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.

05 October, 2013

Mia and Kittens

Mama Mia today
In July 2009
Mama Mia showed up in the summer of 2009, heavily pregnant.  Our feral pal Hobo had escorted her to the food dishes on the deck, literally walking her through our yard as her bodyguard.  She didn't show us her kittens for many weeks, then voila!
I was beside myself, trying to figure out what to do.  Leave the kittens outside with their momma (and dad?) or grab 'em and bring them inside?  I could not get close to the kittens, figuring in time I would be able to.  We decided to TNR everybody then, and caught Hobo and Honey; Sneakers managed to go in and out of the traps without tripping the door, and Mia refused to go near them.  Then one day, both kittens were gone.  I searched everywhere, and asked many neighbors.  I found nothing, and no one had any information.  I put up 'Missing!' signs, and visited animal control every third day for six months.  The kittens never showed up again.  Months later, I used the drop trap to capture Mia, and she was spayed.  But I was heart-broken over those kittens, so with the help of my sister and niece, I found a call-in radio pet psychic, and dialed that 800# until I got through.  The psychic told me the kittens were taken by a neighbor 'close-by' and that they were happy.  Some relief that they were safe, but their disappearance from my life has been difficult.  I mean, look at those sweet kitties!  Mia has always been fearful of me, but recently she's allowed me to pet her, and even scritch under her chin.  She lets out a low purr that I feel in my heart.

01 October, 2013

Garbage Trucks

Cats at the top of the stairs

It's Tuesday morning.  Garbage day around here.  Angel and Chuck don't like garbage trucks.  Both stand at the top of the stairs and growl.  It's hard to keep a straight face, when little pink-white-and-black Angel is being so fierce.  Chuck usually is the first one to forget, and go off about his usual catly duties, but Angel glares out the windows and growls some more.  Interestingly, she also growls at the fire truck when it rolls down the street; can't say why she does that either.  Do the diesel engines make some noise that cats can hear but humans can't?  Is it the size of the vehicles, compared to cars, SUVs or vans?  Who nows, but it's Tuesday morning, and Angel is growling, and so far I haven't let out a laugh.