Category Archives: Cats Plants Animals

Kittens and cats, oh my

Soooooooo, no time to post entries lately; all my free time has been consumed by rescue operations for Mommy Cat and her four soon-to-be-feral kittens (they are six weeks old now, and need to be socialized before they are eight or, at the most, ten weeks).  Our vet referred us to a wonderful woman who is helping us to trap everyone, and then everyone needs to be socialized.  And our wonderful vet loaned us a large cage to keep everyone in, and has offered to give free vet care to the kittens that we are not keeping.

I’m learning a lot about cats, and about trapping, and there definitely is a science and psychology to everything.  The wonderful woman who is masterminding the effort has a policy of “leave no one behind,” and that means we can’t freak out the mom (or she’ll move the remaining kittens to a new location) or give the kittens a fear of traps.  Lots of time and patience is required for this effort.  And great thanks to our vet and her friend.

And, of course, Tuesday was the Ice Cream Social – ninety-five degree heat with some humidity, and a life-saving breeze coming from the pond.  All went off without a hitch, and now it’s full swing for summer reading and prizes prizes prizes.  Whew.  So do forgive me if you don’t hear from me for a bit – I’m busy trying to save the feline world while running a huge summer reading program.  🙂

Two more…

I know, I know, I know…too many cats on this blog lately.  But I got a couple more photos of Mommy Cat last night while she was eating – one with Moses in the foreground looking at his mommy.  I wonder if he knows who she is or remembers her?

Mommy Cat

There’s been an awful lot of cat action in and around our home lately, from the arrival of Moses to trying to find a new home for my dad’s cat Tabby to the discovery of Mommy Cat and her kittens in our neighbor’s barn.

I’ve been feeding Mommy Cat, who presumably is Moses’ mommy, twice a day on our deck.  She gobbles down two cans of Fancy Feast morning and evening, warily eyeing me through the sliding glass door as she eats.  It’s not clear whether she is feral or a stray, but what I do know is that I think Mommy Cat is beautiful.   Not flashy beautiful, but rather subtly beautiful; I’ve started calling her Mona in honor of her sleek subtle beauty (like the Mona Lisa, get it?).  She doesn’t have that hint of a smile, but she does have the most gorgeous golden eyes.

After a week of trying to connect with the wrong no-kill cat shelter, my vet referred me to the cat shelter who rescued Ophy all those years ago, Guardian Angels Cat Rescue.  I spoke to a woman from the shelter last night, and she’s working on finding someone who can help us capture Mona and her babies.  Perhaps a second one of those babies will come to live with us to keep Moses company (and to give Pippa a little peace); we’ll see.

I’ve gotten used to Mona’s twice daily visits to our deck to chow down, and this morning I felt almost a little sad when I thought she might not be coming around anymore.  Almost, but not really, because I’d like this little family to be saved and placed into loving homes.  I was happy, though, when I was able to get a couple of photos of Mona: one as she left the deck and her breakfast, the other as she headed back through our yard to her clan.  I think she’s gorgeous; I hope you do, too.

More kitten photos

Our little handsome boy needed his picture taken by a pro during the height of his cuteness, so on Wednesday my friend (and photographer) S——-  came and did a photo shoot.   Below are some of the awesome photos she took of our cutie!

A Grand Distraction

Well, obviously my commitment to post regularly has been disrupted by something…partly by the elementary school visits, partly by the awesome training that I went to on Monday (with Betsy Diamant-Cohen – more about that in a post on another day), and mostly by the appearance at our house of Puck.

Saturday night, after having spent the whole day cleaning (lots of loud vacuuming) and after having gone out to an excellent dinner, I was standing at our sliding glass door enjoying the view when I heard something: mew mew mew mew.  “Must be a cat bird or a mockingbird,” I thought to myself.  “Couldn’t possibly be a kitten, right?”

I went out onto our tiny deck that overlooks our neighbor’s yard and listened some more.  mew mew mewmewmewmewmew.  It sure sounded like a kitten, but I convinced myself that it was actually a bird, since it was only 7:00 PM and still light out.

And then, after dark, as we were watching the hockey game, I heard it again.  mewmewmewmewmewmew – a little more desperate now, a little more miserable.  So I went outside with a flashlight and looked around as best I could, not finding anything, still hearing the meowing.  No kitten.  And I remembered that we have lots of skunks in our neighborhood, so I decided to go back inside.

Those mews cut into my cat lover’s heart for the rest of the evening, but there was nothing that I could do about it, and I also half-thought that maybe I was crazy and hearing things.

Sunday morning came, and I had actually forgotten about the meowing…until Jim and I sat on our back steps (the other side of our small house) to drink tea and eat fresh cider donuts.  mewmewmewmewmewmewmewmew.  “Did you hear that?!?!”  I said to Jim, who had not.  “It IS a cat, I know it is!!!”

And thus began the Sunday project:  locate and rescue the cat.  I called my animal wise sister for advice, and she recommended that I put some food out by the patch of dense brush by our deck and then sit out on our deck and talk to the kitty.  I did this for a couple of hours, and Jim joined me for lunch (and, thankfully, he too heard the meowing as he ate).  After lunch I saw a tiny tiny little grey tiger or tabby kitten sneak out of the brush towards the food bowl – and then the kitty saw me and slunk back quickly into the underbrush, not to be found.

I tiptoed around our yard and our neighbor’s yard, searching for this tiny little kitten, but to no avail.  I emailed Kitty Angels for kitten capture advice.  And then I waited some more on the deck.

At one point Jim saw the kitten curled up in a spot of sun in the midst of the brush, and he called me over.  By the time we got over our amazement, the kitten had skulked away again, disappearing totally in the brush.  Agh!!  And throughout it all, always those intermittent, sad little mews that were like a knife to my heart.

And then, finally, around three in the afternoon, I heard the mews coming from the side of brush closest to our neighbor.  I grabbed a flashlight and strode over into our neighbor’s yard (thankfully she is a very nice neighbor) and shone the flashlight into the brush.  It didn’t work, of course – I couldn’t see anything.  My frustration level was pretty high by this point:  I needed to rescue the kitty, and I also needed to do some other things with my day.

And then I went around a corner of the brush, and there was a tiny little kitty curled up sound asleep in another patch of sun.  I snuck up quietly, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, and got my first good look at his beautiful little face and blue blue eyes.  It was love!

And so we now have this little kitty, tentatively named Puck, living with us.  He got his first vet checkup on Monday, weighing in at eight ounces.  The vet declared him healthy, if a little undersized for his age (four weeks).  Pippa isn’t TOO sure about him yet, although she did touch noses with him last night.  And we, of course, love him.  He is affectionate, sweet, smart (took to his litterbox right away), and oh so cute.

Next thing we need to figure out, though, is what to do about his mommy and at least one sibling, who Pippa spotted last evening at eight walking through our neighbor’s yard towards the same spot of brush.  Mommy was carrying her baby in her mouth, and mommy (or someone) ate all of the can of sardines that I put out on our deck last night.  We’ll see how this part of the story plays out…  And meanwhile, here is a photo of Puck:

Spring is coming…and thanks

I have absolute proof that spring is coming, despite the snow currently fluffing through the air:  at Monday morning’s storytime, several of my regular attendees – kids who are always attentive – were practically bouncing off the walls.  Some of these usually docile children even had to be taken out the story room by their grownups.  Spring is definitely coming.

And thank you to all of you who left such sweet comments about my last post on the loss of our dear Ophy.  I appreciate your love and support.  I’m slowly getting used to the idea that Ophy isn’t around anymore, and I keep reminding myself that she was terribly sick and ready to move on.  I’ve never had to make that decision before, and now I fully appreciate what our wonderful vet told me: while putting a beloved pet to sleep is very difficult, it is also one’s obligation as a caring pet owner to make that decision when the time comes.  And hopefully Ophy is cavorting in the great beyond with her best feline pal, Rudy.

Ah, vacation…

We had a great vacation – relaxing, refreshing, and fun.  Here are a few highlights:

Ophy

Ophy, my furry soulmate and Jim’s feline best friend, isn’t feeling so well these days.  We’re pretty worried about her, so please keep your fingers (and paws) crossed that she gets better.  🙁