Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Our First Donation!

"There are few things in life more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a cat!"
Tay Hohoff

HEY! We got our first real monetary donation to "Take Pity on the Kitties"! We are so excited. MamaKat received a really cool picture frame that we are just sure that she will fill with our pictures...her daughter and family gave it to her for Christmas. It has the cute quote above and also a hand drawn picture of me, Possum! Aren't I pretty???? Anyway, it came with a real check for real money! MamaKat is real excited. She is waiting for a call from the county animal shelter to see if they will help her with our TNR program. So things are moving along!



See how pretty our frame is? Isn't mamaKat's little girl talented? Isn't the check awesome!!!

A Little Did ya Know about Cats
Did you know that in 1936 the first feline racetrack was opened in Dorset, England? Cats chasing electric mice failed to attract large audiences and the last track closed in 1949. Cats chasing an electric mouse??? What dignified cat would follow an electric mouse?...oh wait! I love my laser light, is that the same thing? I hope not!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Why Do Cats Purr?

"If there were to be a universal sound depicting peace, I would surely vote for the purr."
- Barbara L. Diamond


A Little Did Ya Know About Cats?

Why Do Cats Purr?


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Contented Cat

Contentment, comfort, security... for many pet owners, the humming purr of a squinting cat is the unmistakable signal that their feline is happy and healthy.

  1. In many ways this is true: behaviorists believe the original function of purring was to enable a kitten to tell his mother that "all is well." This often occurs during nursing. A kitten can't meow and nurse at the same time, but can purr and nurse without any problem. The mother often purrs back, reassuring the kitten using this tactile, resonant communication.

    This is why your cat purrs when petted, instinctively giving the signal "all is well," a message you can both feel and hear.

    But this isn't the only message purring may signal:

  2. Older cats purr when they play or approach other cats, signaling they are friendly and want to come closer.
    Veterinary Perspective...
    When a cat is purring, it is almost impossible to hear the cat's heart or lungs very well, making examination of vital signs difficult. Oddly enough, many cats will stop purring if they're near the sound of running water. This is why you may see your veterinarian turning on the faucet in the exam room in an attempt to get your cat to stop purring - so your cat can get a better exam.


  3. Cats also purr when they are distressed or afraid. Sick and injured cats, and those in veterinary offices often purr. It is thought that this is the cat's way of reassuring and calming herself.

Purring is one of several methods of non-verbal communication felines use to convey their moods and needs. Others include squinting or slow blinking, stretching, scratching, facial rubbing, and spraying. So the next time your cat is purring deeply while curled in your lap, try purring back - she'll know what you're saying!

for more see:.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=892

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas is over...

and we are beat! Actually this is a picture of my, sister, Lucy, sleeping under the empty Christmas tree. I cant wake her up, even if I chew on her behind! She is such a party animal and a social creature. My mamaKat said she was in the thick of things all day yesterday when 14 humans, including four really short ones that made way too much noise and ran in directions I couldnt keep track of, spent 24 hours in my house! I found places in the basement I didnt know existed, just to hide out and wait for them to leave.

O! My name is Ricky. You've seen pictures of me before here. Im taking over mamaKat's blog. After all, I should know about cats since I am one.

Its a little bit warmer out today, so I got to spend some time on the back porch, which is my "outside". The sun felt good and I noticed that the porch kitty food was gone again. I dont know who is eating it. That drives me crazy, I watch all day out the window and no one comes...

This is a picture of me and my dumb sister, Possum. She wouldnt move out the basket, so I sat on her...told ya she's dumb!

MamaKat is worried about the Take Pity on the Kitty project. She said a lady told her that the county is trapping cats in town and taking them to the "pound". I dont know what the pound is, but she said it with a tone that makes me think it is not a good place. I wonder if it is where I went after someone found me and my sister in a cold metal place that had no food and nothing to drink??? I thought the place they took us was nice...it had cages. I didnt like being in a cage, but it was warm and there was food and water and nice place to bury my ...you know... :) It was better than where I came from. They put stinky stuff in my ears, they gave some yukky stuff in my mouth that tasted horrible, but made me feel better and some other "surgical" thing that they said was for my own good, but I cant imagine why they call inflicting major pain in a majorly sensitive area for my own good!. We didnt stay there very long. We went to another warm place that had lots of people coming and going with other animals...dogs, cats, birds even a couple hamsters! We just sat in a cage (still dont like the cage, but we felt safe) until a lady came and took me out...only to put me in another cage...what????" WAIT! You are leaving my sister!!!! NO!!!" She put my in the loud moving thing and I cried...the next thing I knew we were back where my sister was and the lady opened the cage and put my sister in with me. I was so happy! The lady is my mamaKat. I love her. She feeds us and takes care of us. We belong to her family and some people call her a "Cat Lady", so mamaKat really fits her.
I have a step-sister too! Possum. We all get along as well as a brother and two stupid girls can. MamaKat says we have a cushy life in the house, but I would kill to get outside to catch something other than a lasor light! MamaKat's Take Pity on the Kitty project is so she and others can help lonely hungry cats in town. I hope she can find out why they are trapping and taking our town's cats to the pound. If it is to find them a good home, like we got, then good. If not, what will happen to them???


This is a picture of me and Lucy our first day at MamaKat's! Did ya know if you click on the pic you can see me up close???

A Little Did Ya Know About Cats!

Did you know that even if you live in a small space, two cats are often better than one? They keep each other from getting lonely, groom each other and use each other as a soft pillow! Meow!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!


From Ricky, Lucy and Possum...a very restful and peaceful Merry Christmas!


" In these days of tension, human being can learn a great deal about relaxation from watching a cat, who doesnt justl ie down when it is time to rest, but pours his body on the floor and rests in every nerve and muscle." Murray Robinson

A Little Did Ya Know about Cats!

Did you know that when your cat is in the habit of rolling over and exposing her stomach, you can be sure she feels perfectly safe with you? Actually, for our feline friends, there is no more convincing sign of affection! Meow!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Stockings were hung....


"What Greater Gift than the love of a Cat?"
Charles Dickens

As you prepare for Santa's arrival tonight, please don't forget to put out extra treats for your feral cats...

Our indoor kitties love toys and getting into things. Here Ricky wormed his way into a box I was going to use for gift-giving. He is such a squirt and into everything. I have to be very careful about what I leave laying around. He will manage to get in it, on it or eat it!

I found a great website from the Humane Society of the United States. So much information to share from there. This, being Christmas eve, I will share a piece of the article and the site so you can go get more if you want.

For now, from my house to yours, from my kitties to all your kitties...Merry Christmas!

"Cat Toys...You need them!"

Although cats generally have different play styles than their canine counterparts, toys are as much a necessity for cats as they are for dogs. Toys help fight boredom and give cats an outlet for their instinctive prey-chasing behaviors. And when you are the one moving the toy around while your cat fishes for it, chases after it, or jumps in pursuit of it, playtime becomes a bonding experience for you and your cat.

"Safe" Toys

Our mothers always told us "no playing ball in the house," but cats can usually participate in that forbidden exercise without knocking down a vase or a lamp (and being grounded for two weeks). Still, there are plenty of factors that may contribute to the safety of the toy they're batting around...

For the rest of the article...go to www.http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/our_pets_for_life_program/cat_behavior_tip_sheets/cat_toys_you_need_them.html

**Wont you share with me your kitty's favorite toy??? Lucy's is a small laser light I purchased at the pet shop.. It drives her crazy! I will attempt to get a video of her chasing it and will post it for you. She now realizes that the little red "bug" is coming from the yellow flashlight I am holding in my hand. She knows where I keep it and if I move toward that direction, she gets excited and starts looking all over the floor to see where the bug is! If I turn off the light while playing, she will come over and bat at my hand to get me to turn it on.

A Little Did Ya Know About Cats...

Did you know that it wasn't until after WW2 that cats became popular house pets? Before than, they lived mostly outdoors. One reason for their change of residence has been attributed to Edward Lowe of Cassopolis, MI, who introduced the convenient pellets known as kitty litter in 1947. Ricky says, Thank you very much Mr. Lowe! Meow!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dont Forget to Feed the Feral Kitties!


My Frozen Tundra of a backyard!

Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way!
John Mult

Right now the glimpse I am getting into the life of a feral cat is a nightmare. I'm officially really worried about our ferals. I continue to put out dry food and the bowl continues to be empty each morning. But it's so cold!!! Right now the real temp is 4 below and with wind chill I know it is really bad. And water? Well, it freezes before you can walk away from the bowl...

I usually get a money gift from my mom at Christmas. I always go buy something special that I wouldn't otherwise spend money on. A new purse, perfume, this year I was thinking about one of those little steam cleaners for my wood floors...heated water bowls cost around the amount she gives me so I think I will invest in one this year...Merry Christmas Boo!

If you have been feeding any ferals, please don't stop now. This will be when they need it the most. Once they begin to depend on human feeding, they will not be as self sufficient. They will be looking to you for food, don't let them down.

I worry about their warmth too. I know they must have special spots all figured out where they can keep out of the elements, but my mind goes nuts thinking they are shivering somewhere. I found a website that tells an easy and inexpensive way to make little houses for the ferals. You go to restaurants and ask for the Styrofoam boxes that meat and seafood is delivered in, which they just throw away. These can be made into great "huts" that will keep these babies nice and warm. I plan to see if I can find a few tomorrow when I go to the "cities". If you would like to check this method out, see http://www.all-creatures.org/ak/feral-shelter.html You can get complete directions at that site.

A Little Did Ya Know About Cats...
Speaking of water... Humans generally think of water as a tasteless liquid, but did ya know that scientists have discovered that cats are able to detect different flavors in the water they drink? This may help to explain why some family pets prefer to drink from the faucet! Meow!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Living with our Kitties...

Lucy and Ricky waiting for the installer!

Princess Lucy among the lace curtains!

Princess Lucy getting situated in the curtains!

"Since each of us is blessed with only one life...why not live it with a cat?"
Robert Stearns


As you can see, I experienced, in living color my life with cats yesterday, as I was taking down the window treatments so I could get some new blinds put in. These kitties are so funny...they are typical cats and MUST be in the middle of anything and everything you are doing. I don't have many pictures without at least one of them in the shot. I must be ever so watchful to see that they don't get into trouble that would would harmful or hurtful to them.

A Little Did Ya Know about Cats..

Did you know that between 3 and 6 months, when their permanant teeth come in, kittens often experience discomfort and begin to chew on everything in sight. Your vet can provide a topical medicine to soothe sore gums ( hope your finger comes back out intact!). Solid rubber toys can also be helpful! Meow!




Thursday, December 18, 2008

Neuter- time!

A little Did ya Know about Cats!

Kittens should be neutered at about six months of age, before they reach sexual maturity. Neutering a safe, inexpensive and permanent procedure, not only prevents accidental breeding, but also reduces behavioral and health problems.

Our "Take Pity" vet, Dr, Sharyn Jones, says when considering neutering feral cats, younger is better. If they are at the age where you see them during the daytime (mama doesn't have them hidden away), then they are old enough to bring in for the procedure. This is also a good time to try to tame them if you are going to get them "off the streets" and into a good home. Meow!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snowy days...fearful feeders...

Ricky is ab0ut to either burn his tail, his nose or the house down!

Lucy is being a "good girl" napping beneath the tree...

The weather has been so cold and nasty. We had 3-4" of snow on top of 2 degree weather. Myself and several of the other community cat "feeders" are worried to tears for our babies that live outside. The bed I made for "Boo" or whoever decided to sleep under my porch is getting snow inside, so if I can, I will try to make it better tomorrow. All the food was gone this morning, so someone is eating, but no one is in sight. All we can do is try to give them a warm place to sleep and keep their tummys full...

A Little Did Ya Know About Cats...

Trivia is good and fun, but my little did ya know may also feature some helpful info about our feline friends...please enjoy. Christmas is a time of good cheer, but for cats there are certain hazards that must be taken into account. Hanging tinsel, dangling ornaments and lit candles are especially tempting, so make sure the tree is firmly secured and accessible to Kitty only when you are on the scene. I have a friend that puts a big hook on the ceiling to tie the tree top to, just to make sure it doesnt fall over...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Boo Kitty


Boo Kitty
This is "Boo-Kitty", my new porch cat...another feral. This one is somewhat familiar though. He has been coming around since he was a kitten and I have posted pics of him before. I hadn't seen him around for weeks, but now that Toby is gone, he must feel safe enough to come. He spend a whole 24 hours sleeping on a lawn chair cushion next to the back steps, but now its so cold, I haven't seen him. The food on the back porch is disappearing so some one is eating it. I hope its him. Larry and I fashioned a bed of sorts semi-underneath the porch, and someone has been sleeping there...This frigid cold weather concerns me for these babies. I will try to get him very used to spending time here before I attempt to trap him and take him in for his neuter. He initially was hanging around my house during Halloween, he looks totally black, so "Boo" seemed to fit. He isn't all black tho, he has some white strands of hair sprinkled around, and when he rolls on his back he has a nice sized patch of white on his lower belly...he's a beauty!

A Little Did Ya Know about Cats....
Did you know that every cat's nose pad. or nose leather, has unique characteristics? Just as no two humans have the same fingerprints, its a fact that no two feline nose prints are ever alike! Meow!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

When you measure your life in the cats you have loved,


Thank you Dr. Jones...

I got the sweetest card from Sharyn Jones, DVM yesterday....so kind and thoughtful to send a sympathy card with a lovely note. I scanned the front of the card here. Probably no accident that the kitty on the card looks very much like Toby. Yes, I miss little Toby's face each morning....but the good news is that there is another kitty (maybe 2?) that are eating the food I continue to put out on my back step (old habits die hard). Maybe soon they will visit in the daylight and I will see who they are(?) :)


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Our First Endeavor...


Several quotes come to mind this morning...
  • If something bad can happen, it will.
  • If at first you don't succeed, try try again
  • For every thing there is a season, a time to live and a time to die...
None seem appropriate, they all pierce my heart. My little Toby passed away yesterday. Our wonderful vet not only performed the surgery, but also treated him for ear mites and gave him a rabies vaccination. All was well until he started coming out of the anesthetic, then he lifted himself up, laid back down and died. My personal blog will tell Toby's story if you are interested. I will write it today, or maybe tomorrow. This has been a very hard time for me.

BUT, we will go on to help more kitty's. Our Dr. Jones is so compassionate and kind. We have not lost faith or trust in her. We know this is the right thing to do for these kitties.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Getting Nervous

We are finally ready to take our first kitty in for his spay. This Friday is the day. Toby will be the first one....Im sure he would be just thrilled if he knew what was going on, but thankfully he doesnt. I have a pic of Toby, but cannot locate it right now. I will get a pic of the "new" Toby. I have the live trap and I am praying he will actually go into it when the time comes...We will be taking him to Omaha's "Completely Cat Clinic" at 108th and Q Streets. Dr. Sharyn Jones is our hero! She is giving us a great discount and the office staff (Missy) is so easy to work with.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving...

"Boo" Lives in the SASPA Courtyard

Fanny, Freddy and Charcoal live there too!

Possum, Ricky and Lucy enjoy the chaise lounge!

A drastic difference between the sets of kitties above. Boo, Fanny, Freddy and Charcoal are huddled against the cold. We do the best we can to provide a warm place and food in their bowls, but the winter is going to be rough. I wish I could take them all in, but 3 is my limit and Im sticking to it! When you see sweet little kitties (and they all are) its really hard to not want to go over the limit. Possum, Ricky and Lucy are enjoying the comfort of the house and the furnature! I wonder if they know how lucky they are? Possum, found under my cousins porch inside a concrete block, and Ricky and Lucy abandoned in an old trailor

We have our first scheduled TNR date. We will try to take 3 in for their spay/neuter on December 1st. Old Toby will be lured into the live trap. Im putting his food dishes close to the trap so he wont be scared of it...also giving him warm milk again every morning. He so loves it and I imagine that the warmth spreads thru his body and provides a comfy feeling against the coldness of the outdoors. I even warm a little fleece baby blanket for him to stand on while he eats. He looks at me like Im crazy, but it makes me feel better, if nothing else.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Life of Riley and Jake!

Sweet Jake...we miss you!

Riley in her most comfortable position!
This story comes from Kris B. in LasVegas, Nv. Thank you Kris for taking in a little lost kitty and giving it:
"The Life of Riley"
A little more than a year ago, I had dropped my husband off at the airport, and was coming home. It was dark as I slowed down for our drive-way. I caught a glimpse of a kitty in a neighbors yard, and thought it was our 17 yr old cat, Jake, sitting there. I wondered how he got outside! I quickly parked, and jumped out and started calling "Here kitty, kitty". A small gray tabby cat came running...it wasn't Jake, though. She was very anxious for me to pet her and was obviously a stray...skinny and dusty. My first thought was "I don't want another cat". Jake, the old guy, wasn't going to be with us much longer, and I honestly was looking forward to no litter box! But I thought I would feed her and try to find her owner in our neighborhood. You see, we live in an area with lots of new homes and construction, and there always seems to be lost cats and dogs. I brought out a dish of food and fresh water, and she devoured it. I left her outside, and went to bed. She was slinking around the front courtyard in the morning, and was happy for more food. I took a picture of her and emailed it to a partial neighborhood list, hoping I would have luck in finding her home. One woman did come, thinking it was her lost cat. It wasn't, but she said she'd take her home anyway. I thought "Good! The kitty has a home, and the family has a kitty!". But the next day, there was the lost kitty again, outside the front door. I don't know if she got away somehow, or if the woman put her out. Anyway, I kept feeding her outside, and implored all my friends "Don't you want a sweet kitty?". No takers. All of this went on for about 2 months, and it was beginning to get pretty cold at night. The kitty curled up in a spot under a small bush in our front yard when she slept. I put an old blanket by the door, but as far as I know, she didn't use it. Anyway, John and I finally accepted the fact that she had found a home...she knew it, but it took us a while to figure it out. We brought her in the house. She was a bit skittish at first, and Jake wasn't happy at all. Our pug, Spanky, also wondered "What the heck!". I took her to the vets to get shots & spayed, and was surprised to find out that she had already been spayed. Of course, we still had to pay the cost, because the surgery still happened. And she went through the surgery twice in her life...poor thing! It took us a long time to name her....I just couldn't think of one that fit. Then, one day I was telling a friend about her story, and said she now lives the "life of Riley". Eureka! So Riley it is. I've sent a picture of her in her favorite sleeping pose. I've never had another cat that sleeps like this, but she looks pretty content and happy, doesn't she? I've also added a picture of old Jake, one that was taken his last morning, sitting on the patio. I lovingly took him to the vet right after taking this picture. He was 18 yo, and was not having an easy time any more. So now he's in kitty heaven. And Riley is now our kitty, with a sweet personality and funny quirks.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Arent they just too cute???

Ricky and Lucy...again


These two are so cute I can hardly stand it! I have been playing in my pictures today and have found some cute ones I want to share with you all. This is when they could still both fit in this basket. Now their tubby little bodies wont. Its late and the 3 of them are tearing around the house like they are possessed! Its just their normal before bed romp! Monday, I start planning our first meeting!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tekoe's Story....




I received the following note from my friend in Florida. She has recently "rescued" a little cat that would have been doomed to be put "down", if Kathy hadnt decided to take her.


"Tekoe was my cousins 93 year old Mother's cat. Her Mother died, and I had recently had to put my dog to sleep after 15 years. My husband died almost two years ago so it can get very lonely here. I thought about another dog, but did not want to have to worry about letting it outside. I thought of a kitten, and then it smacked me in the face. What about Tekoe? I called my cousin, and asked if I could take the cat. Tekoe had been at the Vets for two months while they were trying to get her adopted. Tekoe needed me and I definitely needed her. My cousin had her front claws removed. After the healing process, Tekoe was shipped via airplane from Seattle, WA to Florida. All of this was so traumatic for the sweetheart.
This five year old little Tuxedo Cat and I bonded immediately. I am getting used to the cat type behaviors-the more I leave her be, the more she seeks me out. She has a great personality, and can be very loving when the mood strikes her. I love this little cat and am so grateful for her. Thanks for all the great work you and your community are doing for the stray kitties.
Here's a couple of pictures of Princess Tekoe."

It's compassionate and caring people like my friend Kathy that will make this little grass roots effort work. Kathy has decided to donate to our cause and I am so thankful to her.

Please share your rescued Kitty story with us along with a couple photos. We would like to share your story!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Getting Nervous!

By loving and understanding animals, perhaps we humans shall come to understand each other!

Dr. Louis J. Camuti

Now that we have been approved for non profit status with the Community Club, I am so anxious to get started. I keep seeing strays and I know they are hungry and I know they are going to multiply...Where to start? What to do? Ok...settle down. haha!

I will be gone to a tourism conferance for the next couple days, but will keep up with comments and mail. So if you have ideas, I'm totally open. I sent an email to Hearts United in NE City, NE. They are a clinic that might be able to help us and I am waiting to hear back from them. As soon as I get back I will set a date for the first meeting, make some posters, inform the newspaper and go from there! I wonder if we should invite Avoca to join us in this project. I have heard many stories of feral kitties around the truck stop. I went there the other day and was told that there are 3 living close to the cafe...they are everywhere and they are beautiful. It feels good to know they are going to get some help. The time cant get here soon enough!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We are a "GO"!


"Since each of us is blessed with only one life, why not live it with a cat?" Robert Stevens

I attended the Walnut Community Club meeting tonight and asked that they become our "sponsor" so that we do not have to file for our own non profit status. They were happy to be part of our effort. I even got at least one more excited person that wants to serve and help. I cant wait now to organize our first meeting. Must look at calender and decide!

On the way down to the meeting a little "gray" was wondering around the main street. She kind of wanted to follow us, but was too frightened. Then after the meeting two little black ones were trying to get into the ally garbage...I think one was "Boo", a little guy that used to be on my front porch and doesn't come anymore. I went home and put more food and fresh water out there, just in case he is coming when I don't see. Saw another, bigger black on running up the street when I got out of the car. Its time...we must do something.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Possum


"Perhaps it is because cats do not live by human patterns, do not fit themselves into prescribed behavior, that they are so united to creative people." Andre Norton

This is Possum. My rescued baby that is now 2 years old. Possum's story is a sad one. She was one of a litter that was born underneath my cousins porch. Thinking she had been abandoned by her mother, Susie and I sawt her out and found that she had been trapped in an upturned concrete block over more than a day! After sawing open the porch and concocting a very interesting "ladder" made of cardboard and tulle', Little Possum emerged, hungry and frightened into the hands of her new person...me! As you can see she is quite creative and loves to help me sew. Quilts are her favorite. No longer frightened or starving, she enjoys lounging around the house and attempting to eat thru my screens!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Happy Saturday!


If you would like to help our group, please leave a comment and we will get back to you.

Friday, October 10, 2008

What is a Cat?

video"A cat is, by and large, sophisticated and complex, and capable of creating three-act plays around any single piece of action!" Gladys Taber
Spay or neuter your cat today!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Welcome to Take Pity On the Kitties


This is a first of many posts. This little organization is made up of several Walnut Iowa Residents who love cats. We are a small town in Southwest Iowa. Like many small towns we have a problem with stray and feral cats. While we love cats, we cannot keep them all in the house. The population is growing by the day and we finally realize we must do something about it. We are starting our group with the goal of safely capturing these kitties, taking them in for spay or neuter and then releasing them back into their colonies. At the time of this posting, we have not yet had our official meeting, but I want the word to get out as soon as possible. If you have any information or ideas for us, please comment.