Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Rest your ears a bit...

Just something nice for today.  I'm feeling a little melancholy...a little bit sad...missing my Emmy.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Do I get points for trying?

I try hard. Really, I do.  This is one of those times I'm just hoping I get points for the effort.

Continuing on with the whole TNR story....

So, after trapping, neutering, and releasing the 4 ferals back into their colony in the parking lot where I work, I was anxious to get the paperwork back from the clinic that does the surgery on the kitties.  This would tell me (and them), the sex, name, and description of the cat, plus their microchip number in case someone trapped the cats and took them to a shelter.  It would also be my registry as the colony caretaker and it would be up to me to report annually on the condition and numbers of the colony.  Basically, this was my colony file and records.

It was supposed to take them up to 2 weeks to send my colony report to me--but I got an email late Friday.....

All 4 of my ferals were NOT treated on Tuesday.  Apparently they had already been TNR'ed---and someone has already claimed and registered this colony!  I never noticed their tiny ear-clipping--nor did two of the others who handled my cats that day.   So, I guess I took these kitties for a little trip for 2 days....needlessly.


At first, I was really sad, almost embarrassed, at the effort and the time that it took for us to get these guys trapped and handed off for treatment.  They were covered by towels to keep them calm, and I never got a good look at them to see if they were ear-tipped or neutered already.  Not that I could anyway--ferals are not really welcoming to anyone wanting to get up-close and personal. Well--not if they still want their eyeballs and limbs and stuff.

But then...I thought about it...

Isn't it wonderful that someone has already taken an interest in helping them?  That they took the responsibility to adopt this colony and to see that they will not have kittens?! 

There is a lady who comes to feed the kitties at night--long after I have left for the day.  I have a co-worker who has seen her....but I never have.  I'm guessing she is the person responsible for TNR and the lack of kittens both last year and this year.  It's actually really good news---to know that I am not responsible for the colony, but that I can help her with feeding and giving them water. 

So, while I am disappointed that I sort of wasted my time, I am really glad to know that there is a caretaker for these kitties....and that I am not alone in looking out for them.  If I quit my job, I will not feel like I would be deserting them.

It's all good.   But at least now I know why they were so hard to trap.

Friday, April 18, 2014

To hell with Punxsutawney Phil--we've got Pink Mouse

You know summer is coming when Pink Mouse makes it outside.  Hey, even a little stuffed guy's gotta get some fresh air, ya know?

While I'm happy that it is getting warmer, it just means that outside work is gonna start.  Wait! I'm not finished with the inside!  Aw, criminy.

We are making a trip to Em's campus today to start bringing home her belongings.  Hard to believe her freshman year has flown by so fast.  Colin is graduating in a month--wasn't it yesterday that I was sad that he was leaving?  Wow.

Seasons....they are endless. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Dreamcicle from hell

I'm exhausted....mentally and physically.  This cat round-up business is tough because I'm a typical pet-owner and I'm worrying about every little step with this TNR business.  I think it will be key to disconnect emotionally, to go through the motions, and just do the job without "feeling" too much.

I released the four I caught Wednesday morning--to an audience of 4 kitties.  While that was discouraging, I no sooner walked into the office and everyone was telling me of the kitties they saw in the parking lot that still needed to be caught.  I don't fault them--I want them to tell me of what  kitties are out there that I need to trap.  I think I am in for at least 6 more.  Ugh.

The feral kitties are extremely quiet when you catch them.  The wrestle about for a bit, but they feel safer with a towel over the cage and they can relax that way.  In all the transporting I did, never once did I hear a peep--that is the sign of a feral cat versus a stray.  (I'm learning a lot through all of this.)  They are also well-groomed and avoid humans at all costs.

I trapped them and brought them to my sponsor's home Monday. Surgery was Tuesday and I picked them up late Tuesday night.  They needed to be released on Wednesday--which had me worried.  I was afraid that wasn't enough time to recuperate, but it is actually more dangerous for them to be in captivity longer than that. They fight the cage when they are feeling better, so you have to let them go as soon as possible.

I wasn't so confident about that part, so I made extra sure they were ready on Wednesday  morning--and they were.  Mostly, they were just p* I guess they were ready to go. I felt better knowing they had some spunk going back out into their kitty 'hood.

I trapped this orange kitty--it was one that I had never seen before.  It was very tiny...and very angry.  My sponsor checked out all the kitties before surgery...making an assessment if any of the kitties could be rehabilitated.  "Small Orange" nearly bit her arm off according to her follow-up email---VERY FERAL was the diagnosis, which made me laugh.  Damn thing looked like a little Dreamcicle---and here it was so freaking dangerous!  I had to use the pliers to open his cage--I wasn't getting my fingers anywhere near that guy.

So, I found their lair with the help of the maintenance manager and I will be spending the next few Mondays trapping while I'm at work.  Fortunately their lair is right outside an office window--I can check the traps all day and leave work if I should catch more.  I am very determined....still.  I'm sure I will reach a point where I won't be....but not just yet.

In a side-note....Hobbes was in the yard with us yesterday and a stray gray cat appeared around the corner.  He freaked out...I chased it, yelling "Get outta here, you!  I've got a trap and I'm not afraid to use it!"

I guess I'm toughening up a bit.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Trapper Lin

Well, we did it.  We trapped 4 of the feral cats in the colony at work yesterday.  I'm not entirely sure, but I think there are 2 more cats that still have to be trapped.  It was a lot harder than I originally thought it was going to be.  Rain was a huge deterrent.

To be clear (and to bring everyone up to speed here...), I am taking part of a Trap, Neuter, and Release (TNR) to stop the feral cats at work from continuing to breed.  Joe and I went to a really great meeting last week to learn how to do it, and so, yesterday was D-day.  Triple R Pets is our sponsor, mentor and support in this process. Please check out their website here.

I set off for work at my usual hour--the only difference is that the back of my car was loaded with 8 baited traps and a tub of tuna in oil/sardines/cat food mixture.  G'ma Phyl joined in the fun, pulling her car next to mine....and there we sat for the next few hours....talking about everything under the sun....and waiting for a cat to show up.

Dang, it's hard to get those cats to hit the trap triggers!  We sat there for hours until the rain stopped and the cats came over to check out the traps.  And then it was heart-stopping excitement willing those kitties in to the traps....and to hit the triggers.  It seems like forever until that metal door snaps shut, let me tell ya.    Sometimes is works...sometimes it doesn't.  I've learned that feral kitties are very smart...especially in the area of traps. Ugh.

While this was very rewarding, it is also very emotional.  I was sniffling when the rain wouldn't stop and we wouldn't see a kitty, more or less trap one.   Then we finally trapped one--the momcat that I really wanted to get--and then I cried because I was so happy to get her.  G'ma Phyl and I both sobbed when we got two cats at once (dueling traps)  and then cried again when we snagged a little orange kitty that I didn't even know existed.

The kitties are off for surgery today and will be released to their home on Wednesday.  For a donation of $30/kitty, each kitty will receive:
  • spay or neuter
  • microchip recorded with Triple R Pets
  • antibiotics
  • 3 year rabies and distemper shots
  • parasite control
 It was a good day...a LONG day, but a happy one too.  It's good to know that we got these kitties some treatment for URI's, plus making sure there are no more kittens to be born.

I want to thank all of you for your support and encouragement.  It was really tough to get this going, make the extra effort to get training and prepared...and then spend an entire day sitting there trying to get this kitties in for treatment.  I think the next one will be easier because I know what to expect.

The best part--they did not force me to name the kitties.  In the end, they understood my reasoning and we worked together to create great identifiers for the kitties so that we can keep records on the colony.  There isn't a Fluffy, Mopsy or Cottontail in the bunch.

Pet Sematary

I dunno, maybe there is a secret vibe around my house lately that if you are a dead or dying animal, this is the place to be.  Criminy.

I went out the other morning to top off the pond before I left for work....and found this by the hose. Scared the bajeezus outta me.  And no, he is not napping. Nope. He is dead as a doornail.

I have no idea how or why this raccoon died here.  He didn't appear injured, but there was a lot of body fluids on the patio--I don't know what that means.  Well...I do, sorta--it means it was messy to clean up.  Ugh.

We have a really nice yard.  We have a nice green lawn, some lovely gardens, and a cool pond.  I feed the birds and put out suet for the woodpeckers.  Somebody, please tell me why this yard has turned into the Dead Zone this year. 

Maybe I don't want to know.

I just hope this death streak ends.  The carcass crew (Joe)  is getting tired of packing up dead animals.  I'm just getting tired of finding them.