Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Coons and cats and kittens, oh my...

Mama raccoon and her babies eating on our back porch
  We have 2 mama raccoons that bring their babies up to eat several times a day. One has 5 babies, one has 2.  The cats that hang out in our yard co-habitate well with the coons.  They give each other a wide berth most of the time. The babies (raccoons and kittens alike) are curious and occasionally try to get close. The mamas run them off. But they never fight... or at least I've never seen them fight.

I was reading another site this morning and they were talking about the "life of cats" with the "life of Reilly" inference.  Truly, cats do seem to have the good life... at least the ones with homes do.  We cater to their every whim, feed, play, and entertain them.  They nap, eat, nap, play, nap, and nap.  Seems like a pretty good set-up.  My 6 are all different ages from 6 to 19 at the moment. And their personalities are all different.  Tux, who is a huge black and white male, brother to Jack who was pictured as Captain Jack on post entitled Cat Tales, is what we call a wus cat.  He is needy and wants loving all the time. If I don't sit down to read or rest by 2 pm, Tux will start following me around caterwauling.  It's his time.. or so he thinks. When I do sit down and he plops into my lap, if I have the audacity to start reading a book, he immediately reaches up and pulls it down... then pats my face (as if to say, "look at ME).  He is a mess.  But he's our mess.

Tux on left, Jack on right

Now the homeless cats that choose our yard as their sanctuary get pretty good treatment also. We feed twice a day (dry and wet) as well as lay out treats, toys, and fresh water.  In the summer they have the patio fan to lie under and in the winter we put out hay and heat lamps for their comfort.  They have a wood fenced yard to protect them from dogs and coyotes and can come and go as they please. We follow the catch and release program and if we can catch them, we vaccinate, spay or neuter, and release. Kittens get picked up at about 2-3 weeks, taken in and bottle-fed, played with to ensure friendliness, and then taken to cat adoption room at our local no-kill shelter (and are usually adopted out within the week). 

However, we don't always catch the mamas and thus, we do have repeat litters, but we try.  We have 2 young mamas in our yard now.  We took Bootsie's babies when they were about  3 weeks.  They have already been adopted out. But we haven't caught Bootsie yet. The other little mama moved her babies not long after we found her hiding place and before we could get the kittens.  Now they are in the yard and adorable, but much too fast to catch.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cat tales...

Captain Jack
 Realized when I was reading some cat blogs yesterday that when people have several blogs and one wasn't updated in a while, I tended to skip it.  Thought that I should learn something from that and try to update my blogs on at least a weekly basis in order to not discourage readers. I do tend to update one, but not all.  Lately I've been working on my retirement site, "Older, but better...?".

This post is basically going to be about Jack, our 8 year old black and white DSH. His full name is "Jumpin' Jack Lickady Spit" and yes, there is a story behind that.  Since we tend to be the neighborhood feral cat sanctuary, strays tend to use our backyard as their own private cat park.  Some come, eat, and leave; others come, eat, and give birth... staying to raise their offspring...  or in some cases such as this one, leaving their offspring on our back porch and taking off for parts unknown.

Jack and his 4 brothers and sisters were abandoned at about 2-3 weeks of age.  At the time, we had 3 inside cats.  We took the 5 kittens in with the intention of bottle-feeding them until they were old enough and friendly enough to find homes.  Well... my daughter took one, my son took 2... and we kept the remaining 3.  Jack was a little 'jumper'... didn't walk anywhere... but kind of leapt like a bunny.  We added the 'lickady spit' later when it became obvious that when Jack was content (such as lying on your lap or chest) he drooled.  Messy, but sweet.

5 abandoned kittens a few weeks after we found them
From the left: Monkey Mouse, Jack, Cocoa, and Tux with Jasmine (the grey tabby in the font)