Saki lost another half pound over the week, so I'm still fretting. However, she's gotten her appetite back the last 2 days and gained back an ounce, so I'm hoping we've turned the corner. I'm not sure how much her appetite has improved or if it's just that I tried her on Basic Instinct's lamb for the first time, and she loves it. I've been giving her other flavors of Basic Instinct's grain-free food, but this was a real hit. Yay for that working for her!

I talked to T today. Ms. Brigit is doing fine. She is still glued to her BFF, Ms. Socks, following her everywhere, and guarding her from all comers. She occasionally comes up on the porch or to the backdoor at night when Socks leads her there for treats. But they're still spending their days out in the woods together. T says she's seen some of the cats fish in the stream back there, catching fish with their paws.

T is still determined to put Socks to work as a social facilitator kitty next time she gets another feral who needs acclimating. She says she'll put Brigit in the shed with them. So Brigit will have a job maybe before I manage to get one! I'm very glad T does not have the heart to separate them, but I'm skeptical about how this will work out. I'm kind of doubting Brigit has a knack for social facilitation: "I'm Brigit. Welcome to the cat sanctuary. HISSSSSSS! And don't even think of touching my grrlfriend over there. HISSSSSSSSSSSS! Comfortable yet? Don't come near me! HISSSSSS!" But maybe my girl will shed her surliness and step up to the plate and do us proud. Not holding my breath. I can't wait to hear how it goes. :-P

Greenbelt Lake 10-13
Here is another pic of Greenbelt Lake from last October.

Lots of colors here . . . )
A very happy birthday to dear [ profile] i_o_r_h_a_e_l!!! For your birthday, I thought you might enjoy a tour of the cat sanctuary where I brought Brigit, so a good time to post it. (-:

So I've been talking to T once a week to check up on how Brigit is doing in Gettysburg, PA. And, flisties, it sounds like she is doing great. Within a week, she bonded with a cat named Socks, who she cuddles with and they are inseparable, like she was with her sister. I hope Socks is happy with that, because Brigit is a fiercely possessive little girl. She used to hiss at the other cats who came round me when I was filling the feeders. This was before she'd let me pet her at all, but still she wanted the other cats to know this was HER human feeding resource, and I think my company mattered to her as well, if my understanding of cat eye contact is to be relied on. It got so that I made sure not to be friendly with the other cats. Yes, I know, isolating you from your friends is a sign of an abuser in a relationship--I'm working on my kitty codependency. (-; I'll tell you a little more about Brigit's relationship with Socks when I explain T's methods below.

Brigit would hiss at any cat who came near her in Warwick when I was around. It's possible she did have cats she hung out with away from me who didn't accompany her when she'd come to me, but I don't think it was likely. So her having a cat she could bond with and cuddle with on cold nights, like she did with her sister, was beyond what I was hoping for her. I'm so overjoyed about this! And this happening is due to T's methods and her having the kitty assistants to put them into action. I don't know if there is anyone else out there who has this grasp on colony dynamics and could have done this for Brigit, so I'm feeling very good about having brought her up there. She's got the best life a feral cat could have now.

Here's the welcoming committee at the cat sanctuary. Look, [personal profile] claudia603!!! Siameses and tuxedos together! And a siamese who looks like Saki's and Helo's lovechild. :-D

So many cats, it's like being at the Hemingway's Home and Museum . . . )
Happy Valentine's Day, my dear flisties! A little late, but what's new?

Here are passion flowers for you from a couple of summers ago by Greenbelt Lake.

And here's Super Sonic Saki and Tuxie being loving from last summer.

More kitty snuggles, or near-snuggles, for you . . . )
lavendertook: (fluffy cat in rain)
( Feb. 1st, 2013 12:53 am)
I took Ms. Brigit up to her new home yesterday. I think it's going to be good for her. She's got someone who really knows feral cats to look in on her every day now.

As I mentioned before, this cat sanctuary is in Gettysburg, PA, which is an hour and a half drive from my place, nestled between spurs of the Appalachians. For those of my hobbit posse who have been out here before, it's about a 30 minute drive northwest of the Best Western we mooted at, on the same route even. I went up there on Tuesday to meet T, whose front porch and backyard is the cat sanctuary, and to check out the place. She was a bit prickly, as we were both sussing each other out, and the place is in quite a bit of disrepair, and messy, not unlike Rhosgobel--such is the way of people and places that are looking after many animals. The 2 story shed she planned to keep Brigit in for her first 6 weeks was pretty rickety, though it did sound as though she knew her stuff. I just left that day feeling a bit unsure.

However, T had given me some advice on how to get Brigit into a carrier without bloodshed or kitty stress, and I tried it out that evening. Basically, you put a small carrier with bedding inside the large crate and cover it with a towel so it's nice and dark. It worked like a charm--Brigit went right in it. And not only that, but it made her feel so secure, she then spent time sitting on top of it inside the crate that evening, watching what she could see of the rest of the household, and stayed up there without hisses as Saki, Tuxie and I crawled into bed, where her crate was at the foot, and watched us a while. I only wish I had known to do this before, so she could have been more secure the whole week she was here, and of course, it would have been so much better for both of us when I took her to the vet on Saturday. And in the morning, when I was ready to take her to Gettysburg, she was curled up in the carrier, and all I had to do was shut its door and pull it out of the crate. So, I was totally won over concerning T's competence, and over my jitters about taking Brigit up there. This kind of info just isn't up on the internetz that I could find.

Here's the little girl yesterday morning, getting ready for our drive up. My mantra to her on the way up was "Wet food every day now!!!" I had the carrier in the back seat covered with a towel to keep her secure, but I heard her scurrying about in there. So when I took a rest stop I took the towel off because she really is a kitty who likes to look around and just watch what you're up to.

Brigit's moving day . . . )
Blood was spilled this day (mine), but there were also cheers of hopeful joy. What a day! Let me tell you all about it, my flisties.

This is Brigit from last April, the week after I found her after tracking her for over 3 months after she ran away from the stables.

In which there are cat moots, championship cat wrestling, vet visits, and amazing cat sanctuary news . . . )
lavendertook: (wildkitten in snow)
( Jan. 24th, 2013 01:40 am)
. . .said Gandalf significantly.

Starting yesterday, we've been having the coldest temps we've had in 4 years, with anticipation of a possible dusting of snow tonight and a few inches on Friday, so I've been debating and debating on whether or not I should catch Brigit today and take her in for the next few days. When I refill the dry food auto feeders, I have been placing a bowl of wet food in a carrier, and Brigit has been walking right in, so catching her would be no problem. The only problem is I'm not sure if this is a trick that will work twice, so if we have worse weather in the next month, I may not be able to catch her then--hence the debate.

But when I went out this afternoon, I called and called and she didn't show, as she has every week, except one rainy day, since the end of last March. I filled the feeders, called some more, and then drove around a little, and came back. Then I saw that C. who lives across the road from the feeders had arrived home and went to ask her if she could call me, if she saw her. I'm so glad she's there. She is friendly to Brigit, though she considers her an ugly cat--yes, she does. {-:

I was pretty worried, but just as it was getting dark and I was leaving C's stoop, who should show up, but Ms. Brigit. She was walking kind of slow, and was slow to start eating, and if she didn't have a cold, the cold was certainly being rough on her, so that decided me completely to take her in. I had to wave the bowl of food under her nose a couple of times before she took interest in it when I put it in the carrier, which isn't like her. And then I easily shut the door behind her and loaded it in the back seat. She made a couple of sad meows of half-hearted protest, but we drove home without incident.

This is a pic of Ms. Brigit from a month ago. You can see her winter coat has grown out beautifully.

The wild is no place for gentlefolk . . . )
A very happy birthday to my fellow faithful cat servant [ profile] baranduin! Since you were so clever to have your birthday on Caturday, I hope you will enjoy some Brigit spam. These pics are from back in the beginning of April, a week after my 3 1/2 month hunt for her was rewarded with our chance meeting again when I saw a bunch of fluff jump over a piece of furniture in a yard of junk. And now that we have our pattern established, she comes every time I call her when I go out there, about once a week. She had her full winter coat on then, and just about has it grown back on again now.

Brigit's World. This pic reminds me of the Andrew Wyeth painting, Christina's World.

More Caturday Baranduin Celebration with Ms. Brigit is right here . . . )
I'm waiting to see what the latest is about the storm tomorrow to decide whether or not I should try to trap Brigit when I go up tomorrow and keep her in my bathroom for 5 days. She's at the epicenter of the Delmarva peninsula. She's plenty inland for flooding to not be a life threatening issue, so it's just the wind force that I'm worried about and falling objects. For all the media hype--which I'm giving the finger right now--we are not looking at hurricane force winds, but tropical storm winds are serious enough.

However, temps will not be dropping near freezing, and if I manage to catch her for this storm, it will most likely be much more difficult to catch her for any other weather conditions that arise this winter, and I'm more worried about getting a bad blizzard some time this winter, or sustained severe subfreezing temps, or a real live hurricane this fall that does have hurricane force winds. If I trap her now, I might not be able to trap her then. So I'm leaning toward leaving well enough alone and just going up again Thursday to check on her. Did I say how much I hate the storm hype? Because I do.

And Pepco is telling us to expect days of power outages. No, Pepco, days of power outages for people who do not live in remote coastal areas are not acceptable just because you want to call this a super storm and other cutesy names. You've got plenty of time to prepare for this one and have lots of remote teams on hand if you're willing to lay out the money you collect from us. The damned hype we're being subjected to means you, Pepco should be prepared, not excused.
When I went up to Warwick this weekend, I found that someone had taken away the shelter I had made for Brigit, both autofeeders, all the food therein, and the bowls.   So that was sad and something I can ill afford, but I've been braced for it all along. I was afraid adding the second feeder might get the attention of someone who wasn't happy about the feeding area being there, but I was hoping after 6 months it might be OK. But no, someone's territoriality was probably piqued by the expansion--maybe they thought next I'd be putting up tents or a pet food store or something, or were just offended that hungry cats were being fed on the defunct cement sewer cover behind the church and decided it was time to do away with it. Such are the vagaries of looking after a creature you can't protect in your own home.

Brigit is well, however, and I hope was not too many days without kibble, but she seemed satisfied with the new auofeeder and makeshift shelter I made her.  A nice man who lives in a trailer behind the church invited me to use a corner of his land bordering the church cemetery.  I'm crossing my fingers he won't change his mind down the road. I went over to the Walmart and got a new autofeeder, a plastic box to shelter it in, using the lid as a porch, and a small plastic patio side table to fit in as the porch roof, and I added a brick on top to better secure it from winds. Hopefully, this will work out. If I tried to lead her back to the stables she ran off from, it would expose her to crossing a dangerous road, which might have been what did in her sister, so she's better off in this area.

Here she is this summer sitting on the cement sewer cover.

More Brigit . . . )
I've been having trouble uploading to Scrapbook, so I've been backed up on birthday greetings I've wanted to post for over a week.

So lacking a pic of a coyote, but having seen one approaching at night when I was guarding Brigit while she ate, I bring Brigit the More Than Halfway Feral Kitty, who is surveying what I've got for her in the back of my car, to wish a belated happy birthday to [personal profile] supergee! <3

Brigit says, Is There Cake in that Car? 7-12
Is there cake in that car? 'Cause there better be cake! And it better be for me!

I still recommend the Daily Coyote site for weekly coyote domesticity viewing happiness. (-:

That pic of Brigit is from July, when she shed all the fur off her sides. She is doing well. Her coat is still sun-bleached a lighter gray, but she's growing in her winter coat and I can just touch her enough to know it's as soft as it's looking--far healthier looking than when she lived in the Metro garage. How much red you see in her coat depends on light shining directly on her and the angle. She always comes to meet me when I visit once a week to refill her kibble autofeeder and give her a bowl of wet food. I expanded and fortified her feeding station this week, adding a second autofeeder to keep her going longer for weeks when I might not be able to make it out to Warwick. I'm crossing my fingers that people will continue to allow her feeding station and shelter to remain intact where I set it up behind the old church on a big round cement sewer cover along the woods. I don't know how much of the kibble she really eats, as there are other strays and ferals about who partake of it. So far, so good this year. Now, if I could interest someone local to take an interest in helping me keep it up, it would be a further blessing.


lavendertook: (Default)


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