January 20, 2018

With the recent zero degree temps, snow storms and the addition of the 3 Amigos to the tribe, I resorted to getting real pre-fab cat houses. The ones I built were getting pretty banged up. These are actually cute and provide LOTS of room and adequate roof/couch support that they like. I lined up the front door and back door on each , creating a larger walk through two room shelter.
Some of them don't like the texture of hay, so I stuff the hay into old flannel pillow cases and they work great.
Unfortunately, the thermal tarps keep you from getting a better look at the new shelters, but they are invaluable for increasing the insulation and warmth.
The 3 Amigos are getting big! Here we captured two of them back at the ranch while everybody was out doing important space monkey business.

December 23, 2017

December 8, 2017

November 29, 2017

Ever need just a 1/2 can of cat food? Ever go crazy trying to invent a way to keep the remains sealed? Like me, you've probably done everything from foil to Pringles can tops. I've found that a well cleaned previous can will, of course, fit perfectly and firmly... just like when they are stacked on a shelf. Dogs parents: Let me know if it works with dog food cans, as well. It takes up a little more space but I have a feeling it will.

October 8, 2017

(From October 8, 2016)·
Poor Frankie. He's the Old Man of the tribe now. The first Old Man went off (and probably passed away) two winters ago. Frankie's always been a little punch drunk, like an old time boxer. Somewhere in his head he really wishes he was a house cat, but he knows he'll always be too feral and reluctant around people. However, he sits and watches 'his person' from time to time until my oh so exciting life calmly puts him to sleep.

(Update October 8. 2017)
Frankie disappears for long periods of time. Each time, I have to assume that nature got the better of him. Then, out of the blue, he'll show up for a day, eat, sun bathe and disappear again.
Something, somebody, somewhere is keeping him well off and that's fine with me. My theory is that, according to secret cat calendar, he shows up for the holidays (St Meow Meow Day, Meow Giving, 4th of Meow etc)

September 16, 2017

One less worry. Finally. Working with Little Wanderers got a LOT of good done, but it was taking time and effort away from our own space monkeys outback. With the help of one of our own cage/traps, a gift from Paula in Boston, one of our poster girls, Liza, has finally been taken care of.
Our last benefit from working with the Wanderers was the ability to transport Liza to the ASPCA in Queens for her surgery, vaccinations, worm treatment etc. PLUS it was found she had an ovarian cyst. It was taken care of but it that wasn't included in the free ASPCA deal. 

Humane trapping is not for the faint of heart, especially when you've been working with a feral like Liza for so long. You can't help but feel like you've tricked her and it's very frightening.
Here we see her before and after surgery. The only way you can tell is that there is a little snip off the tip of the left ear. This is to let anybody know that she's already been spayed in case she ever leaves the area.
I hope she doesn't, but right now she's pretty ticked off at me. I have to remind myself of all the benefits she received.

September 11, 2017

Never forgetting. When I drove around North America for three years (95-98), I used to grab anything that was not nailed down (a panel from a cereal box, a hotel room TV card etc), address and stamp it and send it to Paige, just to let her know I was okay.

September 10, 2017

John Hinckley was released one year ago today...

September 9, 2017

Space Monkey Update:
Okay, big news: It was time to see how Grem would do out of the cage. 
She hung around the yard for 5-10 mins. I kept calling her name every minute or so just to remind her I was there.
Then, while I was cleaning the cage, I looked up and she was gone. I looked around. No idea.
She came back once while some of the others were eating. She didn't join them but she remembered where the food was.
My heart was in my throat but this is how it works. There's always a chance a relocated feral may NEVER come back for a myriad of reasons. 
Then she came back again, on her own. I brought down the plate of really good food that was up by the cage.
She was already acting a little 'wilder'. Cautious. Keeping a distance. I didn't push it. But she knew what it meant when I brought down the other plate (then I went inside to watch).
It's key at this point to really lay out a spread of tasty food to help convince the relocated (and somewhat confused and overstimulated) feral that this is Outside Cat Headquarters.
Third time. I went upstairs to steal some of (house cat) Mimi's fussy fancy housecat food and put that out too.
I went to Food Dynasty to get a rotisserie chicken to share but they were all out. I got chicken and gravy baby food instead (this is like crack for cats... especially used in feral kitten training).
She was friendlier and excited to see me. she came up to the door to see me coming and didn't back off much.
I was accepting that this was how things were going to be. Then, as I was picking up the empty dishes... there's Gremnell back in her crate in her bed like nothing happened. 
 So, she's out there right now on the new 'front porch' of her house just as pleased with herself as she can be.
And, if you haven't seen enough cat pics on the internet, here's a quick revisit to the past month with the 10 feral cat rescues. After working with them in post op, all were adopted except for Gremnell, who I took in to care for myself with the rest of my outback tribe.

September 3, 2017

Coast to Coast AM is THE iconic all night talk show. I listen for the cryptozoology and space theories, but it's a dim sum of outside of the box topics. Connie Willis is a frequent guest host. She's a veteran broadcaster and has a wonderfully friendly and engaging style. 
She has also launched her own YouTube channel series, Blue Rock Talk. Again, it's lots of serious investigation into the unknown (but she makes it fun) and you get All Connie All The Time.
Check it out, throw a 'like' and she'd love for you to subscribe. She's the real deal. Some episodes are guest researchers in their respective topics, some episodes are just her talking to you (and you'd swear you were sitting right there with her),