best Friends adoptee on The Commons in Ithaca.

(Photo from Best Friends).

Story and video here. It looks like a well-built compound. Did the caretakers become emotionally overwhelmed (financially overwhelmed?) It appears they had an acceptable physical infrastructure.

This is why many responsible rescues are closed-door when full, as much as the public hates it, and as difficult as the rescue finds it to close their doors. It's hard to say no, but this is why you HAVE to say no if you don't have the resources. And resources are something more than JUST space or JUST food or JUST money. If you get so tired you aren't alarmed when things go downhill, you are in serious trouble.

There is definitely a need for open-door shelters. But there is nothing wrong about being limited-admission if your program is not capable of massive admission or open admission. So long as you are honest about the services you actually provide. If you are only saving a few animals, you can't claim to be saving the world. And there is nothing wrong with saving just a very small corner in your own neighborhood instead.

Speaking of which, I'll blog a bit about skating on the edge of resources later. Right now that video has stirred me to go out and do my serious Saturday cleaning!!!!

Live blogging NPR

Story on NPR now on animal rescue right now....

They are quoting an animal control officer entering hoarding situations. The dogs (JR Terriers) are emaciated and clearly diseased. "The stench is nearly overwhelming..."

The hoarder is saying he thinks of the dogs as family. He has chosen to give them up "hoping they will get a new home." HSUS says hoarding is only the most graphic symbol over the overall animal overpopulation problem...

HSUS: "Healthy and adoptable animals are euthanized for space (in shelters) because they have run out of options..."

They discuss the growing movement of foster homes (Susan: Yes! Push those foster homes! Reach people and convince them to foster!)...."Most important is that the animals get socialized to people..." The fosterer already owns six cats herself, but fosters for the local shelter.

Narrator: "In parts of the country spay and neuter programs have cut the euthanasia rate in shelters in half."

HSUS: The next step is to convince people to adopt from shelters rather than purchase from pets stores.

The problem with cats is trickier, because stray cats form feral populations that are too wild for adoption... (Susan: Not even a mention of spay/neuter to control some of those populations).

Back to the dogs taken from the hoarder...

"These dogs are being eaten alive from the inside from parasites..."

Because the dogs are Jack Russells they are very adoptable, so have a good possibility of finding a new permanent home.

The officer smokes a cigar in his truck: "It helps to kill the stink" of some of the situations he encounters.

At night, he says, "I can't sleep because I haven't been able to get the animals out of the situation they are in."

Vista Print. Small business savior?

or the Walmart of office supplies? I have such an negative attitude about My Favorite Store (which stopped carrying Cats Pride cat litter, so now I need no longer go there), but I love Vista Print. So, what does that say about me? I want my cheap stuff but don't want other people to have their cheap stuff? Hmmmmm....

(That comment actually was not meant to be a reflection on Walmart or Vista Print, but a reflection on my own attitudes).

I love Vista Print (vistaprint.com). They constantly have free offers, which is a boon to a small cat rescue desperate to advertise, but who is constantly broke.

They must have been drinking too much coffee over there at Vista Print because they are running a huge freebie this month. I don't know if it's available to everyone, or just their longterm freebieites, but go there to find out.

I got all this for the cost of shipping (plus a few bucks for upgrade and extras I chose). So let's see. A custom t-shirt, 250 business cards, 100 glossy postcards, 20 greeting postcards and envelopes, a notepad, an address stamp, for about twelve bucks.

The t-shirt is really nice. It's a blend, but an OK blend. Click on the photo to see the products. I may buy more of the shirts at the full price next winter, which of course is their hope.

I wouldn't emblazon "Wildrun of Spencer" on shirts I planned to give away or sell. I like the graphic. I'm thinking something like "One less cat in the great outdoors; one more cat in loving home. Adopt a locally rescued cat!" or some such.

One blister and a flat tire

I've resolved to lose my gut and get in some sort of minimal good shape again. Anyone else out there who is over 40 with a pot belly understands my frustration.

This Dilbert cartoon makes me smile wryly.

When I was in college I was best able to improve in my workouts because I had a roommate who was also in crew, and a teammate who ran at exactly the same pace as myself.

Trying to exercise alone when you are relatively housebound (by culture, not physical impediment) and out of shape is a bit of a challenge. I've finally decided that running isn't going to work. Its not pleasant, and without a running companion, it's simply not going to happen.

Therefore the rollerblades. Oh, sorry "Inline skates." I highly recommend them to anyone with access to a couple of nearby paved exercise trails and dollars enough for good blades. Or alternatively perhaps you'll have the same luck I did and have a friend with the same size feet who bought really really good blades but decided it wasn't for her. That was how I scored mine.

That's how I score most of the well-built things in my life. Second hand.

I had originally purchased a cheap set of Kmart knockoffs about eight years ago, and immediately learned you were more likely to get killed than in shape in a pair of those. Gail cast a critical eye on my white-with-pink-accents knockoffs and said "I have some real Rollerblades at home that I'll never use again," and they were nice respectable BLACK...not purple, or pink, or vivid yellow.

Major score! What a difference. Friends are golden.

But after a summer of experimentation on the sidewalks of Ithaca College, I seldom got on them again. I was just too timid about hopping potholes and curbs.

Last week, I dusted off the blades, bought a cheap new pair of knee pads, and went in search of exercise paths. WOW...is it fun. I found two spots (to which I must drive....a drawback), the Rail Trail in Vestal and the Cayuga Waterfront Trail in Ithaca. I have to go to both cities now and then for errands, so will try to have the blades with me at all times. There were other skaters on both trails and all were thinner and faster than myself, but so what. I've lost 2.5 pounds in a week. I'll gladly look like a fool for that kind of result.

I could wear a purple mumu as I age, or inline skates, and look equally silly, so I'll take the roller blades.

Unfortunately I blistered my feet a bit and need to take a break off to heal. But it is surprisingly easy on the knees and joints, and definitely more enjoyable than running. On flat trails, the problem of how to stop fast is mostly a non-issue.

Unable to skate for a bit due to blisters, I turned to the bike. My bike is also a freebie, that Mark scored in his many contacts in the world of reduce/reuse/recycle. It's too small for me, but it's a good bike. For my birthday he got it spiffed up, but again, I didn't use it.

I finally purchased a helmet two weeks ago (for both blading and the bike) and took the bike out for a ride with Mark Thursday night. Hey, that was also fun! We rode about four miles out to look at some bridge construction and headed for home. Mark of course was soon far ahead...

And that's when I got the flat tire.

3.2 miles from home.

And it began to rain.

Oh well. Walking is exercise, right?

On my long walk back pushing the bike, I began to wonder how long it would take Mark to decide he should come looking for me. A rainstorm helped push it along. It started pouring at home and when I hadn't showed up within ten minutes (I'm impressed---he expected me to arrive less than ten minutes after him!) he jumped in the car and fetched me just as the serious rain began. I only ended up walking about a mile and half.

So the bike sits with a flat tire.

I still have my rowing machine. This instrument of torture is the best exercise machine you can own...if you can afford one. We used to own a Model A which was a discard from my college crew team, obtained for a donation. It lasted a few years before totally falling apart.

We now own the Model B. We couldn't possibly ever get a new one, but we again asked my college crew coaches to let us know when an old erg was being removed from the lineup. Last fall one became available. So for a donation to our alma mater we got an erg that wouldn't survive a crew team but will do quite nicely for a couple of forty-something non-athletes.

You really need to spend 20 minutes to a half hour on an erg to get any substantial benefit out of it. But because it is an all-body machine, ten minutes a day gets rid of some calories and gets the blood moving enough that I'm less like to sit on my butt the rest of the day.

So, we'll see how it goes. I'm down to 141 from 143.5, the question is, can I keep the momentum going?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Under-the-chair house feral , Schubert

Wow. A photo of Schubert without glowing green eyes. Normally he is staring at me in suspicion and his eyes come out like green lanterns.

Schubert is our unpettable house feral. He is about ten years old, and all the cats love him. He doesn't have a nasty bone in his great big body, but he won't let you pick him up or pet him. He recently was diagnosed with diabetes and is being managed via diet. I always feel privileged when he actually comes out and lays in the open in my office some evenings. This is the first year he has allowed himself to be seen in a relaxed state by humans.

Did a lot of work in the "cat room" today.

I painted two walls, which came out looking more like cream than lavender. I think I'll get a darker shade for the long wall. I also replaced the carpeting on the scratching posts (finally!) and replaced that beat up wooden box on the wall near the cat box with a wooden crate instead. I took some photos, but it was so late the light was lousy, so I'll try again tomorrow.

I always tell people that if they are interested in one of the shy cats, they'll need to come at night. For all you visitors who have never seen any of the cats in the "cat room" actually out of their wall beds and on the floor, here you go:

They get braver after dark! Even little Bug! (the white with black cat).

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tompkins County SPCA says FOSTER HOMES NEEDED.

900 cats! Got a guest room? You can be a a hero

The vet says Ivan must have a sit-bath once a day

Back in the collar again...

(Note: Ivan is a personal cat, not a rescue, no donations please. I mean, yeah, he was a rescue ONCE, but he's our cat...).

Thanks Cleo and Becky!

Cleo and Becky finished making up cat mats from the material left over from our working weekend. We now have about 14.

I also picked up a braided dog toy at a local pet food store and went "huh, I could makes these." So I did. And so can you! Click the photo for a larger image.

Just buy some neat fleece the next time you see it on sale, cut it in 1.5 inch strips, knot three strips at one end, braid it a bit, then knot the other end. Instant cat toy, and two yards (two different colors, one yard each) will make you a load of cat toys for the holidays!

Go for it! We are. With no sewing required!

I bought two more gallons of paint. One is a lighter shade of the Creamsicle, for the long wall in the cat cage room.

The other is....Petfinder Lavender! For the cat room. Actually, it's way lighter than that, but because the carpet is purple, it seemed like a good choice.

And BTW volunteers, that new nasty smell in the cat room isn't the cats. It's that huge plastic towel bin off-gassing. That's what I get for purchasing things on the cheap. So that may get moved downstairs.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

TWO cats in cones

I mentioned earlier in this blog that Billee has a potential new home. Her adopters were going to drive down to see her and what happens?

She gets an upper respiratory, of course. Argh! My house fosters never get sick!

So I emailed her adopters and asked them to hold off a week. Well, she got over her sniffles and is her normal bright eyed and sweet self again...but then got snagged by one of our cats in the forehead. No big deal, except she decided she should scratch it. And scratch it. AND scratch it.

I don't adopt out sick cats or cats with abrasions that need attention. So when Ivan got a new e-collar because his first one had gotten soft and floppy, I slapped the old one on Billee. She can wear hers down like a skirt because I just need to keep her back foot away from her head.

It took her an hour or so to walk forward instead of backing up, but now she's acting like it's no big deal. She even climbs to the top of her cat tower, no problem. And it sure doesn't stop her from rolling over for her tubby rubs.

AND she can't scratch her forehead abrasion, which is healing nicely in 18 short hours. So hopefully her potential adopters won't have given up on her by the time she's all in one piece again!

Billee, do you know how hard it is to find homes for squishy adult cats, even if they are cute as sin, have ear tufts, travel well in cars, are halter trained, and have the cutest belly in the world? Don't blow it, girl!

Underdog is a mutt!

So happy to see that Underdog is a mutt rather than a purebred beagle--about as all-American a mutt as you can get, too. You'll see any number of Underdog-type mutts at most shelters in central NYS. Let's hope Underdog creates a run on shelter adoptions of beagle-basset-hound type mutts!

The trailer is a hoot. You can view it here if you haven't already Click on "bloopers" (which are silly) and then on "trailer." When I heard this was being made into a movie my original thought was "oh, spare me." But it looks like good doggy fun.

One good thing about the digital age..it probably makes movie-making a heck of a lot less rough on animal actors.

Unless, of course, now that they can make animals "do incredible things" they actually subject them to more stress to get the variety of expressions they need and want to manipulate.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Wow, mom. Good drugs.

Ivan's perineal urethrostomy seems to be successful! He peed this morning all on his own without a catheter. He is definitely out-of-touch, given his twice daily dose of pain meds but he sure seems a lot happier now, and doesn't even try to turn around to bug his back end.

However we have to make sure he doesn't pull those stitches out, so I'm still sleeping on the couch with for the next nine days. He goes back to the vet on Thursday for a checkup. I give him a warm compress and his pain meds twice a day (the warm compress to remove blood without having to rub him), his Baytril once a day (which he HATES), and lots and lots of attention.

I can't believe how affectionate and tolerant he has been through all of this. He had two fits of "OMG if you bother me any more I'm going to bite you, I swear!" but other than that, he has been purring and attentive.

I'm not quite sure how we would have managed all this if I didn't telecommute. Ivan has been one lucky cat, all the way around, mostly because his vet is Cornerstone.

Gas exploration moves to the next stage

I wouldn't normally blog this, but it was kind of interesting to see the helicopter drop equipment for natural gas exploration up on our hill today.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Rhett turns four!

Happy Birthday, Rhett, a few weeks late!

I canNOT believe it has been four whole years since Eugenia called to ask for help when three feral cats gave birth to 14 kittens under their city of Ithaca porch. We snagged most of them in one night, and 12 ended up testing positive for FeLV. Twelve FeLV kittens!

Eugenia and Phill gave six of them the run of their house, and gave the kittens all warm and loving (indoor) lives until illness took five of them, at ages ranging from six months to two years. But here is sweet Rhett, passing his fourth birthday and doing great. Eugenia said he did test positive for FeLV again last fall.

If love can keep a cat alive, Rhett will live a long and wonderful life with Eugenia and Phil (and the Motley Crew feral cat colony that they care for as well).

Thanks for visiting, Eugenia, and for the photos. Good luck catching Scrappy!

No Coffee And Kittens tomorrow 7/8

Due to Ivan's surgery, there will be no Coffee and Kittens tomorrow (Sunday July 8).

However we did have an adoption this weekend! Guess who's got a new home? She's going to be living in the Washington D.C. area:

As usual, Shakespeare lobbied hard, but it's hard to compete with those cute kittens!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Whuff. What a week.

Well, Ivan is hanging in there for his Sunday surgery, and so I am. We are having what you might call a bonding experience, since he can't be left alone any appreciable amount of time, as he may get a hold of his catheter (a second time) and chew it off. I'm lucky he likes to sleep next to me (REALLY likes to sleep with me) and sleeps the whole night through, because I've been sleeping on the couch with him for almost two weeks now. I've always been a big one to fall asleep on the couch, but frankly, I've had enough of it.

Yesterday my internet connection wigged out and Ivan's catheter blocked, so I took him into town to see the vet, and they generously babysat him while I worked from the Smart Monkey Cafe (which has wireless access and really good fruit smoothies). A gentleman was working on his laptop at the next table, and we did finally exchange polite commentary after working near one another for hours. About a half hour later I heard him say "Hi Mark!" and I only looked up because my husband's name in Mark. And there he was--my husband--who also knew the gentleman next to me.

Is there anyone my husband doesn't know?

I may try to work from the cafe once a week. It was nice to hear humans and have a change of venue, and having my husband drop in was rather nice, too. Perhaps on Fridays, when I often need to drop off and pick up cats from the vet? We'll see.

I hope you all had a great July 4th! Apols. for the lack of blogging. Between the problems with my internet access and the many trips to the vet, blogging fell by the wayside.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Midnight gift in my email...

It's 12:50 am and I was sitting down to blog about the very enjoyable Coffee and Kittens we had today (we even had two dog visitors) but checked my email first. And found this, from Donna, which she made today. Adopters take note! Your sweetheart may be in here:

Donna, thank you so much. I have to say...I am wordless. It never ceases to astound me the great many unexpected gifts we receive from people...gifts of time, of thought, of love. The people find and care about our little barn in the boonies, and the street cats and backroad cats that find their way here, well, it makes me wonder why I ever assumed that "no one cares." So many people care. There are so many incredible people in the world.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Where our water comes from.

Hmmmmmm....I think we'll make more frequent use of our Brita.