29 April, 2014

Someone's been peeing...

...outside of the litter box!  More like vertical peeing, but some of it sprinkles over the edge instead of inside on the litter.  Am trying to NOT FREAK OUT, but think that's not going so well.  Pretty sure it's the Tax Man, Chucky-My-Chucky, The B.B.C. (Big Black Cat), His Blackness. 

Seems to be marking behavior, so now we have to figure out how to destress the boy so he feels safe in his own house again.  It's kind of hard to figure out what is the problem:

  1. a new feral (there's an orange cat that I've seen recently...but that cat has been around for a couple of years off and on)
  2. the new renters across the street who have a REALLY NOISY car that they start up every evening (sends Angel and Chuck flying around the house every time)
  3. something else outside or inside the house that hubby and I haven't been figured out yet
  4. could be medical; we'll take him to the vet if the behavior continues

Really do NOT want to put up plastic all over the house, but we'll do it to save the woodwork.  Again, not the time to FREAK OUT, but to start looking at life from Chuck's point of view to help him regain his calm.  Anyone know Kitty Zen?
Chuck asleep in his cup bed, only ears showing!
In the meantime, a few days ago, Sammy was asleep inside his favorite shelter, and I got the bright idea to sneak up (yeah, you know where this is going...) silently and swiftly with a trap to close off the entrance, and catch him!  First, I had to walk back around the house and get the key to the garage.  Then, I had to pull the trap out of it's storage spot, so I had to find something to stand on.  Pulled over an old milk crate, yanked the trap down, then stealthily tip-toed to the deck.

I lightly walked up the steps, and silently snuck up on the shelter...and whoosh!  Sammy went flying out of there when I was still six feet away.  The score now has to be about Sammy 15 Me 0!  I swear, I did not make a jiggle or any kind of metal trap noise; these traps are renowned for being very quiet!  Did I telegraph my intentions in my thoughts?  Is Sammy a mind-reader?

Obviously, Sammy is just smarter than me, so I'm still wondering how I'll ever catch him again.  But I'm not giving up!  Just so you know, I did catch him twice: the first time when I had him neutered in 2011, and again that same year when he had suffered a bite wound.  So maybe it's really Sammy 15 Me 2, but I've had ZERO success in the last two years.
Smart Sammy

24 April, 2014

Neighbor Cat and Flowers

While on a walk in the 'hood, I came upon this friendly fellow, who loved chin scritches and belly rubs!  I know he lives down the street, and he was basking in the last of the day's sunshine when I strode up.  I must discover his name!  Before I left him, I cautioned him carefully about crossing the street.

Some of our tulips are tuliping!  How great it that?  Maybe Old Man Winter has finally checked out for the season?  I'm not putting the snow shovel away yet...just in case.

22 April, 2014

Chucky's Ducky Gets Around Some More

On the bedroom floor

Snuggled with Chuck on the Rocking Chair
We just never know where Ducky will end up!  

And some pics taken during the delightful warm weather!

The Cat Hotel is almost ready for business!

Mama Mia taking a selfie
Napping Sammy

Fatty Patty getting comfy
Love that tail curl, and the ears shadow!

18 April, 2014

We Have Magic Cats!

What?  I'm awake, and I was here the whole time!

Feed me now, or else!
Incredible!  I enter the house after a day's work.  Silence.  Other than hubby, there is nothing moving; no sounds.  So I put away my now-empty lunch box, kick off my shoes, and divest myself of the work day's clothes and stuff.

The 'o' cats are ready for their meal in the deck, so I step into the kitchen.  I open the refrigerator, pull out needed supplies, then close the door.  And Voila!  Angel and Chuck have appeared from NOWHERE!!  How do they do that?  They were not there a second ago, but presto-change-o and now they are dancing in the kitchen for a meal.

We must have magic cats!  They can materialize out of thin air!  Amazing!

15 April, 2014

And now it's 32 degrees...grrr!

Yesterday, Chucky greeted me with meows when I came home from visiting family.  The weekend was lovely; nice temperatures, and a chance to leave one's coat in the closet.

Today, however...whole 'nuther story.  Metro Detroit had snowfall, and now it's official: coldest winter on record AND the snowiest!  They should hand out medals to those of us who stayed in town from November to April!  My biggest concern all of this time has been my friendly ferals.  The top photo is the drop trap, taken this morning.  The trap is still snow covered this evening.  Sammy would not come out of his shelter for breakfast today; he too has had enough!  Looks like this cold will start easing away again tomorrow, then I'll get right back on my Trap Sammy Project.

13 April, 2014

It's 75 degrees!

Chuck in his cup bed

Where's Angel?

Where's Patty O?

Construction Continues
Just a quick note, so I can go back outside and ENJOY!  Hubby was sawing and nailing today on the 'o' cats crate, so Angel and Chuck missed their early beauty sleep, and now are napping in their favorite beds: Chuck in the bay window, and Angel in the front picture window, where she's curled up and almost invisible.  Patty O'Malley is sleeping in the neighbor's garden, nicely camouflaged in the dry leaves.  There is a cold front moving in later today, which will bring all kinds of wind and nastiness, but I am going out there to enjoy the warmth for now.

My head cold is better, yet I have a tickle in my throat that makes me cough.  I am drowning that with soothing herb teas.  Thanks for the 'get better soon' wishes!

I continue to open and close the drop trap on the deck each day, as an exercise in accustoming Sammy, Mama Mia and Patty to it so that they start ignoring it.  So far, Sammy simply bolts when I touch it, so we've got a ways to go with him.  He's a smarty cat!  But if he's so stubborn, then I'm stubborn too!  He seems livelier, and allowed me to brush his fur yesterday.  That's fine and dandy, but does not shake my determination to get him to the veterinarian.  Just going to take patience and perseverance.

10 April, 2014

And Now It's Missing

No Snaggletooth!

Broken Bowl

Yesterday, Sammy's snaggletooth disappeared.  He probably dislodged it, and I must say he's acting quite chipper today.  He appears to be eating more, and we see him licking his paws.  Hubby thinks that maybe we should leave him alone now, and shelve the quest to trap him for a vet visit.  I am of two-minds: of course, I do not want to upset these outside cats at all, but he did have a tooth sticking out of his mouth!  Something is not 100% in there, right?  So, while I think about this, I am going to keep the drop trap out, just to try to desensitize the cats to it.

And wouldn't you know?  The wind pushed the trap 'shut' and broke one of my bowls this afternoon!  Rats!  Although the trap is not very heavy in itself, when it falls down...ie closes...it can really pack a wallop.  Which is why it's so big; no one wants a kitty tail to get pinched.  The food bowl goes 'way in, so the entire cat body and tail are inside.  We are expecting more wind and maybe some rain tonight, so I closed the trap for the night.  Perhaps if I keep opening and closing it, for days, they may start to ignore it as a normal part of their territory now.  

Have had a touch of a sinus cold these last few days, which has caused some sleeplessness.  Hard to keep one's eye on the ball when it feels like cotton wool is stuffed in your head!  I try to let the cats tell me what they need, but that toof put a scare into me, and I don't want Sammy to be suffering.  And yet nothing is happening fast, that's for sure.  Guess I'll just see how this plays out.

07 April, 2014

Houston, We Have a Toof Problem

Sammy on 3/30

  Morning of 4/5, and there's a toof sticking out!
I noticed something odd about Sammy Saturday morning.  Well, Houston...we have a problem!  On the lower photo, you can just make out a white speck on Sammy's lower lip.  It's a tooth!  One of the lower canines is bent, or broken.  That is probably why he stopped eating kibble as I noted a few days ago.  DUH!  But, as you can see by the upper 3/30 photo, the snaggletooth is a new development.

Obviously, this situation cannot continue.

Now, I've attempted to trap Sammy at least three times in the last couple of years.  He would not go near the trap, pictured below.  He's no dummy!

He's not gonna like it, but that mouth has to be seen by a veterinarian, and sooner rather than later.  I've placed the drop trap box on the deck on Sunday, and let it just sit there.  This afternoon, I set the trap by placing the stick-with-string up under it, then I've been ignoring it.  I'll start moving the food bowls closer, then closer.  Once Sammy gets comfortable moving under the trap, then at the right moment, I'll pull the string and drop the trap around him.  I dislike all of the time that must pass, because I'm sure that mouth is sore.  But, I've got to go slow so I can succeed this time.  Once he's inside the trap, I will place a carrier up to the trap door on the side, and he'll walk into the smaller space, then voila!  Cat in a carrier, and off to the vet's office we go.  Am confident that they'll be able to fix him up, and he should be able to get back into the yard after a day or two recuperation.   

Of course, this is a busy week at the office, and my worry-about-cats-o-meter is spiking heavily.  No use making an appointment with the vet's office, since I do not know when I'll catch Sammy, or when I can get there.  So many unknowns...except one: Sammy needs some assistance, and I will do everything I possibly can to get him help.

05 April, 2014

Ten Words

and should be made illegal...

01 April, 2014

Two Odd But Beautiful Cat Stories

One of the only flower photos that I have!
Crocus in Spring 2010
Story #1

I dreamt last night that I came upon a house, surrounded by a white picket fence.  Inside this fence, were many black and white, and orange and white cats and kittens.  There were at least three adults, and maybe two kittens.  Their fur colorings were extraordinary; sharp whites, deep blacks, and electric orange.  As I approached the picket fence, all of the cats walked toward me, and I bent over the fence to pet them.  But here's the odd but beautiful part: all of the cats appeared to have tiny flowers growing at the ends of their fur!  Kind of like babies-breath...small, dainty petals, but they didn't come off as I petted them.  At first, it was as if they all rolled in something, and I tried to brush it away.  But the flowers were a part of their fur!  Crazy, but delightful!

Sammy as the sun sets, 3/31/14
Story #2

Sammy has had me concerned for awhile.  As the winter dragged on...and on...and on...he became timid with me, and ran to hide in a shelter or under something instead of letting me pet him.  I noticed that his fur was looking a bit unkempt, and then he stopped eating kibble.  I was getting worried that he was in pain, or had bad teeth.  But as the temps have warmed a bit, Sammy has been more active, and actively engages with me for attention.  He continues to refuse kibble, and I always give out kibble as the last snack of the evening, before I pick up the food bowls and call it a night.  But here's the odd but beautiful part: today, when Sammy was all lovey-dovey but wouldn't eat kibble from the bowl, I tipped some out onto the wooden feeding platform...and Sammy went to town eating each kernel!  Wha?  He ate up everything, so I poured out some more.  Why kibble in a bowl bothers him now, but eating some from the floor is okay?  Crazy, but I am truly delighted that he seems to be coming out of his winter blues!