Thursday, November 20, 2014

Our New Kitten

This little sweetie came to us last month from a shelter a couple of hours away. She and her siblings were in need of special care as they all had ringworm. All 3 found homes, and we feel lucky to have her here. We have dealt with this condition before and she cleared up nicely.

We named her Dash, since that seems to be her favorite activity. From one end of the room to the other, she loves to exercise her growing body and hardly sits still.

Luckily, once she was clear, she and Sheba became instant friends, something they both needed.

Sheba, though just a kitten herself at 8 months, has adopted Dash and mothers her endlessly. Dash loves it, too, since she left her mother and siblings and might have become lonely.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Kitty has a name!

UPDATE: Our new kitty now has a name! She will be called Sheba. As a family member pointed out, she certainly thinks she's the queen of something, and Sheba came to mind first.

Check out my article on naming pets and you'll see why we felt it was important to select a name suggested by a member of the family. When everyone at home has a stake in the pet's presence, it helps to ensure they are all on board with proper care and consideration. Seriously, this cat is going to need extra patience and effort to help her become a part of this household.

Sheba is still very nervous about the other cats and has to be isolated when I can't be with her to supervise. She wears a harness during the day with a leash so I can hold her back when she tries to attack another cat. For now, she sits calmly by my chair at the computer and has accepted the leash. The other cats walk a wide berth around her, she growls, I give a little tug on the leash, and she settles down. She'll get used to everyone soon, but patience rules!

 She may be adopted but will need to be the only pet if people are not willing to work on helping her to relax and be calm. She does just fine when there are no other cats in the room. Her attitude may change after she's been spayed, too. For now, though, Sheba is a "work in progress" and we love her.

Sept. 3 - What a difference a day makes! Or two. Sheba no longer needs her harness or the leash. She's quite at home and has accepted the 3 cats living in "her" room....the family room, where the computer is. She sits on my desk and helps write emails and stories. And when that gets boring, she zooms from one end of the room to the other....and back......and does swirls and tumbles along the way. She seems to be letting it all hang out now that she can relax and trust.

Next step, but not too soon, will be to meet the 12 cats that live upstairs! I think she can handle it. Do you? Leave a comment...thanks!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I need your help again....Name This Cat...

I need some suggestions for a name for this sweet little girl in the comments below.
new calico cat

This beautiful half-grown kitten magically appeared on our property over the weekend and needs a name. Yes, she needs everything else, too. Food, water, shelter, safety, and spayed! Living in the country is wonderful, but one drawback is the heartless abandonment of animals by people who think their unwanted ones will find love and a great future on some farm. All they have to do is drop them off and all will be well.

The reality is that many never make it. I have no idea how long this one was hiding in our shed, or if there are more in there who may be dead by now because they were too frightened to "speak up." One year, I found 18 kittens in my yard, left the night before, and though I gathered them all up, I found the 19th one the following a skeleton. It had crawled into a box and kept quiet. Never saw that one... No one owned up to the dump-off.

If people can't keep their animals, or "excess kittens" as they are called around here, they can easily take care of the problem. It's called spay and neuter. At the very least, take them to a shelter and explain the situation. Just don't abandon them indiscriminately in an area you think will be "nice."

Even if you know it would be, it's extremely presumptuous to dump an animal on someone else because you think they can afford it. If they want a new pet, it's up to them to decide when and where to get one.

So here are some names I found on several cat-naming websites. "Vote" for one, or send me your ideas. There is no deadline, but please, I don't want to keep calling her "the new cat" for too long. She'll get used to it! (Or I will...)

alyssa   cleo   cookie   gracie    jazzy    tink    zsa zsa
bacardi    barley    calypso     gadget    half pint
kabuki    ladybug    niblet    paisley    taffy  skittles
veta    vita    waffles    zephyr    pepsi    sparkle
bubbles    gabby    vanna    autumn    luna   patch
patches    pepper    picasso    speckles    motley

(Highlighted names seem to be the most popular for now. Thanks to everyone who has sent me their comments.)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Loveable cat provides round-the-clock care for old dog

[The following story was posted on April 30, when we all knew Buck's time was running out. We just didn't know when it would happen and wanted to give him as much happy time as possible. Well, the hourglass emptied on June 27, when Buck had to be taken to the vet because he could hardly breathe. He had developed a heart valve collapse and couldn't breathe fast enough while his heart was unable to pump oxygen to the brain. Too old for major surgery, it was clearly time to say good bye. He was happy to the very last moment and seemed grateful to "fall asleep" while we held onto him and spoke softly. RIP, Buck.]

Our cat, TG, short for Tripod Girl because she has three legs, is devoted to our old dog, Buck. He is about 11 now, but could easily be a year or two older than that. He was rescued from a wilderness area in 2009 in pretty bad shape. With no information on his situation, we'll never know his true age or how he ended up out there.

However, veterinary examination revealed that he was a senior, no doubt about that with badly worn teeth and a graying muzzle, and had been abused for an extended period, as seen by the horrific injuries I'm not going to mention. He also was much too thin, had tick fever, covered with hundreds of them when found, and had a variety of less severe maladies, including ear problems.

Most dogs rescued in such poor condition are immediately euthanized. But for some reason, Buck was spared. Perhaps it was his winning smile, which is what drew me to him when I saw a photo on the Internet. I contacted the rescue who had him and inquired about his status. He was scheduled to be put down that day. But I had fallen in love with him already and asked if I could give him a chance.

Happily, they agreed and thus began his road to recovery. He was kept in veterinary care for a couple of months for treatment and recovery and when strong enough, was neutered and vaccinated. Even so, by the time we all were able to work out a transport to get him to me, he weighed 42 pounds and had a few more weeks of antibiotics to finish.

Despite his years of suffering, or because of it, he was very happy to be taken into a loving home. He's been here more than four years now and is close to his normal weight - 75 pounds. He's very furry and looks bigger than he really is, so some people think he's overweight. Our vet says no.

Meanwhile, TG has taken him under her wings, er, paws, and caters to him all day and sleeps with him all night. She grooms him for hours at a time, and then cuddles against him or relaxes nearby to keep an eye on him.

One would think Buck might appreciate this attention, but he never acknowledges her attention or presence.

TG herself is a victim of severe abuse, so perhaps she just understands Buck better than anyone else. She was caught in a steel jaw trap in 2005 and when I rescued her, she had to have a shredded front leg amputated to save her life.

It didn't take very long to recover from the injury, the surgery and the trauma, physically, but it took several years for her to let go of the emotional damage and allow us to show affection. We just didn't push it and allowed her to come around when she was ready for closeness.

Never push a cat to behave a certain way just to please yourself. They will respond when they are ready and you can help them become ready by proving you are not going to force them to do anything they don't want. Once she had watched us long enough to really know we were not a threat, she opened up and became a new cat! She is playful and happy, and now she has a job, too. She is Buck's end-of-life caregiver. I believe she knows he's not far from the end of his time on earth and feels compelled to comfort him, even though he hasn't shown any awareness of her devotion. This is true love, to care for someone without expectation of attention in return or in kind. I hope she doesn't get depressed when his time has run out. But we will be there for her, as she is for Buck now.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Holly is 25! Welcome to the Birthday Party!

Holly is 25!
 So here it is, March, the month Holly was rescued, at the age of 15. Now, ten years later, she is still with us, still healthy, still eating, and still loving everyone. There are a few things she doesn't do much anymore, though: She doesn't groom herself, she doesn't play, and she tries to refuse the occasional baths she dislikes. That's one argument we can't let her win.

 We have decided to use the whole month of March to honor her birthday, especially since we don't know exactly what day she was born.

 Below are some things to do at her "party" all month.

1. Let's get started with games to play to get into a festive mood!

2. To see more pictures of her, visit  Holly's Album.

3.  And here is a link to "mom's" free  Petfood Report.

4. Mom's book page. Holly says, "I've already read all of mom's books, so get one for yourself or a friend. I'm even in one of them! All proceeds are used to buy my favorite cat food and to take care of any vet bills, too. There are other cats here, and they still need to eat and go to the vet also."

5. If you aren't getting the Kitty Times newsletter yet, just sign up for it at the top of this page, on the right.

6. If you would like to help without buying anything and just want to send a small amount to keep all of us in kibble, you can visit the Help page, at the very bottom when you get there.

7. And finally, here are some personalized items you can get from a favorite site of mine,! The profits are tiny, but if they add up, it helps us get more kitty food and other things all the kitties need. Thanks for visiting Holly this month!

create & buy custom products at Zazzle