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!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Finally got something with a keyboard larger than a pea

I was foolish to think I could actually blog using the iPad Mini I got for free with my upgrade earlier this year to an iPhone 6. It's just too darned small. So I was able to pick up an Acer Switch One 10 tablet with a keyboard for $120 on sale. It seems to have issues finding my router, but I can connect via my cell hotspot well enough until I work that out. I drooled a bit over the full sized laptops, but honestly, I just need something to type and print documents, and to blog. I don't even need to do much internet searching. I don't need a machine with any serious guts. The battery on this little warhorse lasts 10 hours, so I can use it in-flight when I travel. Yes, it took six hours to download Office 365, but hey, at least I have it.


I have three days "off" (although part of that will be spent catching up on paying-work planning) and one of my goals is to get cat photos updated and get thank-you letters out. I've just put a pot of lentil soup on to simmer so further cooking won't be required and I've opened an MS Word doc to make my list of things to get done. It seems if I don't have a list--things don't happen.

Since the electric heat is on the great room, I had to move large furniture away from the heat runs, so my desk is now in front of the bow window where the cat food bowls reside (to keep them out of the reach of Molly-the-dog). In order to eat, the cats all must parade past me. Jessie, who is quite shy, graced me with her presence so that I could get her photo--a minor miracle in itself.


I finally got two FERAL kittens in--the first of the summer. Every previous kitten has been ridiculously friendly, with perhaps the exception of shy Supercat. Honestly, I enjoy the feral kits more. I feel like a warehouse when I get friendly kittens who would get homes far faster at a shelter with daily public hours.

Photos of the wild guys coming soon!






Sunday, November 13, 2016

Mystery gift, and lots of plates! Lots! Did I say "lots?"

Jo sent a donation of paper plates and tuna fish (Pepper and Timea loooove their tuna snack!) and an error was made on the order. When Jo sorted it out, the store sent the accidental shipment free, along with the original. We ended up with 2000 paper plates! They will get used, so thank you, Jo!


However she says she is the not the person who sent the wonderful cage cover that arrived on the same day. This cover was on our Amazon Wish List, and is especially helpful now, as it can be used to help keep kittens or cats from sniffing noses too much with other cats, comforting shy cats until they are more relaxed, and keeping sneeze droplets from flying if we should get an upper respiratory in a kitten and we can't move the kitten into isolation for some reason.

There was no note in the box indicating who it came from. If you sent this to us...thank you!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Even ferals play!

Turn off the volume for this, unless you want to hear my old microwave creaking away and beeping, and a kitten whining for breakfast!

Indoor cats will take a cat toy to the rungs of a chair and make it "difficult" to "catch" their prey.

Buster uses the pallets I have to stack wood on, and a leaf!



Victor gets a home

Four kittens are out the door, as Victor found a great new home (as long as his new sister-cat decides she likes him as a new housemate) and three of the lumber-yard kittens went to the SPCA of Tompkins County to be neutered, and they said they would keep them for adoption at the Annex in the Mall since they were friendly and ready to go.


As usual I forgot to take a photo of Victor in his new digs, so I have to post an older one. Hopefully they'll send something along soon--maybe of him playing with his new feline friend? We'll see!

I now have just two Lumber Yard kittens left (they will be neutered in about 8 days), and just five of the spring kittens, including Timmick.

Timmick needs a post of his own. He's a little terrorist. I've had to house him in the cat room with the bigger cats because he bullies the younger cats. He's going to need a very special home with lots of space and either no other cats, and some big dude or lady cat who will give him a good smack when needed!



Saturday, November 5, 2016

A Street Cat Named Bob

The movie is scheduled for limited release in the US. If you are lucky enough to be near a theatre, please go! If you can't go, I highly recommend the book.

Trailer:



Short documentary:

Monday, October 31, 2016

Buster-the-feral comes inside for National Cat Day

Note: I'm not sure why this posted twice! Must be the blog-powers felt Buster needed more exposure!

Look who decided that National Cat Day was a great day to come inside?


He has come inside the door and has poked around a bit before, but he has never really relaxed. This was the first time he cuddled up to sleep. After three hours he asked to go back outside again, where his heated house keeps him cozy. I've also found him back down in the basement when the wind is high. I guess I won't be fixing that cellar window for awhile yet.

I'd shut him in and just make him deal with behind an indoor cat, except I currently have kittens in the woodstove room, which means my pet cats have only the kitchen, dining area, and the great room to hang out in. Adding another cat to that mix would probably result in spats and spraying, and I can't risk that.

Soon the kittens will be gone to new homes, and he can spend more time indoors. I'm hoping that once the snow flies, he'll be contents to spend most of his time in here.

New Torti kitten

About a month ago, the couple who watches over The Owl House while I travel lost their cat. They were traveling after their wedding, and little Prune, a torti, slipped out the window of their parent's house where she was staying.

Since then we've been on the lookout for found torti cats, and a little torti showed up on Facebook, found in Lockwood. The young woman who found her had called the shelter, but they couldn't take her, so after trying to find the owner on her own, she posted the kitten on Facebook to find her a new home. When I went to pick her up, she was too young to be Prune. But because she still needed help, she came on home with me.


The very next day a woman was visiting to see if she might be interested in Wildflower, and fell in love with this little girl who had been here less than a day. So "Fleury" as she was named by her pending guardian, is now in the house awaiting her spay.


While she's less than six months old (she still has her kitten canines, which normally fall out at 5.5 months) she had a bit a potbelly which made me wonder if she might be pregnant. Sure enough, she miscarried about five days ago. She seems to be fine--no fever, lots of activity, a great appetite, but I'll be glad when she gets to the veterinarian for her spay.

I'm sure she'll be glad to get into a home where she'll get all the cuddles she needs, and no chance of future kittens!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Lumber yard kittens grow up

These five little boys are all scheduled for neuter on November 8, election day. Then hopefully out the door they go to new homes!



After her spay and recovery, their mom was welcomed back by the home supply store and lumber yard that rescued this small family earlier this fall. She's currently in their office (with doors that open to the warehouse and outside) getting re-acquainted with her old digs.


They have grown so much since their arrival on August 31!


Bird's just gotta have fun!

Short and worth the watch!

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 owlhouseadopt@gmail.com 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, Leslie...you 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.