Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Colony

There were supposed to be just 16 unfixed cats at the colony I was referred to, in Harrisburg.  Including kittens.

I had taken only nine traps when I went down Tuesday to trap.  I had only five reservations yesterday with the FCCO for fixing.  But we are getting a 3 punch storm system moving into our area and I knew trapping today would probably be futile, due to the heavy rains and winds predicted.

When I saw the overwhelming number of cats, and tiny kittens fighting for the food too, I set to work.  I knew with the upcoming storms, I better get them all and as I trapped, I was also working over in my mind where and how I could comfortably house them all til they could all be fixed.  And I was texting photos of the tiny kittens to rescues, asking if they might be able to take any in.  I got an instant response from Animal Rescue and Care Fund.  I was incredibly relieved.

 In a couple hours, I had 22 cats and kittens caught.   I hand grabbed some of the tinies, and dug some laboriously out of a spider crawling woodpile.

With so few traps, and even fewer transfer traps, with which to transfer cats out of the drop trap, I doubled up cats in traps, then tripled up.  In the end, I had six young cats in one trap, four in another and so on.

I went home with the 22, to get them set up and because Julie had wrangled two kittens of the seven left at the residential colony in Waterloo, and left them in a carrier outside my place, since she had to go to work.

I found them doing well, a brown tabby and a little gray guy.  The little gray boy kitten is darling and very loving.  Fell in love.....

Waterloo boy kitten
Waterloo boy brown tabby out front with six of the seven tinies from the Harrisburg colony.  Of the seven from Harrisburg, six were girls, including that orange tabby in the back!
They all had URI's, but fortunately, yesterday, when I went to the FCCO with five of the Harrisburg colony cats, Animal Rescue and Care Fund took in all nine of the kittens.  They have helped so much with the Waterloo kittens and now with these Harrisburg little ones, plus two more from Waterloo.

I situated the teens and adults of the 22, in cages in my garage, plus getting the Waterloo boys set up in my bathroom, along with the tinies from Harrisburg.  I even vaccinated, wormed and flea treated the two boys.  I didn't vaccinate the Harrisburg crew of kittens since they had the eye issues I didn't want to make worse, but flea treated and round wormed them and got a start with eye meds.

Then I went back down and caught five more, including the last tiny, the little orange tabby girl.  I thought I was done and folded up the drop trap.  But as I was leaving, a teen orange and white showed up.  I left them a trap, ready to go, and during the day yesterday, they caught him.  I pick him up today, when I return the fixed seven.   In addition there are at least three cats with ear tips they feed, whom I got fixed four years ago.

I not only got five of the 27 I had from the colony fixed at the FCCO, but a Brooks woman, who helps cats, offered up her two Willamette Humane reservations, so two more were done there.  I met her, on the way to Portland, at WHS, and she even registered the cats and picked them up after surgery.  Later, on the way home from a long day in Portland, I picked them up from her at her home.  She had a surprise waiting!  Several bags of dry food she had recruited during the day to give the Harrisburg couple to help them feed the colony.

I arrive home, to find 10 bags of dry cat food bags piled in a chair by my garage, donated by an Albany woman.  I was floored and very happy and grateful.

The first seven are now fixed.  Four boys and three girls, and they go home today.  Seven kittens from the colony are now safe and dry and well fed and warm.   Along with two more Waterloo kittens.
Bradley, a big black tux male, one of two fixed yesterday at Willamette Humane.
Samoa, another male, fixed also at Willamette Humane

Calico female fixed yesterday at the FCCO

That's a great start!   I still have 13 colony cats in my garage and will pick up another, the orange and white they trapped yesterday, today, when I return the seven fixed cats.   Three of the remaining 14 I will take to the same Brooks woman who helped with 2 yesterday.  I will choose three in most need, as they will be fixed tomorrow at whs and she will keep them in her large contained cattery.  They won't go back.

The colony caretakers, an older couple on social security were quite happy to relinquish the seven six week old kittens and the three young teens.  That's ten less cats to feed.  And now I have many cat food donations to help them feed the rest.   So many people have helped, with food, with taking the kittens, by giving over spay neuter reservations.

So the 11 others I will be left with, from the colony, will travel with me to the FCCO Friday, along with 8 cats from a Tangent barn, to be fixed.  That is if we haven't washed away here, from the tons of rain coming down.  Or blown away.  The 2nd punch of these three storms hits Saturday and there are concerns about Saturday afternoon and night.

Some forecasters claim we are in for an extreme wind event with winds close to 90 or 100 mph.  Such high winds are not uncommon on the coast but could be devastating in the valley.  Oregon is full of big trees and high winds often topple them by the score.  I think of the Maple and Birch trees out back and hope for the best.

Forecasts can be wrong.  We shall see.

On another note, Panda is doing quite well.  She still drools a bit.  I do believe she fell and popped her lower jaw apart at the front juncture.  It is a common injury to cats but the treatment now, a vet told me, is to let it heal on its own. I believe this led to dehydration, which led to extreme constipation.  I could be all wrong about it.   She is doing just fine, eating, drinking, and acting like nothing happened.


  1. As many people out there that are irresponsible and uncaring, it's nice to hear about some others that aren't. Once again, you do amazing work.

  2. How nice that you got some help.
    And wonderful news about Panda. I didn't realise that was a common injury - and it would certainly put me off eating/drinking.

  3. All in a days work for you, but I am impressed. Good to hear Panda is ok.

  4. My jaw literally dropped at reading this. You are such a blessing to these dear creatures. Best wishes to Panda and for your protection through the storms.