Sweet Satisfaction

After all the time and energy I put into creating the cat shelves (along with my awesome husband’s help), I still get excited when I see a cat using them.

Borgia enjoying the hammock

I’d nap up there if I was a cat

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Sing-A-Long Kitteh

I discovered today that our barn cat Danny has been listening to the radio without my knowledge. I had to take him to the vet today because half his face was swollen, and he had a small abscess on his chin. During our 1 hour LONG car ride (round-trip), Danny sang-a-long to every song on the radio. I tested his knowledge by turning the radio off and he kept on singing!

Hopefully the antibiotic injection and 5 days strictly indoors will have Danny healed up.

Benny Boots

I have heard stories about cats being stuck in trees, even cartoons show firemen rescuing scared kittehs. Never did I imagine that I would witness my own cat being rescued.

A couple years ago, my husband returned from walking our dogs to notify me that our smallest barn cat, Benny, was up in a tree by our barn. This wasn’t a small tree,  and he was at least 50′ up and no where near the top of that tree (imagine a tree in a forest).  The other barn cats were hanging out around the tree for moral support and I did what I could do for the little guy. I hung out by this tree talking to him. I brought down a bowl of his kibble, then canned wet food. I had other tasks to handle, so I decided to leave the area in hopes he would come down if I wasn’t present.

Keep in mind, this is a semi-feral barn cat. He’s skittish but still seeks out attention when it suits him. That evening I stepped outside our front door to listen for him. Each time I went outside I heard him crying out, and it broke my heart. On the second day I discovered some neighbor walking his German Shepherd off-leash on the property next to ours. The owner made a comment about seeing the cat yesterday and I made the assumption that his dog scared our cat up the tree. This data made the situation even more serious. If the dog is what Benny was scared of, and it’s coming around daily, Benny wasn’t likely to calm down enough to make it down the tree.

Unfortunately Benny picked a tree that didn’t have low branches that he could easily jump down on. He would have to go STRAIGHT down. He was also up way too high for any of our huge ladders. Benny stayed another night up in that tree. Thankfully the windstorm didn’t cause him to fall.

On day 3 I decided to contact a logger who we’ve done business with to see if he’d be willing and able to rescue our boy. No luck, but he did offer another person who might be help us. He did say that in his line of work, he has discovered dead cats in trees (they don’t always come down on their own). It took two more calls to get a hold of a guy who had experience with rescuing cats from trees. For $60 he would come out in a couple hours and attempt to rescue our boy.

With spiked boots, he climbed the tree, grabbed Benny and lowered him back to the ground in a cat carrier. I am very thankful to him for rescuing our scared kitteh.

Anyone wondering why the title of this blog post is “Benny Boots”? One day I was walking around our property and I was hearing Benny crying out. After spending a good ten minutes searching for him, my husband and I determined the noise was coming from my wet boots…they were squeaking. False alarm, no cat rescue needed.

Say What?

Back in July, we took the pups (Marley and Heidi) to the beach for the weekend and when we came back we discovered one of our barn cats had disappeared. Tully was our little brown tabby that we’ve had for over 2 years. We initially wanted only 2 barn cats, so I picked a brother and sister out of a family of 5 feral kittens. When my husband heard the family of siblings had been separated, I got the green light to go get the other 3! Over the past 2 years, Tully has become extremely friendly, he wants to be loved on before eating. We were very sad to find out he was gone. This last year, Tully would stick real close to the barn so this was very unusual. We hoped that he would return but after a few weeks we gave up hope.

My husband recently sent me an email saying I should update my blog profile to read I have 3 barn cats (instead of 4). I was still too sad so I decided it wasn’t a high enough priority. WELL…five weeks ago, my husband went down to the barn to feed the barn cats (the remaining 3) and woke me up with an announcement. He said he hoped I didn’t already update my blog. I started to cry because I thought he meant we were now down to 2 barn cats (I care very much about those boys). Turns out my husband should have just said Tully had come back!

I got bundled up and raced down to the barn with a can of wet food because my husband said Tully was very underweight but otherwise appeared fine. I took one look at Tully and decided he needed a lot of TLC so I scooped him up (he was light as a feather) and brought him in the house. I never did get an initial weight, I’m guessing 4 lbs. He was a little smelly, turns out he had an abscess near his groin. Poor guy was so hungry! I made the mistake of letting him free feed, which led to diarrhea. I can tell you from experience, it is not fun waking up in the middle of the night to clean a SMELLY litter box and a cat’s tail… What I Do For Cats & Dogs!

After a visit to the vet, Tully’s abscess is fully healed thanks to them shaving and cleaning the wound plus the antibiotic injection. I was THRILLED that I didn’t have to give him a pill twice a day for two weeks! After Tully was diarrhea free (thanks to Bene-Bac Plus) and abscess was healed, I was able to focus more on helping him relax more in the house. So far, he isn’t hiding much and will usually come out from hiding if you call his name. He is playful especially with wand toys and is frequently found on the cat shelves in the living room.

I think Tully is enjoying the life of a house cat!

 

Cats Climbing The Walls (Soon)

CatastrophiCreations

My husband and I are finally going to install cat shelves in our living room. After doing a lot of researching looking at awesome product pictures and people’s set-ups, we decided to place an order from CatastrophiCreations.

Originally we were going to build everything ourselves but with the arrival of Bela, our first foster dog, we had to move fast. Bela had an unknown history with cats and we quickly discovered she was obsessed with them. Our poor cats weren’t safe near us in the living room and they weren’t happy being locked away in a different room.

We had a budget to work with and luckily we came across someone within driving distance that we could order shelves and ramps from. By not having to pay shipping, we were able to put that money towards more product.

We are waiting for all of our fabric covered shelves, large raceways and cat bed to be completed so we can get to work. I have received great customer service from CatastrophiCreations shop owner, Mike Wilson. He has been prompt with answering all questions (and we had a lot).

I am looking forward to updating everyone once we install the shelves. Of course, pictures will be included!

Must Have For Barn Cats (or stressed kittehs)

 

(Originally published on my old blog Feb 7, 2013)

With 5 barn cats, we’ve had our share of kitty colds associated with stress. These are the best I’ve found so far (I’ve tried 3 others) because it only takes 1 small chewy treat compared to 5 of another brand to get the same mg of active ingredients. This is a big deal especially when trying to make sure each cat gets the correct amount.

None of the cats cared much for the powdered L-Lysine and I didn’t like the caked on powder at the bottom of their food bowls. Putting it in wet food resulted in wasted food because they didn’t want to eat it.

These Optixcare L-Lysine Chews are worth the price especially when your cat is no longer runny eyed, sneezing and/or congested.