Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's a cat! No, it's a lemur! No..

It's a Pallas Cat.

And, I am amazed to admit, I have never heard of one until just now. I thought I had my wild "cats" down.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Delaware passes shelter standards legislation

Click here to go to Delaware's state page to learn more about their comprehensive new standards. It appears because it was passed at the end of the week, it has mostly been blogged and tweeted by grassroots organizations. I'm sure there will be quite a bit of additinoal publicity next week!

Don't miss their fact sheet at the bottom.

Iams prescription kidney diet recalled

...for "potential" salmonella contamination. Learn more here at Pet Connection.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What'd we get? What'd we get!!

There was a key in my PO Box yesterday, which is like Christmas. You take the key over to the big package PO Boxes and put it in the one with the matching number. I found a big squishy package that somehow had made the trip in such pristine condition you'd think it had been delivered by hand.

Wiggles and Longfellow helped open it. Cage blankies. Beautiful handmade cage blankets for the cats!

There's always one joker who prefers the bag.

You only get to keep TWO, you house kitties! The rest go to the homeless kitties in the cat facility. They probably won't appreciate them until this heat breaks tomorrow, although they'll love them on their cage floors and the vinyl floor so they have something to cuddle on when it finally cools off. I'll put some away for this fall as well. They LOVE these.

Visitors love them as well. They always remark on them in the cages. If someone adopts a cat that has one of the blankets in their cage, I usually send it home with the cat, so their first night has familiar smells.

This time they came with a return address so I can send a thank-you card. They are so soft and beautiful. Thank you, thank you!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mayflies (I think?) on the Susquehanna River

Gretchen said "I hear something" as we checked out the Riverwalk in the dark. I didn't hear anything. Maybe something, or maybe I only thought I did because she said she heard something. So we walked down the steps to the surface of the river and against the lights on the bridge we could see the "something." Mayflies. I guess they were mayflies. Millions and millions and millions of mayflies, swarming along the river. Not just darting over the surface, but moving steadily upstream like a snowcloud. It was amazing. When we got up to the street, they had arrived there as well.

People were coming out to look -- just as if it WERE a snowfall in July. And of course you had to have the pretty thing screaming loudly in fake fright as they got tangled in her very pretty hair when she got out of the car with her buddies under a streetlight. But you can't really blame her. There were a lot of flies out there. Gretchen and I didn't scream but we did run pretty fast crossing the bridge street where they were pouring in off the river.

Amazing. I wish there had been a way to take a photo of the masses moving up the river. Even so, I don't think a photograph could have captured the vastness.

Fascinating stuff about mayflies here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Will catch kittens for food

I took two kittens from Susan M. and she came bearing--not only kittens--but a bag with muffins, and a super-amazing catnip toy for my cats.

Then this week I got an email from a gentleman who has four feral kittens in his barn. He offered to pay me as we were hauling boxed-up hissing kittens to the car, and I told him the fact that he was paying for the spay/neuter was reward enough for me, since I often end up paying for it myself. However, when he mentioned he had a garden full of produce, I didn't turn him down.

I had planned to just drop off a trap tonight for the kittens to get used to, but there they were, huddled behind some corrugated roofing, so after some squirming around and some serious snarling and hissing, I managed to get three of them. One went up into the rafters, and we've left a trap for him. The landowner will check the trap this evening and close it so as not to catch wildlife tonight, then open it again in the morning.

So we are now at full kitten capacity. I'll make appointments to get these kids fixed. I told this landowner I could not get stuck with these guys, and I'd work with them this week and next, until they were recovered from spay/neuter, and we'd see what their personalities were like then. These are big kittens, and quite aggressive. But sometimes it is the most aggressive kittens who turn into purrballs the fastest.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Every cat should have their own garden

Jack and The Leewit check in.

On a summer day, it's great to have your own cat garden...

But on a hot day, there's no better place than the sink.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pardon me while I use my blog to post Freecycle photos

These posts will ultimately be removed. If you want anything, let me know!

Plywood bulkhead (outdoor cellar entrance cover)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Jinx - Here and gone, the way we like it

I got an email from Jake, who adopted Brie last year. Someone had dumped a kitten at their place in a box, and the local animal shelter was full. One of the perks of being a Wildrun adopter is if you find yourself in a bind, we'll help you out if we can. So I said "bring the little bugger on over."

Well, when you keep a kitten for a day or so, especially when you spend a considerable amount of time getting the fleas off him, you get attached. So by the time Jake and Jinx got here, Jake was thinking they might keep him. So before he left Jinx with me, we had the big discussion about what would happen if Jinx tested positive for FeLV/FIV, etc. Would they still be interested in adopting an FeLV cat, etc? The tough questions. (Luckily Jinx did not test positive).

Because it was way too hot in my isolation area of the cat facility, Jinx spent a fun night in the great room and did not break a single thing. I spent an hour picking more fleas off of him (I totally forgot I had one Capstar pill left I could have used on him) and we made a whirlwind trip to the vet Friday am for an exam and testing.

The vet felt his pale color was likely due to all those fleas. He was FeLV/FIV negative (big sigh of relief), and had earmites. Once I got him home he got an ear cleaning, an intranasal FVRCP vaccination, Capstar to kill his live fleas, Revolution for residual flea protection and help with those earmites. He was a pretty patient little guy to put up with all that.

Then Jake called and after we talked a bit about the cost of future vet bills (getting the kitten fixed, etc.) he picked Jinx up and will check back about his color, etc. next week. We did all the adoption forms, medical records, etc. and I made him promise to send me Brie (now Jazz) pictures for the blog.

Wouldn't it be nice to have cat rescue always work this way? Person finds kitten, Wildrun-donors-vet help kitten, person keeps kitten? But kittens aren't usually dropped at houses where there is space for a new kitten.

Jinx is a lucky cat!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Lost dog found!

The gossip chain, and how it works:

Debra (feral cat fixer, and all around animal advocate) emailed me (feral cat fixer) to let me know her friend Clint lost his senior dog Molly in the hills near my farm, on July 3.

I put it on my blog and emailed neighbors I know who live on that road, who I originally met because they also care for their feral cats. Debra had already contacted our wonderful local dog control officer, but I emailed her as well since she has been by here before.

Last night, Craig, the neighbor on the hill, called, but I was in the cat facility. So he drove down to let me know HIS neighbor had had a black dog wearily show up at his house. I couldn't find Clint's phone number on the web or in the phone book, so I called Laura, our DCO, who gave me the number, which I gave to Craig, who gave it to his neighbor, who called Clint...

...and Molly is now safely home, after five days in the woods.

Thanks, Debra, for knowing the gossip chain is the best way to find a lost critter. (It's also good for a lot of other things, in the hands of good people).

Thanks, Craig, for tromping all the way down here, knowing how bad I am about answering the phone.

I have the best friends and neighbors in the world. Spencer is a good place to live.

Monday, July 05, 2010


Audrey took this great shot of Henry (2009 kitten). If I ever publish the book I'm writing, this has to be the cover. ;) Angst, beauty and attitude.

Neighbor's dog lost, also named Molly

Molly is lost on Hagadorn Hill Road, which is up behind my property. I'll be home at the red house/barn on Owl Creek Road throughout the day if you find her and want to bring her here. She was lost when fireworks went off on the evening of July 3. Molly belongs to Clint Sindoni.

This is from Debra, Clint's friend and friend of Wildrun:
Molly recently lost her hearing...can hear only loud noises......she is 11 years old and is black with white around her face.....she is sweet although when you meet her she will bark.....SHE LOVES empty water bottle or empty SODA can....even though she can't hear it , if you crunch the bottle or can she will come running ..she loves to play with them.......

The local dog control officers have all been notified too.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Kittens coming around

(More on that cute Hide, Perch, and Go" box later).

We have five semi-feral kittens from the kennel where Molly stays--the last unfixed felines on their property. I scooped them all up when I picked Molly up after my final work trip of the spring, and told the kennel owner I would fix and find homes for any that are truly tameable, and fix and return any that would likely remain shy. He has a number of barns crammed full of cool stuff, with total protection from the weather, and lots of half-doors for cats to leap up on and survey their world. It's a beautiful property, and the fixed cats there seem healthy and happy.

I'm in a position where I cannot get "stuck with" any kittens. I still have Longfellow and Wiggles from last year's crop. My job for the remainder of this summer to get at least the five very-friendly cats I have here adopted, as well as helping with some feral colonies where spay/neuter is already taking place.

The kennel seemed a good place to start. The gentleman has been working hard getting the adults all fixed. At first they were staying here after surgery, but then he just borrowed a cage, trap, and feral den to do it himself. When he didn't get that final cat, and she had a litter of kittens, I'm sure that was a wake-up call for him. I'm certain that if any future cats show up, he'll call me or get them fixed right away.

Once these kittens are placed, I'll call around to all the colonies I've helped in the past to make sure everything is OK there. Another rescuer emailed me about helping with a colony in Willseyville, and I said I'd take two FRIENDLY kittens from there for the off-site adoption cage at my veterinarian's office. Once they are placed I can take another one (by that point, the remaining kittens are likely to be too big to fit two in a cage).

With a single income, and the generosity of a few dedicated past adopters, I'm in a place where I can't be the person who swoops in and fixes a big project anymore--at least not until these friendly cats are adopted. With the bear around, I really am not comfortable having cats--especially kittens that may mew mournfully and draw attention to themselves--in the bottom of my barn. A determined bear could push out the windows or yank off the door.

So this summer will primarily be a summer of batting cleanup. I'll help people keep their colonies under control, and take care of accidental kittens that--if left unattended--could result in past projects failing.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Look, girls, I'm blogging

I was asked to blog tonight so friends would know I hadn't been eaten by the bear. :)

Last night just after dusk Molly started barking, and as usual I started yelling at her to stop. This time she was lunging at the end of her tie-out as well, but she came up on the porch when I called her. She continued staring across the yard and growling.

I looked where she was looking and realize there was a big black shape by the birdfeeder that I had not yet brought in. Molly was just being a good watchdog. She wasn't barking at bunnies tonight.


"Oh, bummer--but how neat!" I pretty much thought. I scooped up Molly, put her in the house, and came out with two pots, my camera, and a flashlight. I tried two shots on the camera but only got blackness. So I picked up my pots and rang them together, thinking I was going to get to see my bear crash off into the bushes, as they usually do.

Not this bear. This bear didn't move.

I banged, and yelled. The bear finally got up and SAUNTERED TOWARD THE PORCH! He had big long legs. This was no yearling. He stopped at the second bird feeder and merely had to tip his nose up to touch it, and that feeder is at the level of my head (five feet). I yelled and beat the pots together some more and he totally ignored me.

This was not acceptable. I couldn't just go in the house and teach this bear that yelling women would slink harmlessly away.

So I threw a pot at him. It went bouncy bouncy across the yard toward his feet. He sort of looked at it. I lobbed the second one at him and it bounced far more impressively right up to him. He finally decided to trot veeerry sloooowly away.

This did not please me. The barn was still unlocked, with the walk-through door unlatched, and I had kittens downstairs where cat food was kept. I could not leave it unlatched for the bear to paw open and have kitten snacks.

So I carefully made my way down to my car, drove the car to the barn door, stepped from the car to the first floor of the cat facility, moved all the food to the back, locked everything up, sprayed some bleach spray around the stoop (don't ask me why), got back in my car and drove it back over across the road, hoping all this starting and stopping of the car (not to mention a beep or two on the horn) might have convinced the bear to keep on trotting.

The bears are the one reason I do not camp in my cabin on the hill. The cabin door isn't a real door with a real latch. It's just a bunch of boards nailed together with a hook and an eye. I am a wuss when it comes to things that go bump in the night in the middle of the big woods. I don't mind raccoons, skunks, foxes, or even coyotes.

But big bears that don't turn tail and run--that I don't like.

The kittens are coming around nicely. Three are purring and one sticks his paws out the cage bars saying "pet me, pet me!" in kittenese. I'll call up the vet tomorrow and see if I can get them in for FeLV/FIV testing Saturday.

Pictures tomorrow, I promise.