Tag Archives: cats

3/1/15 Feral Cat Sanctuary!

I’ve been writing about the predominance of feral cats around our house this winter. In seasons past, we’ve seen a “swamp kitty” or two roaming about, but this winter is exceptionally harsh and we have about 5 or 6 (depending on the orange one) “regulars” in the woods next to the house. The cats crawl under the fence and sun themselves in my yard.

Our house is the last house on a dead-end street. To the left is a wetland, and in the Spring we have geese. So the geography is “retention pond/wetland/woods” and then our yard. We actually have a large side yard that is not fenced in and the woods border up on our property.

I’m telling you all of this so that you know where Mom put the Feral Cat Sanctuary. We’ve all been worried (yes, even me) about the cats since it has been such bitterly cold weather. Paws2Smile (http://www.paws2smile.wordpress.com) had a great suggestion that we build some sort of feral cat house. Mom remembered that Erik had a large crate in the basement, and thought that would make a good sanctuary for the cats. She spoke to her friend Lisa, and Lisa (being a cat expert) told Mom not to put blankets in the crate because if the cats got wet, they could freeze to the blankets. Lisa told Mom to get clean hay that the cats could burrow in, instead. That sounded reasonable to Mom.

So, Mom enlisted Dad and Jamie to hunt down a bale of hay. She enlisted Erik to bring up the crate from the basement. I sniffed it curiously but slunk away at the sight of, well, a crate.

Erik brought up the crate and took the door off. Mom said she didn’t want someone who was cruel to animals to trap the cats inside and starve them. Then Mom cleaned the crate and sprayed it with disinfectant.

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Mom wrote on the top of the crate in big letters so that no one would mess around with it:

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Then Mom and Erik went outside and filled the crate with the fresh hay that Dad and Jamie had delivered on the doorstep (I watched from the dining room window):

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Finally, since Mom had boots and Erik just had shoes, she dragged the crate to the spot that is in the woods, but still on our property. She added a tin full of dry cat food (with vitamins and minerals). This cat sanctuary is close enough to our fence that Mom can monitor it from the back door window:

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Mom trekked through 10 inches of snow to put out the Feral Cat Sanctuary. She said she hopes that, with it being technically on our property, no one will dispose of it or vandalize it.

Now I can watch the kitties, too! And since they have a place of their own, they can stay out of MY yard. It’s a win-win situation!

Woof! Love, Maggie

2/26/15 I Wonder if the Cats Are OK

I had the best day.

Mom was home nearly all day. She only went out for a short period of time, so I spent the day sleeping on the human bed, on my chair, on my blanket, in short, around the whole house, without fear of “the crate”. (I do have to be crated when left alone due to extreme anxiety).

Mom and I also played a fierce game of tug-o-war, and I got lots of loving today. Mom says this is going to become the norm since she is leaving her job at the liberry. She is going to stay home and write and love me. I am so happy! I have come very far from the cage at the shelter.

The day started out with the much-missed sun shining. I slept on the bed in the sunshine and just basked. Mom rubbed my belly and told me I was a good girl. Then she wandered downstairs and eventually cleaned the house. I supervised, but did not try to chase Vacuum Cleaner today.

I was on the alert for the feral cats. They showed up, sunning themselves in a corner of the yard that isn’t packed with snow. However, they are clever. Because to get to the spot they chose, one would have to plow through a lot of snow. So they are smart!

I was shocked when Mom took them out a plate of food. At first, the cats just watched her. But she slipped and the sudden movement made them disperse. Mom left the food in the corner and told me that, under no circumstances, am I to go out and bother the kitties. Hmph! I stood guard against these creatures by the window, and slowly they slinked back to get some chow:

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There are two black cats, two black-and-whites, and a huge, fluffy, grey tabby. The cats just seem to look at me except the grey, who fluffed himself up as big as possible and ran for it. The others don’t move regardless of how much I bark through the window.

By evening, it started snowing again. Mom took me out back and was pleased when she tugged at my collar and I obeyed her. I would have run off by the woods to check for the cats, but I didn’t. “Hurry, up, go potty!” Mom said, the cold flakes snaking down the back of her neck and making her shiver. I shivered too, and hurried up. I was grateful for the warmth of the well-lit kitchen when we were done.

Now I am back home, and getting ready to sleep on my chair. But in the back of my mind I am thinking of the cats, and wondering if they are OK out in the snow.

Woof! Love, Maggie

2/23/15 The First Wave (of Cats!)

I’m lying on Mom and Dad’s human bed when I suddenly sit up. My Pittie sense is tingling!

I look out the window and what do I see? The first wave of feral cats, sitting in MY yard, watching their friend tracking a bird or mouse or whatever!!!

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Mom and Jamie coaxed me off the bed and gave me a treat. Because I was really mean-mugging those cats! Although they couldn’t see me. I was on the second floor. Still!

I got the treat and padded around to the front of the house to look out the dining room window. Who do I see, sitting in FRONT of MY house, blithely staring back at me while I bark my head off:

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Uh-huh! Sending spies – the second wave – to see if Mom is actually going to produce some tuna fish, no doubt!!!

I blocked the door.

Woof! Love, Maggie

2/6/15 Update from Vet’s Visit

Yesterday, Mom and Jamie took me in the late afternoon to see my favorite Vet, Dr. Craig, over at Oak Forest Animal Clinic.

I LOVE going to the Vet! There are always new dogs to see, cats in carriers, many interesting smells, and lots of friendly humans.

One pretty dog that was there – I’ll call her Gingie – had a sad look on her face because she twisted her knee and tore something. Another very hairy dog, I think it was an Afghan, was there for a checkup.  A feisty Chihuahua came in to be boarded over the weekend, and when they went to take him in back, he put out his legs and put on the brakes just like I do when Mom tries to put me in the crate. It was an enjoyable experience to see fellow animals.

I waited my turn and even “sat” between Mom and Jamie. When it was my turn to be called, we went into the little examining room. I found a tuft of hair on the floor (probably from the Afghan) and started to eat it. Mom had a horrified expression on her face! She reached down and wiped the hair out of my mouth and said, “Yucky! Don’t eat that!” Sometimes I like to do stuff like that to Mom, just to keep her on her game.

Mom hoisted me onto the table when the Doctor walked in with his assistant. I immediately recognized him and went wild with joy. While he evaluated the bumps on my back, I tried to crane my neck around to kiss him. Eventually, he relented and let me lick his whole face and hands. Dr. Craig says that I am the happiest dog he ever saw.

Dr. Craig found some scabs mixed in with the bumps. These are from the thorn thicket that I ran through. So, since I have a mild skin infection from that adventure, he prescribed me some antibiotics and told Mom and Jamie to continue to bathe me with the Phyto-Vet shampoo. Then he poured some tickly stuff in my ears because he said they were “a little waxy” and he prescribed this ear wash for me, as well. So I have weekly baths and ear washes to look forward to (not), although I didn’t mind at all when Dr. Craig massaged my ears.

Dr. Craig then gave me a quick checkup and I scored very high. My teeth are good, and heart, muscles, eyes, and everything check out OK. Dr. Craig shook Mom’s hand and then Jamie hustled me out to Zeus while Mom paid the nice lady at the office and got my prescriptions.

Oh, the ride to and from the Vet’s office was uneventful since Mom had coated a motion sickness pill with peanut butter (yum!) and given it to me an hour before we traveled. My stomach is VERY touchy.

So, with nothing seriously wrong and a few baths in my future, I thought I’d post my after-Vet pic:comehither

I feel good! Have a great Saturday!

Woof! Love, Maggie

1/24/15 Big Toy

Mom and Jamie went out and bought me a Big Toy. It’s a very large tennis ball on a tough, knotted rope. I am loving it and having a fun time!

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We got up to the 40’s the last couple of days, and most of the snow melted. Then it froze, so now the backyard has a thick coating of ice in spots.

I could hear a cat in the woods meowing her head off. I’ve seen her around lately. She’s a feral cat, and we think she is in heat. Mom throws chicken scraps out for the cats. I get jealous of that.

Anyway, I could hear her before the humans heard her, so I pretended like I had to use the bathroom. Once they opened the back door, I ran out through the sweet spot in the fence and into the woods to give chase to the cat.

Jamie jammed his shoes on his feet and tried to catch me, but the ice in the yard confounded him. He was persistent though, and found me on the other side of the swamp. Foiled again!

Mom was angry, and told me to lie down. She says that in the spring, they are going to reinforce the fence.

I am going to lie down for a while and then try to coax Mom with the Big Toy and a friendly game of tug-o-war.

Woof! Love, Maggie

PS – I think I frightened off the cat.