Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bullet on a snowy day

I came back from a walk on the hill and saw a speck of black and white down on the field below the barn. He let me get to the barn door, but I used the zoom so as not to disturb him back into the wet snow again.

I then went into the house and got him some fresh water and wet food. Hopefully he'll find the treat before the opossum does this evening.

To be fair to the canine contingent, Molly was looking quite dapper on her walk, too.

She looked even cuter before she lost her coat on some barbed wire.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

OK, I'm swayed

So I really could care less about all those Grumpy Cat LOLs.

I didn't get why they were simply everywhere. But I was on YouTube today looking at something unrelated and "the original Grumpy Cat" video came up, and I clicked on it.

OK, he is so grumpy looking that he's cute. And, in fact, he is actually quite grumpy.

I will look at his future LOLs in a different light.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's time to laugh

OK, I laughed at the original, but when you dub in words, it's laugh-out-loud

Warning, adult language. It you laugh loud enough, no one will hear it.

Thanks, Donna, for sharing on Facebook, so I could share it here!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Jiffy Tags

One of my personal peeves is that we harp on people for not putting ID tags on their pets,and then make it hideously hard for people to put an ID tag on their pet.

Think about it. Need a collar and tag for your pet? Chances are good a cat collar will run you 5-7 dollars. If your cat goes out, he'll likely lose it at least once a year. It needs to be a real breakaway collar, not some leather thing. Sometimes we can find cheap collars, but not often.

Then there's the tag. You should be able to pick one up for a buck or two, right? Not on your life. You'll have to come up with around $7 to buy tokens to go make one in that machine over there. Or you can buy some shrinky dink thing you have to buy for 10 bucks and cook in your oven to boot. Or you can send away in the POSTAL MAIL to have someone send you one back, also in the overall neighborhood of $10. $17 to put ID on your cat. You can feed one cat for a month for that. And maybe buy a bag of litter, to boot, if you feed cheaper food and use cheaper litter.

If you are lucky enough to live close to an animal shelter, they may engrave one for you for free, or for a small donation, because they know how important it is.

Where you are going to buy one, however, they are going to make you pay, and pay dearly.

I always tell dog owners to write their home phone number on the dog's nylon collar with a permanent marker, but I have to admit, the last time I found a stray dog, I looked for a tag (none) but I don't even think I thought to examine the collar closely on the fuzzy fellow.

A wonderful woman at a foundation recently offered me 500 surplus collars they had. I said I'd take her up on the offer if I could get tags. I had this dream of buying a bulk box of Jiffy Tags ($320) and giving away collars and tags, or at least giving them away for the cost of postage, for as long as I could. The $320 was always elusive, however. I'd check the ACES catalog and stare at the tags longingly.

Then, when the new catalog came out, they were no longer there.

I searched online. No bulk box. In a panic, I called them. Jiffy Tags are seriously the only instant tag where you can see all of the information clearly. The others require you to tag a piece of paper out of the plastic holder, or squint. As a 50-year-old, I know how squinting no longer does the job.

ACES was wonderful. Apparently the place that makes Jiffy Tags is going out of business (retirement). I hope that ACES or another place will buy the equipment, and keep making them. I wish they would market them harder to rescuers and shelters. Most small shelters adopter less than 500 animals a year. 500 tags that go out on their own pets, and 500 to give away or sell, would make a big dent.

There is research that shows 3 out of 4 cats will keep a collar on (some will not, but you ought to try). It's the jingling that drives me mad (another reason I like the paper/plastic Jiffy Tags). Research has also shown that you can't just give the tag to people. You need to PUT IT ON THE PET to increase the success of getting ID on that animals. So collar training our adoptable pets before adoption is a good idea, and then we should affix a tag with the adoptee's address at the time of adoption. That, of course, costs money and time.

At any rate, guess what I did:

I now have the makings for a thousand ID tags. ACES still had a few bulk boxes in stock. They just didn't have enough to put in the catalog. So I spent all of my Christmas money (don't worry, friends, not the mortgage refinance money!) on a box. I wish I could have purchased two. While I'm pretty sure the offer of collars, which was made many months ago, is probably not an option, I'll check in on that in case they are kicking around still and need a home. If if that's so, I'll put a little icon here and on my blog, giving away a collar and tag (maybe two tags) for the cost of postage. I'll also include an info sheet on how to gently train your cat to a collar.

And yes, I have a photo. No, I did not find my camera. While cleaning my pantry, I found an old beater camera that I have and, hey, it still works? So while it won't be good for getting great adoption photos, it will do for the blog.

In a perfect world, you could buy a cat collar for around $3 and pick up a $2 instant ID tag at the checkout line at our big box pet stores. I'm guessing there is some non-compete rule to have one of those big engraving machines in their store (that's a guess), however I think they'd make more money off selling instant tags off the rack, even if they had to go as high as $3. The problem with the bulk box, for stores, is that the tag makings aren't individually wrapped. They are more expensive if purchased in their little individual packaging.

I'm now off to get supplies to do some repairs in the cat facility. More on that adventure later! It involves electricity.

Post Note: Here is a company that offers $4.95 tags with no shipping if you just go first-class mail. That's pretty good:

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Cassie and Marbles check in!

Here they are when they were first adopted.

Sadly, Billee has passed on. She was originally found dumped at a water spring pull-off, by Bill Brothers, formerly the owner of ACES Animal Care and Equipment Services, when he was visiting from California, and he gave me a ring to help find her a home. I guess I'll have to get another statue for the cat garden. Farewell sweet Billee. She was my buddy, and went with me to many business and adoption fairs. She had a great and loving home, based on the photos of the very-happy Cassie and Marbles.

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Thanks! (she says as she wrestling with sorting three email address books into categories, and tries to remember who adopted who, without having to resort to the paper records. Ugh!)

Loss of camera = No posts. Jewel is adopted!

I've misplaced my camera, which means no posting. Posts without photographs seem sad and lost to me!

However here is some great news: Jewel is being adopted!

Jewel came into our lives during a TNR project of a barn out Fisher Settlement way. It was supposed to be an easy in-and-out. There were four older kittens and mom (Jewel) to catch and alter at the expense of the landowner. However Jewel disappeared and then reappeared after the kittens were returned, with six tiny young ones.

You know where they ended up, of course. Jewel nursed her babies in my extra room and was returned to her barn. Her first litter of kittens had grown up by then, and they drove her off. Jewel ended up in a tree in the rural yard of Christy and Gordon, who are very good friends of The Owl House. Jewel must have picked up those friendly vibes. Christy took a photo of the cat and emailed it off to me and I compared her markings to photos I had of Jewel. She was definitely the same cat.

Jewel left the area before I could tell Christy to grab her, but she turned up again in November. Back she came to The Owl House. The post on her return is here, with video.
I called the barn owners, and they comfirmed she had been missing, and that they were just as glad to have her move into the adoption program, rather than come back to the barn she had abandoned.

So here she has been for just over a year. We got an email last week from a man who had had a calico cat when he was young, and was looking for another. He came over to visit, and even though Jewel was a bit pissy because other cats were loose, he chose her. She went off to the veterinarian yesterday and came out with a clean bill of health.

Fern was being a true cutie during the adopter visit, but I'm still not comfortable letting her go until she can be picked up. The man has two teenage daughters who visit on weekends, and Fern doesn't hesitate to present her claws when picked up. Still, we now know she will show her cute side to strangers.

So let's hear it for Jewel, who will be happy to get into a home with no other cats, and the affection she deserves!

I also have an inquiry from someone who is interested in Arthur or Gawaine. Hold onto your hats, we may get another adult adoption! That would be a great way to begin 2013. I'd love to get all of our friendly cats into homes before spring when kitten season arrives. Then perhaps I would not need to hide as much as I did last year, out of fear of cat-overload.