Saturday, October 22, 2016

I heard from the squirrel of judgement

I can't find a source for this. It was shared on Facebook via the Writing about Writing page (via Connie of Tails from the Foster Kittens) and when I tried to find it again on Facebook to see if I could track down who made it, a zillion election related posts had pushed it into the whirlpool of my timeline.

Yes, it has been 20 days since my last blog post. In that time a couple of other kittens have been spoken for, and the little kittens have grown up some more. The one little kitten who had been spoken for lost his potential home due to the usual: another more immediate kitten became available from somewhere else. But that's okay. He's still little, pudgy and cute. They are scheduled to be neutered in two weeks.

The new cat tree was offered to us by Tracy, who has fostered for us, for really cheap (just $30) because her cats wouldn't use it. Small kittens love things like this, whereas big cats find them too shaky or small to hang out on. So this tree will stay with this litter for them to destroy as the grow up.

Instead of scrolling mindlessly through Facebook for 20 minutes in the evening, I need to sit down and post on this blog for those people who aren't Facebook users but who give so much to help these cats!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Your afternoon Buster fix

Buster has become totally friendly to me, although he still won't come in the house of his own accord, after one or two explorations. We'll see if that changes when the temperature plummets.

Here he is trying to live up to the memory of Boris, the white Geneva Street/Albany Street feral patriarch who passed away two years ago.

I'm still not used to having an outdoor cat around. I saw a cat down the road this morning, and called to it. It looked at me, then leaped the ditch into the woods. I swore various four-letter words at people who dump cats, and planned to head down the road with food after finishing cleaning the cat facility. Shortly, Buster showed up.

Duh. It was my own cat.

Chipping away at adoptions...two steps forward, one step back

Timmick, Archer, Pitter, and Patter have been adopted.

And I just checked my mail. Valentina!!!!! Noah's adopter wants to try her out.

Of the five lumber yard kittens, the little peanut black kitten has been spoken for. Their mom tested negative for FeLV/FIV when she got spayed this past week. Whew.

They are outgrowing their cage. During the day they get to run around in my woodstove room but shortly they will have to move out to the cat facility. They've had their first vaccination but will need another before they go, as the cats out there had a non-serious upper respiratory sneeze that might be more serious in smaller kittens. I'll probably keep any kittens who are spoken for here in the house.

I've had two kittens "spoken for" and then became available for adoption again. Archer was going to go with Timmick, but their adopter decided to stick with one kitten--a wise move I think. Wildflower was supposed to go to a home in PA, but they decided that things were too hectic to add a cat at this time. Archer has now been spoken for by a second person, and another person is interested in Wildflower, so hopefully they still have home options.

There are still six young cats in the cat facility looking for homes, and four tiny kittens up-and-coming who are not spoken for. The adult cat picture is quite good: Pitter and Patter, and now Valentina are spoken for. Basil was adopted. This would leave....drumroll...only Heidi and Eve in the cat room!

Yet there is an emaciated stray tiger cat in Van Etten, and a declawed cat living in a shed in Owego who has been turned away by two SPCAs.

We are supposed to handle only feral cats and kittens. So far this summer only two family units fell into that category this year. All the rest were turned away by full shelters.

We are still a long way from that "pie-in-the-sky" of "no-kill." As long as shelters are saying "no" to declawed stray cats, no one can say we are there yet.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

We will be open tomorrow, Sunday September 11, from noon until 4:00. Email if you want to come check out the kittens! Here are just a few.

Pardon me, my tech is showing (or lack of it)!

My laptop died. Sadness. It's only about three years old, but you get what you pay for, and it was a very cheap laptop that I got even cheaper on a work discount. So now I'm trying to make the best of my iPad mini and iPhone, and that means selling the rest of my soul to Google. Half of it was already there with YouTube, Blogger, and Gmail. Now I'm getting Google Drive set up on my iPad/iPhone because all my previous photos were on my laptop. I'll probably be able to get them off the laptop with some finagling, but I'll need to store my photos in the Cloud somewhere where I can access them from these two devices.

As much as I'd prefer a laptop, I'll probably just invest in a larger Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad and iPhone. I can't justify a "many hundreds of dollars" purchase when $100 will get me a good keyboard to use the tiny screens I have. Before I buy a laptop, I need a new washer. The laundromat experience is getting rather tiresome.

The laptop demise comes at a poor time, as we try to get all of these kittens adopted. Five more furballs have arrived, requiring bottle-feeding and butt-cleaning, taking up even more hours of the day. The pet cats tolerate them as they always do. Thank you to everyone who has been so generous with wet cat food donations--that has been a life-saver. Jo, Megan, are my most recent wet-food heroes!

So much has happened, and I'll be trying to learn my way around the Apple technology to get all those stories posted this weekend. I'm such a Windows girl.

And, apparently I'm already having photo issues because when I choose a photo from Google Photos it just inserts it at it's existing size and doesn't ask how I want it formatted. Now it is underlapping the right rail.

Sigh. I'll learn.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Lockwood kittens' mom gets fixed

Four of the Kitten Flurry kittens came from a rural home, where their mom cat had been abandoned earlier last winter. Once mom dried out from nursing the kittens, it was time for her to come back to get spayed. It was great that the landowner agreed to keep her (while we would take the kitten) and he even helped contribute.

Her daughter Wildflower went in the same day, and I'm told mom and daughter meowed up a storm the entire time they were at the veterinarians.

So that's one location that will have no more kittens!

I appear to have gotten an extra discount. I think I hear some murmuring that they couldn't figure how to get one of them off, and then the words, "Oh, just leave it." I try not to come in right as they are closing, but this time I couldn't get out of work early. It worked out to my benefit. I think I owe them a lot of brownies or something now!

Manx kitten gets chosen...but there's a catch

Of the Manx kitten litter that arrived before the Kitten Flurry of 2016 began, we have just one...the little guy with the cherry eye. The others were all transferred to the SPCA of TC because they were so highly adoptable and would find homes far faster there than here.

This fellow stole the hearts of IC faculty members who had previously adopted Nueve (now Footnote) almost two years ago. However he needs that cherry eye fixed. Luckily his new dad is familiar with English Bulldogs--who often have the same issue--and he understood it is repairable. So this little guy is off to Cornerstone on Monday to get stitched and tucked.

He was a bit wobbly after his neuter! But cute as could be. I'd like to train more of my kittens to collars before adoption, however I'm so paranoid that they'll get hooked on something in a cage at night.

His eye was checked at Cornerstone when the entire Kitten Flurry went in for FeLV/FIV combo tests, so there was no additional charge for them to check it, bless them! Thank you, Dr. Shakespeare!

Too many kittens! Meet Timmick!

A Facebook message from a neighbor popped up on my computer. She found a kitten chasing her chickens. Yup...a kitten. And he was sick. I walked up to her place in order to check for more. Where one kitten was dumped, others might be as well, but I didn't see or hear any others. She met me at the bottom of her driveway and she drove us both home.

The poor little guy had runny eyes and some serious chest congestion. I had two days to get him a bit better before I set off on work travel, or I would have to hospitalize him while I was gone. Luckily he rebounded quickly, except for an ulcer on his eye. I've had kittens with cloudy eyes before and they usually slowly clear up or reduce in size. Sometimes they entirely disappear, but often a cloud remains.

I named him "TMK" (too many kittens) or "Timmick." He was hale and healthy by the time my next neuter date to haul kittens off to the SPCA of Tompkins County came around. Since he was so friendly, I had him done instead of a more shy kitten--even though he had arrived more recently--because I figured Timmick would be ready for adoption more quickly than the shy guy.

I'm including invoices as I'll add this as a GoFundMe update for those who gave (both on and offline) for this summer's kittens. This record is for four male kittens, although Timmick is the top record so his is the only name visible. A deal!

But that eye ulcer wasn't looking so great. On Friday I noticed it was getting thicker, so it was time to haul him off to Cornerstone. He needed a FeLV/FIV test anyway.

His combo test was negative (YAY) but the eye diagnosis was dire for a kitten looking for a new home. Either "wait and see" (will the eye rupture , get better or stay the same?) or remove the eye. "Wait and see" doesn't bode well for an average cute little black kitten who will shortly be a gangly black teen. So they will call with a date to remove the eye, after checking with another veterinarian at the hospital who has done quite a few.

Timmick also had some odd white specks stuck on the end of his fur. Lice? The vet looked at them under the microscope and showed me as well. We were flummoxed. Whatever they were, they didn't appear to be eggs, but they definitely were adhered to the hairs, not just laying on them.

So after getting poked and prodded, poor Timmick came home for a bath, "just in case" he was infested with creepy crawlies.

You may be able to see the bulb of an ulcer on his left eye (the eye on your right in the photo). Its the shadow all the way at the right corner of the eye in the photo.

He purred all the while. He's a sweet little guy, and sadly he'll probably be more adoptable, rather than less, with one eye.

His rescuer stopped by with much-appreciated help for both the bank account and my larder:

One more invoice for the summer Kitten Flurry library of bills:

My invoices always indicate a credit card number, but that is actually a debit card. I'm using real dollars (donated by many of you!) to pay these bills. Thank you!!!

Guess this airport. Sorry I've been gone so long....

A team mate and friend I really love got a great new job with Rescue Bank. I hate "losing" team mates. Even though we are remote workers, they really are more like family than friends. I went on an unexpected whirlwind tour of our Adoption Options workshops in Providence RI, Buffalo NY, Minneapolis MN, and Green Bay, WI to fill in for her, as another team member transitioned in. Whew!

Blog post catch-up coming now!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Kittens, kittens, and more kittens!

13 to be exact!

A team member at work got a great new job, and that means I have a bit more travel than expected, so I apologize for the delay in posting. We have 13 kittens in-house, and already five are neutered, thanks to the SPCA of Tompkins County for an affordable option, and also Tracy, who fostered the Lockwood kittens and did the drop-off and pick-up at the SPCA for three males because I had to travel and really didn't want to pass up the offer of 3 $50 spots! The Lockwood kittens got some great exposure to kids who are used to fostering shy kittens. The orange kitten above is one of those.

First, all 13 went off to Cornerstone for FeLV/FIV tests (and did I forget to bring microchips along? I did!) and all tested negative.

Thank you to everyone who is helping with the cost of testing, vaccination, and spay/neuter!

I ordered more vaccine and had a bit of a scare when I paid extra for Saturday delivery and it didn't show up as scheduled. It did arrive Monday and I made the UPS guy wait while I opened it to be sure the vaccine was still cold. was, or I would have had to pay another $200 to get a new batch here while submitting a damage claim with UPS.

I'm posting the invoices so folks who donated to help this batch of purrballs can see that their gift is being spent on kittens, and not on a vacation in Costa Rica (as if)!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

5 kittens out, 5 kittens in

Five of the Manx litter went to the SPCA of Tompkins County, where they will be sterilized and put up for adoption. They will get homes far faster than they would here. I kept the smallest one (number six) because he is about the same size as the fluffy gray "found in the middle of the road" kitten I have in the house, so once FeLV/FIV tested they could be housed together (with fingers crossed that they don't give one another a URI).

Sunday I got a text from Jaime, Daphne's (previously "Goggles") mom, and their gathering of July 4 celebrants had found an abandoned kitten. We always agree to help out our adopters, so the little kitten, Victoria, is now here with us. And boy is she a cutie:

She's about a size of the smallest kitten in the batch of four I have, so again, once tested and after a second round of vaccines for them, and a few days after hers, they can go together. I hate to mix kitten litters together, but single kittens can sometimes grow up bitey. And also, what must it be like for a single kitten to watch four kittens romping around on the floor and you can't join in?

Jaime then went on our Amazon wish list and bought us the rest of the water bottles we need, and some cat food. Thank you, Jaime!

Then I got an email today from a gentleman who took in a abandoned female cat who had kittens under his porch. He assumed it would be easy to find them homes, and realized "not-so-much." When he called a shelter, they told him they might be able to help and they would call him back. They didn't. He called again five days later and they said "Sorry, can't help."

So we'll assist in getting mom cat fixed (whom I believe he will keep) and take the kittens and find them homes.

RED ALERT! CHANGE IN STORY. I just got a Facebook message from Jaime:

Susan, you won't believe this (actually, you will), but my Dad (who lives next door to my aunt) found two more kittens in the shrubs. They caught one and are trying to lure the other out from under the deck. Same litter.

I guess Victoria won't need to be matched up with another litter. The rest of her own will be joining her. So, five kittens out, seven in!

Gotta love a Kitten Summer. Whew. I guess I'm going to have to put up a GoFundMe appeal again this year, because FeLV/FIV tests for twelve kittens, plus future spay/neuter, is going to cost a lot. Spay/neuter is a bit easier to manage, because the kittens can go out on foster-to-adopt, and then come back to be sterilized. But they all need to be FeLV/FIV tested right away. That's something that can't wait.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The art of "thank-you"

What do kittens do, besides look cuuuuuute? They eat! And eat. And eat. So I posted our Amazon wish list link on Facebook today, because these little buggers (there are 11, with one more arriving tomorrow) eat five cans a day, and then the adults stare pleadingly, so they get a share as well. That's ten cans of cat food a day, in addition to their dry chow. That's a lot of cat food!

Pepper and Timea's rescuer Jo has been a regular cat food savior, not just for the two cats who came here from her, but the others as well. Megan, who is steadfastly looking for her lost Luca (post to come), nonetheless took time to send the Owl House cats two boxes of wet food two weeks ago. My UPS guy has a sense of humor, hauling these heavy boxes up to the door regularly. Luckily I caught him before he dragged up six boxes of cat litter from Jo earlier this year, since they needed to go to the Owl House HQ barn instead of the house. He always has a smile when he arrives. I think he knows how much these small but heavy boxes mean to the cat who are peeking out at his truck through the windows.

Nom-ing kittens eat me out of house and home each summer. Nancy (adopter of Gizmo and past Owl House foster home) was already planning to come out to visit when I posted the wish list on Facebook, so she stopped by Walmart to pick up kitten and cat food. We played with kittens and cats in the HQ, and sat by the memory garden for a while and talked. It's nice to speak to someone human now and then...especially about something other than cats!

Saying "thank-you" is a grace and a skill. I guess some people are born with it. I was not. I recall once when I was a teenager, someone gave me something and I felt overwhelmed by the gift. I didn't know how to say thank you on such a large scale. I don't remember the gift, but I do remember my mother's words: "Susan, you just need to learn to be gracious about accepting gifts."

And every time I delay in sending a thank-you, and realize, "No! I forgot to email, or blog, or send a note!" I can hear my mother's reminder "Susan, you need to learn to be gracious about gifts." It's such a gentle statement, but nonetheless, firm.

Upon writing this post, I popped into my rescue email and found the following message from Jo:

I saw your "kitten S.O.S." and you should be receiving from Walmart (July 9 arrival):

2 14-lb. bags of Purina Kitten Chow Nurture
1 32-can pack Friskies Savory Shreds
2 packs @ 300-count 9-Inch Paper Plates

Seriously, I am doing a happy dance over 740 paper plates (between Jo and Nancy). And Kitten Chow! I expect kittens toss half of the dry kitten chow they are given out of the cage in their joy de vivre and every time I see the morning mess I tell those kittens "Don't you know you are tossing dimes out of your cage every time you do that?" And then I look at their little round faces and say "Oh my, you are so freaking cuuuuuuute!"

So thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU! Everyone who has donated, who has adopted, or who has just stopped by to comfort and comb the cats, or entertain the kittens, I can't thank you enough. I need to post more about the people you have helped...the people who find these cats and kittens and bring them here. I tend to post only about the actual animals, but no cat ever called, texted, or emailed for help. Only people do. I have left them out of the story, and I need to start adding them. You have helped them too, in a huge way.

Thank you.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel - September 30, 1928 – July 2, 2016

(Bo and Davis, nabbed from Facebook today, obviously well and happy in their adoption home)

My college friend, Robin, posted this on Facebook today:

Remembering Elie Wiesel, who passed away today. We cannot rely on him to remember for us anymore. It is now up to all of us to remember, and try to do better together.

It was fitting this news came to me from a friend. He had this to say about friendship:

And what is a friend? More than a father, more than a brother: a traveling companion, with him, you can conquer the impossible, even if you must lose it later. Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing. It is a friend that you communicate the awakening of a desire, the birth of a vision or a terror, the anguish of seeing the sun disappear or of finding that order and justice are no more. That's what you can talk about with a friend. Is the soul immortal, and if so why are we afraid to die? If God exists, how can we lay claim to freedom, since He is its beginning and its end? What is death, when you come down to it? The closing of a parenthesis, and nothing more? And what about life? In the mouth of a philosopher, these questions may have a false ring, but asked during adolescence or friendship, they have the power to change being: a look burns and ordinary gestures tend to transcend themselves. What is a friend? Someone who for the first time makes you aware of your loneliness and his, and helps you to escape so you in turn can help him. Thanks to him who you can hold your tongue without shame and talk freely without risk. That's it.

I wonder, in all this media frenzy about US elections, Brexit, guns, and mass killing, whether he will get the remembrance he deserves--and whether we can remember (and keep in mind) anything he had to say. I know I was on my way to forgetting, until now.

Jack and the Leewit check in from paradise...

Last month Mary sent me a photo of Jack and Leewit in their Purrfect Fence paradise. All I could think of was the Lion King on the great rock. You can see the fence in the trees in the back. It must be wonderful for them to have such a safe and large space to enjoy the sun and air:

(Click to expand the photo)

And then there are the indoor cuddle moments:

The weather is gorgeous this weekend. I'm sure everyone there is making the most of this beautiful day!

Happy Independence Day Weekend

and boy, do I have a lot to get done! I expect everyone else using this weekend to catch up on work, both indoor and out, as the beginning of July is usually when things have begun to get a tiny bit out of control in the yard and garden. While the drought has kept the lawn and fields lower than normal, mowing is replaced by watering.

But first up, a Buster photo. He was helping me stake lilies this morning in the front garden.

My phone rang, and my friend Gina wanted to come over and borrow a trap. There's nothing that moves your house cleaning along like an early morning visitor. What if she needed to use the bathroom? Argh! There's a kitten and a cat box in the bathroom!

Luckily Gina wanted to play with kittens in the Owl House HQ, so here is your weekend dose of kitten!

The gray kittens preferred to find amusement on their own:

Gina also helped me move one of the extra-large cages from outside by the hose (where it had been getting a scrub down) back into the barn HQ so I could move another litter of four out of a small cage into a big two level cage. They grow so fast!

If you need a kitten-fix of your own, I'll be here all weekend including Monday should you want to come and play! I do need to run out for some errands, so email first at

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Nueve (Now Footnote) checking in!

I nabbed this photo of Footnote (who was "Nueve" here at The Owl House, rescued by Debra), from Facebook. She's all grown up!

Kitten shot!

Monday, June 13, 2016


We have a new kitty here. Basil was supposed to be a quick visitor. From a feral colony in Waverly, he was supposed to just get a neuter, shots, worming, and flea/earmite treatment, and head home.

Unfortunately he had a half-healing injury so off to the veterinarian he went:

He seems to enjoy being petted, although he doesn't look for it. When I put his wet food in front of him in the cage, he immediately eats it. Most feral cats will wait until the threat (me) is gone--or at least has moved across the room--before eating. Because he has to stay here until that wound is entirely healed, I went ahead and had him FeLV/FIV tested (negative!) in case he tames up while he is visiting. While it's likely he doesn't have an owner given that he's at least two years old and unneutered, we'll report him as found to Stray Haven, and perhaps he'll find a new home where he doesn't have to worry about fight wounds in the future.

Robin gets a home!

After almost a year and a half, sweet Robin has come out of his shell and has found a home. All three of the kittens from under a mobile home nearby grew up very shy. Gremlin (the tiger) will probably remain here in my house as a pet, as he has high matting fur and is quite shy (but loves other cats so give Oliver someone to play with). Valentine, the white cat, also has coat issues, but I'm working on her because, since she is so beautiful, she is highly adoptable if only she would permit more combing.

Robin has always been the most brave of the three, and doesn't it figure he loves combing? And doesn't really need it? With his rakish tilted ear, his new guardian fell in love with his photo on-line and waited months while I was traveling and she was moving to a new apartment, to adopt him.

I dropped him off yesterday and I'm sure they thought I was a crazy person. As with most old apartments, there were corners in a closet where the sheetrock did not meet with a large gap behind, where a determined cat could rip and tear. I taped those over "just in case." Robin isn't a rip-and-tear-type cat, but then he's never been in a rip-and-tear situation before. They also have a knee-wall door that has no latch, so we pushed a heavy object in front of it and they promised to arrange for a latch, since Robin could enter the house walls there. They were surprisingly tolerant of my paranoia. It's just went cats are far away, it's hard for me to help when problems occur. And they have occurred in the past.

Surprisingly, while Robin was quite scared, he was still very interested in treats. Normally a shy cat just wants to be left alone when relocated to a strange place, but he still loved his crunchies. Late last night (his first night in his new home) I got a text with Robin playing with a feather toy!

While his "safe room" had the tiny wall gaps I mentioned, the rest the apartment is secure, small, and quite cute. I think he's going to be a happy cat!