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View Full Version : It's A Good Feeling . . .



AvaJoy
03-06-2002, 09:54 PM
It seems like I've gotten into the cat rescue biz! I've been putting a can of food out back for about a week, and 2 cats have been making regular stops to dine. I decided to set the trap 2 nights ago, and I caught a big brown feral tabby with notched right ear! Took him to vet the next morning just to be sure he was a TNR (trap-neuter-release) and yes, he had been neutered - good news!

Encouraged, I decided to try my luck again last night, and sure enough I caught a big white feral with no notched ear. This guy was in need of neutering, so I deposited him trap and all at the vet and they performed the surgery today and notched his ear. Since rabies has been found in the area, they vaccinated him no charge. They wanted to keep him (and my trap!) overnight for observation, and I miss not setting the trap and keeping tabs to see who I may have lured tonight . . . like a spider with his web, except I have only good intentions!

It is gratifying to know I'm making a little difference in controlling the local feral cat overpopulation. I will continue to put a can outside every night, but before I can set the trap again I really need to send away for more low cost spay/neuter certificates! :)

K & L
03-06-2002, 10:45 PM
WOO HOO for you! Good job! That's how my husband & I started out and we've now TNR'd over 90 cats. Isn't it the most gratifying feeling knowing how you've helped them? Keep up the good work.

AvaJoy
03-06-2002, 11:11 PM
WOW . . . 90!!! Over what period of time? Congratulations on REALLY helping the kitties . . . wait 'till I tell this to my Hubby . . . but I doubt there could ever be that many cats wandering out this far in the sticks . . . to drum up business I could put out a sign "Unwanted Cats Welcome Here" . . . which I'm sure would not go over too well with him . . . lol, lol :D

Oh! The tabby (I call him Theo) came back tonight! He was leary, but since there was no wire cage surrounding the chow he decided to stick around and eat to his heart's content. He may have potential; seemed more frightened than angry when I trapped him; probably because he had been through this once before!!

purrley
03-07-2002, 07:44 AM
Congratulations both of you!!!! Wish there were more concerned people out there. You guys are certainly making a difference in the "No More Homeless Pets" endeavor. Hats OFF to You:D

K & L
03-07-2002, 07:58 AM
We've been doing this going on 3 years now. We live near a beautiful park where people tend to think this is the perfect home to DUMP their animal. When we first started doing this, there were so many cats we couldn't believe it. We've found home for kittens and cats that were adoptable, unfortunately a few had to be euthanized due to disease, and the rest we released back to their environment and have feeding and watering stations setup. We both love doing this and it's something we look forward to every evening. Keep up the good work, 3 cats fixed is 12 cats less without a home.

Logan
03-07-2002, 08:38 AM
You should feel good!! What a worthwhile thing you are doing!! I'm so proud to know all of you who are doing such wonderful deeds for these defenseless cats! :)

Randi
03-07-2002, 08:54 AM
Ava Joy and KL!

I really admire you for doing such a great job - Well done! ;)

We also took action in our yard and had a few done, it's so rewarding when you see them after - healthy and happy! :D :D

Edwina's Secretary
03-07-2002, 10:57 AM
Please keep on providing a safe enviornment for these cats. I'm very sad today. I travel a high speed expressway to get to work each morning. Today, for the second time in a month a dead kitty. Today was a calico, the other was a beautiful solid gray. Neither cat was on a part of the expressway near homes -- just strip malls, light industrial -- commercial type buildings. So I have to assume they were strays in search of food (I refuse to acknowledge the possibility of being tossed out of a car.)

If these cats had a safe enviornment -- with food, water, and shelter -- it's not the same as a loving home but it is far better than the road.

Thanks for what you all do.

lynnestankard
03-08-2002, 06:20 PM
Way to go Avajoy - well done you! It's lovely to know people are helping all those ferals (or strays) in need of a good meal and a quick op.,!!!
And K & L what sterling work your doing.

Your all very special people - thank goodness.

Lynne

AvaJoy
03-08-2002, 08:40 PM
The following statistic was in a newspaper article regarding cat cloning: At last count there were 113 million cats in the United States, and 40 million of them were homeless . . .

The big white (I call him Sasquatch) came through his surgery just fine. They notched his ear and gave him a rabies shot. When I released him he dashed off, paused to glance back momentarily, and then was gone. I hope he comes back to feed again . . . what a handsome fellow! The vet said he was about 3 years old.

Theo didn't show tonight, but the black and white cow-marked cat I believe may be kin to my Debra came around . . . my next conquest!;)

The organization (SNAPS) that I get my low cost spay/neuter certificates from charges $40.00 for spay, and $25.00 for neuter . . . plus a $3.00 processing fee . . . is this a resonable fee? My vet told me her normal fee is $75.00 to neuter a male cat, so having the coupons is quite a savings, for sure. I will order another set of male & female coupons . . . never know which sex I might lure! (Oops . . . :o . . . that doesn't sound quite right, does it!!? :o LOL!)

AmberLee
03-13-2002, 10:45 PM
You are doing a really great thing, AvaJoy. Thanks for sharing the word, as well as your efforts in saving cats. You are wonderful. :D :cool:

AvaJoy
04-05-2002, 11:24 PM
I finally received 2 more certificates in the mail just the other day, so set out the trap last night hoping to catch Debra's Mom, as I refer to the black/white who has been an everynight visitor for quite sometime now.

Well, this morning hubby awakens me saying he thinks there is a racoon in the trap!:eek: When I went out to look, I understood his conclusion because this guy was HUGE, and had only 1/2 a tail which was very full and ringed! Easily could pass for a racoon at a distance . . . I whisked him off to the vet and he was neutered, notched and vaccinated against rabies today. Seems he is an older cat with plenty of battle scars, as the vet put it. We pick him up tomorrow, and I have named him Chief Half-Tail. Funny that we never saw him until just this morning, in our trap! I am going to take photos of these cats before I release them.

Theo comes back quite often, but I'm surprised Debra's Mom was not lured into the trap . . . maybe she is wise to it . . . I will keep trying, and who knows . . . Chief Half-Tail was certainly a surprise to find!:) :D

Sara luvs her Tinky
04-05-2002, 11:35 PM
YAY AVA JOY!!! :D

Yeah, take pics of the sweet furrbabies, I can't wait to see Cheif Ring-Tail!!!!!! Good luck catchin Debra's mom!! :) and kudos to you for the good work catchin those kitties and helpin em out!!

AvaJoy
04-09-2002, 09:36 PM
We picked up Chief Half-Tail from the vet, and he urinated in the trap on the way home . . . WHEW! :( :mad: . . . I'd forgotten just how pungent that odor is . . . :eek: Luckily it did not get inside the truck anywhere (there was a towel in the trap and we brought one to put the trap on), because I'm sure the BEST odor neutralizer couldn't erase that scent . . . even though he was fixed the day before, I'm told it takes about 10 days for the hormones to even out. The towels are in hefty bags and going out to the garbage . . .

Debra's Mom will definitely be quite a challenge to lure into the trap . . . the other night we set it (after spritzing and washing it repeatedly to TRY and get rid of Chief's pee) and we watched as she lurked around it, but she would NOT set foot inside! I had a feeling she was too slick to fall for it . . . but we will keep trying. She hangs around the house because Hubby sees her by the driveway in the morning when he leaves for work, and we caught her napping by the front porch. She has been limping, so I'm anxious to get her doctored.

AmberLee
04-09-2002, 09:47 PM
Whew! I'm so proud of you to keep on trying. You are making the world around you a better place. You go girl!!!

Good choice on the towels, I'm afraid. :eek:

lynnestankard
04-10-2002, 07:09 AM
Great work Avajoy - yep the older boys carry on stinking for about 4 weeks - well our Dan did after his little op., - he was about a year old when he was done - we rescued him and he'd JUST been done - yee gods the smell!!:eek: :eek: Made your eyes water!!
Fingers well and truly crossed for Debra's Mom walking into thed trap - how about sardines? They smell quite strongly and might overcome the residue smell of Chief Half Tail.
Good Luck.

Lynne

AvaJoy
04-10-2002, 06:21 PM
Lynne! Sardines just might do the trick . . . I never considered them before; I've just been using canned cat food . . . thanks for the suggestion!:D

We have the trap already set for tonight, so wonder what I'll find in the morning . . . this is exciting!:eek: :)

sasvermont
04-10-2002, 07:04 PM
Avajoy! What wonderful committment you have to these kitties. You have a big, big heart for sure.

I did this deed for a few ferals in my barn/backyard area. It took me three days to catch them all. There were three kittens, a Mom cat and BIG Papa. They went in the following order: two kittens at the same time, one more kitten later, BIG Papa and THEN Mom cat. I started on a Saturday at 4 AM, with tuna fish and five traps. I covered the traps with a towel, so they could not see the cage. Once they entered, they were at my mercy. Since it was Feb. when I did this, I couldn't leave the traps outside all night - cause the cat would freeze if it was in there all night. So I started at 4 AM each day..including Monday early morning, when I caught Mama. So I did four round trips to the Vet....as I caught them. The Vet was so impressed with my determination, that he was willing to come in when I called, do the deed then return them to me same day. The kittens were all males, saving me a bit of money....and then there was Mama. Mama had a bad infection and needed to be confined for a week. She ended up living on my screened in porch for two weeks (after escaping from her container, in my house..... ) :eek: :eek: :eek:

You seem to be getting the hang of this and may want to seek reimbursement for your costs from some animal society.

My Vet does it at a reduced rate, since he charges me full price for my personal pets. He is a nice guy, for sure.

Keep us posted on the Mama cat. She sounds smart. But not as smart as you ARE!



;)

AvaJoy
04-10-2002, 09:33 PM
Sasvermont, thank you for the pointers!:) I will grab an old towel or blanket and go out right now to cover the trap . . . that is a SUPER tactic!!:D

One question: Did you use cat food tuna, or human tuna??

Wow, you certainly had your hands full, running back and forth with the whole family over the course of several days . . . I'm sure it was gratifying once that they were all rounded up and altered.

My vet honors SNAP certificates (see my previous post on page 1), so I don't know if I could qualify for any additional reimbursement. I have since contacted Friends of Animals and their program charges considerably more per certificate . . . $55.00 for spay and $40.00 for neuter. I'm hoping my next trapped cat is female, because I only have a spay cert. left . . . guess I'd better order another neuter, just in case "Debra's Mom" IS caught and turns out to be "Debra's DAD" . . . Uh-oh. :eek:

Sara ~ When I get the film developed I will try and post the photo of Chief Half-Tail, providing it is clear enough . . . I took about 3 photos of him just in case. I also should have a photo of Sasquatch on the roll, but didn't take a photo of Theo for some reason. He still comes around so maybe if he happens to get re-trapped, I can then get his picture. Thanks for your support and interest! :)

lizbud
04-10-2002, 09:35 PM
Avajoy,

Lynne is right about the sardines. Works better than
regular can food and the smell is pretty strong.

Draping a towel or sheet over the middle of the trap is
a good disguise. I also put some narrowly folded newspaper
on the wire floor of the trap.Cats don't like to walk on the
bare wire. Best of Luck to you.

AvaJoy
04-10-2002, 09:53 PM
Hmmmmm . . . newspaper to conceal the wire floor . . . very clever, Lizbud! :D

Thanks to everyone's input, I have a feeling I just may out-fox Debra's Mom, afterall . . . hee, hee, hee . . . can't wait!!!!:cool:

AvaJoy
04-10-2002, 10:41 PM
Thanks for the comprehensive website link, Spencer . . . here is a tidbit from it that others may be interested in knowing . . . it is particularly helpful to me, especially since trying to trap Debra's Mom: [/FONT]

17. Q: I've been trying to trap a particular cat, but the cat refuses to go into the trap. What should I do?

A: If after repeated attempts a cat will not go into a trap, take a break for a week or two (except in the case of an injured cat). A short break can reduce a cat's fear of the trap. During this time, feed that cat and others in unset traps for several days. Place the food first by the entrance of the trap, then inside, then over a period of days gradually move it closer to the back. Feed in the same place and time as always. The cat will see other cats eating inside the traps and will likely try it, too.

When you are ready to trap again, withhold food for 24 hours up to three days (for a very "trap savvy" cat). Never withhold water. You can make a trap more enticing by dabbing bits of jarred baby food (not containing onions), or catnip on the outside of the trap. Also, cats love the smell of a pungent herb called valerian. Make a strong smelling broth by boiling valerian in water, then douse the trap with it.

If you are still unable to trap a cat or if the cat has learned how to steal bait without springing the trap, consider using a drop-trap instead. Instructions for building a drop trap can be found in the Factsheet section of the ACA website, entitled Drop Trap Instructions. This material includes a materials list, step-by-step instructions, and illustrations of how to build and use a drop-trap to catch the obstinate feral cat.

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
04-11-2002, 12:17 PM
Good luck, AvaJoy. With all the help you're getting around here, I'm sure Debra's Mom will be lured in in no time. :)

tatsxxx11
04-15-2002, 06:42 PM
Just catching up on the great work you're doing helping all of these kitties! Just imagaine a world where everyone had a heart as big as yours! Yay, for Avajoy!!

AvaJoy
04-15-2002, 09:10 PM
I'm going to attempt to share photos of Sasquatch and Chief Half-Tail, so here they are, hopefully . . . :) I scanned them together to save webspace . . . hope they are clear. Chief Half-Tail is the tabby with white and the length of his tail is difficult to see in the photo. Sasquatch looks so frightened, doesn't he . . . hope he is doing OK as I haven't seen him since. :(

http://www.home.earthlink.net/~jemdoll/sasqchf1.JPG

moosmom
05-13-2002, 08:42 PM
Avajoy,

You should be very proud of yourself for taking care of so many homeless and abandoned cats! It takes a special person to do the work you do. I've done it. I finally had to take a break because I was burning out.

Most people (present company excluded, of course) would simply turn their backs and make it someone else's problem. It's sad too because feral cats are feral because of humans. :mad:

My hat is off to you! Keep up the great work.

Donna

lynnestankard
05-14-2002, 05:47 AM
So glad you've brought this thread back to the top Donna. How is it all going Avajoy - any luck yet with Debra's Mum? Fingers crossed. :)

Lynne

AvaJoy
05-14-2002, 07:37 PM
Thanks for your supportive words, Donna!

Lynne, I'm always glad when you chime in . . . here is the latest:

Debra's Mom has been staying around the house more and more! Sunday afternoon we noticed her snoozing comfortably on the cedar chips/pine needles next to our front porch! Since it was Mother's Day, I was kinda secretly hoping she was going into labor . . . :eek: Her belly does look distended, so maybe if she is pregnant she will choose to have her kittens here . . . goody!! I have been faithfully leaving food out for her every evening, so maybe this weekend we can try to trap her once again, using all the tactics everyone has offered. We figured we'd gain her confidence and let her feel safe here before trying again . . . so it is time to give it another go! :D :D

lizbud
05-14-2002, 10:05 PM
Avajoy,
Sounds like great progress in getting her trust.
Does the Momma cat have a safe place around your
house where she might hide & birth the babies? A shed
or dense bushes, under a porch, etc.? If you make her
secure it her food source (your place), & hope she has
the babies close by, she will not readily leave the area.
You have longer to trap her after the babies are 5-6 wks
old (and the babies too). Just a thought. Maybe you
don't want to wait that long? Good luck to you.

AvaJoy
05-14-2002, 10:58 PM
Hi, Lizbud! As you say, maybe I should wait awhile longer . . . I used to feed her under a tree in the back yard, but noticed her by the front porch under the eaves when it was raining one night, so started to leave food there for her because she could stay dry. That is where I noticed her curled up and sleeping on Sunday. For all I know, she could sleep there every day and I hadn't been aware because I'm at work. It is a safe place for her, and shielded from view and the elements, with landscaping to hide her. Maybe I should just keep feeding her there, and keep an eye on her belly! She will run if I get too close, but will tolerate me on the screened in porch, as long as I don't try to go out the screen door.

lizbud
05-15-2002, 10:22 AM
Avajoy,
It seems excruciatingly slow sometimes when
you want to much to trap them & get them on the
road to a better future.But, it's best to not
spook her now , or she'll split & you might not
find the babies later.Do you think Momma cat is
about (anyday) ready to deliver? Liz.

AvaJoy
05-15-2002, 07:26 PM
Gosh, Liz . . . I have no idea how close she could be to delivery 'cos I've had NO experience with expectant mothers . . . wish I could get close enough to see if maybe her nipples are prominent, which should be a sign, yes?:confused: I guess I'll just have to play the waiting game a bit longer . . . tonight hubby wanted to set the trap out front, but I dissuaded him. I'm looking forward to helping her and her kittens, and I'm sure they will be sweet-tempered just like darling Debra.:) :)

lizbud
05-15-2002, 08:40 PM
Avajoy,

It's O.K. to set the trap now if you're sure she's still
pregnant, and hasn't already had the babies. I feel she
probably has not had them yet if she spends most of her
time at your place.? Just didn't want her to get trapped
after she's had them, before you knew where the babies
were. You 're doing great! Best of luck & patience to you.

AvaJoy
06-03-2002, 09:25 PM
For quite sometime now I have not seen Debra's Mom close enough to check out her belly size . . . only from a distance, and my binoculars are not the greatest. She still is limping off and on. I did set out the trap again for her, but came up empty.:(

On a brighter note, I noticed a young Tortie out back, and we had a feeling she would be an easy catch . . . we were right!!:) She is only a few months old and absolutely STUNNING . . . she has the coat coloring of a wild animal, so I started calling her Muskrat. Not a very pretty name, but I don't want to get too attached because she is feral as they come . . . those little ears flattened back and glaring yellow eyes as round as the moon, all the while uttering low growls. She was flinging herself from end to end of the trap. We caught her Saturday night so I spent lots of time with her on and off Sunday, just sitting by her and talking up a storm so she might get accustomed to humans . . . she did quiet down and slowly the ears became more erect and her eyelids started to droop as though she was at ease and going to slumberland.

This morning I dropped her off at the vet, and they couldn't spay her today but will tomorrow. Gosh, I will hate to just release her . . . I would love to try and tame her . . . has anyone ever gotten a feral to become people-friendly, and any idea on what my chances might be on accomplishing this?? :confused:

I would love to give Debra a playmate, but don't have a lot of time to devote to working with a feral kitten . . . I guess I will house her in the dog's old huge wire travel crate for a few days in the garage while she recuperates from her surgery. I have a small litter box I can put in it and there is room for bowls and a sleeping mat.

I fell in love from the first glimpse I caught of her darting across the backyard ~ so gorgeous!:) I took pics this morning and when I get the film developed I will post the best one.

AvaJoy
06-04-2002, 10:02 PM
Today Muskrat was spayed, and given her shots . . . turns out she is FeLV+ so all hopes of introducing her to Lily and Debra are dashed. I guess she will have to room with Meeshe who is also FeLV+, that is if they get along. For the next 5-7 days she will be recuperating in the dog's crate out in the barn . . . I had hoped to set her up in the garage but she would boil there because tomorrow the forecast is 90 degrees.

The vet tech told me she seems more frightened than aggressive because she never tried to claw or bite anyone while at the vet. That is good news and gives me some hope that in time she could come around to trust people . . . sadly, they informed me that she had broken her leg at one time and it healed poorly so her hind leg is crooked but it doesn't seem to hinder her . . . poor little girl; so much pain she has endured for being under one year old . . . :( She is the size of a ferret, which could be due to the leukemia. I will try to give her all she needs and hope for the best. Meeshe is now about 3 or 4 years old, and depite his leukemia he seems just fine and shows no signs of illness. I wish the same for little Muskrat. :)

rg_girlca
06-04-2002, 10:21 PM
Hats off to Avajoy and K&L for the fantastic job they are doing to help our poor homeless furbabies. Congratulations to the both of you.

lynnestankard
06-05-2002, 08:01 AM
Another success Avajoy - even though it is a little bittersweet.
Little Muskrat sure has been through a lot in her short life - hopefully from now on she'll do better. xxx
Well done - you really are such a caring person.
Lynne

AvaJoy
06-11-2002, 10:32 PM
It has now been about a week since Muskrat was vetted, and the tech was right . . . she is not an evil girl, just frightened. AND, she is not truly feral . . . she has probably developed a mistrust of humans from abuse because she has improved SOOO much . . . purring, rolling on her side with her head tilted on the sides of her bed while looking at me, and returning to me the feline "I Love You" language ~ a slow, sleepy-eyed blink. Morning and evening I sing and purr and read to her (Jerusha poem, of course!), and knead my nails and demonstrate cat cleaning rituals . . . she is very attentive! Her ears are forward and she even feels secure enough to turn her back to me. She tolerates my hand through the cage, almost touching her . . . I pet her stuffed animals and knead her fleece bed . . . seems like she SO wants petting, but I know it is a little too soon for her to completely trust my intentions, so I am taking it slow and easy. Today I bought her a toy mouse, and I rubbed it on my hair and forehead so it has my scent and maybe she can further bond with me this way . . . I can't believe how far she has come, and I am so thrilled!!!!!! :) :D :) :D :) :D :D :D

Logan
06-12-2002, 12:03 AM
Good for you, Avajoy!!! You know it is the "reading" of the precious Jerusha story that is doing it, don't you?? :D :D :D

We love it!!! :)

lynnestankard
06-12-2002, 05:33 AM
THAT'S IT!!!!!

Readings of 'Jerusha' will do it every time!!

Your so patient and caring Avajoy - I can't help but think this is going to have a happy ending. Fingers and toes and paws and tails all crossed over here - keep us informed wont you? xxxx

Lynne

AvaJoy
06-15-2002, 11:55 PM
Today was quite a milestone, and I'd like to believe it was due at least in part to the power of reading her "Jerusha"!:) :)

I was actually petting Muskrat's neck and head!!!:D Here's how it happened: I have a dust pan and brush that I use to sweep up the litter crumbs in her cage, and she is now used to me moving the brush about, to the point where she felt bold enough today to rub her head on it. So I began to brush her with the brush, and of course my fingers where right there on the handle so I slowly let my hand take over as I put down the brush . . . she was too busy purring and rolling her head all around to notice . . . it was so wonderful to finally touch her!!!:D :D :) :)

AmberLee
06-16-2002, 12:04 AM
How wonderful! {{{hugs to you both}}}

lynnestankard
06-17-2002, 06:48 AM
Avajoy - HURRAY!!!!! Way to go!!!!

Lynne

lizbud
06-17-2002, 05:15 PM
CONGRATS AVAJOY , to quote a phrase,
"It's a good feeling". That's the wonderful "payoff" of getting
to see her start to know & enjoy a gentle human touch.

AvaJoy
06-17-2002, 09:44 PM
More progress! Tonight when I came home from work and was tending to her, she let me rub her head, neck and back withOUT THE BRUSH!!!!!:D :D :D All the while I was singing softly to her.

The down side is that I made an appt. with the vet tomorrow evening because her leg is not healing, so I hope by getting her into the carrier I will not undo all the trust I have gained . . . :( I'm trying to determine the least stressful way to go about this, and will try putting some treats in the carrier to lure her in, so that I don't have to physically put her in . . . I'm hoping maybe she will harbor less resentment if she goes in on her own accord . . . :confused:

I could always have my hubby do the dirty deed, since she hisses and pins her ears back whenever he approaches . . . probably because he can't spend any time with her, so she is wary of him, and . . . possibly it was a man that snapped her little leg so she is generally fearful of them all . . . well, wish me luck tomorrow night . . . I need reassurance that there is no serious infection going on . . . I have bonded so much to this little girl . . . :) :)

lynnestankard
06-18-2002, 06:20 AM
OH LOTS AND LOTS OF LUCK AVAJOY

Hope you get her in the carrier without too much trauma - but it has to be done - cruel to be kind and all that. Thinking of you.


Lynne

Logan
06-18-2002, 08:23 AM
Best of luck, Avajoy. I hope you can get her in without too much fuss! :)

lizbud
06-18-2002, 10:09 PM
Sometimes I have had to delay an expected meal to
lure a kitty into the carrier for treatment. After she's
waited some hours pass the normal feeding time, give
her some canned food inside the carrier. Push it to the
back and be ready to close the door when she goes in.
It's really a balancing act on your part, as you have to
actually act like "nothing special" is going on.Just keep
in mind how this will help her, and no matter what happens
try to keep your voice, soft & sing-song like. Best of Luck.
I know you can do it, and she'll thank you for it later.
:)

AvaJoy
06-20-2002, 09:47 PM
Well . . . as it turned out, getting her into the carrier was the LEAST of my problems . . . the vet visit was a total FIASCO!!:eek: :mad:

After a 45 minute wait, the vet finally got to us. The vet thought it best to take apart the carrier so she could be removed from above. (It is one of those plastic carriers with steel door at one end). She told the assistant to put towel over Muskrat's head as soon as she removed the top, but the girl was not "with it", so the moment Muskrat saw daylight from above she jumped out OVER the carrier AND the examining table onto the floor and skittered into a corner of the room behind some plastic stackable bins on wheels. From back there, she could have crawled through a tiny space behind an immoveable built in desk and the wall, so the vet quickly found something to slide back to prevent this. She had also closed and locked the door to the examining room beforehand, which was now a welcome precaution. To make a long story short, the stackable bins were wheeled out just far enough so that she could not escape, and the reassembled carrier was placed by her with the door opened, and the vet used a towel to coax my poor little frightened girl back into her carrier.

She was never examined (vet proclaimed her too wild and scared, and inquired if I had a video camera to take movies of her leg . . . oh, PULEEESE!!!!) and yet they wanted to charge me for a "Brief Exam" . . . Hah! The vet did give me antibiotic pills to crush and put in her food once a day on the assumption that the leg is probably infected. If I had known the assistant was such an air-head then I would have volunteered to take her out myself through the steel door, and she wouldn't have gone through all this trauma. :mad: I kept my distance, assuming the vet and tech had experience handling uncooperative cats, and I also did not want Muskrat to associate me with this unpleasantness which would possibly outdo all the trust she had gained in me.

I just don't understand why the vet couldn't have taken better control of the situation . . . I have always had much respect and confidence in her . . . I brought Muskrat to be examined, and she was not, and I'm extremely disappointed. How did they handle her when I first presented her for spaying??? Don't they have long heavy gloves to handle ferals?? I did find out that another vet (who owns the practice) was on hand then, and different vet techs as well . . . so now I will know to request her.

Despite the nightmare experience, little Muskrat is more affectionate and trusting than ever, and i don't need the brush to approach her for petting anymore!!!:D :D She is my little dollbaby.:)

My goal: I look forward to the day when she climbs onto my lap and lets me give her a little kiss on her head.:) :) :) :)

lizbud
06-20-2002, 10:14 PM
Avajoy,

I'm so sorry that the Vet visit didn't go better. Did this
Vet know that this kitty was "fresh-caught" and not yet
socialized? It must have been horrible for you to see her
freak-out like that. I use a different Vet for my kitties than
I do for my dog , only because the cat Vet has more experience
with semi-ferals. I'm glad that" Musky" doesn't hold it against
you. I'm thinking she will do just fine. You have earned her
trust... :D

AvaJoy
06-20-2002, 10:29 PM
Thanks, Lizbud . . . you know, maybe this vet just didn't want to deal with the hassle because she was exhausted from being so far behind schedule . . . I try to give people the benefit of the doubt . . . too often for my own good, actually.

I would love to locate a Feline Specialist Vet in the area, but don't know of any . . . this clinic is only down the road about 5 minutes away so the convenience just can't be beat . . . and usually the care given is excellent . . . I will try to take Musky back for an appt. with the vet that spayed her and if I'm not happy with the outcome I will have no choice but to find another more competent practice.

Oh! I have pix of Muskrat and will post them over the weekend! :)

lynnestankard
06-21-2002, 06:12 AM
Oh Avajoy I'm so sorry the vet visit was such a shambles. Poor you and poor Muskrat {{{{{}}}}}.
She must have been terrified. All your good work down to nothing! Makes me feel angry.:mad:
As long as she's still fine with you thats good. Hope things go better next time. Fingers crossed. :) :)

Lynne

lizbud
06-21-2002, 10:51 AM
Avajoy,

Just a thought, but I got my kitty vet's name
from the local Cat Rescue group called Cat's
Haven. Maybe you could contact a group near you
and ask for vet's names.

AvaJoy
06-23-2002, 10:21 PM
Today, Muskrat let me put a collar on her . . . she was intrigued by the bell and kept trying to bat at it . . . last night when hubby and I were sitting outside on the patio with a fire in the chimnea we could hear her in the barn playing with her bell/ball/thingy on an eleastic string that I had tied to the top of her cage so it would hang down for her entertainment . . . I have also tempted her to play with a feather teaser on a stick, so she is feeling much, much better and I'm very much relieved and happy for my little rescue girl!:D :D

Her she is!!!!! The first photo is after she was beginning to get used to me (notice the alert ears), and the second is the morning after she was first trapped (not a happy camper!). Today I took about 10 photos of her, so when I get the film developed there should be better ones to come.:)

http://www.home.earthlink.net/~jemdoll/muskrat1.JPG

AvaJoy
07-04-2002, 04:39 PM
Muskrat is doing so well and her leg is healing nicely, thanks to the antibiotics. She is anxious to play every evening! She's used to me pulling/rubbing the scruff of her neck, so it is easy for me to move her and now I have the confidence to handle her myself when I take her back to the vet. So she could have more room to play, I tried putting her on my screened in porch but she hid in a corner and was so relieved when I loaded her back in the carrier and put her back into her cage in the barn. She is still very frightened around unfamiliar people and places, but she is so affectionate and trusting with me that I have every reason to believe that I can help her overcome her shyness eventually.

I have not seen Debra's Mom in several days, but there is a new solid white (or probably cream) cat that has been coming around for the past few nights. At first I thought it might be Sasquatch, but no. He/she is not feral; while eating I can get within 2 feet so she should be a cinch to trap. I call her Moonglow, because on the first night that I saw her the moon was shining down, highlighting her beautiful coat . . . I don't think she has blue eyes, but it is usually dusk/dark when she comes so I'm not sure. Could be almost a year old and seems to be in good condition. I think I spotted "cotton balls", so probably Moonglow is a young boy. After the holiday weekend, I will bring out the trap and try my hand once again!:)

SANDY FROST
07-08-2002, 11:20 PM
BRAVO! A GREAT JOB WELL DONE!:) :) :)
Sandy Frost

lovemymaltese
07-09-2002, 03:01 PM
Good job, that is wonderful!

AvaJoy
07-09-2002, 10:33 PM
Thanks for the encouragement! :)

Moonglow seems to be staying in the back yard and not wandering . . . I've seen him in daylight and he is solid white and has moon-yellow eyes. The other night he and Debra's Mom had a posturing stand-off, with Moonglow deferring to DM. But since then I have not seen DM, and Moonglow appears at the feeding area long before dusk, anxious for dinner. Tonight I put the trap out (closed) just to get him used to seeing it, and he had no problem eating right next to the trap. Tomorrow night I think I will set the trap . . . :eek:

I bought one of those large ferret hammocks for Muskrat's cage, and she loves snugglling in it! She is only about 6 lbs. so it is perfect for her. She does have trouble jumping up onto it because of her bum leg, but she is no longer tipping over her water bowl in the process, so she has gotten the hang of it.

Over the weekend I had her on my lap in my hammock for a little while, making sure to keep a light hold on the scruff of her neck in case she spooked, but she was not afraid and I'm so PROUD of her!!!:D :D :D

mruffruff
07-16-2002, 02:40 PM
Anxiously waiting for more news.........

How is Muskrat progressing? And have you managed to trap Moonglow?

Mary

lovemymaltese
07-16-2002, 02:49 PM
You have done a great job!

AvaJoy
07-18-2002, 11:13 PM
I took Muskrat back to the vet and upon examination (this time the vet tech was competent) and an xray it was discovered that she still has an abcess where the break was, AND a bone infection :( halfway up her leg. I am to administer liquid antibiotic twice a day for 4 weeks. There is a 50% chance that she may have to undergo amputation.:( :( I hope she can fight off this infection because the vet said that because her FeLV has taken quite a toll on her physical condition, such major surgery will be very risky . . . :( :( :( . . . she is a good little patient and eating all her food with the medicine mixed in, and I was soaking her leg in Betadine solution every day as instructed because she came home with a drain that needed to be kept clear and clean. Today she had the drain removed and now I must treat the area with peroxide each day until scabs form where the drain was. I take her back in two and a half weeks for another xray to see if the antibiotic is healing the bone infection. PLEASE, if you are reading this . . . SHE NEEDS YOUR PRAYERS. :)

As for Moonglow, the vet gave me sedative pills to put in his food when he comes to eat at night, but they did not do the trick . . . the pills were supposed to take effect within 15 minutes, but an hour later he decided to dart across the road into the cornfield when I approached him! So, she upped the dosage and I will try again on Sunday night. He eats on the patio and now I dole out his food little by little to keep him around so I can keep an eye on him when he becomes groggy with the new dosage. Then I can put him in a carrier for his trip to get snipped.:eek: That is, unless he has other plans again . . . :rolleyes:

Sara luvs her Tinky
07-18-2002, 11:22 PM
POOR MUSKRAT!!! I will surly pray for her!! What a brave little kitty!!
GOOD LUCK with Moonglow..:)
Keep us posted.

AvaJoy
08-08-2002, 11:27 PM
I thought I had Moonglow in the palm of my hand . . . he was ready to doze off when SLAM!! the trap was tripped by ANOTHER cat . . . I had him fixed and have not seen him again, nor have I seen dear Moonglow . . . :( . . . he quickly shook off the effects of the sedative that night and took off. I hope nothing has happened to him other than wanderlust.

Muskrat had a follow-up x-ray and her bone infection is resolving, but she is now on different anitbiotics for yet another month. Thanks for your prayers . . . they are helping her to fight this.

Recently, I have had the pleasure of meeting a beautifully marked Tortie I call Lisette, courtesy of Debra's Mom who brought her here and remained by her side as the youngster panted from the heat and then inhaled the food I quickly offered. Debra's Mom is a kind soul, and she still comes now and again to eat. Lisette could be kin to Muskrat and she has now become a nightly visitor, and so I set my trap once again assuming she would enter with no problem . . . Hah! :p

I finally gave up watching her sniff the food without entering, and I went to bed. The next morning my Hubby awakened me exclaiming that I had caught Moonglow! He saw a white cat in the trap from the window. I was relieved to hear this, and to know that Moonglow was OK., but when I went outside to see for myself, I was surprised to find a pure white cat, yes . . . although it was NOT Moonglow . . . this cat had one blue eye and one gold, whereas Moonglow had two gold eyes. I had never seen this guy before, and here it was 2 days before my birthday and I've always admired white bi-eyed cats . . . :) :) . . . seemed like he was a birthday gift sent from above!!!:D

Of course, Hubby initially did not see it that way, but since it IS my BD he really couldn't deny me keeping this guy I have named Schuyler. He's almost 2 yrs. old and I had him snipped and he was given a clean bill of health and presently staying in the bathroom. Seems very docile and even-tempered; still getting over his post-op discomfort but eating, drinking and toileting just fine. He is a big cat, long and lanky though awfully thin with a coarse coat signifying his poor condition, but that will take an upturn now that he has a home and is my Birthday Cat.

I hope he and Debra will get along. She was quite enamoured with Moonglow; she watches the cats come and go from the window. I'm sure she got an eyeful of Schuyler the night he walked into the trap. He has developed the stud jowls and there is no loose neck scruff skin to grab onto; all muscle, taut and firm.

I will probably nickname him Jack Rabbit or Kangaroo, because his hind legs are sooooo much longer than the front. I took pix today so will post them when I finish the roll.

Schuyler is #6 to be trapped, and so far I've kept only 3 . . . pretty good willpower, eh?!;)

AmberLee
08-09-2002, 01:54 AM
Hippo Birdie, AvaJoy!!! Pretty snazzy pressie you picked out for yourself. He sounds ADORABLE! Photos would be greatly appreciated. As if you had any doubts! ;) :cool: :p

lynnestankard
08-09-2002, 04:02 PM
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOOU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
HAPPY BIRTTHDAY DEAR AVAJOY
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUUUUUU

ADORE YOUR BIRFDAY PRESSY!!

LYNNE XXX

AvaJoy
08-16-2002, 10:29 PM
I will finish the roll in my camera this weekend, so pix of Schuyler will be forthcoming! :)

He has an absolutely dreamboat personality, and nothing seems to faze him . . . not even Lily's cranky attitude. :p I refer to him as my "Swell Guy Schuy" because he obviously is used to being around other cats, and couldn't care less about their reservations or hostility. One night early on I slept on the hard tile bathroom floor with him because I sensed that he did not want to be left alone, and now that he is feeling better he comes into the bedroom and sleeps on my pillow every night! He just adores being petted and loved. So far, he is perfect!

Debra is still unsure what to make of him, and she runs away to hide when he comes near, but at least now she is feeling a bit more herself and wanting to play . . . for awhile she was quite on edge and not at all herself, and I was feeling badly that I had brought this disruption into her little cowgirl life. But time has a way of making all things easier to handle, and so it is with my Debra. Tonight she was back into her normal routine of wanting to play on her tree, etc. All Schuyler seems to want is to be accepted. Surprisingly, it seems like Lily is more tolerant of his presence than Debra! Who would have thunk!:eek: :confused:

That is the good news; here is the bad: Tonight when I picked up Schuyler, I happened to feel a rather large lump on the inside thigh of his hind leg . . . :( I am calling the vet first thing tomorrow . . . hope it is just a cyst.

Logan
08-16-2002, 11:06 PM
He sounds like a dreamboat, Avajoy! I do hope the cyst will turn out to be nothing. But I hope you will keep us posted about it. In the meantime, both of you are in our prayers.

Logan

lynnestankard
08-17-2002, 05:19 AM
my thoughts with you too avajoy - your sweet shuy guy sounds gorgeous and it sounds as if he's settling in with you so well. he knows he's found his forever home x.
i'll be keeping all things crossed here that the lump is nothing serious. i know you'll keep us informed.
your doing a wonderful job.

lynne

AvaJoy
08-31-2002, 12:04 AM
Here is a picture of Schuyler; I hope I remember how to do this right . . .
http://www.home.earthlink.net/~jemdoll/schuylr1.JPG

The vet believes his lump to be scar tissue, but if I want to be absolutely certain it is not a tumor they can remove it surgically and do a biopsy. I am going with her recommendation of keeping an eye on it for a few months. If I notice any enlargement then that is a red flag to have it removed. The abrasions on his nose are much better since the photo was taken; the vet took a culture for ringworm at my urging . . . I am so neurotic and fastidious about my cats' health! :rolleyes: It has also been determined that he is blind in his blue eye. Much to my chagrin, Schuyler no longer wishes to go beddybye with me, but rather prefers to be out with the other cats. Even though the girls are still not totally accepting of him (swats and hisses), he still craves their company. He is divine!! :D

Guess who I finally trapped . . . Lisette!!! Since she allows us to be near her when she eats (just can't touch her) it was my hubby's brainstorm to put out a cat carrier instead of the trap, and sure enough she went in straightaway! I stood right by it so I could quickly shut the door. She is now spayed and released, and she is quite the braveheart because she STILL comes back every night on the patio, meowing for her dinner. Usually the TNRs are rarely seen in our yard again, no doubt fearful of going through a repeat ordeal at the vet, but not little Lisette.

I haven't seen any other cats around lately, and I used my last certificate for Lisette, so I think I will take a break from TNR for a while. It does add up, so I need to give my pocketbook a much needed rest, too. :eek:

lynnestankard
08-31-2002, 06:38 AM
Avajoy - thanks for the pic., of the Shuy Guy! he's gorgeous isn't he - and such a shame he's blind in his blue eye - but from the way you describe him - it doesn't seem to bother him does it?
I'm so pleased you managed, at long last to trap Lisette - fancy a cat walking into a 'porta prison' of it's own free will!!!! She MUST have a soft spot for you - still coming and letting you feed her!
I would think all this has cost you a fortune - your just such an angel.
I'm sad that Shuyler doesn't want to sleep with you anymore too - being a big brave boy and striking out on his own - wow! Probabley thinks the 'ladies' need his presence! LOL eh?!!
Lovely to have your update - thanks so much.

Lynne

AvaJoy
09-04-2002, 11:16 PM
Maybe it is just as well that Schuyler doesn't want to sleep in bed with me . . . the vet called last night with the news that he tested positive for ringworm!!:eek: :( The first culture was coming up positive, and the vet thought it may be a false + because she did not think he presented with the typical ringworm signs and she thought it highly unlikely that he would have it. I brought him back so they could take a second culture of the facial areas in question, and sure enough AGAIN the culture turned up positive!

The vet tech told me to keep him isolated from the other cats and I told her that it is a little late now for that to make any difference . . . I only hope the others don't catch it, but there is a good chance they shall . . . I'm just surprised that I don't have it yet, because I've been in such close contact with him, kissing and stroking his head . . . well, whatever will be will be. He's my Birthday Boy and I will just apply the lotion to his boo-boos for a month as instructed. There is also a pill to treat ringworm, but the side effects can be severe/life-threatening so I opted for the topical treatment. I went on the internet and it seems that ringworm will run it's course and then be over.

Has anyone had a cat with ringworm, and could you share your experience? Maybe I should pose this question under a new topic in cat health.

Miss Meow
09-05-2002, 03:16 AM
Oooohhh nooooo, that dreaded word - RINGWORM!!!

It's a fungal infection and highly contagious. Your other babies may or may not show the symptoms - they will no doubt be carrying the ringworm spores but some cats build resistance to it.

Our two babies got ringworm as youngsters when we brought them home (from another animal on the plane???) Our regime was vacuum and disfect vacuum cleaner daily, cream on bald patches x 2 daily, wash all bed linen, cushions, cat beds at least once a week (advice was to burn everything the cat uses but that wasn't practical), wash hands whenever we touched our cats, and didn't touch any other animals. Oh yeah, and no visitors who have pets of their own in case they carried spores with them.

Sound fun yet?
:)

One of the anti-flea preparations has been shown to reduce the length and severity of ringworm. I can't remember which one it is - the info is at home so I'll check it out tonight and post again.

It's not as drastic as I make it out to be - but it's a huge pain in the backside. Good luck.

lynnestankard
09-05-2002, 08:11 AM
Oh poor Shuy Guy - and poor Mommy!! As Miss Meow says - it sounds a complete pain up the backside!
And now the worry - have the others got it! :( :( :( So sorry for you Avajoy - glad to hear it's not spoiling your birthday pressy!!

Lynne

AvaJoy
09-05-2002, 03:51 PM
Originally posted by Miss Meow
One of the anti-flea preparations has been shown to reduce the length and severity of ringworm. I can't remember which one it is . . .

Oh, I hope it is Frontline since that is what I've been using . . . thanks for your input, Miss Meow!:)

Tomorrow I take Muskrat back for her follow-up leg xray . . . I'm hopeful that the 2 months worth of antibiotics have done their job so she can keep her little leg.

Miss Meow
09-05-2002, 07:32 PM
The flea treatment is called Program (probably the same brand name in the USA?) Active ingredient is lufenuron.

We didn't learn about this research until about four weeks into our experience, which was the time we had just gained control of the situation (no new bald patches appearing daily), but the cats did appear to heal quickly once we started using Program.

Program doesn't kill existing fleas but causes flea babies to be born without spines, thus ending their life cycle. Apparently a side-effect of Program is that is doesn't kill existing ringworm fungus, but helps stop it reproducing.

You may have seen this web site in your searches - has a good article on the research undertaken.

http://www.ompetproducts.com/ringworm.html

This has brought back memories of our mornings, when we'd wake up and find at least one new bald spot a day where the day before there was beautiful fur. Jasmine lost all the fur on both ears and had huge patches on her legs and tail. Poor little thing looked like she'd been eaten by moths! And Mini's coat was white then, and he had big brown bald circles all over him which stayed when his fur grew back brown!

Good luck again!

Miss Meow
09-05-2002, 07:33 PM
And good luck with Muskrat, I hope the treatment has done its work :)

AvaJoy
09-05-2002, 08:46 PM
Thank you for sharing the informative website . . . what an awful ordeal that transplant patient had to endure . . . my husband has undergone chemotherapy so I hope his immune system is able to fight off any possible infection from this ringworm . . . :( :eek: He wasn't thrilled about another cat joining the clan to begin with, and now he has even more solid reason to object . . . I don't know what the gestation period is once exposed, but I'd like to think that if he or I WERE infected, we would have developed lesions by now . . . it has been one month since Schuyler arrived.

Well, I'm glad your furkids are under control with it, and I hope my others don't contract it . . . I just may switch to Program in light of this predicament.

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
09-09-2002, 10:16 AM
I'm so glad little Muskrat is ok. :) Now if we can just get Schuyler's ringworm cleared up all will be well. :)

Miss Meow
09-10-2002, 03:29 AM
Yay for little Muskrat! That's wonderful news!

Is your husband OK now, if you don't mind my asking? When was he ill?

A girl who used to work here was recently diagnosed with leukaemia and is undergoing her first bout of chemotherapy. It's such a dreadful thing to go through.

lynnestankard
09-10-2002, 06:09 AM
Great News Sue.

I'm so pleased for little Muskrat. Still holding Shuy Guy in my thoughts. You and hubby too {{{{{HUGS}}}}}

Lynne