The Bodhi Chronicles: The Blessing of Bodhi

In keeping with our efforts to take Bodhi lots of places and get him used to all kids of environments and people, we brought Bodhi to the Blessing of the Animals tonight. He was his usual crazy self, and had a great time.

He met new friends and was very friendly with all the dogs and people.

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As usual, he was excited and ready for attention.

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After a bit, he even settled down and relaxed.

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And then, he was blessed.

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Does he look any different?

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Kitten Cuddling

One of the roughest jobs we have, in rescuing kittens, is kitten cuddling. It actually is a bit touchy at first with kittens who haven’t had any human contact, but if they are young enough they start to really enjoy being held and pet. Our newest four are still warming up to the process, and the black and tiger one need more work than the orange ones, but they’re all coming along.

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TNR and Adrenaline Part Two

For those of you waiting for news – yes! We have the fourth and final kitten. Another orange one. This isn’t really my story to tell, but I have permission to repeat the adventure that went along with trapping this little guy.

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P, our trapper extraordinaire ran this show on her own, as I wasn’t feeling well and went to bed early. But here’s the story as relayed to me this morning. It begins in the evening as the sun was going down…

Our last little orange guy was starting to feel pretty lonely and scared with mom and siblings gone, and was under a truck on the driveway calling and calling for companionship. Three traps were set right there for the little one, but having seen his family go into traps and disappear, he wasn’t about to make the same mistake. Still, the poor guy was clearly distressed and scared, and he really needed to be captured ASAP.

P pulled out the big guns at this point. When we can’t get a kitten, we use mom (or siblings) as bait. Mom was retrieved in her trap from the cat house, and our great big feeding station trap was brought on the scene. That particular trap tends not to scare cats, and the little one hadn’t seen it before, so the idea was to put mom in her trap up against the feeding station trap and lure the kitten in.

Which would have worked wonderfully, had the owner of the property not returned home from his travels! While P was off getting mom and the trap the property owner returned home, parking in the driveway and the kitten was nowhere to be found now.

We don’t normally trespass on people’s property without permission, but we’d made an exception this time since neighbors were sure he wouldn’t mind. But at this point, P. had to go ring the doorbell (10 at night) and explain what we were doing there. Luckily, the owner was just fine with it, and even offered to help. But the best thing at that point was for him to just go into the house and restore quiet again…done.

P walked around meowing for the kitten, and finally found him in a bush by the garage. Fabulous. Set up the trap with mom next to it….and the garage door opens…kitten scatters. Get the garage door down, restore quiet again, and find the kitten, get set up….and the girlfriend arrives and pulls into the driveway. Property owner comes running out and redirects the car to the curb and inside they go.

This was the stuff of a Shakespearean comedy by this time. Kitten is located one more time, momma and trap set up, and momma is calling and calling to her little one. Little orange guy is walking all around the trap….back, side, over to momma, and finally….finally…into the trap and down the door went. 11:30 at night and counting.

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Mom and little one go to the cat house, all safe and sound, which was a very good thing since a strong storm blew over us at about 4 am. I’d gone to bed by 9 pm, but the storm woke me, and I checked my phone quickly, so glad to see that the little one had been caught, and wasn’t out in the misery by himself.

We’re in the middle of some very hot days again, and momma and kittens have dog crates to hang out in, air conditioning, flea control, and all the food and water they want. Mom will be spayed in about a week, and released back to the caretakers who love her so much. And the kittens will see the vet next week, spend some weeks getting socialized, and will eventually get their own surgeries and head into adoption programs, and there will be five fewer cats out there making more kittens. Which is the reason we do such crazy stuff in the first place! But we are all glad there are no cats on the schedule for trapping for a few nights…time for a break.

TNR and the Adrenaline Rush

It was supposed to be a very simple trapping situation. One cat, eating like crazy – three times a day at least – but very thin. My mind jumped to parasites, or diseases like FIV/FELV, but my trapping buddy thought otherwise. “Maybe she’s nursing.”

Naw…the caretakers saw her multiple times a day and had been feeding her for months. They would know about kittens.

My first clue that I might be wrong (again) was that she looked pretty healthy when I saw her. Very petite, but lively and not scraggly or looking ill. But I can be dense. I was dense yesterday.

I set up a trapping situation, the normal one we would use for a feral cat, and thought nothing more about it. Until the caretakers called me a few hours later: “She’s here with a kitten!” Cue the adrenaline. A kitten changes everything.

“Watch for a couple days and let’s see if we can find out how many kittens she has,” we instructed. About three hours later…mom and four or five kittens are all playing on the neighbor’s front porch. Neighbor is out of town, nice quiet property, perfect play area for the gang.

8:00 at night, but all the cats are right there in front of us. Not trying to trap them was out of the question, so my trapping buddy, P. – cat whisperer and trapper extraordinaire –¬† arrived with kitten traps and off we went. First kitten trapped…easy peasy. The other ones were a little too smart, and figured out how to get the food without triggering the trap. But they didn’t leave the area, and momma watched over the whole process very cautiously.They were hungry, and that beat out any thoughts of running away.

For us, the adrenaline was running strong by now. It is like those potato chips – you can’t have just one. As long as there were more kittens to be gotten, energy ran high. Though it was P’s energy that was highest. We watched her moving traps and checking traps, figuring out where the cats were…the trapping ballet, really. And the caretakers and I sat on the curb watching the expert performance.

Second kitten caught at 10, after I’d taken kitten #1 to our cat house and set up a kitten crate for the expected guests. Momma was caught by our trapping wiz around 11:30 pm. The kittens are weaned and old enough to be on their own, so those still trapping at the wee hours called it a night.

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We have traps set today, and one little black kitten who outsmarted us last night ended up in a trap today – woo hoo. Unlike his two siblings above, who are mostly just scared, this guy means business, as you can tell from his photo below. He not only hisses, but he also slaps – hard. He’s gonna take a little extra work and some kevlar gloves to get him socialized.

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There looks to be one more little orange kitty, who has been hanging out on the limb of a bush most of the day. Still working to get that one, and hoping he comes out after dark tonight. The kittens look to be about 2 months perhaps, young enough to socialize and get into adoption programs. Hopefully we can get them all off the street.

And the late breaking news of the evening: we had another trapping request from someone not all that far from the mom and kittens we’ve been trapping. Looks like it is the same mom and kittens that we’ve got, so one less trapping situation to tackle…more adrenaline and a happy dance too.

We thought we were¬† going to have a little break between trapping sessions, an empty cat house for a week. Fat chance! Like I said, I was dense yesterday, or maybe just doing some wishful thinking. But what’s a cat house without cats anyway, right? Especially without kittens…who can resist kittens??

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