July 31, 2010

Feeling loved

When I got up today I went outside to see how the outside kitties are doing, and Sugar came to see me.  I sat on the step with him and petted him, and then he rubbed up on my leg and rubbed up on my arm!  I got the little "You belong to ME now" head rub :)  I feel so loved hehe.  When I went to go inside he looked like "aren't you going to take me in there with you?" but I can't, what with my indoor kitties.  But in my head, he's already mine.


July 28, 2010

Shadow Cats- Because I love pretty much ALL cats...

I read about this place in the latest issue of Cat Fancy and decided I would share their link with you all!  Shadow Cats is a no-kill cat sanctuary in Texas where they take in stray and feral kitties and give them a great place to live, and offer the kitties for adoption.  They have a whole room as well for kitties who are FeLV positive, complete with live kitty cam on their website!  In addition to their sanctuary, Shadow Cats supports local individuals who care for feral cat colonies and participate in a Trap Neuter Return program, thus bettering the lives of a great many feral and stray kitties in and around Round Rock and Austin, Texas.

Please consider donating either a few spare dollars, some food, or some supplies to Shadow Cats Rescue.



Cream is becoming a regular

Cream... And many others of course... Was waiting for me when I got home today. He's still iffy about being near me but is motivated by the promise of food. Marx ran off Cici a bit. He's such a jerk.

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July 27, 2010


Spazo is back! Like she hasn't eaten since I last saw her poor thing!


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oh here's mama

Milk decided to join us. I turned around and there she was! Musta heard me open the can. I guess she is keeping her kitties relatively close... Maybe across the street. Can't be sure.

Annnnd Marx and Cream have just shown up. Guess I best put some food out for them too. No sign of Spaz still :( and Cici is missing now though she was here when I left for work. Cream is letting me look at him today... And he's all rubbing up on my house too.

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just me and bear...

Not many kitties today. It's been threatening rain all afternoon, maybe that's scaring them off. None were here when I got home but then I saw Splenda out back. She ran off while I was grabbing food I guess but Sugar Bear was out here. Sweet kitty.

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July 26, 2010

and the next litter will go to...

Splenda-riffic. She is definitely looking pregnant now.
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look who is getting used to me now!

It's Cream! I noticed a cat coming over from my driveway and expected it to be Splenda but nope! Surprise! Its Cream and this is the closest he's gotten to me. I have to make sure not to look at him long or he will dart off. I feel bad the other cats are hogging the bowls with food left... I want him to get to eat but I don't want to scare him off by moving. Milk is refusing to share hers and Sugar is eating at my feet.

Success! I managed to get a bowl far enough from me for Cream to approach it without scaring him off! Good day for me and my strays :)

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where are they hiding?

I was out of town for the weekend and came home to find a much skinnier Milk! She must have had her kittens but I haven't a clue where they are hiding. She was on my porch when I got home so I figure they can't be far. I figure they are either under the neighbors house or in their shed. I wonder when I will manage to catch a glimpse of them... Who knows.

Sugar greeted me when I got home last night. Cici was hanging around too but Sugar looked really happy to see me and when I got home from work today he even rubbed his head on my hand when I held it out to him. Needless to day we have gotten attached to each other. He is such a sweet kitty!

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July 22, 2010

Sugar Bear

So, Sugar I think is for sure my favorite of the strays, along with Spaz who I am worried about as I haven't seen her in days.  I'm sure I like him because he seems to like me as well.  Today I was on my porch and he was coming up the steps behind me, so I stepped one foot out to the side to make a path between my legs so he could go up to the top.  He sorta stopped for a bit, and kinda contemplated if it was really OK to walk UNDER a human.  Well he did, and then he even leaned over to my leg, and I started petting him and he was REALLY leaning in to it with his head and pushing his back up towards my hand.  He also sniffed at my cat Orion through the door, and they were both good with each other.  Orion is still a kitten, no more than 9 months old I'd say, and I believe Sugar isn't more than a year old either (the neighbor said one of his litter mates froze to death during the rough winter we had) so I'm sure that helps.  Sugar is just a very loving cat- though he needs to watch that.  He's definitely skittish with humans, I have to somewhat trick him into letting me pet him till he remembers he likes it- but he was rubbing up on Milk (who is his mother, from what my neighbor says) and she was NOT having it and bit at his ear to get him to back off.  It totally didn't work, he kept rubbing up on her so I just started petting him again so he'd leave her alone.

I think when I get my promotion (or when my boyfriend gets home) I am going to look into building them a little shelter in the back yard.  There's a slab of concrete (you can see in one of the pictures in a previous entry, Spaz is laying on it) that I could clean off and build a little something over top of.  Possibly just buy a kids play house that I would be able to install a cat door and a lock on.  I worry because I think some of the neighbors are shooting at the cats with B.B. guns.  So if I could have a lockable shelter for them, I could feed them in there so they would hang out there and hopefully stay more safe.  We will see what I can manage!


July 20, 2010

Eventful I guess

Well today was a relatively eventful day in Kitty Land.  Milk was not herself.  When I went outside with their food she had her claw stuck in poor Sugar's ear.  So not like her!  Then I was petting Sugar (and he was rather enjoying it I might add) and she looked at me petting him and BIT ME.  She didn't bite hard, she didn't break the skin or anything.  Thankfully!  Then she had the nerve to start begging for food- "girl you just literally bit the hand that feeds you!" was my thought.  She was fine after that though.

Anyways here is Sugar Bear enjoying his lovins for the day...

Also today there was a newcomer.  I have seen this cat around before sometimes very briefly, this time he stuck around and grabbed a bite.

And Marx wasn't hanging around the porch at first.  I had 5 kitties, all four white ones and CiCi.  Marx has been making me unhappy, he tries to control which other cats eat and I am not allowing him to do it.  He doesn't decide who gets to eat my food, I do.  So if he goes to try and swat another cat away from the food, or today when he was being unfriendly with the new cat, I just snap my fingers and he takes notice.  The other cats are comfortable enough where they take notice that I am snapping but quickly go back to what they are doing (plus I am glaring at him, so they know I am not intending it towards them!) and he looks at me and stops being a douche or runs off.

Anyways here are the four white cats (you can see Cream's gimpy tail though it's not obvious from the picture how it is short and bent at the end.) and Cici's tail and Marx finally coming up to the group!

Welp that is all for today.  I love kitties a little bit too much LOL


July 19, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away!!!

It's definitely been a wet evening here in Suffolk... I got home and it was pouring rain!  It died down quickly though (of course, as soon as I got inside.)  And I went out to check on the kitties.  Long story short I ended up with 3 white kitties running around my house while my cats were locked in my master bedroom.  Since it was raining, I let some of the cats eat inside.  Sugar, Splenda, and Milk all took me up on the offer.  Marx tried to- but he's a bit of a bully with some of the other cats so I didn't let him in.  He doesn't choose the pecking order around here :P

Later, after the kitties got out of my house (they were a little startled when I went to try and get then out of the house, the poor things.) It had stopped raining and so I fed them some more, along with Marx and CiCi who had come by.  Sugar has let me pet him quite a few times, as with Milk.  I felt her belly again... I love feeling her pregnant belly :)  AND!  I even got to pet Splenda!!  She stuck her head up throught between the steps to get to a food bowl and I came from behind.  She didn't startle at all, I don't think she even realized I touched her.  Sugar sure does like getting pet, though.  It's cute he kinda looks like... "you are a human I am not supposed to like you touching me!" but then he leans into it.

So, am I crazy for thinking about adopting 4 stray/feral cats?  I know the answer is yes particularly given that I have 3 cats of my own.  But they are such sweet cats.  *sigh*

I really am just too much of a crazy cat lady!!


July 18, 2010

Awww Spazo

I came outside to read and she ran up to me and meowed and meowed so I went to get her food. She started to walk right into the house with me! I put out some for her then put the bag back inside and she came right back up to me when I came back out. So I picked her up for a second but its too hot out to be cuddling. So I went back to my chair and she followed me! I had to bring food right next to me. Such a sweet thing she is.

Sugar bear is being extra skittish today I'm wondering what may have happened. Normally he has no problem walking right up when there's food... Today he's running off.
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Feral vs Stray

So, my cats are an interesting crew.  I must live in a pretty special neighborhood, because most of them are relatively friendly.  It is clear that most of them are feral, technically.  With the exception of Spaz who very clearly once had a home, given how fond she is of affection and how unafraid she is to run right up and talk to me.  The other cats, however, either are likely to have been born outdoors or it has been confirmed they were (Sugar, for example, I have been told by my neighbor, is the offspring of Milk.  The rest of the family relations I am not aware of.)

Feral cats have a bit of a reputation for being pretty nasty, or at the very least unwilling to be in close proximity with humans.  I suspect the cats in my neighborhood may be friendlier than most due to the friendliness of the humans in the neighborhood.  My next door neighbor has been feeding them for 3 years, and Milk and Sugar in the very least basically live in the crawl space under their house.

In fact, only one of the cats so far is not willing to be within 5 or so feet of me.  Nicky hasn't been around as often as the other cats, which may be a part of it.  I also suspect he is hard of hearing.  I attempt to leave him food in the back of my yard so he doesn't have to come so close to eat, and can walk up fairly close if he is looking away or grooming himself.  However once he sees me he runs very far away.  I've only successfully seen him return to eat the food once.

I never actually expected that so many of the cats would be willing to be fed on my porch, with my sitting there with them.  Milk and Sugar have from the start been more tolerant of me, so I started feeding them on my porch because I suspect Sugar is still under a year old, and Milk is pregnant so I was feeding them higher quality food.  I would put out their food on my porch, which they were more than willing to come up to me to eat it, and put some food out in the back of the yard for the rest of the cats.  But before long the other cats all just started showing up at my step!  Now I come home daily to a warm greeting from Marx an Sugar an often other kitties as well.  Well, Sugar will just look at me from wherever he is relaxing an Marx runs up and starts talking to me.

I did not expect these cats to be anything resembling friendly with me.  I only even tried petting Milk after she up and climbed into my lap to eat the food I was pouring into a bowl resting on my knee!  She sometimes hisses at me when I go to pet her, but NEVER has she swatted at me or tried to bite me.  Marx I have tried touching gently on the head, he runs away but he also does not come after me.  I rather expect feral cats to become aggressive if you try to have physical contact with them.

I'm sure it has helped that I gradually got closer to them, allowed them to approach me closer without trying to touch them, and only tried to interact with them when I was giving them food.  But I have only lived here a month and a half, I excepted getting them used to me would have taken much longer!

Because of how friendly they all are, I like to think of them as strays, rather than feral.  I feel that feral has a negative connotation.  These are not aggressive, scary, crazy cats by any means.


No kitten

Well I decided to come on out straight away this morning to see if a kitten was under my porch today but don't see one. Cici was still hanging around though. Now I'm sitting here surrounded by 4 cats.
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As I drove in to my driveway tonight when coming home from a dance, I noticed CiCi was hanging around and I glanced another head behind her under the step.  This cat then ended up under my porch- where I have never before seen one of the cats go.  I am not entirely sure at the moment whether this was a kitten, or if it was Marx and I just didn't notice in the dark.  It was a tabby, but I couldn't get a good look at it what with it being dark.  I caught a glimpse of it under the porch from keeping my car headlights on, and it "looked" for the moment I saw it to be a kitten but not a very young one.  It's possible from the short glimpses I got that it was really Marx and I just couldn't tell in the dark.  I came back out with more food (I am a sucker, I know... they were already fed today.  Twice because one came around that I don't see often.) and looked under the porch with the camera flash light from my cell phone on, but didn't see it under there.

I've never seen Marx or any other cat under the porch itself.  I'm not actually sure that they can even fit under there, as it has lattice all around with no gaps.  I don't think Marx would be able to fit his head through.  So tomorrow when I go to feed them I will see if I can get another look under there!  If CiCi brought me a kitten that's fine by me!


July 17, 2010

Well, hello mommy!

So, I have already introduced you to the 5 kitties that I see the most.  Now I think it is time to introduce you to the next crew- the mommy cats!  Starting with my dear Milky.  Yup that's right- Milk is pregnant!  A few weeks ago (I don't remember exactly when) I noticed that her sides were bulging out just a little.  Sure enough, she's been getting larger and larger by the day!  I'm not sure exactly how far along she is, but based on when I noticed she was pregnant and how much bigger she has been getting my best guess is there will be kittens sometime in the next 2-3 weeks.

Here she is with Sugar on Tuesday:

Then Thursday:

And Yesterday (as you can see, she is getting rather comfortable with me!)

Today she didn't stick around long enough for me to snap another decent picture, she ate some of her special food (around here mommy cats get kitten food, dry and wet!) but not much and then wandered off.  She seems to be getting uncomfortably large, so I am wondering if she either has a lot of kittens in there or if I have under estimated how long she has been pregnant for.  She is a dear, too, and lets me feel her stomach while she is eating :) Haven't felt any moving kittens, but she sure is getting big!

And as it would turn out- Milk is not the only momma cat around here!  At some point Spaz started showing up.  She startled me at first, RUNNING at me from the neighbors yard through the foliage right up to me and the bowl I was pouring food into.  Not at all timid like the other cats.  She has since damn near followed me into my house and my car and is certainly NOT afraid of me nor is she too proud to beg for food- and affection!

At first I did not know if she was a male or a female, and after I was certain she is just a people loving cat and not one that fools you into getting close so it can bite you, I went to see about picking her up to find out.  Didn't take long to find out either as I right away found that she is lactating!

Spaz is quite the darling kitty cat.  I have not a clue in the world where her kittens are, and am rather concerned for their health.  Spaz is all fur and bones, which is ultimately why I sprang for so much kitten food.  When it was only pregnant Milk, I was feeding her my cats premium food and the rest of the kitten food that my kitten had been refusing to eat.  When I realized just how malnourished Spaz is, I decided she absolutely for her and her kittens health needed kitten food.  She sure does look happy when she has a full belly!

And last we have CiCi, who I just found out today must also be a mommy, by glimpsing her teats as she walked down the steps!  CiCi (C.C.) is short for Conjunctivitis Cat.  The poor thing looks pretty worse for the wear, and I am nervous with her looking so ill and being around my other strays.  She appears to have a problem with conjunctivitis and I noticed today what looks like a small growth coming off her neck... it didn't look very good.

And lastly, I am starting to wonder if Splenda is also pregnant.  She is starting to get some belly on her, and she doesn't eat as much as the other cats.  So I don't know if its from me feeding her, or her being pregnant too.  Either way, I needed an excuse to share this picture from Thursday showing off just how gorgeous she is!

If anyone out there has any tips on what to do with the pregnant/nursing stray cats let me know!  So far I have not seen any kittens, probably partly due to there being no safe hiding places in my yard.  I am considering building a makeshift shelter for the kitties, so they can move their kittens over if they so choose and Milk can have a comfy place to give birth, but I am low on funds and not sure how I could put one together cheaply.  So for now I just make sure to feed them!

Happy Saturday!


July 15, 2010

Welcome to their world! My Main Five.

Hi there!  I have decided to start this blog to share the ongoing story of the stray cats in my neighborhood with anyone interested.  Our colony of cats is an interesting one, at least to me, and I hope that will interest you as well!  I first gained so much interest in my strays when I moved into this house in May.  One day moving in my stuff a cat was curled up at my side door.  It looked just like one of MY cats!

Since she looks so much like my cat, Honey, I named her Milk.  I have since confirmed that she is a girl!  

As time passed I noticed she was not the only white cat with a gray head in the neighborhood.  I started to see a cat around with a dark gray patch on the middle of his head, and named him (thinking this might be a girl, too, since confirmed he is a boy) Sugar.  So there was Milk and Sugar.  

I thought, well if there is a third white cat I can call it Cream to go with the theme.  Then Cream showed up!  He looks like Sugar, only bigger, with rounder eyes and a gimpy tail.  I will have pictures of him later on.  So I thought the collection was complete, Milk and Honey, Cream and Sugar.  I had never seen another white cat with gray on its head like my Honey before, certainly there couldn't be more living in my own neighborhood!

I was quite wrong.  This is my "Where did you come from?  What am I supposed to call YOU??" picture.  That is Sugar Bear in the foreground, and that, behind him, that is NOT MILK!  So I decided to call her Splenda.  The girls have gray spots that spread in front of their ears, the boys have the one patch right down the center of their heads.

This was around the time that I started to feed them.  The next door neighbor had already said she feeds them and they live under her house, so I figured she wouldn't mind if they were hanging around from my feeding them too.  They were very nervous around me at first, but I would leave a small bowl of food and walk away.  Slowly I wouldn't walk as far, and Sugar and Milk at least began to run into my yard upon seeing me.  They have been two that I have seen more days than not, more so Sugar.  

After I started feeding them, Marx showed up and has not left since that first week when he realized I was feeding them.  He is always in my yard, and now he always talks to me.  He was the odd man out- not white! He is a gray tabby cat.  He just looked like a Marx, and thankfully he turned out to be a boy.  There will be pictures of him later on as well!

Slowly I have been able to get closer and closer to them, more so than I expected.  Sugar now lets me pet him- even sometimes when I do not have food!  And sometimes he even leans in to my hand.  When there is food, he doesn't startle or lash out at me if I pick him up to redirect him to different food.  He only fusses a little because he wants to get back at the food!  Milk usually lets me pet her when the food is out, occasionally she hisses or protests a little but never lashes out.  Oh and there is news about Milk!  But I will save that for another entry.  Marx still is not comfortable with being pet, but he is getting more comfortable with coming close to me- on his terms.

So those are my main five strays... Four white cats and one gray.  There are a few others I see on occasion, you will meet them soon, too!

I think this about wraps up this portion of their story.  Being a cat person, I am quite happy that the strays have become so comfortable with me, as many people encounter strays that are feral and often nasty when it comes to people.  So far most of mine are open to my presence, at least.

I hope you will come back and read more about this darling group of kitties!  They really brighten my day (in addition to my own three cats and thirteen reptiles!)