Monday, February 27, 2017


First off:  An update on Tippy:  As of Saturday, she was still at the vet's.  She had started to eat a little, but she still had really bad diarrhea.  The vet now thinks it may be a disease called Tritrichomonas.  Tippy will remain at the vet's until they get her back on track. Send kind thoughts her way!

And now, meet the new girl!

This is Alex the Girl.  She came in with the name Alex, but that's a little confusing for a girl cat, so I'm calling her Alex the Girl.  She and another cat, a beautiful gray boy named Jordan, were dumped on the street when their owner moved.  A neighbor took them in and called the rescue.  They came in to the adoption center on January 28, but it recently became apparent that Alex the Girl is expecting.  People were talking!  :)   So she's come to Rocky's Home for Unwed Mothers to await the blessed event.

Try not to stress out too much, Alex the Girl:

I'm not sure what you would call her coat color - Tabby/tortie?  She does have a little bit of white on her chin.  Anybody know what this coloration is called?

She's a talker, and very good natured.  She's been spending a lot of time looking out the windows.

Make yourself at home, Alex the Girl!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Here we go again

Yep, on Wednesday night, it was time for another barn cat rodeo!

We couldn't fit the horse in my car, so he got to stay behind. :)

We ended up taking three females and two males.  One of the females had already been spayed (dammit! - but at least now she's ear-tipped), but the other two females and the two males were altered.

Best-guess estimate is that we have 16 more to go.  Next trapping date is March 23, although I am currently in negotiations to get some slots between now and then.  Onward!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sunday, in between syringe feedings*, I got out into the neighborhood for a bit.  It was a beautiful day, in the fifties, and it felt great to be outside without being all bundled up.

 *Update on Tippy:  She is still at the vet, and still not eating voluntarily.  They are working diligently to try and determine what's going on.  I'll keep you posted.

Can you spot the drone in the photo above?  Here's something weird - when I saw the drone overhead, I took off my hat and waved it, like, "Hey!  Look at me! Down here!"  The drone then circled around to me to get a better look!  That was ... a little spooky, actually, but at least it didn't follow me home.  THAT I KNOW OF.  haha!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Just a little bite? Please?

Saturday morning, I cleaned at the adoption center.  There was a young cat there who was not doing well at all - she had severe diarrhea and was refusing to eat.  She had come into the rescue as an owner-surrender a week ago, and suddenly started going downhill.  This stuff always, ALWAYS happens on the weekend, when the regular vet's office is closed.

SO, I brought her home with me to see if she would improve with a little personalized care. 

Meet Tippy, the cat with the world's loudest PURR:

Here, Tippy, have some yummy food!:

(that stuff in the middle is pate cat food mixed with cat milk and forti-flora.  The stuff on the right is chunky fish broth. The grosser-looking and stinkier the food, the better the cats like it, as a rule.)  Not pictured:  several large bowls of water.

Tippy was NOT HAVING IT:

Here, girl, let me move some closer to you:


Well, with the amount of stuff she had coming out of ONE end of her, I had to make sure that stuff was going in the other end.  It was time to bring out the big guns:

Yep, syringe feeding.  Complete with record-keeping:

(Yeah, that photo's REALLY out of focus. It was late and I was tired, what can I say?)

Despite syringe-feeding (and watering) her every couple of hours, by yesterday afternoon, she still wasn't eating on her own and she was dehydrated by the diarrhea. So the rescue called the vet, who despite having the day off, agreed to meet me at the vet offices last night to see what was going on.  Tippy was examined and put on sub-q fluids, and she spent the night there and will be re-examined with further testing this morning to determine what the problem is.

Hang in there, Miss Tippy!  And for the love of God, EAT something, PLEASE!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Bam Bam update!

Remember Bam Bam, my heart murmur foster?  He was adopted by a rescue center volunteer who specializes in special-needs animals.  She took him to Cornell for an echocardiogram/ultrasound last week.  The decision to have further testing done was not made lightly;  cats have to be anesthetized for the procedure and that in itself can be dangerous for heart murmur cats, and sometimes the tests reveal damage so extensive that there is not a lot that can be done for the animal, even with medication, and then you have to live with the knowledge that you've got a ticking time bomb for a pet.  (Been there/done that, and it is NOT easy.)  Bammer's adopter made the decision to go ahead with the testing, a decision which I fully supported, and guess what?

It turns out he may not be so special-needs after all!  She reports:

"I just wanted to let you know what I found out at Bam Bam's appointment. He has a hole in his heart between the right and left ventricle that causes his heart murmur. This is allowing blood to flow directly from one side to the other instead of having to go through the whole heart system. She said that he will live a perfectly normal life! She said she wants to recheck him in a year just to see if the hole gets bigger, but other than that he is a healthy, happy kitty!  The vet even said that it is the best news she's given in a long time."

Yaaaaaaay!  Go ON with your bad self, little Bam!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The state of the allergies

I started on my allergy injections right after the first of the year.  I knew it was going to take a few months to see any real improvement, but when I was still coughing my head off a few weeks in, I begged for mercy, and they gave me steroids, which worked like magic.  No more coughing!

And the thing that was most amazing to me was how much more ENERGY I had.  Turns out that spending half of every night awake bc coughing tends to be draining!  Who'd a thunk it?  I've been off the steroids for a couple of weeks now, and while I do have the occasional coughing spell, it's only a few times a day now instead of a bunch.  AND now I know that if the coughing worsens, I can always go on the Prednisone again, so THAT's a relief.

There was one little complication with the injections - my clothes.  See, they give you the shots in your upper arms, and I kept forgetting and wearing long-sleeved sweaters or tops on shot day, and it was a pain in the a** to try and get those sleeves rolled up high enough for the needles.  So now I keep a "shot shirt" at work - a plain black short-sleeved t-shirt.  If I forget and wear something long-sleeved to work, before I head over to my allergist's for my shots, I just change into the shot shirt and I'm good to go.

I'll have to have once-weekly double injections for another few months as they ramp up the dose, and then they'll start lengthening the time between injections.  From what I understand, how long I'll have to have the injections depends on how well I respond, so we'll just have to wait and see.

It's okay.  I don't mind.  I'll be the one over here, not coughing.

Monday, February 13, 2017

No hard feelings, right, guys?

On Saturday, I headed up to the barn cat farm.  I needed to pick up a couple of carriers, plus I wanted to work on some traps that had malfunctioned Wednesday night.  Oh, and I stopped by the house where the guy who pushed me up the hill lives and dropped off some cupcakes as thanks.  No one was home, so I left them on the porch with a note.  I was discussing him with the farm owner, and in the "it's a really, really, REALLY small world" category, it turns out that he's the father of one of the young women I clean with at the adoption center!

I also brought along some catnip toys, so the cats would know that I wasn't ALL bad:

This guy was GETTIN' it:

These guys, however, weren't falling for it:


Pretty pose:

Big guy:

This girl has already been spayed, but EVERY TIME we bait traps, she's first in line to be caught.  On Wednesday night, I had to literally SHAKE her out of one of the traps, she was so determined to get that mackerel.  And on Saturday, as soon as the traps came out, she was right there:

All traps are now functioning as designed:

And I had to take more pictures of this lovely girl:

She sure is a beauty.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Well, THAT was an experience (Part 2)

See the previous post for Part 1.  Go ahead, I'll wait.

Okay!  So, I was supposed to be at the barn at seven yesterday morning, in order to get the cats loaded up and transported to the clinic by eight.  Except it snowed Wednesday night.  A LOT.  Several inches' worth.

Which, granted, is not a HUGE amount, but it was enough to cancel school.  And once school gets canceled, I swear to God my town's highway department employees roll over and go back to sleep, and the roads don't get plowed until they flipping well FEEL like it.  It drives me CRAZY.  Some of us have WORK to do, you lazy bastids.

So I got up at five, figuring I needed to give myself more time for the trip, got showered and dressed, and shoveled out the driveway.  At six-thirty, I headed for the farm on totally unplowed roads.  I actually made it the first three miles, but when I had start up the hill to the farm, I couldn't make it.  Not even close. I love my little Hyundai dearly, but it is TERRIBLE on snowy hills.

I couldn't even call the farm owner because I don't have cell service out there, so I turned around, headed back home, and called.  I explained that I couldn't make it the last quarter-mile, but if she could get the cats to the bottom of the hill, I could take them the rest of the way in.   She said the plow had JUST gone past her house, so I said great, I'd be right there.

I headed back to the farm, this time on plowed roads, started up the hill, and ... nope.  There was just enough snow and ice left from the plow that the car wouldn't make it.  Which is where a man who lives at the bottom of the hill, and just happened to see my plight as he was snowblowing his driveway, came out and PUSHED me far enough so that, slipping, sliding and going sideways, I was able to get up the hill and get the rest of the way to the farm.  I'm pretty sure I have no tread left on my tires at this point because I burned it all off, but I MADE IT.  Ha.

Well, the barnyard hadn't been plowed out yet, so I pulled over to the side of the road and hoofed it to the barns, where the barn owner was trying to figure out who needed to go.  The woman who usually helps identify which ferals need to be altered and which have already been done wasn't able to make it because of the freakin' ROADS, so in the end we loaded up two of the trapped cats who the farm owner was fairly certain needed to go (none of the trapped cats were ear-tipped, but because some of the cats had previously been altered without tipping, that's not really a reliable indicator), and she scooped up two of the less-ferals who she also thought needed to be done and put them in carriers.  We only had four slots, so we let the rest of the trapped cats out.  And then we hoofed the cats who were making the trip through the snowdrifts out to the car at the side of the road and loaded them up, and I was off.  Back on the terrible, plowed-but-still-icy-and-snowy roads, for the drive to the clinic.

At one point my windshield wipers FROZE to the windshield, and there was a brief moment of terror when I got to the clinic and thought that one of the cats had ESCAPED its carrier (it hadn't; it was just a small cat who had wedged itself in the very back of the carrier), but the cats all made it there safe and sound.

It turns out one of the cats had already been neutered (ooops, but at least now it's EAR-TIPPED), so they ended up neutering one male (he was a cryptorchid, so it's a good thing we got him) and spaying two females.  Total count to date:  Five males, seven females, and we've got four more slots on the 23rd. 

And my car is at the tire place right now, getting new tires.  Ha. 

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Well, THAT was an experience

We had four slots at the spay and neuter clinic this morning for the feral barn cats.  So last night, I headed up to the farm, where I was meeting my friend Sarah to set traps.

When I got there, there was an upset man in the barnyard.  He had been driving by, he explained, and a cat darted out in front of his car, and ... he hit it. 

Sarah was already there and had located the cat, who had severe injuries.  She got it into a carrier and the farm owner rushed it to the emergency vet, but the cat had to be humanely euthanized.

Well, that was awful. It was horrible, of course mostly for the cat, but also for Sarah, who had JUST had to put her elderly dog down the day before.  I told her to go home, that I would handle the rest, but she said no, she wanted to stay and get the traps set.

How do you even measure the worth of a person like that?  I have no idea.  Gift ideas welcome, because man, I OWE her.

While the farm owner was at the vet, Sarah and I set eight traps.  As we were setting the traps in one area of the barn, we could HEAR the traps already set elsewhere going off.  Within an hour, we had trapped five cats.  We were both pretty frazzled at that point, so we elected to de-activate the remaining traps and call it a night.   I was to come back this morning and pick up the cats for transport to the clinic.

And then it started to snow.

To be continued ...

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

A Theory - Now with updates!

So!  In the last post, we explored some of the more ... esoteric of the quilt squares.  James P. thinks that some of the images may be nursery rhyme characters.  And The Queen thought that the running man looked like a monopoly character.

Quilt running man:

Monopoly running man:

Well, I can definitely see a resemblance there!    Googling "nursery rhyme running man" leads to Wee Willie Winkie:

Yeah, not so much.  That google search also leads to The Gingerbread Man, which I think we can safely rule out here.

Googling "children's book running man" leads to about a million entries for Stephen King's novel The Running Man, which ... would make for an entirely DIFFERENT type of quilt, yikes.

So!  I'm not sure if we're making a lot of progress, here, but it sure is interesting!

UPDATE:  James P. brought up "Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son" in the comments, so a quick google search led to this:

Also a possibility! 

Monday, February 06, 2017

Quilting a mystery

In my previous post about the quilt, I mentioned some mystery squares.  Here they are:

Let's see, that's a pair of axes in the upper left, but what's that on the bottom right?  A ... sled?  A ... baseball with extended stitch lines?

Clearly, RHW was a big fan of ... underwear?  Swimming trunks?  Bloomers?

In the upper left of the above panel, we have a flower and either some leaves or a butterfly.  And in the bottom right, we have ... Saint Bernardcat.

Below we have a dog, surrounded by the moon and stars, staring at a bear wearing a collar (?).  The collar-bear also appeared in another block of the quilt.

Okay, so in the lower right of the panel below, we have a welding glove.  And in the upper left, we have four interlocking rings.  And an arrow.  BUT WHAT DOES IT MEEEEEAAAAAN?:

And finally, we have what I think is my favorite panel of all:

In the upper left, we have a monogram.  And in the bottom right, we have a little man running away with something tucked under his arm:


I do not know what the little man represents, but he is charming.  As are all of these panels, even though I have not been able to crack their codes.  Ideas welcome!

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Summer Camp

The day after the Women's March I decided I wasn't done with walking for that weekend, so I headed for State Park and the summer camp there.  I think I've blogged about it before, but I couldn't find the post in my archives, so I'm gonna do it again. It was a beautiful day, sunny and in the fifties, so I took my time and moseyed around. 

There's something ... lonely about a summer camp in the wintertime.

Swimming, anyone?: 

Usually the place is all locked up, but this time some doors were open, so I was able to get a look inside:

SOMEbody had a little too much time on their hands ...

Although I do love kid art.

I hope to God they're going to change those mattresses out before camp opens for the summer, although going by summer camps I attended as a kid, I kind of doubt it:

For now, all I can do is imagine what this place is like full of kids:

Don't worry, camp kids.  Summer's coming.