Author Archives: Charles Huss

Photo Friday: Enjoying the Sun


Chris was extremely annoying yesterday morning but he did take a break from his bad behavior to catch a few rays.

These Are Not Pussy Cats


Here is another post from 2014 for Throwback Thursday. Back then Frankie and Chris pretty much ignored the vacuum. Nothing has changed since then except it is now Floki instead of Puck who runs and hides when the vacuum comes out. Does anyone else have a pet not bothered by the vacuum?

Bad Cat Chris

Every time I clean the house, I can’t help being amazed at Chris and Frankie’s total lack of fear of the vacuum cleaner. I have shared videos like this in the past but, at the risk of beating a dead horse, I would like to share one more.

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Feral Cat Ear Notching


Here is a post for Throwback Thursday that I did in 2014. It is about how feral cats are identified by an ear notch or the more noticible ear-tipping. This is one of the blogs most popular posts.

Bad Cat Chris

We know nothing about Frankie’s back story. We adopted him at Petsmart from The Pinellas County Animal Services. The person at Petsmart did not know anything about him so we just didn’t think much about it, although I did send a Facebook message to the animal services with his reference number but, even though they have an active Facebook page, I got no response.

Our cat Frankie

I couldn’t help being perplexed, though, by the ear notch on his right ear. I have heard about ear notching before. It is the method of cutting a notch in a cat’s ear after spaying or Neutering. Sometimes it is called ear tipping when they remove about a centimeter off the tip of the ear.

Ear notched cat Ear tipped cat

Ear notching or tipping is mostly done to feral cats involved in a Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) program. It identifies that they have been fixed so they…

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Kitten Season


While I was at the SPCA on Friday for my shift as a cat counselor, I noticed we had more kittens than I had ever seen at one time. There were two separate rooms, normally used for isolation, dedicated to kittens as well as a couple of kittens in separate cages.

Kittens are adopted quickly so many of these are probably gone already, however, there was a room closed off that I assume had more kittens that were not ready for adoption yet, so I’m sure if you would like to adopt a kitten, now would be a good time.

I Know Where You Keep the Catnip


For Throwback Thursday here is Chris in 2014 trying to get into the cabinet where we kept the catnip. Unfortunately for Chris, the cabinet did not open at the end he needed it to open at.

Bad Cat Chris

We keep the catnip in the cabinet above the stove because it is the one cabinet in the house that Chris can’t open. Nevertheless, he knows it is in there and he is on a mission to get to it.

Bad Cat Chris trying to open cabinet

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COVID, Animal Transport, and Kittens


Several months ago the SPCA was looking for volunteers to help transport animals. At the time, I did not really know what that meant but I thought it would be something that I might like to do so I signed up for it, submitted all the necessary paperwork, and waited. I then waited some more, and then forgot all about it until I got a group email that said they were looking for people to transport animals. I signed up again and this time I was not forgotten.

I went to orientation a couple of weeks ago and learned they were taking in injured and sick wildlife. I’m not sure why but all the wildlife being cared for at that location consisted of just opossums and baby blue jays. I watched as she fed the blue jays and she cleaned and fed the opossums, which are very dirty considering they poop in their water bowls. We then went to a local vet to pick up a baby blue jay.

After orientation I was set up as part of a group in an app called GroupMe. I was also given a carrier, several cardboard boxes and some envelopes in case someone wanted to make a donation. The app is similar to a Facebook group. If someone calls the SPCA and says they have an injured animal, it will be posted to the group along with the address and the caller’s phone number.

At around this same time my wife got sick. She had a fever of 102 degrees and very bad headaches that no amount of pain killers would alleviate. She also had other minor symptoms that caused us concern. We wanted to get her tested for COVID-19 but it turned out to be very difficult. CVS was completely booked and other places did not answer their phone. We drove to a testing site at 9:00 a.m. one morning that didn’t require a reservation but there were about 50 people standing outside in the hot sun in close proximity. Rose was already sick, there was no way we were going to stand in line with a bunch of other sick people.

We then went to Tropicana Field where they were doing drive-up testing but they, we learned later, only did 350 tests per day and were already closed. This was on a Monday. We eventually learned that you have to sign up on CVS’s website just after midnight because they only have three days worth of appointments and midnight is when they add the next day. So we set an alarm and just after midnight we made an appointment for that Thursday morning.

My wife was very sick for about three days and then she improved significantly over the next few days after that. By Thursday the fever and headaches had diminished but we still wanted to get her tested. Actually, we needed to get her tested because even though I never got sick, I was exposed to what she had and I didn’t want to spread it, so I felt compelled to cancel my shift as a cat counselor, cancel my shift with the Red Cross and not take any animal transport calls until the results came back. I was also not allowed to go to work during this time.

When Rose took the test they said it would take 2-4 days for the results. They then changed that to 5-7 days. She got the results back on Sunday evening, over 10 days later. The test came back negative.

Rose and I were actually hoping for a positive test result. I know that sounds weird but considering that Rose had already recovered and I never got sick that would have meant that neither one of us needed to worry about this disease again for a while. Instead, we ended up back in the same boat that we started in.

A negative test result was also good news because it meant I was able to get back to work. I signed up to work in the shelter on Friday and I started paying attention to the texts so that I could get started transporting animals.

Friday morning, as I was getting ready, I noticed a text that said “Rabbit at…” And gave an address and a person’s name and phone number. I replied that I could get it and quickly got dressed and left. I called the number as I was leaving and the man that answered gave me instructions on how to get to his apartment. When I arrived, he met me there and showed me where the rabbit was.

He was just sitting there eating grass (I say “him” only because it sounds better than “it”). At first I wondered what was wrong with him but as I got closer I could see that his fur was missing in several areas on his body. I had brought a carrier with me and I grabbed a towel from my car. I put the towel over the bunny and gently picked him up and put him him the carrier. I probably should have photographed him first but I didn’t think about it until I got to the car. By that time it was too difficult to get a good photo. The photo I did take is not worth sharing.

I drove the rabbit back to the shelter but I think they needed to bring him to another building so someone could examine him so they just gave me another carrier and I was on my way.

That afternoon I was back at the shelter working as a cat counselor. It had been a couple of weeks since I had been there so most of the cats there were new to me. There were also several kittens as well. Two kittens were adopted as soon as I arrived.

This one was very friendly and let me pick him up and hold him.

This calico was also very friendly but she was not a big fan of being held.

Then there were these cuties.

There were more kittens but my phone’s battery was almost dead and I wanted to conserve energy.

While I was there, a woman asked me about a certain kitten. She said it was white with black ear points. I thought maybe she was talking about a Siamese kitten but there was no kitten like that, at least not in the adoption room.

She then told me that her roommate found it under a truck’s axle when it was about four weeks old. They brought it to the SPCA because they didn’t know how to take care of a kitten that young and because they didn’t know if it would be safe to bring it home since they had an older cat in the house.

They wanted to adopt the cat but normally you can’t turn in a cat and then have it back. I think since this was a special circumstance and because it was never their cat to begin with, she was told to come back in four weeks when the kitten was old enough to be fixed and adopted out.

Coincidentally, my wife texted me this photo the evening before while she was at the hairdresser with the words, “I want her.”

She told me her hairdresser fostered cats for the SPCA. It suddenly occurred to me that this might be the same kitten so I took my phone out and showed her the photo. She agreed that the kitten looked similar but her kitten was a boy and this was a girl.

We talked to one of the employees who did some research and found out that the kitten was being fostered and the name was “Ewok.” I texted my wife and asked what the kitten’s name was that she wanted and she said “I think her name is Opal.” That pretty much settled it. These were two different kittens. Or were they?

When I got home Rose asked me why I wanted to know the kitten’s name. I said because someone was looking for a kitten named “Ewok.”

“Ewok was her name,” Rose said, “but she (meaning the hairdresser) didn’t like it and changed it to “Opal.” Mystery solved.

I guess this woman is not going to get the boy she was expecting but I’m sure she will be happy. Rose is disapointed but she did the right thing by giving up the kitten to the people who found her.

Another Trip to the Vet for Chris


Regular readers may recall the trouble Chris was having with his ears. His regular vet said the ear polyps in his ears were too extensive and refereed me to another vet. In a nutshell, they charged me almost $1000 and did nothing for him except give him a medication that helped somewhat. I will post a link to those posts below.

Since then I was able to get my regular vet to order that same medication compounded for a much cheaper price. It seemed to help for a while but I know an antibiotic won’t work forever and his ear polyps won’t just go away so the problem will just keep coming back.

I put the medication in his ears for a few weeks and then took a break for a little while and then continued with the medication. I needed to order more medication but since Chris is still shaking his head from time to time I decided it would be wise to have the vet check his ears again.

He had a 2:00 appointment today but I was not allowed to bring him inside. When I got there I had to call and someone would come out to get him. I arrived a little before 2:00 but nobody answered the phone. I assumed they were at lunch and sure enough someone pulled into the parking lot a few minutes later and went inside. A few minutes after that she came out, asked me a few questions, and then brought Chris inside while I waited in the car.

Some time passed and I got a call from the vet who said that his right ear was okay but his left ear had problems. She asked for permission to take a sample to determine what pathogen was invading his ear.

Of course I gave her permission and she called later to say that in addition to the bacterial infection that was already determined from the last vet, he picked up a fungus as well. She said that sometimes happens when an antibiotic is used. I learned years ago that the same thing happens when a woman gets a bladder infection.

While Chris was there I asked her to microchip him. None of our cats have been micro-chipped and I have felt uneasy about it for a long time but every time one of the cats is at the vet I either forget to mention it or I don’t want to add to their trauma.

When we got home I let Chris out of his carrier outside as a reward for handling himself well. In other words, he was good for me but perhaps not so good for the vet.

When I brought Chris inside Rose suggested I bring Floki to get his nails clipped and get him micro-chipped as well. I called the vet and asked if I could bring him with little notice because he is nearly impossible to catch so making an appointment would be hard to keep. She said that should be okay and they could just slip him in between appointments.

It was a long shot but I brought his carrier inside and set it on the kitchen chair. Floki did not see me bring in the carrier but his psychic abilities alerted him to danger and under the bed he went.

Frankie, on the other hand, was not alerted to danger and climbed inside the carrier.

Rose then suggested that I bring Frankie to be micro chipped because he needs it the most. I agreed and zipped the top shut. I then brought him to the car and called the vet. I told her I couldn’t get Flokie but I had Frankie. She put me on hold for a long time. I decided to start driving and was half way to the vet when she said that I would have to leave him there because it might take an hour or more before they could get to him. I said I didn’t want to leave him in that little carrier for that long and turned the car around and brought him home. Perhaps I will just make an appointment for Frankie since I know I can catch him.

If you want to read about Chris’s ear problems, check out the posts below.

Ear Polyps, Arthritis and 19 pounds

Chris’s not-so-good Gotcha Day

Another Vet Visit for Chris