Friday, January 30, 2009

Sleeping beauty...

There is an entire bed in my den. And except when I'm sleeping on it and Ivan dares to come up, it is the realm of a single cat. Ditz. She looks so sweet, doesn't she? Yeah, right. Tell that to any other cat that jumps up hoping to share one tiny corner of the four-inch-thick memory-foam, microplush covered bed upon which six cats should be able to sleep comfortably.

Nope. Just Ditz. She turns into a shrieking banshee should anyone dare. Even the Terrorist Kittens.

Speaking of which, I need to turn my attention to finding them homes in February. They have made me laugh, but they need people of their own.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

On gassing cats

Here is an excellent article on the less-common but continuing practice of killing shelter animals via gas chambers.
Barbara Mansfield has become an advocate for homeless animals, especially those that are euthanized with gas at many of the state’s shelters.

A resident of Pasquotank County, Mansfield is raising awareness about soon-to-be-introduced legislationadvocating humane euthanasia practices and a ban on gassing.

Although most of North Carolina’s animal shelters use lethal injection to euthanize animals, 32 shelters, including the tri-county animal shelter for Chowan-Gates-Perquimans and Hertford County shelters, use carbon monoxide gas chambers.

How gas chambers work: Multiple animals are placed together in the chamber. It is not pre-charged (because the chamber is fairly large, pre-charging would be dangerous to the humans placing animals inside). The length of time to unconsciousness is therefore quite long while the chamber fills with gas. The animals panic, vocalize, and struggle.

Sometimes animals may not all succumb to the gas. In unfortunately situations, when staff open up the chamber, a few animals may still be alive. The chambers either needs to be refilled all over again, or a secondary form of killing has to be administered. If lethal injection isn't available to begin with (otherwise, why gas?) the secondary killing form is likely to be a physical method, brutal on both the animal and the human who administers it.

(Note: small chambers are also used to kill sick or injured wildlife. These chambers are pre-charged with CO2 gas, only one animal is placed within the chamber and the animal is usually caged unless it is already comatose. If the chamber is not pre-filled, because it is so small it fills very quickly. Unconsciousness takes place in about a minute in a large raccoon, death within 3-5 minutes. It's still not particularly humane, in my opinion, but it is significantly different from large chambers that gas multiple animals, especially larger animals such as dogs).

This comment from the article is very telling to anyone who has experienced burnout in an animal shelter or animal laboratory:
Bass advocates use of the gas chamber statewide and claims her colleagues prefer the use of a gas chamber for euthanasia.

“We prefer the chamber because it’s less stressful on us,” Bass said. “Putting the animals down is hard enough, and now we have to worry about comforting each one as we do it?”

And a later comment makes it clear we still have a long way to go in educating shelter staff about how simple it is to restrain a feral cat:
“It’s a personal choice here, older dogs and puppies we don’t put in the gas chamber, it’s usually just for the aggressive ones we can’t handle,” Bass said. “Can you imagine trying to hold down a feral cat for an injection?”

Yes, I can. It's done hundreds, probably thousands of times a day, at spay/neuter clinics and vet offices across the United States. And yet so many animal sheltering professionals (and veterinarians) still are unaware of it. That would appear to be our fault. How do we do a better job? Instead of making shelter managers out to be demons for using gas, how do we make it easier for them to switch?

It IS very stressful to work in a shelter and kill animals. The fact is, it's part of the job. And its the responsibility of every professional in every field to strive to use the best tools available. If the job of a shelter manager is to handle the unwanted pets of a municipality in the most professional manner, appealing to "personal choice" isn't an option.

In additional, taking personal responsibility for killing individual animals also forces us to see them as individuals rather than a herd. As humans, we are more likely to take extra steps to lower the death rate, I believe, if we rebel against killing so many individuals. We are more likely to look at other optons--increasing spay/neuter, creative adoption events, etc. if we rebel against having to kill so many animals.

We are less likely to do this if we just load up the chamber, turn on the gas, turn off the gas, put in our earplugs, and come back in an hour.

When it comes to domestic animals, it is time for the gas chamber to be put to sleep, retired as a back-up only until, as most shelters have already discovered, it gathers so much dust someone says "why do we even still have this thing around?"

NYC Mayor's Alliance reports progress

The NYC Mayor's Alliance reports that they are on track for their goal of no euthanasia of adoptable pets.
Evidence of the Alliance's success can be seen in the decreasing euthanasia statistics. In 2007, for the first time in New York City's history, euthanasia at municipal shelters fell below 50 percent, to 43 percent. When final numbers for 2008 are available next month, the euthanasia rate is expected to be 38 percent. That number is down from 74 percent in 2002 (the year the Mayor's Alliance was formed), when 31,908 of the more than 40,000 dogs and cats entering NYC's Animal Care & Control (AC&C) shelters were euthanized.

"We have a long way to go but we're definitely making progress toward our goal," says Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals. "The current economic downturn puts additional pressure on our facilities, but we're determined to become a no-kill community and the Alliance has realized some impressive achievements along the way."

TNR is an important part of their blueprint. Read the entire article for more.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Another hiss cat blog

Love and Hisses.

Now don't you wish you'd thought of that name?

Possibilities are never out of reach

I SO need to stop reading Gary's blog. Today he had a post about his friend Ben's exhibit wall at the Kitschen Sink art garage. I was headed into town and thought I'd swing by.

Oh, big mistake. Or big blessing. I'm not sure which. Because ,Alice Muhlback was there, and a piece of her art has been preying on my soul ever since I saw it hanging at The Smart Monkey Cafe. I own a few of her small pieces, and people who know me well will see immediately why they speak to me.

"Cat Never Left." Need I say more?

"Blue Print to Relax." Any questions?

(click image to enlarge) Note: both pieces are now safely back on the wall.

About seven months ago I walked into Smart Monkey, and there was a large painting on the wall, on a very beautiful piece of vintage wood, of a fairy with a wand chasing a "Cat Never Left" cat, and beneath it was printed "Queen of Possibilities."

This was back when I was recovering from The Great Walkout and was looking for a swift kick in the ass where ever I could find one.

Every time I planned to eat out, I stopped by The Smart Monkey and stared at that piece. And the price tag. At the time, lunch a restaurant was a luxury I couldn't much afford. Artwork was certainly out of the question.

Then one day it was gone, and I figured someone had loved it as much as had.

When I heard Corinne, current owner of the store (post-note, Gary points out that Liz Tilley is the owner; Nancy points out that Corrine is a exhibitor) mention to another visitor that the woman conversing in the corner was Alice, I realized I was doomed. I circled the place five or six times, and finally went over and asked if she still had the Queen of Possibilities.

She does indeed.

It appears the Queen of Possibilities maybe moving here to stay.

So how is it that this is a "rescue post" instead of being on my Feral By Nature blog? Well, while I was paying for purchases and conversing about cats with another visitor, Corinne points to me and says "Are you Susan?" She proceeds to tell me she adopted three cats from me. After much conversation, we realized this would have been almost seven years ago. Yet I do not remember her! So I am not certain if she adopted from me or from Susan M. So many people think we are the same person. Sometimes I think the two of us get confused as well. She also mentioned "I" had sent her home with medicine for ringworm for one the cats, and I'm certain I've had no cats with ringworm until two years ago when I had my first experience with it.

But this wouldn't be the first time I've had a total memory blackout about a person!

The first thing I did when I got home was to call Susan M. and leave her a message, and tonight I'll pull out my old adoption records to see if I can find Corinne's name.

And you'll have to go over to Feral By Nature to see what I did buy. But I haven't posted it yet (8:07 pm ET) so don't be in a hurry.

I also remember a very large painting that I'm now certain Ben must have done, also hanging at the Smart Monkey on the second floor, that also took my breath away. I'm fairly certain it had a "sold" tag on it however, so I think I'm safe from that one.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Well, of course I was checking out the name...

I was checking out the blogroll on another blog and my eyes stopped on the interestingly named Did a Cat Shit in Here? No, it is not about cats. It is about smell, and search-and-rescue. And it is absolutely fascinating, especially to my dog readers.

Sparta's Dad "Mr Safety" on Cat Trapping

While checking out the Mean Kitty channel, I found they had made short file on Trap/Neuter/Return! It's not the most comprehensive video, but it is a testament to how TNR has become more and more mainstream.

"I'd get her spayed, but I can't get a hold of her." We hear this all the time, especially from owners of "just kinda shy" backporch kitties like the one featured in this video. You can now. You can trap her. And chances are good your vet will have had trapped cats brought to her/him by now, and she will know how to handle her.

It's reassuring to see videos like this, with its link to more information. "Mainstream" means more lives saved.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sparta has Feline Leukemia

Even the "mean little kitty" of YouTube fame isn't safe from this virus.

Good thoughts to Sparta!

Phil and Eugenia's cat Rhett is now over five years old, FeLV positive, and still going strong.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Day in the life of a cat-crusader

Since I've been working from home, I have not been trapping as much as I used to when I worked in Ithaca and commuted to a job that cared less if I nipped out to check traps, so long as the work got done.

The adventures of others bring it all back oh-so-clearly!

This lady is amazing. You need to read today's post to see what cat-folk go through. (Scroll down below the photo montage). Just like in dog control, the problem is people-management, not animal management. Cats are easy to catch. It's the people you want to stick in a cage to keep out of the way! And when you find someone who "gets it" -- man, that just makes it all worthwhole.

Sunny breakfast made brighter by blog friends

I visited Gary Rith's studio in Etna yesterday to pick up my teapot and witness a heart-mug in the making. I got to meet his wife, and sweet beagle Penny. There is a beautiful view of Fall Creek from his studio window.

It was fascinating to watch him work on his wheel. He makes it look so easy. I distinctly recall the alarming wobble in my school attempts to work on a potter's wheel. It didn't occur to me until I sat watching him that--even though many of my current and past friends are potters--I've never seen them work on the wheel. I've only seen their final product, which is simply not the same.

I love my teapot. It has a shape that you just want to hold cupped in your two hands. The size is perfect, and it's precisely sturdy enough that I won't break it--which is specifically what I asked for. I hate buying things I love only to bust them with an idle tap on the sink faucet or some such. I use a teapot daily and I didn't dare risk a handle like this. I'm glad he decided on his own to make a sturdy spout, too. I am not a dropsy-type person, but I do tend to wack objects accidentally against other things with disturbing consequences.

The little piggy mug was a gift from Gary as I walked out the door. The teapot was nearly a gift, too, at the price he set for it. I'm pretty sure I received a generous "blogger friend" discount. I had put aside money for this teapot, so since I had money left over I promptly deposited a check via ATM into The Leewit Fund for spay/neuter. This seemed to be fitting--sort of a double gift.

I do have to push his heart mugs. They are gorgeous, and the red glaze is as dark and beautifully muted as it appears on his blog. The heart teacups with saucers, which I have not seen blogged on his site yet, are absolutely precious, so if you have a tea-drinker in your life and need a Valentine's gift, email Gary and ask for a photo. Both the mugs and teacups are comfortable enough for everyday. They whisper "Love" rather than shout "Valentine's Day" so can be sipped from every day of the year. Or given as a gift at any time, I might point out.

Which is what love is all about, right?

Post-note: Ah, Here are the teacups! Seriously, are they not beautiful? And here is the whole store.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Jack and The Leewit go digital, too

Mary, founder of our Leewit Fund (sorry, Jack, I do not mean to leave you out, but it's important to have a name that sticks in people's minds and makes them go "umm, what the heck is a Leewit?") got a digital camera. This means more J and The L photos, because previously I never got around to scanning their hardcopy photos and posting them on the blog. Instead, they reside on my refrigerator where, unfortunately, only I get to see them.

People have asked about donating since I took down the Amazon link, and I apologize, as I have not set up the PayPal account. I think that may be a good task for this weekend, to gear up for summer kitten season.

Here's some good news: Black Cat Rescue has their first adoption of 2009!

Inside joke

This is funny to most folk, but probably hilarious to people who adopt out homeless pets, as the "pets-as-gifts" issue is a hot one. On one hand, what if the person doesn't want the pet? On the other, people will get a pet somewhere else if you say "no" and research shows that people are more, not less, likely to keep a gift pet. Nonetheless, I've had gift-pets returned, so I understand the hesitation.

Emmi, however, is doing great, and is reportedly much-loved! Apparently her silly quirks and wide range of chirps are much appreciated. So she is one gift-cat who is a lucky gift-cat.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hope goes digital

Cary sends this photo of Hope, who has just discovered the TV. I should point out that the digital switchover has been a boon to those of us who don't get TV but do watch DVDs. Cary and John have gifted me with not one but two beautiful large analog TVs that have come their way, and I now watch my Netflix in style.

On killing cats to save birds

If you follow feral cats, you may already be aware of the management disaster at Macquarie Island....originally touted as a massive success at eliminating feral cats, but quickly becoming an ecosystem disaster as rabbits reproduced and devastated the landscape.

A number of years ago, we were holding an adoption event at Barnes and Noble in Ithaca (where EVERY cat was adopted--thank you B and N!) and a gentleman and his young son came over. The son was fascinated by blind Buttercup, standing on a chair and petting and petting Buttercup, who was lounging on top of his cage.

The gentleman made a few friendly/sarcastic comments about feral cats, and finally I sat down next to him and learned that, in fact, he was a management agent who had been responsible for shooting/trapping/poisoning feral cats "on an island." He was now working at a local university.

I explained what we were doing with trap-neuter-return, and the successes we had had with it locally, and pointed out that the cats being adopted at the bookstore that day would be adopted to indoor homes only, and that, in fact, TNR advocates had the same agenda as eradication advocates---No More Feral Cats. I mentioned my background in nuisance wildlife control, and how I had come to work with feral cats. He expressed surprise that we were so level-headed, and we all quietly laughed when his son declared loudly that this was what HE was going to do when he grew up. Well---we advocates did. I'm not sure dad did. But he was certainly nice enough, and stopped the comments once he realized we were in fact grounded in our beliefs and actions.

He then asked if he could leave his son in our care while he stepped out to browse the bookstore. I said "Absolutely, if you don't mind leaving him in the company of a bunch of childless women." He looked around at the group of 30ish (at that time) not-unattractive women (no supermodels, certainly, but no one went running in the other direction when they looked at us) and said "NONE of you have children?" We all shook our heads no and smiled. He sort of looked at us, called his son to come, and left. It was a bookstore, after all, so we did not howl aloud in laughter, but I wanted to.

They did come back to say goodbye to Buttercup before they left the store.

I have a photo of blind Buttercup on my refrigerator that Susan M. obtained for me, from his owner. He's doing great.

I've always wondered if the gentleman had been referring to Macquarie Island. There weren't many islands where feral cats were successfully eradicated.

Before and after photos of the rabbit damage can be found here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Aflatoxin concern with chick feed litter?

Donna sends the following:

Just as an FYI about using chicken feed as cat litter.....I'm sure there's a lot of discussion about the "real" risks involved, but below is a section from a Petfinder Forum post at
I posted about the use of corn feed about a month ago. We used it for about 2 months with no problems. Then all of a sudden all our cats started getting sick, one by one. We checked everything. While researching some things and talking to our vet, it dawned on us what could be wrong. Our corn litter. We bought a black light and tested the litter. Nothing. The next night we tested again and there it was, aflatoxin. The conditions were perfect, warm pee and untreated corn feed. Once we got rid of the corn feed and disenfected the pans and the surrounding areas the cats are now much better. Cheap litter for sure but it really wasn't worth a $2,000 vet bill. It's actually not almost the same thing. Regular chick feed untreated. World's Best Kitty Litter is corn feed that has been treated and sanitized in order for aflatoxins not to grow.

I've seen other reports about such problems, kind of like this one at
Chicken feed tends to grow mold that contains aflatoxin, which causes liver damage in cats. If the mold is present or grows in the liter, your cat will ingest it after walking in the litter and cleaning her legs/paws. I know someone on another forum who tried this and all 3 of her cats ended up in the hospital with serious live disease, and they will never fully recover.

Well, poop and piddle, something always has to rain on my parade. But that's why we blog, isn't it, to get input from a community? So I went off to do some additional web research and found that "Aflatoxins are produced under certain conditions, which include temperatures from 55--104 °F (optimum 81--86 °F), and 17--18 percent and higher moisture content."

So conceivably, using this litter in my foyer cat box room (currently 35 degrees F, brrrrr...) during the winter would likely be safe, but in the summer when its 75 and very humid probably wouldn't be such a hot idea.

I'll need to go stick a thermometer in the cat facility cat boxes. I'm guess in the winter they also are pretty chilly, since they sit on the floor. And it is dry, dry, dry up there now--I even have humidifiers going to reduce the static shock in kitty fur.

Aflatoxin is definitely a concern. Certain levels are permitted in feed.
What is aflatoxin?
Aflatoxin is a mold (Aspergillus flavus) found in corn and cottonseed (but also peanuts, sorghum,soybeans and rice) that is carcinogenic. It is caused by moisture and temperature conditions both in thefield or storage, usually greater than 70 F. Toxic response depends on species, amount consumed, level of aflatoxin, age, sex, nutritional status and physiological state. The liver is the principal organ affected.(Merck Veterinary Manual, 8th Ed.)

What are the allowable levels in animal feeds?
Feeds with greater than 20 ppb aflatoxin are not allowed for dairy animals and are not recommended for young animals. Aflatoxin levels up to 100 ppb are permissible for adult animals and up to 50 ppb for wildlife. Aflatoxin levels up 200 ppb are suitable for finishing swine and up to 300 ppb for finishing steers.

The things we learn as we blog...

Monday, January 12, 2009

BTW, today is Delurking Day

So if you've been reading but not commenting, please consider saying "hi!" in the comments. :)

Chick crumbles as kitty litter - the experiment

For about a year I've read comments from others about using chick crumbles (baby chicken feed) as cat litter, in place of World's Best Cat Litter. I'd make fun of World's Best and call it World's Most Expensive...except it really is the best cat litter I've ever used.

But only the World's Richest can afford $37.00 for 30-some pounds of cat litter (less at local venues, but not much less). The only reason I've used it is that people have (rarely) donated it to me. It is great stuff. It clumps nicely, smells great, isn't sticky like Swheat Scoop, and last twice as long as other corn scoopable.

I spend a lot of money disposing of the non-scoopable clay cat litter I buy from Walmart. It's almost up to $4 for 20lbs now, and 20lbs fills only 1.5 boxes in the cat facility. Corn-based cat litter would be compostable. Trust me, clay litter absolutely is not compostable, which is why it costs me about $40 a month to dispose of it.

So I finally trotted off to Agway and bought 50lbs of chick crumbles for around $13. One bag filled all five boxes in my house. You couldn't fill 5 boxes with clay scoopable cat litter for $13.

The cats use it happily, and it seems to track less than the clay litter. It does clump quite nicely, however, it does so at the BOTTOM of the pan, which means you have to tilt the pan to see where the cat peed, and literally scoop the clump off the bottom. It does not make a nice round free-formed snowball at the top of the box. Nonetheless, the clumps come right up and don't stick, like Swheat Scoop has for me. And it smells nice and clean.

It has, however, been only two days.

I could order a whole pallet of this for a cheaper price, I'm sure. In fact, I might even be able to get it delivered to my door. I plan to try it in the house until next payday, and then buy four or five bags and try it in the cat facility. I'll keep you posted.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Adopter and Caretaker photos

Sweet Zoey enjoying a warmer day.

And using humans for their intended purpose.

Peet on a colder day!

And Zuzu being her beautiful self, below!

Thanks, everyone, for sending photos!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

In fact, I think I'll make tea right now...

Gary is making me a teapot of my very own!

(photo poached from Gary's blog, so you'd best go on over there and see the rest of his posts!)

Farm TNR at Caturday

If you haven't already visited, you need to see this TNR project at Rockhouse Mountain Farm posted on the Caturday blog.

What an inspiration. And projects like this are taking place all over the world. Critics say that TNR can't possibly conquer the larger feral cat problem. I disagree. But regardless, TNR overcomes the site-by-site problems such as this one, relieving all sorts of anguish, both human and animal.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Whiskers in Winter

It was a gorgeous winter day for Whiskers in Winter yesterday! I should have blogged sooner, but frankly, once the crowds had faded and I had the dishes in the washer, I snuggled into the couch and fell into a contented nap!

We had a great turnout: 31 humans, one dog (Jack!) and one kitten (Hope!). At one point, it was wall-to-wall people. The best part was, there was no way visitors could avoid introducing themselves to one another. It's kind of hard to remain a wallflower when the ceiling makes you duck and there are people on both of your elbows. Luckily, people could also go to the house (and more people hung out there than ever have in the past. Kittens have that power on folks) and of course went up to visit the cats on the second floor.

Normally I have some of the cats loose in the cage room for people to play with, but this year I wasn't going to be able to spend most of my time upstairs to watch the doors and be sure no one slipped out. Dream: Real decently made doors with real latches instead of barn latches and hooks and eyes?

Little Hope came with Cary and Lyndsay and was the life of the party in the house, along with Tinker, Leo, and Owlie, the Terrorist Kittens (who played shy, but could not resist the laser pointer, feather toy, and six teens). Jack the dog came with Nancy (who is friend, fosterer, adopter, AND our wine host as she also works for Thirsty Owl Winery in addition to her business The Grooming Room). Jack was our official barn greeter.

I'm always amazed how good the cats are with so many people trooping up to see them. Espie--the black and white cat--was especially pleased with all the attention, and showed off her big mitts to anyone who would bring out a feather toy. We brought Jack up to dog-test her, and she didn't even fluff at him.

Even the most shy cats were pretty good about being petted. Plushie (the black cat) always likes attention. Pickles is more reserved. This photo was taken after everyone had left and the cats were parked under the red heat lamp.

Everyone was pretty tuckered out.

People came bearing food, cat litter, toys (we broke out the new laser pointer right away!), and photos. The nametag tree WORKED, and it was kind of fun to hang the filled-out tags back on the tree afterwards.

I received responses from people who could not make it, and it was great to hear from them as well. Next year I'll try to get my invitations out earlier so people can plan. But don't I say that every year?

This party was the official shingle-hanging for Abbey Farm, the farm's new name. The previous name was Old Ferris Farm. I'm afraid the sign will have to come back down (therefore the use of cable-ties) as I've only finished painting one side. Hopefully this summer will see sunflowers, catnip, and broom corn growing in the field beside the barn, and the downstairs of the barn set up for drying.

These are all crops I can give away as gifts if for some reason I don't have time to actually sell them.

Thank you all for coming and for sharing my dreams, both current and future! Special thanks to Craig for plowing parking space, Cary and Lyndsay for arriving early and helping out--as well as bringing the heavenly cheesecake, Donna and Tim for the lasagna and macaroni and cheese, and of course Nancy and Jack for bringing the wine and hosting the downstairs party.

Thanks as well to Dr. Armao and Joan from Cornerstone Veterinary Hospital for making it out to see our place! And to Nancy Jacobson, and Eugenia and Phil, who have made it Every. Single. Year.

And to Leslie, my college roommate, who came over 60 miles with her family. When we were in college, Leslie and I drove over snowy roads to adopt a kitten for her from the Chenango County SPCA as a Christmas GIFT to her from me (gasp) and smuggled him into our on-campus apartment (no pets allowed - gasp again!) to live with my cat Rastus, who was already living there illegally. We also had an illegal Christmas tree that year (that we got in yet another snowstorm, driving around until we felt the RA would be asleep). And I remember pushing her car in yet another snowstorm when Bandit the kitten needed to go to the vet, because we parked it (again illegally) in a firelane and left it running to warm up so Bandit would not be cold and it stalled with the lights on. Yes--those were the days, when two college rowers could push a dead Chevy Impala by ourselves about 1000 feet through four inches of snow down a firelane, across a road, and PARK IT in a spot. I hazard a guess we could not do that now. Anyway, I'm surprised we weren't nailed by a snowstorm yesterday, since Leslie resolved to come!

Hmmmm...I think they call that a "tangent." And I hope Leslie's kids aren't reading this. Back to the party!

For all the presents, food, photos, donations, and goodwill, I hope everyone knows you all mean the world to me...and to the cats you have rescued with your love.

Have a wonderful 2009!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Resolution: Finish what I start

I'm one of those people who goes into the big box craft store, buys tons of crafty stuff, then does nothing with it. THIS time I forced myself to sit down and start and finish my project: name tags for the party on Sunday.

Nobody ever wants to put nametags on. I'm hoping that the lanyard/necklace option may convince people to put them on. Well, at least I'm sure the kids will now!

The cats are unexcited:

Beating the blahs with a new floor

I was in quite a funk this afternoon and early evening. I won't go into why. A trip to town to pick up vinyl flooring didn't shake it, and I ended up wasting a lot of time today feeling sorry for myself. I finally went out to the cat facility, hoping ripping, tearing, and laying new floor would help. It didn't. So I came in and cleared out some email for work for about two hours, and that seemed to do it. Back out to the barn I went, but by then it was midnight. Nonetheless, three far-more-cheerful hours later, brand new floor!

I had been kind of concerned that a darker floor might be a bit drab, but it's actually quite warm. I like it.

This area is the first section of the cat facility I fixed up, six or seven years ago. The original flooring I put down was of very high quality, and I actually built the cat run walls right over it. I was really broke back then, and the molding I used, and the nails I fastened it with, were pretty cheap. There was no saving the molding: I ripped it all out in pieces. I have a ton of vinyl mopboard to replace this with, but I'm not sure I have enough fact I'm sure I don't. So it's back into Home Depot tomorrow for more, so that this time cat litter doesn't squeeze in tiny cracks between the molding and the floor.

About seven years ago I built that facility, and tonight I was ripping it apart. It was rather odd. It will be a huge improvement: no old curled up vinyl flooring with cat litter sneaking beneath the corners! It was starting to look pretty trashy in there.

Here is the original floor, about two years ago when it was still looking nice:

And speaking of trashy, I've left a mess out there. I threw all the molding and vinyl pieces down the stairs to deal with tomorrow.

Mary, Sara K., Christy and Gordon....thanks! Your donations helped with a much-needed upgrade!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Oh, that was fun. Happy 2009 to you all!

I'll bet you are all putting a glass of champagne down on the floor right now to see what your cats do with it....

I think I'll just relax and enjoy mine. I hope you enjoy yours, in the company of the ones you love, whether human or feline.

Have the best of years. Let's say goodbye to 2008 and look forward to a bright future.

And yes, I washed the glass first.

ONE! Happy New Year!

It's the Pom Pom Drop! Which is a heck of lot warmer than that other drop!

Lady Ma doesn't know how to do video yet, so she had to ask another kitty to count down for us!

Hey, it does smell like cat butt!

Hey, look, more bubbles if you hit it!

Happy New Year Everyone! May you have a wonderful 2009, and may we all get homes!