Thursday, October 22, 2015

Dumped Cat Update

The Number is Three

There are definitely three cats here. One larger light gray tabby and two kittens, one dark and one a light gray.

I have honestly not had a close-up look at the kittens. The larger cat is now responding to me when I put the food out in the morning. She--I suspect she may be the mother cat--talks to me and stays out in the open while I am there although she is still very cautious about approaching.

At this rate, in a couple weeks I will probably be able to touch her. I am hoping the lure of food and my quiet presence will reassure her.

The kittens may be another story, but if indeed the larger cat is their mother, then they too will eventually come around.

All three were out in the yard quite a ways away from the barn when I went out. All three took off and dashed under the floor of the feed room--their "cave."  But, as I said, the larger cat emerged as soon as I called and then, after a brief conversation with me, watched me put the food out and then waited until I went into the barn to feed the Boys before eating.

The kittens are much more elusive. They were nestled on the fuzzy blanket I put over the horse blankets at the end of the barn aisle last night, while the adult cat sat on the barn floor. Again, she did not run immediately, but the kittens slipped into the shadows behind the trunk.

Patience must reign. If I can catch the mother I will get her spayed ASAP.  I can set the trap for the kittens and might be able to get them too. I have a fair sized wire crate I can put in the sunroom for a while to socialize the little guys before I take them to get neutered as well.

As much as I would like to, I simply can't add any more cats to the indoor "herd" so these guys would need to become barn kitties. If so, I  will make some nice comfy, warm quarters for them.  There are two garages, a carport where I store my hay, and the barn itself where they can always find shelter, but I special shelter for them would be even better.

Meantime, as long as the weather holds, they will be just fine as they are. All they need now is to learn to trust me.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Well, It Happened Again

Cats Arrive Just In Time For Fall

The sweet little mommycat who I semi-rescued years ago disappeared the week before my surgery. She was one of the longest surviving outdoor kitties I ever had here. I am not sure how old she was, but she did have a litter of kittens in my carport soon after she arrived. Luckily, I was able to get a cat rescue group to take them and all of them were adopted to good homes. Mommy traveled back and forth from my house to my neighbors for a good long while. When my neighbor passed away earlier this year, she came back to stay with me. Ever since I took her to get spayed, she would not let me touch her, but she certainly "talked" to me and kept me company out in the barn.

With her gone, the world outside was a little more lonely.  But, I was pretty sure sooner or later another stray would show up.

Well, it happened in multiples. Once again, apparently some rude, irresponsible person decided my little horse farm was the perfect place to dump some unwanted pets.

My horse sitter, Debbie, reported seeing a cat a few days ago. She thought it was Mommycat, whom she had never seen. But this cat was light gray, perhaps with some tan. That night, when I went out to do late night feed, there was a sleek light gray tabby cat in the barn. It ran off as soon as it saw me, but I was pretty sure I was the cat Debbie had seen. I put cat food out in the cat feeding station and in another dish closer to the house. Somebody cleaned it all up, but it might as well have been the raccoon or opossum, but I am hoping it was the cat.

I saw the gray cat in the barn the next night, again skittering off when I came in. OK, one new cat. I can handle that.

Then, last night, at late feed, I turned on the barn light and saw a little dark kitten at the end of the aisle. It ducked under cover and disappeared. So, now there were two.

Tonight when I came home from an errand, I saw the little dark kitten near the food dish. It bolted for the barn when I drove up the driveway. Lo and behold, there was a little light gray shadow still at the food dish. As soon as it saw me, that kitten raced off to the cover of the barn as well. Now I am up to three.

Just before dark--I put more food out in the meantime--I saw kittens playing on the fence by the corner of the barn. They were a bit too small to make out clearly, and it was dusk by then, so I really couldn't see, but I am hoping it was still only two, but I can't quite be sure.  *sigh*

Now begins the hours of patience it will take to try to tame the little critters so I can get them neutered and decide what to do.

The selfish lowlife who tossed these little guys out probably figured, "Oh, there's a farm. They always need cats. And the cats will have plenty to eat with all the mice. I want to get rid of them, so here's the perfect spot."

Trouble, is, like most the horse owners I know around here, I am one of those responsible animal lovers who cares about animals of all shapes and sizes. That means I need to spend money, time and effort trying to see that these little ones are taken care of. That means food, shelter, and vet care.

Hey, you lousy excuse for a person who abandoned them here...may your car have two flat tires on a cold, rainy night and may you have to change them yourself and walk a dozen miles to a gas station for help because you have no cell service and only one spare. I hope you are wet, cold, hungry and miserable by the time you get the car fixed and my it cost you a ton extra because it's on a weekend.

Or, better yet, perhaps, somewhere in your life may you gain the wisdom and compassion you so sorely lack.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Boys Hang Out

Still Waiting on My Hip

Bless my wonderful horsesitter, Debbie. Twice a day, she comes to take care of the Boys for me. I am now able to do the late night snack feeding, but I still cannot lift hay bales or bags of grain. Pushing the wheelbarrow to clean stalls would be risky at this point also. I am just starting the 4th week of recovery from having the metal removed from my hip and thigh so I need to be very careful what I do.

In fact, I attended my cousin's son's wedding yesterday and just sat to watch the dancing. Bouncing around, twisting and turning on my leg would not have been a good idea. So I "party pooped," and had a good time eating instead. It would have been nice to visit and talk to some of my other relatives and friends who where there, but the music was so loud, that was impossible. What is it about parties that demand blasting music the whole night?  Some peace and quiet conversation would have been a nice contrast.

No complaints otherwise. The weather was perfect so the couple had the ceremony on the hotel's veranda overlooking the ocean and the food was delicious.  It was a lovely, tasteful affair, even if it was too loud.

So, all that being said, The Boys are doing just fine.

Well. sort of. That is if you count the knock on my front door a few days ago. It was the my new neighbor's sister telling me one of the horses was on their back lawn.  Which one? "The black one," she said.

Well, Tucker is a very dark bay, so I semi-limped (When I first start walking my hip is sore.) out to the barn got a halter and lead and headed next door.

Tucker had dismantled the top two rails of the slip board pasture fence. Fortunately the other two Boys did not see where he had made his escape. So I hurried over to make repair just as Chance was starting to make his one beeline to the gap. I got there just in time, put the rails back up and led Tucker home.

I had to circle the chainlink fence between our houses at the edge of the road, and then lead him up the driveway.  Nearly every step of the way, I jiggled the lead rope to remind him to pay attention and walk with "best manners."  The last think I wanted was for him to push into me to knock me down. Fortunately, even though the other Boys were frantically running the fence and making a fuss, he stayed settled and I got us both back safely.

Then I close off the pasture--it was getting towards dusk--so I could fix the fence rails the next day.

With my rechargeable drill in hand, nails, and a hammer I nailed the slip boards in place both in the pasture and in a few other places where the rails were suspect.

By the time I was done, including traversing the rather steep hill in the pasture, I was pretty well worn out.  Simple tasks, when you have been laid up for a couple weeks, can be surprisingly taxing.

Once again, I'm really glad I spent the summer swimming and building myself up before this surgery. I have a feeling if I hadn't even six weeks of recovery would not be enough.