Here is a picture of Floki taken four years ago today in 2016. You can see his brown coloring hasn’t fully come in yet. One of the things I love about my wife is that she is silly, like a young child. When Floki started getting darker she would say to him something like, “Oh Floki, you’re so handsome. I love all your brown spots.”
As a bonus, here is a video of Chris taken on this day in 2010.
I stupidly turned the camera off just before he fell over.
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.
The SPCA announced recently that they were allowing the volunteers to come back. I took that opportunity to trade my 4-7 shift on Thursdays for a 1-4 shift on Fridays. This means that I will be volunteering at the same time I am on call at the Red Cross but I have gone on two calls in six months so I thoght it would be no problem.
When I walked into the cat room I noticed that all of the pods were empty, at least all that I could see.
I thought maybe they moved the cats and didn’t tell me but as I continued I saw a pod with four cats in it. I was pleasantly surprised to find seven of the eight cat pods empty. The next room has the smaller cages where cats are kept in isolation, either because they are recovering from surgery, they have a special diet, or the don’t play well with others.
There were four cats in that room, including a very friendly black cat named Sassy who had a skin condition from a flea allergy. I took her photo but it is too blurry to post.
There were also six kittens in the room in three separate cages, probably separated by litter. There were two black kittens that I failed to get pictures of. There was also a single gold and white kitten who was curious but shy.
Then there was three kittens together in one cage, a ginger boy and two females including one tabby and one tortie.
The ginger kitten was the most outgoing of the three and would come down from the shelf for attention.
The four cats inside the pod were pretty shy except for a white and gold cat named Max.
When Max wasn’t busy catching some rays he was busy looking for attention
While I was there, a man and his two boys came in shortly before a woman. All of them decided they wanted to adopt the ginger kitten but the woman recognized that the man was first and let him take the kitten. Perhaps if he didn’t have two young boys who wanted the kitten, he might have let her have him. Unfortunately, the woman left without a cat.
Another woman, who had been in earlier, decided to adopt an eight year old male Siamese cat named Sage. He was hiding under their homemade cat tree so I had to pull him out and put him in a carrier. I’m sure he wasn’t happy about it then but today he is living the good life.
While I was there I spoke with someone about doing animal transports. It is an on call position that I know almost nothing about yet but she did ask if I would be comfortable handling wildlife and mentioned birds of prey and a few others that I don’t remember. My guess is these are animals that are injured and need medical attention but I don’t know. I have an appointment to meet with her at 7:00 am this morning where I will learn more about the job. I think it will be interesting.
Yesterday our little boy turned four and we missed it because I made a stupid mistake. We actually don’t know his exact birthday but I was told that Floki and his brother were left in a carrier at Walmart on Memorial day and they were about six weeks old at the time so I did the math and came up with April 18th. I then had Alexa remind me of that date but for some reason thought Saturday was the 16th and I had made a mistake. It reminds me of the old joke, “I thought I was wrong once but I was mistaken.” This time being wrong about being wrong was a mistake.
In either case, my wife wanted to celebrate “early” with a cake. I told her it would have to be a tuna cake but she din’t like that idea but she wanted me to pick up some tuna for him as a treat. Since I had to get cat food anyway, I looked for something special and found something called Churu that were squeeze tubes of different flavors of treats. I chose the chicken recipe.
I opened two of the four tubes and squirted it on paper plates for the cats. They all loved it.
Rose decided since it was Floki’s birthday I should open up the other two packages and give that to them too. I did and they gobbled that up as eagerly as the first two. Hopefully, next year I will get the date right.
If you want to read more about Floki’s early days, check out the links below.
At the end of March I was in my least favorite store that may or may not start with a “W.” Anyway, I noticed a package of cat grass as I was heading toward the register and I thought it was something I should get for the cats.
My past experience with cat grass has not been good, mostly because the cats would tip it over and make a big mess. It also was expensive and wouldn’t last long. My plan this time was to buy a pot that would be the right size and difficult to tip over. I found that in the same store as well as a small bag of potting soil. I don’t remember what I paid but I think it was all under $20.
Six days after planting the seeds the grass was coming up quite nicely.
Two days later Chris was outside and he stumbled upon the cat grass. I let him eat a little but encouraged him to leave after a minute or two because the grass wasn’t ready yet.
Three days later I thought it was long enough to bring it in the house.
All the cats seemed to enjoy the grass, especially Chris and Frankie. I left it out for them for a few hours and then brought it back outside. After a few days I brought it inside for a few more hours and then put it back outside again. I think I will repeat that cycle about twice a week and see how long this lasts. Hopefully I can keep it indefinitely.
What do you think? Have you had success with cat grass?
I think the one cat toy in our house that has really stood the test of time is the Turbo Scratcher. The one we have now is one of two that we bought well over fifteen years ago (I don’t know what happened to the other one). It has not only lasted for years, it has also remained one of the most played with toys in the house.
Not all of our cats have been interested in it. Some have ignored it completely while others played with it occasionally, but there has always been one cat that goes back to it again and again. When Chris was young, he was the one. Then it was Puck and now Floki loves the Turbo Scratcher.
I often hear the sound of Floki playing with it but I never have a camera around. When I do go and get my camera or phone, as soon as I come back he is done playing. I was lucky to get the above video before Christmas and then promply forgot I had it until now.
Do you have any pet toys that have stood the test of time? I would love to hear about them.