Friday, September 30, 2016




GOSH, I love a happy ending. :)

UPDATED TO ADD:  Tonight, the owner reports that Peaches, who was never much of a purr-er, has not stopped purring since he got home.  *swoon*  Oh Peaches, I'm so happy for you!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Cemetery Cat Update, with an update!

I checked the trap at noon yesterday - no cat.  The woman who owns the cat did call me last night; her family very much wants the cat back, and they went over to the cemetery last night to search for it.  Yay!  They met up with my acquaintance, who was over in the cemetery looking for HER cat (The Cemetery!  Where all the crazy cat people hang out! ha), and they are going to continue to go over in the evenings.  I will continue trapping during the day (I had to go set the trap in the rain this morning - oh joy) (I tarped the trap to keep it dry), and between all of us, we will catch Peaches the Cat if it kills us (which it very well may).

To be continued ...

Update!  A cat was caught in the trap yesterday afternoon!  However, it was neither Peaches the lion cut cat nor my acquaintance's missing cat, but a THIRD cat who evidently belongs to someone in the neighborhood and came over to check out the free food.  Investigations are being made to make sure that Cat #3 does indeed have a home, and trapping and game cam surveillance will continue. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

More of the story ...

First off, scroll down please to the previous post, so that THIS one will make sense.

Okay!  So!  (Oh LORD, how do I get myself into this stuff?!)

Several weeks ago, an acquaintance contacted me about helping her find one of her cats, who had escaped out a patio door, fallen off a back deck, and gone missing.  She had SEEN the cat, a rescued feral, in the cemetery two doors down, so she knew the fall hadn't seriously injured him, but he wouldn't come to her (former ferals can be jerks that way).  This is the same woman I designed the trap-that's-not-a-trap for, so I advised her to set up the trap where she had last seen him. 

A few days later, she said that she hadn't trapped HER cat, but she had trapped and released a couple of others, including a long-haired orange cat with a funny haircut.

Waaaiiiit a minute, I thought.

(and here's where the story gets a little confusing)

There's a local Facebook page where people can report lost and found pets.  Lots of people, including me, then post the listings to our own Facebook pages, so the word gets around.  I remembered that a few weeks ago, someone had reported that a long-haired orange cat with a lion cut (funny haircut) had escaped its carrier at a local veterinarian's office and had been missing since July. 

The veterinarian's office is in between my friends house and the cemetery.


I looked up the post (my friend's not on Facebook) and asked her to call the phone number and let the people know that she may have seen their cat.  She did, but when she called, the woman who answered the phone explained that she was actually a NEIGHBOR of the people with the missing cat, and that the missing-cat-people were currently in Vegas, but she would let them know when they got back that their cat had (possibly) been spotted.

okay, so, life goes on, blah blah blah, and last weekend my acquaintance said that she STILL hadn't found her cat, and could she borrow my gamecam to put in the cemetery?  Sure, I said, and I went over and helped her set it up.

Monday, she said that she had pulled the memory card from the gamecam so she could look at the pics, and she said that the card was totally full, but with old pics, not ones from the weekend.   I figured that she probably had gotten confused, because there was no WAY that card could have been totally full, so I popped over after work with a clean card, grabbed the old card, and took it home to have a look.


I got the old card home, popped it in my computer, and sure enough, the problem was user error.  There were two folders on the card, and evidently she had only clicked on the first one, which had some pics from previous weeks on it.  The SECOND folder had pics that had been taken over the past weekend in the cemetery.  (and just as I thought, the card was nowhere NEAR full, so I have no idea where she got THAT from, but anyhoo) I started scrolling through.

I didn't see her missing cat, but I did see the orange cat.  Several times.  Still with that same distinctive lion cut he had had when he went missing.  (Cat fur can take a long time to grow back.)

Well.  If that poor cat had indeed been fending for himself for the last two months in the cemetery next to where he had gone missing, he needed some HELP.

So I found myself getting up at dark o'clock this morning so that I could stop by the cemetery on my way in to the office.  I baited the trap with food and water, and I'll go back at lunchtime and after work to check it.  I called the phone number for the missing cat this morning (it was too late to call last night by the time I put two-and-two together), and left a message on the voicemail.  Whether or not they want the cat back (it is sadly common in rescue to find a long-missing cat, only to discover that the owners have "written the cat off", so to speak, and no longer are interested), I am going to try to help cemetery cat.  Karma looks out for idiots, right?  I SURE HOPE SO, because I have a feeling that I AM one right now.  Ha.

To be continued ...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Oh, come on, could YOU deny this cat?!

Incredibly long story short, I will be live-trapping in a local cemetery tomorrow morning.

In the hopes of getting this cat, who showed up on a gamecam I had set up trying to help one of my friends find HER missing cat. This orange cat showed up instead, and oh lord does he have a story behind him.

It seems like for every sh*tty thing that happens in the news lately, I just become more determined to keep my head above the rising tide of crap, to keep trying to make things brighter in any way I can.  Hang on, orange kitty!  I'm coming for you!  There's still good in the world!  haha.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Weekend Warriors

On Saturday,  Ten Lives did a SNAP run, where we take a bunch of local cats-in-need to a low-cost spay/neuter program in Cortland.

Getting up at dark o'clock, I left the house at 6:30, picked up another volunteer, and headed for the pre-arranged pickup spot for the cats.  Car before:

Car after:

The woman who runs the group looked a little dismayed when I got there.  "You told me you had a station wagon!," she said.  "I *do* have a station wagon!," I replied.  Don't insult my little Hyundai!  and hey, if I can cram a kayak in there, I can fit a bunch of carriers.  Sure enough, we fit all eleven in with no problem, and we could have fit more if needed. 

Early morning volunteers:

This little beauty is Cat #600! to be assisted by spaying/neutering through Ten Lives.  (Don't worry, we straightened out her carrier before we left.):

This place may not look like much, but they sure do amazing things:

Doing intake on the cats prior to surgeries:

... AND the obligatory breakfast stop after our work was done:

The cats undergo surgery in the morning and recover in the afternoon.  We were back home and ready to continue our days by ten a.m.  A great morning's work!  Other Ten Lives volunteers went up Saturday night to pick up the cats and get them back to their families.

With so much negative stuff going on in the world (AND ON FACEBOOK *cough*) right now, it sure felt good to do something positive.  Six female cats and five male cats ended their endless cycles of reproduction on Saturday, all thanks to Ten Lives and CNY SNAP.  And I've been put on the "official driver" list, so I'll get to do a SNAP run once a month now.  It's the best job I ever worked for free!  Ha.

Friday, September 23, 2016

As! Seen! On! TV!


I think these things were originally price-pointed at $49.99 on TV.  Then chains started carrying them for $39.99, and I allllllllmost bought some last winter, but I thought $39.99 was a little pricey for Christmas lights, and who knew if they'd even work, or look as pretty as they did on TV?  But then it was Ollie's to the rescue.  And let me say, if you do not have an Ollie's Outlet near you, I feel for ya.  It's like a low-rent K-Mart (or like the long-gone, long-lamented Philly Sales, for any local readers), and it's FABULOUS.  Most of the stuff is cheap crap, but when they get a deal in, they get a HELLUVA deal.

So!  The lights?  At Ollies?  Were $19.99.  But would they work?

I snapped up a box and waited for dark.   Ha.  I was afraid that because they were a knock-off from the original product, which is called a "Star Shower" (WHY DO I KNOW ALL THIS STUFF?!), they might be lame, but I can tell you right now they look AMAZING.  So pretty.  Now I'm thinking of going back and picking up another box,  to light up the BACK of the house this Christmas, because why not?

So!  Sparkle laser lights.  A++ would recommend.  I'm thinking these are going up the day after Thanksgiving this year.  Just to piss off the neighbors.  :)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Oh, Facebook *sigh*

You know,  I never realized that some people I know are racist until Facebook came along.

and then ... wow.  Of course, I found out that my boss was racist when he spewed some really offensive shit within my earshot.  But I found out that one of my SISTERS was racist through Facebook (she's been blocked), and I've since found out that several acquaintances, if not overtly racist, are racist-adjacent, thanks to stuff they or their Facebook friends have posted.

Just yesterday, this showed up on my Facebook feed, posted by a "friend":

I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon trying to explain why this a good chunk of this is incorrect, starting with the fact that the statistics are misrepresented.  More white people are killed by cops because there are more white people, PERIOD; black people are disproportionately killed by police; this is indeed, at least partially, a "race problem".  And every time I'd link to another fact discrediting another element of the post, "friends" of my "friend" would just jump in with yet more bullshit, which I would then research to disprove (and I will tell you what, about TWO SECONDS of googling was able to disprove the crap that was being presented as "facts").  It was EXHAUSTING.  But the idea that it was the MEDIA somehow causing the problem of renegade cops shooting unarmed civilians who are complying with their orders?  yeah, no, THAT'S NOT WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE, people.  And of COURSE there are situations where force is justified and necessary and blah blah blah, but I'm sorry, when you start spewing about an "entitled welfare state breeding thugs", oh, we are gonna tangle.

And I'm tired. I'm tired of having to threaten to quit my job to get my boss to quit spewing offensive crap.  I'm tired of mixing it up with people on Facebook when they spout bullshit (oh yes I do! I will not let racist bullshit slide), and then blocking them when they won't stop.  I'm tired of finding out that people who I thought were kinda interesting and maybe worth spending some time with are, in fact, not.

But I'm not nearly as tired of that as I am sure that some black people are tired of getting shot by cops because they're black.

sorry, I'm pretty sure that made no sense grammatically,  but I hope you can see what I'm trying to say.  There are any number of places on line where the point I'm trying to make is being expressed much more eloquently.

So I'll keep fighting, keep speaking up in my little sphere of influence, whether or not it makes any difference.  (and believe me, I know that little old me is not likely to change anybody's mind, or even make them THINK before they blurt out a bunch of crap.)  Because it's the right thing to do.  And I'm tired.  Having the courage of one's convictions is easy when you hang out with people who think as you do.  But when racism comes knocking at my door?  I can't just ignore it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Questionable Taste

At the adoption event last weekend, I was given a rescue t-shirt and declared an "official" volunteer.

The t-shirt?

Um ... yeah.

(The rescue had previously focused on dogs; they have only expanded to include cats recently due to overwhelming need in this area.)

I'm ... pretty sure this will be worn at events only.  Ha.

Monday, September 19, 2016

I'm your ice cream man, stop me when I'm passing by ... (oh my my)

So!  After spending the day Saturday at an adoption event, yesterday it was time to put together the ice cream truck.

First to open the box:

Hmm ... doesn't look TOO complicated:

Easy-to-follow instructions:

Ta-Da!  I had brought Pistol Pete out to the living room to supervise (and because he was driving his Mama Rosalita CRAZY), and when he saw Lord Tinks he floofed up rather dramatically:

In the Foster Room:

Hey Laydee, you want some ice cream?: 

So yes, the ice cream truck is a big hit!  I'll probably rotate it in and out of the room, like I do with most of their toys, so it stays interesting to them.  I paid WAY more for it than I would normally pay for something made of cardboard, but it's so darn cute, I regret nothing.  Ha.

I got good lemonade, ah, dixie cups ...

(sorry, couldn't resist throwing a little Van Halen in there.)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Because what's the POINT if you can't buy them lots of toys?!

When I saw this on MessyNessyChic the other day:

 It took me about .02 seconds to whip out a credit card.  

and now it's here!  it's here!

All I have to do is put it together (sob) and the fun can begin!  I sure hope the Foster Campers enjoy this thing as much as *I'm* going to.  Ha.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


One of the foster kittens, Bam Bam, has had some upper respiratory stuff going on for a few weeks.   He wasn't responding to the standard meds, so yesterday I took him to the vet the rescue uses, so that he could get a check-up.  The vet gave him some different meds for his stuffy nose, and that should clear up with no problem, but during the course of the exam she discovered something more disconcerting.

Bam Bam has a heart murmur.  A fairly significant one.

Getting diagnosed with a heart murmur would cause some rescues to euthanize, due to the uncertain future of the kitten.  Heck, some rescues euthanize for such minor problems as ringworm.  However, I do not volunteer for a high-kill rescue, and thus, little Bammer is back home with his littermates,  his foster mamacat, and I.

The problem with heart murmurs for rescues is that while the treatment is manageable, cost-wise, the diagnostics needed in order to determine the scope of the problem are very expensive.  Getting an echocardiogram done on a cat does not come cheap; ASK ME HOW I KNOW.  *cough*  Also, heart murmur cats are more difficult to get adopted out, due to the fact that they are more expensive to own than a healthy cat because of the diagnostic tests that will need to be repeated during the life of the cat.  Also, many potential adopters shy away from cats seen as "unhealthy".  Of course we will be disclosing his condition to potential adopters; to do otherwise would be unethical.

But!  The rescue I volunteer for believes that if the animal has a reasonable chance at a good life, that opportunity must be given.  The rescue will be doing some more consulting with their veterinarian after the initial test results come in and will go from there.

This is part of rescue, and part of fostering.  The animals are not all healthy, and even the ones who appear healthy can come with some nasty medical surprises.  Not all the animals make it.

But Bam's murmur was caught at a young age, and there's no reason to think that he shouldn't have many good years yet to charm the pants off the people around him.  And we're going to give him that chance.

After all, SOMEbody's gotta keep an eye on those pesky backyard birds.

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Whole Nother Level

I collected Breyer horse models as a kid.  I was horse-crazy, and before my parents got me a real horse, the Breyer models helped fill a void in my little preteen soul.  Plus, I liked playing with them.  I finally sold the last of them off in my moving sale a few years ago, although I did keep two of my favorites.  Ah, nostalgia.

But these people?  These people are crazy:

72 Hours in Model Horse Mecca 

Holy cow!

Friday, September 09, 2016

Like a lunar landscape

I had to go have an ultrasound yesterday morning, as the doc is trying to find out why my back/kidney pain persists. 

That was ... weird.  I'd never had one before.  The tech looked kinda surprised when I told her that, and then I figured out that she probably didn't see too many women my age who'd never had kids.  Ha.

I did let out an audible groan when she asked me to turn on my side so she could get a better look at one kidney, but other than that it didn't hurt.

and Oh!  Did you know that your aorta, that big blood vessel in your heart, goes down into your stomach?  I did not know that!  The tech explained that whenever they're doing an abdominal ultrasound they make sure to check out the aorta, because evidently an aneurysm can develop there and kill you deader than dead, like, instantly, with zero symptoms.

Yeah, that's not terrifying to know at all.

ANYway, my doc should have the results soon, and we'll go from there.  *sigh*  On the bright side, I'm feeling much better than I was, so thank goodness for little favors, right?

And!  Firecracker, the kitten formerly known as Pretty Pretty Princess, is going to his new home tonight!  Woo-hoo!  One down, nine to go.  Ha.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Killer. Chair.

See this chair?  This little wicker doll chair right here?:

(The chair model is Georgia, a former foster.  Wasn't she a cutie?)

Well.  The other day, I went into the Foster Room, and did a quick head count, as I always do on entering and leaving the room.  I came up one kitten short, but I could hear a soft ... thumping ... noise coming from under a dresser.

This kitten right here, little miss India:

Had gotten her HEAD stuck in the bottom of that chair, and was careening around the room with the CHAIR stuck on her HEAD, frantically trying to get it off.

Huh.  I always say that every foster litter does something I've never seen before, and this was definitely a first.  That little chair has been in the foster room for YEARS, and India was the first kitten to ever get stuck in it.

At first I tried to pull her head out, but I swear that chair just hung on tighter.  Remember Chinese finger traps?  Like that.  I grabbed a pair of scissors out of the desk and tried to cut through the wicker, as little India squirmed and thrashed. No dice.  I went out to the garage and grabbed some garden pruning snippers.  They didn't work either.  Man, wicker is tough!  I thought about using a saw and then thought better of it.  I briefly thought about taking her to my mechanic, who is only about a mile down the road and has a garage FULL of tools, and then thought about taking her to the local fire station, and then thought I needed to get that chair off her head sooner rather than later, went BACK out to the garage, grabbed my freaking BOLT CUTTERS, and carefully ... carefully ... started to snip.

Ta-Da!  Finally, after about five minutes that felt like a lifetime and I'm pretty sure gave me my first gray hairs, little India was free, and none the worse for wear.  She wobbled about for a few seconds, then shook her head as if to make sure that the evil wicker prison was finally OFF of her, and scampered off to play.

The chair?  I thought about throwing it out, as it is surely possessed, but in the end I blocked off the bottom JUST IN CASE and saved it for future use as a photo prop.

And there you have it.  The tale of the Killer Chair.


Tuesday, September 06, 2016

The weekend

Let's see ... On Friday night, an acquaintance of mine brought over ALL KINDS of supplies for the kittens of Foster Camp.  Yay!  Thank you, Gwenne!

On Saturday, the kittens and I were at an adoption event for the rescue for which I am now volunteering.

Predictably, Firecracker (the kitten formerly known as Pretty Pretty Princess) was the star of the show, and he will probably be leaving Foster Camp this week to go to his new home.  Yippee!  Also on Saturday, I learned how to give vaccinations.  Yep, the rescue is entrusting me with sharp objects.  Do they know what they're doing?  Ha.

On Sunday, it was time to do a little paddling.

And yesterday?  It was back to the Fair, of course!  My friend Laurie and I shared a pizza fritte as big as a basketball.  Well, a DEFLATED basketball. (Yes, I took a pic of my food.  SHUT IT.)  We also had a Cuban sandwich, which was ... interesting.  Hmm.

And oh no!  Disaster had stricken!  Since the last time we were there, someone had kicked in Justin Bieber's HEAD on the sand sculpture!  HAHAHAHAHAHA

The Fair was really, REALLY crowded, as it was the last day (it was just me, my friend, and one hundred and eighteen THOUSAND other people, yikes), and the trip home on the interstate was ... interesting, but I'm still glad I went back for another day.

And there's still lots of summer left!    Bring it on.  :)

Friday, September 02, 2016

Kittens! Getcher kittens here!

Yes, Rosalita and the crew of nine are still chillin' at Foster Camp.  The rescue is experiencing a backup at its main facility due to kitten overload, so I'll probably have these guys a while longer. 

 "Laydee, I'm booorrrrred"

I've been rotating toys in and out of the room, to keep everybody engaged.

Crickets are always a big hit:

And kittens sure are good at getting into mischief.

"Hey guys, the food truck is here!"

And mama Rosa will just be glad when the nursing is over.

I am taking most of the gang to an adoption event tomorrow,  although since this rescue doesn't do same-day adoptions (which is a GOOD thing; "impulse" adoptions almost never work out), everybody will be coming back home with me.

That's okay; I'm enjoying the company of this cute and crazy crew.