Sunday, April 16, 2017

The dilemma of Tink and Tank

Tink and Tank keep heaping health issues on. Just to screw with my head, they keep adding issues that are individually non-lethal, like a sort of "add a straw to the camel" game. They were in to my veterinarian last week for blood and urine samples, and for Tink to have his eyes checked, as he now has a corneal ulcer, in addition to small irritations on his face. They also had both lost some weight. They are both on an antibiotic, and Tink is on two eye medications. One was quite pricey, but since my veterinarian has been doing a ton of work for me for basically free, I have no complaints there.

Tank has now followed Tink into bowel incontinence.

Through all of this they remain alert and personality-driven silly little cats. My veterinarian said to feed them whatever they like (previously I had been feeding them just super-premium dry food so they were on a single food) so they have re-learned the joys of running for the sound of a cat food can pop-top. The weather is nice so they explore the porch. But even with the weather so warm, they quickly run back to their heater and huddle up as close as they can (I had to put a grate in front of the heater to keep them from getting too close). They still love to snuggle with me even though now they are forced to remain on a fuzzy towel.

But they hate that they are now confined a big two-level Ferret Nation cage at night and when I'm not home, instead of being allowed to roam at large. And slowly they seem to be losing their willingness to explore now that they are subjected to regular regimine of medications, baths, face wiping, butt wiping, and caging. Right now the door to the porch is open. They just looked up, and then snuggled back down in front of their heater, uninterested. Once the sun hits the big dog pillow, they might be willing to shift there. But for just breeze and open air, they are not willing.


I am quite aware of the impact their appearance has on people unfamiliar with their issues when they come to my home and see these two dudes coming running up. Honestly, if you walked into my house and saw these kittens you'd wonder what abuses I'd been subjecting them to. Half-furless, skinny little faces that look like they've been starved (but fat little bodies). Unthrifty fur that looks like it could be resolved with just a bath (nope!). Crust on their eyes an hour after they have been wiped. Poopy butts an hour after having a bath. Poor little bugs!

Anyone who knows me knows I am not a person who hangs onto cats who are suffering. I don't want to live beyond when I am happy with my life. Especially now that I have cared for a person who has died, I know there comes a time when you wish God would just turn off the switch and call you home, while you are still able to ask for it. I used have a wildlife control business and had to kill scores of rabies-infected suffering raccoons. As life-or-death decisions go, rabies is a fairly simple one. Rabies is 100% fatal for wildlife, so you never have to feel "I could have done more."

While I admire many of the changes that the so-called "No Kill" movement has brought to animal sheltering and rescue, I have issues with the extremes some people have taken it to--keeping animals alive just so we can say we did everything we could...even when the animal will ultimately be killed anyway, is miserable in his continued existance, or is confined for the rest of his or her life. I've watched countless on-line dramas of kittens "saved from the awful shelter who was going to kill him" due to serious health issues, have watched the fundraisers and veterinary efforts...only to see that kitten ultimately die or be put down.

Absolutely there are many successes as well. But it is a difficult decision. When is it about the animal, and when is it about us?

I've never had kittens like this, nor been in a position where the answers to questions still pending may not come until Tink and Tank are too far gone to save. Honestly, I feel they already are. I feel that perhaps there are issues they have that perhaps could have been prevented if they had been diagnosed two months ago. But now that they already exist, can they be reversed? I'm almost certain that when test results come back, the answer will be "These young cats cannot survive much longer."

But what if they say "Oh look, just an inability to produce an enzyme!" (for the digestive issues--obviously more is going on than that)--and I have already had them put down for something that perhaps could have been mediated?

Because I travel for work, this issue does not just involve me. It involves different people who have fostered these kittens and are scheduled to foster them in the future. It involves a lot of issues that I don't share on a public blog (I whine enough as it is).

But mostly it involves Tink and Tank, and at what point "enjoyment of life" tips into "just existing for the sake of an answer." We know that cats enjoy grooming, being clean, eating, playing, and enjoying the company of others. Basically all Tink and Tank have at this point is their comfort in one another and with me. And food. They love food.





















Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Facebook stalking: Daphne

Daphne (formerly Goggles, abandoned on our road and found by neighbors) just discovered her family got a rice cooker. What is that thing?

Monday, April 10, 2017

Facebook stalking: Ziggy and Tiger Tom

Ziggy and TigerTom's family adopts hard-to-place pets, and just adopted a senior dog. Clearly Ziggy cares not. Ziggy was a former-feral who was hit by a car and we had his leg amputated with the help of the SPCA of TC and the Maddies Shelter Med program at Cornell:


TigerTom is getting up there in years but he sure looks content! They adopted TigerTom because he had been at the Owl House longer than any other cat (5 years):

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Saturday, April 8, 2017

FIV and Fern and Grayson


Fern has been adopted! She came here almost five years ago after being dumped on Hagadorn Hill Road with her tiny kittens. Craig and Valarie found them and brought them down the hill to us.


She was too freaked out to feed her kittens, so I ended up bottlefeeding them. Unfortunately, they failed to thrive. They seemed to do pretty well for a week or two, and then went downhill. They are the only bottle babies I've ever lost.

Fern doesn't much understand the meaning of the word "walk" and sort of dashes from point A to point B, which made it difficult for potential adopters to interact with her. She also isn't a fan of being picked up. I found her unbearably cute, as she would turn somersaults asking to be petted in her run, but she was a tough sell when there were more traditional cats and kittens available for adopters. From a distance she looks like an average tiger cat. You have to get close to her to see just how unbearably cute she actually is. She also make a wonderful range of tiny sweet noises. Even though she's pudgy she's a small cat...only 6.5 pounds.

Ferns "run-mate" was Grayson. Grayson was also here quite a long time...almost three years. He tested negative for FeLV/FIV on arrival, but then when he was chosen for adoption, he tested positive for FIV in his pre-adoption check-up, so the adopter took another cat who had been his equal choice.

Because Fern had already been housed with him for so long, I left them together. After Grayson was adopted by Janine in Sayre, I figured I'd re-test her in 3-4 months to be able to advertise her as FIV free again. By then, Grayson's adopter was thinking she wanted a second cat. Who did she choose? Fern!

So off Fern went to her pre-adoption vet visit. And after three years living in a 4x8 run with Grayson (with liberty half the day of course)--cuddling, wrestling, having kitty spats, sharing bowls--Fern was still negative for FIV.

So back with Grayson she has gone, to live with Janine! I was worried that after a few months apart they might not get along, but it appears I need not have worried:




The only long-termer we have left is pudgy little Heidi. The rest of our cats have been here just over a year or less. My goal this spring is to get Heidi adopted. She's another little cutey that just needs the right person to come find her. So I'll get some updated photos and video of her soon.



(Oops! I forgot Pitter and Patter. They have been here longer than a year. Sorry kits, didn't mean to forget you!)


Bath night for Possums

The Possums needed their dirty butts bathed again tonight. Their fur seems less greasy that before, and it appears the fur on their backs maybe slowly growing back...however that may just be wishful thinking on my part. The incontinence is a real problem. Tink really wants to cuddle, and that's difficult when he's oozing poop. I guess it's off to the vet again.



A nice gift for your local shelter

Don't get one for me, I already have the poster, which I picked up at a conference.

"Hold old is that kitten?" booklets available here from Alley Cat Allies.

No cats, just music.

My apologies if you get the rainbow-pooping unicorn as an ad. :)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Goji and Sully get adopted!

Due to family responsibilities, I wasn't available for adoption visits most of January, February and into March, but some intrepid would-be adopters hung in there, and three adult cats, Goji, Sully, and Fern, were adopted. Fern will get her own post for special reasons.

Both Goji and Sully were off the northern part of Tompkins County. Goji has gone to the Mill apartments right near where I used to live in Etna, and he was immediately chilling on the couch--although when I left he was hiding behind it, which is usual for a new arrival.


His new mom reports:

Goji is doing fabulous! He's so well behaved and is really nice to come home to. He's more like a dog than a cat, complete with drool and all haha He's been adjusting very well though, I think by day 2 he felt right at home...He's the best!

Oops, yes, I'd forgotten Goji drools a bit when he's really happy being petted. Since I get so little long-term sit-down time with the cats, that had totally slipped my mind. I'm glad she seems to be OK with it!

Sully is now on the outskirts of Cayuga Heights. This is an adopter photo of him in his new home:


He is still settling in and has get to meet his new housemates...two standard poodles who can see him through the glass door. Sully is pretty bombproof, so I'm hoping they get along well!

Have great lives, Sully and Goji!

The Possum Kitten Page

Update 4/10/2017. All of the lab reports for these kittens are not listed here and they are still with the veterinarian.


This post gathers together all of the info on the Possum kittens (so-called because of their skinny possum-like faces). Suggestions from professionals--or non-professionals who have experienced a strikingly similar case in a personal pet--can be emailed to possumcats@gmail.com . If you just have a guess or a comment(stab-in-the-dark) please include those in the comments below. Messages from professionals will be forwarded to my veterinarian.

The photos and videos below are in chronological order from when the kittens came to me, to present-day.

Tink (has more white, 3.5 lbs) and Tank (larger kitten with more orange, 3.7 lbs) are almost 8 months old.


Thin possum-like faces
Dwarfism.
Their limbs are in proportion to their body size
They have thin fur (just the undercoat) that started to look shabby at around 6-7 weeks of age
Alopecia along the back and rear sides (photo below)
They sometimes have eruptions of very small scabs on their back toward the tail. Antiseptic wipes seem to clear this up.
Thin fur on paws--digits are clearly visible (photo below)
Toenails split easily.
Eat and drink generously. They drank almost constantly up until about two weeks ago. Their intake seems normal now.
There is sometimes a grinding noise in their jaw/teeth when they chew
They sometimes gag on their food
Messy eaters. Dry food is often stuck to their chins and they get this food in their water when they drink and it falls off.
Dirty paws inside the leg from cleaning their faces.
They trot but seldom run. They play when encouraged, but don't often initiate play or play on their own.
They spend a great deal of their cage-free time hugging the electric heater
Thickened joints on Tank (photo below)
Cloudiness to eyes (veterinarian states cataracts), and eyes if unattended have periodic dark-brown crust. I do not yet have a good photo of their eyes.
Broken-off whiskers. I thought this was originally barbering (kittens chewing one another's whiskers off) but I have seen no sign of this behavior.
Soft barely formed stool. They have had diarrhea in the past, but after treating with fenbendazole this returned to their normal soft stool. (photo below)
They each have 4-6 bowel movements a day.
Recently (since 4/1/2017) Tink has become slightly incontinent. Very small amount of soft stool (not diarrhea) extrude from his rectum. He did not have this problem previously.

Tests run: CBC/Chem, fecals, Giardia, Toxoplasmosis, T4 free T4,T3 and TSH.

The kittens were vaccinated for FVRCP with Heska Ultranasal and have been vaccinated for rabies.
They have been neutered
They are receiving B12 injections
They are fed a dry low-grain super-premium diet


August 31, 2016, Tink and Tank arrived with a litter of kittens who were found scattered about as neonates in a lumber yard in Vestal, a few feet apart. While it's possible they came for different litters, is is not probable, as they were all in the same area at the same time, and were the same size. A calico cat meowing around the area later that day was subsequently captured, spay/neutered, and returned to the lumber store, were she is slowing taming up and has become their store cat.


Here is their mother on February 25, 2017. She is now the store cat at a lumber yard in the Southern Tier:


October 5, 2016. Tink and Tank as nice normal-appearing kittens, with their littermates who quickly outstripped them in size. The littermates were transferred to another organization, so I don't have access to their adopters, however they were all of normal growth, round and robust when they left here. Tink and Tank are the orange kittens.



October 10, 2016:



Tink and Tank both fell behind their brothers (the entire litter was male) at around 6-8 weeks. While their brothers were over 3lbs at 10 weeks and went off the be neutered, Tink and Tank were still just under 2 lbs.

November 29th, 2016:



Approximately November 29th, 2016. Tank, looking unthrifty, but still with some roundness to his face at that time:


Both kittens seem to have faint voices, but Tink is most "voiceless"



Here is another "meow-less" video with Tink on his back (the veterinarian would like various views of them):



March 29, 2017, Tank. You can see his greasy fur in the front, lack of fur in the rear, low-fur toes (no cute soft round paws), short broken-off whiskers (although not clearly seen) and thickened joint areas (front knees and elbows) as well as his thin "old man" face.




If they are not given regular baths their fur becomes greasy, however even after a bath, they do not have neat fluffy fur.

March 28, 2017. Here are Tank and Tink after being left without a bath for a week. Note the alopecia in the rear and sides, and the greasy fur in front.


March 28, 2017. A close-up of Tank's back. My veterinarian states this is alopecia not overgrooming. The hairs are not broken off:



March 28, 2017. Tank's toes. No soft fuzzy paws here. The crust on the far inside paw is from Tank cleaning his face. These kittens are also very messy eaters. They don't seem to lick their lips. Dry food is often stuck to their chins. (Note: These kittens were left without a bath so my veterinarian could see what their coat etc. looked like. They were given a bath after their vet appointment).


They hug the heaters whenever they can, and after baths, I put them in little sweaters until they are totally dry:


March 31, 2017 walking around:



April 6, 2017. Body is fairly in proportion (legs are not stubby). Tink seen here with 19-year-old Fluffy


A visitor mentioned they looked larger online than in person, so here is Tank with a soda can to compare:


The soft somewhat formed stool which is their norm:



REPORTS:

Thyroid (3 images)




Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Farewell mom...

For those not on Facebook, yes, I've been gone a long while. And my sisters and I, well, we've grown up a bit over that time, too. My mom, who has been thumbing her nose at kidney and heart disease for years by managing her diet and refusing to let it slow her down or keep her away from her friends, and whom I sure hoped that one day (years from now) she would pass without warning from a heart attack in her home which she loved---had become quickly and steadily weaker. Her church community worried about her, and my sisters, stepsister and I began looking after her, so she could stay home but not be alone. The primary responsibility fell to my sister who lives in the same city as my mom. Because my job is somewhat portable, I took on a "two days there, one day home" schedule, with an extra day home on weekends, in order to take care of the animals.

Unfortunately the reason for my mom's weakness became clear after she fell one morning from what turned out to be a heart attack. One medical helicopter ride and and an MRI later, she learned she had a brain tumor as well. She said she wanted to come home--she refused to go to a nursing home. With the help of Hospice in our county, two of her friends who were also home nursing aides, my sisters and myself, and an additional wonderful aide we hired, mom came home for less than two short weeks.

Mom's sister, Clara, and my cousin Bob were able to come up from Georgia to see her at home, and her friends from church and her Bible study group Heart to Heart also visited and sang to her.

She passed away on February 17, in the morning, with my sister Kathy by her side. I had just left nine hours earlier for my "one day home."




Louise Katherine Wilcox, 81, passed away peacefully at home in the care of her family on February 17, 2017 after an extended illness. Born on July 22, 1935 to Otto and Bertha Schlecht, she grew up with her sister Clara on the "Hillcrest" Jephson Estate in Cazenovia NY where her father was the estate caretaker. Louise was a graduate of Cazenovia High School Class of 1953. She faithfully reunited with her class whenever gatherings were held. She also attended Simmons College in Boston MA.

Louise raised her three daughters, Linda, Kathryn, and Susan in Greene and Earlville NY. She married Paul Wilcox of Norwich NY in 1975 and joined his three children, Robin, Kim, and Kevin to the family of her heart.

Louise was employed by the Norwich Pennysaver and then as a secretary in the Office of Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations at Colgate University for 28 years, retiring in 2000.

Louise had a great love for gardening, sewing, needlework, antiques, and the songbirds who graced her flower-filled yard. She was a teacher's assistant and Girl Scout leader in Earlville. In Norwich she became an active member of the community of the Christ Lutheran Church. She coordinated dinners, served as the congregational coordinator for Thrivant Financial and sang alto in the choir. She received comfort at her home while she was in hospice care from the community of Christ Lutheran Church, her local bible study group Heart to Heart, and other close friends.

Louise is survived her daughters Linda Greene, Kathryn Greene, Susan Greene; stepdaughters Kim (John) Natoli and Robin (Ron) McCarthy; sister Clara Waln; grandson Joshua (Anna) Greene; step-grandchildren Cory (Christie) Barton, Eliza (Kagen) Weeks, Emily (Edward) Ellison, Ryan (Kobie) Natoli, Trevor Natoli, Kelsey Natoli, Maria (James) Tarver, Danielle (Robert) Schmitz, Eric McCarthy, Kevin McCarthy; nephews David Waln and Robert Waln; cousins and numerous great-grandchildren.
Louise was predeceased by her husband and great love Paul Wilcox, her first husband William Greene, her parents Otto and Bertha Schlecht, and stepson Kevin Wilcox.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a charitable contribution may send donations to the Christ Lutheran Church (94 North Broad Street, Norwich NY 13815) or Hospice and Palliative Care of Chenango County (21 Hayes Street, Norwich NY 13815).



My mom was an extremely strong woman and she only got stronger as she grew older. She became my friend, rather than just my mother. We certainly exasperated one another now and then, of course. She expressed her concern about how much money I spent on the cat rescue while I was younger. But after I had worked for Petfinder for about five years, she seemed to accept my additional cat rescue hobby as--dare I say--perhaps even respectable. None of her daughters took a traditional route. Kathy, the historian. Linda, the professional musician (Buffalo Philharmonic). Me, the animal welfare advocate. Mom was a cat lover herself (and has asked to be interred with her beloved cat Charlie). She loved music and history. I guess it wasn't so surprising how we turned out. Or maybe she ultimately reflected some of what we had grown into.


But when it came down to it, mom was an artist, and her paintbrush was gardening and beautiful things. We all thought that mom would have been an great interior designer, but she always said it wouldn't make her happy if she did it for someone else. We have all inherited some of the small and beautiful things she created, discovered, or had kept her whole life.

She spent her entire young life on the Jephson Estate in Cazenovia, where my grandfather was the caretaker. Surely--even living in the carriage house--that affinity for beautiful things, beautiful lawns, and beautiful gardens had to have influenced her. You can see her childhood home here.

When mom said she wanted to come home, My sisters and I said "Of course you will" but honestly I think we were all terrified. Caring for a person, cleaning her, turning her, feeding her, medicating her, worrying about her and trying not to seem to worried, but also trying not to seem too carefree...I'm not sure I thought I could do such a thing. But I guess it's like anything else. When faced with the need, you do it.

So now I am home. There are the legal issues to deal with, and an extra house to care for. My sisters and I normally only visited one another when we visited mom. Now we'll need to create new and stronger bonds. I'm guessing if mom had had her wish---if she HAD just passed unknowingly from a massive heart attack---it's possible my sisters and I wouldn't have this bond. It's possible we wouldn't have seen our aunt and cousin, that we wouldn't have been interacting so closely with my stepsisters Robin and Kim. We might have all drifted aimlessly apart.

It seems less likely we will wander away from one another, now.

Thanks, mom. Even your dying gave an incredible gift.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The mystery of the Possum kittens

Our unthrifty kittens are still unthrifty. An adopter, whose aunt is a veterinarian, sent some ideas, and we will be checking them out with our veterinarian. I have a family member who also needs support, so I won't be able to get them in right away.


Here is Tank with one of the kittens that came in after he was admitted. The black kitten is 4.5 months old. Tank is six months old.


In addition to having scruffy fur, drinking tons of water, variable stool consistancy, periodically gagging (not throwing up), and failure to grow, they seem to have a lousy immune system, which isn't surprising. They catch EVERYTHING but luckily got their entire vaccination series and seem to slowly get over the URI's they have come down with. Currently Tank is walking around with a winky eye.

They are active little monsters. While they don't play as much as the black ferals, Nod and Blyken, they still motor around pretty rapidly. Tink, the smallest one, follows me everywhere. Tank, the larger kitten, got his paw stepped on accidentally by hanging too closely to my feet, so he has learned to keep his distance. Luckly, even though they are skinny, they are solid muscle. It's like having two animinated poorly taxidermied kittens running around.


Here they were as normal little babes. The other three kittens in the litter did just fine, but at about 8 weeks, Tink and Tank just stopped growing.



Luckily, they seem to fall into the "so homely they are cute" category. Two visitors have expressed interest in adopting them, but I do want to try to find out what is wrong with them first, if at all possible. Something like a liver shunt might be fixed (although it probably would drive me into the poor house). No worries at this point, however. My vet is curious about these guys as well, and she really has been helping out with donated services and tests.

Hang in there little Possums!

They do need better names than Tink and Tank, however.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Goji came to us from Waverly. Because he was neutered when he was found, we asked Stray Haven to keep him a short time and post him as "found" on their Facebook page to see if an owner might be missing him. Goji is a couple of years old. While he tolerates the cats here, he does sometimes give them a smack--he probably would be happiest as your one-and-only.


Note on below: Fleurie is adopted!!

In order to get swift Fleurie to sit still long enough for me to get a photo of her pretty self, I had to bribe her with some catnip. She proceeded to bath in it as well as load herself up with static electricity, which appear to have also reached her sparkling eyes! Fleurie is about 8 months old, spayed, and FeLV/FIV negative. She's a sweet, very friendly girl who is ready to go to a new home.


Byron below was adopted with Fleurie!

Sweet Byron II seems to be keeping his cute kitten face as he grows up, which I love, because it's irresistable along with his sad sweet meow and compels you to do whatever he asks. He would be a great companion for another cat, or to be adopted with Bryce, his larger, more outgoing, brother.




Sunday, December 18, 2016

Unthrifty kittens go on holiday to a foster home

My two little unthrifty kittens from the lumber yard litter went off to the veterinarian, Dr. Shakespeare at Cornerstone, where the only thing she could find was a possible bacterial infection in the puniest little guy.

But boy, did they luck out, because my veterinarian's daughter Cheyenne, who has volunteered here in the past, was home for the holidays and wanted some kittens to fuss on and love over. So the unthrifty pair went off to my veterinarian's home to get some serious loving for a time, and also the expert attention of my vet. And, bless her, because the kittens were coming into her care, she didn't charge for anything other than the FeLV/FIV tests each kitten had. She covered the blood work and meds.

I kept them for a week until Cheyenne arrived in town, and by then they were both doing quite a bit better. Less whining, and a better looking stool. But they still didn't look like happy healthy kittens. They've been in their foster home for a few days now, and I'm getting some happy-looking photos sent my way via Facebook!


Every kitten deserves a woodstove at Christmas-time!


Because the unthrifty kittens are in their foster home, the two black feral kittens can now come out and romp in my woodstove room. They are pretty easy to catch, and one is quite the purr-ball, but they aren't too enthused with me because I have to treat their eyes three times a day. I'm trying to balance this with toy-time and treats, but one--Blynken--still hisses when I reach for him. The other, Nod, thinks I'm OK.

What a bummer to have two sets of kittens at Christmas-time who aren't able to be adopted out! But at least they are both getting lots of attention, and hopefully will soon be well.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Returning torti-mom to her home

The torti-mom of the black feral kittens is all healed up from her spay at the SPCA of Tompkins County and went back to her home today. Her caregiver and the across-the-road neighbors were very concerned that she have shelter in addition to what was there. I don't have any new shelters put together (although I do have wood enough for one cut up, but not assembled) so I took along the one I have out for Buster--who doesn't use it now that he comes inside at night, and also because he has the heated little house on the porch. I'll put together a new one to bring them when I have a chance to get it assembled. So much to do, so little time!



Torti-mom did not go blasting out of the feral cat den when I opened it, so I left it for her to come out at her own pace. I dislike watching the "let-er-run" method of releasing newly spayed female cats, although the mystery gray-and-white eartipped cat, caught here, that I took for a rabies booster, did go zooming off. I was just as glad to see she was going to come out on her own, hopefully after realizing that she's back in her home territory.

If you get tired of boring conversation, the torti is shown again at the 50 second marker.



So at this location there were two adult cats -- the feral torti-mom, who is now spayed and eartipped, the unexpected gray-and-white cat who was already neutered and eartipped who got his rabies booster (so it is likely there is another person caring for cats in this rural section of the highway), and four kittens, two who were adopted by the landowner and a neighbor as indoor pets, and two who are with me, who have been neutered will also be adopted into indoor homes.

From six to two, and the two remaining are sterile, fed, and sheltered. Sounds like decent math to me!

Gifts from the hands and heart

One or twice a year, for a number of years, a beautiful package shows up at my door or at the PO Box. These arrived last week, a year to the day when they arrived last year:


They are all different colors and sizes, and they are a joy to unpack. Lately the ones sent have been round, and they wash really well--because they have no corners, they don't get stretched out on the wash, and for some reason they seem to snag less often on cat claws. They fit in cat beds just beautifully. If you have washed a cat bed, you know the inside never looks quite as nice as it does when purchased, although the outside may look just fine. One of these cuddled into the bed makes it looks new again, and the cats love them.

Fluffy (18 years old) says "yes, indeed."


Here is a video from last year with the foster cats in house check them out before they went out to the cats in the foster facility:



I took a pile into the cat facility, but before I could get them all tucked into cages and beds, Byron decided to check them out:




My heartfelt holiday thanks to the Handmade House in NJ and all the people who might knit/crochet for them, and also to George who, along with Jazz, adopted Tiger Tom and Ziggy, and brought The Owl House into the fold of shelters the Handmade House assists every year.

TigerTom and Ziggy are below, snoozing on Georg's Facebook page:





Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Kittens in the house

The inn is full. We've had more overall cat numbers in the past than I do now, but unfortunately we have a lot of cats and young ones who must be kept separate from others for reasons of health and happiness, so let's hope no one dumps another cat at the door. There would be no place to put him!

It's time for new photos. The four remaining "kittens" are now young adults and need to be marketed as such for the holidays. We have some lovely adults. We have Timmick the One-eyed Terror, and Spot the Declawed Cat who Bites. We have one feral female recovering from spay who will be leaving for her home territory soon. All of these I need to get photos of to share here with you, dear blog readers.

We do have four small kittens, however they aren't adoptable yet. Tank and Tink are two of the Lumberyard kittens who have failed to thrive, and it's time for a full vet workup on them. They eat, but don't romp and play like other kittens. They are needy, skinny, and whiney. They start to fill out, then get thin again. Their littermates were big robust boys, and have been adopted, but of course kittens from the same litter can have different fathers.

The littlest one, Tink, can't meow clearly. They tend to want to suck on one another, so I'm going to start putting one in a cage with a heater and another bed on the outside, so they can be close together but not suck.



The other two small kittens are feral. Imagine that! I FINALLY got some feral kittens after a summer full of friendly ones! They were neutered today, and are warming up nicely with a little help from canned food.




Branden and Nikki, our caretakers when I travel, had a cat show up at their door. She went off to be spayed today but...she already was! So she was vaccinated and treated for ear mites, and then came back here. I've posted her on the lost pet Facebook pages. If we don't find the owner, Branden and Nikki think they would like to keep her, so she is fostering with them, thank goodness!


Spot is a declawed cat who was found in Owego, and I need to head out to where he was found and put up posters. He was a sweetheart in the cage, and I was sure (and still hope I am) that someone had to be looking for him.



I felt badly for him in the downstairs of the barn, but because he could be someone's pet, I didn't want to put him upstairs with the other cats, so I brought him into the house in my guest room. Then I discovered Spot's vice--not an uncommon one for a declawed cat, and easily one that could have gotten him tossed out the door. He bites. As in, rolls around purring by your head and then sinks his teeth into your scalp, bites. This is the reason we don't permit declawing. Declawed cats often compensate for the lack of claws by using their remaining "weapon"--a less tolerated one--their teeth.

He is very treat motivated so I'm going to try some clicker training on him. But here was another cat I expected that, if his owner couldn't be found, he could be adopted right away. Now he needs a special home. He does love playing with another cat I have in the facility, a beautiful Russian blue type. So I may bring that cat into the house as well, and see if they would get along in the two guest rooms upstairs. Pepper and Timea would have the other half of the upstairs. The Russian Blue will get a home quickly (no vices so far!) but in the short term, Spot would have a friend. He tends to bite more when he is bored and finally a human comes to play with him, so perhaps with another cat to wear him out, he would be less likely to use his teeth. The Blue is a big former tom cat, but very playful himself, and about the same age.

Hopefully we'll have a sunny day soon, so I can get improved photos of the clan!






Saturday, November 26, 2016

Things we can lend: urine collection box for diabetic cats or urinary issues

I've been going through things we own, disinfecting them, and bagging them up so they stay clean. I'm pitching things that have accumulated that I probably will never use. It's incredible how much "stuff" I have, given how sparse I keep my house. I have quite a bit of vacation racked up, so I may take a day each week and dedicate each day to a particular project.

This urinary collection box, however, I will keep, and if anyone should need to borrow it if you need a number of urine samples from your cat, keep us in mind.



The link for it online is here.

If I can remember how, I'll make a category for equipment we can lend.

Valentina learns to love

This will be the first time I've embedded a Facebook video. I'm not sure if a person can see if they aren't logged into Facebook or not.



Emily (her new cat-mom) says:

I sing Simon and Garfunkel and she just melts! She's beautiful inside and out (and goofier than I ever expected)
Valentina has finally accepted love... and I can't get her to stop purring and following me around! Thank you so much for bringing this joyful wondercat into my life

Beautiful Valentina was the queen of the cat room. While she would let me pet and comb her, she would only tolerate a few pets from other visitors before she would wack them. Clearly Emily has the magic touch, and Valentina is blossoming. I'm sure she is much happier in her new home than stuck in the boring cat room!

Have a wonderful life, Valentina!