Sunday, December 28, 2014

My 2015 Cat Resolutions


Angel and her catnip toy
Chucky chillin'
Sweetie at the food bowl
Patty, with cute turned up to 11
Wild Bill Russell
Sammy ?-2014
My 2015 Cat Resolutions

For Angel and Chuck:
1) I resolve to put quality in our time together; toy play with Angel, and one-on-one with Chuck.
2) I resolve to finish the transition to wheat litter, in hopes that it reduces Chuck's intestinal issues.
3) I resolve to allow solutions to cat problems to grow organically with time, rather than jump to conclusions, or react with panic, or feel pressure to fix it NOW.
4) I resolve to find a new veterinarian, preferably a holistic practitioner.

For the 'o' cats:
1) I resolve to take both Sweetie and Patty in for veterinary check-ups in the Spring.  No more wishy-washy 'should I, shouldn't I?' about this.  Can't do it now, because we have no electricity for a heater in the barn as holding area, and it's too cold out now.
2) I resolve to TNR the elusive Wild Bill Russell.  
3) I resolve to put Sammy's heart-shaped container in a place that I can see daily.

For friends and family:
2) I resolve to encourage all cat-loving people that I meet to give 100% of themselves to their feline family members.

For myself:
1) I resolve to work on my own health, so I can offer positive vibes and attitude to the hubby, my people and cat families, and to my co-workers.  This includes physical exercise and mental relaxation.  2015 is my year for joy, humor, and growth!  
2) I resolve to re-establish electricity to the barn, by sweetly encouraging the hubby to GET IT DONE.





Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Lazy Magoo

video

My niece's cat Magoo knows how to get comfortable!

Merry Christmas, all!


Monday, December 22, 2014

The Move


Gratuitous Patty O'Malley photo from last month
My office moved to a new location last Friday, changing my 10-15 minute commute to 45-50 minutes.  Positive: I have my own office now, instead of a cube!  Negative: Cannot go home at lunch to visit the kitties.  So now Chuck and Angel, Patty and Sweetie will have to do with less of 1) me, and 2) no lunch snack.  Now, every one of my cats could stand to be on a bit of a diet, but I am going to miss them tremendously. And what will I do with my lunch time now?  Where will I find cats to play with?  Guess I'll have to get creative; maybe there is a cats-only veterinary nearby my new office that I can stop at and visit.  Perhaps I'll learn to take a walk and breathe in some air!  Or, I can go to the nearest library and check out the cat book selection.

Had a bad moment or two last week, when the impact of this change hit me.  And yet, my employer is growing, new things are happening, and it's exciting to be in the middle of it all.  And of course, the hubby has promised to jump in and fill up bowls with food or water if I am delayed.  Guess I'll just get extra kitty lovin' in on the weekends!  The mad weekend smooching crazy lady with cats...that's me!

P.S. At the company holiday luncheon raffle, I won a Nook!  Can't wait to figure out how to use the thing, and our local libraries have all kinds of free reading material downloads, so I won't have to spend eleventymillion dollars on new books.  Plus, the thing is a super huge camera, so let's see what kind of new cat photos I take!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Non-surgical Contraception for Cats and Dogs

What if...we could trap a colony of feral cats, give 'em all shots, then turn them loose again?  And what if one of these shots rendered the cat sterile?  Instead of surgery, the animal would have minimal time in captivity, minimal amount of handling, but all the benefits of a standard spay or neuter used by every TNR group?!?

Well, click here: Alliance for Contraception for Cats and Dogs to see what these fantastic folks are working on!  So many more animals would get sterilized if an injectable medicine can be discovered and used.  Humane and helpful, these scientists and veterinarians are working hard to find a solution to overcrowded animal shelters.

And think of the reduced cost for a non-surgical injection!  Even if it has to be administered by a licensed veterinarian, there may be no anesthesia needed, no more concerns about holding the animals for 24 or 48 hours for post-operative healing. Certainly makes sense to me!

Sweet Charlotte, loving for her forever home


I included this photo of Charlotte just because she's a lap kitty who wants a home of her own!  She was rescued by Paws for the Cause Feral Cat Rescue, and I've had the pleasure of being her lap for a few times.  She's on Petfinder!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Farewell to Orbit


Our blog pal Orbit left us last week, and in his honor, here are photos of as many black cats I could find.  He was a curmudgeonly old kitty, and we will all miss him

Chuck, near the hot-air vent
Evie, with her brother and sister
Pearl, visiting my front yard (see Angel in the window)
Sweetie
Rest in peace, dear Orbit.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sweet Sleepy Angel

video
If you turn the sound 'way up, you can hear that delicious purr that comes from a warm, sleepy cat who seems to be enjoying a little bit'o contact from her human.  Ah, if we could bottle this feeling and sell it, we'd be bazillionaires overnight!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Twin Kitties And Other Neighborhood Sights



While taking my evening walk in the neighborhood, I caught sight of some cool things!

Aries, the backyard neighbor's cat, begging for kibble...
Yikes!  Fatty Patty is a major chubby...maybe I should feed some of HIS kibble to Aries after all...
My two-doors-down neighbor's cats.  I don't know their names, but I was told they are sisters who were rescued from an animal shelter...yay!  So, I've made up my own names for these two floofy-tailed beauties...
Pearl, because she is black with grey on her shoulders.  She lets me pet her a little bit then runs away, and...
Opal!
This is closest I've ever gotten to her!
I am trying to make friends with these two, since they show up in our yard daily, but mostly run away when humans appear.  Don't like that they are outside a lot, but at least they aren't strays.  I do not want to start feeding them, like Aries (above), however, I've got my eye on them...
A hornet's nest in the tree I walk under almost EVERY DAY!  Gives me the willies to think about them, but I was never harmed...
Pretty decorations around a front door!
Sidewalk art left over from Thanksgiving.  Walking on rainbows!...
Lots of lights at this house!
This trellis is festive!
P.S. Our friend Orbit is still unwell, and his people are worried.  Sending purrs to Pooplogs and Peeballs, wishing the whole family comfort.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Angel Has Garlic Breath

In the hubby's arms
Being vegans, the hubby and I rarely eat out due to a lack of good places to eat.  Hey, this is Metro Detroit, not California!  Anyhow, we have a few favorite restaurants that serve great vegetable-based meals, and some have this stuff they call garlic sauce. It's raw, whipped garlic, and it's pure heaven to eat.  You must eat this with a close friend, because you cannot be around anyone else without bowling them over with your breath...seriously.

When we bring home a serving of garlic sauce, Angel gets all excited about it!  She will lick it right off my fingers, or from a piece of toast that's been buttered with the stuff. We do NOT allow her to have too much, but it's fun to watch her enjoy herself!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cat Hotel Complete...until I get crazypants again

The final (hah!) bit of work on The Cat Hotel is done.  The hubby and I added a piece of clear acrylic across the balcony on the second floor, to act as a windbreak.  The bottom floor already has a windbreak inside; a hallway really, but I noticed that Patty O'Malley tends to use the upstairs, and I want him to be as cozy as possible when Old Man Winter joins the party soon.  We originally had plans for two compartments on that second floor, but once Sammy (R.I.P., baby!) left us, we blocked off the extra entrance, and insulated everything carefully.  After fresh straw was packed in earlier this month, I plugged in the warming pad on the bottom apartment, and now we have pretty much done all we can for now.  Have thought about draping a tarp around the whole thing, but hesitate due to the potential for the tarp to flap in the wind.  Flapping would drive the cats nutty, I'm sure!  I'm still thinking about it; that's my crazypants way!  Truly, I'll never quit trying to make the 'o' cats' quarters as warm, secure and comfortable as if they were living in the house with me.  Thoughts of pitching a tent and living with them on the deck have crossed my mind too...like I say, crazypants!




Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cat's Scarf Found!

Chuck in 2006

Angel in 2077

Glamor-puss Chuck in 2009

Decades ago, my sister gifted me with a pretty pink, white and black wool scarf that she purchased in Italy.  I've used the scarf for warmth all these years, plus both Chuck and Angel have benefited from it's pretty colors.  However, I lost the scarf last year, and went through the coldest and snowiest two years (well, it felt like two years!) of my life without it.  A precious gift gone, and I felt terrible to have lost something so important.

Imagine my amazement when the hubby opened a cupboard in the dining room yesterday, and there was my scarf!  Yay!  I hand-washed it today, and it's drying out near the heat vent.  Can't wait to put it back into use, and no doubt Angel and Chuck will soon be wearing my scarf again too.  How the heck the thing ended up in that spot is any one's guess, but am taking it as a good sign that it was recovered!




Friday, November 28, 2014

Turkey for Cats


My employer generously gives us each a frozen turkey for the holidays.  This year, along with my own turkey, a co-worker gave me hers because her hubby actually dislikes turkey.  On Sunday, my hubby cooked both birds, and after pulling the meat off the bones, he cooked the bones and other stuff to make broth.  Everything then rested in the frig, until yesterday when we put everything through the grinder.  We made over forty packets of fresh ground turkey food for the cats!  We are vegans, after all, but the cats LURV this stuff!  It's now in the freezer, and I pull out a packet to defrost.  After a day or so, I stir in my concoctions, and every cat gets to chow down.  It's mostly for the 'o' cats, since Chuck has such a touchy intestine, but Angel and Chuck manage to get a share too.

We are grateful for the office's generosity, (plus the day off today) and I am thankful that the hubby will work so hard for the kitties.  The pile of dishes to wash up are staggering!

Hope you all had a delightful Thanksgiving Day for those in the States, and thanks for your kind thoughts for little Evie too.  I hope everything will work out for her, and I'm sure it will, however I'm going to put in lots of effort to find her a good furrever home. Now...time to get out and SHOP!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Evie

Prince and Princess

Three siblings

Evie at the vet's office
My co-worker took in three kittens, born to a feral momma living in the field across the street.  They were pretty wild, and hid under the bed.  After weeks of patient work, the kittens came out of their shell and began to enjoy human companionship.  The two light-colored kittens were adopted together, and the friendly little black kitten had the guest bedroom to herself.  My co-worker has been very sick recently, so I volunteered to get Evie to the vet, for her first shots and a look at her eye.  On Sunday, I packed Evie up and off we went.  Unfortunately, that left eye is no good, and the right eye is probably mostly blind too.  The nice vet said there was either trauma or infection, and he recommends removal of the dead eyeball.  Poor little Evie!

What to do with a mostly blind, all black (not a speck of white!) kitten?  Hopefully, there is a loving home waiting for her out there!  Co-worker knows she needs to get the baby spayed soon, although she would rather wait for Evie's new family to take care of all these medical issues.

I have a problem with this approach!  If you take in a cat, you must see to it's medical health immediately!  Could Evie's sight have been saved by earlier intervention?  Guess we'll never know, and my heart aches to take this sweet baby away with me.  However, she's not mine, and my co-worker knows that I cannot adopt her.  I hope and pray for some wonderful person to come along and pick little Evie up, taking her away to her forever home, where she gets ALL the care she deserves.

If anyone thinks they may know of someone interested in adopting little Evie, please post a comment!  I am happy to make a connection that liberates Evie out of that place and onto a better life.  Co-worker thinks she knows all, and that her way is just fine.  I don't like it, because it's not FINE to me, and yet I can only make suggestions and offer my support.  We could have TNR'd all four cats months ago, and Evie would have gotten care, and momma would have been spayed, and...well, you get my drift.  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Send Purrs to Orbit

Orbit
Taken from Pooplogs and Peeballs website

Orbit is a handsome cat who's feeling poorly, and his humans are worried.  I've been reading his blog for years, and I've enjoyed his wry sense of humor and bold speech!  Orbit is old, and he's just not bouncing back from the care and medical treatments he's endured recently.  Please send some purrs his way, at Orbit: Pooplogs and Peeballs.

Love ya, Orbit, although we know you hate such mushy stuff!
Hugs and purrs to you and your peeps.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Folks Helping Community Cats

Maingee
Callie and Bootsie
These three pretty babies are community cats, tended to by a co-worker and his neighbor.  He is concerned about the super cold weather we are having.  I gave him a bag full of straw, and an old foam cooler shelter that belonged to Sammy, may he rest in peace.  My co-worker said he may even allow Maingee in his laundry room overnight, even though he is quite allergic to cats.  I suggested that he consider taking her to the veterinarian, since he's got her in his grip...so to speak.  His kids love this cat; she's quite friendly and she can be picked up and snuggled.  The neighbor next door leaves his garage door open, so the cats have a place to go that's out of the weather.  Isn't it great to know that we aren't the only ones?  

If we all...everyone of us who love cats...talk to other folks about spay and neuter, then someday there will be less cats killed in the shelters due to overcrowding.  We can put an end to the needless cruelty of too many cats roaming the streets, if people would just spay or neuter their animals.  Talk to your friends, your family, the guy standing behind you at the coffee shop!  Say it nicely, say it loudly, say it like you mean it...say it however you want to!  Spay or Neuter your pets!  Spay or Neuter your pets!  Spay or Neuter your pets!  As a world community, we HAVE to learn to be humane, and until they come up with another way of sterilizing, rather than surgery, we must press on. Your voice could get one person to take their animal to the vet, and lives can be saved.

  Spay or Neuter your pets!  Spay or Neuter your pets!  Spay or Neuter your pets!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Score!...and more...


I won prizes from 15 and Meowing!  How cool is that!  The white ball was an instant hit with Chuck and Angel; it was spitty in a very short time.  I'm holding the other toys back, to introduce slowly.  Thanks so much!  I have to find the perfect outfit to wear with the black cat pin; as if the folks at the office aren't already aware of my cattitude!

P.S. Chuck seems to be okay with his transdermal mood enhancer (starts with a Z), although we had one 'over the edge' urination yesterday.  The hubby and I both agree that Chuck probably has arthritis; the vet had mentioned that she saw it in his radiograph years ago.  That''s why I was adding the oil to his food!  But the vet wanted me to quit that, which I did for a couple of days.  Therefore, I am adding just a little bit of flax seed oil again, and no accidents of any kind since.  More on this in a future post

P.S.S. Was just outside to give Patty and Sweetie their nighttime snack; I filled up their water bucket, and Patty ran out in front of me and tried to zip inside the house as I opened the door!  I was able to block him, and he ran away.  But now my emotions are mixed up.  What was that all about?!  Well...obviously, I know what Patty wants, but he cannot have it.  He's got everything he needs, 24/7.  Guess I'm a big softy, and he's taking advantage.  As if I don't feel rotten enough as Winter descends on us, and Patty and Sweetie are living outside; in a heated shelter, with a bucket of clean water and too much food (Fatty Patty!).  Still, I'm not a happy camper...especially after that.  Geez!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Drugged

The veterinarian suggested that Chuck may be suffering from stress, caused by the enormous amount of banging, screeching, and yelling at what's left of the house two lots away.  She also thought I should cut back on the enzymes and oil that we mix into his food.  Gave me a syringe of liquid mood-stabilizer, to be rubbed into Chuck's ear once a day.  He's only had two doses, but the hubby and I can tell the difference already.  No sign of IE (improper elimination) so far!  The vet also saw no additional signs of arthritis, which is why I was adding the oil, so that's good.  (Whisper: he's also added a bit of weight, so dropping the oil will reduce the caloric intake.)  Thanks for all the well wishes for a good outcome to the vet visit; I'll admit to being a fair bit worried for our boy.
Chucky staring down the bug
Angel ready to pounce!
The green bug is almost at the top of the table leg
A bright green grasshopper-like bug got in the house, and Chuck and Angel each tracked it for a long time.  In the end, however, I put the thing out of it's misery after being pawed and pounced on.  The photos are sub par because it's too darn dark in the early evening!  Yeah, I'm grumbling...

In addition to the noisy neighbor, we had an electrician working on the house all day, with drilling and hammering; weird noises coming from the basement (the one place that Chuck and Angel are NOT allowed), and strangers in the house.  It was enough to scare Patty O'Malley too, but for only a minute, then he was looking over the electrician's work van.  Sweetie did not come out of hiding for any food, until the evening after the guy had packed up and left.

"Think I'll stay hidden here!"
"Anything interesting in there?"

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Vet visit today

Chuck has not been happy recently.  The hubby and I thought it was because of the huge amount of screechy noises coming from the lot two doors down, where they are tearing down the house and digging up the cement.  Noisy machines, trucks loading and unloading, people yelling back and forth.  So, we did not freak out when there were an accident or two. 

And yet, he's still not right, so I've called the vet and we have an appointment this AM.  Maybe we can discover something that will help Chucky's intestines more than what we are already doing.  We KNOW he hates having accidents, but it's his only way to communicate that things are not 100%.  Cross your fingers that we don't leave the office with another shoulder shrug.  Is it arthritis?  Is it intestinal?  Is it the fact that Patty and Sweetie like to sit on the front porch, waiting for me to come out with their meals?  And our cat chiropractor appears to have gone out of business, so now I'm looking for another in the Metro Detroit area.

I am sure that Chucky can be cured; we just don't know what the problem is yet.  Keep your fingers (and paws!) crossed for the boy, and I'll report back soon.
 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Noseprints...


"Cat noseprints on my glasses makes me happy
Cat fur in my eyes can make me cry
Cat licks on my skin are so lovely
Cat purring almost always makes me high"*

*sung to the tune of "Sunshine on My Shoulders" famously sung by John Denver

Monday, November 3, 2014

Here it comes...

Frozen

Sweetie napping in the garden

Patty and Me; he's smiling...and so am I

It's getting to be that time of year, when my anxiety about Patty O'Malley and Sweetie starts to ratchet higher as the temperatures fall.  Their water bowl was frozen a couple of days ago.

In a perfect world, I would throw open the door, and invite them inside.  They could stay as long as they liked, and if they never want to go back out again, I would be happy to let them live with me forever.

However, the reality is that I already have two cats inside, and a stay-at-home hubby.  I am the one who comes and goes to the office, and spends less time in the house.  When we adopted Angel and Chuck over ten years ago,  they were inside-only and we humans foolishly considered our cat quota as met.  The first ferals (the late, great George and Hobo) were really skittish, and did not want human contact.  As the years rolled by, Sweetie, then Sammy, and lastly Patty came along.  They all used to run away from us, so we trapped 'em and fixed 'em, and figured a box with straw and some food would serve.

Yet Patty began to allow me to gently pet him, then hug him, and now we smooch and snuggle.  When Sweetie and Sammy saw what he was doing, they too joined in and I petted them and we became FRIENDS.  They run down the driveway when my car pulls up, and they meow and dance for me!  But the set up was for wild, unsocial cats!  My first priority must be Angel and Chuck, and yet these wonderful 'o' cats are only a hairs-breadth lower on the scale.  I think that I grieve for them, as each passing day gets colder, and I feel like I'm the bad guy.

Of course, they made it through last year's brutal winter; even Sammy who was probably rather sick the whole time lived through it.  So why do I worry so?  Hmm, if I could figure that out, then I wouldn't be writing about my pangs of terror when the winds blow, or how I wrap myself in multiple coats, boots, hats and scarves just to give them a fresh bucket of water.  I scrape ice, I sweep debris, and I shovel lots of snow to make paths so the cats can get through the drifts.  I add L-lysine and Vitamin C to their wet food, and in the really, really cold I heat up the bowls AND food, so they aren't living on kibble only.

And yet, it's not enough.  But do I pine and struggle for them, or for me?  They have everything they need; I do not.  I do not have them jump on my bed, or sing the song of their people at 3 a.m.  We don't LIVE together.  Such a conundrum, and it's beginning again.  Do they have crazy-lady-with-cats happy pills?  I think they do...

P.S. Today, the hubby and I finished insulating the Cat Hotel, and I filled both floors with straw.  The lower floor also has the warming pad.  Last thing to do is to put up a wind break on the second floor entrance.  Patty sat on the deck and watched us, while Sweetie lounged in the yard.  My fear is that they will abandon the Hotel any time we do something to it.  The overnight lows are staying above freezing for a few days longer, so if they need a day or two to courageously go back inside it, the temps aren't too bad.  Do you see how I am?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

That darn hour!

My backyard

Can't see the walkway!

Angel in her new sleeping place (The hubby's coat)

Chucky's found a new box to nap in
Ever since we've been owned by cats, this weekend is a trial for me.  How do you tell them that their meals are now an hour later?!?  I start to fret a week early, planning out how to move their meals back a few minutes every day...until Sunday when the clocks change.  HA!  Whoever planned Daylight Savings Time and continues to carry it out, obviously does NOT have pets!  At least the 'o' cats cannot give me any hassle, but I see them sitting out there...waiting...for me to show with their food, and I feel like a royal heel.  The hubby laughs at me, and tells me the cats will forget it all within a few minutes.  I do not agree.  Nope, the extra hour kills me every year!

Yesterday, I used a Friday vacation day, and stayed up really, REALLY late on Thursday night watching hours of dreck on TV.  Then...I slept in!  Amazing, right?  I rarely EVER sleep in, because Angel is our alarm clock.  But somehow, she either didn't try hard enough, or I was able to ignore.  Voila!  Every one's breakfast was late on Friday, and then the same thing happened Saturday morning.  I took advantage, and moved all meals back one hour, including lunch snacks and dinners.  Therefore, this Sunday will be the first time in a decade that 'FALL BACK' doesn't give me ulcers. Wonder what's on TV tonight?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Farewell, George







In 2008, when the security guards told me that someone had dumped a cat in the office parking lot, I searched for two days before I found him...and fed him my tuna sandwich. Every day before work, on my lunch break, and before I drove away for the day, I'd sit with George at the edge of the parking lot, on the walking path in the field.  It took many months, and several different humane traps, to finally transport George to the veterinarian, and to his forever home.  A whole group of co-workers and very friendly neighbors (P & M, you know who you are!) donated food, money, and/or their time to making sure George was cared for.  Sadly, George's family discovered that he was very sick, and last week, they showed their love for him by helping him discard his damaged body.  He had six good years with them, especially R with whom he was closely bonded.  

I cried when P and I delivered George to his new family, and I cried when I heard the news that he was gone.  We never knew if he was a stray or someones pet, but he had love and family, and I am so grateful for that.

George was named for the security guard who kept insisting that I name the cat, instead of saying 'the cat'.  I did not WANT to name him, because I foolishly believed I could stay unemotional that way.  HAH!  Finally, George the security guard demanded a name, so I said "He's George Junior, after you!"  Also, George the cat was polydactyl, at least on his front paws.  The top two photos were taken when George first arrived in the parking lot; the next two were when George and I romped together, and the last one was sent by his humans after he'd settled in.

Farewell, George
Purrs to R and the family