Monday, December 16, 2013

Winter has arrived

Here's little Ollie Saturday morning about 9 a.m. after having eaten her brekkie.  There's a little bit of snow.

At 4 p.m. when I returned with dinner for the kitties it was a whole different scene.   I had to dig them out!

The snow continued to fall for at least another 7 hours Saturday evening after the 4 pm feeding so I had to dig them out again Sunday morning.    Thankfully it was a light fluffy snow so it's easy to shovel.

Que was so snowed in Sunday morning because of drifting so the poor fella was unable to get from his sleeping shelter inside a fenced area to the feeding station.  I got into the fenced area and spent 30 minutes shovelling a path, it's a long path, from sleep shelter to feeding shelter.  The snow was about 12"-14" deep.
Que is the little black spot between the drifted snow.  He had just come out from the fenced area, where his sleeping shelter is tucked away, to have a bite to eat.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

So many tears.....

....and many of them tears of joy.

Yesterday, Jack the kitty that someone threw away, found a forever home (see previous post).  Robin from Cherry Street Cat Rescue, held an adoptathon at Global Pet Foods on Danforth with a number of adult cats and kittens.  Jack was one of those kitties.  I'm so happy for Jack I cried tears of joy.  I know his new family will love him to pieces, just like I do.

Thursday I was talking with Robin and she told me two senior cats that came into her care had also found a home.  Snowball who is not very well and his best buddy Ceasar found a new home with a woman who is aware of the health issues and willing to take them on.  See Robin's blog post  More happy tears.

Friday an email arrived from another cat friend who had taken in an 8-1/2 month old kitty.  Apricot is a beautiful long haired orange boy.  Joanne was having a problem getting him to use the litter box and that is trouble with a capital T.  However it seems that Apricot got the hang of the litter box when Joanne started using the special litter called Cat Attract.  As well as this great news came the news that he has been adopted by a neighbour. His name is now Olly.  More happy tears.

It has been a good week for kitties finding homes.  They each have a home for Christmas and for the rest of their lives. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Jack, the Kitty Someone Threw Away

I am happy to report that dear Jack is doing very well in his foster home with Carolyn.  He's happy, sweet and playful.  I just cannot get my head around the fact someone threw this boy away, but so happy this despicable person chose to do so near my feral kitties so I could find him.

Last night Robin and I went to visit him.  He's a very good looking fellow and he wasn't shy with us at all.  This is good.  I hope that a new home is just around the corner for Jack, we just need to find that corner!

Next weekend Jack will go to an adoptathon so all fingers and paws are crossed that the right person drops in to Global Pet Foods on Danforth, sees this handsome fellow and melts!

Here are some of the pictures I took last night (I took over 100 and I was only there for about 30 minutes)!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My heart is aching today for a cat I don't even know.  I spent about 30 seconds with him this morning when I was at Toronto Humane Society to drop off two kittens that are being put up for adoption.  I made the mistake of reading the chart on the front of his cage and instantly got teary eyed, until I made it to my car and then I came unglued.  

His name is Jordan, a 12 year old all black cat.  Then I saw the "reason" he has been surrendered and the chart said, unwanted.  I instantly wanted Jordan.  I had a difficult time holding in the tears.  I couldn't wait to get home to hug all five of my kitties and tell them they would always be wanted by me.  I realize there may be extenuating circumstances for Jordan's surrender but seeing him in this cage broke my heart.  He has two things going against him, he's a black cat and he's 12 years old, which could make finding a new home difficult.

A few years ago I was thinking that as my kitty family aged and passed on I would  consider adopting older unwanted kitties but that's probably not going to happen for a while.  Teika is 13 and Boomer is 6 but we also have a 2 year old (Annie Sparkles) 1 year old (Cinder) and a naughty 7 month old named Howie.  However maybe someday.........

So this post can end on a happier note than it began, below is a picture of Howie's latest naughty....

Destroyed toilet paper is cheaper than all the iPad cords that have been replaced recently due to Howie's naughtiness.  That cute lil bad boy!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ready for Winter

Loaded up with ten bales of fresh straw, I spent a couple of days repairing the winter sleeping shelters for the East Side Gang.

 The shelters survived a year out in the elements but the straw was starting to break down. Sleeping shelters are tucked under the straw going all the way back to the cinder block wall in this picture.

What made me chuckle as I pulled away the old decaying straw is the size of the earth worms I uncovered!  They were huge.  And plentiful.

I pulled the old straw off to check inside. During the summer a raccoon moved in so the interior of two Rubbermaid containers were destroyed.  The raccoon ripped the hard styrofoam insulation to shreds.  The exposed sleeping shelter in this picture is a different type which is made from 2" hard pink styrofoam and was painted. It was in perfect condition.  Here is the link with instructions for making this type of shelter.  These shelters are very lightweight and need to be weighed down to keep from blowing away but they are easy to construct.

All the sleeping shelters are tucked in with clean fresh straw for the upcoming winter months.

This Doodle inside his cozy spot.  He couldn't wait  for me to complete the shelter before testing it.  The only thing I left to do was to get some pine boughs to cover the entrances to the shelters which helps keep out wind and snow but gives the cats easy access.

A few days later the pine boughs were put in place.  I stick the branches into the straw allowing the boughs to hang over the openings and the cats go in and out with ease.

I found some 2 x 6 boards and now the kitties can use them as cat walks between sleeping shelters and feeding shelters.  As well the boards help keep the straw from blowing away.
It didn't take long for a young raccoon to move in for an afternoon snooze but before I left this little fella scampered up the tree and I hope he stays up there. 

Ollie (left) and Jag enjoying food in the new feeding shelters.  I removed these feeding shelters for the summer months but they are back now.  Ollie prefers to eat on top of the shelters but I am forcing her to eat under cover so when the weather is really blowy, wet and awful she will stay as dry as possible.  All the other kitties are good about eating in the various shelters.

Doodle is such a sweet cat and loves attention.  He is my little buddy.  Only Doodle and Jag allow me to touch them.  Ollie and Spirit will get very very close but I'm not allowed to touch.

If you have been following my posts, then you know that Jag had dental surgery a few months ago.  She lost a lot of weight prior to surgery and had a bit of a rocky recovery.  Today she is doing very well and has gained some of the weight back.  About 8 weeks ago I was concerned about her being able to survive the winter ahead but feel confident she will be ok.  She is eating very well everyday and her coat is shiny and thick.

This month is my 11th anniversary of caring for my outside kitties. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

I love you Willy

I got word yesterday late afternoon that Willy went OTRB earlier in the day.  He wasn't a feral but a dear kitty living next door.  He was very loved by Steve and Alice...... and me.  I got to spend a lot of weekends with Willy during summer months looking after him for the past few years.  And when his family went away for a week each fall I was there looking after my little buddy.  I always felt bad that he was all alone for 7 or 8 days so I would spend extra time with him.

Willy was a big, big kitty.  He was an only child.  He was pretty laid back, he was very sweet and not one to expend too much energy, unless catnip was involved.  I ended each of my visits by giving Willy a hit of catnip and he loved his nip.  I enjoyed my time caring for Willy very much and I miss him terribly. 

I didn't get an opportunity to say good bye to Willy or kiss the top of his head one more time.  I didn't expect that when he left for the vet on Friday afternoon he would not be returning home, but neither did Steve and Alice.

I miss you Willy Wonderful. Hug hug hug 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Jack Update

How anyone could drive up to my feeding station and toss a cat out is beyond me.  There were tire tracks where someone drove up on the boulevard beside my shelter and while I have no proof I feel this was the vehicle that pulled up close to the shelter so no one would see a cat being dumped.  That was Tuesday morning sometime, probably quite early.

Twenty four hours later Jack had his neuter surgery and vaccinations. Then in the afternoon was picked up by Joanne who took him home so it could be determined if Jack truly was a social sweet cat. He is.  

Today I went to visit Jack.  I wanted to see him and I was thrilled to see this cat is very sweet and loves attention.  I got to kiss the top of his silky black head and pet him and hug him.  He is definitely a sweet, affectionate cat and deserves a loving home.

I'm so glad I found Jack when I did because he was so frightened and now he is relaxed and happy. Tomorrow he will go to his foster home where he will have space to run and play and show his foster mom what a silly boy he can be while we look for a more permanent home for this very special boy

Hug hug hug, Jack

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Jackie, the little kitty someone threw away

I arrived to feed my Logan Gang kitties, Jazz and Que, today and discovered this beautiful kitty huddled against the tree.  At first I thought it was Jazz and because this was very strange behaviour for Jazz I thought he had been badly injured, possibly hit by a car.

I made a quick trip home to gather carriers, towels, leather gloves and anything else I could think of that I might need.  It wasn't until I returned and had a closer look that I realized this kitty was a new kitty.  I set up two carriers close to the kitty and placed a bowl of food inches away from him.  It took less than 10 minutes for the kitty to relax enough to stand up and move towards the food.  What surprised me was that the kitty sniffed at the food then calmly walked into the carrier allowing me to close and secure the door.

It appears that this kitty was dumped here, probably early this morning.  And the look in his eyes I mistook for pain was fright.   This dear kitty was really frightened at the strange surroundings and didn't know where to go to be safe.  

I placed the kitty in the front seat of my vehicle facing me.  On the drive to the vet's office the kitty got a name, Jackie, short for jack'o'lantern in honour of Halloween.  I don't know yet if this is a male or female kitty, but either way Jack or Jackie will be the name until a new home can be found.  By the time I arrived at the vet Jackie was quite relaxed and I was able to scratch his head through the carrier door.

The plan at the moment is that Jackie will be spayed or neutered, if not already done and then go to a foster home.  It breaks my heart that someone could dump this kitty, particularly at this time of year and in an industrial area.  

Guess this person assumed Jackie would be fed regularly because they saw the feeding shelter.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Jag - Update

In late June Jag had all her teeth removed, spent a week recovering in my garage and was then returned to the East Side Gang colony.  She was doing really well for about 5 weeks and then I noticed her routine of greeting me every morning had changed, she was eating less and shying away.

In the few months prior to her dental surgery she had slowly lost weight.  Jag had always been on the plump side, for a feral.  My goal since her surgery has to get some meat on her bones to help her survive winter more comfortably.  All was going well until early August when, looking back, I realized there had been some subtle changes.  She no longer greeted me when I arrived to feed, she was eating less and she was shying away from me.  I kept a close eye on her for a few days and decided she might have an infection from the surgery.  I put her on antibiotics for almost 3 weeks.  Slowly she has improved.  And she has been coming out to greet me, almost to the parking lot some days.  She hasn't done that since summer 2012.

Yesterday I went to the vet's office to buy a special food with extra calories for Jag.  She ate the entire can with gusto this morning. After her tummy was full she went into the sleeping shelter for a nap.  On my way home I stopped at the vet to pick up a few more cans.  

I think she will be okay.

Friday, October 4, 2013

I failed.......again

After Wednesday's sad post I would like to do a happy post, even though it is about one of my recent failures.

Last May my cat friend, Robin, rescued a very sad looking kitten about 4 weeks old. His eyes were infected and he was a sorry looking sight.
But even this sad looking baby had a severe cuteness about him.  He stayed with Robin and her husband Steve for a few days before coming to stay with me - for the weekend while Robin and Steve were away.  I ended up fostering Howie but there was some mention of him going back to Robin's once he was old enough to be turned loose with her cat family.

Fast forward to last week.  Howie is still with us all these months later.  Robin told me there was another adoptathon coming up Oct 5th and did I want to put him in it.  Robin needed an answer because she needed to reserve a space for him.  That evening at dinner I casually mentioned to my husband that I wasn't sure I could ever give Howie up.  His response "fine, I was expecting this to happen". Both Mike and I agreed that this little cat has to be the last one.  We said this last year after adopting Cinder.  We are now a 5 kitty family!
Multiple attempts were made to find a home for Howie and some expressed interest but no luck.

Howie, the picture of innocence

Robin is the reason we have Annie Sparkles, Cinder and now Howie.  Robin if you are reading this, I am changing my phone number today, putting a big lock on my front door and pulling all the shades............just kidding.

Howie with Cinder and Annie Sparkles

I love having all these little kitties but this truly must be our limit.  I haven't any more room for additional litter boxes!

Yes, I am a failure........ at fostering kittens.  ;)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dear Tessie Cat

Tessie Cat with her tongue sticking out
I'm so sorry little cat. You were a beautiful little tortie that lived outside for such a long time but you have been so loved for the almost 11 years since I met you. I'm sure the person driving the vehicle that hit you yesterday did not intend for that to happen.

I'm sorry I didn't get to see you one more time or to kiss the top of your head.  I was out of town but was on my way home when this happened.

I am very grateful to the man who found you lying on the road close to the feeding shelter.  He was with you when you slipped away.  He and his girlfriend and another woman dug a grave for you and gently placed you in your forever resting spot.

Tess with her BFF, Jazz
I am grateful that this man posted on a group Facebook page how he found you.  I am grateful to Robin that she happened to see this post and told me about it last night.  For without this information I would never have known and would have wondered why you weren't running to greet me in the mornings for your breakfast.  You always came running when I called for you.

I am grateful three total strangers cared about you enough but no one cared about you as much as I have. You were one of the first feral kitties I met on that grey overcast morning in November 2002.  I knew very little about ferals then, but I did know that I had to care for you and the others.  

Tess, Jazz and Que
Your best buddy, Jazz, misses you. The Facebook post mentioned that he sat on the other side of the fence watching your burial.  He was probably trying to understand what was happening.  I also suspect that he was very nearby when you were struck.  I promise, Tess, I will continue to look after The Jazz Man and Que, when he shows up.  I promise to try making the winter sleeping shelter a little warmer and cozier for Jazz now that he won't have you to curl up with.

Carnations on Tess's grave
I am also very touched that when I arrived at your feeding station this morning I found your grave and on top was a bouquet of beautiful fresh carnations.  

I miss you sweetie.  My heart is breaking.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Three More Kittens Rescued

An industrial area is no place for kittens, or cats.  Last week I did what I will only do willingly for cats and that is to get up super early, dressed and out of the house.  Yawn!

Mom Mystery with kitten #4

Mystery is a beautiful grey female that I have been helping to feed.  I met her about 5 or 6 weeks ago when Robin told me about her.  What we couldn't determine was if she was pregnant and about to give birth or had she given birth?  Ten days ago we got the answer, she had 4 lovely babies and they looked happy and healthy.  Mystery brought them out of hiding to show them where to come for food.

Last week I made a number of failed attempts to find Mystery and her kittens.  Finally I realized, after speaking with an employee from the city works department that I needed to be there early because Mystery was accustomed to being fed at 6:45 a.m.   Arghhhhhhh.....really?  I made an effort on Friday morning to be there at 6:45 and sure enough Mystery was there with one of her babies.  Within minutes I had a beautiful little female in the trap.  What concerned me was where were the other two kittens?

That afternoon I got a call from one of the city workers to let me know Mystery was back with two kittens so off I went in a mad dash.  Within minutes of arriving I had kitten number 3, a sweet little grey male. 

The next morning, a Saturday, a sacred sleep-in-until-whenever-morning, I was up and out by 6:45 a.m.  I arrived to see Mystery arriving with her beautiful little baby following close behind.  Wish I had been able to snap a picture of the two tails held high.  In no time I had the 4th and final kitten, another male.

All four kittens appear to be in good health and my guess is they are about 8 weeks old.  There are two females and two males.

Willow was the first kitten caught the previous weekend and she is as sweet as can be. The other three kittens will be tame in no time. I was able to handle all three without wearing Mike's motorcycle gloves, which is a good sign.

Beautiful baby Willow
Kitten #4
Now that all four babies are safe and sound, the next step will be to get Mystery in to be spayed.  The plan is to trap Mystery and get her in for a spay this coming Friday.

I met a lot of the men who work at this city works department yard and everyone was helpful and interested.  They all seemed to genuinely care about this mom and her babies. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Freddie, Nutmeg and little Ree-Ree

When last I wrote, I had just taken in Freddie and Nutmeg and was waiting for the third kitten to be caught and brought to me.  Reba, or Ree-Ree as I have been calling her, arrived the day after Freddie and Nutmeg.  While the first two came without much fuss, Ree-Ree was a whole different story.  Holy moly!!!  This little black kitten was so frightened it was distressing to watch.  All I could do was leave her in the cage with her brother and sister and walk away so she could calm down.

The next morning I began the serious hug sessions with Ree-Ree.  It took me about 10 minutes to catch her in the cage and I was wearing my husband's motorcycle gloves to do it.  Once she was in the carrier I locked the two of us in the bathroom and for the rest of the day we hugged.  I started off with a 45-60 second hug, then returned her to the carrier.  I repeated this a number of times during the day with each hug session getting longer and longer.  By the third hug session I no longer needed the biker gloves.  That evening Ree-Ree and I sat down to watch TV for an hour together.  I didn't have to restrain her at all and she seemed content to sleep in my arms.

Over the past two weeks each of the kittens has settled down, become quite tame and much less nervous.
Ree-Ree describing to Nutmeg the bug she just saw
while Freddie thinks she is exaggerating a little!

This past weekend we were away.  A neighbour was going to come in to feed but then suggested the kittens go to her house.  I loved the idea.  So off they went on Thursday evening for a weekend away, while Mike and I were away too. 

Freddie Bear and Ree-Ree
In the meantime, another friend had found someone interested in possibly taking one of the kittens as a companion for her cat.  It was getting a bit tricky trying to arrange times convenient for all concerned but in the end it worked out.  The biggest issue was that Freddie, Nutmeg and Ree-Ree had an intake appointment at Toronto Humane Society this morning at 11:00 a.m.  I had tried to change the appointment to later in the day but that wasn't going to work. Anyway, it turned out to be a non issue.

Tanya came over last night, met all three of the kittens and was leaning towards taking Ree-Ree.  She wanted to go home to think about it overnight, which I encouraged, and said she would give me a call before I had to leave for THS.  An hour prior to leaving Tanya called to say she wanted to take Ree-Ree and I am thrilled - for two reasons.  One, I want all the kittens to find a home, but what was extra nice is that Ree-Ree is a black kitten and they are so often overlooked.

On my way home from dropping Freddie and Nutmeg at THS I had to pull over because the tears wouldn't stop coming.  I only got to love these babies for two weeks but I loved them with all my heart.  I know they will have a very good chance at finding good homes but I will never get to hear about those new homes and how they are doing.  I lose all contact with them and that I find difficult to deal with. 

As well, while I was at THS there was a beautiful adult cat in one of the cages. He had just been surrendered too.  I went over to his cage and he came right up to my finger and rubbed his head against it.  I wanted to snap him up to bring home.  He looks a bit like Annie Sparkles, except he is grey and white.  Annie is one of the sweetest cats and this fellow oozed sweetness too.  Arghhhhhh how come I can't have them all?  I sure hope he finds a home soon.

Ree-Ree will go to her new home on the weekend so I have a few more days to play with her. Howie is also still here waiting for his forever home.  I can't believe he hasn't found his forever home yet.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Freddie and Nutmeg

Last week Robin called me about some kittens living behind a pub and asked if I could go check them out. I found them.  There were three little cuties.

Yesterday Robin and Carrie arrived with the little orange kitten from the pub.  What a little cutie he is.  Just before midnight last night Carrie brought another kitten.  There is one more little kitten to catch and fingers crossed Carrie is successful tonight.


Freddie and Nutmeg

Both babies are still a little nervous but I feel they will come around in no time.  I have them until Wednesday afternoon when they will move to another foster home.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Another Busy Week Winds Down - I hope

My beautiful feral, Jag, spent her first night in the kennel Saturday night.  I was running in to check 0....98on her constantly and she was pretty sad looking probably because she was recovering from her dental surgery the day before.  At least she appeared to be comfortable.  And she was safe allowing her to sleep soundly and give mouth time to heal.
Jag in recovery not looking too happy

Over the next few days Jag seemed ok but I also felt she was a little depressed because she was being held captive. It must have been very boring for her even though I spent as much time with her as my schedule would allow.  She enjoyed her grooming sessions and would purr instantly when I brushed her.  Her appetite was a bit up and down but by yesterday I saw a marked improvement.  She also seemed brighter.

This morning, one week after surgery,  I checked on her first thing and she really seemed perky and happy.  Maybe she really did understand that my plan for her was to return her to the colony as soon as possible.  A few hours later, with Jag safely contained in a carrier, she and I left for her real home with fellow feline buddies Ollie, Doodle and Spirit.

Jag in carrier in back of cat rescue mobile
free at last!!
I will look forward to feeding tomorrow.  I bet she will be back to her old self now that she is home.

Moe Update
Moe is a feral I helped get the medical attention he was desperately in need of last week (see blog post June 28 - A Busy Week).

Jen is Moe's caregiver and she called me Wednesday evening to say that she had just released Moe.  He had stayed at the vet's office for 9 days so that he could recover from his horrible URI, dental surgery and neutering.  Jen says he was the cleanest she has ever seen him in the 6 years she has been caring for him.  I was so pleased to hear the good news.  Moe will be much happier now that he is neutered.  No more fights, or at least fewer fights.

Tuesday with Annie Sparkles and Howie

Annie Sparkles and Baby Howie
My dear little Annie has a bald spot on her neck which I discovered late last week and was keeping  a close eye on over the long weekend.  Tuesday I decided she needed to visit Steve the vet.  Turns out she has a hot spot.  Steve gave her an antibiotic shot and I have to apply a solution twice daily that takes the itch away. 

A few hours later I was rushing back to the vet, but this time with Howie.  He fell into a bucket of TSP and wallpaper glue.  Yikes!  I am in the process of washing walls in my guest room to remove the glue from the walls.   The wallpaper is off but the glue remains and I want to paint so it means getting the glue off.  I was just about finished the section I was working on so the bucket was pretty yucky.  I quickly got Howie into the laundry tub rinsing him off in warm water.  But before I was able to catch Howie he had licked his paws a few times so I was concerned.  Once rinsed and partially dried my husband and I dashed off to the vet's office again with the carton of TSP.

Warning label on TSP container

In the end nothing awful happened to Howie because I was able to get him rinsed off so quickly preventing him from licking the TSP and watery glue off his body.  What could have happened is that by ingesting TSP the inside of his mouth and all the way down to his stomach could be burned causing blisters.  I am so glad that Howie is okay but he is barred from entering the guest room while I'm working with the TSP.

Pub Kittens
Tuesday Robin called me about some kittens that had been discovered living behind a pub, so Wednesday I left home early, well early for me to see if I could find the kittens.  We needed to find out how many kittens there were and approximate age.  I had to knock on the door because the patio is behind the pub.  Karen was expecting me and took me out back were we found three kittens, a black, a torbie and a ginger.  Initially I thought they were 6/7 weeks old but after some consideration, think they are maybe 8 weeks old.  Robin is hoping to catch them this weekend.

Pub Kittens
Now it's time to give little Howie his before bed snack and then we are going to sleep.