Home rule

 

Monkey Lee, our senior cat is now 13 years old.  He was rescued when his mother, who was a community cat was killed by a car, and his litter was rescued by the Humane Society and bottle fed until they were old enough to be adopted.

Charles is a trucker and he wanted company in the truck while he was on the road.  After searching we ended up at the Humane Society where there were 4 cute little kittens in a cage.

Three of the kittens were doing everything possible to get Charles attention, but it was the one back in the corner trying to get a nap that attracted his attention.  

After a short time a bond was formed, and where Charles was not aware, he had just agreed to a lifetime of making sure that Monkey Lee was the center of Charles's world. 

For several years Charles and Monkey traveled the roads of the United States, with Charles catering to every whim Monkey may have.  Monkey's toys were passed down to the cats at home when he got tired of them.  And it has only been recent that Monkey has decided that I may not be so bad and has started to accept my attention without hissing at me.  

Several times Monkey had Charles in a panic.  One time while on the road for a period of time longer than usual, Monkey became "sick".  It at the time when there was the first major scare of recalled can cat food.  Twice each day I had to check the list to make sure that none of the food sent with Monkey, was on the recall list.  Needless to say, it never was.  I had to go over everything he had to look for in case Monkey became sick.  Well, came the time that Monkey wanted his "Home" time to play with the other cats.  So Monkey became "sick"  He refused to play, refused to eat and he just laid quiet and did nothing.  Charles was in a panic and quickly arranged a load home.  The soonest he could arrive was Saturday, so I had to make a call to the vet to be sure that Monkey could be treated ASAP.  The Vet agreed to return to the office if they arrived home after hours if needed.  They arrive and we had to stop at home so I could call the vet and we went inside and Charles put Monkey on the floor.  At which point Monkey ran into the kitchen and proceeded to chow down.  He was hungry, but he had gotten what he wanted.  He was home.

Another time, we had just moved over the weekend and I had to return to work on Monday.  That afternoon I received a panic call from Charles, he couldn't find Monkey.  He had looked everywhere, he had been looking and calling for hours.  He had even tried opening a can of food to tempt Monkey.  No Monkey.  Charles was convinced that somehow, Monkey had gotten outside and was lost forever.  His best friend was lost in the wild world all alone and scared. As I tried calming Charles down, letting him know that I couldn't leave work to look for a cat, there was a noise.  Charles looked down and not two feet from where he was standing, was Monkey.  Monkey had decided to take a nap and it was not worth getting up to answer Charles.

My major time with Monkey was when after several years, Charles went back on the road.  He had been gone for several weeks and Monkey stopped eating, he barely moved.  He was losing weight.  I would check him several times a day to make sure he was still breathing.  Losing Monkey became an unbearable thought.  Shortly before Charles came home, I noticed that Monkey was sitting at the door to the deck where I was feeding the community cats.  It seemed that he was talking under the door.  And one morning as I opened the door to take food outside, in walks this little cat. He ran over to the food dish inside and my inside cats just moved back and let him eat his fill.  Well, Monkey again got what he wanted, a new friend.  A short time later a second cat came in with frostbite on his foot, and again Monkey took the new cat under his wing

Monkey has a new job. He is now the therapy cat for rescued cats and kittens we take in. He does a wonderful job calming and protecting both young and terrified cats and kittens which cross our door.   

As you can teach an old dog (or in this case an old cat) new tricks

Our little lady

 

Baby Girl is about 8 years old.  She came from a long line of community cats and distrust of humans has been deeply instilled in her makeup.  She came from the colony that lived near my work in Bradenton.  And the mother had her kittens in a supply yard in some pipes.  One day our installers were loading supplies and came across the litter, about 4 months old.

 I called home to get permission to bring one home and was told to make sure to get a female.  At the time all our cats were male since our only female Princess had recently died at the age of 16.  Well, the only female I brought home.  Her name was supposed to be Duchess, but Baby Girl stuck and to this day she is our Baby Girl.  

Now Baby Girl has never been totally socialized.  And I have always had to tread softly with her. But I noticed that when she had catnip, she was friendly.  So I started giving her catnip more often and it got so she asked for it.  She is a lovebug with me now but still very wary of any other humans.

Then I tried the treat thing, hoping to build her weight up, but after all the tests and treatments, it has been determined that she is just a thin cat.   The treats have been a major problem.  It seems that the other cats love them and if I won't give treats out, they run to Baby Girl and she comes and asks for them.  Seems all the cats know that I will hand out treats to Baby Girl upon her asking.  

Recently by accident Baby Girl got outside and I was in a big panic.  It is hard enough handling her inside, but outside scared me to death.  Well, it got dark so I had to give up for the night.  The next morning, when I opened the door to put food out for the outside cats, in walked Baby Girl.  Strangely since then, she has been more outgoing and friendly.  She has lost a lot of her timid attitude and is more willing to stand up to the other cats when they try to bully her.

Baby Girl is finally coming into her own.

In Florida, there is a special tag you can get for Spay/Neuter support.  The funds from this tax help TNR groups and help those unable to afford spay/neuter to have it done at little or no cost.  Recently Gulf Shore with the support of the Humane Society was able to go into the zip code that Baby Girl came from and TNR nearly 100 community cats in 1 month.

Daddy's little girl

 

Sassy is the first rescue in Mn. The economy in Florida had gotten very bad and it was next to impossible for Charles to get a trucking job. Since there is little factory work in Florida, loads come in but few leave. So Trucking companies were not hiring below I10. Charles came from this area and his grandparents had a home in Pequot Lakes, and with their passing his father had control of the property. Charles came up first to see if he would be able to get a job, and it was planned for me to follow in a month or so.

Charles was very lucky and quickly got a temp job at a recycle place and was quite happy because it was long term. One day as he was doing his usual morning job of picking up all the litter along the driveway, a little tabby kitten came up and starting yelling at him. Charles had no clue what to do because this was his first rescue. But he w, s afraid it would not live long if he didn't do something. So he took this little dirty flea ridden screaming puff of fur home.

After the first of many calls, the kitten received her first bath. She learned very quickly that she loved canned Fancy Feast. So I knew she was going to make it even with inexperienced care. After I arrived a few weeks later, I discovered that Sassy must have had her eyes open

Because of her yelling every time she didn't get her way, her name became Sassy. And to this day she still has quite a mouth on her.

As it happens with most rescuers, Sassy became a very special kitten in Charle's heart. I tease him by saying that Sassy is his daughter. And where Monkey is his best friend, Sassy is his little girl to be spoiled like all fathers spoil their youngest daughter. Monkey may have a trucker's attitude, but Sassy has a spoiled child's attitude. Thank goodness Monkey took Sassy under his wing because she was so small because both thought that they should be the center of Charles's world.

Sassy to this day still has an attitude, she is the spoiled princess and everyone knows it. And she is still the baby no matter how many are younger than she is.

head in the clouds

 

Sweet Pea, oh how to describe Sweet Pea. Everyone knows of a child that always seems to have their head in the clouds. That is Sweet Pea. She was Charles's second rescue from the same place as Sassy came from. As Charles was doing his usual morning job of picking up litter, in the middle of the road was this little gray kitten. I had just arrived from Florida a couple of days before. And when Charles called home is see if he could bring her home, of course, I said yes.

Our goal was to get her cleaned up and old enough to find her forever home. Sweet Pea, however, did not seem to be all there. She would walk past the litter box and the food dishes to yell at us. We would pick her up and place her in the litter box and if she jumped out, we would then placed her in front of the food. This and the fact if we were not quick enough she would use the floor instead of the litter box.

We were at out wit's end. We knew we couldn't find a home for her like this and we couldn't keep her.

Then one morning which was the deadline when I was going to take her to the shelter, I woke up to see her getting ready to use the floor again, when one of our male cats walked over to her, picked her up by the scruff of the neck and took her to the litter box. He dug a hole making a big show of it and waited until she was done and then covered her mess. She quietly watched him. And never again have we had a problem with Sweet Pea not using the litter box.

About this time we also discovered, that she was quite a bit younger than we thought. In fact, she barely had her eyes open so all she could see was shadows. That was the reason she couldn't see the food dish.

As we grew used to Sweet Pea, we discovered that she lived in her own little world, and sometimes her world and ours actually met. We discovered that not only was she not learning impaired, she was too smart for our own good.

One day I caught her trying to pull up the pull tab on the canned cat food. We have to be careful with doors because she can learn how to open them. She is a very sweet laid back cat who floats along on her own personal cloud. She has open just about every cabinet to check things out. And I just know she counts the canned cat food. She will go through the grocery bags when I come in and check for "her" cans. And she does not mistake tuna cans for hers

There are some cats that are people cats and some cats that are cat cats. Sweet Pea is a floating on cloud cat. She lives by no rules but the ones she sees at that moment.

A cat's pet

 

If I say we have a strange household, you have to believe me. And the story of Junior proves it. Junior's name is really Monkey Junior. As you remember Monkey is a retired trucking cat, who had to retire due to his age.

And where Charles was able to go back to the road, his trusty sidekick Monkey was left behind. As winter progressed, Monkey was slowly sliding downhill and I was quite worried about him. About the only thing that seemed to perk him up was talking under the door to the colony of cats outside. He was able to talk 2 in and they spent the winter inside. During this time Monkey was well on the way to mending. He took the two under his wing and he now had a purpose.

This ended as all things must and the two cats went on to forever homes. And Monkey slid back into a funk. A Family meeting was called and it was decided that Monkey needed a pet.

So we went looking for him a kitten to take under his wing. Finally, a friend found a likely prospect and a play date was set up. The play date was an instant hit. Monkey again was in his element. And this is how our cat has a cat for a pet. Junior was now part of the family.

There is only one problem with Junior, that he is spoiled rotten and Monkey spoiled him. No one is allowed to correct Junior but Monkey, at risk of losing a hand or leg.

Because of Monkey's support Junior fully expects to do whatever he wants. And he is quite surprised when he hears the hated word NO. He does not believe that word applies to him. And if I am so cruel to use it, Junior runs to Monkey to tattle.

Now I am sad to say that Junior is not the brightest cat in the world, in fact, he is usually on the receiving end of other cats playing tricks on him.

I think the funniest one is the one Sweet Pea has played several times on him. Sweet Pea takes great care to show him how to get up and slip his front claws under the edge of the fish tank lid and lifts it up. The lid is lending on Juniors back and he leans in to drink the water and Sweet Pea pushes him in.

Now okay, most would fall for this trick once, maybe even twice. But Junior has fallen for this trick at least four times that I have seen.

Junior may not be bright, but he sure is stubborn. If he decides that he is going to do something, he will move heaven and hell to do it. And he is one cat that has total tunnel vision when on a quest that only he understands.

For Junior, everyone must love him because Monkey said so. The world is a huge toy box and everything is to be played with. Monkey has informed him that he is entitled to a full tummy, a warm bed, and all the petting and love he wants and unlimited play time.

And Junior plans on living each moment to its fullest

Hey Mariann

Mariann is going to be a special needs kitten, it appears her tail has been broken in 2 places.  Front half is black and back half is tortie shell.  Approx 7 months old.  Somehow she managed to stop off where Momma has her last (I hope very last) litter of kittens and Momma adopted her.  Very timid

 

UPDATE:  No longer timid, has turned into a real love bug.  And she is loved by everyone just like Mariann on Gilligan's Island

 

Due to an injury Mariann has lost most of her tail, but she doesn't let that stop her.

spayed and vetted

Twin

Twin is a very unusual case. Twin and her brother Skittles were the smallest of the kittens that I first discovered on the property. The two of them were the ones I worried most about. Because they were several generations feral, they had no trust of humankind. And when I did the first trapping for TNR I had little faith that these two would be able to be trapped. Twin, however, was the first one trapped and I was thrilled, even more so when I discovered that she was female.

However even after a year and 1/2 still would not come near when people were in sight. The first winter was fairly mild and everyone made it through well except one frostbite case on RT's back paw.

This winter was different. First, we had the 17" of snow in one day and then days of below zero temperatures. Twin became sick. First, it wasn;t bad but I kept offering her the chance to come inside.

Then one day she was really sick and decided to trust me and came inside. Because she was so weak, it was easy to pick her up and give her medicine. The second day she was a little better, however, she still allowed me to pick her up for her medicine. By the third day, she was feeling much better and came to me for the medicine.

As she became better, her trust of people improved. Then came the time where she was looking for attention. She discovered the petting as quite nice. And she got to the point where she would push other cats out of the way to get her petting.
Within 10 days I was able to pick her up and she would hug my neck and purr.

As winter progressed, thoughts of her moving on to a forever home were in the picture. I however, was afraid that in moving her to a new home would destroy the trust she had developed. Charles said it would be fine if she became like Funny Face, inside and out. So since she kept asking to go outside, when the weather was warmer I allowed her to go out.

The first few times, she didn't last 2 minutes and didn't get past the doormat. Then she made it to the top step. Then after many times going outside, she finally made the grass. But still, her adventures were short lived. But I was okay with that. And the nights after she made an adventure outside, she made sure to sleep with me and made sure my hand was on her at all times.

Then came the night of horror. She asked to go outside later than usual, and the household was in full uproar at the time. Somehow I forgot to let her back in. At 12:30 that night I was awoken by what sounded like a dozen male cats fighting right outside. Since that is something that doesn't happen around here I went flying to the door to see what the problem was. There hanging on the window of the door was Twin, screaming like a banshee to come back in. I felt terrible. I opened the door and she flew at me jumping up landing at my chest and throwing her front paws around my neck. She burrowed her face in my neck and cried. Needless to say, she would not let me leave her for the rest of the night, to the point I had to carry her around.

We have learned Twin wants to go outside. But she wants very limited time with the scary outdoors. This is just fine with us. Twin is my special friend and I want her close. And it seems she has learned to trust and love and wants the same thing.