Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In memory of our precious Teeny....

I can't believe I haven't posted a thing since December 1!!! Yikes! Well, December was a rough month in many ways for us, so I wasn't quite myself. I promise to get back on track very soon. I have lots of cat stories to share and some great photos to brighten your days.

I just wanted to dedicate this post to our beloved Teeny girl. We adopted Teeny from the Atlanta Humane Society when she was 6 weeks old. That was almost 15 years ago. She was our very first kitty....the one who started all of this cat craziness. We loved her so very much. We found out right after Thanksgiving that she was dying of cancer. On December 20, we knew it was time to let her go. It was an extremely sad day, and we miss her terribly. Here are a few photos of her over the years....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Audrey Hepburn...a furry brunette beauty in need of a home!

Meet Audrey (as in Hepburn). She is a PRECIOUS girl who was living under some bushes in an empty Kroger parking lot. A friend of mine and I were feeding her and are still feeding several other sweet, stray cats there. We are DYING to get them all out of there and find homes for them!! Audrey finally hopped in my car last weekend and rode home on my lap making biscuits and purring the whole way. She is a purrfectly wonderful cat. She loves to sit right on your chest and sleep. PLEASE let me know if anyone can give her a good home!!!! I will drive many hours to get her to a truly loving place. She is approximately 5 years old and has already gotten basic vet care (physical exam, combo testing, deworming and flea treatment), and I will take care of her vaccinations and confirmation that she has been spayed soon. The doctor shaved her tummy and there appears to be a spay scar.

Audrey in her bed ON the bed in her own private suite :).

Here she is after exploring downstairs and meeting our other cats. She got in bed with my husband and crawled onto his chest to help him read research papers. What a loving AND intelligent girl!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Finally an update on the SOS mobile home TNR project!

I think it has taken me this long to recover from the huge SOS (Spay our Strays) mobile home feral cat TNR project! So sorry for the delay in reporting on what transpired. First and foremost, our efforts were a huge success!! We TNRed 79 cats in 3 mobile home parks in Lexington. That was a major effort for one weekend. I was in charge of one park and trapped 21 cats and kittens. The only bad part was that I could have trapped 100 more. These mobile home parks are literally FILLED with ferals and strays needing to be spayed and neutered. They are often local animal control facilities' largest source of homeless and unwanted kittens and cats. I learned quickly how important it is to for TNR volunteers in every city to tackle these areas in order to bring down the number of cats killed in shelters every year. One woman had taken 5 litters of kittens to our local animal control just this summer. Homeless cats are EVERYWHERE, but mobile home parks are the most fertile breeding grounds in every community. The people there can't afford proper vet care or spaying/neutering and many leave them behind when they move away. Then, there are always kind hearted souls who feed the abandoned kitties and the next thing they know, they've got 50 cats and kittens on their hands. It is a terribly vicious cycle. It is what has kept me preaching about spay/neuter since 2005 when I happened upon my first feral colony.

I can't discuss this project without giving a shout out to Dr. Liz Ubelhor, the amazing veterinarian, who performed all 79 surgeries last weekend!!! Yep, 79 cats in 13 hours. Her skill, tireless dedication and unbelievable generosity is nothing short of phenomenal!! I honestly can't properly describe the awe and gratitude I feel for her. She works as the main vet at the humane society five days a week and then volunteers her time most weekends at various low cost feral cat s/n clinics in our area. She is truly the spay/neuter queen and an angel to animals.

Ok, here are a few photos of my TNR adventure....

I didn't get any action shots during the trapping because it was raining and cold, but here are all the of the cats lined up in their traps in my garage once I got them all home.

This is Marlon aka "Fathead" after being released. He totally stole my heart! He is a HUGE, gorgeous cat with a the chubbiest cheeks you've ever seen (male cats often develop those large cheeks when they are unneutered). His caretaker has been feeding him for 5 years and he has fathered countless litter of kittens. NO MORE of that!!!!

Here he is sniffing out familiar territory...

This is one of Marlon's children, Pegleg. Apparently, Pegleg terrorizes his dad and drives the other kitties crazy, but he is such a sweet boy with people. He lost his back leg at some point...the stories on how it happened vary. He is a affectionate and funny. His caretakers are going to try to keep him inside now that he is neutered, but I am not sure how well that will go. He is one of those boys that will probably not like being confined in a small space, but my paws are crossed that it works.

And here is Pegleg with Regina. Regina is WONDERFUL! She is such a lovely person and was very grateful to have lots of kitties on her street TNRed. She is one of the four caretakers I worked with.

One of 5 kitties trapped at Tammy's trailer. She was thrilled to have her mama cats finally spayed.

And here is "Preggo" after I released her. Her caretaker said that she is ALWAYS pregnant hence the obvious name. I trapped several of her boyfriends as well.

So, that pretty much sums up the mobile home project. While we won't be able to do a mass trapping like this for awhile, we will continue to trap a few at a time. It is definitely going to be an ongoing endeavor.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Auto Body Shop Kitty Crew...

I will post an update about the big mobile home TNR weekend soon! It was a huge success! In the meantime, I just wanted to share a fun photo I took on Sunday while I was feeding the auto body shop colony. They now know my car and all come running when I pull up. Two of them climb up into my lap and the others circle around my door anxiously awaiting their canned food buffet. They are the BEST greeters ever!

The adorable dilute torti is Wendy. She used to never let me near her and now she is one of the boldest! The darker orange one is Speedy. He is a lovebug...purrs and climbs right up onto my legs.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Huge TNR trailer park project!

The TNR group I volunteer with is doing a massive feral cat spay/neuter round up at 3 trailer parks in Lexington. It has been in the works for awhile and tomorrow is the big day! I am in charge of one trailer park...will be the largest trapping project for me yet....daunting but exciting! I just finished prepping our garage. 18 traps, 6 carriers and a whole lotta towels, blankets and tuna. When I visited the park today, one of the kitties was curled up in a baby stroller...he was quite a friendly little greeter. It was rainy so most of the cats were hiding under the trailers. I hope to get some good action shots tomorrow if the weather is nice and sunny...paws crossed for that!

This project is so important not only for the cats but also for the people feeding and caring for them. They have a hard enough time making ends meet, yet they still manage to feed many cats. That is true compassion, kindness and generosity.

The goal is to get 20+ cats at each location. Stay tuned for an update this weekend!

All ready to go...

The recovery area...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Purring among the pumpkins....

Here is Chumbawumba aka the Rumba Ball enjoying the straw nest under the pumpkins in my antique wheelbarrow. Can you believe this precious girl survived on dumpster scraps for years while transporting kittens up and down the streets of our neighborhood? That is what one of my neighbors told me. When we moved in 3 years ago, we put food out on the front porch for her and her 2 little orange sons and the rest is history. We TNRed them all and now she spends lots of time in our bed though she still insists on going on outside adventures. I worry about her, but she refuses to be a full time indoor kitty. Who could resist a sunny, 70 degree fall day among the pumpkins???

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Halloween Owl Nesting Dolls for the Pfatt Update!

Time seems to keep escaping me lately!! Almost forgot to post these little fellas before tomorrow's Pfatt Marketplace October update! I am offering a set of six hand painted Halloween owl nesting dolls. Hoot hoot! Hope you like them :)!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Home Makeover for the Auto Body Shop Cat Colony

I wanted to update you on my progress with winterizing the auto body shop's cat colony. Many thanks to Susan who purchased two of my Halloween circus animals which helped fund this project!! The kitties and I are so very grateful. I ordered feeding stations and feral villas a few weeks ago. I assembled them last weekend and was able to get the colony "makeover" underway this past Saturday. Most of the kitties were not sure what to think, but as you will see, my buddy, Jimmy, was a wonderful assistant through the whole process. When I arrived on Sunday to feed the crew, I could tell that they had been exploring their new shelter and had been nesting under the tree in their new straw bedding.

Assembling the insulated villas and feeding stations on my back patio.

Hugging Jimmy as we unload everything.

Raking out the trash from under the tree to prepare for the straw bedding.

Adding straw to an existing shelter. They guys at the body shop put this out for them. It's one of those luggage carriers you attach to the top of your car with a cat door cut out...very clever and purrfect for a large, multi-cat shelter!

Jimmy testing out the straw. I think he approves!

Spreading straw under the tree.

Feral villas tucked under the tree on top of the straw....should be lots of cozy, dry places to snuggle this winter!

Diesel enjoying the view from one of the villa's rooftops.

Feeding stations in use...the larger raised one will be great when it snows.

Tip for all you feral cat caretakers...straw is the cheapest, BEST way to keep kitties warm and dry! It reflects their body heat and will not mold, mildew or freeze when wet like blankets and fabric beds. One bale of straw cost me $8 and it goes a long way.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kitten and Cherries...

Yay!!! Just finished up the last one (for now). I'll be delivering these to Cradle Will Rock tomorrow...paws crossed that the owner likes them and that the customers like them even more :)!
This one is my personal favorite. Never would have guessed that the kitten one would be my top pick, right??!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Circus Elephant Painting

...and here is no. 2! I put the finishing touches on this one this morning and had hoped to get the kitten painting done, but I had to take 3 cats to the vet and went on a wild goose chase tracking down heart medicine for another one of my furkids. They keep me busy that is for sure! So, it's back to painting momentarily. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Henry Hedgehog and Apples Painting

I have been working on a series of paintings for a local children's boutique called Cradle Will Rock that I just LOVE! The decor and clothing is whimsical, colorful, fun, retro, vintage and perfect combo! I just wish I could shrink into the adorable clothes. The owner designs and sews the majority of the clothing, and she uses a wonderful mix of patterns and prints. I wanted to complement her aesthetic and come up with a concept that would fit right into her style. So, I decided to paint backgrounds and borders that look like fabric prints with painted animal "patches" in the middle. I just finished the Henry Hedgehog and Apples painting and am now working on completing a Kitten and Cherries and a Circus Elephant.

Monday, September 12, 2011

STJ update tonight!

The other two pieces in my Halloween Circus animal trio will be available tonight at midnight for the Spookytime Jingles update. I am thrilled that the giraffe and owl piece sold this weekend, so that is great news for the auto body shop cats! 100% of the sales of the pig and elephant will also go toward feral villas and feeding stations for them. (See previous post for more details.)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Halloween SnipPets to help cats in need!

Last January, some friends of mine and I started TNRing a colony of feral cats at an auto body shop nearby. This colony has really captured my heart (as they always do!), and I am now feeding them on the weekends since the shop is closed and the weekday caretakers aren't there. As winter approaches, I am already feeling anxiety about keeping them as warm and comfortable as possible. Right now, they only have one small shelter and that just isn't adequate for 11 cats. They also don't have a covered area for food and water. So, I want to purchase 2 insulated feral cat villas and 2 feeding stations from I have two of their villas at my house for our stray crew and they really love them. I also want to get several bales of straw and a few more small shelters to put under a big pine tree that the body shop kitties stay under. Once I get everything purchased, I will spend a day over there cleaning up and creating the coziest, driest environment possible. These kitties are most likely FIV+ (3 have sadly died over the past few months and one tested positive), so it is imperative that they get as much care and comfort as possible. The group of 11 is doing well right now (no sniffling noses or runny eyes) and they have huge appetites.

The sales (100%) of my newest Halloween circus dolls will fund this project. I have completed the giraffe and owl piece and it will be available during the Pfatt Marketplace update this Saturday. I am finishing up the other two and they will be up for grabs for the Spookytime Jingles update at midnight on the 12th.

Jimmy, Calvin, Diesel, Webster, Sarah, Emily, Jenny, Wendy, Speedy, Pete and Lisa thank you for reading about their needs :).

Halloween Giraffe and Owl




Eating in the snow last winter....they now have bowls but they REALLY need the covered feeding stations.

Once I get this project underway, I will post lots of "before" and "after" photos!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cozy photo on a dreary day....

Some of you may have already seen this photo on Facebook, but I had to share it here too. When I walked by the front door yesterday, I saw my front porch crew all lined up snug as bugs in their beds. Mr. Tubbs, Natasha, Rudy and Ramsey are all strays who have bonded together over the past few years. I love them so much and have always told them that they are welcome to come inside, but they prefer their freedom, I guess. Mr. Tubbs runs in every once in awhile, but he gets nervous after awhile and heads out with his buddies.

As a FB friend commented, they looks like rump roasts! That totally cracked me up.

Monday, September 5, 2011

More progress on the Halloween circus....

It is the perfect day to stay in and create....chilly and rainy here in Lexington! This weather is so wacky. It was in the high 90s on Thursday, Friday and Saturday breaking records for September and today a high of 68 is predicted...not exactly a smooth transition to fall. Oh well, I am going to turn on my space heater and speed up the clay drying process so that I can hopefully sand and prime my Halloween circus trio later today.

Happy Labor Day to all of you!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A simple yet poignant quote for Sunday....

I just saw this quote and believe that it speaks volumes about our world today. No need to expound....this sums things up perfectly.

When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,
when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover you cannot eat money.
~ Cree Prophecy ~