Saturday, February 28, 2009

Camera Critters #47

Feral Cats At Play
I TNR'd (trapped,neutered and released) these ferals several years ago, and they live very happily in the shelter I provide for them in my back yard.

For more Camera Critters visit their Blog hosted by Misty Dawn

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I am your dog, and I have a little something I'd like to whisper in your ear. I know that you humans lead busy lives. Some have to work, some have children to raise. It always seems like you are running here and there, often much too fast, often never noticing the truly grand things in life. Look down at me now, while you sit there at your computer. See the way my dark brown eyes look at yours? They are slightly cloudy now. That comes with age. The gray hairs are beginning to ring my soft muzzle. You smile at me; I see love in your eyes. What do you see in mine? Do you see a spirit? A soul inside, who loves you as no other could in the world? A spirit that would forgive all trespasses of prior wrong doing for just a simple moment of your time? That is all I ask. To slow down, if even for a few minutes to be with me.

So many times you have been saddened by the words you read on that screen, of others of my kind, passing. Sometimes we die young and oh so quickly, sometimes so suddenly it wrenches your heart out of your throat. Sometimes, we age so slowly before your eyes that you may not even seem to know until the very end, when we look at you with grizzled muzzles and cataract clouded eyes. Still the love is always there, even when we must take that long sleep, to run free in a distant land. I may not be here tomorrow; I may not be here next week. Someday you will shed the water from your eyes, that humans have when deep grief fills their souls, and you will be angry at yourself that you did not have just "One more day" with me. Because I love you so, your sorrow touches my spirit and grieves me. We have NOW, together. So come, sit down here next to me on the floor, and look deep into my eyes.

What do you see? If you look hard and deep enough we will talk, you and I, heart to heart. Come to me not as "alpha" or as "trainer" or even "Mom or Dad," come to me as a living soul and stroke my fur and let us look deep into one another's eyes, and talk. I may tell you something about the fun of chasing a tennis ball, or I may tell you something profound about myself, or even life in general. You decided to have me in your life because you wanted a soul to share such things with. Someone very different from you, and here I am. I am a dog, but I am alive. I feel emotion, I feel physical senses, and I can revel in the differences of our spirits and souls. I do not think of you as a "Dog on two feet" -- I know what you are. You are human, in all your quirkiness, and I love you still.

Now, come sit with me, on the floor. Enter my world, and let time slow down if only for 15 minutes. Look deep into my eyes, and whisper to my ears. Speak with your heart, with your joy and I will know your true self. We may not have tomorrow, and life is oh so very short. --author unknown

Monday, February 23, 2009

What Happened To Work Ethics

People often refer to someone having a good work ethic as someone who works hard, showing your coworkers and superiors that you care about your work. Being that person can help build a great reputation. Being reliable, professional and having a positive attitude helps promote good work ethic.

So what has happened to work ethic? People feel they have an entitlement to everything they want, but they don't want to work for it. Just showing up at work, they think that is all that is required of them.

Chatting on cell phones and/or text messaging friends and family, while at work is NOT good work ethic. There is always someone that wants your job and will get it if you don't work hard and become a team player.

My hubby has a very important job and works all the time. He is always at work. He works 7 days a week, and puts in 12 hour days most days, sometimes even more. Because of poor work ethics, with many of his employees he is always having to take up the slack, or fix problems, that should have never occurred in the first place if he had employees that cared.

One would think with today's economy people would be determined to work hard and prove to be good employees with good work ethics, to hopefully keep their job.

All of hubby's employees are paid very well, and have excellent benefits, yet even after many meetings about not showing up late for work, taking extended lunch breaks, texting and chatting on cell phones, not meeting deadlines, nothing has changed. Do people just don't care anymore?

Now this week starts the first on his list of many that are being fired, not due to downsizing, as his company is actually doing quite well, but due to poor work ethics.

Just a little addition to this little rant, because I know my hubby will be reading this, I really hope he finds good replacements very soon, as I really am missing having my hubby around. The single life just isn't for me. I think I forgot how to cook.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Camera Critters #46

Jarie says "Give me that squirrel".

For more Camera Critters visit their Blog hosted by Misty Dawn

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Handsome Jake

Who can resist that magnificent face!
Here kitty, kitty, come a little closer, mama told me to stay.
Jake is such an awesome boy, If he wasn't so obedient and always wanting to please us, he would chase the cats in a heartbeat. Three ferals were wrestling just 10 feet away from him in the above picture. He sure does put up with a lot, but he always make us proud.

I really must get busy taking more pictures of Jake. I don't think he cares much that my blog is being taken over by cats. Of course, he wouldn't mind if I was posting about him catching one, or about the other night when we brought Lacee into the living room to sit on the sofa with us, and he was awakened by the sweet sounds of a kitten meow. He thought he was dreaming again, but upon opening his eyes, there was Lacee just 2 feet in front of him on the sofa with us. He was very excited, to think we finally gave in and was giving him his very own kitty.

Wish I would have taken a picture, his expression was priceless. Maybe next time.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lacee Has Been Adopted

Oscar adapted really well in the cat room. Just 2 weeks before I had brought him home I decided to bring in LG too. He was just a kitten, and friendly enough with me, so when Oscar came, I had him in one cage and LG in another, until the girls could get use to the new boys in their lives.

Once out of the cages, all went well, and I couldn't be happier, things were moving along nicely. Then Mac came around shortly after and I determined he most likely was a litter mate to LG, since they seemed to be the same age, and apparently knew each other. Best friends they are.

This brings me to now, a year has passed and all the cats have done quite well, adapted to each other, and most times it is a very peaceful room.

When I sit in the room I think about all I have done, where each one of these precious little souls came from. Their history, some more painful then others. Mama Cat has had several litters in the past. Living on the unforgiving streets for a few years. Delilah, almost died of heat stroke during our hot summers, with all that black long fur, she also was caught in a car engine, escaped with minor injuries. Oscar, perhaps fared the worst of the bunch, fractured leg, slit tongue, broken teeth, deformed nails, slit eyelid, multiple scars. They have their stories to tell, some I know, many I don't.

Then my mind wanders again back to the days with Turtle. Staring at her picture on the wall, wishing she was still here, able to enjoy the companionship of all the kitties that now reside in the room that was meant for her. Many times I have told my husband if I ever came across another Torti that looked like her, she would have to come home. He knew as well as I, that wouldn't happen. I didn't want the reminders of all the feelings of the guilt to come back.

So here we are today, with another special little kitty we all know named Lacee. From the first week that I had brought her in, I had been fighting the feelings of Turtle. Oh, she reminds me so much of her. It really doesn't have anything to do with looks. Although the way her eyes look up at me, sometimes makes me think of Turtle. She does have the same type of fur, the length, and her body size is so similar, but so are many others. It is her spunk, that brings the thoughts of Turtle rushing back through my memories. Her lust for life. All this time, I've been fighting these feelings. I just want to get her better and work with her enough so she can be adopted.

When we first found her, and determined that most likely she was hung, with the shoe lace that was tied around her neck, her legs, being fractured, I knew she would always be a special needs kitty. I have worked with her everyday, exercising her legs, getting her moving, massaging them. All she would do is crawl. Standing on her back legs, would only last a few seconds before she would drop down again in the crawl position.

I set out with a goal in mind hoping by the end of February, she would be rehabilitated enough to go to a new home. Hubby has helped quite a bit with her. He takes her out of her cage in his office every evening, and brings her in the bedroom, and plays with her, getting her moving and using those legs. She adores him, and he adores her.

When I mentioned I will be finding a home soon, he says "you are always getting rid of my cats". Then he proceeds to say "you know you are going to do all the necessary checks on the new adopted family, and everything will be a go, then you will find out something happened to her, and you are not going to be able to forgive yourself". Doesn't sound like he is helping much, does it?

Last week, hubby called me into his office to look at Lacee, she was standing and walking, more then she ever has. he was so excited as he said "We did this, because of you, because of us, she is getting better". To see a grown man that excited and proud over the improvement of this little kitten, is a wonderful feeling. It does the heart good.

As of Last Sunday I found an adopted family for Lacee. My hubby asked me "How could you, how could you send her to another home"? My reply " She reminds me too much of Turtle, she will have a good home elsewhere, this is what we do".

Every other day I would carry her into my cat room so she can see other cats, and know they won't hurt her. Sometimes I would just hold her by the screen in the door and she would be nose to nose with LG and Mac. Hubby wanted me to put her cage in the cat room so she can be exposed to the other cats for longer periods. I knew what that meant though. Once she is in the cat room, she won't be leaving. I can't do that. I know this hurts hubby as he has gotten attached to her, and he knows she is something special, as they all are, but there is something different about Lacee, he sees it too.

So, Instead of bringing her cage into the cat room, she was adopted by her new forever family.

Now I know everyone reading this is just waiting for me to admit that forever family is me right? Well, I have been in denial, couldn't admit it, and just couldn't go through with it. But, I told hubby we will try and see how things work out.

I moved Lacee into the cage already in the cat room. She has been in the room for 8 days now, and I am happy to report things have gone much better then expected. She was full of spunk the first night, she would walk to the gate of the cage and growl at all the cats and swat at them if they came close. They never growled or hissed back, and she has not shown any signs of being afraid of them while in the cage. LG and Mac go nose to nose with her and she is fine with them. I was mostly worried about Mama, and she was going to be who determines if she stays or not. Mama does not react to Lacee like she has all the cats that have come before. She goes to the cage, sniffs her, then rolls over by the cage and plays with a toy while laying on her back exposing her belly. Perhaps she sees something different about Lacee, as I do.

While holding Lacee last night, Oscar stood there and just licked her face, her head, her body, and Lacee didn't mind.

As of 2 days ago, Lacee is now walking on all four legs like a normal cat about 80% of the time, she still can not jump, but her walking has greatly improved.

A few pictures, although not that good, sorry about that, but I was right there ready to grab her, as she is not ready to be out of the cage loose in the room unsupervised with the other cats as of yet.

So, what does Oscar and Turtle have to do with Lacee? I think you can all get the picture. I have come full circle. Without further explanation..........

Lacee is happy. Lacee plays all the time, like a kitten should. Lacee is home.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A New Beginning

Turtle passed away October 2006. The next couple of months I spent getting Mama comfortable with having Ashley and Delilah in the room with her. All the while mourning the loss of little Turtle. Mama quit playing. She clearly wasn't happy anymore. She hissed, growled and swatted at Ashley and Delilah anytime they would get close. They were good girls though and never hissed back, they just tried to keep their distance. Often times I would doubt myself, this wasn't going to work. They were all feral together outside and Mama was clearly the alpha even while outside, but she was inside for a year before I brought Ashley and Delilah in, so bringing them in was like bringing two strange cats in, and now without Turtle, she was on her own.

Months pass, things finally settle down and all three girls are getting along fine. I can finally relax, knowing it is all working out, but deep within my heart I still had the guilt, the ache of not having little Turtle, the room just wasn't the same.

In January 2007 a big orange tom started spending more time in my shelter. I first spotted him five years earlier roaming the neighborhood, often coming into the shelter for a bite to eat, and quickly leave. He never stayed around long enough to think about trapping him. He was very unpredictable. I wouldn't see him for weeks at a time, and when I did see him, it was never a set time. Many times he was seen wounded. One particular time his neck had a huge slash through it, at least a couple inches wide. Several people in my neighborhood referred to him as Oscar the Grouch, because of all the fighting.

First Video leading up to his rescue.

Oscar started sleeping in the shelter, more and more and only leave when I would approach. He never bothered my other ferals, he just wanted to sleep and be left alone. Unfortunate for him another Tom Cat in the neighborhood had other plans for Oscar. Fights between the two became constant. Everyday, this other Tom would hunt Oscar down. Many times Oscar would be sleeping in a kuddler minding his own business, and out of nowhere. the other tom would jump and attack him.

I struggled for two months to trap Oscar. I soon realized he wasn't a fighter. He really was a good boy, and just wanted a safe place to sleep; he didn't want to run anymore. Part of me was afraid to approach him, and attempt to pet him. Each day as I was outside sitting in the shelter talking to him, getting the courage to reach out to him and clean his wounds, I would often cry. Seeing the look in his eyes, what he had gone through, all the battle wounds. I was falling in love with this boy. I told myself no, I lost Turtle, and many others, I don't want my heart broke again.

The end of that 2 months, I was able to just scoop up Oscar ( he was no longer the grouch) and put him in a carrier. My friend who helps me with rescue took him for his neuter, vet check, and to recuperate at her house. When I first set out to trap him, I had all intentions on releasing him back outside. Instead, because he was so good and so sweet, my rescue friend was going to put him up for adoption for me.

Oscar recuperating after his neuter and bath at my rescue friends.

During the two months of struggling with taming, befriending, and trapping him, I had a very special friend that lives in another state that kept me going. I was silently falling apart. I just didn't want to rescue anymore. I didn't want to go through the pain of losing another one, possibly failing again. She kept encouraging me with Oscar. She supported everything I was doing with him, and gave me the courage everyday to do what I was doing. When I was told that my rescue friend was going to find another home for Oscar, I wouldn't have that. All I went through with him, I knew he had to come back home. He belonged with me. My good friend encouraged me and convinced me everything will be ok. I need to open my heart again. Losing Turtle was not my fault. So, with her encouragement; Oscar came home.

Oscar in his forever home, my cat room

That is where it began. I was lost for awhile, I did not rescue Oscar, he rescued me, or perhaps we rescued each other. He was sent here for a reason. At the time I was giving up, he came into my life. He also brought my good friend to me too, as I did not know her well until Oscar came around and she reached out to help, even miles away.

I still miss Turtle, and it took a long time for the guilt and the hurt to go away, perhaps the hurt is still there, but the guilt left.

Stay tuned, and you will all see what Oscar and Turtle have to do with a special little kitten.
To be continued.....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Story of Turtle

Very few people know Turtle's story. Turtle was born feral. She was Mama Cats baby. I tamed her enough when she was just about a year old, to be able to bring her and Mama into the house. My cat room was created just for her and Mama. Little did I know that soon more cats would come to call that room their home too.
Turtle was a very unique kitten. She carried alot of the feral personality while inside. She and Mama Cat had an incredible bond. Mama often groomed her and they slept cuddled together quite often. What ever Mama Cat did throughout the day, Turtle would follow suit and mimic Mama. It was always fascinating to watch her behavior, and finally start to develop her own unique personality.

After one year of her and Mama Cat being inside we began to have problems with a neighbor poisoning the cats. Not just the ferals but any pet cats that were aloud to roam. In an attempt to do my part and protect the cats, and also discuss things with the neighbor I decided to bring Ashley and Delilah inside too. It took two years to befriend Ashley, and Delilah was pretty easy after the first year. So, inside they came. I handled things wrong, and was quite ready to give up on all the ferals, just to keep peace in the neighborhood. It was a struggle, and adjustments had to be made, but we made them.

The four cats inside developed upper respiratory infections. Turtle never recovered. She spent 4 days at the vets on IV's and antibiotics, but in the end her little body couldn't fight the infection any longer, and we lost her.
I have lost a lot of pets during my lifetime, but losing Turtle was a heart wrenching loss for me.
I felt guilty, as if it were my fault. In my mind I felt if I hadn't tried to save Ashley and Delilah, I would not have lost Turtle. I cried for weeks. Mama mourned the loss of her baby. I couldn't go into the cat room without breaking down in tears, and would have to rush out of there. I felt I let Mama down. I was suppose to protect her baby, and I failed. I failed Turtle, and I failed Mama.

I vowed to never bring another cat inside. I wasn't going to do feral cat rescue anymore. I closed my heart off and wasn't going to care. Just feed the ones outside, and that was it. No more. I couldn't get close anymore. The guilt ate at my soul, and I was determined to never let that happen again.

Then came Oscar. My angel boy. The special orange tom cat that was always beat up. He had different plans for me. (his story in a few days).

So why I am telling Turtle's story. Well, in a way, this isn't really about Turtle, but another unique special little kitten. To be continued.......

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I'm Sorry

I have received a few emails asking why I haven't been blogging. Please forgive my absence. My mom has been in the hospital all week after having a stroke, so I just haven't had much time to think of other things right now. She is improving, and hopefully will be back home soon.

I promise to catch up on everyone's blogs as soon as time allows.