Savannah's Paw Tracks

Autobiography of a Former Shelter Cat

Archive for the tag “Community Cats”

The Story of Sam aka Samantha

HIYA!!   SAVANNAH HERE!!!

And what a tail tale I have to share with you all!! Remember I mentioned the park colony cat Mom L and her pals have been trying to trap? Sick and injured??

Well today if you will spare the time to read my very long post about “his” capture, you truly won’t be disappointed!

This tale is told by a marvelous volunteer with my Project Delta View Cats effort. We manage a cat colony at a city park in our little city on the magnificent California Delta.

This story is being told in the words of our park colony manager and feeder, Miss Jane.

HEAR YE! HEAR YE! LET THE BELLS RING OUT IN KITTY CAT KINGDOM!

Sam the Cat has been caught, having been enveloped in love by Angela, the keeper of the sacred net. He was plopped from net into Linda’s carrier, and as she closed the lid, Sam barely put up any argument. He is a sweetheart kitty. He is being lovingly monitored and stowed away overnight at Linda’s and tomorrow he’s off down the yellow brick road to see the doctor whom we hope is a wizard that can give him the gift of health! He will need our loving thoughts tonight and tomorrow.

What an ending, right???

Now, let’s back up just a bit for some of the background story in Miss Jane’s own words:

“He had blood on his fur from the wound on his neck and pus filling his eyes and overflowing onto his fur.

Over the next few days, he had cleaned off the blood but the neck wound was rapidly losing fur as it blew up into a swollen bump the diameter of a tennis ball. We had all tried catching him at Feeder #3 with no luck. So I went about my usual feeding pattern at Feeder #4, but this time I sat down on the ground next to the feeder. I put out wet food (enough to fill the tummies of all the cats—(about 13, as I recall).

I used a couple large flat pans on the ground next to the feeder and a few individual little dishes for the likes of Garfield and Opal (our senior and very shy cats). There was no attempt to catch Sam who, as previously mentioned, likes to eat on the other side of the hill. The next day it was rinse and repeat with Angela there, a gracious lady who offered to help us net him. I may have the exact timing of things off a little because it’s become a bit of a blur as we were all so tired at this point. Three weeks trying to catch a kitty who didn’t realize we were going to help him.

Every single time Angela, keeper of the sacred net, moved even a foot, Sam would bolt. It was at that point that we knew if we couldn’t catch him at the very least, we needed to get some medicine in him.. Linda had some leftover chilled antibiotics, so the next day we put out some salmon pate with the medicine in it.

In the past I had gotten Sam to eat at the base of Feeder #3 while I sat next to him. And there are fewer cats that eat there.

This time I showed him the dish, put it down and moved away. He gobbled up the whole thing in a snap. The next day we did the same thing and he ate the purposely small amount of medicine-laced food. What was fascinating was how quickly the swollen area on his neck had gone down, although he still had a five-inch patch of furless skin.

I knew from previous times he would come back for more food, so I carried a new dish forward to the right side of Feeder 3. Angela was right behind me with her net. Sam was on the hill watching us.

As I knelt down, Angela said, “Cover me. I’m right behind you.” She said, “Keep talking to him, Janie. Keep talking to him.” Thus, Sam was focused on me and the food, but not Angela and the net. Angela and I became one, so to speak, in Sam’s eyes.

I threw bits of sardine Linda had prepared to bring him closer and he loved that.

He warily moved closer and closer until he decided to take a chance and snatch a big piece of the salmon/sardine repast Linda had put together.

He sort of turned away from us as he ate it, and Angela was able to ever-so-slowly bring her net down, inch by inch by inch as he snatched bite after bite and I’m still talking in a low, soothing voice to him.

Angela was laser-focused the whole time. Now the net is so close, angled vertically with net hanging about six inches above the ground. Sam looked at it for a second but went back to his food. I thought that any second Angela was going to go for it, but she held off as she tilted the net so as to be almost horizontal to the ground over his body. I made a tiny shift in my kneeling position and he flinched; but I’m still talking, Sam’s still eating, now oblivious to her net.

And that’s what Angela was waiting for—for him to become immersed in his eating. Then BAM!!! The net hits the ground with Sammy inside!

I stepped down hard on the handle. Angela says, “Keep talking to him Janie.” She yells to Linda to bring the towel to put over the net, which Linda had already second-guessed her and was running towards us with it. Sam was thrashing but not as bad as a true feral cat might. She threw the towel over the net. We breathe for a second and exhale mightily and let out some godawful guttural laugh!!!

WE FINALLY CAN HELP SAM!!!

Sam’s trapped on the ground, netting and towel covering him. Linda brought the carrier, opening the top. Angela had pulled the netting underneath so as to enclose Sam in it, all the while keeping him pinned to the ground. Towel still on top. She instructed me to move with her, as she has the cat by the scruff and the net, and I’m holding the handle of the net. In one rapid movement we moved Sam and net over the carrier opening and Angela deposited Sam into it.

The sheer mixture of relief, exuberance, exhaustion and triumph hit all of us at the same time.

As you can imagine, we couldn’t have got him without Angela’s sacred net, particularly because Sam is “anti-trap”. That cat wouldn’t go near the trap no matter how many places we staged it, electronic gizmos, or bribes we offered. He was having none of it!

And the experience of seeing a cat netted was truly exciting!

The rest of the cats are well fed, happy and getting fat in their pastoral residence. All’s well in kitty cat kingdom.

Sleep well, dear humans.”

Isn’t Miss Jane a wonderful story teller!!

PAW PATS, SAVANNAH

UPDATE: Sam is now “Samantha”!!! “He” is a “she”!!! She will be released soon from the care of our county animal services and hopefully we can get her a dental for her stomatitis before we must release her back to our colony.

Her neck wound is from a bite. It became so infected and must have internalized, because what we saw as discharge from her eyes and nose was really pus from the internal abscess that was emerging from her olfactory passages.

A Happy Tails Ending for Foster/Rescue Penelope!!

HIYA!!   SAVANNAH HERE!!!

Remember the little news I gave you about an abandoned kitty we named Penelope and we helped in our neighborhood about three or four weeks ago?

Penelope was not spayed, was pregnant with three kittens and appeared to have been declawed. She also displayed very aggressive behavior toward Mom L where she lived in a large cage in her office. Both Mom L and Dad P received several bites that went deep enough to draw blood.

If you work with any feline shelter, rescue, public shelter then you know that “biting” that draws blood will end a cat in quarantine and likely euthanasia. And given that we thought Penelope was declawed we knew we ought not to return her to the outdoors where she had been abandoned.

What to do?? Kit Katie still needs a great deal of attention to help her get beyond being so hand shy. Mom L and Dad P could not foster Penelope long term and could not take her to our county animal services. Fortunately we have a very experienced Director at our animal services and we sought her, and other’s, advice and counsel including the shelter  Chief Veterinarian.

Long story short, we determined Penelope deserved an opportunity to live her life within her own abilities and we asked the neighbor who found her if she would allow us to return Penelope to her as an outdoor cat. Miss Debbie agreed quickly.

About this time, we learned that Penelope HAS CLAWS!! All this time, even though she was biting, she never ever used her claws. Mom L observed her using a cardboard scratcher and heard little claws “rip, rip, rip”! Penelope’s claws had been trimmed back past the quick, almost to the sheath!!! How painful!!! No wonder she was biting!!

Mom L and Dad P set Penelope up in a large cage on Miss Debbie’s front porch. We thought she would spend several days here being fed and getting to know the sound and smells so we could release her.

Well Miss Debbie and Penelope had a whole other set of thoughts in mind!! MOL!!!

Miss Debbie found she could open the cage, clean the litter box, give Penelope her wet food and Penelope never moved from her side. Penelope ate outside the cage and gladly returned to it once it was cleaned.

Standing outside the cage

Miss Debbie spent lots of time sitting next to Penelope’s cage and talking with her. And then she decided it was time for Penelope to come inside and meet their resident cat, Frankie and learn whether or not Penelope could be her inside lap cat.

What a change!!! Yes, Penelope is aggressive toward Frankie. Yes, Penelope still tries to bite. Yes Penelope loves a lap. Yes, Penelope has found a patient, loving human, Miss Debbie, who is working with her to bring her inside forever.

You can see that Penelope enjoys being inside. She also enjoys a nice lap and gives paw hugs to show her appreciation for a kind, patient human.

Dad P and Mom L took down the outdoor cage today, and Penelope is living in Miss Debbie’s office for now. They will keep on working to hopefully make Penelope trust that she is safe once again. But, even if she cannot adjust to being inside and cease her aggressive behaviors, she has found her forever home!

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Welcome home Penelope!!

PAW PATS, SAVANNAH

Boldness Part Two!

HIYA!!   SAVANNAH HERE!!!

I know, I keep harping on the same old subject but come on my pals, how much more do I have to take in my own castle??!!

Banished from my own couch!

See that? There I am, forlorn, in a sun puddle on the FLOOR!!! Know why???

THAT’S WHY!!!! Kit Katie is takin’ over my place, using my special towel that Mom L puts there for ME in the Summer when I don’t need my blue afghan anymore. KK gets there first and stakes out a spot and I am left on the floor! I ask you, what’s fair about this??

Why only today, Mom L had to walk toward KK to get her to dash away. You see ever since Mom L and Dad P had to use so many meds on her draining eye, she has become hand shy again. So they are workin’ on her for that, but thankfully for now when Mom L approached MY COUCH KK ran. Then Mom L sat down and invited me up to my personal spot.

Finally I could settle in for my nice long morning nap downstairs, on MY COUCH, where it is cooler on this hot Summer day. Then I hear the softest paw pat on my nice cool towel. And I feel something moving slowly past me on MY COUCH. I peek open an eye and what do I see??!!!

The gall!! Sneak past me and steal my space!

And now let’s make matters worse. Check out this!!

Both of them!!

And if this isn’t bad enough, I have also had to tolerate KK and TKS trying to sneak closer to my tent on my bed.

What? She couldn’t find another place to nap???

KK also comes right up in the morning when I get my morning snack along with TKS. KK acts like she is part of our family. What?? Did I just say that?? *slaps paw to forehead*—please tell me this ain’t so!

Good morning Princess Savvy. How was your treat?

So you see my life is becoming more and more intruded upon. Everywhere I got, KK wants to be right there and then, after she shows up, here comes TKS. Sheesh! What am I ever gonna do??

Now we are practically nose to nose!

As you can see in the photo above, KK was even bold enough this morning to turn around and face me—on MY COUCH!! *shudders* This is getting really hard to take my pals, really hard. What can I do??

PAW PATS, SAVANNAH

PeeEss—Mom L here…Katie’s eye has apparently cleared up with the antibiotics so that her tear duct is no longer clogged. She still has her limp and gingivitis, but all in all this is the most healthy she has been since coming to us eleven months ago. For all intent and purpose Kit Katie is now home. For good.

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