Two Sticks And Some String !

This is me, an opinionated, politically progressive Canadian Lace Knitter who's lived and worked in western Canada, and on the east coast of the USA; a multi-skilled person who's been recently re-elected to public office, has a Class One driver's license, a human services professional in direct service, middle and senior management positions, and a MOM!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Enough Love to Share with One More

There is another little heart beating in our house. Wednesday morning, Dorne managed to trap one of the feral cats in the industrial section of Lethbridge. This colony lives primarily in old sleeper units of tractor-trailers. Across the street is a self-storage place, and Elaine, the woman who runs the place, feeds and waters the cats.

Sadly, until the No Kill Alliance (of which I am a proud founding member and board member) recently started a trap/spay/neuter/vaccinate/release programme with these creatures, the cats reproduced until the colony swelled to about 30. NOKA received $29,000/year for three years, from the City of Lethbridge (we were very surprised when this happened!), for subsidized spay/neuters of cats and dogs who are already pets, and Feral cat sterilization.

If all pet owners were actually responsible, Lethbridge (and most other places) wouldn't have an overwhelming problem with unwanted companion animals. NOKA is also trying to get the City of Lethbridge Animal Shelter (or The Slaughterhouse, as Dorne calls it) to become a no-kill shelter. Many cities have gone to this model. The City "shelter" is a contracted service; for nearly 1/2 million dollars a year, they'll kill all the pets they can get their hands on, and NOT enforce a mandatory spay/neuter programme. Hell, they won't even bother trying to find a pet's owner when the pet is chipped or tattooed!

I digress.

Mowzer, our first cat, now nearly two years old, was one of the ferals from that colony. There is a picture of him on my blog, go to the early archives to see it. We brought him home when he was about 5 months old. He is the most incredibly affectionate kitty I've ever had. The transition from wild to mild took about two weeks.

Bitsy, kitty number two, was part of a small semi-feral colony that found its way to the backyard of a co-worker, late last summer. She knew of my involvement with NOKA, and called. There appeared to be three generations of cats in that colony. One of the kittens ended up at our house to be fostered and socialized, and then a new home was to be found for him.


One evening I came home from a meeting, and Dorne was reclining on the love seat with Mr. Bitsy lounging on his chest. I was surprised, because up to this point, Bitsy would only be held for a few moments, and only under protest. Dorne stated that he thought Mowzer needed a playmate. Who was I to argue? So we became a two-cat house.

Then Wednesday morning, I was paged and when I went to the front, Dorne was standing there. He'd trapped one of the ferals and wanted to know if I thought we should adopt this one.


One very frightened kitty was inside that trap. I said yes, so Dorne took the kitty home, set it up with food, water and litter in the spare bedroom, and left.

That night, after supper, Dorne figured he could go into the spare room and start to socialize the new kitty. Bzzzt ... wrong. Kitty went crazy and bit right through a pair of deerskin gloves, produced copious quantities of blood (Dorne's, not the kitty's!), and triggered a weird hysteria between our dog (Innu) and Mowzer. Bizarre.

So once Dorne stopped bleeding, we decided that New Kitty needed to be left alone for a while.

He hadn't eaten or drank any water for nearly 48 hours. I was getting worried.

So last night we went and picked up some canned cat food. I put half a can on a small plate and put it in New Kitty's room. This morning I checked, and New Kitty had eaten both dry and wet food, as well as had a substantial amount of water.


Step one successful.

Kitty is now hiding under the bed, instead of completely out of sight. All three cats have used the litter box we provided, and have never gone anywhere else in the house. New Kitty will spend a few more days in the spare room, and then we'll open the door and see if s/he ventures out into the rest of the house.

Anyway, I have to get dressed and head out to the Yates Memorial Centre to pick up tickets to Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman! They'll be in town next month. The Guess Who was one of my favourite Canadian bands, waaayyyyyy back when (ahem) I was in my teens (a faint memory now ).

New Kitty is listening to the sounds of our house. Innu and Dorne wrestling on the floor .. oops, Innu chasing two cats, oops ... Innu playing with his stuffy ... oops, Innu schmoozing with one cat (flossing his teeth). I think the dog has ADHD. This is more or less a typical Saturday morning in our house. One great huge guy, three (now four) furry creatures, organic fair-trade coffee in the pot, and me. Soon CBC radio and Stewart MacLean's Vinyl Cafe. This is a very good life.


  • At Sun. Apr. 23, 09:38:00 p.m. PDT, Blogger Rosemarie Buchanan said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At Tue. Apr. 25, 08:43:00 a.m. PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    When you go to the Bachman/Cummings concert, pick-up the "Every Song Tells a Story" cd! You will never, ever... regret!
    An absolute wonderful show by 2 true Canadian artists!
    Love, Me

  • At Thu. Aug. 24, 07:34:00 a.m. PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I know of the lady that runs the storage place. She is very nice and i have commented at how wonderful it was that she tried to do what she could as for spaying and neutering out of her own pocket! I am releived to hear that finally there is some funding to help her and others in there endevor.
    The cats at her place belong to their own little "family" and i wish people would understand the service that they provide....pest removal.
    We are also "suckers" like you. We were put in contact by my husbands aunt with Bobby who works out of the coaldale "pound". We had the pleasure of bringing a very sweet and lovable shitzu into our home 3 years ago. Widget had been part of a puppy mill. Unfortunatly the years of bring breed contantly took its toll on her little body she passed this january.
    We have also taken in a corgy/dashund cross "Sammy"(thrown out of a car on the highway) and our newest is a husky/austrialian sheppard cross "Bosley" (found wondering almost choked by his puppy collar).
    We were also adopted by a kitty last summer. We decided to call her "Mambo". she was a stray with a kitten of her own. and nobody could take her all the adoption centers were full beyond their capacity. so we decided since she was commfy in our home she would stay.
    So we are a 2 dog 1 cat far!!!!

    Congrats even if it was a surprise on recieving funding to help spay and neuter our population of strays. Mabey they will never be house animals...mabey they don't want to be... but at least further generations of animals can be saved from any possible suffering.


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