Monday, December 2, 2013

Thank You Cats in Need Cyprus!

Murphy, a female from Sammy's just before release
I want to say a big thank you to Sue and Jayne of Cats In Need Cyprus, a registered Charity in the Isle of Man, who have pledged to pay for the alteration of 20 of the cats I care for. I am over the moon for their kind offer to help. Without Cats in Need I could not have done the work that I have done in the past. They donated my traps, and have aided me with bills over the last three years, not to mention been a shoulder to cry on and lean on and vent, as I have not many people to talk to here. 
Releasing Murphy
They help others besides me - there are many kind people here who once upon a time moved to Cyprus, some to retire in the sun, others hoping to have a better life, who never dreamed that one day they would be doing exactly what I am doing and exactly for the same reasons. They reached their limit of the suffering they could witness while standing idly by. What joy is there in the sun when others around you are suffering? I can tell you first hand it takes the wind right of your sails. I am a happier person now. I cannot relieve all the suffering but I sleep well at night knowing I am doing what I can. This is such rewarding work. 
Releasing Clinton
Sue and Jayne have both been visitors to Cyprus and
themselves were both moved by the plight of the abused, abandoned, sick, injured, homeless, ignored, and poisoned cats here, and that is why they started their charity. Sue and Jayne and Cats in Need Cyprus make a difference and make it possible for people like me to be in the fields and trenches doing what I do. 
Jayne came to visit me and meet the cats at the park and my house while she was in Cyprus recently.  Here she is showing me cat tapping on Scoopy Sox, with Cindy Lou Who at her knee, and Starlight in the background.
We are all necessary to make a change. So are all of you that come and see my pictures, who spread the word just by commenting, and give me your moral support as well as your kind donations, which for some of you I know takes food off your plate just so you can give to the cats here, and sleep better yourselves. There are those of you who write me privately and lend me your ear and encourage me, who keep my spirits up, who send me funny pictures. Those who cry with me when I lose a cat. Those who cheer with me when I finally trap one. There are the veterinarians who put up with me calling them at all ungodly hours and many times a day, who see me at my worst, who slip me medicines and offer me their services after hours. Thank you all. 
Petey watching me try to trap Wanda - no I haven't got her yet, doggone it!
I may not have a big crowd here but they are loyal and true and good people. Again I thank you all. Please I ask you to donate to Cat in Need Cyprus to help Sue and Jayne continue to help us. Please offer them a big thank you in the comments for visiting me while they were here, and for offering to help me and the cats I care for.

You can give to Cats in Need Cyprus at this address.
Thank you!
Pegs at the park
PS  You can keep up with my most recent altered cats, thanks to Sue, Jayne, and Cats in Need Cyprus kind donation, here on my Facebook page, Altered Cats Cyprus.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What I Take With Me to the Feeding Stations


My car loaded up for the feeding station rounds

I thought you might like to see what I take with me when I go to the feeding stations.  I take a lot more with me than I used to. 

I bring several bottles filled with water.  I fill them from my home drinking tap (there are two taps in Cyprus).  The cats drink so much water I cannot believe it.  The kittens drink a lot, too.  When the water bowls are empty, and I fill them, that is the first thing the kittens run to get.  It's especially important in the summer in Cyprus to supply water because there is no rain.  I do provide it all year round.

Lots of large water filled plastic bottles go with me

I used to take the kibble in separate, doubled plastic bags - doubled because one tiny cat claw and it is over for the kibble in the bag.  It was convenient because I knew how many scoops to put in each bag for each station.  But now it would ridiculous.  I would be scooping all day.  Now I put the whole 15 kilo bag of kibble in the back seat and a scooper, and fill and refill a plastic bag as I go from one station to the next.

The whole 15 kilo bag of kibble goes with me in the back seat

I take another tote bag for canned food, plates, tissues to wipe the bowls, and extra plastic bags for trash and dishes.  This tote bag came with me from America, it's from LLBean.  It's sturdy and great with all the pockets for organizing smaller stuff.

Plastic plates, tissues, canned food, plastic bags, a scooper for the kibble

I occasionally switch out the bowls at the feeding stations and bring them home for a good cleaning, so I carry some extra bowls with me, too, in case some look very dirty.

Large clean bowls for swapping out dirty ones

Also, when they are not both occupied, I keep a small carrier in the car for emergencies.  I only have two small carriers.  I could really use a couple more.  My other carriers are enormous and are for dogs, too big for the car or to actually carry.

A small carrier and a soft blanky

I often take my camera. 

My Camera
And at night I take a flashlight.  This one uses no batteries and is a wind up.  It fits perfectly between my inside upper arm and ribcage for hands free.  I have used lots of different flashlights and lanterns and this is the best.  Batteries fail at the worst times, and so do bulbs. 

A wind up flashlight for hands free at night

And I usually keep a trap in the boot of my car, a couple of beach towels large enough to cover the trap, and a peepee pad.  I keep a can of trapping bait in my camera case.

A trap

Canned fish for trapping bait

Sometimes for an occasional treat I will bring a big bottle of milk.  They like that.  I have also taken them yogurt before.  Most like it, some don't. 

A big plastic tote is best to actually carry from the car, because they are easy to clean, waterproof, and strong.  The one I use now is from IKEA and it is giant. 

So there you have it. That's what I take with me to the feeding stations. 

Oh, and this doesn't go:


I try to make sure all the cats are out of the car before I leave the house!  Sometimes I have been surprised halfway down my home road, and have had to turn back to drop off a cat or two. 

Sometime I forget stuff, or run out of kibble, that's a bummer, but I am never very far from home. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Trapping, Altering, and Releasing Clinton

Clinton is a cat who came from the Sandra's feeding station.  I now mostly see him at the park.  He is a mild Tomcat who has had a bad respiratory infection since I have known him.  I suspect he may be sicker than that.  On Thursday when I went to try and trap Wanda and failed again, I decided it was a good time to get Clinton.  If he is sick I do not want him fighting with the other males at the park, and I also wanted to get him some relief if I could.

He was so easy to trap.  In fact, he kept setting the trap off by rubbing on it lovingly before he even got in it. I basically had to give him a push in there.  He continued eating his treat/bait and then realized what had happened.  He wasn't happy. 

He was so heavy when I picked up the trap, I couldn't believe it.  It was a long, staggered walk to the car for me.

Clinton in the trap in the back of my car, he's not happy

I took him in on Thursday and picked him up on Friday.  The vet gave him a very expensive long lasting antibiotic that appears to have helped him a lot.  His breathing is not nearly so rough and wet.  Also, he had been drooling a lot, and the vet found something lodged in his teeth which she removed.  He is not drooling anymore.  It was probably a fish bone, because a fisherman puts out fresh fish for the cats at Sandra's, and I still see him there on occasion. 

Loaded up to go to the vets with two cats, Clinton is in back
Starlight had to go in, too

 At the vets

The vet also said he was huge.  She said he weighed over 9 kilos.  Well, no wonder I could barely pick him up.  The traps are quite heavy just by themselves. 

When I released him the first thing he did was get his bearings.  Then he headed straight to the hill to take a very, very long peepee.  I felt so sorry for him that he had been holding it.  He never sprayed once in the trap or in my car.  He was the most respectful male cat I have ever trapped. 

Clinton on the hill just before I released him. That's Strike coming to take a look at the food I brought.


Clinton gets his bearings
Clinton had to peepee really bad.  So he did that for a long time :(  Poor guy.

Then he sauntered back over...
and had a snack
then he went and made biscuits like he always does after he eats :)
He stayed nearby and ate a meal of soft food I brought with me while the others around joined in for a bite, too: Strike,  Greyboy, Blabby, Topper, and Sose were there.

It was starting to get dark

It was time to say goodbye for the night.  

Greyboy walked me to my car.

When I saw Clinton the next day, he was looking and sounding much better than before I trapped him.

I hope this will take some stress off him, and he will be able to live a long life there at the park.  Godspeed, Clinton.  Thank you. 

Thanks, Clinton.  I love you. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Mission: Trapping and Altering Wanda from the Park

Thank you to the kind lady who sent in a donation to alter Wanda.





Wanda is clever. 

She is known to take kittens as hostages into the trap with her.

She is known to take the bait without setting off the trap.

Stay tuned, follow me on my mission.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Kitty Rigging for the Rain

It was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who said, "Into each life some rain must fall."  At my age, I understand this, but how do I explain it to the new kittens?  And all the cats at the feeding stations?

Is the season's first storm coming?

There is thunder and lightening outside.  Will it be the first rain of the season in Cyprus?  The kittens living outdoors now have never seen rain or lightening, or heard the sounds of thunder before. 

Storm clouds in Cyprus, brewing over my village today

In case it rained, I ran about earlier rigging the front porch for the cats and kittens who won't come inside.  The signature of a girl is everywhere, as I rigged things together with strings and bows. 

My 'fight like a girl' attempt at keeping some of the rain off the front porch - a use what you've got approach

The front porch floods terribly when it rains, and when you mix the rain with the high winds off the sea, you get a real mess.  I did the best I could today with the short warning, but I am going to have to come up with something better. 

I moved everything I could off the veranda over to the less exposed side of the porch

 Gini checks out my make do kitty shelter

I guess he thinks it's pretty OK, but it is not raining yet

The houses in Cyprus aren't built with any thought for rain.  I am not sure most are built with any thought at all, except perhaps to protect investments in the poured concrete industry.  Still, I love this house.  It's the best one I have lived in here.

Meanwhile the kittens were highly alarmed and terrified at the strange new sight of lightening and the strange new sound of thunder. 

I shuddered to think of what was going on at the feeding stations.  The food would be soaked.  It would be a mess and I was praying all the kittens and cats out would find shelter. 

I found this broken plastic chair last year to keep the food in the grotto at the park dry over the winter, it's still there.
It works really well.  I need more like it for the other feeding stations.

It indeed poured, and nearly everything got soaked on the porch.  When I peered out calling for any last takers,  there was only one cat, Astro, taking refuge there, rain was flooding in under the front door, and Gini came wailing to the window to be let in.  Thank God most of the kittens have at least their first vaccinations.  This is when flu season starts. 

A soaked front porch after the rain and no cats

Pegs checks out the indoor flood.  Pegs has seen rain before.  She's lived it and has the T-shirt as she came from the park. 

About ten minutes after the rain let up, there were five soaked kitties at the porch door begging to come in: Twiddles, Krystallo, Bashful, Sweet Corn, and Bouncie.

Bashful, safe and cozy dry now

 Krystallo, drying off in my lap
Bouncie, having a good bath
Sweet Corn and Twiddles are already back outside. :)  Go figure. 

Sisters Boogie and Bouncie playing before the rain
Rudi atop the dog house watching his changing world. 

It's dark now, and I still have to go out to the feeding stations.  It's going to be a mess, and the cats will be desperate, but there is nothing I can do but cleanup, and start making better preparations for the next rain.

Thank God my sister sent me some rain pants. 
The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow