Cat Herding

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Spay Day USA

Today is Spay Day USA (designated by HSUS and Doris Day League), and last night I set traps for the two remaining unaltered females living in Dick's carport, and for Midget, the one remaining female (hopefully) living in Dick's home. I set the three traps on loan from AZ Cats (Altered Tails) and my new Havahart trap. I had hoped to corral Midget (with or without her brother, Grayling, in Mark's old bedroom, but she still doesn't trust me after last week's attempt to trap her (when I was able to trap one of the carport torties after I gave up on ever catching Midget), so I just baited the traps in the bedroom, baited the traps in the carport and traveled back and forth between the two areas to see if I could increase the probability of success. Midget's brother was trapped by the Havahart first, and then the dark tortie got trapped. Dilly, the dilute tortie went in a trap 3 times to lick the drippings I had used for bait, and 3 times she evaded setting off the trap. I had almost given up and then she stepped ONE MORE STEP forward the 4th time and the door shut. I left for the night after moving the two trapped torties inside Dick's house for the night. When I arrived this morning (hoping to see Midget in the final trap, I saw instead -- Hissy or Hassle, the bi-color "under the sink cat" -- hissing and flopping end over end when he saw me come in the bedroom door.

Soooo, today I had appointments at AZ Cats for 3 cats, and I took 3 (of the 4 trapped cats) to AAWL Arizona Animal Welfare League. First time I had used this location, and it worked out very well since I volunteer today (Tuesdays each week) at the Eastside shelter from 9 to 11:30am and the clinic appt. was for "between 8 and 9 am" with pickup around noon. Jan, from AAWL was very friendly, capable, and efficient, and filled out the forms (instead of me having to do it as usual) and helped me carry the traps out to the car after the operation. We talked about adoption of feral/semi-feral cats, and her experience is that the ferals kept acting feral even when adopted at a young age (8 weeks)-- I'm concerned about this since I am wondering what to do with the July kittens in the carport, and this includes two of those I got altered today. BTW, one of the torties was PREGNANT -- with 6 babies!!! The other was not. Now I'm even more concerned about Midget, because the tortie hadn't acted pregnant while Midget has been giving some signs -- I have got to trap her ASAP!!!!

Hissy/Hassle and the 2 torties came to my home (where the tortie with white or calico is also recuperating (she was spayed last Thursday at the MASH unit). I'm still thinking about whether to buy more cages and try to socialize them or put them back - except if I put Hissy/Hassle back in Dick's house, it'll be even harder to ever catch him again. Same with Grayling.... and Midget -- IF I can ever catch her the FIRST time!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Purchased a Havahart trap - not thrilled with it, but it will be helpful to have one when I need one rather than trying to borrow one. It's sitting in a room where they eat and play, and Midget and others were very interested in it when I put it down on the floor. I used the laser light to intrigue them more by shining it inside the trap with the doors shut - they act like they would like to get inside. I hope it will be like that when I try to trap Midget...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cats and Valentines

I've noticed that Midget, one of the gray cats that won't let me get too close, is acting awfully friendly with the guy cats (I'm pretty sure she's female) - most of whom are neutered, but not all of them. Remember, some of them won't let me catch them or even get a really good look to see if they are male/female. I drove Dick to the spay/neuter clinic with each of the cats that we did get spayed/neutered, so I'm pretty sure that there are still two or three that aren't done besides Midget. I still have 3 of the outside girl kittens to get spayed, and set up an appointment with AZ Cats to get them done on Tuesday Feb. 24th (if I can trap them).

I probably will need a trap for Midget -- I might be able to catch her in a cat crate, but the vet would probably have a hard time with her if she's not in a feral trap to let them anesthetize her. She lets me get so close - she'll swat my hand (no claws), but I can't quite get close enough to grab her, and IF I did - she might be a handful. She will chase the laser light into a crate, and hopefully, she'll chase one into a trap if I leave one out for her to get used to for a couple of days before I need to actually trap her.

Friday, February 6, 2009

An Update from the Casa de los Gatos

I received an email today from Sheryl, one of the angels who cares for the cats at the Casa de los Gatos, and specifically, one the of the angels who cares for those of Sarge's cats who were re-homed there. I knew that leaving them there would be extremely upsetting for them, but I could not afford to keep paying the mortgage where they were living since Sarge's death. Any move would have been upsetting, but they needed to go somewhere that they would be cared for and given the chance for adoption into new homes - the Casa was a wonderful opportunity for them -- but they might not agree. Well, it seems that most of them have begun to delight in the advantages of their new temporary home, and the staff who cater to their needs.

The email:

We wanted you to know that the cats are doing well. They are still pretty shy, but most of them are coming to us for attention now. Socks, Smokey and Prissy are the ring leaders and all pile into my lap at once, then the others come to see if they can fit in too!
I brought them a Drinkwell water fountain yesterday since some of them like to drink from the sink faucet, I thought they would like it. Sure enough Prissy made a beeline to it, and several others gave it a shot. Henry walks way around it though- it just seems too strange to him! Mittens is the only one who remains very unsure about us, but I did get a couple of pets in on him yesterday, he hissed to let me know he is still not sure if I am OK or not!
Alex and Patches are vey sweet and will let me carry them around, ( Smokey insists on being carried!), Markie, Angel, Henry, Marmalade, Inky, Missy and Pepper loosen up after I give them some gentle petting, they will relax and act like they are enjoying the attention! Joey and Jack snuggle together in the bottom of the climber, they are so cute together, Joey likes to have one arm extended out of the side hole of their little cubby. Sunshine and Lucky have taken ownership of the top of the storage cabinet, they have the best view from up there! They start purring when we come in to give them their breakfast in the mornings. Lucky will come down from his perch to eat, but Sunshine likes "room service" he wants his food served up to him in bed! They are all getting quite used to having wet food in the mornings. They are eating well, and from the mess in the house every morning they are quite active at night! Most of the covers are strewn about the room, food bowls tipped over, they party hard at night!
Anytime you want to visit please do. We are at the house every day from morning till early (sometimes late!) afternoon. I know it is a long drive, but if you need to come this way just give me a call and let ne know you are on the way.