SAMHAIN'S PAGE

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TO ALL OUR CATSTER FRIENDS

December 24th 2011 8:54 am
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Merry Christmas and Happy Holy Days to all; it is the birth of the Sun! A blessed event as acknowledged by all faiths, whether Christian or Pagan, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist. For now, whether we immediately sense the difference, the light starts to grow again; the days get longer; and eventually it becomes warmer, bringing out of dormancy those plants and some animals and insects which have gone to their winter rests. (Unless you happen to live in the Southern Hemisphere where, of course, they do everything backwards! Or California, where their idea of Winter is where you don’t wear your shorts and sandals in the evening…well, maybe the sandals…)

So, to all our Catster friends and their families: may you have all the blessings of the New Year; may present friendships strengthen, new alliances begin, old wounds heal, and may we all see a deepening of our faiths - whatever they may be - and a greater prosperity to help ease the physical burdens we each bear.

Fearless wanted to send you each a card, but instead we will post the pic the Mama took shortly after we had received the most excellent River Dances Catnip Mousies from Zach, Zoe and Gris. May the Ceiling Cat bless us, everyone!

Thank you, Ceiling Cat, for all our many blessings!

 

TALE OF THE FIRST CAT

November 25th 2011 5:33 pm
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Back when the world was young, and the gods still walked the Mesa, Man was innocent and was friends with the animals. He was friends with the dogs, and he was friends with the birds. And the birds were stooopid! (that’s for the Tabbies.) But there were no cats.

It was the dog who most loved him and would follow him everywhere he went. Dog would hunt for Man, and was his companion. He would sleep by Man’s fire, and take whatever bits of food the Man did not want. He didn’t ask for much: the few scraps, a pet now and then.

But Man became lazy and selfish. He began to begrudge Dog the scraps he ate. He complained that Dog wasn’t bringing in enough food. He objected to Dog scratching himself by the fire, and threw him out of the cave into the cold.

The gods saw all this and said: “This isn’t right. Man needs to be taught a lesson.” And they created Cat. Cat didn’t mind sharing Man’s fire; nor did she turn her nose up at the pieces of meat Man threw her…initially. Though she did prefer a little less fat on it, please.

She would allow Man to give her chin scritches, but only as long as she didn’t have something more important to do. Man began doing more and more to please her, but the more he tried, the harder to please she became!

When the gods first constructed Cat, they made her with 7 toes on her front paws and 5 on her back paws. She was very proud of her handsome feet, and groomed them day and night, and scratched repeatedly against the pinon pine trees, keeping her claws strong and sharp. The gods saw this, too, and thought: “Cat is becoming as bad as Man! She could stand to be brought down a notch or two as well.” So they took away 2 of the toes on each of her front paws, and a toe a piece off her back paws.

And that’s the way Cat is today…Except every now and then, Cat is born with 7 toes on both the front paws and 5 toes each on both the back paws. Because Cat will have her or his own way, even with the gods.

Manytoes at Mesa Verde

 

SNOW

November 10th 2011 7:28 am
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The weather man was right on target - he said Thursday it would snow - voila! Our first of the season...pretty!

 

FERAL SHELTER AND WE GO FOR A WALK

November 8th 2011 6:09 am
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My condolences to all you Eastern kittehs under your blanket of snow. I gotta tell ya we’ve been lucky as heck with our weather lately. No snow, no crazy ice storms, not even as much rain as the Mama has grown accustomed to up here in the Great Lakes country. Sure it freezes at night, but this is pretty easy-going, all in all, compared to some past years.

Take yesterday for an example: beautiful sunshine at the close of a mild day. The folks took the opportunity to finish the last touches on the feral winter shelter, and they both were very pleased. The Mama was more than pleased – she was delighted! She’s taken a pic, but it really doesn’t give a good idea of what the inside is like, so she’ll try to describe it.

The North porch is where she feeds the ferals – not the ideal location, but the only practical place as our cattery is on the more favorable south side of the house. You Southerners and Californianites (is that a word?) may not appreciate the significance of south-facing versus north-facing, but up here in the frozen northlands, it DOES matter.

Anyway, against the east side, which is elevated a couple of feet off the ground, they shoved an old table that had been used for various outdoor projects. Around the base of the three open sides they stacked hay bales – 8 of them. A 9th bale they tore up and lay on the ground inside the little shelter. Since the table was about cat-height taller than the porch, there was a gap at the top there on that 4th side – this would be the entrance. Before they shoved all the side bales into place, the Mama crouched inside the shelter to see how it felt. It was warm and cozy, plenty big enough for the 10 ferals who are coming for feeding, but not so big that it would be hard to heat with body heat. The pawrents both felt that even they, puny humans that they are, provided they had winter coats and guaranteed food source, could survive a winter in this shelter!

When the sides were finished, they threw an old very heavyduty tarp over the whole, just as further insulation, and added some more hay bales around the entrance and around the perimeter of the porch for windbreak. The Mama has taken a picture of the front; she put some kitten milk down for a treat to get them to come out, so you’d see they are using the shelter.

As for us, because it was such a beautiful day right then before dusk, the pawrents brought out the leashes and took Sleeper and me for a walk! They’ve abandoned the harnesses – Sleeper’s doesn’t fit anyway, and both of us have been so good lately on just the leashes. The Mama didn’t get a picture this time, because she forgot the camera, but she’s posting a pic of one of the places we walk on the property that she took just a few days ago – she calls it “one of Essie’s old haunts – Essie was their little dog before we came along.

 

MORE NEW KITTIES ON THE BLOCK

November 7th 2011 5:45 am
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Yoohoo-o-o! We've just been befriended by a couple of sweet kitties who are brand new to Catster - their bio says they just started yesterday. If you would, please drop by and say howdy to Gossy and her new brofur Piper !

 

WE ARE NOT ALONE

October 31st 2011 3:00 pm
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Dang - why do I always get the dirty jobs? OK, it is with heavy heart on my part, and especially on Sleeper's - she is really not happy and never let's the moment pass to growl and hiss about it - to announce that we have a new...cough, spit, hiss, growl...member of the family! Fearless is her name, and to give her credit, it fits her. No matter how much I try to make her back down, she doesn't - she just sits calmly, staring at me. Then she chases ME, and trills at me to come play with her! It's embarrassing...

So, I've done my duty and told you all. OK then.

 

HAIKU FEST

October 22nd 2011 4:45 pm
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OK, folks! Here’s a little idea inspired by Spooky’s poem to the Tabbies: a Haiku festival! I’ve taken some stuff from the Net about how to write Haiku poems and whittled it down to 9 rules. There’s like a 101 others, I think, but this is just for fun, so we want it simple. If anyone has any other suggestions, they can feel free to throw them in. Oh, and if the muse strikes you and you want to write something longer, that’s OK, too. And multiple offerings are great!
So – here’s the rules for haiku, and at the bottom I’ve added my own little “image poem”.

1. Seventeen syllables in three lines with the first line and last line having fewer syllables than the middle line, such as 5 syllables in first and last lines and 7 in the middle line.
2. Use of a seasonal reference: fall, winter, falling leaves, snow, etc.
3. Always write in the present tense, here and now.
4. Limit the use of articles like “a”, “the”, etc…
5. Capitalize the first word of every line - or use no caps.
6. Avoid rhymes - or rhyme last words in the first and last lines.
7. Puns and word plays are good.
8. Just write about ordinary things in an ordinary way using ordinary language – or write of the impossible in an ordinary way.
9. Avoid all reference to yourself or refer to yourself in a second-hand way as “this cat” or “the poet”, “the writer”, etc.
----------------------------------------

The Dark is rising
Winter follows close behind
Black cat plays in snow.

 

RETURN OF THE FERALS

October 20th 2011 2:57 pm
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The ferals apparently have all survived the initial ordeal, thank the Ceiling Cat! The pawrents were up before dawn getting ready for the release. First the Papa brought out the cat carriers and lined them up. Then the Mama prepared the food to set out. She’d already seen action from 4 kittens who were anticipating breakfast (one must be the little male that’s already been done).

Finally she set down the food and the Papa started to release the kittens one by one. They all had to run past the food first to get away off the porch. Three of them did this immediately, but the last two lingered at the food dishes! Hurray!!!

Lastly, the Papa opened Aunt Bobbie’s cage. She didn’t seem to want to leave while we were standing there, but once we’d both come back in the house, we noticed she’d come out. Plus all the other kittens had returned to eat!

It was a little hard to see, because not only was it still before sunrise, but the weather is just horrible – rainy, cold and windy, affecting visibility through the windows. It does look like everyone has been back to eat now, including Mama Cat, who understandably took off the night before last when the trapping first began. (Been there, done that!)

Just now our Mama went out to put down some more food (she’s going to keep up the extra rations for a few days to make sure everyone is eating enough in order to aid rapid healing.) Kittens came out of the shelter – yea! – another triumph – she was afraid maybe they’d go somewhere else and hide, and like I said: the weather is abysmal out there. Here on the porch they can stay warm and dry and only a few steps from the food.

The Mama has been worried sick about all this, since instead of a one day event this turned into closer to two. But she’s glad that she and the Papa followed the advice of their friends and kept the kittens in last night while they were still woozy, rather than send them out in the storm. She remembers, after all, that Sleeper and I weren’t all that eager to eat either that first day after we’d been spayed, so the food issue probably wasn’t a problem.

Oh, and of those 6 cats caught this time, 5 were females - so, this will help quite a bit in restricting the feral colony growth. That puts the count up to 3 males and 6 females. Oh, and if you want to count us (assuming by some miracle we had managed to survive infancy – and I tell you the odds certainly didn’t look good!), that would have been a total of 11. The Mama says: “Can we stop now? This is making me nervous as a cat!!!” :)

 

FERAL TRAP AND RELEASE UPDATE

October 18th 2011 7:18 pm
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Tonight the pawrents have caught 6 of the kittens and one adult. One of the kittens is the little male we caught before, so we have already released him, but not before he got in a good bite on the Papa. Feisty little guy; the Mama remembers he fought like a banshee the first time around. Fortunately, the Papa had heavy gloves on, so the wound was not deep. They put hydrogen peroxide on it immediately. The Mama's hands were shaking so much, she could hardly pour it out of the bottle!

They will spend a hopefully quiet night in their covered carrying cases which we borrowed from their friends who are very active in the TNR programs around here. Then in the morning, a quick ride to the spay clinic for treatment. We wish them well, and a quick return to health.

By present calculations, this still leaves at least 2 more kittens: one black, one grey, and the other black adult that looks so much like Aunt Bobbie that we aren't sure even now which one we have in the cage. And possible a ninth kitten that we both thought we saw, but are not completely sure about.

Of course, this is not all the cats loose in the neighborhood, but these are the ones who have made our porch their preferred restaurant and hangout. It will be interesting to see how long and which ones return to us after this major coup.

 

FERAL UPDATE

October 14th 2011 5:59 am
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Well, our little "porch family" has gained some members! As the Tabbies would say: EEEEEEGGGAAAGGHHHHH!!! Anyway, at last count there was Mama Cat, Aunt Bobbie (don't know whether she's had kittens or not, but we're thinking yes), ANOTHER black feral that looks almost EXACTLY like Aunt Bobbie, 3 black kittens that are apparently an older litter of Aunt Bobbie's (they all still try to nurse on her), and then Mama C.'s 4 kittens: the two greys and the solid black and the black with blaze. Most of the kittens appear to be between 2 and 3 mos. Of the Papa Cat (who we named Shadow in our stories) there has been no sign since the spaying. Good luck, Father, where ever you are!

They all had eye discharge, and the Mama did catch the lighter grey a couple of times and put medicine in her eyes. Still very skittish, though, and no one else will allow themselves to be touched. Happily, they all seem to be healing anyway. Looking much better this morning. Will also add that we know they are getting fed both at our house and at our neighbors, though they appear to like it pretty well over here these days - too well! :)

Oh, and Sleeper is posting her scary story today starring the ferals and Novi, Snow and Griswold. Check it out!

Happy Halloween, everyfur!

 
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Samhain


 

Family Pets

Sleeper
Maya (2004 -
2006)
Miss Essie
(1984-2002)
Fearless
THE FERALS
Socks DB-T
#55
Owl

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