Saturday, August 23, 2008

Excuses, Excuses... :)

Life at Project-Cat continues apace, pretty much, with nothing major to report. Still, it's been a long time since I've talked much about Beatrice, so she's what I'll focus on today.

On Wednesday Zoe, Mal and I visited Beatrice and her mom. Beatrice wanted none of this. She has so much imprinted on her mommy and on her space that upon spotting Zoe she hissed, growled and swiped at her. So I took Mal and Zoe home. All the same, Beatrice continued to hide and growl at all the humans who were over that evening. It took her 'til the next day to calm down! So now we know that Baby Bea is a one-cat-to-one parent (and territory) kind of girl!

She's doing really well, otherwise, completely settling into her home and her routines. She seemed so big, seeing her for the first time in weeks on Wednesday. Her mommy has gotten her a collar, to which she has adapted with no problems. Best yet, it's a Harley Davidson collar, which totally fits her attitude!

There are more pictures of Beatrice at her Flickr set.

Malcolm and Zoe continue to be adorable cuddle-bugs who want to be in my lap, or next to me, or on my head at all times. All three kittens are due for their last set of shots during the week of September 1st.

Lastly, meet Mario. He's a lovely, friendly cat. So friendly, in fact, that I had assumed that he had an owner. He seemed well cared for, and I've never seen him down with the bulk of the ferals. However, when I was with my neighbor, trying to get James out of the tunnel, she told me about Mario. He was, like so many unfortunate kitties, left behind by his owners when they moved away. (@!#!#$!#@$) My neighbor thinks that he was fixed, but since she isn't sure, clearly I'm going to have to try and trap him when next I get to trapping (which I will start to think about when two things happen: 1) the weather cools and 2) Malcolm and Zoe have (a) forever home(s).) Since he was a pet cat when he was fixed (if he was), his ear isn't tipped. And even though he doesn't hang out with the other ferals (he does hang out with my neighbor's indoor/outdoor cat, James), he is, in a way, part of the colony. So, thought I'd point him out to you all. (I have a houseguest with an iPhone and he consented to take this picture today when we were out walking.)

I haven't heard from my neighbor, but I saw James today, and he looks good-- at least dashing away from us!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

No pictures!

So... um... you know what's worse than a digital camera that's rather slow and can't take dusk pictures? Yeah, no digital camera at all. Somebody (uh, that'd be me) left her camera back on the Family Homestead when she flew on back to Arizona-land. Yeah... Oops? My parents are working on sending it back to me.

Anyway, so it's a text only blog for a bit, it seems, unless I can convince a friend to take kitten pictures for me.

Speaking of kittens, it's time for an update!

I still haven't seen Beatrice since I left for the Family Homestead, but I have spoken with her mom several times. She's settling in quite well, and enjoys having a window from which she can watch. She apparently sits on her mom's desk, looking out the window, waiting for her mom to come home. She has not given up the ankle-biting, but thankfully her mom doesn't seem to mind too much, and it does mean she can introduce her kitten as "an ankle-biter." It's looking like I'll get to see Miss Beatrice in-person tomorrow, and so I will get to provide further details then.

Zoe and Malcolm have adjusted quite nicely to life in my bedroom instead of in the bathroom. They're still a wee bit skittish-- as soon as you open the door they race to hide under the bed. However they come out from under the bed just as quickly. Both of them still insist on crawling all over me when I try to go to sleep, but they're not quite as insistent as they were the first night. In fact, when Malcolm's dry-nursing gets to be a bit too much, I can put him on the floor a few times, and he'll stop. (Unlike Beatrice who *never* stopped trying to play.)

The kittens seem to continue to be in good health. I took some of Malcolm's poo to the vet for a fecal test today because he's yet to have one, and because it was runny-gooey today (ew.) And he's still sneezing a little. But otherwise, they're eating, playing, etc. All three kittens' last set of shots need to happen during the week of Sept. 1st. Then they're all set (although I'll also get these two altered while I have them.) I should decide before the last shots about whether or not to get the second kind of Felv test for Zoe now, or wait 'til 6 months.

The only other worrying thing is that I've still had no luck finding them homes. I had one hopeful yesterday, but the potential person emailed to say she wasn't quite sure, and didn't want to adopt a kitten until she was 100% sure. As much as I want to find homes for these babies, I admire her honesty, and wish that everyone gave that much thought to getting a pet. I'm sure that readers here don't need to see me get up on a soapbox about how a pet is a family member and a responsibility that you do not get to just toss out. If everyone was careful about adopting a cat, then there wouldn't be a feral colony outside my apartment, made up of abandoned cats and their off-spring.

Right, heh. Sorry. Putting my soap-box away.

But my request to all of you-- if you know anyone in AZ, or even NM or other nearby states, send them the project-cat url. Chances are they aren't looking to adopt a cat, but they may know someone who is. Malcolm and Zoe are unbelievably sweet and cuddly and adorable; surely there's a forever-family (or families) out there for them.

And lastly, a colony update. Since my return on Saturday I have seen Bessie, Cyrano (climbing a tree no less!), Creamsicle, Gandolf, Pigpen, Amaranth, Daisy, and Daphne. I also talked to a small, round child about why I was feeding the cats (because he was playing with the water-dish.) I don't think that conversation went very well. I think it was the same small round child who, on the night of the Cat-Nabbing yelled, "Run away, cats! Run away! They're going to kill you!" Is it any wonder I spend time putting information out there about feral cats and about TNR?

Anyway, please do spread the word about Malcolm and Zoe. This is the same readership who raised over $2000 to take care of the TNRing and cat-care. Surely we can find homes for two incredibly beautiful and loving kittens.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Kept Awake by Looooooove

I returned this evening, exhausted from travel and the heat of the desert. Those angelic kittens certainly had made a hyooge mess of the bathroom, which I cleaned up, after moving them into the bedroom (most recently occupied by Beatrice.)

Once in the bedroom, they both hid for a long while, although Mal was the braver of the two, exploring, as long as nothing startled him (like movement or noise of any kind.) When I went to bed at midnight, he came out from under the bed to see what was going on, but was still very skittish. It took him a while, during which he cried, but eventually he came up onto the bed and started to purr and suck on my fingers as I fell asleep. Zoe, too, came up onto the bed finally, and settled in on my pillow. (She was behind my head, and Mal was just in front of my face. I was surrounded.)

Well, it's almost 4 hours later and I'm exceptionally sleepy, but awake. Why? Because the kittens have, I'm fairly certain, been purring this entire time. Loudly. Like, really loudly.
And Mal has been sucking on my hand (whatever he can get to when I move in my sleep) the entire time, too (or at least whenever I've been awake.)

The purring and the dry-nursing are now keeping me awake.

The once feral kittens are now such cuddle-muffins that they are purring too loudly and keeping me awake. If I weren't so tired, I'd be amazed.

Tomorrow: research on what to do about Mal's dry-nursing. It's really adorable, but I thought for certain he'd grow tired of it once he had a person there for a long while. He may have stopped at some point, but as soon as he wakes up (or I do, and therefore he does), he's back at it.

I might be back to sleeping on the couch after all...