Monday, February 2, 2009

Operation Fix-A-Cat update

A while back, I mentioned an on-going collaboration with one of my neighbors to round up some of the local stray cats and get them fixed before we had another kitten explosion. The first two participants were Blackie, one of last year's kitten crop, and Shyler, one of the friendlier toms. Next was Muffin, a pretty female with the appearance of a Himalayan. This weekend, we released two more: Fluffy, one of Blackie's littermates, and Buster, another somewhat-friendly tom. In addition, there have been two others who were sufficiently unfriendly that they went straight to animal control, making a total of seven that we've dealt with so far. We still have at least one more of Blackie and Fluffy's littermates targeted for 'tutoring' as well as at least one more regularly-seen tom. After that, we'll see; the bill's starting to get a bit steep. Here's the 'happy cat' photo album:

It's hard to take a decent picture of an all-black cat, especially inside. Here's Blackie outside last week, next to the trap with her sister Fluffy inside.

And, they're off! Shyler showing off the results of his 'tutoring'. Shyler is the cat of many names, as I first started calling him 'Shylock' when I first saw him. After it became apparent that he was going to stick around, I researched Shylock in Shakespeare (The Merchant of Venice) and found that the character was not a particularly nice person. As the name didn't seem appropriate for a fairly friendly cat, and since my neighbor could never get it right anyway, I morphed it into Shyler. Meanwhile, the appointment at the clinic was made in the name of 'Johnny Cat' because he always seemed to be 'Johnny on the spot' when it was feeding time. Now, while my neighbor calls him 'Skyler', it's become apparent that while he's nice to us, he's not at all nice to the other cats, so maybe 'Shylock' was right after all. Here he is right-side up:

Muffin is another johnny-on-the-spot; whenever I go outside, she comes to 'help'.

Fluffy, still in the trap. My neighbor has a hard time telling Fluffy and Muffin apart, although when seen together they're easily distinguishable.

Here she is after surgery in the 'post op' crate. We got lucky with her, as it turned out that she was already pregnant. I had been concerned about Blackie when she went in, as she had been definitely showing signs of being 'in heat' a couple of weeks before, but apparently didn't become pregnant. With Fluffy, there was no indication at all that she might be pregnant. I'm counting this one as a definite win - no new kittens this time!

And here's Buster, so named because I was watching a Mythbusters re-run when I found him in the trap; the Mythbusters' crash-test dummy is dubbed "Buster". He's a fairly recent arrival - I first noticed him around Thanksgiving. I strongly suspect that he was abandoned or dumped, as he's lost weight since I first saw him and he readily took to being held and petted; he also had no difficulty with the litter box (some of the others, particularly Fluffy, Blackie, and the gray tabby that did the number on my hands, all preferred to sit in the litter box). Shyler especially does not like Buster; I'm hoping that now that they've both been fixed the almost daily fights will subside. Just in case, though, my neighbor has recently armed herself with a couple of water guns.


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  2. Yours are better looking than the average stray/feral cats. Keep up the good work!