Sunday, October 16, 2016

Happy National Feral Cat Day!

Niss writes:

Happy National Feral Cat Day!  Today is very important to me because I've never known the inside of a house.  A feral cat, also called a community cat, is one who is wild and unsocialized to humans.  Although I'm getting there, I'm not to the point of allowing the humans to touch me for more than one stroke of a finger on my head, side, or whiskers.  Then I move away and hiss, or sometimes just look and hiss.

Mouses, but the house air feels warm and dry!  I really want to be in that shelter, whatever the dangers are, but I'm not quite ready.  I'm still too leery of what might be hiding in there.  My friend Sherbet, who used to be a feral like me, lives inside now and won't come back out here.  He decided once he was in, that it was his forever home!

Sherbet writes:

Yep, Niss, you're right!  I love it in here.  I know you would, too, if you gave it a chance.  While some ferals don't ever adapt to life with or around humans, some of us transition to life indoors.  Once I was trapped in a humane trap and neutered, given my first shots, and got my eartip to mark me as a feral, I was brought back to be inside in the trap while I healed for a few hours.  When it was time to let me out, the humans gave me that chance because that's the "return" or "release" part of trap-neuter-release (TNR).  I, however, didn't want to go out!  I bit the mommy on the thumb (not hard) and escaped inside the house!  I've been given multiple chances to "escape", but I love my life inside.  I don't trust that scary blinking thing on the wall that gives off a weird smell and emits strange sounds, and I also don't trust the daddy's electric recliner when it talks.  I love playing chase around the house with the others, especially with Autumn, though!  I also have a green bouncy ball that I play with for hours at a time.  I love to get pets from the humans, and will brush up against their legs to tell them I'm there, then wait to be petted.

You can go to the National Feral Cat Day website for more information about cats like us, and please give your ferals an extra treat today!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Remember Me Thursday

Little Bit writes:

Today is Remember Me Thursday, lifting up shelter pets and those who didn't make it.  It's unfortunate that many shelters and humane societies in the U.S. and around the world are kill shelters.  The main ones in our area are no-kill or close to it, but that still means that around half of the shelters in our area do euthanize adoptable pets.

https://remembermethursday.org/


Today, the world comes together to remember, help, and adopt those in shelters.  164 countries around the world celebrate Remember Me Thursday.  Think of how many pets are being helped today in various ways!

So, how can you help?  You may think, "But I'm just one!  How can I make a difference?"  You do make a difference, every day.  You can be an advocate for animals in many ways.

  • Speak up about pet adoption!  If someone you know wants to adopt, share information on shelters in your area.  Along with the many "Heinz 57" pets like me, there are purebred cats and dogs just waiting for a loving home and family to belong to.
  • Share information on kill and no-kill shelters.  Get to know the shelters and humane organizations in your area and advocate for them.  Even being against pet euthanasia, we still recommend kill shelters as well as no-kill shelters to people looking to adopt.  Why?  Because they might find their forever pet there, and save it from the needle!
  • Foster a pet or five.  Our family fosters and adopts out cats that people bring us.  Right now, we have three fosters:  Dare, Autumn, and Panther.  Dare came to us from a friend, as did Autumn.  Autumn was a "Craigslist kitten", probably from a backyard breeder.  Dare and Panther, who showed up in our yard as a socialized feral, lived outside before finding people to take them in.  I, myself, was saved from a kill shelter, along with my four boys.  I'll tell you more about that later.
  • Make or buy blankets to warm the floors of the cages for pets waiting adoption.  Grammy created the "Read Me a Blanket" program:  children read books, crafters sew, knit or crochet blankets, and for every book read, a blanket is donated to the humane society.  It's a wonderful way for the community to come together to help shelter pets.  The blankets are not only placed in the cages while the pets wait; families are encouraged to choose one blanket when they adopt their forever pet, giving the pet a connection and a safe place at their new home.  Many families then use those blankets when transporting their pet to and from the vet.  Think Linus' security blanket!  Other organizations make and donate blankets as well.  Many shelters also take clean towels to be used in the cages.
  • Donate something off the shelter's wish list.  Many animal rescue and adoption organizations have a wish list on their website.  Any item you donate from that list is appreciated.  It could be a can of pet food, a toy, or even an office item like printer paper.  Everything helps.
  • Spread the word!  Share this post, others like it, and the Remember Me Thursday website on social media with the hashtags #RememberTheRescue and #RememberMeThursday to add your voice to the movement.  We all count!
Little Bit and her 3-week-old boys, first day being fostered
I was one of the lucky ones, and my babies were even luckier.  Who can resist three-week-old kittens?  Well, apparently one animal control center can.  My original people, upon finding out I was pregnant, didn't know what to do with us.  They hadn't bothered to spay any of their pets, so they had two litters of kittens and one litter of puppies all at the same time!  They packed up the kittens and mama cats and set off to find a shelter for us.  Two of my mama's kittens had been adopted already, but she still had two and I had four.  The animal control center told the people that, if they took us in, my kittens would be euthanized right away.  It was the start of "kitten season", and they knew they would be soon overrun with litters needing cages, permanent placements and foster homes.  They simply didn't have the room for us.


Carbon with Little Bit's kitten sisters, first week of fostering

The people left the shelter with us, packed us all into the car, and drove two blocks away.  They opened the car door and threw my mama out onto the street!  They then went to eat, leaving the rest of us in the car.  I hid, and the others couldn't climb out.  When the people came back, they did a very sensible thing.  They remembered that the people two houses down were "cat people" and rescued animals, because my sister and cousin were already with those people.  All seven of us who were left ended up at the new house.  That became my forever family, and the nice people adopted out my two kitten sisters and all four of my boys.  One of my boys later on had to be euthanized because of a genetic intestinal issue, but he had a good foster family, and even a forever home for two weeks.

Please help spread the word and be a force for shelter animals!  "Opt to Adopt" is not just a campaign slogan, but a way of life and a way to save lives.  Please share the message with the hashtags #RememberMeThursday and #RememberTheRescue and check out the Remember Me Thursday website for educational materials, information, more shareable memes, and a photo contest to benefit rescues.  Thank you for all you do for animals.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Fly Free, Carbon!

Carbon, June 8, 2005 to August 17, 2016
Carbon writes:

Today I earned my angel wings.  I'm sad about leaving my family, especially my sister, Tabby, but I'm glad to be feeling whole again in mind and body.

The above picture was taken a few years ago, when I was still feeling well.  Within the last year, I've really been failing.  I lost a lot of weight, my fur on my tail and sides got so matted that I begged Mommy to cut the mats out (which I hated doing) without a struggle.  I yelled for food and followed everyone around for bites of theirs, so Mama Shawnee nicknamed me "Shark".  She trained me to sit on the footstool in the kitchen and wait while she cooked omelettes, then she would give me bites of the egg and meat.

Within the last week, my mind's been failing, too.  I've always been super-smart and alert, but lately I've been not listening, not responding the same way to others and things, and taking a while to realize when I needed to use the litter box.  Well, that last one has been for a few months now, actually, although up until the last few days I would go try if someone said to.

Last night, Mommy came down the hallway to find me being a loaf (normal) with a glazed expression on my face (very not-normal).  She asked me if I was ok, and it took me about a minute to focus enough to look up at her, and then I had a confused expression on my face.  I didn't know how I'd gotten to that spot, why I was there, if I'd been headed somewhere else, or why Mommy was worried!  She asked me if I wanted a hug or a cuddle, and I meowed sadly at her.  My meow changed, too, from what it had been.  I sounded as lost as I felt.

Mommy picked me up and gave me a huge hug, then carried me to a chair and sat down with me on her lap.  She gave me another big hug while some of the other cats gathered around to sniff me.  I tried to tell her that I was ready to go to the Bridge.  The others knew it, too.

Early this morning, Rori ran to get Daddy, meowing her head off.  Daddy didn't know what she was trying to tell him, but she sounded and acted very worried.  Daddy asked Mommy, but she didn't know why, either.  Once she woke up, though, she knew.

I was in my box lid in the dining room, where I loved to hang out and nap, but whenever anyone else approached the food or the water, I ran to them and beat them up.  Then I ran back to my box lid and lay down again.  Tabby was supposed to go on one of her animal-assisted therapy visits, but I beat her up, too, when she tried to eat breakfast.  She was so upset, she ran and asked Mommy what was going on with me.  Then she wouldn't leave the part of the room I was in, choosing to watch over me even though I wouldn't let her snuggle.

Truth be told, I didn't even recognize the other cats as my family today.  All I knew was they were trying to get my food and my water, so I defended what was mine.  I feel very sad about that, and I hope they know I didn't mean it personally.

Daddy and Mommy discussed what to do, but it was more like when, not what.  Mommy called the vet, Mama Shawnee, and Mama Cai, while Daddy called Mama Erin and texted Debbie and Kimila (friends of ours who loved me).  Once the purrents were ready, Mommy tricked me into the carrier bag and zipped me in.  I tried to get out a few times, and ended up sticking my head out while we went out to the car, but Mommy was holding my head.  I actually did better on the car ride than both Daddy and Mommy thought, but especially better than Daddy thought I'd do.  I kept my pee in my body, which is a big thing for me on car rides, and hardly yelled at all.  My purrents petted me while we traveled.

At the vet's, there were a lot of dogs on one side, but the other side was pretty quiet.  Daddy checked me in while I lay in the carrier on the quiet side on Mommy's lap.  Then Daddy held me for a while in the carrier, too.  He reassured me that none of the doggies would come and get me, and told me none of them were Mixx, the one who lived with us until recently.  Mixx lives somewhere else now; long story, and not ours to tell, but not by anyone's choice.

It was going to be 20 minutes for a room if my purrents wanted to be with me when the vet put me to sleep, or they could take me back right away if we didn't need a room.  Daddy can't deal with being in the room emotionally, too sad for him.  Mommy sometimes does and sometimes doesn't.  She felt that it would be best if it were done as soon as possible, so the vet tech took me back.  At 2:15 pm, I went to the Bridge.  They wrapped me in a thin blanket that had been donated for that purpose and put me into a cardboard box, then taped it up and took my body out to my purrents.  Mommy and Daddy both had been crying, and cried more when they got into the car.

At home, Mommy opened the box and took my body out, after uncovering my head and paws.  Autumn wanted to hop in the box, but no one would let her.  Then she saw me in there, and left the box alone.  Daddy let everyone know what had happened, and he and Mommy petted everyone.  My sister sniffed me, nuzzled my ear, sniffed my paws, and slowly walked over to Daddy.  He told her how sorry he was, but that I wasn't coming back, then she walked over to Mommy to the same response.  She slowly walked back, and conferred with Missy about it.  One by one, everyone came to pay their respects.  Sherbet didn't want to come up to my body, and hissed at Mommy when she went over to him to have him smell her hands, so she didn't push the issue.  Starla was carried over to me, sniffed me, conferred with Tabby, then figured it out and ran to the chair.  Daddy carried the twins in from the other room.  Freya kept thinking that I was just sleeping, and came back many times to check on my, thinking I might wake up.  Mommy got Rori, who took the news badly and bolted back down the hallway.

Daddy dug a hole and buried me by the cedar tree in the backyard, by the roses where Miss Marble is buried.  That's the toughest part emotionally for him:  digging the hole and laying the body to rest, then covering it up.  It's so final.  He and Mommy are going to keep the blanket I was wrapped in and use it in the carrier for the others for vet visits and things like that.  They also have a clay double-paw print that I made for them at the vet's, with my name stamped below my paw prints.

I love you all, purrents, friends, sissy, nieces, nephews, and extended furmily!  I'll wait for you here at the Bridge with the other angels.

Love,
    Carbon Cuddlekins/Fluffikins

P.S.  How appropriate that today's Black Cat Appreciation Day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

PhotoHunt: Paw! Also celebrating a birthday

Tabby writes:

It was my 11th purrthday last Thursday!  I went visiting on Wednesday in my party dress, and everyone loved it.  I'm having to go on shorter visits now that I'm getting older, because of my arthritis, but I still can visit for an hour easily and 1 1/2 hours at my regular place.  That's plus the bus ride there and back!

Our humans have been rearranging all the furniture again!  Almost everything in the living room moved, and two bedrooms got switched almost completely!  I got to ride on a shelf as it was being moved, and the kittens we've been kitten-sitting didn't know what to do when the futon mattress came off so that could be moved.

We're posting our photohunt pictures late this time, because of all the rearranging.  Have fun guessing whose paws are whose, and we'll tell you on Thursday!  Carbon and Little Bit declined to pawticipate, because they wouldn't stay still for their paw pictures.

Pic 1

Pic 2

Pic 3

Pic 4

Pic 5

Pic 6

Pic 7

Pic 8

Pic 9

Pic 10

Pic 11

Pic 12

Are you a photohunter?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Feral Friday: Mouses, a mousie!

Niss writes:

MOUSES!!!!  Of all things in the world to be eating MY cat food!  I let the raccoons, the occasional birdie, and the occasional possum eat MY food, but do I really need to put up with THIS????  A MOUSE has been consistently eating my food every morning!!!  He or she comes up the side of the deck by the food pile, then steals a few crunchies at a time.  Either he eats them on the spot or he takes them back to his storage, no one's sure.  Sometimes, he definitely eats them on the spot, because Panther has seen him do that!  Panther calls him HIS mouse, but I just want to make him my DINNER one of these days!  MOUSES, but that mousie gets on my nerves!

In other news, I've gotten to the point of sniffing the humans' hands when they leave them down for me!  I'll actually go up and nose-tap some of the time!  This is, of course, after I hiss at them for being late with my food.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Happy Belated Purrthday to Carbon!

Carbon writes:

Don't worry, my purrthday wasn't forgotten!  Yesterday was just an extremely busy day around our house, with appointments for the humans and kitten-watching for us.  I had a good purrthday, though!  It was very relaxing, as you can tell from the above picture, MOL.  I snuggled with Daddy and later with Mommy, taught Bunny that the food plate is mine with a whap to the head (gently), and ran around playing with all kinds of toys that Mama Shawnee had taken out for us.  I even played Crazy Circle!

I turned 11 years old yesterday!  Yes, I'm a grouchy old man, but I can still tear up the house like a kitten when I want to, including going after a bouncy ball set loose in the kitchen!  The kittens were afraid of it, but I taught them how to whap it down mid-bounce.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sunday Surprises!

Sherbet writes:

First of all, hi from my second-favorite spot in the whole house!  This shelf is the one I used to like when it was in my room, but now it's in the dining room.  I still love it, and will go out to it to sleep sometimes.

Mama Shawnee likes to take pictures of me.  She took the one of my shelf and also this one, of me spying on her.  She wasn't supposed to see me from her bed, but she did!

Just in the last few weeks, I've started hanging out on Mommy's desk while she's sleeping.  Once again, Mama Shawnee caught me in the act of being cute!  Mommy woke up to Mama Shawnee talking to me and the camera flash at 2 a.m.!

But, that's not the latest of the surprises.  We have two visitors from another kitty family!  We're kitten-sitting for a couple weeks.  Until now, I didn't know what kittens looked like or sounded like, since I haven't been around any since I was one.  I was quite confused when they appeared.  What were they?  Why did they move so fast?  Was it ok that they were wrestling?  Was it ok that they were eating my food, drinking my water, using my box, and climbing my kitty tree to check out my "house" cubby there?  Mooooooooommies!!!  Daaaaaaaddy!!!  They've been here three days now, and we're all getting used to them (and they to us).  I actually like them, and will go find them if I haven't seen them for a while!  They like me, too.

Bunny (on the left) is fun to watch zoom around.  Well, they're both fun to watch, but he runs with a lope!  He likes to play with Auntie Dare (on the right), who now thinks the kittens are fun to torment (in a good way).

Prince Eric is very fast, and he loves my kitty tree!  I'll even let him sniff me sometimes, if he doesn't try to jump past my house (on the next shelf down) to get to his favorite place.

Their people need to move from the apartment where they've been to a new one, because of poor management and very poor maintenance.  While the family's moving, they've asked that the kittens stay with us.  Once the humans get settled, the kittens will go back to them at their new home.  If you could help Prince Eric and Bunny's people with some green papers, their GoFundMe is here.  It's set up and monitored by them, not us.  Please, no rude comments.  Everyone's trying to help them and the others at those apartments.  Thank you.