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