Last Saturday, Janet and I went to Bill's farm to trap. He has a colony of about 15 cats that he's been feeding for years. He's got 2 traps of his own and had been working with ECC to spay and neuter the colony. He had 3 more cats who needed surgery, that he hadn't been able to trap. We set up 7 traps around 3 pm. By 6 pm, we'd caught 2 of the 3 cats that Bill really wanted to catch. But we hadn't gotten Mama Cat. Bill said that Mama was very clever and never went in the trap. So I said I'd come back on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Bill didn't feed his group. I showed up on Thursday with the drop trap and someh mackerel, tuna and cat treats. Within 10 minutes, Mama Cat was trapped! Then Bill told me that there is an orange cat who's the father of all the kittens, but he rarely comes around. While Bill was anxious to catch Mama, he seemed ambivalent about the male. So I offered to try to trap the male too - after all, it took longer to drive there than to catch the Mom. I called BVHS and they said they had a second appointment for me, the following day. Bill hunted for the male around the property and saw him close by. Within 30 minutes, the male cat wandered right into the drop trap and we had him! He's giant (12 pounds?) and a handsome shade of orange with long hair and his name is Junior. Junior has a mane, like a lion and he was really angry about being trapped.
That was really a successful day of trapping!
Our sweet angel Willow has left this earth but she lives in our hearts.
Thank you Deb for this loving memorial and for all the good care you gave to Willow during her life. She had a happy life surrounded by her kitty family and many people who cared for her.
WILLOW August 2012 – January 12, 2018
Willow was a pretty little cat who was part of Big T’s Colony. She was almost 5 ½ years old when her life came to a tragic end. She was hit by a car on January 12, 2018. She was a quiet, somewhat shy girl most of the time. The last couple of months though she took to meowing at us, her caretakers, while hanging out up on the roof of the shed where we dished out the food for the colony. On a whim, one of her feeders decided to place a plate of food up on the roof for her one day and this became one of Willow’s favorite places to eat. She had such a sweet face that made us all smile. Her mother, Tia, remains at the site. She will be sadly missed by all of us who cared for her over the years. Rest in peace sweet Willow.
Kit Kat and Lucy by Lonnie Hull DuPont is one of the most enjoyable kitty books I've gotten to read in a while It is hard to find well-written, entertaining books about animals, period. Books that aren't tear-jerkers, that are well-written and sort of capture the reader. I read Kit Kat and Lucy from beginning to end in one night.
Lonnie Hull DuPont is a good writer. Her story of how she, an insecure city girl with panic-anxiety and some other hangups, finds herself in an old farm house in VERY rural Michigan. When she and her husband leave their vibrant life in San Francisco to live in an old house, out in the middle of rural Michigan, Lonnie thinks she has "fallen off the earth".
This book is the story of how Kit Kat and Lucy quite literally find her and give her entire life a new meaning. Just reading about how Kit Kat managed to make it to Lonnie's home is a riveting tale. And just wait until Lucy shows up! Read this book and find yourself laughing over the antics of these two girls. Soon Lonnie is no longer lonely. She and her husband work on the old farmhouse, all the while being entertained by the two kitties who "chose" them. Life in rural Michigan wouldn't be my choice of location, but with the help of ones kitties, one can learn to not only be happy, but also content. And every day with these two girls offers something new!
A story of how two stray cats make their way into the hearts of their humans (all done on "little cat feet") is heartwarming, humorous, entertaining and well-written and will not disappoint. I got mine used on Amazon, but it should be available in the library, used books stores and possibly on Kindle. Happy reading!
Little Oso and Violet are three month old kittens that we recently trapped at an industrial site where we are working to TNSR several cats that have been seen living in the area. We are treating these little cuties for ringworm and working with them in hopes they can be tamed for adoption. Last weekend we set up a few shelters to keep the homeless cats in the area warm and dry as winter closes in.
This past weekend, Tab and I trapped at the Buffalo Farm, named for the friendly buffalo who lives at this horse farm in Weld County.
We had been contacted by a woman who lives on the property, who'd already seen two batches of kittens added to the two adults who originally roamed the farm. In November and December, she was able to catch 4 of the 5 kittens who were 8-12 weeks old and successfully tame them. We were asked to trap 2 adults, 3 teenagers and 1 remaining kitten.
We set up our traps around 8:30 am, baited with tuna and set them in two distinct places where community cats normally fed and traveled. The caretakers withheld food for 24 hours. Within 10 minutes, we'd caught the daddy of all the kittens, a large black furred fellow. The other kitties were quite wary. Some entered the traps, only to back out. Some sniffed around the back side of the trap, but never went into the trap. The caretaker added some raw salmon to the traps and we were able to trap 2 more kitties. Around noon, we were ready to call it a day. We asked the caretaker if she'd be willing to keep an eye on traps during the rest of the day, which she was. Since she was outside all day working with the horses, this was an easy task. Later that day, she caught one more cat.
I kept the 4 cats overnight in my garage and in the morning, drove them to DDFL for spay and neuter. During the day, the caretaker continued to trap and by evening, she caught the last teenager. The final cat that she trapped was the last kitten (only 3 months old)
In September 2017, we got a call from a woman who boards her horse at a Weld County horse farm. She stated that she believed there were approximately 60 free-roaming cats on the farm. We got the farm manager's approval to trap and Tab and I prepared for a "Large Trapping Day".
On Saturday in mid-October, we showed up bright and early with approximately 20 traps. The farm manager, who normally feeds the cats, had withheld food for 24 hours, so our quarry was good and hungry. Tab went to the right side of the farm and I went to the left - it's a large farm. Neither of us saw any cats milling around, which was unusual at a farm with so many cats.We were questioning why we'd even been called out there. Little did we know!
I baited my traps with stinky, canned mackerel - nothin' spells breakfast, to a feral, like the odor of mackerel in the morning. Things were quiet on my side of the farm, so I started walking around picking up aluminum cans, which we recycle as an LFFAC fund raiser. I had about 3 bags full of crushed cans when my cell rang. It was Tab. Tab said the ten words a cat trapper dreads, "I need help. Cats are coming out of the woodwork!" She breathlessly asked me to bring as many traps as I could and help on her side of the farm. She'd trapped 4 cats in quick succession. I gathered up the close-by traps and drove over to the east side of the farm. I replaced traps in those areas where we'd successfully trapped and within a few minutes, we'd caught even more cats. Each cat needs to be checked to see if its left ear was tipped - removal of a quarter inch of a cat's left ear is a universal symbol of a spayed or neutered community cat. If a cat has already been sterilized, we release them from the trap immediately, however, we weren't finding any tipped cats. We'd also caught a large number of kittens. We worked for approximately 1.5 hours, trapping cats and kittens and putting them in the shade of the car - a real cardio workout! Some traps caught more than one animal at one time!. I said to Tab, "We're going to have to consolidate some of these kittens into carriers - we're running out of traps". We took several trapped kittens into a small room in the barn. Tab donned heavy leather gloves that extended to her elbows. She reached into the traps to grab the alarmed and aggressive kittens and placed them into carriers. If the kittens weren't so angry, it would have been funny. They're very nimble!
Over the span of approximately 2.5 hours, we caught 13 adult cats and 10 kittens. Tab returned that evening to trap 3 more adults. The adult cats overnighted in their traps in Tab's garage. The kittens immediately went to foster homes at Boulder Valley Humane and Longmont Humane. Within a few weeks, these kittens would be tame and on their way to forever homes. At 6 am Sunday, I returned to Tab's, picked up all the cats in my (large) SUV and drove them to Denver to Denver Dumb Friends League (DDFL). DDFL provides free sterilizations and vaccinations for free-roaming cats (and house cats too), with help from a 3-year grant they've received. At 6 pm Sunday, I picked up the cats and drove them back to Longmont, where they overnighted in Tonni's heated shed. Monday afternoon, they were returned to their home on the farm. TNVR - Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Release. 14 of the 16 adults were female - the population of cats on this farm was ready to grow dramatically. Many cat's lives were improved due to this team effort.
Since then, we've returned to the farm twice and trapped 3 more kittens and 2 more adults. With each subsequent trapping, the community cats become more and more wary of the traps, reducing the effectiveness of each day's trapping. We'll need to return a few more times to catch every un-neutered cat on the property.
The cats are now cared for and fed by an employee of the farm. One of our volunteers is providing food to assist in this effort.
Our thanks go out the woman who reached out to us to help control the cat population on this farm and to the farm manager who cared enough to allow us to TNVR at the farm. Arranging all the logistics of a big trapping event like this is huge. But the rewards of helping the free roaming cats are huge, which is why we keep on trapping!
OK folks, get out your hankies and tissues - this book is NOT an easy read! For those of you who have read the previous two books about Norton, the Scottish Fold kitty who traveled everywhere with his human, Peter Gethers, and spent a year in France, the final book about Norton, The Cat Who'll Live Forever, is the story of Norton's last years and his final days and hours. For those of us, and I think it is all of us, who have had to watch our beloved kitties cross the Bridge and know we could not follow, reading this book might prove to be strangely cathartic. It was for me. Oh yeah, I cried a river! But this book shows the great love and bond between Norton and Peter. It shows how a man grew to not only love his cat, but how he devoted himself to Norton in his last days and hours. Well-written and not all sad, this book has proved to be among my own personal favourites about cats. No, it isn't an easy read, but it is a book full of love, devotion and acceptance. Available on Amazon, Kindle, in used book stores and at the library, it will bless your hearts with the love Peter has for Norton and tug at your heartstrings, as well.
Janruary's book review won't feature a book that is sad in any way. It is a wonderful joyful read and I look forward to sharing it with you all. Feliz Navidad! Slainte!
A Cat Abroad is the second in the trilogy by Peter Gethers about his wonderful Scottish Fold cat named Norton (for Ed Norton of the "Honeymooners"). Peter and his girlfriend, Janice decide to completely change their fast-paced NYC lives by spending a year in the South of France. I, personally, read A Year in Provence before discovering Peter Gether's book. And not to say I'm prejudiced, but I enjoyed Peter's book because of the presence of Norton more than Peter Mahle's A Year in Provence. Personal preferences aside, the second of the books revolving around Norton was really about food. I believe Peter Gethers is a serious foodie! Still, Peter told about the places he, Janice ad Norton went, the interesting people they met, and the charming old village they lived in for a year. Not only do they visit and live in France for a year, but they tour the Continent. Needless to say, everywhere Norton goes he is his usual, suave, unflappable self. An entertaining read (especially if you're into food - I'm not) you will find yourself smiling at the characters encountered by Peter, Norton and Janice. Upon their return to the US, Peter decides to escape the corporate life forever. And he does! At the end of this book Peter provides a short summation of his, Norton and Janice's lives. He and Janice have aged and settled into a committed relationship, although neither of them believe that a piece of paper means one is married. Norton has gotten a bit older, too. He has developed just a touch of arthritis by the end of the book. But he's still up for hitting the road whenever Peter starts to pack. We all know how most of our cats hate to travel. Not so Norton! Norton is a "dyed in the furr" traveler. December's book review will be about the last book in this series.
Just to prepare you all a bit. We've all loved and lost pets (cats and dogs) who have left paw-prints on our souls and in our hearts. With those words, all I can say is sit down with an entire box of Kleenex when you read the last in the series The Cat Who'll Live Forever. But it's well worth the tears. Meanwhile, look on Amazon (books or Kindle), in the library or the Used Book Emporium or your favourite used book store and find the second in this charming trilogy.
Thank you to Mayor Dennis Coombs and the city council of Longmont for proclaiming October 16 as Feral Cat Day in our fair city. We are proud to live in a city which values the lives of all of it's residents--our feral friends included!
On Tuesday October 10, 2017, Longmont Mayor Dennis Coombs proclaimed October 16, 2017, as ‘Feral Cat Day’.
According to the proclamation, Feral Cat Day will help “Longmont residents acknowledge the presence of feral and abandoned cats in the community, and to advocate to improve the lives of all cats and the people who care for them.”
Esther Mills of the Longmont Friends of Feral & Abandoned Cats (LFFAC) accepted the proclamation.
“Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity to bring attention to what we do as a five-year-old non-profit organization here in Longmont and across the Front Range,” said Mills.
“We just feel that Longmont is the place that we want people to know that whether your feelings about cats are different, whether you like them, you don’t like them, it’s just about the humaneness. That we want Longmont to be known as being a humane city for all its residents.”
Tonni Loutzenhiser of LFFAC was unable to make the proclamation as she was “out rescuing kittens that were ill and needed to be transferred from the vet to the foster home.”
LLFAC is a local non-profit that uses the practice of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) to sustain healthy, community (feral) cat colonies in Longmont and the surrounding area.
LFFAC adventures, stories and maybe even a cute cat video every now & then.