Segue into Leo and Andy: this is Leo with Wavey...Wavey's the baby, who is ready to pulverize Leo. No matter how many times Leo gets him down and makes him scream, the Wave shakes himself off and goes back for MORE!
And here's Leo and Andy! When Andy came to us to be a friend to Leo, Leo was as small compared to him as Wavey is to Leo now! I was worried that the match would be an unhappy one for Leo, but, noooo: he handled Andy well, handily! Attitude is indeed everything! Interestingly, he grew faster that Andrew did, and now they are about the same size! Andy is shy, and Leo brings him out of his shell!
Been busy! Didn't realize that I hadn't written in the blog since July! EEK. No way to catch up, but thought I'd write about the baby, Waverly here, the other baby, Isabela, and the two now teenagers...
This little guy will rule the world...He's game, just as his orange predecessor was! GAME! I took him in from another rescue friend to be a companion to little Tiger Sam, below.
Tiger Sam is hell on wheels too. But the little one, Waverly (Wavey) wasn't eating...so has to stay in rehab here. Got another one, Isabela, for T. Sam, but she was also in bad shape. Swollen kidneys and odd red masses in her mouth. Hers is a long story, maybe tomorrow...but she turned a big fat corner today! She's still not ready to relocate. So...tomorrow I take Leo and Andy to the foster, with Little Wavey, and see how it goes. Just for a visit, to test the waters, to see how they relate. (Wavey's eating okay now!!)
To be continued, hopefully tomorrow!
Yes, this year the adoption gods have smiled on us! This girl just went home with her mother, brother, and their two new kitten friends! We have been blessed this year with the best adopters EVER!!
Kitten season: approached with anticipation and dread. Will we be up to the task? Will we be able to do right by all of them, as we must?
We had twelve needing homes this year: eight babies, two mothers, and one presumptive dad. Last year we had four moms with babies, so, piece of cake, right? Still, we worry...
But we had lots of time to find adopters: the babies were just six weeks old. I wait as long as possible to let babies go, especially if they are with their mothers. I want them to be twelve weeks old. Out of the vulnerable stage.
So we posted them everywhere...and don't discredit craigslist...three GREAT adopters came from CL. The screening process is the same, no matter where folks come from! Folks came to meet them and choose (was tough) their faves, then left a deposit and signed the adoption contract. Everyone appreciated that the babies should stay with mother as long as possible...and were happy to wait! I said that July 10 they'd be ready to go. Our first adopters had the wisdom and grace to choose the mom and the odd-numbered baby of seven, knowing that most folks want kittens, and that the mom might be overlooked. Mother Kristina is actually a stellar cat in every way! She kept her seven babies alive and healthy (!!) in an extremely bleak situation...under a freeway overpass...she's a treasure!
Kristina was the best possible mother, young as she was! (eight months?) As you can see, the little ones nurse long after they begin to eat solid food., and the other surviving baby of three (all five were left on our deck in a crate) had both mother and (presumptive) dad, and so was a happy girl. She got spayed of course. In this photo you can see where she'd been shaved.
Above are five of Kristina's seven. Their adopters have been great about letting me know how well they are doing in their new homes...happy, all!
This sweet family was left on my deck, in a cloth crate they could have gotten out of! The (presumptive) father, in the foreground here, was moaning in fear. It took them a very long time to decompress, to relax, and to begin to trust us. There had been three babies, but two did not survive, alas.
They were elegant and intelligent...admirable cats! Their fur was silky and soft. They were in good health. We had mom and dad neutered/spayed, of course. I would not have relocated them except that mother was not comfortable with the other cats here. But I would not split the family up! Amazingly, a woman adopted all three...we really miss them!
And so all thrived, and starting on July 10, went to their new homes, one pair each day, and on the last day, the little family.
Sad story happy ending (for all save one).
I work with, and am supported by, Pet Food Express. The El Cerrito store manager called me on July 11, saying....gasp...that a box had been found in their parking lot with four cats in it. That's a photo hint. I went down, in the store's bathroom, was a large box with four sad looking kittens in it. One was VERY thin. There was a paper dish with some toxic, worthless "food" in it. They had wet in the box, and, if they hadn't been found, could have gotten out and been lost to us forever.
Pet Food Express (more about them below!!) gave me three new cardboard carriers, and helped them into my car. Fortunately, we live close by, and got home quickly. I put them all in a large cage, raised off the floor, and they huddled together in fear, as you see above. Happy photos to follow!! They were withdrawn, and shrunk away rather than struck out when I touched them. Made my job easier!
I left them alone to decompress after I'd talked to them, reassured them that the worst was over, that they'd be loved and cared for from now on, and had sung to them a bit.
The thin one had been given a very quick look-over at the vet on the way home. I'd thought she'd need IV fluids, but the vet said that because she was so anemic, those would dilute her blood dangerously, and to give sub-cutaneous fluids. I did that, with some B-12 in the line. Then I spend over an hour combing fleas and flea dirt off her. I had never seen so much flea dirt (shit & blood it is) on a cat.
She slept with the others. Some ate a bit, others not. Spent another hour in the morning combing The thin one, and giving more fluids. I had been mistaken in thinking, since the other three didn't have many fleas, that she would not pick many up overnight, and that the comfort of the company of her sibs outweighed that danger.
I could not believe the number of fleas on her in the morning. TMI? I was upset: she could not afford to lose any more blood! I got some liquid food and supplements into her via syringe. But, sure enough, late in the morning she started the dying process, and was gone in an hour.
Next comes the happy part.
Turning back to the living...
I had consulted with our homeopath the day they arrived, and she had prescribed the remedy for Glenda, above, of Phosphorus, and for Sunny, the calico, one dose of a high potency of Sulphur. Sunny had what appeared to be a bad flea dermatitis, even though she had virtually no fleas. It only takes one...tiny scabs all over her body. Otherwise she, and her two sisters, are in good shape. Interestingly, Glenda was not ear-tipped, as the others were, indicating that they had been spayed. Had little Glenda, obviously a sister, been stuck in a shed or garage while the others were spayed? If she had gotten stuck somewhere, it would have taken weeks for her to get this emaciated. We'll never know. Bless her! She did live to see her sisters rescued and safe, and to have a day of love and care.
I don't yet have a photo of them all together. Here's AnnaBelle...she's opening up to us! They are all in a big bathroom now, all their own, with lots of windows and cat trees. AnnaBelle favors this small condo, the others the bed in the bay window :-)! She is eager to be touched. Comes out and sits on the bench with me, and stands on her back legs to reach my hand...
Melanie was the first to start purring and warm up to me. She is a bit thin, but eating well to make up for it! What a sweetie!! You can see that her right ear its tipped. She's glad to be here I'll bet. How they are made to suffer. If folks are going to leave them in an effing box (who knows how long they were there) for goodness sake leave a note! A bit of history maybe...Or maybe not. I'd love to know what happened, but maybe better not to know. In any case, how resilient they are! Much more so than dogs. This girl is a joy to be with!
Well, she's a calico! Much as I dislike stereotypes...she is a bit diffident, and more independent. Resisted when I picked her up for fluids, and still not ready to relax and trust us 100%. Cautious. You can see her hair loss here, and the little scabs. Poor baby. She is also eating well. They all see the vet on Wednesday.
Lovely all, no? Melanie and AnnaBelle will be ready for adoption after they see the vet on Wednesday, and Little Sunny after her dermatitis clears up! Tell your friends! Adoption applications on the site under Available Cats and kittens!
And now: Pet Food Express! Why go anywhere else?? They not only sell the best food, far and away, no junk at all, but are also EXTREMELY supportive of those of us in rescue! Just one example of their stunning generosity is that....they told me to send them the invoices for these cats' care! Not for a month, not up to a certain amount...just send them. Pet Food Express also has promotions often, which result in literally thousands of dollars for rescue groups, and so much more!! They support us; let's support them! Look at their site, https://www.petfood.express/about .
So: saw the vet yesterday, all of them! Melanie has one bad tooth, which needs to come out. Vet didn't know what (on earth) was going on with the eyes...
Car was in the shop, and fellow cat lady drove me out to feed my colonies...she drew my attention to....Perry, now named. He was thin and his hip bones protruded. I'd been seeing him since I started feeding there, about six months back, after the previous feeder died. he looked okay, was eating...but we both noticed something about his mouth on looking closer.
The following night, June 15, I was actually able to scruff him and get him into a carrier. Brought him home and put him in a big elevated cage in my bedroom. Covered him so he'd feel safe (er) and left food, water, and litter. Then I was able to see that yes, there was something wrong with his mouth, or jaw, or chin. He was drooling, and the chin looked swollen. But he ate! "As long as they eat..."
Spoke with Dr. Chris and she recommended a couple of homeopathic remedies. She's a vet, but has come to use homeopathy almost exclusively. He was better the next morning...not so much drool, and some question as to the swelling. Maybe just a big chin.
Next step, June 17, yesterday, he saw Dr. Reed. She was not having the humans enter the clinic, and there was no one to help hold Perry. Fortunately he's the kind of "feral" who withdraws rather than lashing out. The good doctor did a pretty good exam, heart & lungs fine, got some acupuncture needles into him (and out of him) and saw that he had a wound under his chin but no other injuries. The wound might have been a burst abcess or something else. He'd live. No pus. He got a shot of long-lasting antibiotic, and home we went! Dr. Reed had left him in his small carrier and took the top half off to do the exam and treatments. (I'd put it into his cage, and since it was smaller than the cage, he went into it to feel safer) I took the top off again when he got home, and covered him with a towel. He was dehydrated, and I carried him into the bathroom, closed the door, and got fluids into him, under the skin, with a shot of B-12 in the line. He let me!! He's so sweet!!
I don't often post the sad stories, but this one may be useful or comforting to someone. First off, Perry turned out to be a female!
I worked with our homeopath, who recommended remedies for her. She was as I said, quite dehydrated, and stayed so despite being given fluids every day. She also remained lethargic. So I brought her in for x-rays ("rads" now, for radiographs), and blood work. The blood work showed a lot of values "off", but again nothing to indicate imminent demise. Negative for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency viruses. The vet said that she did look terminal, but he had no idea why. The other vet looked at all the reports and pictures after she died, yesterday, and she was also mystified.
The reason I'm posting this is to illustrate that there are always mysteries. A nurse friend with long-time intensive care experience reminds us of this: Many who are thought to be dying recover, and many who are thought to be viable, die.
Perry was loved, warm, and safe in her last days.
As you can see, our man Junior Mance is starting to stretch out...but after his first big adventure, is still a bit edgy...
I don't post the unhappy stories, unless they have a happy ending. Who needs it? So when I figured that Junior had indeed gone out through the cat door and was who knows where, only told a couple of trusted friends. We had relaxed security, thinking that noooo, he couldn't use the Cat Door...though we really knew better. Let our guard down. Others were bummed having the cat door in-only...Mistakes were made, as they say.
I had been watching to see if he re-appeared at his former colony. It has happened. It's just a half-mile from out house. But hadn't seen him there.
So...Imagine my joy, when!!
I was coming home from feeding my colonies, a week after he'd left, and saw a small black cat on the sidewalk on McBryde, a busy street, just below Arlington, another busy street. It was almost dark; five more minutes and I couldn't have seen him. Wheeled around at the corner of A and B streets, and parked where I'd seen him. Got out of the car. No Junior. Called.....and then there he was, at my feet. WHAT WERE THE ODDS?? The timing, the fact that he was out, not hidden, the fact that he came when I called...and that he let me pick him up (on the second try) and get him into a carrier. Million to one, that's what. Never happens. So he's home now...we're still in a happy daze. Little rascal!
But wait there's more. Last night I was relaxing, round about midnight, and saw Da, Jules, from the new family, go to the screen door onto the deck and vanish. I felt the screen and it seemed to be intact. Did not compute. Discovered a break at the other end of it. Had not seen Junior in a while; had let him out of the cage after his first night home.
Felt like a real jerk. got the flashlight; he could still be nearby.
Screens do not provide adequate security. I had a terrified cat bust through a glass window once. Screens can be easily gotten through by a determined or frightened cat..
Went out onto the deck, and saw him on the roof of the big cage below! Just sitting there. YES! Now to get him without spooking him...
Got some canned food and mackerel and went down. There is a tall cat tree just under where he was, and I hoped he'd jump down onto it. The roof of the tree was slanted though, and the food wouldn't sit on it...so into the garage for the ladder. When I came back, he was in the tree house where I'd left the food. Yes!
I then put the food on a lower level of the tree, and he came after it. I had brought a carrier, tho the distance from the tree to the front door was only a few feet. A cat who does not want to be held is not easy to hold.
Got him into the carrier, thence into the house. The gods have been smiling. We are grateful.
Junior Mance is still edgy, but starting to relax more minute to minute.
No more drama for a while I hope. Not sure when I'l start letting him go in and out of doors. My rule is that I need to be able to pick him up if he's out and I need to get him in. I could probably do that now, but....want to get to know him better before he gets total freedom. He's still not sure of things here.
Does this girl look confident? Does she look relaxed? I guess SO!! She is actually still a bit guarded: so much is new around here, so many new cats. I was just thinking of how abused children are said to be "good", or well-behaved. They don't want to attract attention or cause any inconvenience for the abusive adults. A bit of that with Chelsea, maybe. I have a feeling that she was not too well cared for. You can bet she's being treated well here!! Bless her heart. She isn't too wary of humans in general, so that's a relief. Just cautious. but as you can see, she's been enjoying the outdoors, and has staked out a cat tree in the back bathroom for her main venue. She's a quiet (so far) and affectionate cat. She still has that serious look about her. She actually comes when we call! Do not want her out after dark. So we're very, very happy to have her here...and to see how she has blossomed and healed. She doesn't have any special friends yet, but does play a bit with the others. She's still a pretty young cat!
Meet Junior! Named after Junior Mance, the jazz/blues piano player...
Junior was at one of my colonies, and friendly, though a bit jumpy. Not neutered. I thought he might have a human family, but as the weeks went on, it seemed not. He was always there, always hungry, not neutered. Sooo...I brought him home. He was in the safety of the big cage, off the floor, for a few days, not he's gotten the lay of the land, and is out and about. Got him neutered. Got him an appt. with my holistic vet on June 2. He has some kind of inflammation in his mouth. Not enough to keep him from eating, or make him drool. He's a wiry little man, still a bit jumpy, but loves to have his tummy rubbed as often as possible! Welcome JUNIOR!!
This small family has blossomed! So many changes! Daddy Jules is watchful, Mama Julia takes cues from him, but is often the one to make the first move into new territory. Now that they are out and about we see that they are VERY athletic, graceful, curious, and...SWEET! They are great jumpers, too...effortlessly jumping six or eight feet...into everything...sleeping with me on the bed...purring and rolling over and over in delight...Yes, I'm in love. Baby Jennie is still wary of us, though she lets me pet her, and purrs, when I come up on her lying down...they have long since lost any trace of respiratory infection...It is such a joy to see them starting to feel that life is worth living. They are making the most of it, to be sure! Better photos to come. This one does show off the shine of Jules' glossy soft coat...
The best news is that I'm comfortable, and they're comfortable, going outdoors now! (not the baby yet) Jules went first to see if it was a good idea...he very slowly and carefully sniffed and looked along the walls of the house, then ventured onto the patio a bit, and gradually went further and further, always making sure he could get back in. (door left open) He loves it! I don't know if any of them ever even saw the light of day, let alone grass and bugs under their feet, or flowers. Julia followed, and hasn't gone as far yet. I think I'll let baby Jennie out today...mom and dad can keep an eye on her..and she will stick with them. Mom and dad are really still kittens...I think mother Julia has even grown a bit since she arrived. They grow till they're around two...
There is nothing more gratifying than to see traumatized, shut-down people (yes, personhood for all beings) open up and start to experience love, joy, and new smells, safety and freedom, all the good things life has to offer. And it's spring!
Her story hasn't ended, but so far is a happy one! Chelsea is seen here at the All-Star Rents lot in San Pablo, where I feed a colony. She showed up there with this harness, and, if I'd been more observant, I would have noticed the collar, cutting into her armpit. You can just see part of the collar here, and the gap in her fur where the collar goes under her front leg. This can be a deadly condition: the collar cuts deeper and deeper into the armpit, gets infected, and the cat slowly goes downhill and dies. She obviously had been with a family, but was now too frightened to let us catch her. The folks at All-Star Rents are kind and considerate. When I didn't see her for a couple of days, they told me she was still in the yard. The rest of the colony takes shelter inside the walls of the yard, and these folks leave food and water for them. KUDOS. Within a few days she showed up outside the yard and, long story short, I was able to trap her.
She was calm when I got her home, and let me look at her.
I put the new ones in a big cage in the living room, so that they can get their bearings. Covered if they are frightened. She was pretty relaxed. She ate well! After she ate, I examined her.
That's when I discovered the collar...embedded in her armpit. I cut the halter off, and the parts of the collar not stuck to her. I didn't dare pull at the stuck parts, for fear of making the wound worse. There was blood on the halter...
In the morning I found that Chelsea had pulled the rest of the collar off! Shown below. She let me lift her arm. The wound was not nearly as deep and wide as another cat's, (Archie) had been yay, but there was a deep hole; "pocket" in medical terms. Fur was missing on her back ( scab from the halter, too) and around the path the collar had taken.
After our experience with Archie, we knew that this was a very slow-healing wound. I geared up for the long haul, and called the doctor.
When Chelsea was seen the next day, I was amazed at how much the wound had closed up! There was no hole, or pocket left, certainly no infection, and the dime-sized area was "granulated" and light, not dark, pink! WOW!!
What a happy surprise! How well these young ones heal!! Even after days, or longer, of privation, she was able to heal this wound quickly. Astonishing...
It was probably only a few days after she was lost that we saw her...yes, I posted posters, put her on nextrdoor.com, etc. No response. Her halter looked new. In any case, it is extremely fortunate that she was caught as soon as she was! More to come!
The founder of Bee Holistic, Cynthia Burke, has been caring for cats most of her life, volunteering with such groups as the wonderful Animal Balance, and Fix Our Ferals. In 2011 the non-profit was formed, with the help of a freind who was invaluable in that process.