Random pic of Trick’s tummy

Just because. :-) Under a 60-watt bulb, on crinkly wrapping-tissue paper, with a honeysuckle-catnip toy down by his hip… this was how Trick spent Catmus Eve.

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And just as a bonus, Trick in a box in a box, a few days before…

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Warm kitties!

A couple of fairly random pics I just took…

Cory in a box, with a dryer-warm blanket over him

Freya on the dryer-warm laundry, and Trick in a box under a 60-watt light.

Freya loves that leopard thing. It’s a piece of decent-quality fleece the size of a blanket that I picked up for a couple of dollars at a local thrift store, in among the leftover fabrics. She sleeps on it at every opportunity, and when she isn’t, Cory is… although it isn’t quite such good camo for Cory!

Trick Vs The Tail

Wow, I got so busy with writing projects and kitty toys and computer problems and Cheezland and with my new major project for SNKI (you can see it here: http://snkitails.wordpress.com/ ) that I haven’t had a chance to get back to finishing the repair work on THIS blog. (My Categories are no longer nested, I see, among other things. *sigh* )

However, for your amusement, here’s my insane Trick and his arch-enemy: his own tail.

Trick’s greatest foe, for the ten years or so he’s been living with us, has always been that black snakey thing. It follows him everywhere, always stalking him. Now and then, he gets annoyed at it and tries to show it who’s boss.

We’ve been trying to get video evidence of the great battle for a long time, but always, either couldn’t get to the camera in time, or he noticed us and stopped, or the camera battery was dead… always something. However, last night, luck was with me! I missed Round One, but was alerted by the rather distinctive thumps against the wall and caught part of Round Two and all of Round Three. Yes, I’m back a bit from the action, but any closer and he’d have been distracted by my presence and stopped, so… deal with it.

I think this confirms that Trick is bonkers. But man, he’s fun to have around!

Back to Normal

The purrkids are definitely relieved to have Kama out of here so life can return to its normal patterns. Freya happily reclaimed her spot last night beside Jackie on the futon, in Jackie’s room which was off-limits while Kama was here. Trick’s aggression is fading, and most of the gushifuds from supper and breakfast disappeared like it should. And teh Cory-Bear, well… apparently I exist for the sake of, every time he yells, dropping everything and going to him to pick him up and cuddle him. A tad inconvenient when I’m working on cat toys, since it means a lot of extra hand sanitizer before I touch yarn or tools again, but how can I say no? Thunderous purring, cheek-rubs, and concussion-inducing hedbonks make the inconvenience trivial. :-)

Happy in Mom’s arms and over Mom’s shoulder.

Whatcha doing with that camera?

And Jackie got video of him being cuddly, too. This isn’t actually Cory at his MOST demonstrative and acrobatic… but it is cute. :-)

Try to ignore the mess in the background. Somehow the more we try to declutter, the worse things get…

For a few years, after a lifetime with long hair, I started cutting it to about jaw-length every spring and letting it grow the rest of the year. I wasn’t allowed to cut it this past spring, and it’s looking unlikely that I will be next spring, since Cory’s decided he likes to burrow into it, hide under it, cheek-rub and/or chew on any hair tie I have in, and generally make it very clear that he likes it long.

‘Bye, Kama!

Kama’s off to his foster home as of a couple of hours ago. Well, it’s a foster home now. Whether it will stay a “foster” home, I’m not so sure – he’s such an easy cat to love! ;-) He’s going to be happy there, whether it’s forever or for now.

Earlier today, well, he had his vet visit. Apparently he has a heat murmur (II out of VI in severity), but that’s not so bad, really. Overall, doing surprisingly well after his ordeal, and nearly ten pounds despite being underweight! Treated for fleas and worms, got his shots, and getting fixed can be looked at in a week or so once he’s had more time to recover and settle in.

Then he came back here for a few hours, to wait for his trip to his foster home. While I was in with him, we were playing, and at one point, while he was chasing a long prysma-toy, he decided he needed a break and sprawled where he was… but he had one paw over the body of the toy, and any time I tried to twitch it away, he recaptured it. :-)

MY toy!!!

A little later, he was on the couch with me (Jackie’s futon, folded into couch-shape) and climbed onto my lap by invitation (ie, I patted my leg while my legs were crossed). He stayed there for over 90 minutes, sleeping so soundly that at one point he was dream-twitching. He had his head pillowed on my left forearm for part of it, and slipped into the space between it and my body for part of it but kept his paws wrapped around my arm. I didn’t have the heart to move him! I don’t believe he knew that he was going to be leaving, or that it was good-bye, but I do feel very much like it was a thank-you.

What I could see when I looked down:
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Morning Kama report

Well, looks like he’s off today  to a vet visit this morning, then possibly back here for a bit until his new foster mom can be home. I’m going to miss him, but my cats definitely are not – they’re making their agitation over this intruder extremely clear. Our trio have formed their own family and they want no one else in their territory, especially not an un-neutered young male!

Judging by the condition of his cage, he was playing last night: that water bowl is next to impossible to tip entirely, but it got shaken enough to slop water over the front part and a little into his crunchies, even though it wasn’t entirely full. His diarrhea is improving, still loose but better than it was. and while he still eats his wet food (Fancy Feast half a can at a time) rapidly and with enthusiasm, there’s less urgency to it now. He’s still thirsty, but the minimal pee in the litter-box at first has now turned into a much more normal volume. He’s even steadier on his feet while he’s walking around. He’s currently out of the cage to stretch and he’s exploring the room.

While playing last night we discovered a new game: I toss treats across the floor a couple of feet, and he chases them. Once he’s back to full strength, I bet that’ll turn into all-out pouncing!

His toys, especially the one you can see him with in the video, aren’t looking so new anymore. That mouse is starting to look like a well-loved teddy-bear!

So, am I going to be sad when he’s gone? Yes, of course I am. But my own cats will be much happier, and I can send him off knowing that after all the people who saw him and ignored him, someone finally didn’t, and now he’s going to have a wonderful life ahead of him instead of a horrible death. And that’s worth everything.

Kama… Playing?!?!

Okay, as if we needed any further proof of how resilient cats are (not that they should ever HAVE to be, of course)…

There’s not much I can add that the video doesn’t say for itself. Stamina still low, of course, and he certainly hasn’t gotten back to a healthy weight overnight, and yet, he’s looking just a bit less gaunt, somehow.

Just watch the video. I was on the edge of crying while I was taping it. It takes so little to make all the difference in the world for a living spirit in need…

In other news… Kama’s foster home is all confirmed and it’s in the last stages of planning his trip there tomorrow, with any luck to a vet for a checkup on the way. He’ll have an apartment to himself, not a cage, and his own temporary human around her classes and part-time job (maybe her boyfriend too – how could he resist this kind of charm?) while he’s waiting for his forever home. So YAY, Kama’s future is looking very bright right now!!!

Morning After with Kama

Kama was seriously glad to see us this morning. He seems a tad unconvinced when I point out that cage with hammock etc in a warm room is better than the garden centre tent – because he knows there are people outside his room who will pet him but we left him overnight! He’s absolutely desperate for contact, poor baby. After cage cleaning and some very active petting, he’s now collapsed next to me, but he’s making sure that his back is up against my leg.

He’s showing spurts of excitement, especially when we first come in the room, and during them he acts rather kittenish, but he has no stamina to speak of. It only takes a very few minutes before he needs to lie down and rest, even if not actually sleep. He’s still a bit shaky, too. But he was playing last night a bit, swatting his mousie, even if he doesn’t get up and chase it – he’s certainly interested, I think he just doesn’t have the juice to spare.

He’s trying his best to keep clean, which is tricky with some diarrhea still and a small litter box in crowded quarters. He’s got most of the mess in his fur all cleaned up beautifully, but there’s a bit of fresh mess on the backs of his lower legs, and he’s not happy about it but won’t let me help. He’s working on it, intermittently, when he’s got the energy to. Once he has a full-sized litter box and more space, I don’t think there’s going to be a problem  and he’s definitely used to litter boxes and determined to use it. His fur’s awfully thin for a cat who’s been outside in October around here. And he wants the clean fresh water as much as he wants the food: he goes back to the water bowl frequently for a short drink, even more than grabbing a snack.

I don’t think I’ve personally ever dealt with a cat who came this terrifyingly close to starving.  Under all the pretty fur, the prominent bones and very rounded abdomen are making me think of TV ads of children starving in Africa. And yet, as soon as his tummy’s reasonably full, food becomes less important than attention and contact.

Will do more pics and maybe another video later, just wanted to post an update for anyone interested. We’re looking after this poor baby, I promise. He’s got high-quality kibble 24/7 and I’m going to pick up some kitten food to mix in, and he’s getting Fancy Feast a bit at a time, and despite how annoyed our own cats are, we’re doing our best to spend time with him (I’m writing this on my netbook with him sleeping next to me) so he can have that attention he wants and so he can stretch. He’s only leaving here to go to 1) his own home if he turns out to be lost, but that’s not looking likely or 2) to a safe and loving foster home. Once the foster home in question is official, SNKI will officially accept him into their foster program and cover vet bills and other expenses, make sure he’s neutered, and help him find a forever home. No more going hungry for Kama!!!

New Temporary Houseguest!

Our story so far, with pics to come once she has a chance to settle in:

Friday night, just after dark, I was on my way to the grocery store to pick up some stuff for supper – Jackie had a job interview earlier that day that she felt went very well, and she was tired, and we thought we’d have a bit of a treat to celebrate.

In the middle of a large Canadian Tire parking lot bracketed by two of the busiest streets in the city, I spotted a cat trotting across the pavement, ducking under cars and avoiding people. The people were ignoring her. Being me, I couldn’t. I called Jackie to grab our small cat carrier and some treats and come help me. For over an hour we tried to get her. She was friendly enough to let me get very close if I was sitting down and tossing treats to her (man, she LOVES Temptations treats!). Unfortunately, she was halfway under a guy’s car, and he wanted to go, and while he was willing to wait a few minutes, time was ticking. I made a grab for her… and I missed. Skinned myself up a bit on the pavement, but mostly, was furious at myself for losing her. I couldn’t get close to her again that evening.

However, while we were chasing her, we met Natalie, who works at Canadian Tire, and who told us that she’s been seen around there for at least three weeks or so, living out of garbage cans, and sleeping in the garden centre tent overnight. We left her a can of Friskies under the corner of the garden centre fence, and I went home to worry about her.

Saturday, around dusk, I took a larger carrier that would be easier to get her into and went looking for her. This time I met Marisa, who was out with her dad who was waiting patiently while she tried to coax our girl out from under the garden centre fence. She was having none of that, but we made sure she got a good meal from the wet and dry food and treats I’d brought with me, and then we watched her disappear into the tent. (And, incidentally, someone walked off with my carrier while I was busy… thanks HEAPS, whoever that was…)

Sunday, I dropped by the garden centre and met Natalie all over again, and discovered that the tent will be disappearing after next weekend, leaving no shelter. Natalie suggested that if I could track down a live trap, she could set it up when she closed, and that she’d be the one opening the next day. This led to me scrambling madly to find a way to do this. Now, phones scare the crap out of me, ever since the bad emotional crash that put me on disability. Nonetheless, I ended up calling my friend Joanne who is involved with SNKI, and she passed on my number to the right person in SNKI. In no time, Kendra met me at the garden centre and we talked to Natalie and got everything arranged.

Every instinct wanted me to go bring her more food Sunday night, but then she wouldn’t have gone in the trap. So it was a very long night, without a lot of sleep, worrying whether she’d go in the trap or not and how scared she might be – but better scared for one night than living out there!

Unsurprisingly, because there are NEVER enough foster homes (foster if you can, please!!! it’s wonderful with the right organization, and saves lives!!!), SNKI has no openings for her. I can’t keep her long-term, not only can we not afford it but with Cory’s health issues it’s probably a bad idea. Unless we can find her a foster-home or a forever home, I’m eventually going to have to take her to the Humane Society, where she has at best a one-third chance of never coming out. I’m going to be looking for options other than that, and so are other people who care about this poor baby.

Sunday night, Jackie and I set up a large dog cage/kennel for her that I’ve used previously: she has a small litter box, a kitty hammock, soft blankets in the bottom, and a heavily-catnipped prysma-mousie to take energies out on. There are blankets over it, down to a few inches from the ground except one open end, to give her some privacy. Clean fresh water in a fairly large ceramic bowl that won’t tip went in at the last minute, along with kibble.

Monday morning, off I went to the garden centre when they opened – a few minutes before, actually. Tired and with my anxiety running high, I seriously didn’t know what I was going to do if she didn’t go in the trap overnight. (There’s sadly a reason why I can’t do rescue consistently these days – the whole anxiety/depression combo would send me into another all-out collapse in no time. *sigh*) I ran into Marisa in the parking lot, and Natalie was already there. And… so was our little grey girl.

Marisa helped me carry her back to our building, which isn’t far away, and Jackie met us at the door.

And now, after who knows how long living in a parking lot by herself, with temperatures dropping, and eating what she could scrounge from garbage and what kind people irregularly left out for her… she’s safe and sound.

From here, I don’t know what happens. Her cage is in a room alone – yes, I suppose I could let her out of the cage, but then if I need to catch her, there’s the question of how to get her out from under furniture, and realistically, I don’t know what she might have picked up out there. We can keep her for a few days, at least, long enough to get past Thanksgiving weekend and see if we can find somewhere more long-term for her to go.

Meanwhile, one more lost soul who was let down by humans is safe and has a future.

Pictures to come soon! But she’s a very pretty little fine-boned grey long-hair, no white or stripes that I can see. The narrow face and the build are making me think female, but I could be wrong. Surprisingly friendly, after what she’s been through. Given a vet check-up and a bit of patience, she’s going to be a wonderful companion for someone who’s willing to love her for life.

Added a bit later: I went in to gather some laundry, and planned to give her some treats. She was close enough for me to reach through the bars and rub along her jaw; she didn’t respond, but she didn’t move away, so I kept going for a minute. When I pulled my hand back to get some treats for her, she watched… and when I reached back in, she ignored the treats and clearly wanted my hand itself. When I started petting her again, she leaned into it and kept leaning, this side of her jaw and now that side and now under her throat and now her ear. No purr, but every time I pulled back to see if she’d had enough, to let her choose, she moved towards my hand again – not initiating contact, but asking for it. She finally stepped back a bit and I gave her the treats and let her be. How long has it been since anyone has touched that poor baby gently with love?