Monday, August 4, 2008

Kittens, Neighbors and Colony Cats-- oh my!

(Please note: Pictures today are all of the three foster kittens, and therefore not relevant to the story until the very bottom when I actually talk about the foster kittens. Still, cuteness, right? So, enjoy! There are a few more of Beatrice posted in her Flickr Set as well.)

I had no idea I'd be called on to don my Cat Lady cape today. (And how much cooler would life be if I had an actual cat-cape??) But there I was, preparing to go about my business this afternoon, when I get a phone call from my neighbor, quite upset. This is the same neighbor who had caleld me about Waffles/Bozo.

Her cat, James, didn't come in last night or this morning, and now he was down in one of the drainage tunnels and wouldn't come out. Did I know anyone she could call for help? Well, I'd never been faced with this problem before, and suggested the Humane Society for advice. Not much later, I got another phone call from the same neighbor, this time even more upset. The Humane Society was coming eventually, she said, but in the meantime she was certain that James was dead, was I home and could I come over.

I wasn't sure what good I could possibly be, but of course I went. I dutifully peered into the tunnel and James did not, indeed, look good. He was lying on his side, about a ten-twelve feet into the tunnel, his eyes wide and staring.

We waited for the Humane Society for an hour or so, I think, and every little while I'd shine the flashlight into the tunnel to check and see if James had moved, or blinked or anything. Nothing.

The Humane Society arrived and by this time the neighbor (and myself, really) were convinced that James had died, but obviously we still wanted him out of the tunnel. The Humane Society woman shined a flashlight into the tunnel and was sure that James flicked an ear at her. She put together her long pole/robe/collar-y-thingie, and sure enough, when she went to put it into the tunnel, James moved another ten feet back.

This was obviously joyous news (James is not dead!) and bad news (we could not get him out.) The other end of the tunnel was a flat grate embedded into the parking-lot, so the fire department could be called to come flush the cat out with a hose, but this seemed like a bad idea. The HS-person suggested waiting, checking on him, putting food further into the tunnel, and getting a humane trap.

Around 9:30 I got another phone call-- James had come out, and the neighbor had brought him inside and he was now resting. He ate and drank, but he seems shaky on his hindquarters. Apparently he's a skittish cat in general, and when the neighbor startled him, he did manage to dash away, so these all seem like good signs. She's going to take James to the vet in the morning, so if you could keep some good thoughts for this kitty, that'd be great. I'm quite worried about what he might have picked up from the Colony Cats, but we'll see.

While chatting with the neighbor, I learned about the very tame cat I'd met in my travels, before the Great Trapping. Turns out he, too, was left behind by !@#$@#! previous tenants, and is named Mario, but is already fixed. And that Twinkle-Toes, called Tuxedo by the neighbor's children, hangs out more in their area than down in mine, but has been spotted lately.

Happily, while out-and-about, I saw Agatha and Walsingham. Walsingham jumped up into a tree and was lying on a flat branch looking like a lion. I only briefly spotted Agatha from a distance, so I didn't get to see how she's doing. But if they're hanging out more down by this neighbor, that makes sense as to why I didn't see them as often. Still, it's weird that they've so thoroughly changed their habits -- they used to be the ones I saw most frequently.

And lastly, the foster kittens. Beatrice is crazy hyper but otherwise fine. Oh, and just about nearly impossible to photograph, at least with my little digital camera. I can almost never get all of her in one frame because she's always moving. On the bright side, if I get her face in a shot, she always cute.

Mal and Zoe are much more reserved and also fine. And Zoe always looks a bit like Mr Magoo because she always ends up having to squint at the flash. They're such loving little kittens. Every time I go into the bathroom, Mal cries to be picked up. Such sweeties.

All three go to the vet tomorrow for their next set of shots. For once I don't have any huge questions to ask, knock on wood. The only thing I'm currently wondering about is why Beatrice's litter box/poo smells musty instead of like, I dunno, kitten poo. So I'll try to have a fecal sample for her visit. The visits are at 8am and 10am (Mal and Zoe first, Beatrice after) so I'll report back after we've returned from both sets.
Oh, and in case I forget -- I will be back on the family homestead (across the country) from the 7th 'til the 16th, so if there are no posts in that period, that's why. A close friend will be taking care of the foster kittens and feeding the colony cats. By the time I get back, Beatrice will have been rehomed with her forever mommy, which will be both very sad and very joyous, and there will be a full report on that, too.


Eve said...

Keeping all the kitties in my thoughts. I know you'll miss Beatrice, but she's going to a good home. You'll also get to visit her.

As for the cat cape, hmmm. Don't give a bunch of knitters and quilters ideas! You never know what we'll come up with.

WorldTravelings said...

So glad to read the happy ending of the neighbor's kitty. Sounds like she has a good heart for her little fur kids. :)

Don't forget to let us know how the check ups go today for the little ones.

Looking forward to your visit back at the family homestead!

Project Cat said...

@eve: I joke that being Cat Lady sounds like it should have super-powers, but in actuality is just a super-weakness. Quite frankly I think a cape would be at least a start in the right direction!

Project Cat said...

@worldtravelings: Well, happy ending so far-- I haven't heard yet how her vet visit went.

For me and the kittens, the 8am appointment went pretty well, although there was some conflict of information going on. Fingers crossed that the 10am goes at least as well!