The Daily Cat

Being a (mostly) daily journal of the colony and observations thereon.

2011.03.01 Tuesday

Beautiful, sunshiny weather today, low fifties (Fahrenheit). All eight colony cats present and accounted for. Miss Kitty, as usual, met me as soon as I walked out the front door, galloping up to meet me, tail held  high, and preceded me to the back deck like she was leading me in. Little Bit joined us, and everyone else peered around the deck to watch us come. Handsome had obviously been lounging somewhere else, perhaps next door, and came racing to meet the parade. Raven chased Handsome a bit, trying to keep him away from the deck, but Handsome just took a detour and came up on the other side. This is one of the things I worry about, the younger males keeping the older ones from the food. Today, the problem resolved itself, but I need to keep a watch on it. I don't want Handsome ostracized from the colony.

Maybe it's the warm weather, maybe spring in the air, but there was a little more unfriendliness in the colony than is usual. In addition to Raven and Handsome, Little Bit and Cally were slapping at each other; Little Bit even slapped at me when I wasn't fast enough to move away from a tray after putting kibbles down. I slapped back, at the air in front of her, and she stalked off.

Everyone was present and ate; I was able to pet Cally, Skitter, Miss Kitty, and Little Bit. Skitter has a wound beside his right ear; not too deep, but some fur is missing and there is a shallow scratch. Apparently he's been fighting. He let me examine the while petting him, while he was eating, so I should be able to keep a watch on it for signs of infection.

After filling the trays and bowls, and petting everyone who would let me pet, I stood at the side for about ten minutes and watched. Once all the jockying for position was over, everyone ate peacefully. Miss Kitty and Little Bit ate together at one tray; everyone else, even Nala and Raven (who usually eat together) ate at separate stations, alone, by themselves.

2011.02.25 Friday

All eight colony cats at feeding today. We have snow again! I'm certainly ready for the snow to be done; they seem like they are too. All the bowls and trays were filled with snow and melting snow; the deck is wet and sloppy. Had to work a bit to get the trays turned over,thus leaving room for dry paws where the tray WAS and so the snow ISN'T. This caused a little bit of jockeying for position among the cats. Handsome and Cally like to eat alone, rather than at a tray with others, so it took each of them a little bit to get settled. Handsome kept picking up his feet and shaking them off as he walked from tray to tray, looking for a spot. He got settled once, then Nala joined him, and he moved away. He went one by one to each of the individual bowls, which I didn't fill today, because of the snow; I thought he wasn't going to figure it out and get to eat. He went and sat on his house; from the higher viewpoint, he could see the layout; he jumped down and went to a tray that hadn't been used yet, where he could eat alone. He got IN the tray, hunched down over the food, I can only guess so that no one can join him.

Skitter was very vocal today; calling and talking to me, and letting me pet his back; Miss Kitty as always was the first to greet me; when she hears the front door closed she runs around front, then walks ahead of me back to the deck, her tail in the air. I feel that she's leading me to the colony and announcing to everyone, "here she is! here's food!"

2011.02.23 Wednesday

Astonishing  it's been three weeks since I last updated the colony journal. Temps today in the mid forties Fahrenheit, yesterday below freezing again. Bummer after a weekend of near 70 degree weather! Even though the outdoor hose was frozen, the heated water bowl continues to perform, keeping the outdoor water a cool but liquid temp for the colony.

All eight colony cats present and accounted for today. I came around the corner of the house shaking the kibbles in the plastic pitcher, and the entire herd came running up at a gallop to greet me, even shy little Nala. Was able to pet Skitter for some time, and Cally and Little Bit of course. Handsome actually let me touch his tail, but stalked off to an adjacent feeding dish when I tried to pet his back. Raven aloof as always. Was trying hard to get a good picture of him for tomorrow's blog, we'll see how it turns out.

Met for dinner this evening with the few of us who are going to try and get the Shaw cats trapped, neutered, and returned. We went ahead and set a tentative date for the trap day, March 4 or, if bad weather, March 7. We are still short several traps and some funds. It looks like there are seven or eight individuals in that colony, so even with low cost ($25 per spay / neuter and eartip), we're looking at around $200. We'll see if we can borrow the extra traps, and see if, between the four of us, we have enough to cover the cost of the spaying. Caregivers in the Shaw neighborhood are in place, and have been feeding the cats, so, hopefully this colony will have a good chance at survival if we can just stop the flow of kittens. Fingers crossed!

2011.02.04 Friday

Handsome still missing today; everyone else accounted for. Temp at noon:  27 deg F. I thought, when I was calling for him, that I heard Handsome's little voice, but couldn't find him, and it might have been one of the other cats talking.

Cats are getting a bit cranky w/ each other. They have plenty of food, but nevertheless have started smacking each other a bit, batting each other away from the food while eating. I wonder if it's because there are limited iceless patches to stand on, and they're defending those, or, that in the ice, I've been using only the three big feeding stations (cookie sheet, lumber sheet, and tub lid) rather than the individual bowls which are full of solid ice. So everyone doesn't have their own bowl.

A mocking bird also came when I came out to feed; was still waiting in a tree when I left.

2011.02.06 Sunday

Everyone but Handsome accounted for again. Cally getting a little love from Miss Kitty; Cally is so affectionate, I worry if she doesn't get some affection from the cats. She was sitting alone, not joining the others on the big tray, and in fact, ate alone at one of the bowls. I'm wondering if, in the spring / summer, it might not be time to up the efforts to socialize her and see if I can bring her in, maybe find her a forever home. We'll see how things continue between now and then.

Everyone seems to be in good health; it's 39 degrees so some of the ice and snow is melting. This gives the cats more places to sit on the deck. I tried to shovel a bit, but couldn't cut through the ice that is overlaid by snow. Still walking on TOP of the ice in the back yard, very weird.

Didn't see any birds today.

Yesterday, saw paw prints in the snow that looked like a child's hand; tried to get a pic, but not enough definition. TJ thinks they are either possum (which we know we have) or racoon. And we have seen a racoon here before, so I guess either are possible.

2011.02.07 Monday

Handsome back, sitting on his house, mowing for food. So glad to see him return! Did not see nala or raven. skitter let me give him a big long pet on his back while I carried the food up, and then while he was eating. ice snow on deck beginning to melt; i took out another tub lid for a standing place. Most, if they can, are standing on the plastic lids to eat, to keep i think their feet out of the snow.

earlier in the day, I walked out about 8 am (feeding is at noon) and startled the colony asleep in the kitty palace of hay. A big grey tabby that was prolly miss fuzzy but mighthave been tabby tom took off out of the house, along with little bit and skitter. I called to skitter and he stopped when  he saw me, but still sauntered on down toward the north of the alley. So, don't know if entire colony is sleeping in the hay house, but some are.