Feral Bobcat In My Backyard

A while back one of you wanted a picture of my backyard before I get everything fixed (although the deck and everything are on hold now for obvious reasons), but I am still bringing in some dirt to level things out. At any rate, here you go:

Here’s another picture. As Tams said, “I spy with my little eye four pets. Can you find them?”

I’ll give you the easy one:

Re: the backyard, on the left you can see the honeycrisp and mcintosh apple trees (the mcintosh is a pollinator) the chestnut tree in the middle of the yard, and in the back you can see the compost bins (“we” built the new one for 68 bucks, the “we” of course being royal, because Gerald built it as I am not allowed to use power tools). All around the compost bin are blackberry shrubs, blueberry bushes, and two fig trees. In between the chestnut tree and the compost bins is where I am going to put the pollinator garden for bees and butterflies. On the right are the raised bed gardens, two of which were salvaged from the old property. The big green house is my parent’s house, where I lived from age two on.

I think I might actually put some peas and broccoli in today, maybe the maters and other stuff next week. I think we might finally be out of the woods regarding winter and freezes. I think I am just going to let the cucumbers and watermelon and what not roam free on the other side of the fence, because it’s pointless to try and put them in a raised bed and just a waste of space- they go wherever the hell they want, anyway.

Got off the phone with the pet hospital about an hour ago, and Lily is doing well, her weight is holding steady, her vitals are good, she has not demonstrated any negative side effects of the chemo yet (it’s only been 16 hours), and the nurse says she has a pep in her step, is eating, pooping and drinking and her tail was up and she pranced around when they took her outside. The fact that she used the word “pranced” brought a wave of relief to me, because Lily has never “walked,” she was always a little prancer, and the nurse using that unsolicited by me means that her essential nature is the same.

We’re going to head up so we can be there around noonish for a consult and maybe to bring our girl home (fingers crossed). Once again, I want to thank you all for your kind words and support. I’m really lucky that have a lot of IRL friends, but the kind words and overwhelming generosity you all have displayed, well, I’m at a loss for words.

Thanks for having my back:

Commenter Lizzie Has A Question About Dogs and Cats Living Together!

As we wait for 3:00 PM EDT to roll around and begin the Friday afternoon news breakening, we could use a new thread. And since commenter Lizzie’s question deserves some broader exposure than the few folks who’ve seen it buried in the comments to the previous thread, here it is:

Since it’s an open thread….sorry in advance for the long post, especially by a lurker who rarely posts! But there are a lot of knowledgeable animal lovers here and I’d love some advice about whether to pursue adopting two dogs.

The dogs are 6 and 8, a lab/shepherd mix and an Australian shepherd mix, described as well-trained, well-loved, sweet family dogs. The family has a 2-year-old facing a serious illness and unfortunately they can’t care for the dogs anymore. They would really appreciate if the dogs could be kept together. So far as I know, the dogs have never lived with cats.

My family (me, hubby, one kid in high school, one in college), has two cats, 7 and 11. We have never had a dog and I’m very much a cat person by nature. But we also love dogs and for several years now I’ve been considering whether to adopt an older dog. I keep holding back because I’m not sure how the cats would do.

The younger cat is very sociable and outgoing, playful, and curious, which I assume would all help him adjust to dogs. The older cat is loving to us, but can be grumpy sometimes and gets annoyed and territorial when we have too many people over/there’s too much going on. He doesn’t hide, he just sits in the middle of everything like a grumpy old man grousing about the kids on his lawn. He is also just getting to the stage where he’s starting to feel older to me, it’s hard to describe but he’s just starting to feel slightly fragile when I pick him up.

When we took care of a friend’s puppy for a weekend a few months ago, the cats were extremely stressed about it (although the younger one was braver and more curious); but because it was such a short time I didn’t do anything to try to help them get along, we just figured the cats would mostly hide (which they did); maybe that was a mistake.

Is this a recipe for disaster, or possibly the beginning of a beautiful relationship?


Stay! Good stay!

Open thread.

Monday Morning Open Thread: KITTENS!

Now we can take comfort that at least one good thing has already happened this week! From wise commentor / gardener / rescue angel Satby:

You may have seen my comments last week about me spending Easter trying to trap a pregnant feral female cat that was part of a group I was feeding over winter. People have requested kitten pictures, so I thought I would share our little lady’s saga.

My cunningly hidden humane trap (under the rug) outside the garage I hoped I wouldn’t have to go into to trap her. I’m sure you can see why.

Five hours later, having completely ignored my trap, the cat practically walked into a carrier for me in the shed where I had set up a feral feeding station /shelter.

She wasn’t very happy when the door was shut. She cried the 40 minute drive to our board president, Becky’s house. Becky is the kitten whisperer, Animal Control in 2 counties calls her when they need tiny kittens removed before they catch something and die. Every spring for kitten season Becky converts a bedroom into a “maternity ward”. Here is our girl adjusting to her new surroundings.

And a couple of days later, it’s obvious that she isn’t a feral at all, just a very pregnant (probably abandoned) cat relieved to be safe inside again. She’s very sweet. And humongous.

Finally, a week to the day, the blessed event happened this afternoon. She went into labor about 1:30 and finished delivering her kittens about 2 hours later. Five kittens total.

Momma and kittens doing well, though momma is showing some very protective instincts right now. All will be available for adoption in about 8 weeks, including mom cat.

I know other jackals do TNR and rescue, maybe some of them can share some stories and we can have some distractions from the shit-show in DC.

Late Night Open Thread

Stayed up too late watching The Titan on Netflix, brushed my fangs and got ready to get in bed, and this is what I found:

This fucking guy. Apparently Steve has figured out how to tuck himself into bed.

Open Thread: Happy Monday (*Crosses Fingers*)

Weekend flowers are always welcome, but isn’t Monday when we really need them?…

Yes, there is plenty to post about, but none of it seems appropriate before readers have had the chance to armor up & ingest their adult beverage of choice (that would be Diet Coke, in my case).


Finally, in the name of companion animal fairness:

Readership Capture: Cat Book Bleg

From wise commentor and cat rescuer Werebear:

Would you be able to let my fellow jackals know about my long-in-the-making The Way of Cats ebook?

Pre-order link: Amazon

This is pretty important to me. My health has been a real struggle for the past few years, and even though I did manage to figure it all out, it’s something that can only be managed, not cured. So I have made some job changes, and some lifestyle changes, and I am still stubbornly helping cats and their people.

If the book does well it will let me keep up with my cat advice. My readers donate as generously as they can, but the website popularity, and then the website bills, just keeps growing. This is my attempt to make the whole enterprise self-supporting. For the kitties! And their people.

Everyone please spread the word!

No Shitty People Open Thread

I was challenged on Facebook to post seven black and white photos over seven days. The easiest (and I am told best) way to do that is to take a color photo and convert it to B&W digitally. So that’s what I did.

I also got some advice from a friend on Facebook to move the unused cat tree nearer a window. It was heavily used for a while, but the cats have been ignoring it. It is now nearer a window, and Zooey has claimed the top perch, from which he looks winningly at me, asking for pets. Here are the color photo and the B&W. Which do you like better?


What has gone well for you lately? People who did a good thing that you’d like to give a shout-out to? No shitty people in this open thread.