Saturday, July 28, 2012

East Side Gang

There have been a few changes for the East Side Gang.  Miss Valentine has been the matriach of the colony since I started feeding this colony in very early 2003.  I met Valentine a few days before February 14th, hence the name.  She was very pregnant at the time. I contacted a cat rescue only to be told that Valentine could not be pregnant at that time of the year.  Well she was and she delivered 3 kittens that I know of.  I didn't see the kittens until early April, two black kittens and a little brown tabby who looked exactly like Valentine.  I was still very new at feeding and caring for a feral colony. 

The day Valentine brought her 3 babies out to meet me and show them where to get food was a wonderful spring day in early April with warm sunshine.  I stood mesmerized as I watched Valentine teach her babies to eat food from the bowls I put down for everyone.  It was a real treat for me.  Unfortunately the little baby tabby didn't show one day and I never saw her again.  However Jet and F.J. did and they grew into beautiful adult cats. When they were about about 5 or 6 months old I managed to trap them so they could go in to be spayed and neutered.

Jet crossed over the Rainbow Bridge in mid June 2009.  He had FIV as well as toxoplasmosis.  Because he had grown up with me around, catching him and getting him into the vet was relatively easy.  The blood tests revealed the cause of his weakening condition.  He was on meds until just a few days before he disappeared.  I last saw my Jet Boy on June 11, 2009.

I called Valentine and Jag the Plumpkin Sisters.

When I caught FJ to go in to be spayed, I didn't know if she was a boy or girl. FJ stood for Fluffy Jet because she is a long haired black cat and her brother Jet was a short haired black cat.  When I found out she was a little girl kitty I changed her name to Frances Jane but I still call her FJ.

Valentine got pregnant again in 2003 and in late July delivered 5 tiny babies behind a skid of rough lumber.  The kittens were discovered when they were about 2 or 3 days old by a lumberyard worker and thank goodness this man had a good heart.  Valentine and her babies were bundled up and spent the next 4 or 5 weeks in a vet's office.  When the kittens were old enough homes were found and Valentine was spayed, then returned to the colony.

Until recently Valentine has been a very healthy, somewhat plump girl.  During our  9 plus years together she has come to accept me along with a few other humans.  I don't remember when it happened but it has been quite a while that I have been able to pet Valentine and groom her. She was also one for rubbing against my legs while I got the food out for their meals. 

Now my dear Valentine is back at the vet.  This is her second time in 3 weeks.  Three weeks ago she spent a weekend in the vet then I returned her to the colony.  I expected to see some improvement as the days went on but after a few days of her eating very little I knew she couldn't stay outside.  I was able to catch her again and she went to live with a friend who knows all the kitties in my colony and she feeds for me if I am away.  Wednesday Valentine stopped eating.  I went to see her yesterday and she looked awful.  My beautiful full bodied girl was weak and losing weight, a lot of weight.  Back to the vet yesterday.

Valentine enjoying a warm spring day
Valentine is on IV fluids again and still not eating.  I am very worried about her.  The life of a feral cat is very hard at best.  The average life span is 2 to 3 years and the fact that Valentine is likely 11 or maybe even a little older defies the odds.  She has been fed daily since I met her.  In the winter she has had a warm and cozy sleeping shelter to get out of the bad weather so she can stay dry. 

If it is determined that she is not going to recover, I have left instructions that I must be with her when she goes over the Rainbow Bridge.  I need to kiss her sweet head and be with her.  She will not be alone.

This is a video of Valentine from spring 2011.  She loved to play with toys, especially if they smelled of catnip.

I love you sweet Valentine. Hug hug hug


  1. What an amazing girl valentine is. She is getting good care at vet and they doing what they can. I know is right decision not to return to colony if shr not strong enough. For so many years u has fed ferals they has warmth in winter with shelters
    I remember you told us of when Jet crossed OTRB but you knew when he went that be last tine you see him. If Valentine has to come to RB i know u will kiss her wee head she will go with love. On the other side of heaven i would meet her and kiss her wee head and paws and she be welcomed witg open paws.

    Your goodest bestest friends
    Holliecat...and wee ones hug hug hug

  2. Awwww, M and I have leaky eyes. You do such a beautiful job with the ferals you watch over. They don't know it, but they are so lucky to have you in heir life. That poor sweet baby. I know it will be a hard time for you too, but you are making a wise decision and have her best interest at heart.