Sunday, November 24, 2013

Out of the Weather

And no, they are NOT in my house!

The weather has sure turned freakin' cold these last couple of days.  It has gotten absolutely frigid out there.

These two month old kittens and their mama have been on my porch.  Mama has been with me for over a year and this is her second litter.  My kitten Lily, is from her first litter.

With the weather changing, I have been worried about these babies.  I thought Adrienne, the mama, would be ok.  She's lived through winters before on my porch.  But these little ones . . . yeah, I'm getting soft in my old age.

We know I am a foster failure.  That's how I got Maggie and that's how I got Lily.  Once they come in my house, it's almost impossible to let them go.  But, I didn't want anything happening to these helpless babies out there.

So, I found someone to foster all three of them!  I set traps on my front porch where I feed them.  Last night, Saturday night, I caught Adrienne.  The kittens were no where to be seen though.  I sent Adrienne to the foster home and put the traps back on the porch.

I was so worried about the kittens getting caught during the night and then sitting in a cold metal cage all night long in that cold.  I was up half of the night, going out checking if the traps have been sprung!  Ok, now that I'm typing this, I probably should have just turned the traps so I could see them from the window!  Duh.  Hindsight and all of that.

Anyway, the big trap kept getting sprung but with nothing in it.  I don't know if the high winds last night kept setting it off or what.  Early this morning though, I finally caught one kitten.  The litter mate stayed by the caught sibling.  I tried to catch her with a net but she was too smart for that.

I took the trap upstairs into my bathroom, took my big cat carrier, put a nice towel in the bottom of it and transferred the kitten from the trap to the carrier.  I took the trap right back outside and with the kitten watching me, I put the food back in it, set the door and covered the trap with a towel.  Believe it or not, in about 20 minutes, I had caught the second kitten!  Back upstairs, transferred her to the carrier with her brother and at least they were warm and out of the weather.

I took them to the foster mom who already had Adrienne.  She gave them a quick look over and then took them to the vet.

The little brown one on the left is a girl, Alice, who is 1 lb 9 oz.  The little gray striped one on the right is a little boy, Alfonzo, and he is 1 lb 15 oz.  They both have colds and are on antibiotics and eye ointment.  No surprises there.  The foster mom will get them healthy, work with them so that they get used to people and are hand tame.  Once they are healthy and over 2 lbs, they can go be spayed and neutered and then put up for adoption.

Adrienne hopefully will get spayed this coming week.  Once she recovers, she will be evaluated.  She has always been wild and has never even let me get near her.  The foster mom will work with her and see if she can get her hand tamed.  She can work miracles with cats, so I am hoping!  If she can be hand tamed, she can be sent for adoption.  If not . . . Adrienne will be re-released back on my porch.  At least if she's released, she will be spayed and not producing any more litters.  If she's brought back, I will continue to put food out there for her and will make a shelter out there for her.

For now, the kitties are all out of the weather and hopefully on to better lives.

I leave you with two really good and really important announcements.

1.)  If you have outside pets, please make sure they have adequate shelter in this weather or bring them inside! 

2.)  Please spay or neuter your pet.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Deer vs Car? Who Wins?

Like is full of peaks and valleys.  You have to experience the bad so that you can appreciate the good.  Right now I seem to be in the valley, taking a few hits from life.  Literally.

I was coming home Friday night around 6:30 in the evening.  As you all know, it's freakin' dark by then.  I was on North Ridge Road in Amherst heading towards Oberlin Avenue from Leavitt. 

I've been on that road before, probably quite a few times but rarely in the dark.  I'm a little familiar with that road but not in the dark.  As I was heading towards Oberlin Avenue, a car coming at me was blinking their high beams at me.  That tells me that something is up ahead to watch out for, usually a police car watching for speeders.

I'm not a speeder.  I had one speeding ticket in my life and that was an expensive lesson to never do that again.  Plus, with my phobias, I hate being in the car anyway. I'm trying to get from point A to point B alive so speeding is not usually something I am willing to do.  So, I saw the flashing high beams and thought fine, I'm not speeding, I don't care.  Well, I guess they were warning us about something but it wasn't the police.

Suddenly, BAM!  There was a deer hitting into my car by my driver's window.  She ROCKED my car and scared the crap out of me.  I slammed on my brakes and came to a stop in the middle of North Ridge Road.  I was frozen, I had no idea what to do.  I never saw her coming until she was right at my window.  I never saw her.

The car that was directly behind me came slowly up next to me, then turned right in front of me into a driveway.  I thought OH!  That was a good idea, so I pulled into this driveway next to him to get out of traffic.  The rest of the drivers proceeded through slowly.

The guy that stopped was named Randy and I definitely owe him big time.  I don't do well in stressful situations and I was shaking, my heart was pounding in my chest and I was in a panic.  He came right up to me, put an arm around my shoulder and just talked to me.  He made sure I was ok (I was) then just held my hand until I could get my breath back and get my thoughts together. 

Randy checked out my car for me to assess the damage.  The driver's side mirror is broken.  It's sort of attached to the car but not by much.   From there the deer went forward and crashed into the fender that goes from the driver's door to the front bumper.  Originally, the fender was up against my tire.  Randy was nice enough to pull that out by hand so that at least my car is still drivable.

In the dark, he checked out my car the best he could.  He looked for blood from the deer and thank goodness there wasn't any.  Randy told me that he saw the doe get up from the street and run back to the left between some houses.

Randy also told me that you have to report an accident with a deer to the police.  Who knew?!  I didn't consider this an "emergency" since I thought I was ok and the car, thanks to Randy, was drivable.  I called 911 assuming they would send Amherst police to take a report.  For some reason, the State Police were called for this accident.

Randy offered to stay until the police got there but I didn't know how long that was going to take.  Why should both of our Friday nights be ruined!  Besides, it was getting colder and he had gone above and beyond for me already.   He did give me his name and number in case the police or insurance company needed it and he went on his way.

After the report was taken, one of the officers did go across the street with a flashlight to see if the deer collapsed behind the houses where it was last seen.  He found no deer, so I am hoping that she is fine.

Just what I needed.  Here's a $500 deductible down the drain.  And that didn't help my car phobia any.  On the plus side, there are still genuinely good people out there.  A huge thank you to a perfect stranger, Randy, who stopped in my time of need and just acted like a human being.  Thank you for holding my hand, thank you for putting my mind at ease that my car was drivable, thank you for just making sure I was ok.

Phil was nice enough to come outside with a camera when I got home Friday to document my new owie.  This is after he pulled that fender away from the tire.  This doesn't look so bad.   This was the first deer I ever hit and hopefully it will be the last.

It's only a car.  I hope the deer is ok.

And Then There Were Four

From the right, there is my Benny and then Ava.  The little gray one is Maggie and her mom Blondie.  Last on the left is my latest rescue, Lily.

I had Benny and Ava and then I rescued Blondie and her only surviving kitten Maggie.  After their quarantine was lifted, I tried integrating them into the house, and that didn't always go well.  From the beginning we have had issues as Blondie would go after Benny especially and to a lesser extent Ava.  I attributed it to the fact that Maggie was so tiny at only four weeks old that she was just protecting her kitten.  Then came my last rescue, Lily.  My heart was in the right place and I committed to the financial responsibility of keeping all five cats.  Now Maggie is a whopping seven months old and able to hold her own against Benny and Ava when they are playing.  Unfortunately, Blondie has never gotten along with Benny and it just wasn't getting any better.

I don't know if it was the dynamics of having five cats or if something happened between the adults that I didn't see, but Blondie kept getting worse and worse with Benny.  She was ok next to him until she wasn't.   She would suddenly get so terrified of him, she would hunker down and scream.  It wasn't a meow, it wasn't a screech or a caterwaul, it was a scream.  She was totally stressed out which started stressing out the other cats and the kitty mama.  Hey, I'm stressed out enough, I didn't need this on top of everything else.

I did everything I could possibly do.  I talked to my vet and he told me to just keep moving their wet food closer and closer to each other until they can be next to each other.  Hey, this isn't my first time to the rodeo.  I could get them eating side by side and all was well.  Until it wasn't and she would try to crawl under the toe kick of the kitchen cabinets and just scream her lungs out.  It was absolutely heartbreaking.  I've even had her on pheromones which have not helped at all.

I finally had to keep either her or Benny on lock down.  I would lock Blondie up in the bedroom which she hated.  Or I would lock Benny in the basement which he hated.  It wasn't fair to any of the cats and especially those two.  I'd let everyone out at meal time and all would be ok while they were eating . . . until they weren't ok.  If they were out in the house together, Blondie would spend her time hiding from Benny, hoping he wouldn't see her.  She'd be inside of back of the floor clock or she'd hide behind the garbage can.  If he saw her, or even just glanced her way, she'd run and she'd scream.  Then he'd think it was a game so he'd chase her. 

I finally did what I thought was right and I surrendered her to the Friendship Animal Protection League (APL) so that they could find her a home.  Hopefully a home with no other pets.

Blondie really is a loving and beautiful cat, as long as she isn't by other cats.  I've never had a dog so I don't know how she would be around a dog or how she would be around kids for that matter.  I do know she hates to be by other cats.  Trust me on this one!  But this girl loves to play, loves her toys, loves her belly rubbed.  She will lay there and purr for as long as you are willing to rub her belly!  The pictures don't do her justice, she is really beautiful with such striking golden eyes and just wants to be loved.  I just wish I could be the one to love her enough to make her happy.

She has all of her first year shots, she is front declawed and she is spayed.  She just needs a loving home.  Here is a link to Blondie's APL page.

If anyone is looking for a furever friend and you don't have other animals, please head up to the APL in Elyria and consider my girl.  I know you won't be sorry!