Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Border Patrol

Every morning someone has to do border patrol. The felines have learned to wait and watch until the first quadrant is secure.

Olof does the back yard in front of the house and then makes his way around the fence while they watch him.

He's heading up the hill and at this point they go out, knowing the back section of the yard is safe for cats.

In hunting news, Harper brought in a poor little chipmunk one day and I rescued it. The next day he caught it again and sorry, killed it. I guess it didn't learn the lesson to stay on the other side of the fence like many of them do. Ramona then brought in another which she managed to get up to the bedroom and let it go. I still haven't found it so I think it got out, since we still have the door to the yard open most days. The cats are out from about 8 AM to 5 PM when they come running in to my whistle for dinner and crash out. It's a busy day here at Caturday.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


September is my favorite month. Before global warming September was beautiful even though we would have had a killing frost by now and the garden would have been over. But now it's like a gift of another month of summer. The tourists are gone, the kids are back in school and the days are filled with golden light. Except for today when we're getting rain from the storm. The grey sky only makes the brillant reds and yellows stand out more. July was rain soaked this year (maybe another warming trend change) August went by too quickly with work but September has been a month to savor.

I stopped by the shelter but things are calming down a bit there and the six kittens I thought I needed to photograph are already spoken for. I took a few shots because they are the most beautiful family I have seen since the Cheddars but I didn't want to spend a lot of time in the room with them since they have all had URI's and were getting more medication that day. The little grey one is the smallest kitten I have ever seen for that age. You can judge her size by her littermate cuddled up to her. And her eyes are a bit mucky from the cold. But she is a feisty little creature and should do well as she grows.

I should go back and get more photos of this gang just because they are so gorgeous. They were playful and curious, rolling around their room like a gang of kids. These photos were taken through a glass door and I was surprised at how well they turned out. This guy is staring at me through the door with his paws resting on the frame.

And this one stopped for a second before running off to join the games.

If you're a kitten anything will do for a cave or a fort or a castle to climb on.

This is a photo of Little One when the family first arrived. Her eyes are half closed because of her cold. But she is as spunky as the rest. I wish I had a matchbox to put next to her so you could see how tiny she is. About the size of a chipmunk at that time. She is bigger now and has filled out some. Then she was just the scrawniest thing.

This handsome fellow is Starsky. He has been waiting at the shelter for quite a while for a special person because he is FIV positive. He is a sweet friendly fellow who has been feeling a bit low because of a problem in one ear. That seems to be healing up and he's been more chipper lately. He badly needs someone to come take him home. He loves attention and cuddling, even though he looks a bit stern in this photo.

Some good shelter news: the wonderful Hercules, who is also FIV positive, has found a home with a kind elder man near me. This man had adopted another FIV positive cat who died. He was a bit concerned about Hercules being so young (2) and himself being 80 but it is a good situation for the amiable Herc who really just wanted someone to care for.

I have been reading an excellent book on being a vet. It's called Tell Me Where It Hurts and is written by Dr. Nick Trout who is a vet at Angell Memorial in Boston, Mass. It's hard for me to tell you how good it is, but I highly recommend it because of how he writes about our relationships with our beloved animal companions. My favorite line was when he called the communication between an old man and his dog "contented nothingness". That is so perfect a description of how I feel cuddled up to Harper and Ramona. As soon as I touch them a soft rumble begins and either one of them just exudes happiness and peacefulness when we are close together. Dr. Trout understands how much animals give us.

Words do fail me here so again, get this book if you can. Ask your local library to get it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Patient Mona

Ramona has been spending hours and hours sitting in one small area of the yard just behind the house. We thought maybe it was just a nice place for a cat to sit, protected, shady. But no, there is more on her mind....

It is probably hard to see but there is a snug little home dug out of the stone wall. And on further examination, there are quite a few more.

This explains the Patient Ones endless vigil. These photos were taken starting at 9 AM and the last ones at 6 PM. In the same spot.

I know you're in there. I can hear you.

Sigh, time for a bath.


I am listening.

I get into attack position.

Gosh, where'd you go?

Sonar down.

Sigh, no banana.

There it is! I hear it! I'm gonna getcha.

Or was it over there?

No, it is in that direction.

Really really this time.

Focus, Mona, focus. Move slow. Silent.

Don't make a noise.

Ready position.

Closer, closer.

Hmmm, think I'm losing it.

Ah well, tomorrow is another day. Time for dinner.