Monday Morning Open Thread: Kitten Kaboodle

From wise commentor & rescue angel Satby:

Here’s some kitten crack for the jackals. I think there’s over 20 right now at Becky’s maternity ward / abandoned kitten orphanage. These skinny little guys were abandoned. Lots of sweet little faces to brighten up your day. All will be available for adoption, but not until they have been fixed and immunized, so that’s still some weeks in the future. Just in case anyone falls in love 😆

[At the top], a bonus kitten pile pick of not-so-feral Turtle’s kittens, both adopted and bio. The one giving us the eye is Turtle’s mini-me.

Not sure these orphans would have much use for pease pudding, but who could resist trying to satisfy such pleading little faces?

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.

Open Thread: It’s the Ducks That Make It Art…


Pigs being intelligent and cleanly animals, would not be fair to snark about comment trolls showing up after the parade is over…

Explanation, per the Irish Examiner:

The show is called Pet Shenanigans based in Busch Gardens amusement park in Williamsburg, Virginia in the US.

The trained animals were once shelter animals who were rescued by their now-trainers and have become the new-born stars of the popular show…

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!

Dog Rescue Bleg – Nashville Area

From “long-time reader, infrequent commentor” Gary F:

Our dog Huxley, a 20 lb shi-tzu or pekingese mix, needs a new home. We got him from a shelter in 2010 and he clearly wasn’t treated well. He’s sweet, playful, loves to cuddle in bed. He’s crate trained. He barks a lot-cars pulling up, other dogs, sirens, mosquito farts…

After a family vacation where we stayed with relatives and their two delightful shih-tzus in 2010, we thought maybe it was time to add a dog to our family. Our kids were 3-5 years old, and we wanted a pet they could grow up with, so after talking it over for a few months, we decided to visit the local animal shelter where we met Huxley. Huxley is a small, gray, mixed-breed dog who looks a lot like Wicket when his fur grows out (and in retrospect, I think this would be a more fitting name for him).

When we adopted Huxley, our vet said that he probably had some Pekingese and/or Shih-Tzu in his bloodline and that he was fairly young, under three years old. He was in good health, and we welcomed him into our family and got some basic training (sit, stay, down, leave it, etc.). The only issue that arose was that he’d snuggle down by the sofa when the kids were up there reading or watching television. They’d hop off, and often land on him, and he began snapping at their heels. We worked with dog and humans to be more aware of each other, and to have positive and fun interactions, and all was well.

In Spring of 2013, when I was TDY for training for six months, Huxley got out and tried to outrun the garbage truck and my wife watched, horrified, as he went under the wheels. Our vet pieced him back together and he’s now a bionic dog, thanks to the metal pin in his leg. I said earlier that Huxley likes to bark (Car! Dogs! Far-away train! Squirrel! Leaf!), but I’ve never heard him bark at anything else the way he barks at that garbage truck.

He’s wary of strangers, especially men, and several times he’s growled at someone new who’s reached out to offer a friendly pat. Huxley has always been leash-aggressive, but off-leash he does pretty well around other dogs, though he generally plays only a little and stays mostly to himself. He’s a little anxious, and a little neurotic…we suspect he was not treated well in his formative years, but he’s generally a sweet little snuggly dog.

Once we got things sorted with the sofa and nipping, Huxley has gotten along well with our two kids. They are now 9 and 11 and have participated in feeding, brushing, walking, and playing with him. Now, if they start running around and getting loud; he responds to that excited energy by barking, and jumping and just getting more and more wound up. We can calm him down, but it’s just part of his makeup to get wound up when there’s a lot of noise and excitement. We send the kids outside if they’re running or yelling, which helps everyone. If the kids have more than 2-3 friends over, though, we usually have to put him up in the bedroom unless two adults are home, because keeping him calm is a full-time job. If he’s overexcited, we know he’s not in control of himself, and given his other aggressive proclivities outlined above, we’ve just never wanted to take a chance. We sedate him for birthday parties.

This fall, he nipped our 11yo on the ankle, unprovoked. Our son was tucked up in a chair reading, and when he got out of the chair, Huxley ran over, nipped him on the ankle, and ran away. We talked about this with our kids, and how we can’t have a dog who bites, even a nip, because he could really hurt someone.

A day or so later, he started limping, so we took him to the vet and the found he had a fractured hip. After some consultation, they pulled out the old X-rays from his garbage truck incident and determined that he’d had a hairline fracture that had been missed with all the other injuries. He was on anti-inflammatory meds for a few days, but seems to be back to normal.

The kids made the point that maybe he was in pain and that was why he did this, so we continued to talk about it. It’s not an easy thing to give away a dog who has been part of your family for 7.5 years. Then a month ago, he did it again…nipped the 11yo on the ankle, unprovoked, so we set ourselves to the task of finding him a home, preferably one without kids.

His ideal home would be one where someone is home for at least part of the day most of the time. He would love to have a small yard where he can run around and bark at squirrels, and an owner who will take him for walks and throw things for him to chase (though he has never figured out how to bring it back). He can be left alone for the day, but he likes the company. He spends most of his day napping, or following us around the house as we engage in our daily activities.

All of the no kill shelters in the area are full, and I can’t find a good home using my network. We contacted a local senior dog rescue to find they only accept dogs from shelters. We’ve asked family/friends, and plan to talk with our vet. We want to find him a home where he’ll be loved.

We live in the Nashville area, but I would be willing to drive a good ways.

If you have any suggestions, or know someone who might be interested, leave a comment. Or contact me directly, using the ‘Contact a Front-Pager’ form under ‘Quick Links’ from the top bar, or directly at annelaurie (dot) bj (at) gmail (dot) com, and I’ll forward your message to Gary.

Great Dane Rescue: Florida

I know this is probably a long shot, but I wanted to bring Hank to your attention. Reading his story (ok, reading every rescue story while I was looking to rescue over the last two years) breaks my heart. There is just something about Danes.

Hank is NOT for anyone who is not Giant Breed experienced. But anyone who has that experience, understands the special challenges that are ahead for this guy, and are big hearted enough to meet those challenges, this might be your dog.

We just walked Bixby and Scout through Murdochs tonight to pick up dog food and what should have been a quick 15 minute trip turned into 45 minutes of loving on Bixby by a whole bunch of kids and a 6 month lab mix who seemed to be slightly in love with him (Scout got her share of scritches, too, but since she’s not allowed out of the shopping cart yet, it wasn’t the same for the kids as having this 160 lbs slobber monster lean and love on you).

Hank will not have those experiences. But he does need a loving home. Pass it on…

Here is Hank’s adoption information, Northwest Florida Great Dane Rescue

Bixby, Scout (and Bailey for sure) thank you.