Sunday, January 15, 2017

Breaking News!

I had heard rumors this past week, but yesterday it was confirmed - Rosalita has been adopted!

Rosa, the first-time mama who raised her own five kittens AND four orphan kittens, AND helped out with the education of Punkin Pie, was adopted by a woman who will give her a life full of love.

That means that right now, the only one of "my" fosters currently at the adoption center is Punkin. 

Punkin is proving to be a bit of a challenge. As a former barn cat, she is a bit more feisty than most of the other kittens at the center who are around the same age. She also had to be recently quarantined for ten days after she BIT one of the volunteers who was trying to clean her ears (PUNKIN!).  However, I visited with her yesterday and she is doing well,  plus she currently has an application pending by someone who wasn't scared off by her determined spirit, so hopefully she'll be going home soon.

Bam Bam, the little heart murmur foster, has an appointment at Cornell on the 26th for further testing to determine the extent of his condition, so I'll keep you posted.  Not sure if I told you, but the same person who adopted him (a volunteer at the center), also adopted his sister Pebbles, so he has plenty of company while he waits for his doctor appointment.

I still have two fosters here at the house, Jughead and Sandy, who will be going to the center soon.  And everybody else has been adopted!


Thursday, January 12, 2017

The quilt

As I mentioned in an earlier post, an acquaintance gave me a bunch of old blankets and comforters to be used for the feral cats' traps and transport carriers.

When I got around to sorting through them, I noticed that one of the comforters was a hand-stitched quilt.  A BIG hand-stitched quilt; it more than covered my full-size bed when I spread it out.

And each of the squares was different.

Once I realized what I had, I knew there was no way I could cut it up and let feral cats poop all over it.  I contacted the woman who had donated the bedding.  I thought maybe she had grabbed it while cleaning out an older relative's house (I have reached That Age:  The age when cleaning out relatives' houses after they die is a Thing One Does) and would like it back.  And in the meantime, I took a good long look at it.

Lots of the panels had monograms, making me wonder if it was a family project, or perhaps a joint effort of a quilting club:

1925. The year the quilt was made?  The year someone quilting it was born?  The year a relative died?  I DON'T KNOW:

Ethel (? - it kind of looks like "Eathel) is a name you don't see much anymore:

A lot of the panels were quilted so that no matter which way you looked at it, one of the images would be upside down or askew.  Maybe so you would have something to look at no matter which side you were facing the quilt from?

In the quilt block below, I can't tell if that's supposed to be a dog, or a bear wearing a collar.  The same dog/bear is pictures in a different block with a dog angrily barking at it, so I'm not sure what it is ...

Birds, cats, dogs, books, teapots, pipes - all recurring themes.

In God We Trust:

I wasn't sure which way was supposed to be "up" on this panel - It's either a W.O.W. monogram, or it could be "MOM" if you turn it around:

As fascinating as these panels are, there are a bunch more, AND there are some that I can't decipher; I'll do those other posts. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

So! The weekend!

Let's see ...  Friday night I got in quite a heated phone argument with the woman who does the scheduling for the clinic that is doing the altering of the barn cats.  Long story short, she wants to get all the cats trapped and altered on a schedule so compressed that it's simply not possible unless she wants to come and trap the cats HERSELF, which she is not about to do.  I may have made a breakthrough yesterday in getting slots in a clinic closer to home, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed, because this woman is frankly kind of a loose cannon.  A very RUDE loose cannon. *ahem*

(And let me just say, nutjobs are the norm and not the exception when it comes to rescue.  I don't know why it attracts so many crazies; it just does.  This is the SAME woman who insisted we could trap the cats several days early and just ... leave them in the live traps until date of surgery.  Ummm, NO, honey, NO THAT IS NOT HOW WE DO IT HERE IN CIVILIZATION. *cough*)

So!  Saturday morning it was off to the adoption center for my weekly cleaning shift.  An acquaintance of mine who is a refugee from a different, yes-crazy rescue was interested in volunteering with her teen daughter, so they came in to help me clean (SUCKERS!) (kidding), and to meet some of the other volunteers and the dogs and cats and rabbits currently in residence.  Hopefully, they'll be coming back again.  While I was there, another friend of mine dropped off some old blankets and comforters (and oh boy, do I have a story THERE!) for me to use in trapping and transport, and then in the afternoon I was running errands.

But I almost forgot!  While I was as the adoption center, two adult brother cats came in, a beautiful long-haired orange and a gray tabby, both Hemingway cats, and names were needed. We all thought as hard as we could, until I blurted out "Happy and Scrappy", and Happy and Scrappy it was.  I'm sure that given more time, someone could have come up with something much better (Pawzilla now comes to mind, ha), but their intake files were being prepared and they needed names RIGHT THEN.   Dear Happy and Scrappy:  Don't worry, I'm sure your adoptive families will come up with the perfect names for you.  Oh! and I spent a great deal of time with one couple who had adopted a kitten from the center a couple of months ago and were now looking for a companion kitten (We always suggest that people adopt kittens in pairs, and they NEVER LISTEN - ha)(they very often end up coming back, though, for Kitten #2), and by the time I left in the afternoon, they had filled out their paperwork and were getting ready to take home another cat.  Woot!  (Technically, I'm just there to clean, and the center isn't even open to the public in the mornings, but if I am cleaning the cages out on the store floor and someone has questions or wants to see a particular cat, I always indulge them if I can, and that is how Weasley the orange and white kitten got himself a home on Saturday, and joined his sister Hermione.) (Insert back-pat here.)

The plan WAS that the tree was coming down on Sunday, but then I got a call from another friend on Saturday night, wanting to know if I could do lunch on Sunday.  This is a friend who I do not see nearly enough of, so I said sure, the tree can wait.  hahaha we'll see if it still has any needles left on it by the time I finally take it down. :)

Sunday was lunch with my friend, and she is also active in rescue and was interested in seeing the barn cat setup, so I called the barn owner and we headed up there, as I needed to pick up some carriers anyway.  I showed my friend the barns and the trap setup (I leave the traps in place, just not baited or activated, so the cats get used to them being around)(if there is someone reading here who is active in trapping and thinks that's a BAD idea, please let me know!), and the barn owner invited us into the farmhouse for a visit.  And this is when in a turn of events that it would take WAY to long for me to explain, the barn owner and my friend ended up singing a rousing rendition of My Melody of Love.  In Polish.

Well, I mean, anything else was going to be a letdown after THAT, so Sunday afternoon was just spent doing all the weekend odds and ends that had to get checked off the list, and before I knew it, the weekend was over.  And the tree is still up.  Maybe next weekend?

Monday, January 09, 2017

Every year, I try to take great photos of the Christmas tree ...

... and every year, I fail.

 Wait wait wait, let me dim the lights a little.  And go in for some close-ups.

Okay, these look a LITTLE better.

 I know - I'll go outside and get some pics of the laser lights!  When snow is falling, it looks like a rave in my front yard!

*sigh*  I'm not any better at getting pics of the lights than I am at getting pics of the tree.  How about the house?

You're just gonna have to trust me, guys.  In real life?  It looks AWESOME.

How about if I take a photo of the tree through the front door?  THAT should be arty:

Welllll ... I guess I should have moved the hibiscus tree on the left, there, outta the way first.

One more time.  I'm going to try ONE MORE TIME to get a great photo of the Christmas tree.

Ahhhhhh.  That's it!

Stayed tuned for tomorrow's post, in which I explain WHY my tree is still up, and how I ended up hearing a delightful rendition of My Melody of Love, sung in Polish.  hahaha this stuff only happens to ME, doesn't it ...

Thursday, January 05, 2017

What's On

I'm sitting here switching channels between "My 600 lb. Life" and "The Great American Baking Show", and I'm sure someone smarter than me could probably provide some incisive commentary about the dichotomy in our culture about food attitudes, blah blah blah, but whatever, I'm really just killing time waiting for the latest episode of "Alone" to start on the History Channel at 9 p.m.

My name is RockyCat, and I am a reality TV addict.  Ha.  :)

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Barn cat update!

Turns out we trapped two females and four males, including "Big Papa", the feral who the barn owner says has fathered about half the cats on the farm.  Sorry, Papa, your daddy days are over!

Everybody made it through surgery just fine, and were back on the farm recovering last night.

Next date with destiny for the Yellow Barn 46:  January 24, when we have six more slots at the clinic.  Yippee!

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

The ferals have landed.

Last night, I went to the barns where the ferals live and started setting traps.  I don't think they were too happy to see me:

There are a total of 46 cats on the farm, some of whom have already been spayed and neutered.  I had six slots at the spay/neuter clinic this morning, but I needed to set plenty of traps, so that if we captured some cats who had already been altered (the owner of the farm says she knows which ones have already been done), we could let those cats back out of the traps, and only take cats to the clinic who had not been altered yet, and still fill all six slots.  Confused?  ME TOO.

I took eleven traps up.  One of the traps the farm owner wanted to leave open but with the safety catch on, as a kind of "dummy trap", so to speak, so that left ten traps set for cats.  We set eight of them in the barn with the highest concentration of  "feral-ferals" and two more in the barn where the "less-feral" cats tend to hang out.

I woke up at dark o'clock this morning and headed for the farm.  How many cats would we get?  Would we capture enough un-altered cats to fill the six slots?

Success!  Of the ten traps set, one failed to activate and one did not have the safety latch removed (ooooops), but the other eight traps had cats, NONE of whom had already been altered!  I told the owner to select the six "most-feral" cats to make this trip, as once-trapped ferals are less likely to go in the traps again, and we let the other two "less feral" cats back out of the traps, to be caught on another date.  I covered all the traps with blankets and sheets, as it's less stressful for the cats that way, and the farm owner and I were on the road.

Pulling in to the SPCA:


The cats will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and ear-tipped.  We took up carriers to put the cats in when they come out of surgery; it's more comfortable for them than putting them back in the live traps for the ride home. The farm owner and a friend will be going up tonight to pick them up and return them to the farm.  The males can be released right away; the females will need to kept contained for a day or two (the farm owner is going to keep them in her garage) to make sure the incisions stay sutured.

And three weeks from now, we'll do it all again, with six more cats making the trip, until they've all been spayed or neutered.  Yippee!