25

Mom here, again. The Furry Bambinos graciously allowed me to borrow their blog to tell you this story. When I left off last time, what we had been told were “six or eight friendly kittens” turned out to be at least eleven adult feral cats in need of TNR before they started reproducing. TNR stands for “Trap Neuter Return” which is the best solution to manage the population of a colony of feral cats.

After much discussion regarding logistics, we borrowed eight humane traps from the Cleveland APL, and returned the following Sunday evening at 6:00 with more Stinky Goodness. It was raining, windy, and cold. The newspapers we used to line the traps kept getting blown around, and some of the traps were so sensitive that just picking them up would trigger them to close. Not optimal trapping conditions, to say the least. We set out the traps, and returned to our cars to wait. Nothing. So we left to grab dinner, dejected that we would catch any cats that night.

We returned an hour later to find four cats in traps! Woo-hoo!

We covered each trap with a towel, and instantly the cat inside quieted down. We transferred the trapped cats to our cars to keep warm and dry. After moving the remaining traps to different locations, we were able to trap three more cats before it got too dark to see what we were doing. We were pleased to have caught seven feral cats, but we counted at least five more, including a few clever ones who managed to eat the food without stepping on the trigger.

We brought the cats in the traps back to Diane’s Mom’s house, where we set them in the garage overnight.

Here are photos of the cats we trapped that night. Kitteh #1 is a long-haired orange and white male (I think). Orange cats are usually male.

Kitteh #2 looked to be a Siamese flame point mix.

Kitteh #3 is an orange tabby with some white on his chest.

Kitteh #4 is a long-haired brown tabby with white bib.

Kitteh #5 is a long-hair dilute calico female.

Kitteh #6 is a black, gold, and white calico female. Do you see two other sets of glowing eyes in this photo?

Kitteh #7 is a different orange tabby male.

We returned Monday night, May 16 (Panda Bear and Meerkat’s birthday) with five more traps, and with a nifty Drop Trap as well. Again, it was cold, raining, and windy, making trapping conditions less than optimal. The ground was saturated after weeks of rain, so there was a lot of squish squish squish through muddy grass.

I now have a new definition for Insanity: Standing in the bushes, in the dark, in the rain, holding the pull cord to the Drop Trap, and trying to trap a solid black cat! We gave up trying to trap the black cat in the dark, but did manage to trap five others. But we saw at least three more cats, including “Blackie”, the solid black cat with a noticeable limp.

Diane’s Mom and her friend were able to catch the last (we hope) three cats, and all have been spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and ear-tipped. Ear tipping is the universal symbol that a feral cat has been neutered and vaccinated. It is done while the cat is under anesthesia. It is done so that if they get trapped again, they won’t go in for surgery because the ear tip will indicate that they have already been neutered and vaccinated.

We were worried that Blackie might be euthanized due to his limp, but the APL did not note anything wrong with the paw. We had implored the APL staff to let Blackie live, since the property is on a quiet dead-end side street. So either Diane’s Mom caught a different black cat (not Blackie with the limp) or Blackie’s limp was not due to a fracture. We’ll never really know.

Next, releasing feral cats back in their home territory!

4

Mom here. The Furry Bambinos graciously allowed me to borrow their blog for this post. As regular readers know, my husband and I volunteer for a local animal rescue group called PAWS (Public Animal Welfare Society). We foster kittens, I screen applicants for cat and kitten adoptions, my husband does transports locally taking cats and dogs to and from appointments, etc.

Now, we can also say that we have experience trapping a colony of feral cats.

It all started when my friend and co-worker Diane (name changed to protect the innocent) told me that her Mom was visiting a friend, and that there were “about six or eight friendly kittens” living outside the friend’s house. Diane’s Mom thought the kittens might be 2 to 3 months old. So Diane told her mom about me and PAWS.  I checked with PAWS if it was OK for me to “harvest the kittens” (as we say), and was given the OK and eight appointments for spay/neuter at the Cleveland APL.

On a warm sunny afternoon after work, Diane and I went over to the location to assess the situation. We were armed with the smelliest Stinky Goodness they make (Flaked Fish and Shrimp Feast, in case you were wondering), plates, water, dishes, surrender forms, and cat carriers. We were prepared to collect “friendly kittens” should they present themselves for collecting. We set up on the patio, and as Diane described it, “an army of cats” began appearing from the bushes once we opened the cans of Stinky Goodness.

It’s hard to estimate the age of a cat, especially when you can’t get close enough to hold and examine him or her. By my best guess, the youngest of the felines were in the 10-month age range. And all were skittish and afraid of us – feral. We counted at least eleven – possibly more – adult feral cats.

The difference between a stray cat and a feral cat is how they feel about humans. Stray cats are homeless cats who would make good companion cats for people. They like and trust people, and will let you pet them if you encounter them outside. Feral cats are not homeless – their home is the Great Outdoors, however inclement the weather or climate may be. However, they have not been socialized to trust people, and are therefore afraid of humans.

If a kitten is not socialized with lots of human contact early in life, they will grow up feral. There is debate as to what the critical age is, but from my experience, I would put it at 3 months. Which is not to say that an older feral kitten or cat cannot learn to trust people, but it will take MUCH MUCH longer, and A LOT of work. For more information about feral cats, please see Alley Cat Allies web site.

So, our hopes of harvesting young trusting kittens were scrapped – replaced by a TNR situation to get this cat population under control. It’s Kitten Season, after all, and by the looks of a few of the cats, some might already be pregnant. We needed to move fast to trap these cats before they started reproducing!

Tune in next time to find out if we were able to catch any of the feral cats!

12

Hi furriends! Thanks for helping us celebrate our birthdays! We would like to say a Special Thank You to Jan’s Funny Farmers for sending some of you our way! That was very thoughtful of you!

Meerkat and I appreciate your kind birthday wishes, and the Cleveland APL appreciates your comments for a donation. Mommy’s day hunting place matches donations, so your comments are worth double! Thanks efurrybuddy!

We have some great news! Recent Furry Bambino Foster Academy Students Lilia …

… and Vitaly …

… GRADUATED on Saturday May 14! They were adopted TOGETHER!!!  (The kittens do have more than one water dish!)

:: Happy Adoption-Graduation Dance::

That’s their Forever Mom with Vitaly.  Those kittens LOVE shoelaces! Vitaly even wore a Graduation Cup!  He told me he wrote “Hi Mom” on the top. Heh.

Lilia and Vitaly are Lynx point Siamese kittens – which means that they have tiger stripes!  Mom thought that Vitaly’s stripes on his head made him look like he was furrowing his eyebrows, deep in thought.

Lilia and Vitaly both climbed up Mom recently – they weren’t named for famous gymnasts for nothing. Can you guess which is Lilia and which is Vitaly?  Mom’s not entirely sure, herself! Vitaly is darker brown on his back, and bigger than Lilia. Lilia is more of a white cream color, and daintier. Answers to the last names of the famous gymnasts below.

Vitaly licked his Forever Mom’s face to say hello.

Lilia posed with Dad to say Farewell.

Next time, how Mom and Dad spent our birthday – no, it wasn’t with us!


Famous Namesake Gymnasts:

Nadia Comaneci
Bart Conner
Lilia Podkopayeva
Vitaly Scherbo


P.S. Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner are married in real life.


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hi effuryone! it is me, Meerkat, the birthday girl. My biological brother Panda Bear and i are celebrating our 4th birthday today! efurryone is welcome to join us for a casual celebration.

mom says that for every real (not spam) comment on this post that we receive between now and next Sunday May 22, she will make a donation of $0.50 to the Cleveland Animal Protective League (APL). in addition to having a shelter, they also provide low cost apsy/neuter services, and help communities with TNR (trap – neuter – return). last night, mom and dad and a friend from mommy’s work did the T part of TNR and trapped 7 feral cats. dad is taking them to the APL for their hoohaectomies and ladygardenectomies (the N part of TNR).

thanks for visiting! enjoy the festivities! purrs!

8

Hi efurryone! My name is Sky. Sky Bambino.

I was trapped by The Lady and The Man on September 18, 2010.

At the time, I thought it was the worst day of my life.

Now, I realize it was the best day of my life.

Over time, I began to trust The Lady and The Man. They fed us baby food on their fingers.

They took good care of me and my sister and brothers. They even took good care of my biological Mama.

Sudden movements and loud sounds still make me nervous. But today I am writing about how much I secretly love The Lady. She gives me treats, like lunch meat, Temptations, and milk from her cereal dish.

She’s says it’s OK to call her Mommy.

I’m not quite ready to call her Mommy yet, so I will call her The Lady Mommy.

Happy The Lady Mommy’s Day to your The Lady Mommies too!

4

Greetings, furriends! Thank you all so very much for your birthday wishes, and for visiting in our Open House of the Furry Bambino Foster Academy! It was lovely getting to visit with all of you. We are planning to catch up reading and commenting this weekend.

As Headmaster of Furry Bambino Foster Academy (FBFA), it is my pleasure to introduce our first SQUEE-worthy class of Kitten Season 2011! Here, they are practicing their Itteh Bitteh Kitteh Nap Pile Committeh! Clockwise, from top: Nadia (grey tabby female), Lilia (Lynx Seal-point Siamese female), Bart (house panther), and Vitaly (Lynx Chocolate-point Siamese male).

The Gymnasts joined us here at the Academy on Wednesday, April 13. Guidance Counselor Panda Bear welcomed the bebbehs to FBFA.

They were eager to get out of the PTU and check out their dorm room!

We estimate that they were six weeks old at that time, so they are about 8 weeks old now. They had been found in a box on a porch in Cleveland. They are all in relatively good health. Three of the four have umbilical hernias which will be repaired when they have their ladygardenectomy or hoohaectomy surgery.

Lilia …

and Vitaly …

have already been “pre-adopted”. PAWS (the rescue organization with which FBFA is affiliated) has a very firm rule that all animals must have had their ladygardenectomy or hoohaectomy before they can go to their Furrever Home. Lilia and Vitaly are scheduled for their surgeries next Tuesday, May 3.

Nadia (grey kitteh with pretty grey stripes) and Bart (house panther kitteh) …

are scheduled for May 20. Bart has a slight heart murmur, and the V-E-T wanted to give him some more time hoping that he would outgrow it.

In case you were wondering why Mom named the kittens for famous gymnasts, see the following series of photos. Bart begins his climb with a flying leap to Mom’s knee, then shimmies up her leg, digging in his claws for traction.

Next, Bart is seen clinging to Mom’s hip before he begins his final climb to the top.

Bart on Mom’s back – climbing Mount Ve-Sue-vius.

Bart is pleased with himself for reaching the peak – Mom’s shoulder.

(Mom trims the bebbehs nails every few days because they grow back pretty fast.)

Mom is taking Nadia and Bart to an adoption event at our local PetSmart today. Hopefully, they will get “pre-adopted” too!


P.S. Bonus points if you KNOW the last names of the famous gymnasts for whom these bebbehs were named.

P.P.S. Double bonus points if you can SPELL the last names correctly!  🙂


25

Greetings, furriends! Padre here, Birthday Boy! Happy Earth Day to all of you!

First off, I want to purrsonally fank you all for your purrs and words of encouragement after my dental surgery a few weeks ago. My mouf has healed up nicely, and I have my crunchies back!

As Headmaster (and because it’s my Birthday), we thought that it would be apropos for me to welcome all of you to Open House at Furry Bambino Foster Academy! Please help yourself to food, treats, and beverages!

As regular readers know, Mom and Dad volunteer for a local animal rescue group, PAWS Ohio. PAWS does not have a traditional animal shelter. Instead, PAWS is a network of volunteers who foster kittehs and woofies in their own homes.

Mom and Dad started fostering kittehs for PAWS two Kitten Seasons ago. Their first attempt at fostering resulted in Cookie and Caramel joining our fambly! Heh heh. Their most recent “failed fosters” are Sunny and Sky. But I digress.

Click here to go to the Furry Bambino Foster Academy home page. From the FBFA home page, you can:

Take a virtual tour of our Campus!

See what Courses we offer!

See Yearbook Photos and read bios of Faculty and Staff!

See Yearbook Photos and read bios of FBFA Graduates!

School is now in session! Here is a sneak peek at our current students. Meet The Gymnasts: Nadia, Lilia, Bart, and Vitaly:

Please help yourself to the treats! We hope that you enjoy your visit to Furry Bambino Foster Academy!

May you have a Blessed Easter and/or Passover.