Posted in Cats

Juggling Cats

Eight years ago, when I first moved to this neighborhood, I brought 14 cats with me.  More than half of them were being socialized to be re-homed (after spaying/neutering of course).  My old neighborhood was overrun with strays and ferals and they were all reproducing like rabbits.  I already owned several cats, mostly foster fails, and didn’t plan on keeping too many more.

Seven was my only ginger, and he did not like the other cats.  He was more of a dog cat.  The people who had him before had dogs and I’m sure he thought he was a dog for a long time.  Anyway, after moving here, he decided to run away from home and move in with a family about 6-8 houses down the road. (They have old dogs.)  I missed him but since I had so many cats to deal with, I let him go.  I spoke with the neighbors and they said he liked living in their garage.  Not ideal, but it was his choice.

Now, 7 years later, Seven is trying to come back to me and it’s not working out too well.  I recently adopted another neighborhood stray whom unbeknownst to me, he had been battling for the past 4 years.  Now that stray, Ozzy, is a permanent part of my household.

I once made the mistake of letting Seven in to eat when Ozzy was in the other room.  He came racing into the kitchen and tried to attack him.  I grabbed Seven and Ozzy lit into my leg, trying to climb up to get him.  Now I have to lock Ozzy in the basement before letting Seven in, and give him a head start back to the neighbor’s garage before letting Ozzy out. The other morning, they sat on opposite sides of the kitchen window, growling at each other.  First with Seven outside, and then later, Ozzy outside and Seven inside.  I’m back to juggling cats again.

Posted in Cats, Illness

MS or Something Else?

Part 2 of my last post, Friday Afternoon

Letter to my sister:

“My doctor scolded me for not going to the hospital. He said if it happens again, go to the hospital immediately. He ordered an MRI for my brain and neck, and a MRA for both my head and my neck. He wants me to go asap but I don’t know if my insurance will allow it. I may have to wait until January. I have no sinus infection, so no antibiotics. My ears and throat are fine. It looks like it is MS or a blood clot that may have blocked the blood causing my eye to go half blind for 5 minutes or so.  He had me stand on one foot, raise my hands, walk in a straight line, close my eyes and he touched my fingertips to see if I could feel the right one-
He shone the light in my eyes and waved it around in a big circle to see if I could see left and right with my head still. It all seems fine now, no sign of a stroke. He said people don’t lose eyesight temporarily from a sinus infection. Sooooooo, now I wait for testing.”
     My doctor asked in a round-about way if I had my neck “adjusted” (by a chiropractor) or had some kind of neck injury.  I said no at the time and then later that night, I remembered and had to send him an email the next morning…
     ” I’ve had time to think and yes, 8-10 days ago, I may have jerked my head back hard. I was bent over, digging around in our chest freezer when my 10 lb cat decided to jump for the top edge of the open freezer door. It crashed down on the top/back of my skull (left side) and I jumped up and backward. I remember the door hitting my left shoulder as I went back, before it slammed shut. My vision dimmed for a few seconds but it did not knock me out. I walked upstairs okay and put an ice-pack on my head. Any headache or neck pain resulting from the injury would have been ignored because I always have headaches and neckaches. A day or two later, I noticed a small scab on my scalp so it drew just a tiny bit of blood. Sorry, I didn’t remember this when we spoke. Shawna “
     His reply was “Get the MRI and MRA tests done as ordered.”
     Hubby is annoyed that we will have to go to battle with the insurance company and pay the deductible plus 20%, if we can get them to approve 3 procedures ordered by a doctor who is out of network.  Plus, there is the added sting of starting a new deductible with a new company next month.
     The moral to the story is  YES, MY CAT IS TRYING TO KILL ME.
Posted in Cats, Old posts

Spooky the B & E Cat (2009)

Cat B & E

I live in a neighborhood with lots of rental houses. Renters sometimes get cute little kittens for their children to play with. Eventually, the kitten grows up, is not so cute anymore, gets boring, and then begins reproducing. Of course there are a lot of responsible pet owners that do the right thing, spaying, neutering, vaccinating, etc. My anger is directed to the irresponsible ones that let their female cat have litter after litter of kittens, outside, in the elements. Then the renters move away and leave behind their mess of kittens that reproduce like rabbits!

Spooky fresh out of the cage
I love cats. I hate to see cats suffer, freezing and starving every winter in my neighborhood. I am quickly becoming the cliche’ crazy cat lady. This past winter, I fed and sheltered a total of 9 cats. I have thrown together a mish-mash of a cat house on my deck, made out of saw horses, poles and a rubber truck bed liner for a roof. I had no intention of sheltering any cats when winter started but when the snow came, they started showing up. I fed one and he told another. And another shows up, with his two sisters. In no time at all, there were 10 cats. I found homes for two, spayed 3, one died, one was injured and the Humane Society picked him up. The rest are all boys and they are still hanging around. There are already 6 pet cats in my house, aged 15 years down to 10 months. I do not need anymore cats!

The cat that does the

breaking and entering

is a tortie I call Spooky. I thought she was feral so I caught her in a “have a heart” cage and took her in to be spayed. She was busy mating with those boys the week before so she was already pregnant. I felt kinda bad paying for a kitty abortion, but I can’t even find homes for the cats that already exist! I considered keeping Spooky but she does not get along with my pets. She doesn’t understand why I put her back outside after she healed from the surgery. She keeps breaking into my basement. We live in a 118 year old house. There are single pane windows halfway below ground level with concrete window wells. We plan on eventually putting in glass block, we just haven’t gotten to it yet. Anyway, two panes were broken out and critters could get in and out of my house. As a temporary solution, I made a sun room over the window with a storm window and thin Plexiglas sides. Now the cats could go out and sit in the window well and have 180 degree view without getting wet or cold. My kitties loved it because they could see people walking on the sidewalk, see other animals in the driveway, see the birds above their head, etc.
let me in!!

So back to Spooky… After her surgery, I let her out of the cage in the basement and she proceeded to show me she was not a feral animal, just a shy house pet that someone threw out. I kept her locked in the basement away from my pets. The weather got nice for a while so I started putting her outside. She wouldn’t stay outside; she dug at the Plexiglas until it separated from the glass window and she broke into my house. I woke in the middle of the night to a screaming cat fight downstairs! I ran down, found her under the furnace with my Simon staring at her, daring her to come out. I shooed him away, scooped her up and foggily searched my brain, wondering if I forgot she was in the basement before I went to bed. I set her outside, locked up, and went back to bed. 20 minutes later, there was cat screaming again and I realized she had broken into my house. This time I coaxed Simon out of the basement and shut her down there alone. The next morning,

heavy duty bricks

I went to work outside on the window, using packing tape because it was too cold to use the silicone rubber I had used previously. Later that day, Spooky moseyed into my living room, pleased as punch, she had let herself in again. Out she went and back to work I went. This time I tried setting bricks around the sides of the glass, closing off all the Plexiglas. Then I found out that Spooky is uncommonly strong for a cat. Once again, she strolls into the room, during dinner, and freaking out the rest of my cats. It turned into a game. I would try to block the window and she would figure out how to get through. She even tunneled


the bricks one time, 10 minutes after I had just reset the concrete. I finally gave up. I had to block the window from the inside and so far she hasn’t gotten through. Just in case though, I get all my pets upstairs and shut the basement door before I go to bed at night!