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Thread: Wal-mart Kitties

  1. #16
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    Only 'Cinnamon' was there tonight and I really had to coax him to get him to come out to eat. Ended up putting a smaler dish with food in it inside the box I had put there a couple weeks ago. At least he was staying in the box, warm and cozy on the blankets I had put in there for them. It is getting wet from all the rain, inspite of the plastic I have over it, so it looks like I need to get a new box fixed up to replace it with.

    Cinnamon wasn't looking his best either, fur wasn't laying quite right and he was somewhat dirty. He gotten grease on him from somewhere, perhaps from under one of the trailers they have access to.

    Outside of filling the smaller dish I didn't leave a lot of food in the pan, enough that if any of the others showed up after I left they'd know I was still bringing food. There was very little eatten from the pan full I had left on Sunday. It all was dumped out for the birds to eat.

    I think when they all are back and eating well again I will have to put some de-wormer in the food. I have seen evidence that some of them are infested and by using half doses two or three days in a row it should take care of it at leat until Spring.
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  2. #17
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    Momma Kat was back today and VERY impatient to be fed! Cinnamon is still the only youngster there, unless the other two are stying hidden until after I leave.

    When I drove up and saw MK I took a look at the pan of dry food I had left under the one trailer and it was empty. Partially pulled out as well, so who knows for sure who all ate the food.

    Raining again tonight and turning to freezing rain by Wednesday afternoon. Thursday, my next day off, I must try to get their box replaced with a dry one and hope the blankets are still dry. If they aren't, I'll just have to bring them home, run them through the wash, dry them and take them back.

    I've been trying to come up with something else to use besides a cardboard box. I do have a good sized plastic tote, unfortunately it is in use. Then I thought about a 33 gallon plastic trash can. Since I don't have any extra bucks to buy one I may just have to clean up one of the ones I use inside. Wouldn't need the lid as I could attach and old throw rug over the open end and push the bedding all the way to the back. That should keep t, especially if I set the "barrel bed" at the back of the enclosure I made and then draped the plastic table clothes and a large piece of plastic sheeting I found over the top , and perhaps tack it in place, they should have a fairly snug place for winter.

    Will have to see how this idea pans out, might have to make a few adjustments in how I currently have things set up for them, but it just might be worth the extra effort, not only for the felines but for me as well. (Making it easier to feed them and keep the food dry.)

    Don't y'all just love how I "think out loud" on this thread!?!

    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  3. #18
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    Yep, I just love it!

    Your heart and soul is going out to those poor kittens and their Mama, and it shows.

    I enjoy reading about your adventures with these little ones, and I surely hope that all turns out well. I know that 'Blue' stays in the garage when it is cold here.

    Keep us posted on your adventures with the little ones!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  4. #19
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    I knew I was in for a rough go of it when I went to feed the Kitties today as it has been raining and the temperature dropping all day.

    First I had to find out if any one was even around, what with everything being so wet and/or ice covered. At least two were there, but before I could feed them I had to do something about their box and the bedding. I pulled things off (plastic tablecloth) and out and replaced the wet box with a dry one I already had in the car and put the cleaner of the two blankets in it. I pushed it back as far as it would go and stay somewhat protected. This gave me enough room to set their food pan inside the "shelter" made of wooden pallets, and then I placed another pallet in front of the opening, draped a piece of plastic over it as well as the tablecloth and weighted the whole mess down with another pallet scooted over the edge, I also place what was left of the old "bed" so it would fall in front of the pallet and help keep the wind off of everything. To finish everything off, I placed a couple of concrete blocks in front of the upright pallet to keep it from falling down. I had placed their pan of dry food inside before I closed everything up, but there is room to place the pan inside without having to move things.

    When I started this emergency repair, I was dry, my gloves were dry and I WAS using an umbrella. The umbrella was just in the way, so the hood of my jacket went up and I prayed my coat was heavy enough to keep me from getting soaked, which it did, even though it got soaked!

    Y'all got any idea how cold a freezing rain is when the air temp is around 36 and the wind is blowing? Let me put it this way, I wasn't so sure I'd ever be able to feel my fingers again!

    Anyway, I finished up with them then rushed home to feed "Bootsy" and get myself dried off a bit before having to rush back to work.

    Tomorrow I will bundle up extra good and take extra pairs of gloves when I go to re-do the whole thing and replace the cardboard box with something a lot more water resistant and a clean blanket. They'll get moist food tomorrow too and maybe a few extra tidbits. I just hope it has quit raining by then!

    Oh yeah, Momma was there and Cinnamon and I think "Muffin Man" may have been there, but I wasn't waiting around for him to decide to come out to eat. They are all still so skittish and they weren't too thrilled with the weather either! (Momma was pretty wet).


    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  5. #20
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    Sniper, my Baby, is often trying to sneak back outside, She grew up in the garage, and I suppose that is home to her.

    But now, Blue has taken over the garage, and Blue is very protective of her territory.

    Sniper, like lightning, snuck out while I was coming in this evening, and she meowed at me every time I went outside to call her in, but she wouldn't come inside. She likes to hide under the car where it is cool (or warm as the case may be).

    That is until it started to rain. I called her. She meowed. I came inside, and she beat me inside the door.

    Sniper doesn't like cold or wet.

    Once inside, Sniper is my little Baby again, and goes to her bed box to be petted. She is the only one of the three cats who adores having her belly rubbed. She wraps her little paws around my wrist and starts licking my arm while I rub her belly, purring the whole time.

    I sure hope your kitties will be fine!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  6. #21
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    CONVERSATION WITH THE VET AND OTHER RAMBLINGS

    I had a very interesting conversation with my former Vet, he ;left the practice to take a job with the government! He says these feral cats, even kittens are a very hardy lot and that by my supplying them with just one good meal a day and a place to get out of the elements and stay warm when it is so bitterly cold, just makes them that much more able to withstand the elements. (I kind of knew that). He also said that cats, in general, don't need as much water (fluids) as dogs do. Which sort of surprised me until I got to thinking about the origins of our domestic cats, primarily the more arid parts of Egypt and Africa. Then it made some sense to me that all of their natural instincts and deeply ingrained survival systems would easily take over when the cat was left to go it on it's own.

    Of course, he did say that they still have to contend with the usual infections and diseases associated with felines, Feline Leukemia, Feline HIV, various upper respiratory infections, parasites and even predation. There is quite a healthy population of coyote in this county as well as Red-tailed Hawks. Plus the human element, automobiles and various other vehicles, the poisons put out to control vermin, and so forth.

    I had told him about how each of them had gone through a bout with eye infections, but they got through it without any help from me other than making sure they had that one good meal every day. He also said that feral cats seem to have much stronger maternal instincts and don't seem to have many problems birthing and rearing a litter even in the winter months. Again, my supplying food probably triggered Momma Kat's hormones to kick in so she would be able to conceive. If food isn't readily available and in sufficient quantities, the females just don't come into their cycle until the conditions are right. At least with this litter she will have a warmer, dryer place to have and raise her babies.

    If she does have a litter, I will take them early enough that they will be good pets. With my being there on a daily basis to bring food and check up on them they will be somewhat habituated to being around people and should be easier to socialize. We will have to wait and see on that part. I just hope I'll be able to continue to buy food for them and get the occasional package of beef liver to cook for them (they gobble it right up, whereas Baby sticks her nose up at it!)

    It is still raining here and is supposed to change over to snow sometime during the night. The huge, old Maple tree in the lot behind me has a thick coating of ice and every time the winds gusts, you can hear the ice, as possibly twigs and small branches creak and crack. I image there will be a lot of downed limbs and even trees by morning. I hope to be able to take a few pictures of the trees and shrubs while they are still sporting their crystalline covering. Areas North and East of me are being hit much harder and a lot of damage has already been done, and to the South, in Indianapolis, there have been many rescues and evacuations due to flooding. I know in the 10 years I've been here I have never seen the creek swell as quickly or get as high as it is now and stay that way for more than a few hours. My basement does have some wet spots, and I'm sure it will get worse before it gets better.

    I put a towel lined bed on my back stoop and left the common door open enough that if Bootsy decided to venture inside he could get in and have a dry place to sleep. It's pretty nasty out there, so he might do that during the night. He's a smart little cat, even if he is still mad at me!


    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  7. #22
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    That is interesting what the vet told you. Didn't you also give them dewormer at one point ? Sounds like a good plan if you could get the kittens away early enough.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  8. #23
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    I haven't used the dewormer, yet, was waiting for everyone to return to "home".

    This is what I cam up with for their new shelter, looks rather shabby and you don't see the barrel with the blanket or their food dish, but you get the idea.




    Here's what it looks like from the back:




    Come Spring, I'll have to do something else as the blocks and timbers will be moved out to set up the corrals for the plants.

    Always something!

    Sissy was back yesterday, still watching for "Muffin Man" to return.

    Running late for work so gotta go!

    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  9. #24
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    Neat ! I was wondering how you would do that in such a way that it wouldn't be too obvious to any WM weenies.(Every place of work has them). I like that opening, it seems like it would make them feel secure.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  10. #25
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    Everyone was present for feeding today, along with a couple of extras! Ole Black Tom Cat was there, but he made a quick exit when I drove up! And when I took a small dish of food over to one of the other trailers that's near-by for him, there was another orange marmalade kitty, who disappeared even quicker than the tom cat did. I suppose I will start putting food out for those two, but somewhere else!

    "Muffin" was there today and let me pet him, he immediately started to purr, but was more interested in seeing me set the food pan down! 'Sissy", being somewhat bold, was out in the open as well and "Momma Kat" was as demanding as ever! My once friendly "Cinnamon" has become very aloof, but still begged for his food.

    They all seem to be getting comfortable with the new shelter, "Sissy" would still leave when I got a little too close, but as soon as I'd back off, she'd come back out and go back into the shelter to eat.

    Before I left, Lawn and Garden Dept Head, who had been moving a pallet of toys to the trailer, came over to check them out, Sissy did NOT like that one bit! He didn't even get close!

    Before I left I saw Old Tom wrangled his way into the shelter and the food, not that they had left very much for him to eat!


    Needless to say, I feel better now that they are all back and accounted for. I do need to find a different feed pan for them though as the "door-way" isn't quite wide enough to get the foil pan inside without having to bend it a bit. I guess as long as I don't end up spilling their food it will do for now.

    I've already mentioned something to the Dept Head about having to revise the shelter come Spring, and I've already done a couple of rough sketches. If everyone is still there, I'll fix up a better one for them that will give more room for sleeping quarters as well as the food pan. Although at some time they will all (probably) have to be trapped and taken to someone's farm. I don't think upper management would be too keen on the idea of our store being home to a colony of feral cats, even with the benefit they do for the store (greatly reducing the rodent population).

    With the bad press Wal-Mart has had because of what happened to a "stray" cat at one of the Evansville stores, they might have a different attitude about our Wal-Mart Kitties. One of the Associates even told me they thought I should write an article for the Company Newsletter about our kitties. I told them I'd leave that to someone else.

    The ultimate outcome for these guys, if this were a perfect world, would be that they would all be trapped, taken to a Vet, spayed /neutered and then released back to what has been their home. There is one major drawback in this plan though. We will be moving into a new Super Center in 2006. This building already has a new tenant and they just might not take too kindly to having this family of wild cats. Of course, they could be re-located to the new store! (A home in someone's old barn would be better for them though, where they could live out their lives with out fear and with some measure of security.)


    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  11. #26
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    Haven't posted in a few days so thought I'd pop in to let y'all know everyone is doing well. Don't know for sure if everyone came to eat today or not as it was raining at fed time today. It's been raining on and off (more on, than off) all day and with some pretty good gully washers too.

    I did see Muffin when I first walked up to the shelter, but couldn't get him to come back, so it might not have been Muffin. I left their food dry, knowing it would probably get some rain in it and I wanted it to remain edible longer.

    More rain throughout tonight and tomorrow and I think Thursday and then changing to snow on Friday when the Siberian Express is due to arrive. I am just so thrilled - NOT!

    Bootsy had a good breakfast of canned food today and was out begging for more to eat when I got home for lunch, He got dry food as well, I just hope he had enough sense to get inside the shelter to eat it! As soon as I can I plan on making him a bigger "cat house" and set it by the back door, perhaps partially under the steel rack, and then set other things around it so he will feel secure enough to use it. I'll also have to start feeding him there. I need to get him out from under the barn, although I don't expect it to be easy or done over-night.All for today, need to get back to work on sorting all of my daylily images!

    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  12. #27
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    Everyone has been present and accounted for the past few days.

    Everyone was anxious to see me today, apparently, as they were all out, sitting on the pallets waiting and watching. Seems like they all had something to say too! But I think they were gripping about how cold it has been and, no doubt, blaming me for it! Of course no one really wasted any time getting to the food once I had it inside the shelter for them. They all scattered when I had to close up the front wind-break, but they were all back and chowing down by the time I got to the car.

    I think tonight's low is supposed to be well below zero, they'll all be fine, and Bootsy will be too, although I would like to see just exactly where he is sleeping and holing up under that barn! He still refuses to get into the "cat house" I set out for him and only goes in far enough to get to his food dish when I feed him. He'll get a hot breakfast before I leave for work in the morning, I'm sure he'll need a warm-up. I know I will need one! Burr!
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  13. #28
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    Oh, GEE!!!!

    That is TOO, TOO, TOO cold for any animal!

    How in the world can they survive?

    I'm glad they are safe. Keep us posted. It's going to be 24 here tonight, and I am not looking forward that either. I cannot imagine being as cold as you will be up there!

    Brrrrrrr.....

    I'll be glad when the temps get back to normal!!!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  14. #29
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    Better get a hot water bottle ready and handy, 'cause it's gonna



    get





    down



    to



    -10 here tonight!




    Wow, 24 would feel wonderful!


    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  15. #30
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    Oh, my goodness, Rebecca!!!

    Yes, 24 is nothing compared to the cold you are feeling. In fact, I think it only actually got down to 27-28 degrees, and for me, that was cold enough. Another 27 degrees forecasted for tonight. I am tired of it already.

    Maybe, just maybe, I can blow some warm Gulf Breeze up to your area of the country, and those minus / zeros will go away!

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could all have wonderful middle temperatures, a little cold, a little warm, not too much cold for too long, not too much hot for too long?

    Still, winter's are even hard for me. There is no beautiful snow. We do have a lot of green, but not as many flowers, and I do love flowers and color.

    Hang in there! Spring is just around the corner, and new growth is on the way...
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


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