The Long Goodbye

A year and a half ago, I trapped, neutered and released three feral cats. Their full story is in Chapter 6 (see post below).

I'm sad to say that it's been 3 months since I last saw one of the ferals: Madison. I thought she, of all of the ferals, had the best chance to become socialized. Perhaps it was her good nature that helped her find a true home with one of my neighbors, but I find it unlikely. I think Madison died—possibly killed by a wild animal or a car strike. She was only two years old.

Madison and Bronte.jpg

She was a sweet cat. I could tell from the first day. Even though she was feral, she liked to play with toys and the fact that she would allow me to pet her was a gift of her trust. I saw her every day for more than a year. When she stopped coming by I didn't worry right away since the weather was warm and she could hunt for food, if needed. I never stopped putting out food, even though many times I found it uneaten. I began to worry that not only did Madison die, but her Mother, Bronte and our rascally neighborhood stud (well, not a stud any more!) Buddy, too. They just disappeared.

After the first month absence, I began to see Bronte and Buddy once in awhile. I saw a new cat, too, a mangy red male with an ear deformed from fighting. Did he scare Madison off? But then even he was only seen for a week or so, then vanished, too. All that was left was Bronte and Buddy.

I call Madison's name every morning when I put out the food, hoping she'll return to me, but every afternoon when I check it, I often find the bowl untouched. It breaks my heart, but I knew that this was the best I could do for them. This was what I could offer because I don't have the facility to foster cats for long periods, when I could be helping 50 or more kittens in the same span of time.

They never deserved to live like this in the first place. All we rescuers seem to do is try to make up for the cruel acts of other people. Some times we have success and other times, it's like today-our hearts sink and our knees feel weak, imagining what has come to pass. It's tough to keep facing this ugliness, but we must, for their sake, and for the hope that one day, we won't have to do this any more. That all cats will have good, loving, responsible owners and that all of us that do rescue can focus on other things to help this world be a better place.

Ch. 6 My Three Ferals

"There's a cat outside!" Sam shouted from the living room.


"Over there, on the hill by the big rock. See it? Is it a tabby?"

I leaned over and looked where Sam was pointing.

"Yes, but what's a cat doing outside in the snow? It's bloody cold outside. Who would let their cat out in this nastiness?"

Sam just looked at me and shrugged.

Sure enough there was a small tabby weaving her way between the boulders in my front yard, not seeming to care about walking on the snow. She looked well enough, but I had to wonder if she was a feral.

Day 11. Super Cuties!

Day 11. Massive Cute Attack

Poppy (left) and Sweet William (right)

The Sweetest Moment

Just 9 days old. Eyes still closed. Little Poppy lets me grab a photo before placing her back into her Mother's watchful care.

Sleepytime World

Please Send Good Vibes to Our Friend

Spotlight, is a 10 year old, FIV positive kitty. His owner, Kristen, is having a lot of trouble helping Spotlight to overcome high fevers and potential pancreatitis flare ups. Spotlight is in the hospital as I write this.

I'd be very glad to know you're all sending him your best wishes for his speedy recovery.

Spotilght sleeping on chair.jpg

Kristen needs some love, too, so let's post some comments to cheer her up!

Spotlight, please get better! We're all rooting for you!

Update: 8.10.08: Spotlight came home tonight and is doing somewhat better. Keep your fingers and toes crossed for this sweet boy! More updates, as they come in.

As Promised. Our New Arrivals

Meet Rose and her little babies. Born 8.1.08. One boy and one girl.

Any suggestions on names???

Our newest arrivals.jpg

taken with my iPhone


It's been four months. The height of Kitten Season came and went without me helping even one kitten find a new home. It was important for me to look after Bob and to make sure to reduce any risks to his health, until he was, at least, stable.

Bob's been doing fairly well. He still vomits, but it's rare and I've only had to medicate him once in two months and NO Vet visits in all that time! Thank goodness. Bob's coat, appetite and demeanor have improved. He seems youthful, in some ways. I actually got him to RUN after a toy just yesterday!

Bob's also integrated himself in with my cats in ways I could not have hoped for. I keep finding him snuggled up with Nora or her brother, Nicky. I think Bob would sleep with all of the cats if they'd only allow it!


In a week, it will be two years since my Mother died and Bob came to live here. I was going to find a good home for him, as the idea of having seven cats was not something I wanted to entertain. Now, I can't imagine him being anywhere else. He is a charming cat with a bubbly personality. He has the goofiest purr and his motor runs most of the time!

This morning I have to prepare the foster room for new arrivals! At 2pm a young tuxedo Mom-cat and her two newborn kittens will be joining us. The kittens were born last Friday, August 1, 2008. They'll need names, so I'll post photos of them and we can have a little contest. It'll be good to have new life here and good timing for it to happen. They will keep my blues at bay. This is a difficult time of year for me and fostering kittens is like opening the blinds to let the sunshine fill the room.

More soon!

Breakfast of Horror

I woke up this morning, early. I have a client meeting to get ready for. I showered, dressed, slapped on maked-up, then made my way downstairs to prepare the morning meal for my cats.

I grabbed a few cans of cat food and blended them together, then microwaved the mush to add a nice, appetizing aroma to their breakfast. I divided up the bowl of food onto smaller plates, then began serving them. I feed the cats in order and they each have their own place to eat. This keeps everyone calm and avoids fights. As long as I'm consistent, they follow suit.

I begin with Spencer and Bob because they'll trip me if I don't feed them first. Nicky gives me a froggy-meow as I place the food before him and his baby-seal-like 22 lb sister, Nora. Just another morning in the woods. Just another day. No big deal.

The next two to be fed are Gracie and her daughter, Petunia. I began to place their food down when I noticed something wrong. Before I could utter a scream, I realized there was a dead field mouse next to Gracie's plate. Resigned to the fact that my cats are going to do this from time to time, I simply put Gracie's food down, fed the remaining cat, Cricket, then picked up my camera. How Gracie can be so blase about eating breakfast next to a dead mouse is beyond my understanding. I felt badly for the poor mouse, laying there so still, as though he was a discarded leftover, to be ignored and unimportant forever more.

The little mouse is now in the lap of my Buddha garden statue, out in the front yard where his remains may benefit other beings who need him to live. Meanwhile, Gracie is going to get de-wormed!

On today's menu...or next to it on the floor

So, where was I?

Geez, time flies. Seems like just yesterday I was complaining about hunting down cat urine markings and now look it's almost August! Yeah, call me a slacker, but I have a good excuse for not posting over these past few weeks. No. It wasn't Bob. Bob is doing well. He's basically stable and if he vomits, I have fairly reliable ways to manage the problem until it subsides. Bob's due for some updated tests, but it's been almost 6 weeks without a Vet visit, so why look for trouble?

So what was Bob's final diagnosis? Who knows. All I know is I'm out $6800.00!

My life with cats has been on the back burner. I've been at my Mother's house every day for the past month, cleaning it out, preparing and having an Estate (bomb!) sale and then doing the final clean out before the new owners move in. In this lousy housing market, Mum's house sold in a few DAYS. The owner's wanted to take possession quickly, so I had to move fast to make their deadline.

Of course, where is my brother? He is suppose to help me? No. He is busy, as usual. Now he is on vacation in Australia. Before that he was in San Francisco, Chicago, Paris, India! Uh huh. Thanks brother. I could have and did do it without you. Who cares that the temps were in the 90's, humid, no A/C and the mold, dust and mildew I snorted was enough to shorten my life span.


I'm lucky I have some very good friends. They pitched in, coming to help after they got out of work each evening, schlepping over folding tables and helping me price about 50 Hallmark Holiday Ornaments, which, did not sell! My good friends even bought me dinner or took a day off to be there with me during the hours of the Estate Sale. That, my friend, IS a good friend. So thank you to them and they know who they are!

I haven't been able to resume fostering kittens. It's been four months without the sound of romping, under 10 pound cat sounds. I miss it. Now that the house is sold and I'm in the final stretch of getting the Estate through Probate, I can make the call to Monica, to get me some nice little furballs and get back in the game.

Sadly, I hear that adoptions are DOWN. A factor of the economy, no doubt. The kittens we have gotten in have been more skittish than normal. It's been a bad year for our rescue group and I'm sure the same can be said for many other groups, as well. Com'on folks! Get out there and adopt a homeless cat!

Okay, I'm gonna dig up some crap to talk about. In the meantime, hey, you guys can post things here, too ya know! I'm just sayin'...

Living in a Urine-nation

I wonder when my life changed from living in relaxed, clean, dry surroundings, to a wild state of prowling and searching for pee strikes, cat marking, whiz on walls. I think my mistake was to volunteer with a rescue group that had/has? some of the longest placement records in history. It takes them soooo long to place an animal, that most fosters just give up and adopt their foster cat or dog. Does this make sense? No. Me neither. That's why I don't volunteer with them any more.

I also have to blame myself, again, because I won't re-home Petunia. The Animal Communicator told me Petunia admitted to being the phantom-peer (mostly, not exclusively). She also said that Petunia would prefer to live on her own and be the only cat in the home. I agree. The problem is, Petunia is 5 and Petunia's mother, Gracie is here, too. Do I have to adopt them both out together? I like Gracie. I like Petunia, too, but it's tough to like a cat who has single-tractly ruined so much of my house.

There I was, with a black light in one hand and a bottle of Zero Odor in the other. Aside from the fact that I was terribly alarmed by the suddenly visible bacterial stains on my microwave door and on my countertop, I was flat out sad to see how many urine markings were on places I thought I had been keeping an eye on. They were not visible in daylight and there was no smell. No, really!

I found about six big locations and got them cleaned up. I was too distressed to even look upstairs. What will I find? Whiz oh my art deco dresser? Or worse in my nice, what-I-thought-was-clean-bathroom?

Why? Why? Why must they do this? I've tried Feliway everywhere. I love those SSScat things, but they are troublesome if you walk in the location where they are aimed. Why can't they just all get along. Bob has been here for almost two years now, so there are no changes to the household and I had to stop fostering while Bob was sick, so it's been quiet for months.

So can I please have a break from this now? Sometimes I just want to light a match and walk away from all of this, but I know I would be sad and I'd miss my cool lamps, at least. Ugh. I can't wait 10 or more years until they all get too old to do anything other than nap.

What should I do? What if I find Petunia a good home and it keeps going on? I would feel like I failed her if I let her go, but part of me feels sure she would be so happy to get lots of attention. She IS a friendly, playful cat. She even chats with me and does a few tricks.

I don't count peeing on the back door a trick.

So how are all of you doing? Keep me posted. Hope you're all doing well, not getting flooded out or fighting fires in your yard or sweltering in the heat. Me? I have A/C, a black light, paper towels and a dream. I guess I'll just head back out with the black and and finish my mission.


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