Tag Archives: kittens

Photo Friday: Kittens


Since everyone likes kittens I thought I would show you some kittens that were at the SPCA in Largo, Florida the other day.

All of them were napping while I was there except the grey and white one. He lied on my lap for a long time but kept getting up to rub his face on my nose.

I’m Volunteering Again


As some of you know, I found Chris in 2009 at a shelter that I volunteered for in Myrtle Beach. I left Florida and moved to Myrtle Beach in July of that year because my wife was offered a promotion to go there. I could only find a part-time job so I volunteered at the Grand Strand Humane Society to fill my time. I was not happy there, partly because I didn’t like that all of the 200 plus cats were kept separate in small cages, and partly because we were not able to take out more than one cat at a time and there was no way to know which cats had already been let ot that day and which had not. I did not feel very useful.

After a month or so I left the Humane Society and volunteered for a place called Sav-R-Cats. I liked it there because the cats were kept in groups in larger cages and most were let out into the large community area during the day. Some did not even have a cage and stayed out in the community area full time. I was also able to be more useful there. I set up their Petfinder profile and photographed the cats and put them on Petfinder. I also updated their website and created a brochure for them. In addition, I helped clean cages occasionally when they were at PetSmart, which is where I met Chris.

Sav-R-Cats Adoption Center – Not shown are larger, multi-cat enclosures to the right.

We moved back to Florida in late 2010. This was after the economy collapsed and I again could only find a part time job so I again signed up to be a volunteer at a place called Suncoast Animal League. I was only there for about a month when I was offered a full time job. I kept my part time job for awhile too so I had to give up the volunteering.

I now have two businesses that keep me fairly busy but also give me a lot of flexibility. I will be losing some of my work next month because the company is for sale so I decided to look into volunteering again. I signed up to be a volunteer at the SPCA many weeks ago. I chose the SPCA not for any particular reason except it is the closet shelter to my home.

After about three weeks, maybe more, I still had not heard back from the SPCA about my volunteer application. That is when Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas. I heard about volunteer crews that were being sent there to help out and I had a strong desire to be part of it. I knew that was impossible. People sent into disasters have training and experience so I decided to start at the bottom. I signed up with my local Red Cross.

About a week later, and within a couple of days of each other, I got a call from both the Red Cross and the SPCA. I did phone interviews with both and then went to an orientation with the Red Cross on Friday and then with the SPCA on Tuesday.

At the SPCA I was with one other new volunteer while we were shown how everything works. Most of the cats that are for adoption are kept in small groups of eight or less. Each group has their own room that is about half the size of a typical bedroom. While it is not ideal, it is way better than small, cramped cages. They do have the smaller cages but cats kept there are either in isolation for health reasons or they new intakes.

We were brought into one of the larger rooms and spent some time interacting with the cats there. There were two young ginger kittens and a black kitten that was a little older.

It was fun playing with the kittens but then we moved to another pod where there were two adults and an older kitten.

Both of the adult cats were loving the attention and the gold kitten was quite playful, when he wasn’t eating. After about ten minutes we realized there was another cat in the room, hiding in the cat perch tube.

This fellow was not exactly exited about us being there. Perhaps he, or she, just needs more time to get used to people.

It looks like I will now be helping out there every Monday and/or Tuesday afternoon. I am also on call tomorrow, Friday, for the Red Cross. I am a little nervous about that since I have had no training and don’t really know what to expect but going out on calls is the training so I also look forward to it.

I understand that many of the calls are for house fires. When someone’s home burns down they are put in a situation where they have nothing. The Red Cross helps by giving them access to money to buy clothes and stay at a hotel. It is only short term help but it is desperately needed and I look forward to playing my part.

Kitten Season


I saw these kittens at my local PetSmart on Thursday. It’s amazing how many need homes. The funny thing is, I was most attracted to the only cat that wasn’t a kitten. She is a Russian Blue with no age listed. Too bad I am already over my cat limit.

These kittens are at the PetSmart in Largo, Florida if anyone is interested.

The Mystery of the Strays


The last time I mentioned anything about the stray mom cat and her two kittens that have been coming to my house was June 18 (see here). After that, we didn’t see them much. Over the next week or so we saw the mom twice, three times at most. Each time she as without her kittens. That caused us to worry about what might have happened to them.

Stray catI believe the last time I saw the mother cat was June 25 when I took the picture above and the video below. She seemed a bit despondent and was not as friendly toward me as in the past. She seemed nervous by my presence which was a far cry from a week earlier when she was rubbing up against me.

Rose and I thought someone might have captured her kittens but not her. That would explain her behavior. We didn’t know who would have caught them. The guy at the TNVR place had scheduled to come out and set traps that weekend but cancelled until the next weekend. He never showed up the following weekend and we never heard from him again.

I set up an email alert for Petfinder just in case the Siamese kittens ended up at a shelter for adoption. At least I would know what happened to them.

Not too long after my encounter with mom cat, Rose spotted one of the kittens outside the cats’ room. It was the shy one with the lighter face.

stray Siamese kittenHe was walking from the neighbors house to the back of our house and he was alone. The mom and other kitten were nowhere in sight. I quickly opened a can of food and put it outside but he never showed up to eat it.

Since then I continued to put dry food and water out for the cats. Sometimes I would wake up or get home from work and the food would still be there. Other times it would be gone. It seemed to be eaten more at night than during the day which made Rose think it was being eaten by a racoon. I thought it was possible but unlikely since I have not seen a racoon in the two years since we lived here.

Then one morning I went outside to take the trash out. Once I got outside I saw who had been eating he cat food. It was a possum, or technically an opossum. Now I have to wonder if the possum is the only animal eating the food I put out or is one or more cats eating it too?

I started putting less out but I don’t want to stop completely until I know none of the cats are coming around anymore. And if they are not, what the heck happened to them?

Our Unpredictable Ferals


After my last post about the feral cat and kittens that have been coming to our house, I didn’t see them for about a week. I kept food out for them and some days it would be gone when I checked on it and some days it would still be there. We were never sure if the cats were eating it or some other animal was coming around until Wednesday evening when the mother cat and her two Siamese looking kittens showed up.

I wasn’t expecting them to be there when I walked outside to do laundry. I was surprised to see two kittens take off in opposite directions. One hid under my car and the other crawled under the home behind us and one over. That made me wonder if they were living there.

The mother stayed close and hissed and growled at me. Actually, it wasn’t really a growl. It was more of a low pitch sound that I sometimes hear from our cats when a strange cat comes around.

I decided to skip laundry for a while and went back inside. Soon, one kitten was back and I took these pictures through the window screen.

stray kitten

stray cat
I then put a small can of wet food on a plate and brought it outside. The kitten ran away but the mom let me stay out there and take pictures while she ate. She does not seem afraid of me which makes me think she is not feral like her kittens. Even so, she is not overly friendly either.

stray cat

stray cat

I wanted her kittens to come back so I went in the house and waited. Sure enough, one of the kittens showed up.

stray cat and kitten

I took this video which is a bit long but at 4:16 it skips ahead to a new can of food and a kitten eating it. I am unsure if it is the same kitten or if the timider of the two came back for a meal. Perhaps your eyes are better than mine. Also, my wife thinks the kitten’s belly shows signs that he or she has worms. I don’t know. Also, at 2:53, Frankie scares the kitten away by pulling himself up to the open window.

I called the TNVR place on Thursday morning but I am still waiting to hear back from them. In the meantime, I have not seen the cats since Wednesday and I have only seen the food in the bowl get eaten twice since then, including some time last night. Maybe they are being fed somewhere else or maybe some days they feast on rabbit, which is plentiful around here.

Photo Friday: Puck’s Profile


Puck is a handsome cat but he is also difficult to photograph. As a result, he is a bit unrepresented on my Photo Friday posts. When I do manage to capture a good image of him, I feel like sharing.

black cat profile

On another note, the stray and her kittens that I wrote about in my last two posts may, or may not, be gone. I saw them last Sunday evening but since then the food I left out went uneaten until I noticed the bowl was empty yesterday morning, just when I was about to give up. I put more food in the bowl that morning and when I returned from work, the bowl was half eaten. Who, or what, ate it I don’t know.

My wife finally got a call from Meow Now who said they don’t catch kittens before the are old enough to be fixed, about eight weeks or so, because they are a TNVR organization and have no place to hold them. Rose said they were about three to five weeks. I think they might be older but I have little experience with young kittens Can someone help give me a better estimate. Please look at the picture on this blog post and tell me what you think.

Ferals at Our Door Update


On my last post, I talked about the Feral or Stray mother and her two kittens who started coming around our house. I mentioned that they did not come around all day Sunday and I was worried about them. I’m happy to report now that they were back Sunday evening.

Rose saw her with her two kittens but by the time I got my camera out and opened the window, the kittens ran away under my car.

Feral cat

The mom quickly ate the dry cat food that was out there so I prepared a plate with some raw meat cat food. I spread out three teaspoons of meat around the perimeter of the plate so the kittens could eat. I also added more dry food. When I brought the plate out the mom cat hissed and growled at me but she eagerly started eating. I was able to pet her one time but dared not risk a bite from an unknown stray.

She let me sit there and photograph her while she scarfed up all the wet food meant for the kittens.
Feral cat

I went back inside while she fished eating. She seemed very hungry. After a while, one kitten came out but I could not photograph him because it was too dark by then.

That is the last time I saw the cats. They did not come here yesterday and I have not yet seen them this morning. I expect to talk to someone from a TNVR organization today about trapping them if they have not already been trapped. We will see.

Ferals at Our Door


About a month ago I saw a small tabby cat as I drove around the corner and onto my street. I thought she might be a stray or feral because she was somewhat skinny and had no collar. I didn’t see her again until last Tuesday or Wednesday evening.

After I arrived home from work and fed the cats, I walked out the door to put some laundry in the washer and a startled cat ran from my steps to the end of my driveway and turned to look at me. I said a few soothings words and she stayed for a few seconds but then disappeared around the corner. After I finished with the clothes I walked out of the shed and saw the cat was at my back stairs again. I again scared her and she ran away.

I put a handful of dry cat food on a plate and put it outside in case she came back. When I talked to my wife that night, who was away on business, I told her about the stray cat. “Don’t feed him,” she said. “He will spray the outside of our house.”

“I won’t,” I said without hesitation. I didn’t need to, I thought. The food was already out there. The next morning it was gone.

Yesterday morning I put our trash outside the back door. Normally I take it to the trash can but since we were planning on leaving soon I thought letting it sit out there for twenty minutes was better than fighting with the cats to get out and then back in again. Not long after that Frankie was going nuts about something he was seeing out the window. Rose looked out and saw a mother cat and two kittens outside our back door. She called to me to come and take a look.

I looked out the window and saw the same tabby cat I saw before with what looked like two Siamese kittens. “That’s strange,” I said. “It looks like she has Siamese kittens.”

“You need to put some food out for them,” Rose said. “Those kittens are probably hungry.” With that, I put some food on a paper plate and brought it outside. When I got outside the two kittens scurried under the house while the mother stayed where she was. I put the food down and picked up the trash, which now had holes in it. I wanted to throw it away but doing so required me to walk in the direction of the kittens and Mama made sure I knew, with her raised hair and hissing, that I should probably make other plans. I decided she was right and put the bag down and went inside.

I quickly grabbed my camera and slowly and quietly opened the window on the door just a crack so I could take pictures. It wasn’t quiet enough as she knew I was there.

Feral cat

It also didn’t help that Frankie grabbed on to the edge of the window and pulled himself up like a bodybuilder so he could peek out the window.

A few minutes later one of the kittens joined Mom at the plate of food but did not eat any. I tried to take pictures through the open crack in the window and at an angle through the window screen. feral tabby cat and Siamese kitten

feral tabby cat and Siamese kitten

The pictures came out better than expected. The last one even shows that the kitten does indeed look Siamese, very similar to Floki when we adopted him. Siamese offspring from a tabby must be rare for feral cats since there are not many feral Siamese cats out there. In addition, the Siamese features must be quite dominant for a kitten to look like this from a tabby mother.

Rose wanted to do something to help and we knew from past experiences that The SPCA would rent traps cheap but we didn’t know how to trap a cat and two kittens at the same time. She decided to call the community office here and left a message with them.  I thought that was a bad idea since they would probably call Animal Control.

After calling the office, Rose Called the local SPCA who told her about the traps. The woman on the phone said that the kittens often follow the mother into the trap but I didn’t believe that since I had seen the mother without the kittens at least twice.

I then called Suncoast Animal League (where I once volunteered for a short time) who gave me the number of Meow Now, A TNVR organization. I called them and left a message but have not yet heard back from them.

We were away from home for several hours on Saturday and when we returned the dry food I left out was gone. I put more food out and Rose saw the mother cat and one kitten at the food bowl that evening. I moved it closer to the house so the neighbors wouldn’t see it but that also made it more difficult for me to see when the cats were there.

This morning I put wet food out for them in addition to dry and was disappointed that the cats didn’t show up before we left for the beach. When we returned I expected to see an empty food bowl but the only creatures to get a meal were about a hundred ants.

Now I can’t help worry that something happened to them. I hope they weren’t caught by the county animal control. That might be good for the kittens but I doubt the mom would fare well. On the other hand, there may be other people who are putting food out as well and our food is not needed as much. Who knows?

 

We Came, We Saw, We Left With No Kitten


Yesterday, we went to visit my sister-in-law and her husband, Felice and Jeff, for the fourth of July, even though it was the third. After we settled in for a bit and met the little gold kitten that they decided to adopt, we took a short ride to the vet’s office where Felice works. That is where the two cats were that needed a home.

We first went to an examination room that held the female kitten that needed a home. Her two brothers were in there also and all three of them were very cute and playful. The female had unique markings. She had sprinkles of gold but she wasn’t technically a Calico or Tortie. I don’t know exactly how that works but Felice says in both cases they have black patches, which this kitten doesn’t have. Wikipedia does mention a “Tortie-Tabby” or “Torbie” which is what this kitten might be.

Torbie Kitten

Is she a “Torbie?”

Kittens Kitten Kitten

Next we visited the Siamese kitten. This one was a bit shy at first but warmed up very quickly and had a nice loud purr. Rose was a bit disappointed in him for some reason. She said he looked sickly and she noticed he wasn’t the same kitten that she saw in the photograph. I didn’t think he was sickly. In fact, he seemed somewhat energetic.

Siamese Kitten

I didn’t know this then but there were actually two Siamese kittens that needed a home. They were brothers that were left in a carrier at Wal-Mart on Memorial Day when they were about six weeks old. Also in the carrier were three other kittens from a different litter that were about eight weeks old. Felice picked the one that seemed the friendliest and brought it to her work to have him fixed, just in case we decided to take him home.

After I shot the above video, we put the kitten on a table where a very overweight gold cat with bent whiskers was hanging out looking for attention.

fat gold cat fat gold cat

This cat was extremely friendly and we considered adopting him but Felice said he likes kittens but he does not get along with adult cats. We joked that he eats them, which was not very nice (even though we laughed).

We decided to think about it and we went back to Felice’s house and talked while her husband, Jeff, made his famous chicken barbecue.

While we were waiting, the gold kitten was out playing and he really seemed to take to me. I was petting his belly and he was “fighting” my hand. He then lied on my lap and purred and purred and purred. I was thinking about what a couple of commentators said on my last post. They said “let the kitten choose you,” or something similar.  It seemed this kitten was choosing us but Felice and Jeff already chose to adopt him and wouldn’t give him up. In truth, I couldn’t blame them.

Cute gold kitten Cute gold kitten Cute gold kitten Cute gold kitten

Rose decided she didn’t want to settle for a kitten she wasn’t sure about and I suggested that we go back and look at them both one more time. It was agreed that we would do that but when it was time to go, Rose’s mom was not feeling good and wanted to go home right away so she could “take a pill.” So that was the end of that, but we did pay the $60 for the kitten’s vet bill. it was the least we could do for leaving without a kitten.

If you have made it this far, I will tell you there is more to this story, so check back again soon.