Monday, December 13, 2010

Quick Update

The colony is going to be cared for by a friend for a few days while I'm out of town, so I thought I'd give you a quick update. 

Miss Hannah Pigpen is still pregnant. I wish she weren't pregnant at all and that we'd caught her before, but if she has to be, then I'm glad she hasn't delivered yet.  I want to catch her via those kittens, but see above re: leaving town.

Mr. Tuxie is getting more curious and friendly, in spite of himself.  I suspect this has to do with the treats I've been tossing to him... I actually managed to touch him-- not quite pet, but still-- yesterday.  Then today he hissed at me before I came near.  Go figure. Delayed reaction?

Mr. Tig(g)er has taken to sleeping curled up on the cat bed I put outside, as I mentioned before.  This has not yet changed.  Since he's tame, he's quite happy to take treats from my hand-- and now waits on my doorstep after I've fed the ferals, knowing that I'll be on my way out and will give him treats.  He has a bit of a stuffy nose, however, which has me worried. 

Miss Miley Barnaby is still herself-- no difference that I can see.  I haven't been much in touch with Neighbor E., alas, to get her take on Miss MB.

Cyrano has been coming around a lot more than usual. 

Bessie is still a giant, giant cat, and he has been coming up to the second floor for foods, too.

I've seen Walsingham around a bit, but alas, not Agatha, which has me worried.  But both of them have disappeared for a time in the past and come back, so fingers crossed.

I seem to only ever spot Daphne in the dark, or when I don't have my camera-- or both.  She seems to be doing well, however.

Mr Mistopholees, or as Beatrice's mom has taken to calling him, "Mangy Cat", seems to be well and is often around.  He also looks slightly less mangy. 

Daisy is often around, although I haven't seen her in two days.  She follows DNL all around the complex-- it's funny.  Aloysius is similar-- often around but not in the last day or two.  He, however, is quite shy.

On the "I haven't seen them in a long time and I'm worried" list are: Little Gray, Gremlin and Athos.  Eek.

In no-longer-colony cats news (which is to say, kittens I've adopted out), I've heard recently from both Zadie and Zoe's moms-- with pictures of the latter-- and they look incredibly well cared for and very happy and spoiled rotten.   Miss Beatrice is still ... special... and very loved.  (She took quite a fall a few weeks ago, but suffered not at all for it, which was good but surprising.  And also means she has not learned her lesson about hanging out on high up ledges.)  Dean and Max are doing amazingly-- both are now cuddle bugs (well, Dean always was!!) with their cat-daddy.  But they also get along together marvelously-- play fighting and such.  (Their dad put up a video for me to see in which they are playfighting, but they also take time out for a second for licks.)  Malcom, apparently usually called "Baby Ugs" (and no, I don't know why), also does well. Since he's a desert cat and has all that fur, he's often shaved and funny looking (hence the name, perhaps.)  And Sam, aka Whiskey, wanders by occassionally and has grown very large and very fluffy and doesn't mind at all when I pick him up and hug him.

And now I leave you with two articles about a feral colony in Disneyland. 

"Disneyland Partners with Feral Cat Colony..."

Disneyland's Feral Cats

(I can't find any information about whether Disney World has feral cats.  Anyone know?)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Miss Hannah Pigpen

aka, my arch nemesis.

I came home this evening to find Pigpen downstairs eating some dry food.  I walked towards her, to see if I could take a guess at pregnancy status from getting her to walk way from me.  From the side I wasn't sure, and she quickly turned a corner into the dark. 

I followed, though, and she looked up at me all, "What?" And then a dog came near and she walked off. 

From above/behind?  Yeah, she's totally expecting kittens.  From that angle you can see the way her belly swings from side to side, but at the sides, not beneath like house-cats.  And her belly is clearly wider than her hip bones.

Oh, Pigpen.  Sigh.

Catching her and the kittens is all going to come down to timing  (and location), I'm afraid.  I'll be in and out of town the rest of this month, until almost mid-January. Yes, someone will be caring for the ferals, but there's no way that any of them would be up for TNRing Pigpen or taking the kittens...

It's chilly out, for the AZ desert.  Not a good time for a feral kitty to be having kittens.  Poor Miss Pigpen. 

Fingers crossed that everything works out as best as can...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Oh my...

Wow, I really am fairly terrible at keeping this blog up to date.  My sincere apologies! I would like to blame my camera or my internet connection or something, but honestly, it's just my fault. 

So, where were we?

(You can click on the pictures to make them bigger.)  

First, Ms Miley-Barnaby.  She seems to be doing fine, but I have been remiss at talking with her primary caregiver and getting her to a vet to double check. 

Second, Ms Hannah-Pigpen does look rather round... could there be kittens?  I really hope not.  But if there, I've spoken with DNL and if they're had on her porch (as per usual), she'll let me know and we'll use two traps (as per The Volunteer's recommendation) and put the kittens in one and trap mama that way.  (Then I suppose the kitten hatchery might have to be open, but let's not think about that right now, shall we??)

Third, the mystery cat has shown up once more.  I was only able to get these pictures of him/her (from my balcony, no less), so I feel a bit like I'm chasing a yeti or something.  But I did have someone else around when I spotted him/her this time.

Fourth, Tig(g)er remains adorable.  But it has gotten chilly here at night  (although it's supposed to warm up in another day or so), so I put out a bed for him.  (I'd put out shelters for all the cats if I could, but management would not be keen on this.)  It's apparently a bit small for him, but he likes it anyway.

Fifth, since she's rarely seen and even more rarely photographed, here's a picture of Daphne:

And sixth, there are fifteen new pictures in the Project-Cat 2010 Flickr Set. (Scroll to the bottom).

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Not much new today-- oh crud, yes there is, holy carp.

I'm doing laundry-- why, you may wonder, is this relevant to a blog about feral cats?  Well, for two reasons, actually.  First, because today I am doing the laundry that comes about from taking care of feral cats (ie: the trap covers.  And actually today, also, the last of the foster kitten towels, as I'd somehow missed a baggie's worth, ew.)  And second because doing laundry (for me) means going up and down the stairs and past where the cats generally hang out. 

Anyway, I do have a point.  Today Tuxie came up to the feeding station for the first time (that I've noticed) since the trapping.  He's gotten over it, it seems like. :)  Tig(g)er continues to hang out by my door as well. 

I'll be happier when their ears heal up-- I hate seeing the edges of their tipped ears, even though it was done for a good reason. 

No new news of any kind on Miley.  She's around, she's eating.  I need to make an appointment for her, but I have to figure out how.  I'll update more on her when I know more...

I paused in writing this entry because I had to go move the laundry around and I thought, gee, there might be more news after that.  Sigh.

The good news-- I saw Walsingham and Miley (and Tuxie and Tig(g)er.)  They all seem their usual selves.  Walsingham is curled up in the sun, Miley in the shade, while Tig(g)er is currently sprawled across a step. 


But THERE'S A NEW CAT.  Sigh.  He's big and all black-- he looks like an all black version of Tuxie, actually, with the medium/long hair and poofiness.  He was standing in an awkward position over one of the tunnels-- he was so still as I approached him that for a moment I wondered if I were talking to a stuffed cat that someone had put there (although why ...?)  But no, he was just being very still and managing to keep an eye on me, Tig(g)er and Tuxie all at once.  I sat down nearby in the hope of ascertaining if he is feral or friendly, and he lay down on the tunnel top (while the other two cats were laying in the grass, noses pointed directly at Mr Newcomer.)  But then a toddler (with a balloon) and his (I'm guessing) grandfather came trotting up (the toddler trotting, the grandfather just walking) and dashed after Tig(g)er (the grandfather explaining that they have a cat who looks just like him.)  Anyway, the toddler got very close to the newcomer and said newcomer didn't flinch-- but as I turned to watch the toddler, the newcomer disappeared!  Okay, so he didn't vanish ala Cheshire Cat-- he was sitting in the stairwell of the building across the way-- but it was pretty eerie nonetheless.  Anyway, he didn't seem perturbed by people, so the jury is still out on whether this is a feral, a stray or a pet.

As you can imagine, I'm hoping it's an already speutered pet!  But no collar.  Sigh.

I still have to get my laundry in another 40 minutes so you never know, there might be another update.  (And I did get a picture of the newcomer on my phone.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday Cats

When I left this morning to go to a meeting, Tig(g)er was curled up across from my door.  He has, evidently, forgiven me for his sojourn in a trap.  Upon my return and leaving again he was hanging around my door still.  (There's food and water available, no worries.) So that was nice.  But of course I was worried about Miley.

Upon returning home for the first time today, I spent some time just standing in the courtyard hoping to spy cats in general and Miley in particular.  (I only saw Bessie, and didn't not have my camera then.)  But I ran into Neighbor J. (and her little dog Scrappy) and she said that she'd seen a cat matching my description of Miley this morning, sunning herself a bit.  Well, that was good news, but an unconfirmed sighting wasn't enough to totally ease my mind of course.  (She and I also talked a bit about Pigpen and how next time we'll catch her when she has kittens-- not ideal, but better than not catching her.)

Upon returning home for the second time today, I was DELIGHTED to see Miley hanging out in the stairwell!! I still didn't have my camera with me, and tried to take pictures with my phone, but they weren't any good-- it could have been Miely or an alien for all you knew.  So I ran up the steps and nearly tripped over Tig(g)er, sprawled out and looking good.

So of course I gave him a scritch, then stepped over him in my haste to get to my flat and get my camera.  I needed photos of Miley, darn it!

And succeeded!  She'd only gone as far as the edge of my building at this point, but she's always been nervous around me, and more so now, so my movement sent her off into the grass:

And then she settled in to hang out amongst the rocks at the edge of the next building.  If you didn't know she was there  (and have a semi-decent zoom on your camera), you'd think she was one of the rocks. Excellent camouflage for the kitties.

 It's a nice day out, so I sat down on the pavement to see if I couldn't get some better shots. At this point I called Neighbor E. to let her know that Miley was around, but alas, E. did not answer.  Then the UPS guy came to a door and scared Cyrano towards me! Run, Cyrano, run!  I was glad to get a picture of him-- it's been a while!

Then Mr. Tig(g)er sauntered over as if to say, "I'm right here.  Why are you not fawning over me?!"  So I took a picture.

And then he hammed it up.

The sprinklers came on then, chasing me back from the grass, and the same for Miley.  So I circled around the buildings and got this picture of her in a stairwell:

And another, getting just a bit closer-- she's ready to run from me now, though.

And then I headed home, but snapped one more picture of her, as she'd moved again:

So hopefully she went to Neighbor E.'s house to eat some gooshy food tonight, and she continues to feel better.

Monday Pictures

To the left, Mistoffolees.  A picture taken on Saturday, actually.  It's completely unrelated, since he wasn't trapped this time, but he's cute, so I felt like sharing it. :) No, I don't know what those weird patches on his back/rump are-- they've been there for months.  He acts normal, though, so that's all right then.


I already wrote about Moday's release of the feral-five here, but I've got some pictures of the release for you now: You can click on each to see it bigger.  

The Beast, pictured below, is the kind of cat that all those TNR safety warnings are about.  He was angry the whole time.  Alert after anesthesia sooper quick.  After I released him, he ran straight into one of the tunnels.

In the trap, Paint, below, was much calmer.  He even let F (Bea's Mom) pet him a little (not recommended).  When I released him, he ran for the other side of the apartment complex.

 Honestly, I had expected Tuxie to be a good little (big) patient.  Not so much, though.  Upon capture he yowled and yowled piteously.  He was quiet most of Sunday, coming out of anesthesia, but back to hissing and howling on Monday.  His release, necessitating a trip down the stairs accompanied by his caterwauling, attracted us an audience of nosy neighbors in pajamas.  Thanks, Tux. 

He ran straight from his trap to a tunnel-- where he had to stop short because The Beast already occupied that tunnel.  (Yeah, it's a lousy picture with laser-eyed kitties, but it's amusing.)  He seemed completely at a loss as to what to do, despite the existence of another tunnel directly beside the first, and two more just a few feet away.

 Sorry for another lousy quality shot, but proof that after a few minutes in the clearly lesser tunnel (he finally went into the one beside The Beast), Tuxie came back out and started surveying the area as king again.

Tig(g)er dealt with captivity better than anyone else.  Upon original capture he did freak out a bit (he has a small cut on his nose from banging his head into the trap before I could get the sheet on it) but after that he was fine.  He meowed a little, wanting attention, arched his back into the crate for pets, and generally wanted love and food.

Consequently, upon being left out of his trap, he was calm and investigated the situation. 

 He sort of gave off an air of, "What now? What to do? What to do?"
 And within a few minutes, the obvious answer was "Go right back where I started and eat some food."

As you know, Miley had me and The Volunteer and even the vets nervous.  She took a long while to fully wake up from the anesthesia.  The vets gave her a shot of penicillin (because she looked like she needed it...) I was so happy that she ate in the trap, though-- great to get some calories into her, lots of canned kitten food.  

 You can't tell from this picture, but she's actually mid-hiss here.  I got a pretty good look at her teeth while she was snapping at me Monday morning-- gots pretty many of them, it seems. :)  As I said before, I chose to take her orneriness as a good sign, a sign of energy.

She was the last one I let out and she went for the tunnels across from where The Beast had gone.  I had to go to work then, and did not see Miley all day, nor in the evening.  As I mentioned in the last post, Neighbor E. came over to ask if I still had her since she had not shown up for supper. And we both were worried.  Read the next post for more on Miss Miley.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Day After

This morning I discovered that all five cats-in-traps (the groggy moggies, if you will, which is so going to be my band's name, if I ever have a band) had eaten overnight, at least a little.  (A lot in some cases.  Miley had had tons of wet food [relatively speaking] although no dry food, so I wonder if there's something wrong with her teeth/mouth).  So that was a good sign.  Also, all the cats were more than ready to be let go.  Miley was even up and hissing at me.  (Hey, The Volunteer-- her teeth look pretty good on a quick inspection... heh.) 

So, I carted each cat down to the grass, one at a time, and left them out (one at a time), starting with The Beast.  I garnered an audience for a while, some nosy-people in nightgowns.  I think they were probably alerted to the action by Tuxie's incessant meowling which started as soon as I picked up his trap.  I was smart this time (unlike in 2008) and wrapped cloth around the handles of the traps I carted them up and down, and so didn't hurt my hands nearly as much as before. 

We grow our feral cats big in my apartment complex-- at least the males.  The Volunteer joked that even though he only took 5 of my cats to the clinic, in poundage he'd brought the most! :)

The Beast immediately ran into a tunnel upon release.  Tuxie ran for the same tunnel, but then saw The Beast and decided maybe he wouldn't hang out in there.  A few minutes later he was sauntering around the courtyard as though nothing had ever happened-- no, he wasn't trapped, or neutered or anything...  Paint rain towards the center of the complex, so I'm not sure where he ended up.  Tig(g)er sauntered out of his trap, paused to let me pet him-- then went back up the stairs I'd just carried him down so as to ask for foods.  I let Miss Barnaby-Miley out last and she went into a tunnel (a different one than The Beast.) 

I was gone most of today, so I haven't seen any of the cats, except Tig(g)er who was waiting by my door upon my return home.  This was somewhat surprising.  He let me pet him, and then wandered exactly two feet away and flopped down again.  He seems to have forgiven me rather easily.

This afternoon I spoke with The Volunteer to hear about my options as far as Miley and further testing/lab work/vet care is concerned.  Monetarily, it can be done (at least as far as finding out what's wrong via blood test, etc.) but it depends on a few things like, can we catch her again? and what happens if we find out some particularly bad news? or even mediocre news in a tame cat, but bad in that she's feral and how do you treat something ongoing in a feral?  So I'm not looking forward to any of that... I'll worry about it a bit later.  Neighbor E. agrees that Miley doesn't look well, and is all for my taking her to the vet, etc. It even turns out that she's been feeding Miley kitten food (different than the other cats), which is good, since it's high calorie.

Frankly, there's a more pressing worry.  Neighbor E. came over this evening to ask if I still had Miley (no), and if I'd fed her (not since this morning), or if I'd seen her  (ditto.)  Apparently Tuxie, Pigpen(Hannah, the Arch-Nemesis), Tig(g)er and even Whiskey (!! Hey, silly cat, you have a home!) all showed up right on time for dinner tonight, but not Miley.  As if knowing something was up, Pigpen(Hannah) even let E. pet her (!!) and walked along with E. as she walked around calling for Miley.  But no Miley tonight. 

Obviously we're both worried, and this is hitting E. very hard.  We sat and talked for a while, and we're hoping she's just lying low tonight, huddled in a cozy tunnel, sleeping and healing.  If she's not out and about tomorrow, though, I'm going to be really worried and it'll be time to start searching the spots I know of, and looking for spots I don't know of...

Fingers crossed. 

Oh, and Neighbor E. is concerned that Pigpen/Hannah might be pregnant.  It's certainly possible... And while equally certainly don't need more kittens, it would, if we find the kittens, mean we could probably catch Pigpen and put an end to this pregnancy/kitten madness. 

Anyway, more updates as they come.  Also, I took some pictures today of the cats more alert and awake in their traps, and I'll post those later, too. 

Sunday, October 31, 2010


In the trapping and blogging last night, and recovery today, there wasn't much time for pictures.  Let's catch up.  (There aren't many from last night 'cause, y'know, it got dark.)
Tuxie watches as I set up the traps.

Nine traps, not yet set.
You read all the posts from yesterday, I'm sure.  Other than Pigpen, trapping went really well.  First we caught Barnaby (Miley), right outside Neighbor E.'s door (neighbor E. cried, feeling like she was betraying the poor fuzzy.)  Then the Mysterious Gray Cat was trapped behind a bush.  I moved another trap to behind the bush, which is where I caught Paint AND Tig(g)er.  But before then, we caught Tuxie between some bushes. 

The Volunteer picked up the cats at around midnight so that he could take them to the clinic first thing this morning.  Then he called around 1 and delivered that cats to me.

The cats on the balcony to recover.

Things haven't been as smooth as they could have been, alas, but everything is stable at the moment.

Tig(g)er is doing just fine now, and has eaten three helpings of food.  He's also looking for love.  But during surgery, while under anesthesia, he spiked a fever and the techs drenched him with water to cool him down.  It worked, and as I said he's fine, but it also meant that his paper was wet, he was wet, and such.  Also, he vomited earlier this evening (and wasn't that a joy to clean up, although thankfully, since he's tame, I was able to change his paper and everything) but that was before supper and he's keeping his supper down fine now.
The Beast.
The big gray cat, who is huge and male and who The Volunteer suggests we name The Beast because he's so big.  He was also very awake even at 1, which was reassuring.  He's also angry.  He's definitely the most feral of the five we caught.  ANGRY.  But really handsome.  He's not eating, presumably out of anger and//or fear. He'll be fine, though.


Miss Barnaby, aka Miley, is the one I'm worried about. Now that we've caught her we can see that she's really really skinny, like scary skinny, even though we know she's been eating (since she's been eating dry food at my house and canned at Neighbor E.'s.)  She had a really hard time waking up.  She looked sick, I guess, so she was also given a shot of penicillin.  When she came to me, she was groggy, couldn't stand up and seemed miserable.  A few hours later she was trying to stand up but kept flopping over, breaking my heart every time.

The Volunteer has contacted the clinic and I think we'll try to get a bloodtest next weekend (if we can catch Miley again) to see if she has something we can do something about (which... I dunno.  If it's teeth? Yeah, we can fix that.  If it's something that requires long term medicine?  Well, she doesn't come to humans... so... eek.)

But, lest you think all is lost, she is up and about now.  AND she ate three helpings of food, which is a great sign.  I think I'll offer her more before letting her go, too.

Paint disdains your offering.
 Mr (yes, Mr) Paint is doing quite well.  He woke up easily and has been very calm since He hasn't eaten, but I'm not concerned.  He has actually let F. (Bea's Mom) pet him a little (both today and yesterday when she thought she was petting Tuxie.)  [Yes, I told her to be careful, after that it's her choice if she wants to risk limbs!]  I'm not concerned about him.

If Tuxie ignores you, will you go away?
Which brings me finally to the suddenly camera-shy Tuxie.  Tuxie, it may surprise you to learn, is a boy.  A big boy, actually.  He came out of anesthesia just fine, but is cranky pants (although not as cranky pants as he was when he was yowling in the crate last night.  I got some video of what Tuxie sounds like when hungry, and will post it at some point, but he was even louder and sadder in the crate.)  He hasn't eaten, and won't investigate much, but he's alert and coming out of it just fine.

Tomorrow morning, if they seem alert and well, I'll release them.  Alas, I won't write about it 'til much later because I'll have to dash off to get ready for work/class/rehearsal/etc.

Keep your fingers crossed that they continue to do do well. :)

Oh, and no sign of Pigpen today-- she seems to be keeping a low profile for now.

The Cats are Home!

All five kitties are in their crates, being groggy, on my balcony.  More details later.

Waiting, waiting, waiting

Generally, cats are ready for pick-up from clinics around between 12 and 2, and it is now 12.  So I'm officially all set to greet The Volunteer whenever the cats (and he!) are ready for me.  We'll bring all five up to my balcony and I'll tend their after care, poor things. 

This part makes me nervous because there's always a risk any time any animal (including humans, of course) goes under anesthesia.  So fingers crossed that all my feral friends come back safe and sound to me.

But hey, when they return we'll know exactly if they're male or female.  We know Tig(g)er is male, but everyone else is up for grabs.  Anyone want to place bets* on Tuxie, Barnaby/Miley, Mysterious Gray Tabby, or Paint?

Once the kitties are back here, I'll take some pictures of the groggy moggies, and post the pictures I took last night, too.

*Please note that I am not actually suggesting betting as that would be gambling and then Project-Cat would be in trouble and that would be bad. >^.^<

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Throwing in the towel

Alas, no Pigpen tonight.  I have to feel pretty good about the 5 we did catch, of course, but it's still disappointing.  She sat around all evening, never near the traps, but never far away either.  Then around 10:30 some teens were hanging out nearby and being kinda loud, and we haven't seen her since. 

Now it's midnight and The Volunteer is coming by to take away the 5 we were successful with.  Poor Tuxie is curled up in the smallest ball I've ever seen her make-- turns out she really is mostly fur!  Paint is actually the calmest.  Barnaby/Miley came right up to neighbor E. when E. wanted to see her to say goodbye 'til Monday.  And Tig(g)er is rubbing his back on the top of the cage asking for pets.  All in all, fairly calm kitties. 

I'll update more tomorrow, of course-- they'll be out of surgery and back here for after-care by afternoon.

Pigpen, staying true to her epithet

Caught a fifth cat-- Paint! This is good.  But we're still missing Miss Pigpen (aka Hannah.)  So five cats in crates are on my balcony, awaiting pickup, and four more sit, loaded and ready, outside. 

Three of the five cats were caught in the same place-- I just keep replacing that crate with an empty one.  Fingers crossed, maybe Pigpen will visit there next. 

Funnily enough, I've caught 6 cats tonight and 5 were ones I wanted.  The sixth was Raven, a domestic  (and already spayed) black cat wearing a collar who is sibling to Whiskey (aka Sam).  Obviously I let her go right away!

If I'm interpreting DNL's comments correctly, though, Miss Pigpen had a litter of kittens this past Spring (which were domesticated and taken to Petco, apparently), so she's definitely not speutered. 

Everyone, please send "Pigpen go in the trap," vibes.


Neighbor E. had a great plan involving letting Ti(g)ger eat at her house like he normally does and letting us catch him that way.  Tig(g)er had other plans, though, and when Beatrice's Mom came over to hang out, she pointed out "Hey, there's a cat in that trap."  And there was indeed-- a rather angry Tig(g)er who started throwing himself against the edge of his crate, poor kitty.  He settled down quickly once the cover was atop, and he's now awaiting pick-up with the other three.

That leaves Paint and Pigpen.  It figures that my nemesis would, once again, refuse to cooperate.  But it's only 8:30, so we shall see.

Another one caught!

Tuxie is VERY angry about it, but she's been caught.  She is now in a trap and yowling.

This leaves Tig(g)er  (and we have a plan for him), Pigpen (MY NEMESIS) and Paint, who I've seen around, sniffing at the traps, but has not deigned to yet go in.

We wait...

Amidst the Trapping

While hanging out with neighbor E., who is unfortunately not well enough to help trap tonight, we caught Barnaby/Miley! Huzzah!

And then another neighbor came to my door to tell me that there was a cat in one of my traps-- and we've caught the sooper mysterious grey tabby! Huzzah!

But Tuxie is just taunting us.


This part?  Sucks.  The cats are hungry-- I haven't fed them, E. hasn't fed them.  Even DNL doesn't seem to have fed them today.  This is good-- hungry cats go in traps.  But it's bad-- they're crying.  Tuxie is sitting on my door step yowling. 

So far today (in going between house and car) I've seen Tuxie, Tig(g)er, Barnaby(Miley) and Paint (!!) -- so that's 4 of the 6.  (I've also seen Mistoffolees and Daisy, and I feel awful for them since they don't need to be caught, but are hungry, poor things.)  Just a few more hours and there will be yummy tuna in oil (eww.) 


Friday, October 29, 2010

Good news! and GREAT NEWS! and mediocre news...

All the pictures in this post are from this morning. :) And you click them to make them bigger.  (Also, I've recently updated the Flickr Set with about 60 photos.)

Mediocre News:
Let's start with the mediocre news because that way we can end with the great news.  The mediocre news is that when I came home this evening I saw that DNL had fed the cats.  This despite the note I put on her door.  DNL, as you may recall, doesn't approve of TNR because it's against Jesus's wishes.  I... am not happy.  But I don't want to say nasty things behind her back (although I will admit that a good 50% of why I asked a friend to help me tomorrow night was so that I'd have backup in dealing with DNL.  Not because she's dangerous, but because she's batty.)  I'm assuming she didn't get my note, or she got it and didn't read it, or she got it and didn't understand it.  (She didn't seem to understand, quite, two years ago the first time around...) I just have to hope that the other people who have been feeding the cats did not today and won't tomorrow, in and that DNL's actions don't ruin the trapping.
Hullo, Barnaby.  Um, I mean, Miley.

Good News:
Speaking of other people who feed the cats, I got a knock on my door last night and found a man and a woman, the latter of which was clutching the note I'd put on (I assume) her door.  She was very nice (the man didn't speak much), and just wanted to meet me, and to be sure she understood what was going on, and even offered to help tomorrow evening.  She told me all about her cat (and I gave her a cat toy to take to him).  Just like whenever I find a note on my door, she got scared upon seeing the one I put on hers.  Even though I was really careful to state many times in said note that we are bringing the cats back, that this is TNR, etc., she wanted to make sure, and that's cool.  (That's why I put contact information on the note!)

It turns out that this is the woman who has been putting collars on Tig(g)er.  (She calls him Tiger, I've been calling him Tigger, and a little girl in the complex calls him Garfield.)  She knew the previous owner.  She'd even tried to take Tig(g)er inside to live with her and her cat (and husband and possibly other family members), but Tig(g)er just refuses to stay only indoors.  He does, however, come inside every evening to eat dinner-- and now we know how he got handsome and filled out again!! She says that if she'd known Tig(g)er wasn't neutered she'd have taken him to get it done, so she's glad that I'm going to.

I love how sprawled Tuxie looks-- that back paw hanging out just makes the picture.
ALSO, she's apparently exceptionally fond of Barnaby and Pigpen-- although she calls them Miley and Hannah.  (Yes, you got the reference right.  Evidently it's her favorite show.)  So she is the one I have to thank for getting them so much less skittish-- she's been feeding them canned food every day!! She says that she's gotten Barnaby/Miley close enough to touch her nose  (and that Barnaby/Miley has put her head in the doorway and touched noses with her cat) but not close enough to really pet, yet.  She's been working on it for 6 months.  We both have high hopes of being able to catch them tomorrow evening.

It was great to be in touch with one of the other cat lovers in the neighborhood, and to have her support.  (She kept telling me how 'beautiful' it is what I'm doing and such.)  And like I said, she'll be out tomorrow night because she wants to see how it all works.

And now the Great News:
We did it! Actually, you did it.  Between donations and purchases in my Etsy shop we have raised (are you sitting down?) $504.50And that's not including the matching donations!!!

You guys make me cry with happiness.  Your generosity reminds me that there are good people out there.  (It's an easy thing to forget when you're dealing with abandoned cats, and hearing about ferals being poisoned and shot.)  You guys, from all over the world (well, okay, I think you're relatively confined to North America, but that's okay) know that these little feral cats just want to be allowed to live and do their thing, and you've made it possible.  I am so genuinely grateful and humbled by your generosity.  With this money not only have we enough to pay for the TNR via the Spay and Neuter Hotline (who, let me just say again, have been incredible and patient with me as I've tried to schedule all this), but also for me to feed the ferals for a year!  (And having TNRed the rest of the colony there shouldn't be any more kittens for me to care for, and therefore no more vet bills... knock on wood!)  I ... yeah... just... wow.

Thank you.  Thank you so very much.  No matter how much you contributed-- a few dollars, a link from your blog or your FB or Twitter-- I appreciate it more than I can properly express.

So now we just have to hope the cats go in the traps...

They're more excited about making the goal than they look.  Promise.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Matching Donations! Trapping! Mousies! Oh my!


This is an older picture of PigPen (she's cleaner now!) but one of my favorites!

First, if you follow Project-Cat (well, the blogger behind P-C) on any other social-media-venue, you might have noticed a bit of a tizzy as far as just when the trapping will occur.  Originally, it would be this weekend, and then I had taken too long to get the ferals signed up for a Sunday clinic, so it was going to be two weeks, then it turned out that there is room, so it's back on for this weekend.


Fortunately, I have a colleague and friend who is going to hang out and provide  (a)moral support, and The Volunteer is providing traps and transportation.  (I get to do after-care all on my own though, and won't that be a challenge? Heh.  Well, I'll worry about that part later.)

But this means we's got to raise monies.  Thanks to the incredible generosity of several friends, we have raised $65.  The Spay And Neuter Hotline requests a donation of $25/cat for TNR to offset costs.  (Note that's offset, not cover, so if I could raise more for them?  How wonderful!)  So that's a minimum of $150 needed, assuming I catch all 6 cats.  (Fingers crossed!)  (Note how much less this is than last time, when it was $50/cat, and aiming for 14+! So hey, we're making progress in all sorts of ways!)  So $150 is the bottom goal, but a little more for small purchases for trapping  (ie: tuna in oil, mostly) and more for the Hotline would be awesome-sauce.  Too, as a friend pointed out, there's the continuing feeding of the ferals (which I've been doing out of pocket) and, alas, you never know when another kitten or cat will be dumped and need care. 

To that end, you can help!

First off, an Anonymous Donor, who has asked that I not reveal his/her/their identity, nor use adjectives of description, has offered MATCHING DONATIONS up to $250!!! So if you hit that there donation button on the left (or below!), this wonderful, fantastic and kind donor (Okay, so I don't always follow directions) will match your donation, up to raising $250!! NOW IS THE TIME TO DONATE! Your money gets doubled! How awesome is that?!?! 

(There, I'll describe this donor's actions as AMAZING AND INCREDIBLE, instead of the donor him/herself/themselves.  That's sort of following directions, eh?)

So hit the button, if you can!!


Tuxie is telling me to stop taking pictures and to clean out and refill her water-bowl, thankyouverymuch.
If you can't?  I totally understand.  But you can still help by re-tweeting, re-face-booking and linking to Project-Cat.  Spread the word! (The plight of the feral cat should be spread anyway.)

ALSO. (I don't know what it is with me and all-caps today.  My sincere apologies-- I'm not shouting, I'm just excited!)  There are new cat toys in my Etsy shop.  Visit them here! (There's yarn there, too, handspun, by me! And not from cat fur, I promise.  Cat fur is too short to spin well.  No, I haven't tried it.  What? I haven't! I swear! I just know people who have.)  All money from purchases in my shop will go towards this fund!   (This is not included in the matching donations, of course, 'cause that's for donations.  And with this you get an object, after all.)

I also take commissions-- you have a cat who choose his/her toys?  I can make double-strength mousies!  Allergic to wool?  I can make the toys out of cotton or acyclic.   Want a different creature?  I've made bunnies, ants, spiders, lady-bugs and sheep, and I'd be happy to try anything!

Guh.  I'm all hot and sticky because it is 93degrees out there, and I just went up and down stairs and door to door, putting notes on all my neighbors' doors, asking them not to feed the cats in time for the trapping.  The whole not-feeding part makes me sad, even though it's for a good cause.  Poor hungry fuzzies.  But they'll get tuna-in-oil in traps on Saturday, and they'll be back to being fed regularly right after that. 

Barnaby asks you to spread the word.  Every little bit helps!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


You know how there are cats I didn't catch last time?  And a few cats who have shown up randomly since?  Well, now it's time to turn my (and your!) attention to them.

In two weeks, we'll be trapping my ferals-- hopefully catching the 6 colony cats who still need to be speutered.  (Speuter = spay/neuter.)

Who are we aiming for?

Well, of course there's Pigpen.  Pigpen is my Arch-Nemesis because I tried to catch her last time and failed.  But she's gotten more friendly since then (if by friendly I mean comes up to the second floor to eat and only runs when I get within 6 feet of her instead of 10.)  So there's hope!

(Click the pictures to make them bigger if you like.)

 She's a cutie, and since she's a calico I can be reasonably sure she's a she.  Gotta catch her so that she can be saved from more litters of kittens.

Then there's Tuxie.  I've spoken at length about Tuxie before.  She's beautiful and she's brave (she comes running when she hears my door open as she knows it means food.  How she knows it's my door, I do not know.)  She routinely comes within a foot or so of me, sometimes following me all the way to the door.  I think she must have been dumped as a kitten, to be so calm around humans.  But what human wouldn't have wanted to keep this beauty?

Tuxie normally shows up whenever I'm outside, but today she did not until dusk (when it was too late for a picture) so this is an older picture.  The cat behind her is Whiskey (aka Sam), and is not feral but sometimes comes over to my apartment to munch on some stolen cat food and hang out with the ferals.

Also to be caught is Barnaby.  Barnaby, like Pigpen, has been around for a while, but I was unable to catch him/her last time.  However, Barnaby's been hanging out a lot more often, as evidenced not only by these two photos, but by the fact that I have lots of photos of him/her.  (Despite the masculine name, I'm actually guessing Barnaby to be female, given the petite size and plethora of colors.  This is only a guess.  And while kitten fur color can often have absolutely no relation to the color of the mother's fur, note how much Barnaby looks like the last full litter of kittens I had-- Dean, Zadie, Iso and Violetta.  Could this cat have been their mom?  Who knows!)

What? What do you want from me???

Fine, I'll pose.  Happy?!

So you're familiar with those three.  Then there's Paint.  Paint has never been seen on this here blog because s/he's so elusive.  The elusive, elusive Paint.  I don't see him/her often, and when I do I rarely have my camera with me.  (In fact, one of these photos is from my phone.)

I named Paint "Paint" because of the tip of this one's tail-- it looks like it was dunked in a pot of paint. :)

If I had to place odds, I'd say this kitty is the on I'm least likely to catch this weekend, purely because s/he's rarely around.  But fingers crossed!
Number five is actually the cat I have the highest hopes for catching (with Tuxie coming in at number two.)  I've mentioned this fuzzy before, but I don't know that I've ever told you all what I know about him.  This is Tigger:

Isn't he handsome?  (And he is definitely a he.)  He's incredibly friendly.  He has tried to follow me home (until he realizes that there are already cats in my home.)  Obviously he is not a feral.

Sometimes he wears a collar.  Sometimes he does not.  Sometimes he is really skinny.  Sometimes he is not.  Sometimes he is really dirty.  Sometimes he is really soft and clean.  He is a mystery.

But just last week I ran into a little girl playing with him, and said little girl knew some of Tigger's history.  Evidently there is someone here in the complex who calls him Tiger, and who puts a collar on him sometimes in the hopes that animal control won't take him away.  However, she doesn't actually consider herself Tigger's owner.  Apparently someone did once consider him/herself Tigger's owner, but then left him here when said "owner" moved away.

I would now rant and rant and rant about people and their choices when it comes to animals, but if you're reading this here blog you probably already understand and agree.  And there's no point in preaching to the choir.  So Tigger will get TNRed this weekend, and I will continue to feed him and show him love whenever I can.  I wish I could find him a home-- he's a lap cat, frankly-- but with so many homeless cats here already in Phoenix-land, and so many kittens easier to home... I don't have high hopes.  (That said, if you were looking to open your home to a sweet natured purring fuzzball who is already full grown and therefore unlikely to do all the kitten antics that destroy things in one's home, let's talk!)

So that's five, and I'd said six before, right?  Welllll, yeah.  There's no picture of number six, alas.  I tried to get one today, but number six is speedy and aloof.  S/he's a pale gray tiger cat-- a lot like Tigger but smaller and more dilute (which is to say pastel.) S/he showed up for the first time a few weeks ago (or at least that's when I first spotted her.)  I don't know what her story is but if I can catch her, TNRed she will be.

EDIT TO ADD: Turns out I *do* have ONE picture of the elusive dilute tabby...

The Volunteer is loaning me the necessary traps and providing transportation for any of the kitties that I catch.  A friend has agreed to help me on Saturday night (for moral support and company more than anything else.)  I will photograph and blog it all.

Buuuut, there's one more thing.  There's always one more thing, eh?  Yeah, it costs money for places like the Spay and Neuter Hotline and the Animal Defense League of Arizona to spay and neuter-- for the vets to work, to lend out traps, etc.  And Project-Cat's (ie: me, grad student earning a pittance) has no fundage at present (because much was spent on Meester Max, and of course on-going costs.)  So now would be the perfect time to donate even a few dollars to Project-Cat.  Thankfully the ferals don't need nearly as much as last time (when we caught 13!), but I do need to cover the cost of their TNRing (and the cost of tuna-in-oil to lure them in! Ewwwww!)  Please, if you can, drop a few bucks on the donate button?

(If you're into making things with yarn, you can check out my Etsy page, too, which has a few handspun skeins for sale.  I'm hoping to get a few cat toys for sale up yet tonight/tomorrow, too.  All proceeds from my Etsy site go to taking care of the ferals.)

Lastly, Daisy, who we TNRed two years ago, says Thanks for your help! (She was hanging out tonight so I snapped her picture.)

Can I go back to eating now?