Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Guess what I have??? The BEST. NEWS. EVER. It may not be as good as someone gifting me a brand new Honda Civic with eternal gas flow and the promise to pay for any damage/repairs, but it comes pretty darn close:

My dad took my car to the Honda place (dealership?) yesterday. I was all excited, b/c although I knew I would have to pay at least a couple hundred dollars for it's repair (just in case the other people weren't being truthful - my dad mistrusts car people, I guess), I knew it was going to be fixed soon. Driving even to and from work (which is only about five miles round-trip) has been anxiety-provoking. That little yellow light was constantly taunting me: "There's something wrong with your car. There's something wrong with your car." And I was afraid of the thing exploding for some reason. My dad assured me that it wouldn't, but that little light isn't very specific - so who knows what could have gone down.

It was practically blizzard-ing out that morning, so my dad gave me a ride to work. B/c of the weather at that time, he planned on not taking my car, as my tires aren't the safest. But after he gave me a ride home, he informed me that he did indeed take my car in. They first fixed my little plug thing that the hand-held-screening device hooks into. (You know that thing that tells you what's wrong with the car? I don't have words for it.) Then they checked it, and it was truly my catalytic converter. When he told me this, I got all disappointed, b/c then I knew I'd have to spend a lot of money.

But since this was a Honda place, they totally looked up the previous owner, the one who had purchased the converter, and they found out that IT HAD A TEN YEAR, 150,000 MILE WARRANTY. So they fixed it for FREE. Can you believe that? I did a little dance of joy when I found all this out. So today, I went to get new tires for my car. And you know what? They are unimpressive. I'm hoping they help me to not die in the snow, though. *laughs nervously*

But yay for warranties!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


I got a GPS system for Christmas. Now maybe I won't get lost going Northwest when I'm supposed to be heading Southeast. Let's just hope I can figure out how to use it!!! = )

Christmas Adoption

A man called me this morning about Wanda and Milton. His grandson had been been bothering him about getting a cat, so he and his wife started looking through Craigslist. When they saw my post, they realized getting two cats would be a good idea, so they could keep each other company. (I think that was their reasoning, anyway?) I told him that if he wanted to come visit, that would be great.

We met at the hospital around eleven in the morning. When I walked in to meet them, T told me that they had arrived a few minutes earlier, and that she had already brought the man back to meet with the cats. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Milton was not acting the scaredy-cat, but was rubbing up on the man like he was the greatest thing since canned food. Wanda was being her silly self, too, head-butting him and nibbling on his fingers.

His wife and grandson were waiting up front - I think he didn't want the boy's hopes to be raised by seeing the cats before they knew if they wanted to adopt them. Anyway, they all seemed to fall for their charms - Wanda grabbing on to their hands to make them pet her, Milton standing up on his hind legs to be petted. The grandson came back with the wife to visit and I was pleased to note that he didn't seem to be a pushy, grabby sort of boy. He was very gentle with the two cats, and seemed genuinely interested in having his "own" cats. (He liked all the other boarding cats as well, and was kind of freaked out by Ian and his one eye. Haha.)

I had a really good feeling about this couple. I tend to get uncomfortable inside with people I don't trust, and I didn't feel that at all with these people. And the boy, too. I've seen a lot of little kids that don't know how to behave themselves with animals, but this boy seemed quite sweet.

I explained to them about Wanda's sensitive stomach, how she needs a bland diet so she doesn't get diarrhea. They seemed fine with that. I made sure they knew that Wanda doesn't like to be picked up - loves to be petted, rubbed, to sit on your lap, but not picked up. Not sure if it's just uncomfortable or what, but some people expect a cat to be fine with anything, and I wanted them to know beforehand that she doesn't like it. But they seemed to understand that all cats are different. Also let them know that Milton doesn't like to be walked at. He runs away if you move too fast. Just something I thought they should know so they didn't think he was weird? (People are strange when it comes to reasonings why animals are "odd," when it's really something quite simple. And you never know who those people are.)

I let them take the two home today. I knew they wanted to adopt them when they asked "What's the next step?" I decided that I should go with my instinctual response and let them adopt them, and what better day than today? So they went out to buy kitty supplies while I wrote up a contract and let Ian and Milton hang out one more time. I gave them Milton's favorite bouncy ball and asked them to take home their wicker basket bed until they were completely comfortable with their new home. I didn't want to *give* them the bed, as it belongs to my cats, but I thought it would be nice to let them keep it for a couple of months so that they could retain some of the same smells as the place that's been their home for the last couple of months.

Ian's the only reason why this is hard for me. He's going to really miss playing with Milton and having the two hang out with him in the evenings. I made sure to give him some extra love tonight, but no amount of extra pettings is going to take the place of proper companionship. I hope I'll be able to take him home with me one day. Overall, I am very happy about Wanda and Milton being adopted. The two seemed like a wonderful couple, with a sweet grandson, and I truly truly truly hope that everything works out for them.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wanda and Milton's Potential Adopter

Adopted another cat. Very very very disappointing for me, as I really liked this man. But he was quite decent in calling me to inform me. An acquaintance of his had to give up her three cats to Rochester Animal Services. Two were adopted, but the third was left. The man went to adopt her to make sure she didn't get euthanized... Honestly? I'm very happy for that cat, that s/he was saved. (RAS kills about 70% of all cats that come through their doors.)

I may be the most cat-lady-ish person there, but I am not a miracle worker. I can't conjure great adopters out of thin air. There are thousands of cats that need homes, just in this town. It's difficult adopting a cat out - it takes time. You can't put a time limit on an animal's life, especially not when they're young and healthy. I'm hoping there will be no talk of taking them to a shelter - b/c although I had no say in allowing them to become hospital foster cats, I will not allow them to be sent to a shelter without a "fight." (I only put that in quotation marks, b/c I'm not very fighty-ish)

Milton has really come out of his shell, by the way. He and Bud Bud have become good friends. (Which further convinces me that when I leave the hospital, I need to take BB with me. I have a feeling he and Noms would be great friends. Noms needs a good Bud, b/c Mellie swats him, and Smidge gives in to him...) They especially love running around after tennis balls and little bouncy balls. It's so cute to watch them! Milton has also gotten better in allowing us to approach and pet him without thinking we're coming to squash him or something. Wanda is her sweet self still, giving head butts and pawing at you when you're not paying close enough attention to her. = ) They really are super cats and deserve a great home. (Just like the millions of other brilliant cats out there...)

I'm really hoping for someone special for these two!


I've been so excited about reading books lately. I just finished "For the Love of a Dog." About dog emotions, and thinking, and how their brains work, how they're similar to ours. I feel like I learned so much through that book. Facial expressions in dogs, insight into the way - and why - they think and feel the way they do... I'm no book review-ist, but it was a very, very good book. Something I'd recommend to all with pets, even just cats. And kids, too! It was so interesting and fascinating. Very clear with information, but the right amount of depth. Haha, I just loved it.

I borrowed two of Temple Grandin's books from the library today. They're looking really exciting, too. Oh, and I got that Dewey cat book, too.

I believe we're celebrating Christmas tomorrow, as both Rena and I have to work Friday. I got everyone books. Mystery/Thriller/Horror for Rena, board books for Brianna, and child-related books for my dad. About toxins in everyday life. And the effect of watching television in young children. They probably got me books, too. = )

I've been in a board/card game mood lately, too. But no one to play with b/c the baby takes up all Rena's time, and I don't trust my car enough to go anywhere but to work. I really want to play Egyptian Rat's Crew! And Speed Scrabble!!! Haha.

We're taking my car in after Christmas. We'll see how that goes... I've been thinking about how I rode my bike to work all summer. Now that I have the car, I can't believe that I did that. I'm a bit of a lazy person. If my dad had been less cranky, I probably wouldn't have. I guess it's good that he was, though. If I say so myself, I was a trooper. I just hope when the weather gets nice again, I will use my bike again, for some things. Maybe not to go to work, but I do like my bike. I do want to use it. I wish I hadn't bought it new, though. That was silly on my part. I'm sure I could have found a nice, used bike, for way cheaper. I had been in one of those stupid moods where you want something and you want it *now.* And so I bought the bike for way too much. For me, anyway. = )

So, RIT has no cats to be sterilized at the moment, Mrs. L hasn't called me in a while, and Tipsy's cats are on Habitat For Cats' list (and will contact me so I can help?). However, SW, the woman in charge of the RIT campus cats told me about an old man a couple miles away that feeds the feral cats at his house, near a Chinese food restaurant. I guess he's a little out of it or something??? Not sure, but SW said his neighbors and relatives help him feed the cats and such. They've been trapping the cats and taking them to Lollypop Farm (which breaks my heart, b/c I know they only get killed there as they're feral). But that they would probably be willing to trap them to have them sterilized and returned. So I'm going to try to get this man's information to help him out.

I'm starting to feel bad, b/c I'm kind of limited in how I can help these people out. I can't trap for people all the time - they've got to be willing to help with it. I can't provide a quick solution as trapping all the cats at once would do, b/c we can only do one or two cats a day. I can't provide a set day a week for this b/c of the differing schedule. I just keep reminding myself that something is better than nothing and that every cat that's altered is one cat who will have a better life b/c of it. It's a heart-breaking business, this is, caring for these animals.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Melian and the Cardboard Scratcher

This is Melian, aka Mellie. I haven't ever posted about my own cats, have I??? Well, she used to be Mellie-belly, but we've been playing a lot more and has since lost the belly. (She loves the laser that much.) She was Moo-Moo at birth, b/c she and her brother reminded me of itty-bitty cows.

This is the cardboard scratcher I made for her. The two other cats like it as well, but it really belongs to her. = )

I made it a little bigger last week, but may enlarge it a bit more tonight. It's big enough, but I'm sure she wouldn't mind a little extra room. (Then Noms can lay comfortably on it as well.)

I didn't get any pictures of her scratching the pad, but she does adore it.

Another view. All three are very good about scratching only the scratching pads and posts. Not sure why, b/c I doubt it's my wonderful "parenting". I think it's luck/having proper scratching pads/posts from the day they were born. The only thing they're tempted to scratch is my uncovered mattress, but that's easy to avoid. Keep the sheets on!!! = )

I was over at http://www.moderncat.net/, reading the posts in the DIY section, where I stumbled across a post on how to make your own scratching pad. I was immediately excited, b/c I really only have sisal pads and posts. I bought two cardboard scratchers, but none for my cats - one was for the parents' cat, the other for my sister's cats. Mellie loved them when they were hanging out in the room, so I knew I should buy her one, but when I saw this post, I knew I could make one.

I'm not very crafty in the art sense. I can't paint, draw, build, sculpt, anything. I can, however, cut cardboard with a utility knife in straight, equal sections. (Go me!) And we always have cardboard boxes at work to recycle, so I knew I could easily obtain the materials. It's funny, b/c when I'm sad or bored or just in the mood, I want to *make* things. Artsy things. But as I mentioned, I am not very artsy-craftsy with the exception of making cards and scrapbooks. And sometimes, you get to the point where cards and scrapbooks just don't do it for you anymore. And making this has been fun for me.
I also made one for Bud-Bud at work. He likes it, the foster cats like it (even without their claws, poor things), and a lot of the boarders like it. I should enlarge that one as well. When I first started cutting the strips from cardboard, I was thinking, "I could make ten of these!!!" But as with everything, I go at a slow pace. I always feel the need to multi-task. I'll be measuring and cutting while watching a movie, then forget about the cardboard in my hands for a half hour. So it takes me a couple days to finish. And then I get a bit lazy, so I leave it for a couple weeks before I *actually* finish it, making it large enough for everyone. = )
It's fun making useful things. I love that *I* like the way it looks, my *cats* love to lay on it, sit on it, scratch it, etc, and it cost me nothing except for time while watching movies. Also, I like that I can flip it over if it gets worn down. Can't do that with the ones from WalMart. = ) (I need to find more things I can make!)

The Boy Scouts

During the summer, J was hired to work at our hospital's boarding facility. He only worked about two weeks, though, b/c his other job offered him a raise. (Lucky him) He called T a couple of months ago to ask her if there was any way he could help out/volunteer/raise money for our Hope Foundation/feral cat program. He likes to build, so she suggested he make some cat houses. (He's in the Boy Scouts, and needs to do some sort of charity project to make it to the Eagle Scouts)

I was behind the animal hospital a couple weeks ago, trying to rig up some sort of feeding station. I needed something big enough to allow all the cats to eat (they all eat together, usually) and something that will help protect them from wind and snow. Unfortuantely, I have little building skill and little money/resources. So I bought a big plastic tub, with the intentions of cutting a hole in it for a door, but I realized that though the tub is big, it's not big enough for even two cats to eat comfortably. I ended up setting it on its side, using the top as a roof, and weighing it down with a fallen branch. I hauled two tires over from the discarded tire pile next door and used them to support the tub off of the ground.

J scared me by his arrival. Wasn't expecting anyone to show up back there, much less a guy. = ) He had come to take pictures of the area, the cats, and the houses we already have. He helped me roll a couple more tires over to extend the "shelter"'s floor. I showed him our houses, what could be improved upon, and explained what I was trying to do with the tub and tires. He took some pictures, got one of Jehzar in the woods, and then left me to my pathetic attempts at a food shelter. = ) He did offer to build me one, though, after he finishes the houses, which I thought very kind.

I filled the tires with leafy remains to make an extended floor and attempted to camoflauge it a bit with branches and leaves. Then sprinkled some straw over the tub's floor and the tire tops. I have to say, it looks interesting, but all my work really provides nothing in the form of shelter from the wind, rain and snow for the cats. Unless they are right under the tub. I filled a smaller bin full of straw to keep out there, right next to the "shelter." I will use this to layer on top of the snow so they don't have to stand on the cold snow for a lengthy period of time. (An idea from SW, one of the leaders of the group that cares for the RIT cats.)

It is just *so cold* here in the winter. The wind seriously chills me to the bone. Not fun.

I'm looking forward to J's houses, though! We'll probably use one back there, then the others for Tipsy's cats, or other needy ferals.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hospital Cats

This is Wanda, climbing on the cat tree.

Milton, being very good, and posing for me. = )

He's gotten so much better. Not as freaked out as he was. Go slow, and he *loves* attention.

He was a bit scared here. Kept running away from me. These pictures are all out of order, but this was from a couple weeks ago? I think.

Spending time in the window. He's a lot more comfortable with you approaching him when he's higher up.

Scared of me and hiding. A couple weeks ago as well.

Wanda has always been very friendly. Doesn't much like to be picked up, but loves to be petted. She's very easy-going and a sweetheart.

Close up of the Bud Bud in the deflated cat cube.

What he does all day due to boredom.

Scared. And hiding from me. I'm so glad he's doing better now.

I brought my other wicker basket bed in so that they would both have a spot to rest/hide. My cats had forgotton about it, anyway. I hadn't seen it being used in at least a month. They used to both rush for the hidey spot, but now that they are more accustomed to us, they both feel comfortable in the top perching area as well.

Wanda has a silly-looking face. = ) Makes me smile. Maybe slightly cross-eyed? Just slightly, though.

There is a man who is interested in these two, but we need to figure out why Wanda is having diarrhea before she goes to a new home. We tried Flagyl, didn't work. Put her on Prednisone, and the stool seems to be hardening just a little. It's like pudding now. We're doing a food trial now, with the pred. I'm hoping it's something fixed with the right food, but finding the right food can be tricky.
The man lives with his mom (I think?) and takes care of her two cats. The one was recently put down due to cancer, though, and they don't want the other to be lonely, but are trying to decide if it's too soon to get another. Or in this case, two more. He called me on Sunday while I was working, but we were slow, so I gave him a call back. I decided to try to let him tell me about himself instead of asking him too many questions. He seemed genuine. Told me that he wasn't sure, but would like to visit with them to see how he felt. I told him to come any time we're open. He called back less than a half hour later to see if he could come that day. He did, and Wanda hit it right off with him, b/c she's super like that. Milton hid the entire time. He asked if he could come back the next day. To which I said "of course," of course. = )
I made sure to hold Milton for a few seconds on Monday so that he could pet him without Milton running away. And Milton warmed up quickly. I left them for a few minutes and when I came back, they were both being lovey with him. He spent about ten more minutes with them and left saying he'd talk to his mother about bringing two more cats in. He knows about Wanda's diarrhea issues, so I have to keep him updated on that. He seems like he'd be fine feeding her a special diet, but who wants a cat with chronic diarrhea??? Or, who wants to adopt a cat that has something wrong, but you don't know what? I'm really hoping her problems can be controlled with a specific diet, b/c this man seems like a wonderful person to adopt them.
I don't really know how bonded the two are, but I want to keep them together in case they are. They certainly get along well. He already said that he isn't interested in breaking them up, anyway. I'm glad he's sensitive to something such as that.
We'll see. I think I may call him Friday to see what he thinks/update him on how Wanda's doing. Hopefully better...

My car has abandoned me with selfish notions of dying

My car's check engine light lit up early Monday morning. Took it to the car place next to the hospital on Tuesday. They say the catalytic converter is blocked, needs to be replaced. Which is around $1000, as mine is placed in a different spot than most others'? I don't know much about cars, but I do know that I don't have $1000. Maybe it would be cheaper if I order the part and then have them put it in? Or my dad? I don't know if he can do that, but...

I went to pick my car up this afternoon. My dad said he'll figure something out during these next couple of days. I stopped at the animal hospital to feed the feral cats since it was around noon. It reassures me that they still write "cats" on the noon list on the days I'm not there, but I still worry. It's hard for me to trust people.

I visited Ian for a couple of minutes while there. I was very happy to see that the two foster cats were allowed out. I texted T yesterday, saying if they had time, they should let the two out to spend time with Ian. He really enjoys the company of the other cats, and if he has the chance to spend time with anyone, we should make sure he can. She called me a "dork," but I was pleasantly surprised to see they were let out.

Whenever I mention that Ian is bored and lonely, I'm met with resistance. They either deny that he's bored/lonely, or say something along the lines of "It's better than living at the [insert hoarder's last name]." I don't know if she agrees, but instead of not knowing what to say, this time I said, "It may be better than living in the [hoarder's] squalor, but we can't dismiss the fact that he has emotions. That he's bored. And lonely." I tried to tell her about Ian and Milton playing together, running around, exploring together, to show her that he really does enjoy another cat's company. That he does enjoy more than sleeping and eating. And that that's all he does because he's bored. And lonely. You wouldn't think it would be so difficult to see this, but it's not just T. Everyone in the animal hospital refuses to acknowledge his emotions. That he needs more than a warm place to sleep and good food to eat. We all need more. Nobody wants to be lonely. I think it's so hard for them to realize that Ian needs more because they want to feel as if they've done a wonderful thing by accepting him as a hospital cat. And that's that.

People are complicated. You would think "animal lovers" would be in tune with animals' emotions, with their needs. You would think they would be able to find a way to do a good thing, such as fostering two cats from a hoarding situation, without complaining about it. Without giving the animals a time limit. Without making it seem as if it's even affecting them, when it's really not... I try my best to state what I believe in a non-threatening manner, b/c most people don't respond well to outright criticism, to saying that they're wrong, but sometimes, there's no way to put it gently. B/c they don't listen much, anyway. Haha. People are complicated. Sometimes they need a gentle remonstration of their views, sometimes they need a more firm opposition. But in my experience, arguments are never helpful. I've tried arguing. A lot. I don't think it ever helped any situation. Just made me exhausted and self-righteous. = )

I was very happy to see Wanda and Milton out with Ian today, though. Gave me warm fuzzies. = )

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Job Searching

The Lab Technician position is still being debated upon. I emailed to see if they had forgotton about me. It had been more than two weeks and I wanted to make sure that I hadn't gotten the job so I could comfortably move on. Lizz emailed me back yesterday and told me that they are still working on it, and I should know either way by this weekend. It's nice to know, even if I don't get it.

I was called about working at the hospital as a transport assistant last week. Unfortunatyely, he called me during work, so i had to call him back the next day. He didn't answer, so I left a message. He didn't call me back 'til Saturday morning, when I was working again, to say that he was scheduling interviews that day. Called him back, no answer, asked him if there was any other day, as I was working all day. Then finally, the last message: he wanted to know if I could come in after work for an interview. He answered when I called him right before I was about to leave work. He said to just come in and not worry about being in scrubs and smelling of dogs as "it's not a 3-piece suit job" anyway. Okay then.

It went well, was very informal. I'm assuming that he has many other suitable people interested in the job as well, so I can't see why I would get the job over them, but we'll see... The reason I *really* want this job of patient transporting is because I would be in a union. I'm sure there are some negative things about unions, but I would start at a higher rate than most jobs, I would get regular pay increases, and I would get free medical benefits. The people that I met in the break room seemed very easy-going, friendly, like your typical college-age students. I could pick up extra shifts if I wanted and I would get to choose if I wanted more hours if there's an opening, before the general public.

Wouldn't it be great if I got both jobs? Though, they never told me how many hours the lab tech one involves. She said something about "not full days" and "two days of weaning, two days of data, one day of something else." So what's a regular "full" day? Eight hours? So around six hours a day? Five days a week? I think I would choose the transport over the lab, but if I was offered both, it would be awesome if the hours were so that I could take them both. The only thing keeping me at the animal hospital are the boarders, of course. And Ian. And the feral cats.

It's not that I'm unhappy there. But I do feel as if I've reached the limit in what I can learn and offer. Though I consider myself to be more attentive to the animals' needs, I cannot work there forever. Simply put, I can't support myself on their wages alone. Fortunately, most animals that come to the hospital, whether for medical attention or for boarding, are not going to stay there for lengthy periods of time. They'll go home, and life will resume as normal. I worry about Ian, though. Who will give him any attention if I'm not there? Once a week is not enough. He can't be isolated from people and animals like this forever. He loves playing with Milton, the grey foster cat that's there. He loves spending time with other animals. He loves being with people.

I was thinking that when I moved out, if I made enough money to buy his food, I would try to take him with me. But if I move in with Michele, she already has three cats. And I don't think T's mom would want me to bring in *another* cat on top of six cats. Moving in with Michele seems like the easy thing to do. She needs a roommate, we like each other, keep to ourselves, work a lot... The cats would be interesting, but we're not stupid. We wouldn't throw them together right away. Anyway, I don't know what to do about Ian if I leave the hospital. Or the cats...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

No More Soda???

There's no more soda in the house. I almost went out to buy some more, but my dad asked me not to. He's trying to stop drinking so much of it. And if I buy some, even for me, he'll be tempted. So I'm going to try to stop drinking so much. Too. = ) We'll see how this goes.

Diet Pepsi is so my drug. It's my wee bit of happiness. *waaah* But I guess I don't want to die of Diet Pepsi poisoning, so I should kick this bad habit. In the gut. *stab stab* *kick kick*

Okay, I totally spilled water all over myself just now. NOT HAPPY WITH THIS WATER. NOT USED TO DRINKING OUT OF A GLASS. (just kidding?)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


A person who does not believe that animals possess consciousness is one who scares me. If animals cannot truly experience "conscious" life because they do not speak, because they cannot think about thinking about their thoughts... then what about children? Babies? I remember reading somwhere that previous scientists/doctors, whoever, believed that babies and children did not have the capacity for pain and consciousness. Now we laugh at that piece of craziness. Of course babies feel pain. Of course they experience consciousness. Of course they remember people, places, objects.

My sister used to ask me about people who speak other languages, "But they think in English, right?" (I think she still has difficulty with this, haha) Who are we to believe that because a person or animal does not speak our particular language, that they must not really be speaking? I'm sure people used to believe those speaking other languages were really just talking gibberish. But now, of course, we know they just have a different language. They're speaking, we just can't understand their language. But they can, they know what they're saying, they can communicate with others that speak their language. That's not so difficult to get, right?

So, animals. Have their own language. Why is this so hard to believe? How many languages are there in this world? How many species of animals are in this world? Why would it be so hard to accept that each species has its own communication system? Its own language. Just because we can't understand what they are saying does not mean that they are not truly communicating. If you were thrown into France, with no tutor, no high school French classes to help you out, how long would it take for you to learn the language? A long time. (For me, anyway...) And though animal languages may not be as developed as ours, they have a different way of communicating. A way that would take us a while to understand because we are used to spoken words, written words, the alphabet and number system. But letters mean nothing to animals. They use body language, barks, chirps, meows, growls, squeals, scents, and a bazillion types of markings.

So when my cat looks at me while I'm drinking my soda and the bottle makes a crackling sound, I know she's not thinking, "Hey, look at that soda bottle. Wonder if she'll share." But in that mind, in whatever way she thinks, she did look up at me because the bottle made a noise and she wanted to identify it. Animals have languages, they have thoughts, they make decisions, they have memories, they feel pain, they know happiness. They have consciousness.

"They" talk about animals being programmed. About living life in a kind of darkness. Just going through the motions of being an animal. About "mimicking" consciousness. Huh? How can you mimic consciousness? I highly doubt animals have been programmed to fool us into thinking they are conscious, when *haha* they really aren't! Fooled you, huh? It all seems like bunch of excuses from people who don't want to admit that we are morally, ethically responsible for how we treat animals. If animals feel nothing in their dark, preprogrammed state of mimicking consciousness, then we can go ahead and torture them to our hearts' content, correct?

Do these people have pets? So if I go to their house, I can go ahead and kick their dogs for fun, right? B/c they don't feel "real" pain? They're just faking it, right? They don't really believe this stuff, right? Goodness.

Like I said, people who actually believe that animals do not experience life with happiness, pain, language, actual thoughts - they scare me. Just because we do not understand how animals think - or what they're thinking - that does not mean they don't have language, that they don't communicate, that they don't have conscious minds. Why is the *human* understanding the basis for all knowledge? Just because we aren't able to figure something out does not mean it cannot be there. That's putting our understanding at an almighty level! Are we really that vain??? *Wow*

Job Interview Tomorrow

The title says it all. I am, of course, feeling apprehensive. I'm not good with oral tests, and that's what an interview is. Give me a half hour with a pen and paper and I will answer all your questions, but orally? I don't do the best.

My body tries to shut down on me when I am anxious. I feel tired, bored, jittery. I just want to sleep. But I have slept months away before and am now aware that is *not* the way to go about life. Because when life ends, do you want to think "Sleeping was great!"? No. B/c "sleep" is all you do from then on. In a way. (Not sure what I believe on the after-life yet...)

The Feliway that I ordered online came yesterday. I sprayed it liberally on my bed and blankets. I debated between the spray and the diffuser. The spray is cheaper, but the diffuser spreads it about more effectively. Which lasts longer? The diffuser is supposed to last a month. I should buy a black light. B/c if Mellie is peeing anywhere else, I think I might go ahead and buy a diffuser. But right now, it's just the bed, so maybe the spray will help.

I'm just confused. I know that Feliway is supposed to help with anxiety, which makes sense, but I'm not sure if it will help in my case. B/c Domino ambushing Melian in the litterbox is probably not due to stress, but b/c he doesn't have enough room to play/doesn't have someone to play with. He wants to play with Mellie, but she stopped adoring him for some reason. (Probably b/c we're all cooped up in here. Who wouldn't get irritated with someone you're imprisoned with for a year?) So the spray may help Mellie from being anxious, but I don't think it will help Noms from trying to play with her. Unless he's doing it to be rude??? Or unless I'm totally off the mark here, and she's peeing/pooping on my bed for some other reason. Who knows. It may or may not help. We'll just have to see.

I can only interpret so much. Too bad they can't just tell me what's going on...

Speaking of limited space, Michele, a vet tech from work (but who works elsewhere now) asked me if I would move in with her. She's definitely desperate, because she has three cats and a dog - and the thought of trying to get six cats to get along isn't pleasant... She rents a condo through T's mom, her roommate kind of disappeared, stopped paying rent, etc. She's been trying to find a roommate, was thinking of buying a house, but things aren't working out. I don't think *we'd* have problems living together, as we keep to ourselves, mostly, but the pets might be an issue. My cats would be scared of her dog, our cats might not get along, somebody would probably start peeing, and who wants to clean up cat pee??? Not I.

But, I can only move out if I get another job. We'll see how this interview goes. Even if I do get a job, though, it doesn't mean I'll be able to move out right away. And how will K feel? I don't even know if she still wants to move up here...

One thing I'm all proud of myself for is remembering that even if the interview goes badly, that if I fumble for words and don't know how to answer their questions, it's not the end of the world. It sounds so cliche, but even if things don't go the way I want, maybe it's better that way. Things will be the same, and yes, we want change, but the *same* is not me dying, being tortured, living on the streets, starving, etc. It's just me trying to move along in life, seemingly a little slower than others. But that's me. I can't be anyone else, you know? Even if I try. I have to deal with the only me that I know. And sometimes, that's okay. = )

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Burmese Momma and New Cat

Mrs. L called me last Sunday morning, telling me that she had trapped the Burmese momma cat. She was very excited, as she didn't think she'd be able to get this one. I found out the next available date to take her in, which fortunately, was the next day. The cat was spayed, ear-tipped, and vaccinated for rabies and distemper. It didn't look like she had been pregnant recently, which is a good thing. = )

B/c of the weather, Mrs. L took her back home to recuperate for a couple of days. I hope she does well.

So, that leaves us with the grey and white momma cat, the two grey kittens, and the black kitten. Mrs. L is trying to get the kittens to socialize and rehome, but I have a feeling that the black one is too old for socialization. If so, we need to trap hir to be sterilized. So definitely one, possibly two more cats there at Wendy's. She's going to be attempting to trap the momma and babies with a large cage instead of a trap, and will call me when she's got her. At least baby season is over for the time being.

Oh, and I guess there's a new stray cat over there. Black and white, very friendly, gives love bites. I told her that if she gets him, to just give me a call and we'll get him in as well. I put an ad on Craigslist in case he's someone's pet, but no answers... He may be an indoor/outdoor cat, maybe lost, maybe abandoned... who knows. But at least if he sticks around, he'll be taken care of.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Collecting Cats

This is Wanda.

She came from a house with WAY TOO MANY cats.

But she is very sweet.

This is Mittens. I don't even know if he has mittens. (Probably does, but still.) He came a day after his sister.

Our director agreed to take these two in from a woman who has realized she has too many animals and cannot take care of them all.

I hope a good home can be found for these two. They're very sweet, both declawed, altered, up to date on vaccinations, tested negative for FIV/FeLV, around age three... It's so hard to find homes for cats, though... Wish me luck!

Photos of the Tipsy Cats

Cat went a bit in, but didn't go further. I'm going to be tying the traps up so that they can get accustomed to eating from them for a bit. They were a bit shy of them...

All the cats seem pretty young. Between four months and a couple years.

There's one of the babies that the bartender took home. About eight weeks, I think?

Tiny baby.

The cats seem quite used to human presence, will stay within a couple feet, but won't let you touch them. A couple meow for their food, but I don't know if any of them have ever been in a home.

They all seem black and white, with the exception of that grey one.

This one is especially outgoing.

Pretty kitty. The baby had no ear mites, very little fleas (if any), which is good. Dehydrated, though. Need to make sure they always have clean water available.

I wonder where they sleep at night. They need some sort of shelter.

A lot of them look way too similar. I hope to be able to tell them apart after a few visits...

Let's get y'all sterilized! Walk right into the traps like good kitties!!! = )

Tipsy's Feral Cats

T and I are now involved in attempting to trap and sterilize the cats at a local bar. It's actually owned by the mom of a man who brings his dog here to our boarding facility. The woman has been feeding this group of cats for a while, another woman has been feeding the same group for over six years. Every day for six years. WOW. Did they not think of spay/neuter beforehand???

The bartender has taken home the three baby kitties. I brought the one to our facility just yesterday, as it has a respiratory infection. The third was finally trapped today. I believe she wants to find homes for the last two, but who knows. = ) She's a very nice woman, and I hope things work out well for the kittens. Now we just have to trap the other ten to fifteen cats!!!

Fortunately, the cats are being fed pretty well, but they need clean water and adequate shelter. I'm hoping to stress this to the people who are feeding them.

You look close enough, and there are cats EVERYWHERE. It's a bit scary. A bit overwhelming. Especially when our spay/neuter program is just a baby, and the kinks are far from worked out as of yet.

Also, we only have two traps at the moment, and the traps may not cover it when it comes to those who are too smart/too scared for them. I guess we'll figure that out when it comes to it, but I have a feeling it'll be *me* who does the figuring out.

Cats. *sigh*

Pictures in a moment. :)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Inappropriate Elimination

I kind of like the phrase "inappropriate elimination." It sounds like a medical term, when really, it just means your cat is pissing and shitting where you don't want her to.

Mellie has started pooping and peeing on my bed. She only does it while I am not here, b/c I have a feeling Domino is ambushing her in the litterbox. Poop I can deal with, pee I cannot. I took her to the vet to make sure she is fine medically, but I know this is behavioral. They (the cats) need more room, which is something I cannot provide for them at the moment.

I am going to order a Feliway diffuser for my room, hopefully that will help. Until then, I was going to keep Mellie in the bathroom while I'm away at work or gone for a few hours, but it seems that my father has a problem with that. Because if the cat is in the bathroom, that means he can't go in there. Not that he uses my bathroom much, but the fact that he wouldn't be able to whenever it suited him just irritates him. B/c god forbid he enter a room in which my cat resides. God forbid the baby be near one of my cats. God forbid I find a temporary solution to help my cats WHO HAVE BEEN LOCKED IN A BEDROOM FOR ALMOST A YEAR. I am a bit upset right now.

Honestly, I would rather her pee on the bed than the floor, but if she stays in here and Domino keeps this up, she will pee anywhere she can to make sure he doesn't bother her. And that makes anything game. If they were allowed to leave the room, she would have plenty of opportunity to use a litterbox without Domino's supervision, but alas, no. My dad can't handle cat hair, can't deal with the cats, can't even stand to know they've been out EVEN WHEN HE'S NOT AROUND.

He told me I have two months to find her a home. I told him there's no way I would even consider rehoming her. I'm already looking for another job to move out, it's not like I'm sitting on my ass doing nothing.

Haha, find her a new home. If *God* told me to find her a new home I wouldn't listen.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I went to the library today...

...and got a library card. It's been a long time coming, but when I had no license, it was a pain to ask to go anywhere, so it wasn't a priority.

I took out seven books, all on animals. Feral cats, animal emotions, animal rights, dog behavior, etc. I read "An Unlikely Cat Lady" in one sitting. Basically a memoir focused on how one woman became a "cat lady" through a pregnant stray showing up at her door. It was interesting, mainly because most people are encountered with stray animals in their lives and it really makes a difference what that person decides to do regarding that animal. Do you ignore him? Do you shoot him? Do you scare him away? Do you take him in? Do you try to find a home for him? Do you feed him? Do you sterilize him? One person can make an incredible difference in the lives of these abandoned animals, even if it's just those three kittens they found in the backyard. Or that dog on the highway. Or that cat that has been roaming the streets looking for something to eat.

I like how the author emphasizes that feral cats cannot be ignored into non-existence, they can't be starved off, they can't even be killed off. Though it does not make much sense at first, the only way to stop the population explosion is to sterilize them and take care of them.

Anyway, it was a good book. Interesting to read how an every-day person can get caught up in the plight of feral and stray cats and make a difference. Honestly, I feel like I am the same way. Yes, I've always loved animals, but I am not a collecter. Though I feel for these animals that must survive through horrible winters, little food, and no shelter, I cannot and will not take them all in. People assume I want to "rescue" every stray cat. I do want to help them, but I know my limits. I know I'll end up with more cats/pets in the future, but I am not going to take every animal in that comes my way. I want to help sterilize them, I want to make sure they have food and shelter, and if possible, I will help find them homes. But I do not fool myself in thinking that I can save them all. I know that I have many sad experiences and times of trial ahead of me, but I still want to do what I can. I expect to shed many tears throughout my life on the behalf of animals, but I hope to find kindred spirits who will help me through the pain.

On another note entirely, I am filling out job applications and sending in resumes. I have an interview tomorrow at the emergency animal hospital - we'll see how that goes. I don't expect they'll be able to pay me my minimum (which is still quite low) but we'll see. Otherwise, I'm applying for any sort of job at the people hospital. Honestly, I just need to make a little more money so I can support myself. Wish me luck, b/c otherwise, I'm going to be wheeling people around in the hospital...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hooray! *does a little happy dance*

KB's calico girl is being adopted today!!! The woman who came over Friday evening was just wonderful. She brought a friend with her, who fell in love with the little grey and white guy, but she's not sure how her resident cat would feel about a newcomer. (Maybe she'll change her mind, haha)

E (girl adopting calico) had two cats who were very bonded. One died about a month ago from congestive heart failure. She had actually brought her cat (Stinky?) to the animal hospital where I work, and Dr. R misdiagnosed him with an asthma attack, so he gave him steroids. Which sped up the process of killing his heart, and Stinky died two days later. You could just see how much she cared about her cat, and how horrible it was for her to go through this. I guess I had helped with the cat, b/c she told me that she recognized me, and that I was very nice to her. (Haha, good thing, too, right?) I vaguely remember handing over a grey cat to a woman, saying "Don't scare your mommy like that."

The other cat (Azrael?) is now very lonely, very needy, and probably wondering wher his brother went, poor kitty. So E decided to try Craigslist for a kitten, as she didn't feel like going through the whole adoption process through a rescue or shelter. Lucky for me! She found the post about the LV's kittens, but as they have decided to adopt all of them out through their friends and family, I pointed her to KB's calico. (They have more time, money, and patience than me, too, so I don't feel too bad.)

So on Saturday, I took both kittens to the Pet Saver Superstore in Greece/Rochester for their vaccinations. I got lost multiple times, but fortunately I made it there and back safely. = ) The kittens did great, and both got rabies and distemper shots as well as another deworming. I am so glad that the little girl is being adopted, because the vet assumes them to be around six months old, perfect time to start mating.

*update* E's friend, T2, decided that she really did want to adopt the little grey and white boy. I was really hoping that she would, as she really fell in love with him on Friday night. So, both kitties seem to have found *wonderful* homes and I hope they do great! I plan on emailing them in a couple of weeks to see how they are doing. E named the little girl "Bella" as she is petite and dainty. T2 named the little boy "Ichabod," which I think is the cutest name *ever.* Both like to take pictures, so do hope they'll keep KB and I updated. I'm still so excited that we finally found these guys homes! One less thing to have to agonize over! (Poor Onyx, though. I think he's a bit lonely now, without the kittens there to keep him company. When she's in a more stable position financially, she'll have to get him a friend.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I have caught two skunks so far. They were both so cute, too, and boy am I glad that they did not spray me. They're all just, "Hey, how'd I get in here? Hey, how do I get out? Oh hey, look! A way out! Cool!" *waddle waddle waddle away*

Every time I mention the skunks, people tell me "Oh be careful! They can be angry creatures!" Granted, I know little about wildlife, but these skunks are so chill. Let's just hope they don't start spraying me, b/c my parent's would *kill* me if I came home smelling of skunk. (I might myself, haha)

What is it about skunks (besides the smell, of course) that makes people so concerned? Are they really that vicious?

P.S. What a great word, "waddle." I like it very much.

Wendy's Colony

First cat I caught (don't think I ever posted pictures.) I think Mrs. L has her own names, but I call this one Cabbie. Because of that trucker. And she's a tabby. I'm original, huh?

Second cat - she was too smart for me. Mrs. L can pet her, so she scruffed her and deposited her in the cage quickly. Unfortunately, she is not socialized, so that made it a bit of an issue while trying to anesthetize her for surgery. I'll just have to transfer the cats into traps beforehand if a similar situation occurs.

Close up. Oh, and I named her Wednesday (b/c that's when she was trapped).

Third cat. I named her Ghost, b/c Mrs. L hadn't seen her in a while and thought she was the tabby cat that had been killed on the road.

I trapped another cat last night. A tabby with some white. She's supposed to be spayed today (or neutered, I don't know the gender for sure), but I guess the Dr. is behind, so it will take place later than usual. If it's much later, I may just leave her there over night to recuperate.
The recuperation part is something I'm not sure about. The doctors all tell me that when they are fully awake, they should be released. I just feel conflicted about releasing them when they are in pain (I know they get pain meds, but I'm sure there's still some pain), but I don't want to stress them out by keeping them. If they were socialized, it would be different, as they could go into a cage with food/water/litterbox... Not that I have the set-up anyway to provide that for them, but I still feel bad that they just had surgery and now have to go fend for themselves again. I'm just a softie. = ) What do other people do? I guess I should look that up.

That grey and white cat is still out there. She did have babies, and let me tell you, I am irritated that when Mrs. L had her in the cage, she let her go. THESE BABIES COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED. I think this cat is also too smart to go in the trap. Mrs. L tried to get her to go in the cage one night, but no luck. And now that she found that she has babies, she doesn't want to try again. Fortunately, she is not asking the LV's to take the kittens in. They have spent so much time and money on their eight kittens that I'm sure they want to simply find homes for these guys and be done. Or at least just not have to deal with Mrs. L anymore. Unfortunately, Mrs. L probably intends to just find homes for these guys without taking them to the vet or anything. But whatever. I can only do so much. I'll find a way to get that grey and white cat, though.

Adoptions and such...

The two people who were supposed to visit KB's two kittens last week never showed. And never called. I hate when people are so rude and inconsiderate. Fine, change your plans. But call and let me know so I can change mine.

In a way, I'm relieved, as I did not feel perfectly comfortable with either through email and on the phone.

There is a woman coming on Friday to visit with KB's calico. She seemed great through email, so I hope it works out.

I'm trying to work it out so I can take KB's two kittens to the Pet Saver Superstore on Saturday for their vaccination clinic. Both kitties need their vaccines, and though I would love to take them back to the animal hospital, I can't afford 2 vet visits of $47. I think it's great that they have vaccination clinics, and I might as well take advantage of them. Just have to figure out how to get into KB's house and such. I think she's working that day...

Lots of pictures for today!

The shyest little calico cutie. I took these first pictures just a few hours ago. She has gotten to the point where she'll come out of the tree house, which is good, but she's still very shy. She'll tolerate some petting, but not much.
This little man is hilarious. He *has* to play with everything the others play with. Simply needs to be the center of attention. He's perfectly socialized, loves attention, fine with being picked up, etc. He's such a sweetie.

This girl will let you pet her if you have food, but she's not that big on physical attention. She's slowly coming around, though.

Little corker.

This little one is doing the best behind the black and white male. She loves to be petted, but doesn't like to be picked up.
These cages are the best. They've got shelves, hammocks, blankets. The doors are open 24/7, but they love lounging around in them still.
They love their hammocks. = )

Top of the tree house.

Those little mice are their favorites, especially the black and white one.

My mousie.

That's right.

These next pictures are from last week. Little Cujo (grey feral one) stays in the tree house when humans are present. The LV's have seen him scurry back in when they enter, but have seen him on the windowsill, eating, playing, so at least he's out when it's just the kitties. If he does not become socialized, he has a home with one of the LV's daughters as an outdoor cat.

Little girl hiding.

I think the blue hammock is a bit bigger. It's the favored one.

They love that feather wand as well. I think this girl's ears are so cute! They look so big compared to her little head! Or maybe they're just rounder.

Silly face.

I love her coloring. She's super cute.

This girlie has gotten a little better. She still swats at me when she doesn't want to be petted (which is 80% of the time). She spends most of her time on top of the tree house when people are in the room, but has felt comfortable enough to come down a few times to play and eat.

Hi there.

Cutie on the windowsill.