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!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Clark Kent, Tuxie and "Waverly On the Hill"

A couple of months ago, Debra caught a cat that was doing OK on the street, but deserved something better. A big black feral tom, he had a twisted back leg that he sometimes used, and sometimes held up. He was holding his own, but clearly needed help. She caught him and brought him to The Owl House, and he was neutered at the SPCA of TC. The veterinarian there said he had an old break in his hind leg that was fused.

Clark is actually fairly friendly. He likes being scritched on his forehead and under his chin, and he meows for his wet food. But he will hiss and smack when only mildly startled, and he won't allow himself to be picked up.

In the old days, an injured non-social cat like Clark would have been put down without a thought, and in those old days, rightly so, since outdoor cats in many circumstances didn't get the care they do now. Clarke came back here for cage rest, to get weight on, get fleas and mites off, and see if his leg needed any more healing time. He was in a big two-level cage so he could stretch and move around.

Clark was supposed to go back to his original site, but Debra was concerned that there was too much cat competition at that particular location for a gimpy cat. So she decided to relocate Clark to a relative's house in the country, which had a couple of cats already that seemed to get along very well. There was a big garage to get out of the weather, and the cats were fed and watched over daily. So Clark and the two-level cage went off to the hills of Waverly, so he could be soft-released.

A soft-release (in wildlife rehab terms) means holding an animal in a cage right in their new habitat for a number of weeks, and then quietly leaving the door open so they can leave on their own terms, and even come back to the cage to eat and drink if they wish. Relocation of cats is never the best first-resort, since only about 60% of them "stick" at their new home. Luckily Clark was one of the 60%, probably because he had so much human contact at his original location.

Debra bought him a comfy bed, and he enjoys cuddling up in it on one of the garage shelves when he isn't exploring his new deck and lawn.

However there were a couple of cats at that location that weren't yet sterilized as well! So Debra set some traps and brought little Tuxie to the Owl House. She was spayed at the SPCA of Tompkins County and stayed with me for a couple of weeks before returning home entirely healed.

There is still one male left to get sterilized, but oddly enough, even though he is still a tom, he is getting along with Clark.

I can't thank to SPCA of TC enough for the spay/neuter spots. While they have to do their own residents, and other shelters with a great need than the Owl House, first, they do try to fit us in whenever possible. It's a haul to get over there and back twice a day, but with gas prices as cheap as they are, it would be absurd to complain. If I take three cats to the SPCA, I save almost $150 to $200 dollars even when the SPCA charges me their full price. When they have discounted spots, or if I am helping a person on state assistance, it can even be free or just a buck. I don't know for certain until I pick the cat up, so I come with money in hand, but it's nice to get a free "fix" and be able to stop by the store on the way home for more canned and dry food with the money saved, or be able to call up another person and say "catch that cat, we've got money!"

Now the summer has hit and there will be more kittens and pregnant moms, there will be fewer female spots available. But wow, what a huge help over the winter!

Another seriously belated "thanks!" A cozy cat house for Buster

Sharyn in New Hampshire notice my posts about Buster, the feral who showed up this winter, and my concerns about keeping him warm. She had a heated kitty house, which she shipped off to us.

The house cats were intrigued:

By this time, Buster had broken into the basement. When I first discovered he was sneaking in a gap near the oil-intake pipe, I was quite proud of my initiative in immediately repairing it:

That didn't last long. Buster was not to be denied:

So the little heated house went into the basement (which was convenient because there are outlets down there, and it could stay dry) and Buster had a cozy and protected winter. Other than the day a fox decided to check things out:

I guess I scared the fox enough (and she scared me!) that she didn't come back after that one visit. Now the bowls are up on a table.

If I can't get Buster convinced to move indoors, this microchip activated cat door will be next (and pricey) step. I'll need the more expensive one (the "dual scan") because apparently the cheaper one can be pulled open by little raccoon fingers. I have just been lucky so far that a short-legged little skunk hasn't tumbled down into the basement rather than a long-legged fox who can leap back out.

Thank you, Sharyn, for the house!!! It's a wonderful little thing and it kept me from having nightmares that he was shivering down there all winter. With the gap in the window where he went in and out, it wasn't exactly warm down there.

Buster wants "in"...but on his own terms

This was a cute moment this morning. I had moved the garbage can I keep kindling in around while trimming near the house and Buster-the-feral discovered he could request breakfast in person now. My bed is right next to the bow window, and I woke to an unfamiliar meow.

How sweet!

This was not so sweet. In fact, this ripped screen in the front room nearly gave me a heart attack as I frantically counted cats. Luckily they had all gathered for breakfast so it only took a moment to discover everyone was accounted for:

I can only guess that one of the cats was inside sitting on the cat window seat I have there, and Buster leaped up from the ground and the screen disintegrated under his claws as he fell back to the ground. My indoor cats apparently respect screens enough that they did not think to test this new gap.

I've been meaning to replace the nylon screens with aluminum one by one, but it was low on the financial priority list. Upstairs I have a second aluminum screen in each of the three windows that are open for double protection. I guess I'll need to pick up a few for the downstairs windows as well. Right now, they are closed, because I worry Buster will have a "go" at the other window as well.

I'd like to curse the material but, let's face it. These windows and the screen are probably 25 to 30 years old. With the sun beating on them in the summer evenings, it's no wonder they are weak.

So, disaster averted by merest luck!

I'd love to have Buster come inside nights, but he won't come near the door, and I can't leave it open. I may try shutting the other cats up in the great room when I feed them breakfast and start coaxing Buster closer and closer to the open front door with his morning wet food.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Handling a new colony

Note: This is a post that has been sitting in draft for about a month! I have finally had time to complete it.

A few months ago I received a small personal-size envelope at my PO Box asking for help. A woman had had cats dropped off two summers ago and last year kittens had been born. She currently had 13 outdoor cats in various stages of approachability. These were not "community cats"...these were now her own cats, whom she had names, sheltered, and cared for. The cats needed to be spay/neutered. She was willing to help, but she couldn't shoulder the entire cost.

At the time I got her letter, I was over my head with cats who needed veterinary care. Rose (in her foster-to-adopt home) still needed follow-up blood work and her dental to remove an old root. Noah, a senior cat still her in our facility, badly needed a dental (and of course, blood work). Two cats had been adopted (Pierre and Dixie) and needed pre-adoption vet visits. Eve needed to be spayed. I couldn't see how I was going to squeeze 13 more spays and neuters into the rescue budget before more kittens were born in this woman's yard. The note sat on my counter for a couple of weeks before I finally picked up the phone and called her.

It took a supreme act of courage on my part, because once I speak to someone on the phone, I'm a goner. I do most of my initial correspondence by email. Sometimes I have to say "no" (or you'd find me featured on a hoarding TV show, or in bankruptcy court) and it's easier to offer people alternatives or a timeline via email.

As luck (and good will from Pam at the SPCA of TC) would have it, the SPCA of Tompkins County had spay/neuter spaces, and a grant that brought the cost down waaaaay low. They were able to give me spots in twos and threes. Without their help there is no way this location could have been handled so quickly.

The owner was willing to do the trapping for those cats who were too shy to be pushed into a cat crate, and even transport them here and pick them up. So off to work we went.

The first three caught were females (yay)! They were neat little ladies in their cages which was a big plus. There's nothing worse than dealing with trashed cages every morning when the cages are full of scared cats.

The second three were males and they were almost as neat as the ladies of their colony. The owner caught two more females trying to get the males, so those two stayed here at the Owl House in big cages, waiting for the next girl-spots to open up the following week. "Do not" I told the landowner "release ANY cats once you have caught them." Released cats can sometimes be difficult to catch again right away.

In addition to doing a lot of work, the owner also brought supplies for the cats and a donation as well. She is also going to send a donation to the SPCA of TC. I find that people often want to contribute to help solve a problem they find themselves in...they just can't afford it all in one swat. And 13 cats is a heck of a swat!

All this has meant a lot of driving:

Cats to and from the SPCA in the morning and again in the evening: 120 miles/day times five clinics (600 miles!)
Pierre to Syracuse to his new home: 128 miles
Dixie to PA to her new home: 110 miles
Rose to and from Sayre PA, four times x 60 for her dental visits: 240 miles
Not to mention the vet trips for Dixie, Rose, Solo, and Noah.

It's a good thing the Kitty Kia gets good mileage and the SPCA intakes clinic cats at 7:00 am and releases them after 6:00 pm so I could work around my job!

These cats also have a beautiful spot up on the hill. For privacy reasons I won't post the actual little house there.

The three final cats were not interested in going into the traps, but that's when we pull out the big gun: a drop trap.

The landowner caught all three hard-to-catch cats in the drop trap the first morning she used it. This is "Gimpy" the very last cat captured. Her owner thought she would actually be the easiest to catch, as she has a deformed from leg that causes her to limp. However it appears her disability has caused her to develop great survival skills, because she was the final holdout.

Basically I just did training, a lot of cage cleaning and swapping cats in and out of cages and traps, a lot of driving, and provided the equipment. The females stayed here for 7 days after surgery, as I prefer that females be entirely healed before release. The owner did the rest of the work. Is it any wonder I took advantage of this situation to train this highly competent woman to take care of the Owl House foster cats when I'm traveling? She had her first "go" at this last week, with my regular caretakers doing Friday and Monday, and she did the weekend. Everything went great.

Which just goes to show, good deeds sometimes work out just as well to the giver as it does for the one who asked for help. She has 13 fixed cats, and I got some wonderful interaction and help from the SPCA of Tompkins County, another caretaker for my cats when I travel, and maybe even someone to sit on the porch and gab with this summer, now and then.

There you go.

Buster bonds with the indoor cats

Buster has been more of a presence around the house now that the weather is warmer. I'm hoping he will allow me to let him in the house at some point, but he still runs off if I come out when he is on the porch. He had no curiosity about being petted when I had him caged at the time of his neuter when he showed up here.

However he has come a long way with the other cats since the day he beat the tar out of my one indoor-outdoor cat Bear. Apparently his tom-cat hormones have finally subsided. Now he and Bear tolerate one another in the yard, and Buster enjoys hanging near the catio with the other cats.