Katniss has gone…

…and that is one of the reasons for my absence from WordPress. How many times do our hearts break when we lose a beloved pet? We had been feeding Katniss for a few years and I think she was about 4 years old. This year we bought her a little house and she finally figured out that she could use it on inclement days. A few weeks ago she suddenly disappeared and I quickly realized she was dead. After a couple of days there was a smell of death on the air and all the other little critters disappeared from our garden.

She was hale and hearty before she disappeared so I suspect she was run over by a car or succumbed after an encounter with another animal. The armadillos have created a warren of burrows under our deck and into the reserve so I will never find her. Possums and raccoons have started to visit again. For weeks we looked out of the window to no avail, as did Toffee, our elderly inside cat. My grief is tarnished with relief. We have spent almost 40 years looking after difficult, feral cats and would like a break. I was so worried about Katniss’s future and potential illness but fate has taken care of that.

This is the last photograph of Katniss enjoying her little house. It now sits empty like the Taj Mahal.

Feral cats have a short lifespan compared to domesticated cats so she had a lovely few years being spoiled with ‘pasta and trout’, her very own house and loving servants. Her little house sits empty but I have seen squirrels hop in and out. The fat raccoon could only squeeze her head in… We will leave it out as our Taj Mahal to Katniss. Perhaps it will give one of our many critter visitors a warm shelter?

I am going to take a little break from blogging and following but thank you to all my visitors. I look forward to catching up with everyone in the New Year. May you enjoy a marvelous festive season. Merry Christmas!

Domestic Violence…

domestic violence

This is what happens when your utterly feral 14 year old Egyptian cat does not want to have her Fentanyl patch taken off. It had been a hard week for her – a very expensive operation ($1300), one tooth left, ingrown toenail, antibiotics for a sinus infection. She just went in to have her claws trimmed…

The patch had to stay on for 5 days and then be taken off a furry leg. The nurse wisely suggested I take her in but instead decided that she was so old now and had so few teeth it would be okay. We traumatized her but got the patch off and flushed away safely. She stayed under the bed for two days, backing away from evil mom, making mom cry and generally feeling miserable. She finally came out after endless organic chicken, tuna and treats.

She is really adorable but it’s still like living with three raccoons. Look at this precious wee face.

Mrs, Stripe

Mrs. Stripe

The Scary Green Thing!

SCARY GREEN THING 002
Last summer I was out in the front yard when I noticed a commotion in my neighbor’s yard. Mr. Fluffs, our elderly feral street cat, was very interested in some activity. My neighbor’s dogs were barking through the window at the cat so I walked over to see what was going on, just as the householder came out. She was then dive-bombed by a very small titmouse who was screeching at us, the cat, the dogs and anyone else who was preventing her catching her lunch. ‘Lunch’, mortally wounded, fell to the ground under a tree. Neither of us could figure out what it was because it was bright green and looked like a leaf. When I got close, I screeched (along with the angry titmouse) as it was a gigantic moth or butterfly. It looked bigger than the tiny predator. I ran inside and got my camera to evidence the titmouse’s lunch. As I have mentioned in older blogs, I have no fear of lions, tigers or bears but moths will send me screaming off in a panic. As soon as the photograph was taken we all retreated, including Mr. Fluffs and the titmouse finally got it’s prey (a Luna Moth). At this stage, Mr. Fluffs was geriatric and had lived in the street for at least 10 years. This was the most animated I had seen him in years. It was hard to imagine who would let loose a beautiful Himalayan cat but perhaps they lost him? In his retirement one of our other neighbors took over his care, fed him, took him to the veterinarian and brushed him lovingly. He suddenly became ill and like many cats disappeared off to die. We searched all over our area but it is dense brush and forest and impossible to find a cat that wanted his grave to remain secret. Our house backs onto the reserve and I asked the neighbor who looked after him to go up my ladder and shout for him. At the top of the ladder, she let out a scream because she saw a Momma skunk and her two babies just sauntering around ‘over the hedge’. This is what happens when you live in a forest… Below is a lovely photograph I took of Mr. Fluffs basking in the sunshine at the back of our garden.  The reserve, with it’s colony of sexy female cats, skunks, snakes, raccoons and a not very dry creek, is right behind him.

RIP Mr. Fluffs

RIP Mr. Fluffs