Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tabby Tuesday - Introducing Woody!


For Tabby Tuesday this week I will introduce you to Woody, age 3, who is one of my 3 tabby cats. His mom is Lily, a feral, and he was one of 4 kittens in her second litter (before I finally caught her to get her spayed.

He is black and grey and was the only tabby in a litter of all white cats and the runt of the litter to boot. He made me think of Charlie Brown as kitten since he was always one step behind all the others and off by himself most days. He was born under the house in the crawlspace and spent his kitten time on my back deck with his siblings. I had places to sit and hide out there and their food bowls. I could watch them through the glass door and screen window.

On one occasion Lily took all the others off to explore the woods behind the house and I guess Woody wasn't paying attention. He got left behind for the whole day. He sat on the deck and wailed for mom but even when she called back to him he was afraid to run across the yard to be with them. She is a no nonsense mom and left him there, not coming back to get him. By suppertime poor Woody was pretty upset! When he finally glimpse Lily and his siblings coming home, he got so excited and ran out to meet them a few feet from the deck. Such a silly boy.

He is very shy still and hides under the chair, behind the chair or on a top shelf in the shelter. I can pet him when I feed him but that is it. He is great at camouflage - his markings are so dark that he blends in with the dark surroundings. He can be out from under the chair and just sit so still you don't notice him at all. My invisible cat!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lazy Sunday

The sun is finally out and the bed is warm...we are all going to sleep late today!
(From the head of the bed to the foot...we have Chica on the right, Minnie on the left, Ivy, Joey, Mamacita and Rosa)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Caturday Cleaning Day - Lily

It's a rainy day and I am just going to do some cleaning!

Can I have some privacy please!

Oh Mom...that's enough flash pictures! I can't see anymore!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

White Wednesday -- Al's Story

Time for another cat story..this time about Albert, our long hair, white, deaf, blue eyed cat who is 5 this year.

Mom was driving to the hospital to visit an elderly friend when a bit of white caught her eye by the side of the road. She turned around and saw it was a tiny kitten just sitting next to the road. Worrying that he might run out if she approached him, she went home to get her friend Peel (who has lots of cats too). Peel covered one side while Mom came from the other. Little Al just sat there looking curious. Mom scooped him up and carried him to safety.

He was bruised and cut but otherwise OK. She asked all the people nearby if they knew who he was. No one did so she figured with his handicap (Mom is hard of hearing too) he belonged to us. We had just lost two other cats, Big Guy and Clarence, and Mom was very sad. Al helped her be happy again.

We named him Albert after Albert Einstein cuz his fur was all sticking up around his head. Looks like a mad scientist sometimes!

He was a handful inside with the other cats..getting into all sorts of trouble. It was hard to train him since he didn't hear. She tried squirting him with water but he never felt it with his thick coat. She tried distracting him but it didn't deter him much. She even tried time outs in a small dog kennel. He didn't like that but never learned...as soon as he got out he was back doing something naughty.

He loves to knock things off the shelves and counters and watch them fall. Cuz he can't hear, it doesn't scare him when there is a loud crash! He loves to find all sorts of unusual places to sleep. I don't think he spent much time with his brothers and sisters when he was real little cuz he doesn't seem to know how to play and relate to other kitties.

It was all cute when he was small but when he got bigger (all 13 pounds) he became a bully to all the black cats. Mom had to make two separate living quarters for the white cats and then the black ones. Al lives with the white cats and two tabbies. Sometimes he picks on the tabbies now. Mom tried homeopathy and flower remedies to help his aggression but nothing worked. We have tried to find info on living with deaf cats but no luck. If anyone has any insight...please tell Mom.

Mom and Dad love him dearly. Al is Dad's favorite buddy so we will always keep him...unless the perfect home was offered. He really needs to be the only pet in a house I think. But he seems to be happy now except for a bit of bullying every now and then.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tabby Tuesday

Hi I am Tabitha and I like to hide in boxes mostly cuz my brother Al (the blue eyed deaf one) picks on me.

Looks like he is sleeping...I think it is safe to come out now!

Yup..He won't know I am out and will be napping for a while now. I wish he would be nicer to me. Some days he is but not on other days!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Us ferals are going to spend the day lounging in the sun, watching the birds and eating in our cool shelter...that's what Sunday's are for, right?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Formerly Feral Nursing Home

This has been a wild week at Wildcat Woods...I feel like I am running a cat nursing home here. The older kitties have chronic issues and things just escalate all at once.

Minnie ( all black) has IBS and was having a bad week with colitis and looking poorly. I think she may have been constipated. She goes back and forth between constipation and diarrhea. I added colostrum (see my Cats and Dogs Naturally article) to her diet and it seems to be helping. My vet will send a glandular for intestinal issues to add to that.

Yoko (tan tabby) has thyroid issues and she seems to be developing some kidney problems. Thyroid irregularities can affect the heart, liver and kidneys. I have boosted her diet with Chica's (who has chronic renal failure) supplements and it seems to be helping. She is more active and less mopey.

Every morning the first one up walks through an obstacle course in the house of hairball vomit, puddles of frothy mucus, etc....yecch... and I don't' know who did what. This week it was more than usual so I was trying to keep and eye on everyone.

It seems like all is on track again today and everyone is doing OK for the time being! I am glad I can treat some of this myself with phone calls to my vet --- very expensive to run to the vet all the time.

An Award!

Thanks muchly to Team Tabby for the wonderful award. I guess we have to list 6 things that make us happy and tag 6 blogs with their award.

With soooo many cats I will pick a couple to list their favorite things:

Tabitha loves

1. Food of any sort...treats, smelly goodness...everything.
2. Boxes to hide out in.
3. Being petted and loved.
4. Birdwatching through the window.
5. Playing with the laser light toy.
6. When Al is asleep...cuz he picks on her and this is her time to come out and play.

Sweetpea's favorite things are...

1. Sleeping in the sun or on the heater.
2. Catnip
3. Playing with the feather toy on a string.
4. Chase after the other cats even tho they are bigger than her.
5. Climbing up into the Christmas tree and sleeping in the branches (too bad the tree is only out for a few weeks!)
6. Climbing up on high places like the fireplace mantle for a nap!

I would like to tag the following blogs with this award (again my computer refuses to link up the blogs!!! anybody have any suggestions for this?)

1. http://macvetspets.blogspot.com/
2. http://littlepinkpig.blogspot.com
3. http://kattoniccats.blogspot.com
4. http://everycat.blogspot.com
5. http://bengalcatdomination.blogspot.com
6. http://catphilanthropy.blogspot.com

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wordy Wednesday Darby's Thanks!

Wow I am pooped after the wild Gotcha Day party and St Pat's on top of that!!! Gonna rest up today but I want to thank you all for coming to the party and for all the gotcha day wishes. This was my first one on CB and it was real fun! Hope everyone had a good time. All my brothers and sisters loved meeting you all. They can't wait for their Gotcha Day parties!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Gotcha Day to Darby!

Darby was "got" on St. Patrick's Day 8 years ago so that makes her 9 this year. Here is a photo of what she looked like shortly after she was "got"!

Gonna be a big party with cake, treats and lots of toys! Happy St. Pat's to everyone too!

Her story is posted below if you want to know all the details....

Darby's Gotcha Day Celebration and St. Pat's Day!

Today is Darby's 9th Gotcha Day (Thanks to Zoolatry for the graphic) and we figure she is 10 years old this year. We discovered her living under our house one winter after neighbors' asked if we had a new cat. She was very wild and tiny. We set a trap to catch her on St. Pat's Day with all three of our other cats supervising. She came in willingly enough but taming her was a long ordeal and worth every minute. (Read her story here) She is very personable - loves to be with Mom whether on the computer, watching TV and just reading on the sofa. She is still tiny - about 6 pounds but very formidable!

We are celebrating St Pat's as well as Darby's day so enjoy the treats...

some wheat grass - especially yummy for those indoor only cats like us...
green frog catnip toys for all, in honor of the day....

For the beans we have lots of green goodies - pizza, beer and cupcakes for all! 

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!
UPDATE......we were just told Minnie won Second Place in Brian's Home's St Pat's contest for Best Use of Green. Mom used her winning photo on her other blog here. Check out all the other winners at Brian's!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sweetpea Reorganzing the Drawer

Mom never puts the clothes away so I can find what I want!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday with Ivy and Joe

It has turned cold again outside and Mom had to close the windows and turn on the heater. We are thankful we have a nice warm spot in front of the heater. Joe keeps trying to slide in front of me but I keep him in line by cleaning him...then I get the best spot when he zonks out! Bye for now from Ivy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Yoko's Story

Little by little I am working down the list of cats to give you an insider's view to each of their lives.

Yoko, named because of her unique singing voice, was supposed to be a puppy! For Mother's Day 16 years ago my husband took me to the shelter to pick out a puppy. We already had Chica and thought another pet would be good for her. Of course on that day we visited, the shelter had NO puppies or even young dogs. So we wandered over to the cat section where a staff member was cleaning cages. She handed my husband a tiny tabby. It was love at first sight for those two...and this was supposed to be my gift.

Long story short, we took the tabby home, naming her Yoko. She was a very curious feisty little girl. But, Chica hated her...I am sure Chica wanted to be the only cat in the household and was completely insulted we brought Yoko home.

We kept the two cats separated from each other with a glass door between them. Chica watched as Yoko played and ran around in her room while growling at her the whole time. Finally, after a week or two of this, I noticed Chica playing with Yoko on her side of the glass - a good sign. Time to try to introduce them. With supervision, they finally tolerated each other. Although Yoko learned to find high or really obscure hiding places to get away from Chica and have some quiet time.

Chica would just look at Yoko and that would be enough to send Yoko off to one of her hiding places. Not the best situation but we gave Yoko lots of love and attention to make up for Chica's coldness.

As we added cats to the household, Yoko got more and more relaxed. The sheer numbers made Chica less focused on her. Still other cats would single her out as easily intimidated. The only one that Yoko would fuss at was me. Maybe she was still mad at me for bringing her to live with Chica. She growls and hisses at me for the least little thing but when my husband comes to the rescue, Yoko is a sweet little dear who would never behave like that. She is truly "Daddy's little girl".

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Darby's Day...Not!

Thank you for the Gotcha Day wishes...but my Gotcha Day is actually next week on the 17th...St. Patrick's Day. My Mom looked for a nice Irish name for me and came up with Darby!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Yoko's Balancing Act

Yoko has taken up residence in the back bedroom which I use for stacking extra totes and stuff I don't need right now.

I came in to check on her and found her balancing on top of this pile. I don't know how Yoko got up on top without knocking it all over!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Joey's Sunday Bed Making

I love helping Mom make the bed...new sheets feel so good...I bet she won't find me under here...uh oh, she found out my new hidy place!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Formerly Feral Friday

We are enjoying the warm day with the screens letting fresh air in our special cat shelter! The birds are really busy today at the feeders. (This is Two Spot and Norm at the door and Snowball in the chair-- I have so many white cats, it is hard to tell who is who!)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Darby's Story Continued

Once I caught Darby, I secured her in a small room to begin taming her. I set her up with food, water and a litter box. I used a bathroom with a window with a view in our other house which was also a gift shop. Our rental house was too small for another cat. Minnie was living in the shop already and I thought Darby would be a good buddy for her. I made her a nest under a chair with towels draped over it to offer her a hiding spot but one we could get to her from.

She would not let us touch her but would swat at our hands with her paws, claws out. After many attempts to pet her we wore gloves to put her food near her etc. I sat in there on the floor and talked to her, played with her with feather toys ...anything to get her to interact with us. I finally contacted an animal behaviorist who told us to try to pet her through the towel. It seemed that Darby was afraid of our hands and when she saw them coming at her would swat them in defense.

We tried again, petting her through the towel when she was under the chair and with our gloves on when outside the chair. Both my husband and I took turns doing this several times a day. It took weeks but she finally relented to us touching her!!!!

Then we moved her to a bigger room, closing off all the hiding places like under the bed, to force her to interact with us. She did better and being in a bedroom was more able to move around and have us visit her easier.

Finally we let her interact with the other cat Minnie by putting a screen door up between the bedroom and the hall. Minnie and Darby could see and smell each other but no one would get hurt. The screen also enabled Darby to see what life inside was all about without having to be in it all the time.

We got her spayed at my neighborhood vet who had been working with me to get all the ferals done. We kept Darby inside with the other cat rather than release her to a yard she was not familiar with.

Darby was certainly one of the tougher ferals to tame but now she is a love bug, wanting to sit on my lap all the time. She gets very possessive of me and sleeps with me in the crook of my arm at night. Ferals do bond strongly with the one person who works with them most.

She likes to play with ribbons (supervised of course), tends to be a loner and not real friendly with the other cats, preferring me or my husband to them. She can be a bully, picking on the lesser cats in the group we have now. She is friendly with visitors and lets them pet her. As each year goes by she opens up more and more. She is a beautiful addition to our family and we love her dearly.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Introducing Darby....

I thought I would tell a bit about each of my cats and how we found each other.

Darby was living under our rental house as a kitten. Our neighbors at the time move to Florida for the winter so we have no idea where she came from. Only a few people live here year round. I noticed her going across the street to eat outside another house who has cats. I asked them if she was a new addition and they told me she came from under our house!

Darby was very wild and would not let me get near her. It was cold and snowy so I made a covered cage for her on the porch to protect her from the cold. She would go inside during the day but spent her nights under the house. It seems she had a roommate...a possum would come out at night and feed from the bird feeder in the yard and then go back to the crawlspace and Darby would come out during the day! I was worried the possum would hurt her but they seemed to get along, coming and going on their own hours.

Other cats would come by to steal her food but Darby would chase them off even as a tiny kitten. I thought she was a male for all her bravado.

I waited until Darby was using her cage which was a dog kennel cage and then I began to plot her capture. I moved the cage closer to the front door little by little until it was in front of the door. I had started to put her food inside the cage so she would be busy eating. I tied a string to the cage door and ran it through the door to the house making sure I could pull it and shut the cage door quickly and quietly. I have used this method many many times.

This was the day. My other three cats Chica, Yoko and Sweetpea were lined up inside the glass door of the house watching this all unfold. Darby went inside the cage and I pulled the string. Got her! She fought and wailed and put up a fuss. I picked up the cage and brought it inside. Now to tame her...a long time consuming challenge. To be continued.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snowy Cozy Sunday

Joey, my only male with this group (the tabby in the back of the cat pile) is happily sandwiched on the chair with Rosa and Mamacita.



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