Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
There was a black cat running around the farm a few weeks back, darting in and out of the woods and then vanishing completely. She looked very thin and sounded (meow meow meow) hungry, so I left out some dog kibble, and she continued to show up periodically for over a week. She acted very feral (i.e., wild), but she would wait until I got within about 4 feet or so before bolting. Not wanting a litter of kittens in my woods, I did trap her and take her to the Richmond SPCA for spaying. Her ear, it turned out, had already been tipped (see above) --- which is the universal sign that a feral cat has been spayed or neutered. We knocked her out to confirm she was spayed (she was) and to give her all of her shots and flea/tick prevention. I brought her home the same day --- and decided to see if a week or two in the well house (small empty building) with twice daily delivered meals might win her over --- and to see if she might be persuaded to use a litter box. Happy to report that she was and I was able to (very cautiously) pet her after about 4 days of hanging out. Two weeks later, she actually seems quite social, if not exactly confident. She hides whenever the door opens, the door shuts, the light comes ON, the lights goes OFF, anything drops or moves, etc --- but seems to be "recovering" more quickly each time. And she will now let me stroke her and pick her up without protest. I have been calling her "Relay" because the day I trapped her was the day of the now famous Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak come-from-out-of-nowhere swim relay in Beijing. Somehow the name seemed appropriate.
Gadget in her Donut
Cooler weather is coming to Virginia --- and all of us on the farm (canine and human) are sure ready. The dogs have LOVED running in the fields every day recently --- and especially after a heavy rain, when they could get really really wet and soggy. I'm partial to the dryer days, but I love seeing them so happy. Little Ms. Gadget spends a good portion of her "field trips" intent on escaping --- as she is convinced that all manner of small critters live just outside the field and need to be chased. Unfortunately, the bunnies and other critters do find or make holes in the mesh fencing around the field with some regularity, so I was spending the better part of my time each day chaperoning Gadget and trying to find the holes before she did. Donna Anderson (http://www.petitepetinn.com/ and Richmond SPCA instructor) came up with a brilliant idea, which has worked very well so far. Gadget now wears an inflatable donut around her neck when she is in the field, and can no longer fit through the small holes or under the low deck, try as she might. These donuts are sold as an alternative to Elizabethan collars for dogs post-surgery --- but work great for this alternate purpose too. She looks silly, but at least she is still around. :-)