30 October, 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

27 October, 2014

Sweetie's Old House is Gone

No worries, Sweetie!
Years ago, I often noticed a small black cat in the window of a nearby apartment.  I am almost certain that that little cat was the hungry, pregnant queen who showed up in the autumn of 2009, at my deck.  How she got out, or was let out, we'll never know.  And there were stories about the guy who was later tossed out of those apartments, and he had multiple cats.  I've hated the thought of that guy for years.

Today, the new owners of the old divided-up-in-apartments-probably-fifty-years-ago house, had a wrecking crew come in and take it down!  Once the debris is cleared, the basement hole filled in, and the driveway removed, it will be a empty lot.  We have lived here for over twenty years, and there has always been trouble at that building, often involving the authorities.  Squad cars, ambulances, fire trucks...too close to our house to feel comfortable.  Now, it will be quiet and calm, and no more renters allowed to have cats that they later dump!  In the Spring, the neighbors hope to try some gardening, even maybe put in a community vegetable patch.  No worries, Sweetie...you will ALWAYS have a home with me!

24 October, 2014

Cats at the Office

See the little tail with a white tip?
She's got a cat face on her shirt

We held our annual trick-or-treat party for employee's children, and few cutie kitty cats showed up!  Aren't they just darling?  I was also gifted with a decorated pumpkin...with a kitty cat face!  How cool!

20 October, 2014

Cat Locked Up!

Freed Chuck
When I arrived home after work, the hubby said both Angel and Chuck were sleeping upstairs; Angel under my old wool sweater draped on a chair, and Chuck in his favorite box covered with a blanket.  Just as we finished dinner, I heard a knocking noise, and thought the neighbor's were working on their house next door.  However, a peek outside proved that no one was moving around.  I heard a scrambling sound, and a faint meowing.  I launched myself upstairs, and opened all the rooms and looked under the beds.  Found Angel, but I could not find Chuck.  I came downstairs again, and heard some more noises.  Up I went again, and this time I found him.  He had slipped into the coat closet, and couldn't get the door open once the hubby had closed it tight.  The hubby was very, VERY apologetic, and once Chuck was sprung from his couple-hour-long imprisonment (with the vacuum cleaner accessories), he didn't seem the worse for wear. 

Moral of the story:  ALWAYS do a cat check!  

19 October, 2014

Cat Eats

Chuck and Angel, on the pool table

For Chuck and Angel:
Breakfast between 6:30 am and 7:00 am:

A spoonful of organic canned pumpkin
A 1/4 teaspoon of stool softener
A splash of flax seed oil
Careful measure of cat enzymes
Almost a full can of limited ingredient venison and green pea food
Enough filtered water to make it a bit soupy
Divided equally into two bowls
Always put Chucky's bowl down first 
A taste of the 'o' cats food called The Tax (Chuck stops eating until I do this)

Lunch between 12:30 pm and 1 pm: 

1/2 can of limited ingredient duck and green pea food
Divided into two bowls
They always beg for more; most of the time, I give it too 'em

Dinner between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm (depending on who's still napping and when I get home from work)

Repeat breakfast ritual

Sweetie and Patty O'

For The 'O' Cats:
Breakfast, after Angel and Chuck are served

A big scoop of Brewer's Yeast
Careful measure of L-Lysine crystals
Splash of flax seed oil
Almost a full can of (no fish!), or homemade cooked ground turkey (and sometimes I mix up all the canned leftovers)
A sprinkle of diatomaceous earth to combat fleas and worms
Enough filtered water to make it all mixable
Divided into two bowls, 5/8ths for Patty, 3/8ths for Sweetie (and a spoonful for Chuck)
A garnish of kibble (hidden from Chuck and Angel)

Lunch, after Chuck and Angel:



Repeat breakfast, after Chuck and Angel

Night snack before 9 pm:

A small serving of kibble
Sweetie eats off the deck, while Patty prefers to eat from a bowl

I have to guard the 'O' Cat's food from roaming neighbor Aries, who will run right up and push them off their bowls, and hiss while he's doing it!  I carry a kibble bribe, and feed him his 'treat' in the yard, to draw him away.  If he isn't around for the meal, he'll show up later and lick out their bowls.  No matter what I and the hubby do to get him to scram, he comes back or hides behind a tree until we are gone.  However, he gives great pets and purrs, so we just deal with him.

In the very cold part of the winter, the night snack is eliminated, because the cats won't show up.  Also in the winter, the canned food freezes too quickly, so I just give them kibble.  If the food freezes, Patty will keep licking until he pushes the bowl off the deck.  When Sammy was alive, I stopped feeding kibble entirely, because he could no longer chew it, and I had to heat the canned food to counter the cold.  Today, we emptied the bag of kibble that was purchased this spring, but it's lasted so long because of Sammy.  We bought a new bag this morning, and I had a moment of sad in memory of Sammy.  I went to watch the kittens in the adoption center to counter the sad, until the hubby discovered my location and dragged me away.  He then escorted me to the hardware store, where we purchased more duct insulation to complete the Cat Hotel's ceiling/roof, before it gets really cold.

I feed Angel and Chuck only new food; any leftovers go outside.  We segregate the two sets of food bowls from each other, and from our human bowls too.  We use oblong Pyrex heating bowls for Angel and Chuck; they are ceramic and are low and wide.  The 'O' Cats get flattish old earthenware bowls found at resale shops.  Patty breaks a bowl by pushing them over the deck edge about twice a year.  I use old iced tea spoons to mix their food; the handle length helps me stir the concoctions evenly, and then dole it out proportionately.  Angel and Chuck get the same amount each meal, but I give Patty more because he eats his food so fast, and Sweetie can barely get a full meal before he's nosing in on her bowl...or Aries is mooching around.  Sweetie always backs off first.  

Sweetie at lunch today

Patty today, showing off his widebody in a sun puddle

18 October, 2014

Beautiful Babies!

These three kittens belong to the mother cat that we tried to TNR last week.  She did not show up to the party; must have lost the invitation!  Will try again tomorrow, near sunset when she is usually seen.  In the meantime, her three kittens are inside now, being socialized, and await adoption.  I've petted and cooed over each one!  The little black kitten in the bottom two photos may have an eye issue, and she'll be seen by a veterinarian next week.  The kitten with the mask is also a girl; the top photo is a boy.  If you know anyone who is interested, put in a comment!  We are in Metro Detroit, but I would make a road trip...the autumn colors are perfect right now.

15 October, 2014

Book Score!

I received a gift card to the book store months ago, yet I waited to use it.  It's not that there was nothing to buy; I just wanted to purchase things that were special.  And this weekend boy did I spend it!  First off, every year I MUST get my cat calendar.  The photos are so lovely, and I like the way people stop at my work desk to talk about them.  AND THEN, I purchased the newest book by Sofie Kelly, called A Midwinter's Tail, that just came out.  I love this series, called "A Magical Cats Mystery", and there are five books now.  So...I used up my gift card and bought the other four too!  I became acquainted with the first book, Curiosity Thrilled The Cat at the local library, and I wait patiently for the each book, about one a year, to reach the library a month or so after it's release.  But I just had to have them, and I am grateful for that gift card!  I won't go into much detail, because these are current books, and not everyone is into cat mysteries.  Will just say that formerly feral Hercules and Owen are two very special cats, and their human Kathleen manages to get involved with all manner of problems that need solving!  Well-written, with good characters and a real-life feel that I enjoy.

Now here's the funny thing...I have NOT read my new books yet!  I have not had the time!  But I am so excited about my great bookstore haul!  Wee!

14 October, 2014

Angel's Toy

I'm Angel, the Kitty Play Girl!
Finally found a toy that Angel likes!  Angel lurvs her boxes, and you see in the second photo that she lays around in them all of the time.  Well, this snakey toy can easily be wrapped around the box, then pulled slowly...and quickly...so it makes a rasping noise against the cardboard.  That's when Angel pounces!  The plume of feathers on the end is her prey, and I drag it along the outside of the box while she attacks it.  Great fun!

And Thanks To All, for sending purrs for Patty's itchies and Chucky's boo-boo foot!

13 October, 2014

Oh My Boys

Skritchy Itchy Patty
Stop fussin', Mom!
Patty's itchy skin came back.  The new food seemed to help for weeks now.  Then suddenly, he's scratchin' and making sores again.  So maybe it wasn't the food, and rather it was the application of die-flea-die stuff?  Went to the vet and got some prescription stuff, and doused Patty with that on Saturday.  Yikes!  Keep your fingers crossed.

And yesterday, Chucky damaged two nails on his back foot.  How, why?  We have hardwood floors that are old, so there are tiny gaps between the boards.  In addition, our neighbor likes to start up and rev loudly his fancy, noisy fake race car, and often Angel and Chuck go flying through the house at the sound.  I am sure he'll be okay, as the nails grow back again, but I got a bit teary when I saw his claws for the first time.

My boys have ouchies!  Angel and Sweetie are just cruisin' along, not making any trouble and keeping to themselves.  But my boys Chuck and Patty are worrying their momma!

10 October, 2014

I won! I won!

My new Litter Lifter scoops!
Wheee!  I entered a contest at Conscious Cat on September 18, and I won!  The three scoops above arrived today.  I really like the Litter Lifter, and I talk them up whenever I can.  The litter just slides out, without any shaking necessary.  So, to win some more (I already have two!) is really GREAT!! Thanks, Ingrid!  Also, I won the same for Paws For The Cause Feral Cat Rescue, so I hope M & L enjoy these handy items as much as I do.

06 October, 2014


This has nothing to do with cats; it's just a really cool thing that my brother discovered at his home.  Brother who works too many random hours to have a cat (or cats!) of his own...for now...but he's got this monster hornet's nest on his house.  Isn't it just bizarre? We had a hornet's nest in our tree years ago, which only revealed itself when the maple leaves fell in the autumn.  Gave me the willies, realizing that those hornets were over my head all summer!?  Hornet's nests are fascinating, however, when you get up close to see detail.  They look alien, or outer-spacey to me.  Due to the cooler temperatures that we are now experiencing in Michigan...wait, did it ever get warm?...those hornets are pretty much down for the count.  Brother will wait until he's sure the nest is completely empty (read: dead!) before he scrapes it off the eave and house.  In the meantime, you wouldn't notice it was there, if he didn't point it out.  Doesn't Mother Nature do some really interesting things?

05 October, 2014

Moochy Neighbor

Aries with me

Watching the food bowls carefully

Our neighbor's have a sweet kitty named Aries, who has used our backyard as part of his territory for years.  He's gotten to know our routines so well, that he shows up for breakfast and dinner as if he was one of the gang!  He growls a lot, but I've learned that it's just a pose; his ears never go back and he loves a cuddle.  When I set out bowls of food for Patty O'Malley and Sweetie, Aries runs right up in hopes of scoring food for himself.  I try to draw him off with kibble away from the deck, because that growling puts Sweetie off of her meal, but he often finishes that amount and comes back in for more.  His family treats him very well, so this isn't a new feral or stray situation; it's just a cat taking advantage!  May have to change my feeding schedule, to see if I can get a full meal into the two 'o' cats before Aries the Mooch appears.  Heck, he's probably been licking out their bowls for years, at least since 2009 when Sweetie first appeared in our yard.  It was cool and raining this morning at 7:00 a.m., but Aries was waiting for me!  I even picked him up, cooing and petting him, and deposited him in his own yard, but he ran right back before me!  Oh well, what's a few kibble between friends?  It's the neighborly thing to do!

04 October, 2014

Cat Therapy

Angel in her petting place

I'll admit it...it was a rough work week!  I just about lost it on Friday; that feeling that I could not take one more second of working without my head exploding!  Just an eyelash away from breaking down into sobs and screaming.  Even the hubby was feeling blue and downtrodden by the seemingly glacial pace of one of his projects.

Then...therapy in the form of cats came to the rescue!  Sweet Angel, purred and twisted in her favorite box to get maximum coos and pets by her humans.  Chucky meowed and insinuated himself on us, as we sat and watched the TV.  Outside, Patty won't remain separated from me, and Sweetie even rubbed against my ankles for the very first time!

Patty, giving some lurv; he seems to enjoy licking my hair!

So yeah, stuff happens, but it's surely FANTASTIC to have some cuddle buddies (or four...) to put things back into perspective.  Who cares what happened at the office, when you've got furry friends to purr you back to happy!?!