Saturday, January 16, 2010

I have learned over the past 7 years of maintaining my two colonies, The East Side Gang and the Logan St Gang, that there are a lot of people who really do care about homeless cats but unable to commit to daily care and feeding. And that's okay. I am fortunate that my life allows me to feed daily, or twice daily if the weather is really cold.

I have been fortunate to have quite a bit of support from many people. Some offered me cash, which goes into a "kitty" for other expenses like meds or vet bills, some provide me with food and others have offered to feed if I am away. I appreciate all this support because I couldn't do everything myself all the time.

The second winter I was caring for my kitties an older gentleman approached me while I was feeding. He asked a few questions which I answered and then he gave me $200. You could have pushed me over with the feather.

He wasn't able to feed but he wanted to help. I saw him again about six months later and he gave me another $200. This money went toward the cost of having two of the cats spayed or neutered. Others gave me smaller amounts but every cent has gone towards the cats.
It has been a few years since I have received any cash donations, however I have received many, many food donations for the cats and that is also greatly appreciated by me but more importantly by the kitties.

If you know someone who feeds ferals cats, offer to buy some food or take over the feeding if they are going to be away for a few days.

If you buy a brand of cat food that your own cats don't like, donate it to someone who is caring for feral cats, a cat rescue group or your local human society. There are lots of ways you can help without having to commit a great deal of time.

Often cat rescue groups have fund raising events. Offer to assist them for a day or even part of a day at one of these events. Or make some cat toys they can sell at their fundraising events. Until I began caring my homeless cats I was unaware of ways I could help cat rescue groups and I imagine there are a lot of other people who don't know they can help in small ways that can make a big difference.

To everyone who has helped me to help and care for my homeless kitties, thank you, thank you, thank you. I appreciate every dollar, every can of food and every offer to help with the feeding when I am away

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Doodle Noodle

Lately Doodle has been picking at his food but mostly because he is very nervous about something. However this week he has been eating much better at the end of the day.

This morning he ate about 3 tablespoons of food so I was again concerned. This evening when I went back about 4:00 p.m. he ate so much I thought he might explode. In fact I even took the food away after he ate about two bowls of food, which equals two cans of Friskies 156g cans.

This picture was taken this afternoon of Doodle eating beside FJ on top of the feeding shelter. Once he was finished eating all he wanted to do was give me headbutts, which I glady accepted.

Today's temperatures were warm compared to what we have had recently. No wind and sun this afternoon made all the difference.

Even though Doodle hasn't been eating as well as he usually does, he does not appear to be losing weight. I am going to keep my fingers crossed that Doodle will continue to eat well, if not at the morning feedings, then the evening feedings.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Doodle is one of my dearest little ferals. He arrived in the colony the end of March 2004 and I think he was about 8 to 10 months old. It didn't take to long before this dear little cat became a very friendly guy allowing me to pet him and rub his ears and even pick him up.

In early December 2004 Doodle showed up with an injury. He was unable to put weight on his right front paw and when I tried to pick him up he let out a pained cry. I was unable to see any obvious signs of a cat fight or other injury. Repeated attempts were made to capture Doodle to take into the vet's office but he was not going to allow me to put him in a carrier. Injured or not he was still very strong. In the end it took Doodle about 4 or 5 weeks to be able to walk on all four paws. In the mean time it was recommended that we put him on antibiotics just in case there was a wound or infection. Today he walks normally.

A few years later a new gas station was being built nearby. I arrived one morning to feed all the kitties and there was Doodle with dried cement all over his legs and his belly. Little cement balls were hanging all over him. I assume he jumped down into some freshly poured cement thinking it was a solid surface. I had no idea what to do and as it turned out I didn't have to do anything. Within two days Doodle had managed to remove all the cement.

This little cat is an extremely friendly little guy. If I could find a home for him I would be willing to let him go. He loves to be groomed, have his ears rubbed and headbutts me at every opportunity. He is a real people cat.

Recently Doodle began showing signs of being very nervous. Something has happened to him that puts him on edge. He is no longer living with the rest of the colony but comes for food when he hears my clicker. He is eating but not well. He takes a few bites and at the least sound he stops eating, looks up and watchws. I never see anything. Some days he just takes off back to his "safe" place. I have followed him but can only go so far before I run into a fence.

Doodle scoots under the fence and is living in the back corner behind a lumberyard. I went in to talk with the manager who informed me that a number of cats, raccoons and skunk lived in their warehouse. He allowed me to go out behind the building and I found Doodle sitting in the sun. On New Years Eve day I went back to see the manager and ask permission to put a sleeping shelter out back for Doodle. I had all kinds of arguments planned for why I should be allowed to do this and didn't need to use any of them. I got permission immediately.

Yesterday when I arrived to feed in the morning Doodle ate a decent sized meal. He used to have a fantastic appetite so it bothers me he has been eating so little. At the end of the afternoon I returned for the second feeding and was really impressed with the amount of food Doodle consumed. He didn't seem to be as upset as he has been. He ate a whole bowl of food and some dry food. He rubbed against my legs to let me know he needed some loving. I picked him up to give him a hug and rub his ears while he purred and purred.

Today he ate almost nothing at the morning feeding but did eat well when I returned at 4:00 pm. I have no idea what has caused this change. He eats with the other cats so I don't think it's an issue within the colony. And he appears to be in good health. I think some person frightened him because the sound of another humans voice sends him running. I am hoping that with time he will get his confidence back.