Saturday, August 12, 2017

Still here!

Yes, I'm still alive and kicking.  I feel like I'm FINALLY starting to settle in to the new job, at least a little bit.   Whew!

Last night I trapped, so this morning I had to head out bright and early.  Look what was in my front yard when I woke up!

There were actually TWO bucks out there, moseying through, which is really unusual.  I see does a LOT, but bucks, not so much.

Then it was off to the barn to see what we'd trapped.

We trapped a total of eight cats.  Once I got them to the vet's, it turned out that one of them was ear-tipped, meaning it had already been altered.  I ran that one back to the barn to be released.  Sadly, it turned out that one of the other trapped cats had old injuries that were so severe it had to be humanely euthanized.  The other six cats were spayed and neutered and will spend the night at the vet's and then be returned tomorrow.

After my second trip to the barn, I went in to the rescue to do medications because they were short-handed today.  Then, I had to go grab foster Lucky Nicky from home and run HIM to the vet's for a second FIV test.  Negative!  Yay!

I got him back home, did vaccinations on four of the fosters, mowed the lawn, moved traps back into the shed, did some laundry, and now? I just ordered a pizza, because I am WHUPPED.

Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Week 3 and into Week 4

Guys!  I'm still alive!  Still dog-paddling and keeping my head above water.

And oh my God, the families of the clients tend to bring in baked goods as a thank-you.  Today I had the best blueberry coffeecake I have ever had in my LIFE.  Who needs the right-down-the-hall cafeteria?  haha.

Sorry, I'm still so busy.  Here, have a picture of the current crop of foster kittens:

We have kittens from four different litters represented right there.  It's a Foster Camp United Nations.

Oh!  and a week ago, the area was hit by flooding, and all the permacats, foster kittens, and I had to evacuate at 4 a.m.   Fun! 

Here we are at the local fire station:

I love you guys, I miss you guys, and SOMEDAY I will have this new job under control and will be able to come round to your blogs and see what everybody's up to. 

Please be patient! 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Week 2

whoa whoa whoa whoa WHOA I haven't had to try and absorb this much information since I was cramming for my SATs back in high school.  haha.

This week was spent building on the information I learned LAST week, with new tasks added in each day.  While I still have a TON to learn, I feel now that the information is, at least, LEARNable, instead of just a tsunami of meaningless data constantly washing over me.  There were SO MANY times when I felt really uncertain, like I would NEVER pick up what was being putting down, but I'm getting there.  I just tell myself to keep plugging away, show up every day with a pleasant disposition, and keep asking questions when I don't understand stuff.

I ask a lot of questions.

I feel good, I feel like I'm progressing, and the woman doing most of my training has the patience of a saint. 

Now we'll just have to wait and see what Week 3 has to bring.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

First Week

Well.  The first week at the new job.  Between orientation, training, and starting at the office, it's quite overwhelming.  The amount of information I need to absorb is monumental, but I remember once upon a time when I didn't know how to do my OLD job, either, so it's just a matter of keeping my head down and plugging away.  The staff who are training me are very friendly and encouraging, which makes it a LOT easier. 

I'll get there!

Plus, our office is right down the hallway from the cafeteria, and the food is both good and cheap, so I predict it won't take me long to put all that weight I lost back on. :)

Last night, I trapped for the rescue at a local barn (the one from my July 3 post).

As sometimes happens when I'm trapping in a new place, we actually trapped two adults and a few kittens while we were in the process of setting other traps.  The kittens went with the founder of the rescue (pictured) to be socialized, and I put the adults in a quiet corner of the barn for transport in the morning.  This wee one went to the founder's house.

We were back bright and early this morning to check the traps - we caught a total of 9 cats and kittens overnight (not including the ones caught while we were at the barn), including a first for me - two cats in one trap:

Time to head for the vet's office - the adults for spays and neuters, and the kittens for vaccinations before heading to the founder's house for socialization.

At the vet's:

I was very excited when the vet said I could stay and observe (and take photos for the rescue's website and, well, for my blog, haha.)  I'd never seen a cat surgery before.  Now, these next few pics show surgery offices and surgery, so if you're squeamish, stop here.

Lots of paperwork:

And preparation:

The first cat is on the table and ready for her spay:

Here we go!:

And the actual moment of spay:

The vets and their staff were there all day long, performing the surgeries.  The kittens who were too young to be altered went home with the founder, and the adults will stay at the vet's office overnight before heading back to the barn in the morning.  We'll keep trapping every few weeks until we've got all the adults spayed and neutered.  We're on our way!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Oh, and here's one of the videos we watched during orientation today ...


First Day

Yep, today it was back to work for me.  Today was new employee orientation, which was like deja vu all over again, as I JUST went through it for that OTHER company, but what can I say? At least it was familiar - right down to both companies using the EXACT SAME VIDEO to show how much they care about their clients.  :)  Oh, and at least at THIS orientation, all of the Powerpoint presentations (ugggggh) were playing correctly, unlike at that OTHER place.


And it's not exactly comforting to be one of the oldest people in the room, but on the other hand, when one presenter said that the company received 43,000 job applications every year and hires only 1,000 people, well, that made me feel a little better.

But!  When you consider that the entire company only employs 6,100 people, and they're turning over 1,000 people a year, well ...

best not to think about that.  :)

Oh! But before I forget!  When I got home from work (!) tonight, there was a great surprise in my mailbox - a note from Kris that included a donation for the rescue.  Kris, I have a couple of different email addresses and a couple of different street addresses for you, so I wasn't sure I could get an email OR a thank you note to you, but I wanted to make sure this message gets to you:


I'm sorry about the loss of your friend's father.  And I thank you for your kind donation to the rescue for which I volunteer, it is much appreciated.

And now I'm running out of steam, and it's time for dinner, so I'll check back in soon! 

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Salt Springs

Well, it's back to the salt mines (and the regular paychecks, yaaaaaaay!) next week, so I've been cramming in a lot of summer this week.  Yesterday I cleaned at the rescue (Happy Fourth!  Here's a litter scoop!) and I'll be back there tomorrow, and Friday I'll be trapping, but today I was off to Salt Springs to enjoy the day.

Salt Springs has old-growth hemlocks - A lot of them are in the three-hundred-year-old range, and the oldest one discovered there was over 600 years old.


Tuesday, July 04, 2017

The Saga of the Sausage

  Last summer when I was on vacation, I bought a little portable charcoal grill, thinking I'd like to do some cooking out.

I took the grill home, opened up the box, took one look at the instructions, and put the grill, the charcoal, and the lighter fluid in the shed.  Ain't NOBODY got time for that.

Today, a year later, I decided I was ready to face the Charcoal Grill Challenge.  I grabbed the grill, the charcoal, and the lighter fluid BACK out of the shed, evicted the mouse who was living in the box the grill came in (don't worry, I put him right back in the shed to find more suitable living quarters amid the innumerable other boxes of stuff in there), and got to work.

Thank you.  Thankyouverymuch.

Monday, July 03, 2017

I'm Just the Trapper

 When people first contact me about help with neutering the community cats in their neighborhood or the barn cats on their farm, the first thing I do is tell them about available resources.  By the time they get ahold of me, a one-person outfit without any official rescue affiliation or website or 501(c)(3) status, they're usually pretty wrung out from getting told "no" over and over again by the local "official" rescues, none of whom do TNR (except the one I'm currently volunteering for, but shhhhh - that's our secret.)

So I tell them that their situation is not unusual, but that they ARE unusual in that they're willing to help when most people would turn a blind eye, and I thank them for that.  I meet with them to see what exactly their situation is, and share information about the resources that are available locally to assist them.

And then I tell them that I'm just the trapper.  I will not make the phone calls to the clinics to arrange the neuter appointments, and I will not pay for the surgeries.  I make sure that they have all the contact info they need to set up the appointments, and I make sure they have all the information regarding income restrictions, etc., for the various clinics.  I give advice about how to get neighbors to band together to help out.  I tell them that I will do everything as far as getting the cats trapped and to their surgeries once plans are in place, but I will not do all the work for them.  Because this isn't my problem.  This is everybody's problem.

And I'm only one person.  :)

(No, this is not me in these photos.  I'm not that good looking.)  :)

One neighborhood or one farm at a time.  That's what I do.  And I'm just the trapper.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Where the HELL Have I Been?!

Haha I know, guys, I know.  I've just been so BUSY lately, and I'm afraid that I'm tragically behind in reading all of YOUR blogs in addition to never posting here anymore.

*hangs head in shame*

ANYhow, I have officially started "onboarding" for my new job, and the first day in the actual office will be July 10.  In the meantime, there's lots of paperwork and vaccinations (yet again!) and blah blah blah, so I can't WAIT to actually get started.  Not to mention that receiving a paycheck on a regular basis once again will be, well, NICE.  I am happy to report that even though I have not been employed full-time since MARCH, I am still managing to keep body and soul together, without even dipping into savings (yet). 

I've been cleaning at the adoption center, and trapping for various people:

And CONSULTING on trapping:

And trying to cram in some of this when I can:

Little Nicky, the Foster Camper found by the side of a busy road, went to the vet's yesterday, and it turns out that his injuries (odd-looking mouth situation, chunk of fur missing) are consistent with being flung from a moving vehicle and landing face-first.  Thanks, Humanity! However, he will be FINE, and his name is now officially Lucky Nicky:

And we have yet one more addition to Foster Camp:  A kitten who was surrendered one day while I was at the center.  He had nowhere else to go, so after keeping him in quarantine in my bedroom for a few days while we made sure he was going to pass muster, health-wise, he has joined the rest of the crew.  Meet Elmo, so named bc his surrenderers live on Elm Street.  He's quite the ladies' man:

And that's it!  Where I'm at.  I'll try to post more often, and please don't be mad that I haven't been around to read your posts lately.  I'll be back soon, I promise. :)

Monday, June 19, 2017

And then there were three

I was at the rescue on Saturday when a distraught family came in with a wee little kitten.  They said they had found it by the side of a busy highway with no mama cat or littermates in sight, scooped it up before it got hit by a car, and brought it in.  The kitten was terribly frightened, and had an odd chunk of fur missing out of one side, and had conjunctivitis, but didn't seem to be injured in any way and didn't have any fleas or ticks or signs of respiratory problems.

Oh boy, another one!  haha.

I set up a crate in the back while another volunteer called the founder.  Could we, somehow, some way, make room for one? more? kitten?

The founder said yes, if a foster could be found.  When no one stepped up, I offered to take it and put it with my ringworm kittens, with the understanding that the new kitten would also be treated for ringworm, in the hopes of avoiding him catching it from the my fosters.  Seeing as I was the only one who had room, if a less than ideal room due to the ringworm, the decision was made to send him home with me to Foster Camp.

And then we did the FeLV/FIV test.  And he tested positive for FIV.  It was a very FAINT positive, but it was a positive.

If he had tested positive for FeLV (leukemia), he could not have stayed at the rescue.  FeLV is contagious and always fatal, and when we have a cat come in who tests positive (which, thankfully, happens VERY rarely these days), the founder has an FeLV rescue group she works with to place the animal.  FIV (feline AIDs) is a little different story, especially with a faint positive.  Kittens are sometimes born with FIV in their system, often from their mama, but manage to shed it as their immune system develops. Even if they don't, it is a less contagious and less, well, fatal disease in cats, and our group has a different rescue that we work with to place FIV-positive cats.

Our veterinarian was called and consulted, and the decision was made to let him come to Foster Camp, with the understanding that he would stay in foster care (and not at the rescue) until it was time for his re-test in six to eight weeks.

Welcome to Foster Camp, Nicky!  (The family who found him named him Nicky, I'm guessing because of the chunk of fur missing from his side.

Look at those paws!: 

He is a wild little thing, all teeth and claws, and having to stick meds in his mouth (de-wormer) and gel in his eyes (conjunctivitis treatment) and give him a BATH (ringworm treatment, as a precaution) and stick him with NEEDLES (testing and vaccinations) are not making him feel any more kindly disposed to humans.  The other kittens are scared of him because he plays AWFULLY rough, but they already are learning to swat back and sometimes just walk away when he's mean. And that's why Foster Camp and the other foster homes are really, really important when singletons come in - they NEED that interaction with other cats while they're still kittens and are learning the ways of socialization, with people AND other animals.

Of course, there is that looming FIV retest hanging over us.  Needless to say, a lot of other rescues would just euthanize a kitten with even a FAINT positive FIV test, but our rescue does not.  And I'm not really worried about it.  Even if the retest does come back positive, there is a rescue who will take him and find him a home, so his life will be saved regardless.

Welcome aboard, little Nicky!  And mind your manners, good sir. :)  (We won't talk about how he pooped in the salad bar yesterday.  ahem.)