Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Miss You Frances Jane

FJ - summer 2009

It is seven weeks today since I last saw my beautiful FJ.  I really miss this dear little cat.  She was the sweetest of my homeless kitties.

Until FJ was about 5 years old she would
grow a beautiful grey ruff around her neck
 in the winter

FJ - 11 months old

FJ  about 4 months old
In April 2003 I arrived to feed the colony of  10 or 11 cats.  After Valentine had eaten she wondered off and a few minutes later returned with three young kittens about 4 or 5 weeks old.  She was teaching them where to come for food because she was starting to wean the kittens.  I stood watching as these little creatures dashed up to a bowl, sniffed and scampered away.  Over the next few days Valentine repeated the process when I arrived with food.  FJ was bouncy, which was a best word to describe her. She would run up to a bowl take a couple of bites and then dart off in the direction of the pile of lumber behind the chain link fence, which was her home.

December 2003
L to R -  Valentine, FJ (eating), Jet, Jag, Ollie (almost
invisible behind piece of protruding wood), and Badger

By the time FJ was approaching her first birthday she began to allow me to touch her.  She was the first cat in the colony to allow such close contact.  Over time I was able to not only pet her but groom her regularly and even kiss the top of her head. 

March 4th would have been her tenth birthday.  I miss her so much.

Monday, February 11, 2013

After the Storm

All my shovelling on Friday during the snow storm was pretty much a waste of time, except that while I was there shovelling the cats could get to their food.  At this time of year I frequently feed twice a day but Friday's drive to their location was not fun and I expected the drive later in the day would be even more difficult.  I don't usually leave food behind because it attracts other critters like skunks but Friday I did because I knew I was not planning to return.

This is what it looked like Saturday late morning when I arrived.  The sun was shining and it was not a bad day outside.

The snowplow has been by making it even more
challenging to get to the feeding shelters
When I arrived to feed the Logan Gang I saw one set of footprints in the snow going into the shelter and some of the canned food was eaten.

Drifting snow blocked the hole on the other
side of the fence so the cats couldn't get through
Logan Gang's sleeping shelters under the straw and snow

Sleeping shelters from different angle

When I arrived to look after the East Side Gang it didn't look too bad, at first.

My path is completely snow covered with no sign
of my footprints from the day before
Sleeping shelters at the back with feeding shelter
openings barely visible on right
Here comes Doodle

Spirit and Doodle
Spirit peeking over the snow
Doodle telling her the coast is clear

Short video of Spirit coming out for food Saturday morning before I had an opportunity to shovel a path for her

Today the cats are able to get around quite easily.  I removed a lot of the snow and the sun has melted some too.
Ollie and Jag on top of feeding shelter
Doodle down below
Ollie and the snowman
Tess coming through the fence for breakfast this morning
The cats and I are sure looking forward to the spring.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snowed in Ferals

Today I had to dig my feral kitties out so they could reach the feeding shelters to eat.  My first stop was the Logan Gang feeding station.  I dug out around the shelter and a path to the hole in the fence where Tess Jazz and Que come through.

Logan Gang's feeding shelters
Then I trekked to the East Side Gang's area, which is tucked in a small alcove between two buildings.

Entrance to Spirit's sleep shelter

Sleep shelters behind fence hidden under snow
Snowed in sleep shelters in background
Feeding shelters on right
Sleep shelter entrance in background cleared
with path leading to feeding shelters

Lots more snow has fallen since I was there about noon today so will be doing more shovelling tomorrow morning.