(9-8 I’ve added a few pictures and a bit more ending to the story at the bottom. Thanks folks for all the nice comments here and at other posts for this little dude, he really is a great kiddo, and I think he’ll grow into a handsome, affectionate gentleman with a great sense of play. This ongoing page originally started August 24.)
I know I’ve talked about him in other posts, so I’ll redirect you there if you want the long story of a kitten I heard mewing in a tree while jogging, spent an evening with a precariously placed set of ladders, a few days checking in on an independently descended kitten, and then a victorious afternoon visit on a wet, lonely, hungry, oh, all right, you can be my new mommy-friend-human-thing just feed me and cuddle me kitten.
Here are the repeat pictures, ones I’ve already posted.
I’m starting this page on the 24th of August, but am having to do cat(sup) for a lot of posts, and this is one of them. Here are the next batch I have to post here, and I’ll update as I go along through the catching up and continuing….The next ones are from July 26.
Updating on Aug. 30, from July 29.
9-8 The following (unless otherwise noted) was posted 9-8, but comes from other dates.
Here ya go folks, here’s a great little picture or two of him from July 30.
And here comes a video. The odd panting in the background is either (or both) Ralf or Kyle, they came along for the ride. They always love car rides, even if they’re totally not getting anything more than a ride in the car and never get out when we stop. It’s still exciting and mentally interesting for them… but anyway, it was a warm day, and the windows were down (the ones they couldn’t jump out of!) and therefore they were excited and warm and definitely panty!
However, this is Jezza’s page, and the video is about him. As you can see, he’s totally chill about being in a crate, in a moving car. He probably did like that he could see me. I think at one point in the video he spots a little dot of light coming through the crate vents, and he seemed like he wanted to play with it.
And about 3-4 weeks ago now (before Sept. 8) I met the lady who is fostering him, and she said he was doing great, had been negative for the FIV etc. illnesses they screen for which meant he was allowed to run and play with a bunch of other foster kittens about his age. (I was happy about this for many reasons… one being that if a cat tests positive for FIV or Feline Leukemia, they immediately euthanize. Which sounds horrible, but I understand–both those illnesses are not curable, and really mess up a cat, and are contagious. One of the is essentially like AIDS for cats… both are invariable fatal (or the ultimate cause, even if it’s actually a secondary infection that kills the cat… I mean, I suppose the cat could become road kill and that wouldn’t be due to FIV, but you get my gist…) This just another reason to SPAY or NEUTER YOUR PETS, cats included. Because when I worked at UPAWS in Michigan, we didn’t euthanize, we just isolated and then kept those kitties around. And it meant that each time we cleaned those cages, we had to do extra steps to clean our hands etc, between them, we had to clean their stuff last, those cats usually spent MONTHS and months at the shelter, being looked over and passed by in favor of healthier cats. It meant no fun for the cats, it meant that any adopter would have to either have no cats already, or have cats already with that illness. It meant that those cats spend a long time at the shelter, which despite the amazing efforts of the staff and volunteers to make life better there, is still no fun for a cat. And it meant that we had those cages full of cat for long periods of time, which meant another cat at the shelter. Luckily for ‘us’ (and I say us because it was ‘us’ when I was there and a part of the team, also because I still feel attached in the soul to that place and those people, both furry and less furry), lucky for us, the community was soooooo great, and we were able to maintain a pretty amazing no kill record there, and were able to support those kitties as long as we needed… but we had our own facilities and the ability to keep those cats quarantined… I totally understand that Rainbow Animal Refuge has to make a harsh decision, and that in the rare occasion that a cat tests positive for one of those diseases, they choose to give a kitten a humane and dignified end to it’s life, and reduce the risk to the rest of the feline population of spreading the disease, as well as allow them to increase the number of other, healthier cats they can help. I wish it were otherwise, but remember folks, at one point when I had Jezza, one single ONE SINGLE one single foster for the Rainbow Animal Refuge had FORTY forty FORTY (as in 10 x 4 = 40) kittens in their home they were fostering. That was just one of the many amazing people who foster for the refuge…so hey folks, SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR PETS so there’s not so many needing homes. DON’T DUMP THEM!!
And I know there are a lot of people out there with barns or whatever, living in the country (especially farmland) who have barn cats…which may or may not be pets. I just want to say that there are a lot of programs out there that can help get those critters spayed or neutered at low costs. Sometimes this includes vaccinations. Like around here, I’ve gone to Operation Spay Neuter to get our additions to our family (Indy, Echo, and Nim) altered, and they helped because they were strays.
I know there are a lot of feral cats out there, ones who have somehow ended up fending for themselves, whether dumped or born to it, who are breeding. But I’m totally a believer in the ‘trap-neuter-release’ philosophy… the essential theory being you’ll never totally get rid of the feral cat population without say, totally doing a scorched earth policy for the entire continent… (I’m not kidding, I think that’s what it would take to completely get rid of every feral cat–I’ not saying it’s a good idea, it’s not, it’s horrible). So instead of trying to get rid of it, it’s more feasible to manage it. Since cats tend to hold territory, and territory, resources, food, etc. are limited resources, if you can keep the ones who have it from breeding, you can at least reduce the number of cats out there… and while it may sound a bit awful, it means that there are less kittens being born into the wild, to either die young, be rehabbed and rehomed, or to grow into breeding adults. This is one reason why I, who tend to believe that cat’s shouldn’t be outdoors, I allow mine outdoors. I live far enough from my neighbors that they (as far as I know) they’re not metaphorically digging in their flower beds and leaving kitty bombs, they’re not mugging them for treats, or otherwise being annoying to the neighbors, and 3 of the 4 of my cats were ‘wild’ cats when they arrived…and there are lots of other wild cats in the area. However, with my cats claiming this area, and it’s resources, I have seen fewer and fewer feral cats in our close area. And that means that the cats claiming this area have a home, they are vaccinated against some of the major illnesses, they have vet care when needed, they come in when they want company or a safe place to sleep…
And it means that I suffer totally soul wrenching terror when I hear a car suddenly slow down in front of the house, especially if I hear honking (honking only happened once, I suspect it might have been the chickens). It means I accept that I may never, ever see one or more of my fuzzy soul buddies ever again at any moment… Or I may see them as road kill, or I may find them licking wounds on the porch…which necessitate a vet trip, which may be the last vet trip. And it means that around every 3 days, I’m left a dead small mammal on the porch or the yard in front of the porch (I’m still not sure if this is because they think I’m inept and can’t feed myself, if they’re showing off how prowess-y they are, if they are bringing them home to teach me, or to prove their worth…or to share with the other critters. And I hate even more, about once a month, they bring home a bird…which I HATE, and try to lecture the cats (I think it’s Indy’s specialty but not always her). I tell myself that whether or not I had cats in my care, there would be feral cats doing this…but I don’t feel much better. I do have to say that Gnarly does tend to eat most of what he brings home… he sometimes meows to announce his incomiWEng, sometimes not, but I suspect he likes to eat in an area that he feels more secure in…
Well, anyways, that’s a bit more of a personal cat philosophy rant than I was planning to make… but I would like to add one last thing to round it off. I totally do think that indoor cats are better, and it’s better for them, but you also have to remember that a cat, whatever it’s shape, size, hair length, or ancestry, is still about a daydream away from being a quite efficient little killing machine…and just like with dogs or just about anything else, being stuck in a boring box doing nothing will drive a lot of them nuts and then screws come loose and behaviors crop up which may be not desirable… so you need to give them mental stimulation and exercise. If I’m ever living with my cats in a place more in line with indoor cats (and needing less rodent control) I’m hoping I can make them an outdoor cattery… like a large screened porch/run area where they can’t get out, but they can feel grass under their paws, nibble a bit if they want, smell the breeze, and do some climbing, lounging, and other stuff in the sun. Aaaannnnd, well, I think that’s probably a good deal more than anyone wanted to read about my cat philosophy.
But here’s the last bit of updates for Jezza… I just peeked over at the Rainbow Animal Refuge facebook page, and I’m pretty sure they’ve just posted Jezza on there, only they’ve changed his name to Zuka… And I’m trying not to be a bit upset about that, ’cause I kept him for more than a month, and don’t have any fundraisers or whatever to help pay for his care (or the flea stuff I had to use and am still using to knock out the remainders which suddenly showed up with him and I couldn’t knock out on him ’cause he was too young and I couldn’t isolate him) but then again, they’re the ones living with him now, and he’s probably not caring what they call him. Plus, Zuka is at least not a common name like Harry or Shadow or Mittens or Boots… which are fine names for cats, but I tend to do the unicorn thing and take the road less traveled (or make my own, metaphorically). Plus, they got him neutered already, and vaccinated, and are finding him a home…so it’s not like they haven’t put emotional and otherwise investments in him… and besides, he’ll probably end up with a totally new name when he gets a furrever home… and hey, it’s just a name. He’s still Jezza to me! But I’ll mention it here because if you’ve decided you want him, that’s how to find him.
So until I hear more (which I may or may not), that’s a pause in this story, it sounds like a happy ending is in the works for him. Thanks y’all for your interest.