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. >^.^<