Today I was thinking about my late business partner, Susan, while I trapped feral cats on a 50 acre water buffalo farm where they produce mozzarella in rural Marin County. Talk about farm fresh. As you’ve probably guessed, it’s uniqueness is evident. I mean, seriously, it’s where the buffalo roam. (And, I’m guessing, where the deer and the antelope play.)
Anywhere rural is bound to have feral cats. Like being in one of those revolving doors at fancy hotels, they tend to come and go. But not before we ensure they stop having kittens. Still, that’s a tall order to fill when, if we miss 2 cats of the opposite sex, well, there ya go.
I believe I’m destined to be forced into wearing a rather gaudy accessory, one which promises to be exceptionally unflattering. Especially when I’m wearing a dress and heels. Wait, who am I kidding? That scenario only happens at weddings and funerals. But I digress…
What’s this accessory I’m referring to? A neck brace, that’s what. Now don’t get me wrong. I didn’t fall over the doggie gate (again) and wrench my pencil neck. No, it’s much worse; it seems my cat Tippi prefers to sleep across said neck every night, as opposed to snoozing in one of many pet beds spread about the house.
It’s my fault. I’m a big push-over, unwilling to insist my cat slumber on a body part impervious to suffocation. Owning a cat weighing the equivalent of a 10 lb. sack of sugar draped across one’s windpipe, is not exactly conducive to a restful night’s sleep. Consequently, I have a rather annoying neck kink.
So Wednesday morning I’m on the freeway bringing kittens to get spayed and neutered at a local veterinary clinic. Naturally, I’m late because the freeway is a parking lot. In the back of my SUV, 7 of the 11 kittens we rescued from Kern County are serenading me with a chorus of meows.
What lucky kitties. Our feral cat rescue rarely deals with domestics but when we learned these were scheduled to be euthanized for lack of adopters, we decided to help. And that’s how I found myself on the freeway Wednesday morning. Continue reading →
Trapping feral cats for sterilization means encountering something different each day. It’s the fun aspect of this work. Now don’t get me wrong; that doesn’t mean it’s one big party. On the contrary. The list of unpleasantness is long, but I’ll refrain from boring you with most of that.
Needless to say, working with Marin Friends of Ferals has its moments…I’ve broken my finger, been bitten through my knuckle by a kitten barely bigger than my hand, been saturated with poison oak and nearly lost the tip of my pinky from another bite. Scrapes and bruises come with the territory from efforts to spay and neuter feral community cats, yet I love what I do. But as it turns out, love hurts.
One joy of the job includes meeting new people and traveling to places in Marin County (and beyond) where I don’t often venture. For instance, last week a family in Sebastopol contacted us wanting 4 ferals for rodent control on their 5-acre spread. Continue reading →
I’m a terrible animal guardian and I’m going straight to hell. I’ll tell you why…
My animals have their routine down-pat before calling it a night. I say, “Okay, time to go night-night.” The word ‘okay’prompts all 4 mutts to jump from their coveted positions. I open the patio door and they file outside to do their business one last time. Fortunately it stopped raining last night so I didn’t have to coax anyone out. And by anyone I mean Wally. As you now know, he’s my problem child.
I block the French doors with my foot so my cats don’t make a beeline outside. Nellie heads for the top of the property looking for fresh poop to eat. No doubt she was out of luck last night since it rained for days, so my guess is her nightly snack was inedible mush. I apologize for the gross description, but remember, I have it worse. I’m the one forced to watch Nellie attempt to dislodge the poop stuck on her back molars. It’s hideous.