Bob and Kathy's Millennial Adventures with Feral Cats Pt V

June 15,2000

Hello again everyone,

Its been a long time since Bob and I have checked in. A lot has happened since then.

To start, remember Sophie, the pregnant stray we took in? Well not only was she really pregnant, she also tested positive for Feline Aids (FIV). Turns out FIV is no where near as bad as Feline Leukemia, but she would have to be in quarantine indefinitely. In the mean time, we were still waiting for the "blessed event" to happen. Instead she just kept getting bigger. We were starting to wonder just what Sophie would give birth to.

Finally on the morning of May 11, the blessed event stared to happen. By 6 am, Sophie had given birth to 2 kittens. Bob came home to check on her at noon and there were three kittens. The fourth kitten was born at 3 in the afternoon. These kittens saved a lot of time by being born late. At 12 hours old, they were already the size of two week old kittens!

These kittens not only were huge but they were the healthiest kittens we had seen in a long time. Sophie was an excellent over protective mother. She would let Bob and I around the kittens, but any other animal that dared to come near the kittens took his life into his paws. Boomer found this out the hard way one day when he decided to try to steal Sophie's food. Even though Boomer was going no where near the kittens, Sophie wasn't taking any chances and launched an air borne attack, jumping down onto Boomer from the window sill claws extended. Sophie almost could have rode boomer around like she was riding a horse, except she is bigger than he is. So instead she flattened Boomer on the floor, swatted him on the nose and butt as he turned tail and ran from the room, yipping all the way. We eventually found Boomer huddled under our bed.

Sophie vs Boomer.... Sophie won

Sophie's kittens soon were big enough for us to be able to tell them apart. They were named Stevie, Bear, Chester and Boots.

Stevie, Bear, Chester and Boots

We also decided to install an underground "invisible fence" this spring. If you've never heard of this, its basically a wire installed about 1 inch underground around the perimeter of the property. This victim/dog wears a collar with a radio transmitter that will "zap" the dog with a shock when he tries to cross the wire. The main reason for getting this fence was to protect Boomer's life.... If I had to chase him around the cabbage patch across the street at 6 am while wearing 3 inch heels one more time, I was going to kill him.

The installation went well and the 3 days of preliminary training went ok, Bruno and Boomer seemed to be picking up on it. The came the moment of truth the fence itself was brought "online" and we took the leashes off of the dogs. The first few minutes went well, with both dogs nosing around the yard. Then Bruno decided to visit his old stomping grounds and took off full speed for the road and through the fence. When he got zapped, he ran even faster outside of the fence and up the road --- not exactly what we had planned. By now Bob and I had at least caught up to where he went through. Boomer then decided to try and follow Bruno. Boomer is much more of a wimp than Bruno. When Boomer hit the fence, instead of going through one way or the other, he dropped and started rolling on the wire, continuing to zap himself. When Bruno heard Boomer yelping he cam running back to help full speed and hit the fence again before we could stop him. This time he ran out and sat down in the middle of the road. At least it was easy for the guy whose car he sat in front of to catch him. By now Boomer was hiding under my car in the drive way. Bob finally caught up with Bruno who decided he definitely did not want to come back into our yard. So Bob took the "zapper" collar off, put it in his pocket and picked all 90 pounds of Bruno up to carry him back into the yard. Remember the collar in Bob's pocket? Turns out the collar works on husbands too. Boomer was afraid to go more than 20 feet away from the house for the next 2 weeks. Bob was also leery of the fence for the next few days.

We are also happy to report that Mr. Macho, the cat that instilled fear in the hearts of us all has decided we aren't so bad after all. It all started when he escaped from his cage in the feral room. (Ok, he got out of his cage when Bob was cleaning it) Mr. Macho eventually took up his position in the room, right on top of the PC monitor. From this position he could keep one eye on everyfur in the room and intimidate whoever was using the PC at the same time. When a person was using the PC he would hang over the top with a menacing look on his face. One nite Bob was sitting at the PC eating cheese, wondering if Macho was going to attach himself to Bob's face when Mr. Macho reached down and snagged himself a piece of cheese. Pretty soon Mr. Macho was eating cheese out of Bob's hand and rolling over for tummy rubs. Guess it was "the power of cheese".

A kinder Mr. Macho

It was also about this timeframe that Rude Ranch Rescue got two new additions. The first was Greyson, aka "Grey Baby". Greyson came to us via Great Dane Rescue. Apparently he was in a home that a great dane was rescued from. Feeling that the cat would also not receive adequate care, the group felt it was best to get Greyson also. This caused a problem, the group knew how to handle and take care of the big dogs (these dogs weigh in at 160+ pounds) but weren't real sure what to do with a cat, so Greyson came to us, along with toys, food and a lot of attitude. After dealing with the great danes for a while, Greyson didn't really find Boomer all that impressive. Greyson also arrived with only half a tail. We aren't sure what happened to the other half and he's not talking either.

Greyson moves in
The other new arrival came to us by way of PG Friends of Ferals. This guy's name was Tommy. When we saw this guy we had to admit, he had it all, looks, personality and a history that could have come from a tabloid. Tommy had originally been picked up at Andrews Air Force Base, where we figured he had been dumped. The lady that originally caught him knew right away he wasn't a feral cat and wasn't sure what to do with him. So she gave him to a neighbor. Turns out the neighbor was a prostitute. When the house was raided by the police, Tommy was thrown out the window and reclaimed by the same lady who had originally picked him up. The only problem was that the prostitute wanted Tommy back. (After she made bail, of course) In a covert operation, Tommy was smuggled out of the neighborhood in a gym bag and brought to us. After all this cat has seen and heard, we're just glad he can't talk, otherwise he would probably give us a few pointers on things we really don't want pointers on.