Wednesday, October 5, 2016

October 16 is National Feral Cat Day



Hello again from the Cats of Cal U. In case you didn't know, October 16 is National Feral Cat Day! Ferals like us across the country will be getting a lot of attention and love. That makes us very happy.

We are doing well, but we still miss our dear friend Ed (see previous post). Somebody put up this sign in our bus stop:



Here at Cal U, our human friends are planning a Trap-Neuter-Release event close to October 16 (depending on clinic availability). It looks like it will be during the following week. There are at least five of us here who have not been spayed or neutered yet, and we need to take care of them soon so we can all be healthy and not have dozens of kittens running around next spring. A successful TNR operation helps to stabilize the size of the colony and eventually reduce the number of community cats. We are trapped and transported to the clinic, kept in a safe, warm place overnight, and then returned to the colony the next day as good as new.








Our friends could use some help with this. They need one or two people to help with trapping in the evening. Also, funds are needed for our surgeries. You can sponsor a cat for a mere $30, which includes the surgery, rabies vaccination, and ear tipping. (Ear tipping is the universal sign that tells people this cat has already been neutered. The vet snips just the very tip of the left ear while we're under anesthesia.) Of course, donations of any amount are welcome.




A GoFundMe account has been set up for us. The donations will be used for our surgeries, as well as our ongoing care and feeding. It can be found here (or you can search for "Cats of Cal U" on the GoFundMe website). If you can lend a trap or help with trapping, please email pammy.murphy@gmail.com.

For more information on feral cats and what you can do for the cats in your neighborhood, go to www.alleycat.org.


Here are some more pictures:


This is one of our cozy shelters. Soon it will be getting cold,
so we're glad we have these warm little houses to snuggle
up with each other in.


We're waiting for that nice lady to feed us, but we're not getting too close.



Okay, go away now so I can eat!


Did I hear a food bag?


NOM NOM NOM




Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Sad Farewell to A Wonderful Caregiver



We are the Cats of Cal U. 








On Sunday morning, April 17, 2016, our lives were changed forever. Our main caregiver, a man who has been feeding us for years, has built us shelters, has trapped us and transported us to the vet for spay/neuter surgery and then brought us back, has raised our kittens on his back porch and socialized them so they could be adopted out to loving homes, our friend and champion, died in a house fire when he went back in to save his own three cats. He got his girlfriend out safely, but could not leave his babies behind. His name was Ed Marks, and he died as he lived—as a hero for cats.












We are left to wonder why his truck is not pulling up in the morning, and the gentle soul with the gray ponytail is not getting out to bring our food and talk to us. We wait for him every day and come running at the sound of his truck. We don’t understand why he left us.















We live along a beautiful river bank on a university campus, and our colony is the result of students who went home for the summer and left their pets behind to fend for themselves. Ed, with the help of several of his co-workers, took it upon himself to care for us. These people give of their own time and money to keep us healthy and warm. Ed bucked the administration and stood up for our rights, and for this we love him. What was once an uncontrolled colony is now a sustainable colony of about 40 cats. Most of us are spayed or neutered. A couple do slip through every year, and they are caught in the following summer's trapping. 













  





This year, the trapping will take place without Ed. His friends in the community have rallied around to make sure we get fed and vetted. We have seen many of the ladies crying, and we feel sad for them. We wish we could tell them we will be okay, but the truth is, we will miss Ed as much as they do. Someday we will see him and his three kitties at the Rainbow Bridge. But until then, rest easy, gentle friend. You were a prince among men.




The Cats of Cal U need people to carry on Ed's work. We need volunteers for feeding, trapping and transporting, and we need food. If you would like to help the Cats of Cal U, please visit our GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/2su9u24.

For more information on feral cat colonies and how you can help them, go to www.alleycatallies.org. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Benjamin Bellybutton


 Benjamin Bellybutton and his brother Bodhi were rescued from the Cats of Cal U colony in the Spring of 2010, when they were about 6 weeks old. They are now 4 years old, and Benjamin is the bigger of the two. He is huge! And he is so cuddly, I call him "Benjie the Love Bug." He is particularly enamored of this stuffed Siamese cat, which is his "Lovey." He sleeps with her every day, and today I found him on top of her like this. He will also knead her when he's sleepy.

When I go to bed, Benjie gets in bed right beside me and purrs like crazy. If I don't pet him enough because I'm reading, he lets me know by grabbing my hand and placing it on his head.

Benjie is joined here by (clockwise from top) Pookie, Reese, Sweet Pea, and Atticus on a lazy Sunday afternoon.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Bed Hog


Cha Cha was all freaked out because Fritz was laying on her bed. She sat next to the bed and stared at me. I could just hear her saying "Mom! Fritz is in my bed!" I told her "There's plenty of room on the bed, Cha Cha. Just get in there and cuddle with him. It's okay, he won't mind." And she did!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Pookie



One day this past Spring, I was walking campus at lunchtime, and I stopped by the feral colony shelters that my friend Ed built to see if any kitties were out. Of course, the adults near the feeder scattered; but there were two tiny black kittens crawling out of the shelter. I walked a bit closer, knelt down, and said "Hi, kittens!" One kitten turned and ran back into the shelter, but this little guy ran straight toward me! I picked him up, and he purred like crazy. "Well, I can't very well put you back on the colony now!" I said, so off we went to the office, where he spent the rest of the day getting love from all of the employees and student workers.

The first picture was taken as we were walking back to the office. He looks like he's raising holy hell, but he's just meowing VERY loudly. The other two were taken today. You can see he has quite a personality. I couldn't think of an appropriate name at first, and just started calling him Pookie for something to call him, and it stuck. He is long, lean, and silky-shiny. He's all black, except for about 5 white hairs right under his neck.

About a month ago, he gave me a scare when he didn't come to bed one night. I had been out kind of late, and thought it odd that he wasn't in bed when I went to bed, because he always sleeps with me. But it was late, and I was tired, so I went to sleep. In the morning, he still wasn't in bed, so I got worried and went looking for him. I found him laying on the bare basement floor. When I picked him up, he was practically limp in my hands, very lethargic. This is a kitten who is extremely active. I immediately called the vet, who said bring him in.

Pookie had a temperature of 105 degrees, which is very high. The vet recommended testing him for leukemia, which would take about 10 minutes. They took him back for blood and brought him back to me, and I sat there crying for 10 minutes while they ran the test. Doc came back in and said the test was negative, and I breathed again. He said they could give him a shot to bring down the fever and see what happens, but this was probably some kind of virus. He got the shot and some medicine to bring home, and by the next morning at 5 a.m., Pookie was attacking my feet just like always. I hope he outgrows this habit soon...even on the weekends he attacks my feet at 5 a.m., as well as his brothers and sisters. But he's so dang cute, I can't help but just laugh at him. He's five months old now and will be neutered soon; maybe that will calm his little butt down a bit.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Just everyday stuff...

This happens every Saturday when I try to change the sheets...

Sabrina is so pretty. Her blue eyes are so pale, they tend to look red in photos. She has the colorpoint gene but was born in a litter of black & white and torties in Spring 2013. Her fur is very thick and fuzzy. Her favorite thing to do is chase the little ball around the donut toy.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Too Many Goodbyes, and a Couple Hellos

Last year was a rough year. After Kafka went to the Rainbow Bridge in April, Pearlie Bunnybum (my little cover girl) became ill and went across in September. She was 11 years old. Then, Holden joined his friends on the other side in December. He was also 11 years old. These were both very tough for me, as I had had them both since they were babies and their illnesses were very brief. Pearl had liver failure and Holden had kidney failure.

As a result, I have taken a long hiatus from writing about my furbabies. But Kathy from the Witty Itty Bitty Kitty Committee (http://thewittyittybittykittycommittee.blogspot.com/) has pretty much shamed me into picking up where I left off. Thank you Kathy! You gave me the shove that I needed. I miss all of my lost babies so much, but I know they had the best lives possible and would not have had a life at all if not for me, their rescuer. So I find great comfort in that.
 
This is my newest little girl, Sabrina, who was rescued from the feral colony at the university where I work, and she joins fellow feral rescues Benjamin Bellybutton, Bodhi, Goldie, Fritz, and Pixie. Sabrina has the colorpoint gene but is spotted, similar to a Snowshoe cat. She is mostly white, with light brown marks that have stripes, and her tail is seal, as well as the spot on her nose and outlines of her ears. Her mama is a tuxedo and her brothers and sister are tuxedoes and a tortie. She is 3 months old and very playful. At night, she suckles on TC, who is a boy but looks like her mama. He loves kittens so he is fine with the suckling. He just rolls over on his back and lets her have at it. I think these two will be besties like Domino and Peek-A-Boo were. Poor Peekie never liked any of the other cats, and since Dommie passed, she has stayed in the dining room with Crystal and won't have anything to do with the other cats. She and Dommie were inseparable.
 
This is Laurel. She joined the family last summer when I went to a yard sale in the Laurel Mountains and this couple had about 30 kittens on their front porch, all of them about 8 weeks old. I wanted to take them all! But I picked one, and she has been a good little cat. She's fully grown now, but small like Peek-A-Boo. She is best friends with my Chihuahua, Cha Cha. Cha Cha thinks kittens are her toys and drags them around by their ears. I keep warning her that the kitties will soon be bigger than she is and she will get her ass kicked, but she doesn't listen. Luckily the kittens don't seem to mind too much.