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

September 30, 2000

Hello again everyone,

The summer has flown by here at the Rude Ranch. At one point we had so many cats coming and going Bob and I had a hard time keeping track of who was who.

To begin with, Tommy, the cat that came to us from Andrews Air Force Base, is nuts. He chases and attacks the vacuum cleaner, when its running. He also thought riding on Bruno would be a good idea. (Bruno didn't agree) He stole graham crackers from babies. In light of these qualities it only made sense to use this cat for a TV spot advertising the shelter. We got lucky in July and landed a spot on a news show highlighting animals available for adoption. Tommy and another kitten we were caring for where chosen as the most "showy" cats to do the spot. When the time came for the cats to strut their stuff, the kitten coughed a hairball and couldn't go on. Lets just say Tommy seized the opportunity and when the camera light went on, Tommy turned on the charm. Then when the interviewer said he was allergic to cats, Tommy wanted to make sure by jumping onto him and rubbing all over him. We think the interviewer survived.

We also helped a friend spay and neuter several cats over the summer. In all there were about 15 cats and kittens that needed to be fixed. The first several were pretty easy, just walk up to them and nonchalantly stuff them into a carrier. The last few got a little harder. There was one momma kitty that decided she did not want to be fixed. She also had a litter of 5 kittens that were getting big. She was going to go into heat again soon. She needed to be caught. She wasn't about to let us stuff her into a carrier, so we brought out the heavy artillery. The trap. After several failed attempts, a very upset Momma Kitty ended up in the trap. Her kittens were rounded up, delivered to us and moved into the nursery.

Hank, Juliet, and Georgette, some of Momma Kitty's kittens

Bob ended up having a very unusual relationship with Momma Kitty she kept conning him into trusting her. He would open the door to her cage, she would give him the "awllllll come on, I won't do anything" look, he would trust her and leave the door open. She would promptly dart out and the chase was on. Usually she would run up the door jamb to the bathroom in the basement and run out of places to go. However, the day she got spayed was a different story. Once home from the vet, Bob was going to put her back in the nursery with her kittens. Believing her to be still knocked out, he non chalantly open the door to the carrier to find a Momma Kitty that was ready to rumble. She shot out of the carrier, across the room, and instead of taking a left into the bathroom like she usually did, she kept going, jumping over a somewhat surprised Bones and hit the steps for the main floor.

Once on the main floor she decided to hide behind the couch in the living room. Bob and I figured we were in business and tried to pick her up. It was at some point during the "lift and stuff" move that she bit Bob. Bob promptly dropped Momma Kitty. Momma Kitty not only landed it well, but took off up more stairs to the third floor of the house, and ended up crawling up into the box spring of the bed in the third bedroom.

Bob and I learned long ago to take the flimsy cloth off the bottom our boxsprings. At least we were able to spot Momma Kitty pretty quickly. We really weren't surprised she went into this boxspring. After all we had just gotten around to putting this bed back together after ripping it apart trying to get Xander out of it. What we weren't expecting was for Momma Kitty getting stuck in a spring in the box spring. Therefore, once again we had to rip the bed apart, tip it up on end with a stuck and now ticked off Momma Kitty in it. Lets just say in the end she was actually glad to go back in the nursery with her kittens. Bob and I just figure that there is some kind of understanding among the furries in our house that when in doubt just hide in the bed in the third bedroom.

Our dog population increased by one sometime during July. (I would like to pin down a definite date, but it all runs together.) It all started innocently enough: the owner of the Save A Life shelter saw a dog running around a shopping center parking lot. He picks the dog up and brings it back to the shelter. The owners of the dog are found and the dog is returned to them. Finds out the dog's name in Ceasar. Ceasar runs away from his owners and is back at the shelter almost before the owner gets back from taking him home. Obviously these people aren't too good at containing Ceasar.

After a couple more trips like the one described above, the owner of the shelter decided that Ceasar needed a better home. Bob and I had been thinking about adopting another dog to be a pal for Bruno. Ceasar was very cat friendly, so Ceasar came to live with us.

Ceasar had a lot of good habits when we brought him home. He didn't jump up on furniture, he didn't pee in the house, he would go into a crate without making such a fuss that the neighbors thought we were doing ritualistic sacrifices, he didn't jump up on the table to get food. These were all good things, so we figured it would only take Boomer and Bruno a few weeks to break him of these habits.

Ceasar's first meeting with Bruno went ok, there was the typical sniffing and tree marking. Then Bruno realized that he could actually play with this dog with out getting into trouble, and the race was on. It took about 2 head on full speed Bruno tackles before Ceasar figured out to run really fast and make a lot of turns. Ceasar also gets along well with the cats, and seems to think that the grooming of the kittens is his domain. Now whenever we see a sopping wet kitten slinking across the floor, we know Ceasar has been at work.

We also ended up with several kittens during this time. Muffin was brought to us by the same people that brought Sophie, our FIV cat. They found her on the side of the road. This kitten must have been the cat version of a knockout..... When Ceasar wasn't trying to groom her, Greyson and Mr Macho were vying for her attention and grooming her. It was also cute watching this little fluff of a kitten chasing a ball with 2 big cats trotting along behind her. Muffin found a home quickly. At last report she was hanging from the curtains and hid the stopper from the bath tub in the basement. The family said they couldn't be happier with her.


We also took custody of another litter of barn kittens in August. If nothing else, they were cute. Mr Fizzy, Mr Fuzzy, Oingo, Boingo, Bongo and Hope all found homes at the Friskies Cat show that was held in the beginning of September.

Mr Fizzy, Mr Fuzzy, Oingo, Boingo and Bongo

We also had another surprise at the Friskies Cat show. The Friskies people were interested in Tommy. They thought he had serious potential for commercials. (Ok, we didn't tell them he was a fruitcake) Unfortunately, they didn't need any more cats for commercials right now, but they would keep him in mind.

Our last incident happened the last weekend in September. We were doing adoptions at a cat show at the Timonium State Fairgrounds. By a stroke of luck, we also happened to land a TV spot that day to promote the shelter. This worked out well for everyone, the shelter got extra publicity and the show got extra advertising. Bob and I just had to pull it off. You see there was one glitch, the TV station was in Washington DC. We had to be there by 7:45 at the latest. The shelter is located by BWI airport, 35 miles away from the TV station. We have to be there by 7 am to load the cats up to head an addition 25 north to the fairgrounds. (We had to be there by 8:45). We decide to divide and conquer. I take Tommy (our budding star) and Jasmine to the TV station. Bob loads all our other furs up and heads for the shelter. When finished at the TV station, I race to the fairgrounds to set up. If there is a problem, Bob will page me, and I will head to the shelter instead. Sounds reasonable right?

From my end, I head to the TV station, and don't get lost. This is a good start. However true to form, Tommy yaks 3 blocks from the station. (I should probably add that Tommy has developed a reputation for losing his breakfast/lunch/dinner approximately 45 seconds before the end of the ride.) I get him cleaned up and get both cats into the TV station. When its time to go on, Tommy ends up sitting in my lap, with Jasmine in a carrier at my feet. While the interviewer and I are talking, the producer decides to crawl under the line of the camera, get Jasmine out of her carrier and put her in the interviewer's lap. Somehow Jasmine gets stuck in the carrier. I'm trying to carry on an intelligent conversation (which for me is a miracle anyway) while watching the show going on under the camera. In the end a very surprised Jasmine ended up digging into the interviewer's lap, hanging on for life. Oh yeah, this is the guy we had before who is allergic to cats.

Jasmine, when she's not stuck in a kitty carrier

At this point I am supposed to race up to the cat show. I haven't heard from Bob so I figure everything is going well. I get within 10 miles of the cat show when my pager goes off. If I remembered the plan, my pager going off meant that Bob was having trouble at the shelter and I am to go there to help. I get turned around on the beltway and head back to the shelter, all the while trying to get ahold of Bob. I can't get an answer on the phone, so I page him.