31 December, 2013

Visiting the Kitty

Looking out the window

So sweet and floofy!

Sleeping kittens
After weeks of mourning the loss of Loretta/Shadow, I screwed up my courage and drove out to visit her at the big box store.  The Paws for the Cause folks were incredibly nice, allowing me to hold her, and we played and hung out together for a long time.  She's doing fine, and seems to like to negotiate the small store enclosure.  She has been taken to a foster home too, so she's not 'trapped' inside the store enclosure all of the time.  We watched her introduce herself to a new kitty who had just been brought in, and she was quiet and tentative, but no aggression or fear.

Although I miss her in the house, one worry has now slipped from my mind.  I was informed that a person has already sent in an adoption application for her.  And while I stood there chatting about ferals (these folks are a fabulous resource!), many, MANY folks walked by to look over the kittens and other cats available for adoption.  Mind you, Paws for the Cause carefully screens potential adopters, and they will take extra care that Loretta/Shadow goes to a really good home.

Of course, the kittens are so squee that I wanted to hug and smooch every one.  Several of the older cats are so pretty, that people just couldn't help but stop and stare.  One black-and-white boy drew so many lookee-loos that I was sure someone was going to adopt him on the spot!  I hope the coming year will bring many adopters to welcome these cats into their hearts and homes.

29 December, 2013

Paying the Chuck Tax

Bring me my tax!
We try to feed both sets of cats at the same time each day.  Ideally, it's 7:00 am and 7:00 pm, and I mix up Angel and Chuck's food first.  I give them their bowls on the kitchen floor, then work fast to pull together the 'o' cats's meal.  However, a while ago we realized that ANY CAT FOOD in the house belongs to Chuck, and he must get a portion of it; no matter when or why.  We call this "The Chuck Tax", and make sure we drop a bit of whatever we have into his bowl.  Normally, he's still got a full meal still, but he'll break off eating and follow me around until I put a taste of the other food out for him.  Angel and Chuck are on a special limited ingredient diet, to combat his past intestinal tract issues.  The 'o' cats get healthy food, but it is not quite as fancy, plus they get kibble, especially in the cold weather when wet food freezes easily.  He only gets an 1/8th of a teaspoon as tax, if even that much, but peace reigns when Chucky gets paid his due.  We also place a food bowl in front of him first, then Angel, to acknowledge his highest standing.

28 December, 2013

Sunset Yummies

I rarely get a photo of the 'o' cats eating together, let alone a video!  This ccurred yesterday, and it was very nice to have them in bunch.  Often Mama Mia jumps down to the lower level, while Sammy and Patty eat with their bodies going in opposite directions.  The temps are warmish (!) for Michigan in late December for the next couple of days, and it's a treat to see my cat friends hanging out on the deck, rather than cooped up inside their shelters.    Their feeding station is an old picnic table that was used for years as a workshop table, and a card table with sawed-off legs as the canopy.  I like it because it's the same height as the deck; I can easily walk up and put out food without any bending.  The three usually dance around a bit, for some petting and smooches.  However, I only get a few moments of 'love' time, for the demand for food outweighs the need for snuggles.

Oh Spring, be early this year!  Yeah, I know, it's not even 2014 yet, but I'm hopeful.

25 December, 2013

Merry Catmas

Wishing you all a Happy and Peaceful Holiday.  The photos are of how the inside cats enjoy the cold weather; licks on the wet window, and paw prints in the snow; made by the outside cats.

22 December, 2013


Angel at rest

Chuck relaxing
I cannot tell you how emotional this past week has been.  Doubt, anger, sadness, self-recrimination, relief, worry are only the tip of the feelings iceberg that I have experienced.  Angel and Chuck appear to be fine, however Angel seems to get very anxious when she's upstairs near my computer table.  And no cat has entered the parlor, which was the safe room.  We just placed a brand-new litter box in there, so we hope we'll see some 'action' in that direction soon.  I find myself mulling it all over at odd times of the day, and the desire to visit Shadow/Loretta at the PetSmart draws me, but I know better to torture myself that way.  I pray a new family falls in love with her, as she so deserves, and she will have a home to enjoy.

In the meantime, we've had very wet weather in Michigan, and the outside cats barely received two meals yesterday as the rain prevented us from hanging out together.  They stayed in their shelters until I showed up with food, then they dashed back inside...well, except for Patty who will rub against me irregardless of weather.  I have a small hand towel reserved for them only, and I tried to dry each cat off while they ate.  Mia won't allow the towel treatment, but Patty and Sammy purr and eat as I rub them down.  They really teach me how to overcome adversity, especially when you don't classify it as adversity.  They are just living.  No worries about the job, the holidays, the gas bill or an absent friend.  How lucky I am to have them in my life!

19 December, 2013

She's Gone

Immediately after my last post, we had a major altercation between Chucky and Loretta.  With profound sadness, I called the rescue group and they quickly agreed to find her a new home.  I arrived at the pet store with her bed and toys, and Loretta/Shadow was placed in the store adoption area behind Plexiglas.  I whispered my good-byes and my apologies, and cried tears of heartbreak.  Perhaps a period of socializing and play therapy would have worked, but I feel that I was fighting against the odds.  We all are pretty upset, although Angel and Chuck have rebounded and are no longer tentative and scared; they walk around with tails up now.  Hubby cleaned out the safe room.  The rescue group thanked me (!) for trying hard, and each one was understanding and sympathetic, which made me feel more like a heel.  They promised to let me know when she finds her true forever home, and I'll be happy for the lucky family who will enjoy her floofy tail and playful personality.  Loretta sank her claws deep into my heart; I continue to be rather emotional about it, which is why it's taken me awhile to post the news.  

15 December, 2013

Busy Sunday Morning

Loretta has quite the play drive.  Although we put her in the safe room overnight, she's been out all morning, and I've used every wand toy we have to keep her entertained.  Loretta ignores the other cats when she is so engaged, but I can't get anything done if I'm on the wand end of the wand toy!  Angel hisses at Loretta, and they stare at each other if we humans don't distract them.  Chuck, however, gets chased.  Loretta discovered the cat shelves, and had no problem walked up to the ceiling and hanging out up there.  Wherever I go, she follows, except for right now; I can hear hubby talking to her from downstairs.  Oops, no...now she's at my feet again.

We had at least six inches of snow yesterday, and more is falling now.  I am sure the roads will be clear for the Monday commute; oh joy!

14 December, 2013


Loretta decided it was time to meet the family, and she set herself free this morning before breakfast...by sneaking around my feet and chasing Chuck up the stairs.  Hubby and I are remaining as neutral as we can, as each cat meets each other and assesses the new situation.  Of course, Chuck just wants to eat up three bowls of food now.  Angel is more standoffish, but no blows have been struck, just some hissing and the tail-down creep.  Loretta has easily learned how to us the cat flaps that we've installed between several rooms, and it's fun to see her floofy tail disappear around a bend.  We are in the middle of a snow storm also, so looks like the family will be inside today, although I'm sure I'll find a way to get out there for a bit of shopping this afternoon.

10 December, 2013

Loretta Update

In the Parlor
Loretta continues to live in the safe room that we made out of the parlor.  Since there are two sets of french doors, we taped newspaper to block out the glass panes.  Several times a day, hubby and I go in, to just hang out, play, or give her meals.  I try to feed Chuck and Angel on the other side of one door, so each can associate good things with the other.  We also put her in a carrier and bring her out into the family/dining room, so Angel and Chuck can get a chance to sniff and/or observe.  Loretta gets out to explore too, when we can make sure there is no interaction from Chuck and Angel.

I'll admit, all of this is tiring, and a bit disappointing.  We thought seriously about returning her to the rescue group, and even made an appointment with them to hand her back over.  But after much reflection (and some crying on my part), we decided that we need to see this through.  Many cat-owning folks have questioned me; why not just toss 'em in together...they will find a way to work it out.  Yep, that's true, yet Angel and Chuck were here first, and have had run of the house for over nine years.  In deference to them, I would like to see them more accepting...and not running, hiding, and hissing.  If we give this slow introduction enough time, at some point, the cats will ignore each other, or at least be neutral...instead of aggressive, fearful, nervous, and scared.  Loretta is coming from a difficult situation; away from the only humans she knew, then in veterinary offices, surgery, sickness, then foster home, and finally a cage to get her adopted.  She KNOWS she's in the middle of someone else's territory, which makes her uncertain and a bit aggressive.  Angel and Chuck are shy and insecure with a new-comer.

We want to build up every one's confidence, by giving them good things when they are together, and good things when apart.  Lots of play, lots of love, good food and no concerns about not having enough.  A feeling of abundance.

Loretta is a sweet little joy, who loves a snuggle and walks on my lap when I'm reading a book and not paying attention to her.  She chirps and meows, dances and jumps.  She brings youth, energy, and curiosity to our family group.  What's not to like?

04 December, 2013

Patty OH!

Pounds o' Patty
Patty O'Malley has gotten quite large in a short time.  I swear, I am feeding the outside cats the same amounts as ever, but Patty is either pushing the other's off their bowls, or he's snacking somewhere else as well as eating my food.
3 and a half cats!
As you can see by the photo above, he's much bigger than Sammy or Mama Mia.  He grew large last year, in the winter, but I think he's moving into sumo wrestler range now.    

I hate to withhold food, especially when it's cold, however Pounds O' Patty needs a break!  I've cut back on the amount of kibble, since that's so full of carbs.   Wonder how I can get him exercising...?  

03 December, 2013

Gentle Sammy

Tonight, I traveled out back to give the outside cats an extra pour of kibble, for it had rained and sleeted, and no doubt the cats stayed hidden most of the day.  Patty O'Malley and Sammy came out of their houses right away; Mama Mia was fashionably late but still managed to snag a good snack.

Funny thing was that Sammy did not eat a single kibble.  He simply walked to me and let me pet him for a really long time.  I stroked his head, his chest, his ruff, back, sides, and legs.  He simply purred and stood there.  After a few minutes, I could feel my world of worries and timetables and responsibilities smooth away, and there was only Sammy and me.  We kept at it, until finally Patty had had enough of me ignoring him, and with head bunts and finally smacking his tail against my face, the spell between Sammy and I broke.  The feeling of peace lasted awhile longer, as I listened to Mia crunch her kibble.

Gentle Sammy gave me a lovely gift tonight!

01 December, 2013

Update on Shadow

We have tried dozens of names, but she just did not respond.  She's never responded to Shadow either!  So, late last week, the name Loretta popped into hubby's head, and I tried it out.  She came running to me!  Wow, I was so excited that I shed a tear.  Since then, I've been using Loretta as her name.  She is still in the safe room, since all of the cats seem uneasy still.  We play with her in there, I've taken naps in her safe room, and she watches out the windows at the world.  We feed one meal a day on either side of the door; all three cats appear to be nervous about that.  We'll keep doing it, until they all ignore each other.   A general lack of enthusiasm is exactly where we would like the cats to have (not have?), so we can add Loretta to the family group.  I believe her small size may be a sticky point, since Angel is over eleven pounds, and Chuck is probably four pounds more.  Loretta is only four pounds, even with the couple of ounces she's gained in two weeks.  Her belly is beginning to fur, as are the two shaved areas on her front legs, but it will no doubt take months for a uniform length.  In the meantime, she's adorably vocal, and she's beginning to relax into the rhythms of the household.  Now, if only I could relax my concerns about a successful (and fight-free) integration!  Yikes...what a Nervous Nelly I am!

28 November, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving...and Welcome!

Happy Thanksgiving!
May you enjoy the holiday with friends and family, and that your day is filled with laughter as well as good eats!

And introducing...Shadow!  She is about one year old, and has a few patches where she was shaved for her spay operation.  She is playful, human-loving, and weighs about 4 lbs.  She is in a safe room right now, while resident cats Angel and Chuck get used to sharing their home that they've had to themselves for over nine years.  I know Shadow is okay with other cats, because I saw her snuggling with three, and playing with others, but our primary concern is to not blow the minds of Chuck and Angel.  We have even covered the glass doors into Shadow's safe room, because of this:
Chuck sits outside and whines...ahem, meows...because he wants to visit with the new cat.  Angel, on the other hand, appears fearful and we are lavishing love and play on all three to ease the situation.  (FYI, we are considering changing little Shadow's name, but I've tried dozens of names on her and she does not respond to any of them, not even Shadow!  We may have to pick one, and just go with it...any suggestions?)

So for now, I have THREE cat families to care for: Shadow in Room 1, Angel and Chuck inside, and the 'O' cats outside.  Mama Mia, Patty O. and Sammy all have thick coats, and appear to being doing fine while the temps drop.  I replace their water twice a day (or more), or simply break the ice off the top if it's thin.  We sprinkle a bit of sugar in their water, under the scientific theory that ice crystals won't form as quickly.  Wet food will freeze too, and they've toppled a bowl or two off the deck as they try to lick out the hard bits.  But they still come a'runnin' when they hear me in the yard, and the chorus of meows and dancing to get some petting warms my heart.

Sad note:  My heartfelt condolences to William, who's little bother Russell crossed over the Rainbow Bridge recently, so soon after Gracie.  Am thinking of you, William, your sis Caroline and your mom today. 

24 November, 2013

Update: Cat Rescued on the 408

On 10/27, I posted about a real humanitarian who saved a cat he found on a busy Florida highway.  He rescued the frightened cat, brought her to a veterinarian for a check up, then took the cat home.  Through friends,  a couple adopted the kitty, and here's what they have to say:

My husband and I are Cleo's new mommy and daddy.  We just couldn't believe someone could be so mean to a helpless and precious creature.  So, we decided that she needed a fresh start all the way around and gave her a new name too.  Sliver (a play on her silver coloring and skinny tail) is fitting in quite well at her new home.  Her new brother and 2 sisters are still a little unsure about her, but she is settling right in.  She's even exploring more of the house and screened patio.

Glad to hear this sweet kitty has found her forever home!  Hurray to the hero who risked everything to get her off that highway, and hurray to the couple who opened their hearts and home to Sliver.  Now if we could only exact some legal punishment on the woman who originally owned the cat, since it's time people knew that cruelty to animals is WRONG.  Thanks again to PM; hope it's nice and toasty in FLA!

18 November, 2013

A New Stranger!

Who is this tiny vision of cat loveliness?
And how did she get inside the house?
More news soon; not much time to blog while I take care of THREE cat families!

13 November, 2013

November Cold

It's been very cold here in Michigan the past few days.  We even had a bit of snow, although not as much as in the old image above.  However, our three outside cats have been on my mind a lot because of the lower temperatures.  Yes, we have four-count' em-four insulated shelters on the deck, and we've even hooked up an outdoor-rated electric warming pad in the biggest one...although when I last checked, no cat had visited that one.  Each shelter has straw, and the three made from styrofoam coolers are lining completely with silvery duct wrap, which reflects their body heat.  But that doesn't lighten my concern about them.  They are just little cats, outside in the blustery cold.  If I go out there, my fingers start going numb and I shiver.  So, I project my own feelings of vulnerability onto them...and I worry.  Yet each morning, noon and night, they come running up to me, meowing and dancing for food and petting, and they eat and appear to be okay.

Sometimes, I feel as if I'm a poor hostess, allowing my 'guests' to sleep out in the barn, so to speak.  In my thoughts, I wish I could simply throw my door open and let them in.  When I first encountered each one of these cats, they would not come near me, and we did not know where they lived, after they consumed the food and water I set out.  They only started using our shelters (and I kept building more) last year.  AND that's when they began to let me pet them.  If they were still so wild and feral-like, I probably wouldn't worry so.  But they look and act just like house cats now...like Angel and Chuck.  And I think that somewhere in their lives, they once had humans of their own, otherwise I wouldn't been able to touch them.

But, I don't know if their bodies harbor anything dangerous to Angel and Chuck.  To get them to a veterinarian would mean trapping, because although I can pet and snuggle a bit, there isn't a chance I could pick any of them up to put them in a carrier.  They really ARE NOT house cats.  So, I bite my lip and turn away from them every night, and try to send healthful, protective thoughts to surround those shelters that house my very dear little friends as the cold winds blow.

12 November, 2013

Angel and Cobwebs

Angel in the sunshine
Angel loves to eat cobwebs.  She sniffs out every corner, every nook or cranny, and she eats the cobwebs.  Hey, I'm no Suzy Homemaker, but I broom and vacuum and dust regularly.  Yet she finds little cat-candy-floss once in awhile, and she takes care of them.  Even outside, I've seen her munch on spiderwebs on the front porch, and most definitely she enjoys the catio (cat patio) upstairs because the webs are many since we humans don't go there much.

Sometimes there are little bits stuck in her whiskers, but it's when the house is quiet and I'm laying in bed...and I hear the tell-tale sound of lip-smacking in a far corner.  That's the sound of Angel finding herself a treat, and she goes for it!  

Now, Chuck has no desire to eat cobwebs, and since the two of them have spent pretty much every day together since birth...kind of interesting why she has this habit and he does not.  Then again, Chuck carries hats around the house, in his mouth, to deposit them near his humans.  But Angel isn't a hat cat; she likes cobwebs.  

I have not asked the veterinarian if there is a problem with cats ingesting cobwebs; wonder if she would laugh me out of her office!  I'll have to work it into the conversation when I take everyone in for a check-up; I'm already on record for being her first client who has used an animal chiropractor.  Hey, cobweb therapy may soon be all the rage!  And you heard it hear first.

10 November, 2013


Hobo is an alley-cat, who appeared in our back yard in 2008.  I put out a cardboard box and some food, and he would show up from time to time.  We could never get too close to him, but he became a regular visitor.  Began to see him everyday; he would usually always arrive via the alley.  When we watched him escort a pregnant Mama Mia up to the deck, we realized that we had a responsibility to these cats.  I had just discovered TNR (trap, neuter, return), and had purchased a lovely humane trap that is almost silent (instead of the metal ones that clank when tripped).  I borrowed a few more traps from neighbors, and we tried trapping Hobo, Mama, and her two kittens.  Managed to snag Hobo and Honey; Mama wouldn't go near the things, and Sneakers walked in and out without getting caught.  So, both boys went to get neutered, and surprisingly, both kept showing up after for food.  We caught Mama later using the drop trap, and Sneakers disappeared with Honey one day and we have not seen them again.

Things changed when Sammy arrived.  Hobo didn't seem to care much for Sammy, and he showed up less and less.  I trapped Sammy in May, 2010, but he remained rather territorial and aggressive for the entire Summer.  He simply ran Hobo off of his turf!  I was anxious and very concerned about where my friend had gone, and started nosing around the neighborhood trying to find him.  Mind you, walking up and down the alley looks rather peculiar, but I kept a photo of Hobo in my pocket in case anyone challenged me.  One day, at the opposite end of the block, a man mentioned that he sees Hobo every day, and feeds him too!  I told him my story, and the man was sure we were talking about the same cat.  I felt great relief that Hobo had found a way to survive without me, but I still felt a bit heart-sick that I didn't see him daily.  Within a few months, I managed to find Hobo lying on the front porch of a house a block away.  I was elated!  Hobo, however, was not comfortable with me trying to get close.  So I wouldn't be called a trespasser, I backed away, and vowed to find Hobo another day.  I joyously announced that I Had Found Hobo! when I got home that day.  And I have found him, every few months.  I walk down the alley and peek into the man's backyard, and find Hobo in the sun.  Wish he'd come back down the block to visit our yard again, and maybe one day he will.  Sammy is such a gentle boy now; I can pet him and he gives me a welcoming 'arf', which is what his meow sounds like.

By the way, neither of Mama Mia's kittens looked the slightest bit like Hobo, although I watched him baby sit them many times while she rested in another part of the yard.  And everyday I learn more about TNR, including the fact that it can be months for male cat's testosterone levels to deplete; it doesn't happen immediately after neutering.

06 November, 2013

Ghostly Cat

Sammy and Patty with tipped ears
Think of how this looked in the dark

 Now that my so-called wild feral cats allow me to pet them, I often spend time just sitting on the back deck snuggling with them, or watching them eat their kibble-n-canned mush.  Due to the change from Daylight Savings Time, I sit in the dark. Recently, while cooing and petting my three furry-four-footed friends, a quick glance over my shoulder and what is that!?  Another cat, sitting quietly on the deck edge.  In the evening light, the cat looked white or light grey.  After a second of panic at spying a ghostly image, I called to the cat and offered some kibble.  "C'mon, kitty kitty kitty!"  "Have some kibble, baby!"  No movement.  Curious, but cautious so as to not scare the critter away, I slowly rolled on my hip and stretched out a hand.  Still no movement.  Hmm!  After a few more moments, I screwed up my courage and crept closer...then closer still.  I finally put out a mittened hand...and touched concrete.  A garden statue!

My heart still racing because I thought I was in the presence of a ghost cat, I walk back inside and demand to know why hubby had placed a statue out there without telling me.  He declares his innocence, saying he had no idea what I was talking about.  Hrmph!  Next morning, I check out the offending item in the daylight, and it's obviously been in someone's garden for a long time, and there are chips and nicks plus a bit of green.  I am thinking...who?  Why?  Whaa???

Mystery solved the next day when a kindly neighbor emailed with details on why she thought I should have her cat statue, since she only has dogs now.  She knows I'm a cat lady, and since no one answered our door (doorbell doesn't work and I was gone all day anyhow), she just set it on the deck and walked away.

I have been on the look-out for a garden statue for awhile, but everything seemed too schmaltzy, or too pretty.  I wanted something with character.  And this little gift has a notched ear, which looks just like the ear-tipped ferals of mine.  I love it!  

Silly: yes.  A work of art: sorta.  A perfect, shabby-chic decoration for the yard: priceless!  A moment of fright for me, but a wonderful gift that stands exactly where it was placed.

(Reprint from a previous email that I sent to friends and family last year)

03 November, 2013

Fall Back

Feed Me!
Am I the only person who dislikes this day?  Sure, supposedly everyone gets an extra hour when the clocks are changed from Daylight Savings Time.  But not for someone who feeds cats!  Cat LOVE a regular schedule, and mine want their breakfast and dinner at exactly the same time...every single day.  Day in and day out; same time.  Not today!  They think breakfast should be served one hour EARLIER than the clocks, and dinner too.  Who can deny them?  AND...I have two cat families to feed.  I could hear five little cat stomachs rumble with hunger pains for every minute I tried to wait, to get them aligned with my 'new' schedule.  Why do we still have the old Daylight Savings anyhow?  Isn't it antiquated?  Didn't it have something to do with farmers and their kids?  Why does the whole country have to change for some old idea?  I'm sure that if the First Family actually fed their own pets, then the old time switcheroo would be history in a New York minute.  I'll bet not a single Washington politician takes care of their own house animals, otherwise they'd be pushing through repeals or amendments or whatever they needed to fix this thing too.  That's what those crazy politicians need: more cat lovers!  THEN maybe they would get something done.

30 October, 2013

The Front Door

Sunrise Over Pond

Autumn Trees

Broken Front Storm Door
Now that the cooler weather is here to stay, we've taken the screens off the windows and replaced them with storms.  The front storm door too, however the glass in three of the four sections was cracked.  Bob ordered tempered glass for the lower sections, and was given a seven to ten day turnaround time.  In the meantime, he covered up the gaping hole with plastic, for the illusion of keeping the cold winds from blowing in.  One repercussion; Chucky will not use the cat flap, will not go anywhere near the rustling plastic-covered front door, and he runs away with his tail down.  We humans KNOW that Chuck wants to be outside to chase his squirrel friends and to eat luscious blades of grass.  But he WON'T anymore, and he's moping around the house.  Luckily, the ordered glass is ready, and the front door storm should be a thing of beauty soon.  Honey Chuck, we'll have you munching grass in no time!
Chucky playing inside (with my feet in the photo!)

27 October, 2013

Cat Rescued on the 408

I received the following email from my very good friend in Florida, who once lived in Metro Detroit, hence the Lodge reference:

Had to share this. This guy (a friend of a friend of ours) risked his life to rescue the cat. The 408 in places is like The Lodge freeway with the concrete median barrier. How the cat even got across 3-4 lanes of heavy traffic is amazing. To even think about maneuvering thru traffic & to take the risks to save the cat is heroic. Appears the rescuer's Army training kicked in.
Subject: My friend rescued this cat off the 408 ... he is looking to find her a good "inside" home
I rescued this little girl from the concrete barrier that separates the EB and WB lanes on the 408. I drove by her the first time and thought to myself "Wow, that cat looks like it was alive!" So I turned around at the Bumby exit and drove by her again. She had turned herself around and was lying flat as a pancake on top of the barrier. I exited at JYP and turned around again. I had to try to help this cat. I drove past her again and pulled over. As I approached her she ran under my truck. This wasn't what I was hoping for. While dodging oncoming traffic, I searched my truck for 10 minutes and couldn't find her. I thought she maybe ran back across the 408. I got back in my truck to drive off and as I merged back into traffic I saw her jump out from under my truck. Shit! So I pulled over again and went after her. She was running down the concrete barrier. I jumped the barrier and followed her from the opposite side so she couldn't see me. She eventually stopped and froze from the terror of the traffic. I caught up to her and waited for the traffic to clear in case she decided to bolt when I reached over the barrier for her. The traffic cleared and I grabbed her by the nape of her neck with my ninja like reflexes. I expected a struggle, but she didn't even put up a fight. I carried her back to the truck and inspected her for injuries. Her pads were bleeding and her face was cut up, but she looked to be okay. We climbed back in the truck and off we went to the vet. She was a little banged up and dehydrated. They checked her out and gave her fluids and antibiotics. She has a chip. The owner was from Ft. Myers and she basically dumped the cat. She is spayed and declawed. FIV & feline leukemia free. She is a very loving cat. So who wants to adopt her? She is looking for a loving, inside home!

Be ARMY Strong!

My first reaction upon reading this email was...wow, what a hero!  Almost an advertisement for the Army.  Then I got mad...angry with the woman who threw her cat away.  Seems like a clear cut case of animal cruelty.  I will hope that this little lady finds a loving, happy home with humans who take care of her for the rest of her life.  Actually, kinda looks like she's pretty happy where she is, hmmm?

P.S. Thanks to PN for the email above, and for the additional news that the cat has found a forever home.  Hurray!  I still want the cat's original owner to be brought to justice.

P.S.S. Congratulations to my niece and nephew-in-law upon the arrival of their third son!  Maybe a future cat dude..?

I'm a Great Auntie again...whee!

23 October, 2013


I met this cutie on Sunday, at All About Animals Rescue in Warren.  She's as friendly as can be, and yes...her eyes are different colors!  Any idea how hard it was to walk out of that building without her in my arms?  Shelly is a delight, and I'm wishing her a speedy adoption, or even a foster home for now.  She was left outside the front door, in a carrier, and is about 18 months old.  Adorable!

Hours were spent at AAAR, listening to guest speakers discuss the business of running your own rescue operation, and how to deal with the general public and city officials.  I learned a lot, and enjoyed mingling with other folks who want to help cats (and dogs) as much as possible.  I volunteered to hand out flyers, and maybe knock on some doors too.  I do not aspire to having my own rescue operation, yet the knowledge of how to work the system is invaluable.  Why reinvent the wheel?      

Check out the AAAR website at http://www.allaboutanimalsrescue.org/ and maybe sign up for an upcoming event, like the silent auction on 11/3 at The Whitney in Detroit.  I'm donating a few of my cat pins...LOL!...for the event.  As if I can possible wear all of the ones I have, but don't worry; I've saved the really good ones for myself.  How else can I show the world that I'm a crazy lady with cats?!  Well, other than the cat hair all over my clothes.

20 October, 2013

Halloween Cats

Ooh, that's scary!
Our neighborhood is getting dressed up for Halloween.  The favorite decoration...besides pumpkins...is big spiders.  The spiders are placed on fake webs, or climbing up the houses.  I dislike creepy crawlers, so I'm not fond of the "spiders from Mars" approach.  However, there are also a lot of the blow-up decorations, including these two very cool black cats shown in the photo.  And the really fun part is that their heads move, but only once in awhile.  So I am on my evening walk, and I see these cats down the street.  I look at them, and admire the fact that they are huge, black cats!  Then....one of the heads moves just a tad, and I jump out of my skin.  Haha, the joke is on me, but now every time I walk past (and I do almost every day), I wait for a head to move, then I smile to myself for my past reaction.  And isn't that part of what Halloween is all about?  A lot of treats, but a little bit of trick?

16 October, 2013

National Feral Cat Day

Go to http://www.alleycat.org/ for more information on helping ferals cats.

I will be attending workshops at All About Animals Rescue in Warren, Michigan on Sunday, to gain more knowledge and tools on aiding community cats.  I used to call Sammy, Mama Mia and Patty O'Malley 'feral cats', but since they have chosen to live in the insulated shelters that we've built, and allow me to touch them, I can't call them wild anymore.  But there are lots of cat colonies out there, needing support and knowledgable humans to give them a helping hand.  TNR (trap-neuter-return) is one of the best options available right now to control and handle community cats, and more people need to know.  Cats who are unused to human contact are the first ones to be euthanized in over-crowded animal pounds, so Alley Cat Allies organized National Feral Cat Day to get people involved to try to turn the tide.  Anything an individual can do to help, can save many cats lives.
Early photo of Hobo in 2009, before I know what a feral cat was, or the term TNR

13 October, 2013

Cat food bowls


In use
On Saturday afternoons, I am almost always out shopping in area resale shops.  I've managed to update both my work and weekend wardrobes, and of course add to my collection of cat pins.  Bob rarely goes with me, but he's also managed to score for himself a jacket, some t-shirts, and more importantly a nice pot for the stove and some oven/microwave/freezer safe plates so he can provide yummy breakfasts for me!  So, I rarely shop resale for kitchen items; that's his territory, know what I mean?  However, while nosing around recently, and after having broken two of the bowls I use for the outside cats, I stumbled across six bowls for $2.99.  The bowls are low but wide, so they are perfect for cats (their whiskers don't rub much on the edges).  In addition, the sides are just slanted enough so food doesn't get pushed up and over.  As we see from the photo above, Mia, Sammy and Patty seem to enjoy the 'new' bowls...especially when they are filled with yummy kibble.  Of course, when I announced that I had found 'perfect' cat bowls, Bob had to give them a close examination...since he is the cook and bottle-washer around here.  I got an 'A', and six bowls are now in the rotation.  We are lucky to have many resale stores within a few miles of home, and both the humans and the cats seem to have gained in the process.

10 October, 2013

Friendly Neighborhood Tabby

Friendly Neighbor Cat
While on my evening walk, this handsome cat decided I was going to be a friend!  The cat meowed, rolled on the sidewalk, and let me scritch him under the chin.  I almost thought the cat wanted me as his new human!  But, after awhile, I started walking again and the cat did not follow.  Such a good-looking boy, almost a darker version of Patty O'Malley.

The Patster

Tabby's have such interesting stripes.   As you can see, Patty is golden brown compared to the Neighbor Cat's dark fur, plus he has marks on his cheeks that mimic the glare-reducing stuff that football players use.  I'm sure this cat belongs to someone; he was very friendly, and I have seen him in the area on a few occasions.  Sure was a pleasant interlude!

06 October, 2013

Cat Jewelry

Newest Finds
I promised I wouldn't purchase any more cat pins, but looky what I found!  The large gold one at the bottom has bright green eyes on all of the cats, and the tails move...<giggle>  The earrings at the top were just too cute to pass up.  Really don't wear any pins in the warm weather; the weight of the metal is too heavy for light cotton blouses.  But as sweater weather gets nearer, I'm sure I'll find an occasion to show my cat goofiness.  AND I can donate any cat item to either All About Animals in Warren (where I attended their TNR class) or Backdoor Friends Cat Shoppe in Farmington, that needs donations to fund their rescue work.  It's amazing what one can find at resale shops, and I meet interesting people there too.  I also scored six smallish bowls, for feeding Mia, Sammy and Patty outside, as I've broken two bowls recently.  And in the coldest part of the winter wet food will freeze quickly, but that doesn't stop Patty from trying to lick it up.  He'll push a food bowl clear across the deck as he tries to lap up another morsel.  But a cold bowl tipping over the end of the deck onto cement usually ends badly for the bowl.  Always need backup!  On top of it all, I like the idea that I'm recycling, plus many of the resale shops that I frequent are charitable organizations.  Although I'd love to give big piles of money, for the time being I can only buy a piece of costume jewelry, or a sweater (or a scarf) and let them use the funds for good works.