Tag Archives: cats

New Foster Kitten and She’s Young and Pregnant

8 Mar

This is gradually sinking in. I have a foster kitten who is so small she looks like she’s about eight months old, and she is going to give birth. Here. I am going to be in charge of this tiny, sweet, way-too-young kitten giving birth.

It was either me, some other fostering human, or the needle. That’s what happens when people love on their kittens and then let them get pregnant and dump them on animal shelters.

I hate you, humans, for doing that. I don’t blame you for “missing” about spaying your kittens on time, which is about at five months. I’ve blown that one myself.

I do hate you for not having the integrity to at least deal with the outcome. Keep the cat, tend to her kittens. If you take them to your local shelter when they are about six or eight weeks old, they will stand a very good chance of being adopted if you’ve worked with them to socialize them. Our local shelter has a hard time overall with people not wanting to adopt, but young friendly kittens who aren’t sick and are put up for adoption get adopted. That just happens.

So, human who had Amanda (yes, she has a new name now, since you were too cowardly to own up to abandoning her) – you who dumped her on our shelter, what did you think when you did that? Did you think the grown-ups would take charge and fix your mistakes?

Well, somebody did and somebody will do her best with your discarded cat, who is settling down happily in my beat down building where she can stay safe and well-fed and loved.

And when she has her kittens? I’ll love them too, and they will be adopted, not killed, if all goes well. And after Amanda’s milk dries up, she’ll be spayed by the shelter and she will be up for adoption, which should work quite well since she is a really terrific cat.

But none of this was a given, selfish human. Without fosters like me, pregnant cats dumped at shelters get dead. 

You should be ashamed of yourself.

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We Colors

17 Feb

Wilderness

Wilderness

Dawn

Dawn

Fear

Fear

Hunting

Hunting

Bugs

Bugs

~~~

Also, have some cats. These are Charlotte and Jess. I forgot I had these photos on my camera when I dredged it up to photograph my colored scribblings, and this was a pleasant surprise.

Jess got trapped by my neighbor and got to live on a manor farm with heated doghouses. Charlotte, the tortie, is still with us.

Charlotte and Jess 2

But What About the Cat?

16 Feb

They said you’d write again. They said not to answer.

You wrote about a cat you’d found. Did I want another cat?

If I wanted another cat I’d have another cat. I certainly wouldn’t be sitting around waiting for someone I’m not talking to, to offer me one.

You said you were thinking about taking the cat to the shelter.

I would, overall, have preferred to ignore this missive, but for one problem.

The shelter hardly has any cats. They’re down to eight. Kitten season could start soon.

If this is a nice cat, he could easily be adopted now. But it won’t last for long.

He could go to the shelter, and they’d scan him for a microchip, in case he somehow got lost, and if he’s just abandoned, they can neuter him if needed, give him shots, and likely find him a home.

But only if you act quickly. Because kitten season is hard on older shelter cats. 

So I had to answer, because this is a professional matter, what with my being a shelter volunteer and all. 

And because of the cat. It’s not the cat’s fault, all this toxic history.

There is something they say in rescue, “You can’t save all of them, but for every one you do save, that animal’s life is changed forever.”

So I wrote you and explained all of this. Even though I’m not talking to you.

So do something about it. Don’t just stall out and put it off. Save the damn cat, okay?

Virtue the Cat Explains Her Departure

5 Feb

Something I found on the Internets today. Author credits and video below.

It had something to do with the rain
Leaching loamy dirt
And the way the back lane came alive
Half moon whispered, go

For a while, I heard you
Missing steps in the street
And your anger pleading
In an uncertain key singing the sound
That you found for me

When the winter took the tips of my ears
Found this noisy home
Full of pigeons and places to hide
And when the voices die

I emerged to watched abandoned machines
Waiting for their men to return
I remember the way
I would wait for you

To arrive with kibble
And a box full of beer
How I’d scratch the empties
Desperate to hear you make the sound
That you found for me

After scrapping with the ferals and the tabby
Let you brush my matted fur
How I’d knead into your chest
While you were sleeping
Shallow breathing made me purr

But I can’t remember the sound
That you found for me
I can’t remember the sound
That you found for me
I can’t remember the sound

Written by: 

STEPHEN ALLAN CARROLL;GREG SMITH;JOHN SAMSON;JASON TAIT

Published by the Weakerthans

h/t to commonmass

Any Way You Can Get It

18 Jan

Tortitude

I foster kittens for our shelter sometimes. This can mean weaned  kittens too young for shots, who could use a little human love for some weeks, or even caring for a pregnant mom cat and then her kittens, though I haven’t done that yet.

The first foster gig I took on involved five five-week old kittens. Two were markedly part Siamese, one a calico, and two tortoise shells.

I wound up working with these cats for some time, and by the time they all left the premises they were all spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and went off to new homes.

All except Charlotte. Well, and Jess, but Jess outdid herself later and has since moved up in the world.

But I figured nobody would want Charlotte, should there not be a shortage of housecats.

Because Charlotte has Tortitude. She struggles when I pick her up, she snuggles up against me without provocation, she acts in a peculiar manner at times.

She is the total worst cat adoption bet ever.

Every time I see a new adult female tortie on the shelter web page (and torties without chromosomal abnormalities are all female, because it’s sex-linked) I has a sad. There you are, girl, I think. Another doomed Mad Tortie.

That’s Carlsbad, NM. It’s bad for pets here because it’s breed ’em and dump ’em here. What works everywhere else is a fail here. Throw tons of money into spay/neuter subsidizing? We did that for close to 15 years now. Works everywhere else.

But I digress. 

Meanwhile, as I found myself Doomed To This Cat Who Is Exactly Like Me, my mother was muddling around, trying to work out how to adopt a cat, in a region where human-free cats are much more in demand. I was pleased to advise.

And eventually, Mom too wound up with a Mad Tortie. Zoe watches for terrorists and is appalled at changes, including exhibiting affront at any suggested food changes. She has a seat at the dinner table and evidences extraordinarily fussy tastes in poultry.

Bonding, at last. Or again. That.

Works.

The Trap Is Gone. The Light Is Off.

28 Dec

This is like chess. Has the cat trap been removed, or knight-jumped behind the shrubbery somewhere? And what about the light? I don’t see it gleaming in the background upon a new strategic location.

What on earth will happen next? Now that I have been informed that I have devils in me because I had the temerity to be furious about my cat being trapped without warning and left in the freezing rain, it’s hard to even guess. 

Meanwhile, someone suggested this to me. Tempting.

Lily Lights the Cat Trap

27 Dec

Lily Lights the Cat Trap

Lily had a few guys doing something in her yard the other day. I now note that there are two bright little incandescent bulbs, one on the back porch and one in the back of the yard, adjascent to the cat trap. This on top of the street light the city installed on the border of our yards after someone torched the other neighbor’s milk barn.

The street light dims periodically for energy saving, so I guess that was just too scary.

So Jess has her own personal Dachshunds and heated doghouses, and Lily has her own personal illuminated cat trap. Who’s having more fun?

She’s lucky I’m not a truly evil neighbor, or I’d acquire a stuffed toy cat, dress in black, charcoal my face, sneak over the fence and insert it in the trap.

Or maybe I could put up a sign where she can see it, reading “Lily, cat traps work better in the dark. Just trying to help.”

Or maybe I could build a deck by the low fence, buy my other cat Charlotte a harness and leash, and we could just hang there on lawn chairs and contemplate the cat trap, like some kind of feline shrine. It’s kind of Zen, since she hasn’t caught a cat since Jess a week back. One trap clapping.

And webcam it. Hey, this could go viral. 

Haiku For Jess

25 Dec

You’ve gone away now
I miss you horribly
I hope you stay safe.

I judged you at risk
I made a hard snap judgment
And fate took its course.

I hear you’re at a farm
With your own dogs and houses
Outside of my realm.

It sounded awesome
I so hope it takes. Why not?
You’re really special.

Meanwhile, here we fight
And try to survive, humans
Or not, best we can.

Remembering you
Whether we want to or not
You’re always in us.

Thanks, Lily!

25 Dec

Nothing Says Merry Christmas Like Torturing Your Cat, Poisoning Your Dog, And Accusing You Of Being Full Of Devils.

Thanks, Lily!

Fortunately, you haven’t killed any of us yet, and I got Jess out and she was promptly adopted into Cat Lottery Win. Meanwhile, everyone else nonhuman is consigned into quarters unless supervised. Because you are so fucking batshit crazy that I don’t want you within 500 feet of any of us without a wall in the way. Or me.

Thank Dog you don’t know about drones.

A happier story

21 Dec

Also, a happy story

Our local shelter manager is a friend, and a good one indeed. I’ve been having problems with my knees and ankles and feet, and since I don’t drive, this limits me. I bicycle out to do errands and shopping and come back home, mostly.

So when it comes time to get my pets shots, I tend to put it off, and that’s not always a good idea. Also I am bad with needles.

I suck at asking for help, too. But a good friend will help with that, too.

So I emailed Angela, our shelter manager, and asked her if she could come by and give my dogs DHPP shots. “Sure!” she replied. 

It’s always nice to see Angela and her daughter, who is totally into the whole shelter routine, and a terrific girl in so many ways.

Angela suggested she give Mad Charlotte a booster too. Charlotte is my tortoise shell cat whom I kept from a litter of foster kittens because she was so easily freaked, and I identify with that. It was clear she stood poor chances at adoption. I consider her my familiar.

So we arranged an appointment, and Casey and Falcor rushed the gate, as usual, delighted to see some of their favorite humans. I’d put Charlotte in the back cat room I use to sequester foster kittens when there are door issues.

Falc and Case were kind of amazed at being asked in – we never go in here, Mom!

Angela administered their booster shots in no time at all. The dogs didn’t even notice, so busy were they loving on our friends.

Then it was Charlotte’s turn. She was hiding up on a shelf and scrabbled down to a dark corner of the closet, mewing angrily. “Hi kitty!” said Angela. “Hey Char!” said I.

Angela gradually worked her way into the corner and probably gripped Charlotte in some manner, and gave her the shot. “Not bad -she didn’t bite or scratch.” 

Whew. What a relief.

Ashlyn assisted during all of this, and it was time for her present. Kids like having choice, it’s huge. So I rounded up an assortment of rocks and marbles and fossils and told her she got to choose six for a Christmas present (or holiday present, whatever)

I knew there was a reason I collected this stuff.

I then reimbursed the shelter for the costs of the vaccines, and added a donation to say thanks for being there and helping me keep my pets a little safer.

Probably the best day ever in the midst of heartbreak…I’ll never see Jess again, because what we learn in rescue is that the nonhuman’s welfare must always come first. But what we also learn is that we matter, that their lives are changed permanently by our decisions. 

And thus we grow. And find friends.

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