Archive for the ‘Feral Cats’ Category

Another Treehouse

May 21, 2017

Sugar decided to make another cat perch for the cats that live in the woods next to where I work. 

I’ve been approached two times in the past week by interested people who have seen the cats hanging around in the morning waiting to be fed. No one had a problem with it, and they were surprised that I had trapped them for spaying and vaccinations. Apparently ordinary people don’t realize that other ordinary people can be agents for change. 

Like Sugar is an agent for change. 


He brought two different boards to choose from. 


Next he checked the brackets that he mounted directly onto the tree trunks. 

He screwed the bigger board to the brackets, and, quick as you please, he’s done. 


Little Miss Sassy Pants and her sister stayed well away. The sister is so far away that I couldn’t get a clear photo, even with the zoom lens. 


The platform is big enough for an ant deterrent system, which consists of a large shallow bowl of water with a smaller bowl of food set into it. The water creates a barrier that the ants can’t cross. 

We’ll see tomorrow if the system worked. 

The Welcoming Committee

April 21, 2017

The two feral girls that I trapped, neutered, and released a month ago have finally shown themselves. 





Apparently I move too slowly for them. 

​​

Catch and Release, Feline Style

March 31, 2017

There’s a sketchy neighborhood near where I work. 

I’ve seen several cats there, and one is a calico, and a calico is generally a female. Another is an orange and white, and I’d like to think that he is a male. 



I started putting out food, and one started waiting for me in the morning. 


Sugar and I hatched a plan. I would trap, and he would drop off at the clinic and pick up after surgery. 

We trapped 2 on two consecutive days. 

The last one was released last week. 


And the others?

Why, they refuse to go in the trap. 

Cats in the Pines: Sugar Makes a Space Station

February 25, 2017

I have been wanting another cat feeding station. The old one in the woods has become dilapidated, almost beyond repair, but more importantly, the wild cats have decided to come inside the fencing and eat at the feeding station on the picnic table. 

Several of the cats have taken to living in the woods next to the driveway. Since I’m feeding cats there now anyway, a feeding platform would be handy. I imagined if I had a platform between two of the pines, then the food and cats wouldn’t be as exposed to ants and stray dogs. 

I explained my plan to Sugar. 

I was driving along one day when I saw a children’s play set, the kind with the ladder to the slide, and the horizontal ladder for children to go across hand over hand. 

What about a horizontal ladder structure connecting the two pines?

I explained I need a ladder between the two pines. He thought I meant a ladder from the ground to a tree. It was getting frustrating: me explaining and him not getting it. The word “ladder” was throwing him off. 

So I drew my example. 


He contrived a ladder from some old 2 x 4s that he split lengthwise. 

A Chinese Fringe shrub provided local color. 




He added a piece of plywood for the dining surface. 

Suddenly it is finished. The Butter demonstrates that form follows function. 


The Butter has some neurological problems which cause him to have a head tilt and a stare that is a bit unordinary. 





The new station is too high for dogs but not for cats. This does not discount a clever, hungry dog. 


Mr. Friendly demonstrates that canned food is welcome here. We will probably add some side rails to keep the dishes from being pushed off. You can see that we have already removed the metal bowl in favor of a dish with a flatter, heavier base. 

In other news, I am worried that I might have a marauding owl. Before the station was built, one morning during the dawn hours, I found Wendy deceased on the driveway. I had arrived home the night before that in the dark, and I fed her by the gate as usual. When I found her body the next morning, some bird high in the trees was screaming at me. Apparently I disturbed his actions. He was very angry at me, and I messaged my cousin the birder scientist. It’s possible that it was a hawk, and I learned the word “crepuscular”. 

Sugar buried her for me where she lived in the woods by the driveway. 

Cats like vertical spaces, and I’m hoping the new space station will give them safer options. 

The Cat on the Picnic Table

June 2, 2016

A new cat was lounging on the picnic table a few weeks ago. I had seen him at a distance before, but on this particular evening, he had made himself at home on the picnic table feeding station. 

When I got a little closer, I saw that where his right eye should have been, there was nothing but a squinted-closed eye. And a little closer, it looked like maybe his eye had been damaged or was missing. There was a dark spot where his eye should have been. No blood, but no eye, either. 

  
He didn’t bolt away when he saw me, so that was an improvement. Before, he had kept himself protected from my view by keeping barriers between himself and me, like hiding behind trees or staying outside the fence. 

*****

Today, during the evening time when the air is cooling down and the mosquitoes are out, he was lying flat on his side on top of the table. I hoped he wasn’t dead. I approached the table from behind him, and chirruped a welcome. He raised his head, looked at me and meowed. Then he stood up and walked toward me, still on the picnic table, and raised his tail in the air. If you have spent time with cats, or read this blog for more than 15 minutes, you’ll know that a tail in the air is a good thing. 

He let me scritch the top of his head. I opened a large can of food for him, and while he ate, I was able to scritch him on the back. I was able to confirm that he was a boy. His head, face, and shoulders were covered with wounds and scars, old and new. That eye was missing, but I couldn’t be sure if it was because of a wound or a birth defect. 

I supposed that he would become the third one-eyed cat here at the Swamped! Plantation and Cat-Scritching Facility. 

Next stop: catching and testing. Please let him be negative. 

Your Monday Kitten

March 28, 2016

It seems I have added 1/2 pound…

  
The two orange siblings passed away not long after I got this group one week ago. Their body temperatures never reached a level that was high enough to register on the thermometer. This can mean that their vital organs are impaired and will shut down. 

In the meantime…

  
This guy can drink from a bowl, which makes my life infinitely simpler. 

Kittens of Spring

March 23, 2016

It’s too cold for kittens. We had a cold snap a few nights ago. 

A woman called me because she was monitoring a nest of kittens born to a feral mother, and suddenly, the morning after the cold night, the kits weren’t moving. 

They were basically so cold that the thermometer could not get a reading. Today, they are on soft bedding in a crate on a heating pad. They have been fed and rehydrated and dewormed and de-fleaed. Which is not a word except in my world. 

  
If you would like to donate a dollar or two, there’s a “Hep a Kitten Out” button on the main page. 

Or just send happy thoughts our way!

Gratuitous Kitten Photo

January 8, 2016

 

Ahhh. Dora Belle.

 
Adorable. 

Here a Kit, There a Kit, Everywhere a Kit Kit

December 7, 2015

Sometimes I write about dead people and the convoluted connections. It looks like cats are becoming convoluted, too.

Back in the spring I got a text from someone asking if I could go to the Wendy’s and pick up a cat in the parking lot. It seemed that a nice cat was living there.

Now, the best place for a cat is not a parking lot of a fast-food place. I can understand that cats like the dumpster scenario, because once I took in 3 cats from a McDonald’s that were feeding from the dumpsters.

I drove on over but never saw the cat. I would have thought that someone was pulling my leg, except the report, along with a photo, came from a reputable person. I parked and got out and walked the entire place, even checking out the Burger King next door and the gas station past that.

Nothing.

I never saw a cat around. It was like an urban legend.

Three weeks ago I saw the cat.

I was pulling into the Wendy’s, and there he was brushing up against a van, oblivious to the traffic. I just so happened to have canned food and a trap in the car. There was nowhere to park, when a spot opened magically as if on cue when a car backed out in front of me, three spaces away from the cat.

I popped a can, walked up to him, put the can on the ground and wiggled my fingers at him. He didn’t make a move, so I tickled the top of his head and a ruffed him hard.

He went limp, as limp as death, and I walked back to my car with an open can of cat food in one hand and a swinging limp cat in the other.

Somehow I managed to open the hatch and open the trap and stuff him in. I didn’t dare look at the restaurant because I want to make eye contact with any patrons who might be staring out the window, mouthing Killer Catcatching Crazy.

The cat was not happy about being in the trap, but I drove on through the drive-thru ’cause a girl’s gotta eat.

Back at work, we made a plan to fix him.


  
Really, it was too late in the day to add on another surgery, so we made a plan for the relief vet to surgically alter the kit on the following day.

*****

The next day, the relief vet took one look and said…

She’s a Cali-point. Like a Siamese is a seal-point, this little mix is part-Siamese, part-alley at, the second part being calico which is generally a female.

After surgery, I took her home to recuperate. After a week, I released her, not sure if I’d see her again. After all, most releases I never see again or only from a distance. Maybe she’d head back to the Wendy’s.


Nope. She lives here now.

Mr. Friendly

November 4, 2015

Mr. Friendly moved in here at the a Swamped! Plantation this past summer. He’s very friendly and quite comfortable here, and doesn’t seem to miss his testicles at all. 

Sometimes when I arrive home, I sit in Ole Yeller in the driveway and check messages and what-not. 

Apparently I didn’t get out of the car fast enough. Mr. Friendly is just that. 

  
  
He is so friendly that I tried adopting him out. They returned him because they said he wasn’t being nice to the resident dog. That completely baffles me. He’s so nice. He’s so Friendly. 

Maybe they kept him inside, which is good, but he wanted to be outside spreading around his Friendly-ness. 

Who knows with a cat? He’s not talking.