Tuesday, June 29, 2010
He went home with the woman who's been trying to get the kittens. She met me at the dumpsters in between the photo studio and the grey building. I showed her how to use the trap again, and let her borrow it so she can go back whenever to try to get the babies. I told her to rig it up so she can control who gets trapped (I don't want to have to keep an adult cat for more than one day). I also mentioned that she might be able to use the baby as bait for the other kittens...
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
I asked her about the houses on the other side of the fence that have disappeared. She says there are teenage boys who like to skateboard over there - and destroy the houses. I guess she outted them for being over there and they retaliated by removing/breaking/setting fire to some of the houses. I just hope none of the cats were hurt. She says she doesn't believe they've touched any of the huts that are between the fences. I hope not, because the cats need places to go!
She also said that the owner of the photo studio poisoned some of the cats a few years ago and bragged about it after throwing their dead bodies over by the dumpsters. I don't even have words for that. People who are capable of such actions have this human/animal separation. Humans are supreme beings, animals "just animals." Pests. Like cutting trees down because they're in the way. And I don't know how to fight that belief with any bit of success. Most people I know are like that. They believe people take precedence over animals merely because they are human and "animals" are not.
Maybe I'll figure out how to combat these beliefs with time. I hope so. Because I hate not knowing what to say that might actually go through someone's defenses of "I am right, you can't touch me, EVER!!!"
Well, goodnight. = )
The woman who's been trapping with me at the bar colony trapped an adult cat today, though. So I'm really hoping that RIT only gets one cat... I don't know if they'll have enough time to do more than two. Depends on the gender.
I got a call from the woman who does the landscaping at the photo studio about a feral cat trapped in a cage left out in the heat for over an hour. She actually called the hospital first. They called me, and I told them to give her my number. Not sure how long the cat was left out there, but it was hot. I thought the woman who had been trapping was going to call me, but I ended up having to call her. She said she was going to wait until tomorrow morning to see if we had time... don't know why. I just told her to give me a call as soon as possible - that's definitely helpful!
When I went to pick up the cat, she had him in the car. The windows were rolled down, but I fear that the cat had definitely gotten overheated. I brought him over to the hospital and put him in the cool bathroom over a wet towel. I also slid a small dish of water in there for him/her. Poor cat's tongue was sticking out when I got him, he was so hot! We had a meeting later that afternoon, so I checked on him again, and he seemed much better. I hope no lasting damage occured due to the heat!
Unfortunately, I found out today that the woman helping me had to release the black and white kitten! She was under the assumption that the caretaker was going to take him, but when that didn't work out, she had nowhere for him to go! Same as me, so I don't blame her - I just wish we had more options for these babies! I gave her another woman's number, but it seems that though the people want to be able to take them in, when it comes down to it, they find reasons that they can't. It's regrettable, though, because I think they are at least 8 weeks old now. And if I had known, I would have had the kitten fixed before release. I did let her know, though, that if she doesn't have a place for the kittens, I will have them fixed before we set them back out there. Saves us the trouble of trying to get them later on.
I wonder also if she released the kitten - and didn't hold on to him for a few days to try to find another option - because he is sick. I know that this is the kitten she wanted to bring in for an exam. And when I went to refresh the cats' water today, I saw the poor baby, eyes all gunked up and red. *sigh*
BUT, along with the adult cat, she also got the other black kitten. What she's going to do with that one, I'm not sure, since she couldn't keep the black and white one. Maybe it really was because he's sick?
I heard that the owners of the photo studio are irritated about the caretaker giving milk to the cats, as it's giving them diarrhea. And they're pottying in the studio's backyard. I don't understand the milk thing! Water is essential for cats, milk is detrimental. They do make safe-for-cats milk, though.
Someobody seems to be helping with the water, though. I hope the caretaker is! That would be great.
Anyway, I'll let you know the gender of this black cat tomorrow after surgery, b/c I've no clue! = )
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I have to pause it and take breaks as it is such heart-wrenching content. I have broken down in tears several times now.
No person should be allowed to eat animals or take a pet to the shelter without watching this documentary first.
No person should be allowed to go through life without facing the fact that they are the cause for these beings' tortured existences.
They all say "I don't want to think about it." "I don't want to hear about it." And I get that. I don't either. I want to hide in my closet and never think about it.
But I make myself watch this documentary because I know there is a reason I don't eat animals anymore. And I know there is a reason I want everyone to spay and neuter their pets. And this is why.
Until you see the cows and pigs and chickens resorting to cannabilism, their throats being slit as they are shackled upside down still alive and struggling to be free, being beaten by men who feel so manly and powerful exerting this kind of control - until you watch this documentary yourself, don't let me see you putting that chicken sandwich in your mouth. Until you see the dogs and cats being crammed into a gas chamber that takes 20 minutes of struggling and panic and fear to finally end their lives - don't let me hear of you taking a pet to the shelter.
NOTHING I SAY will ever change a person's view. It's sad, but I know it's true. But a book can. And a movie can. People don't listen to other's words. But they respond to videos. And books. If you don't have the time to read a book, rent a documentary. Rent "Earthlings." You will cry, want to hide, and feel like you'll scream at anyone who ever talks to you again because the content is so disturbing and traumatic. But I cannot take anyone seriously when they tell me I need to support my farmers, or get my calcium/protein, or THAT THEY DON'T EVEN LIKE PIGS. If you want to tell me that using animals for our benefit is okay, watch this documentary and then get back to me. Seriously. I don't want to hear it, because I don't have the right words to defend these animals. And they deserve more than my stumbling efforts. They deserve to have a proper chance at being defended.
So watch "Earthlings" and let me know.
I'm only halfway through it, because it's super late and I need my sleep. I think I will put Narnia or something in to calm me down. After watching the news and hearing about one baby being shot to death, another baby being stabbed to death, and now this documentary, I don't know if I can take the human race anymore. Maybe tomorrow I will be a little more hopeful, but tonight I just want to cry.
So, Studmuffin seems to be quite the gentleman. Here he is waiting patiently as all the girls/younguns chow down.
My little trap with the sliding rear door was set behind the dumpster, awaiting a small kitty. But as everyone was eating, the trap snapped shut of its own accord. No one was even near it. Freaked me and all the cats out. Everyone scattered.
I will admit, I was sitting in my car being a sissy. I was watching them eat, and I didn't want to disturb them, thinking THEY ARE SO HUNGRY AND IT WOULD BE SO MEAN TO SCARE THEM AWAY. But I guess my little trap knew better, because when it snapped shut, it snapped me out of my sissy state. And I got out my drop trap.
After waiting a couple minutes, Stud came back and started eating under the drop trap. I hesitated, because my transfer trap is smaller than the other ones. I didn't want to trap him and have him escape. But I decided to go ahead, since you never know when another chance will come along. After almost escaping by lifting the drop trap up (even with my heavy anchor) and biting a small hole in the netting of the drop trap, I was able to transfer him to the regular trap. He was not happy, but I covered him quickly and took him over to spend the night in the bathroom. He will be neutered tomorrow.
I left a note for the techs - he seems quite feral. Very upset about being trapped. It's always hard to see these cats in the traps. I know they must be so panicked. That's why I don't like keeping them for more than one night. It's not fair if they are that freaked out. But being neutered will be a good thing, Studmuffin!
I had my trap out, hoping a curious kitten would enter so I could give them over to one of the three women who are willing to find them homes, but as I sat in my car watching, it snapped shut of it's own accord. And scared everyone off. So I got my drop trap out and waited for someone to come back.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I would like to set more traps, but I really can't afford to. If I trap more than we have time for, I would have to keep them for several days - and I don't know how to take care of them in a situation like that.
A woman went over on Saturday to try to get the remaining kittens. I don't believe she was trapping - I don't think she has a trap. But she feels bad for the babies, so I know she wanted to make some sort of attempt.
I have realized over the last couple of days that I won't be able to help the colonies that don't have caretakers who keep up on the cats needing to be altered. Since we can only spay and neuter a couple cats a week, we need to focus on the caregivers that do make an effort - otherwise, we're wasting time on a lost cause! In order to make a difference, we need to halt the reproduction of colonies. I'm fine with this taking time to complete - but since I am not the caretaker, I don't know the colony. And I don't know when there are cats that need to be trapped. So if one or two cats are left unaltered, and I am not aware of their status, I'm not going to be able to get them fixed. And that one cat will have babies, which obviously in a few months, leads to more babies. So it doesn't matter how many I got spayed and neutered - because the reproduction hasn't stopped!
I know that the surgery is a benefit to the cats - and I want to help them all. But I am mainly interested in stopping the breeding. I've realized that it's not the numbers that are important - it's the ending of the reproduction cycle of outdoor cats. And I can only do that when the caregivers work with me. Otherwise, there's really no end. And it's not worth the heartache.
For example, our colony at the hospital is finished. Eight males neutered (5 of which remain) - no newcomers in a long while. I'm sure there are other cats in the area, but they are not in our colony. But if we see a new cat, we will trap him/her.
Anyway. I just thought it was worth noting the decision I made. I fully intend on getting the Wendy's cats spayed and neutered, but after this, I can't work with someone who doesn't keep me up to date - or doesn't help with the trapping. Because there's no point. And I don't have a lot of time to waste - especially when I could be helping someone else.
OH, and the last b&w cat from the bar/photo studio colony? Was a male. Maybe over time I will get better at this. I hope to do some more trapping this week. And get that elusive female from Wendy's. Sans cops!!!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I returned them tonight at dusk. They shot straight into the tall grass. They usually only venture out at night, so I wanted to make sure it was dark when I returned them. Figured it was only fair. = )
There used to be a barn in this field. I forget if it burned down or if they tore it down. But this is where these cats come from, no doubt.
When I brought the two males back tonight, I saw a black and white cat. Appeared male, but we all know my track record on gender. He just sat there and watched me. He did not seem as skittish as the others. Could this be the cat Mrs. L. was talking about last year? I hope not. She said she had met a friendly black and white cat - one who gave love bites. This cat was comfortable enough to not run away, but didn't approach to my sweet-talking. First time I've seen him, but I know there's at least one more intact female here - he might have ventured over for the food or the girls... Actually... I think she said the cat was more black than white... I'll have to look through previous writings. (Edit: Just looked. It appears to have been a white on black cat. With a white-tipped tail. The cat I saw tonight was definitely black splotches on white.)
I checked the book today to see the sexes of the cats. In doing so, I found the pages for the two kittens - they did get their distemper vaccinations, which is good. Just no rabies.
I'm planning on trying for a bar cat tomorrow. But my father has to go in for another surgery, so we'll see if I have time...
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I decided to pull in to the empty building's parking lot next to the Wendy's (the one we have written consent to be on the property of) instead of parking at Wendy's. I knew I was going to be there longer than a half hour, and I didn't want to use up a spot for paying customers. I figured it would be easier, anyway.
So as I'm setting all my cat-trapping stuff up, I'm waving at the people walking by or riding by on their bikes, because I know they're wondering what I'm doing. Better to be openly friendly than suspiciously creepy, I figure... And then this silver car pulls into the parking lot, slowly turning around (getting my license plate number) and stalls near the road for several minutes (calling 911).
Knowing the people in the silver car don't know what's going on, I start walking towards them, hand up like "hey, how are you" but they just speed off. I go back to my business, certain that I'll have visitors soon...
As I'm talking to this older man on his bike about what I'm doing (I actually take care of his cats when they stay at our boarding facility), the cops pull in. 2 cop cars for this girl here. At least they didn't pull in with the sirens going. Haha.
"Suspicious female in green carrying cages into the field." Yep, that's me. Suspicious female. Definitely wearing green. And carrying cages. Oh, goodness.
Only one of them got out of the car to see what was going on. But since I already knew why they were there, I told him about the car, that I was expecting them, and *all* about what I was doing. As the older man rode away on his bike to get home before dark, the officer got out and asked to see how the traps worked. I showed him the drop trap, why I was using it, and how I transfer the cats. He laughed when he realized that I pull the string to drop the trap - said it reminded him of something in a cartoon. Guess it kind of does...
So, it wasn't all that awkward to have to the cops called on me. But that's because the officer was incredibly nice. Not an asshole. He also reminded me of my godfather. Who is a police officer. Or sherriff. Deputy? I don't know.
I guess they have a feral cat population behind the station. Of course, BECAUSE THEY ARE EVERYWHERE OH MY GOD!!! He told me I should come over there and help them out. After Wendy's and the bar/photo studio area are stabilized, I think I probably will. Who doesn't need to know a nice officer every now and then? Haha.
And I was lucky. This one may be a male... But I've been wrong, often, so who knows. I haven't trapped any males here yet, though... Except for two of last year's kittens, but the males go off roaming while the females stay and have their babies. Maybe this is the one making all the babies! Well, male or female, no more babies for this cat!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
When I stopped trapping there (4 females spayed, over 10 kittens removed and rehomed), one grey and white female was left to be spayed. The woman feeding them said that she would call me when she trapped her, as she was more difficult. (This is the cat that she had trapped in a cage and then RELEASED, because she *might* have had babies. Listen, I don't want babies to go without their mom for a night or two and be responsible for anything bad that happens to them, but *might* is not good enough for me. I just want the cats sterilized. I'm sorry if that makes me sound like a cold hard *you-know-what,* but had she been spayed, we could be helping other cats out and not her offspring.) That one female has turned that place back into a breeding ground. Where the males are roaming, I've no clue, but I am so disappointed that the caretaker did not fulfill her promise. Why has she not trapped the teenage cats either?
Another issue that frustrates me is the kittens. I can't help her again - I have no money for kittens. I wouldn't even want to help her with them if I did have the money. I feel that she may focus too much on getting the kittens socialized and into homes when she should be worrying about the cats having babies in the first place. She knows that I would get them the first available appointment, yet she doesn't try to trap them - and she hasn't called me for any help.
It bothers me, because she knows I am right here to help her out. Not a lot of caretakers have such an available and immediate option! I understand when those who care for these cats don't have the resources to get the cats fixed, but she does. Yet she continues to feed the cats every night and let them breed. Disappointed, yes. Frustrated, yes. And angry, a little.
I will call her tomorrow to let her know that I will go over there as soon as I can to try to trap the unneutered cats, but I am angry that she has not taken the responsibility. I will also have to let her know that no, I can't do anything with any kittens. Because that's the first thing she will ask me. Easy to write down, hard to verbalize, because truly, I'm a nice person and don't like to alienate people.
Maybe there's a legitimate reason for not getting these cats trapped, but she has my phone number and could have called me. That's what really gets me - she has somebody who has made it clear that she will help, just call. But no call.
In order to make some headway, we have to KEEP ON TOP of the leftover cats. The ones that still need to be trapped and fixed. And if we can't get them, we have to get their babies ASAP. If we just leave them, and feed them, then we've made NO DIFFERENCE!!! They will continue to breed because the food just doesn't run out! Aahhhhhh!!! Also, these cats are in such a public place! I want their numbers to stay very very small, because someone is bound to call animal control and cite some crap about "public nuisance" and "safety/health hazards." I do NOT want that. I want to be able to say that we are keeping the population in check. That we are making TNR the best option out there!!!
Okay, I will stop my ranting and give her a call tomorrow. Night, everyone!