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Keeping outside kitties warm ? Need help!


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#1
SydsMom

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I started a similar thread under dog daze when 2 dogs showed up at my house ...

then a cat ... and now ... there appears to be a second cat ...  I've seen both since the weather was still warm hanging around .... but ....

The first cat (calico) is living under the front steps (possibly the porch if she can get all the way under there).  She has been taking food since Sat.  She doesn't come out if I'm outside, but the minute I go in and close the door... she's at the bowl. I think she could be pregnant (or has had kittens recently).  If she sees me in the window she stares for a minute and then darts under the porch. Getting close to her is not going to be easy.

Now the black/grey siamese cat seems to be coming around. Do cats tell other cats when they find a sucker ? LOL.  

I'm not real sure what to do. I don't want to end up with a colony out there but I need to try to do something to keep at least her warm.  I couldn't sleep last night I was so sick thinking about her out there freezing.

Does anyone know if I stuff straw into the hole she's dug under the steps will she move it to where she sleeps (which I would think would be further back closer to the house?) Would I be better off constructing some kind of little house for her on the porch ? Cardboard ? Sterofom cooler ? Any other really cheap suggestions ? And how to get water to her without it freezing ?  

Just so no one thinks I haven't tried this ... I've called SEVERAL rescues ... all are "full".  Between over crowding and financial issues, no one is taking any kitties right now.  I did find someone who would loan me a trap, but then what ? I can not even consider keeping her or even bringing her inside.   I can't even TNR  right now .... and taking her to the animal control here is a CERTAIN (and nasty) death sentence.

Edited by SydsMom, 05 February 2009 - 11:31 AM.

Michelle
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#2
Judy

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Michelle...do an internet search on what to put out in the winter...I always get confused as to if it's straw or hay...

You can get a bag of straw or hay from your local feed mill for a really reasonable price.  I know that I paid $1.00 a feed back when we were sheltering outside cats.

10 to 1 the calico kitty is a female...so, if she isn't pregnant she will be soon...Call your local humane society.  There is that mobile spay/neuter vehicle in Ohio that helps low income people.  If you don't have the money I will help with that, if you will keep the cats as a "colony"...

Two in a colony won't be bad...

We had two ferals outside and I worried sick over them...our country vet told me...don't be silly...shelter and food are more than they had before you started...plus, they had human contact...

You are doing a great thing and I'm sure others are going to give you advice and tips also...Judy



#3
Beauty's Kathy

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Alley Cat Allies has lots of good information about this- if you need more help than you find, email or call them and they will help you out.

http://www.alleycat.org

Once the kitties are fixed, you will have a manageable colony.


When my friend was living in South Beach, one of the local rescuers put cardboard boxes under the houses - on their sides and put bedding inside- I think they reccomend straw or hay instead of blankets- not sure about the water, but I think the alley cat site will be able to  help

The kitties are there to protect you!

Kathy

#4
SydsMom

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Thanks for the website smile.gif
I'll call about the mobile s/n truck. I'm not sure if they come to this area, but I will definately check.

Kitty seems to stay gone most of the day, but she returns at night and then leaves in the morning.  She was just here (food is gone) - and likely under the steps/porch again.  I didn't see her this time. I went back out and put more food and a pc of fleece scrap I found. Not sure if she'll take that with her or not?   She WAS smart enough to break the ice in the water dish to get to the water (I had put it out about 20 mins before).

I wish I had some idea how much warmer it would be under there versus in the open. I'm guess at least 10 -15 degrees warmer ?  The bottom has a skirt on it (solid not lattice or anything) that goes to the ground, and then from shoveling there is snow built up around that.

Just hoping she stays warm enough tonight. It's supposed to get quite a bit warmer here tomm and stay warm through the weekend.

Oh I did get straw as well. The local feed store where I get Syd's food gave me a bale smile.gif  I am going to try and stuff some under there tomm !

Edited by SydsMom, 05 February 2009 - 09:22 PM.

Michelle
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#5
CatPaws

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Hi Michelle:  
Thanks for taking care of this little kitty.  Tell Charlie I said to be very nice to her.

I hope you are able to find some information on low cost spay/neuter.  If you would, can you send me your mailing address? You have my email from Secret Santa days, I think.

One of the guys who helps out with our rescue adoption days is with a group home for challenged individuals.  Funds are very limited and he takes care of lots of little critters that come through the group home's yard.  Two cats showed up and needed shelter from the wind and cold, so his group got one of these large tupperware storage boxes, and cut a hole in the side- round hole, large enough for a cat, too small for the raccoon.  He put 3 or 4 old towels inside.  I was really surpised, but the cats love it.  They go inside to sleep even when it's not so cold.  We have since discovered the cats belong to someone and they leave a basement window open that the cats can go in and out of and get their food, but they actually seem to prefer the set-up that James built for them.
HELP JUST ONE

Love, from AJ's Pride and Skeeter's Joy

#6
SydsMom

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I got "up close and personal" with kitty tonight.

I was putting her food out and saw her lurking in the driveway waiting for me to go away.  So I purposely sat in the window and left the porch light on until she finally relented and came up on the porch to eat.  I sat watching her for nearly 20 minutes.  She was only about 3 feet away from me, but she could only see my head at the bottom of the window.

She was nervous a bit, and stared at me for quite some time before she just ate her food and then headed to a corner where i could no longer see her (I guess she'll head under the porch shortly, but didn't want me to "know" that ?)

You guys, she's BEAUTIFUL. She's so so pretty and she's ABSOLUTELY *VERY* pregnant .. her tummy is HUGE and I think I could actually see some rippling movements in her belly.   She looked to be in very good condition. She's very clean, doesn't look like she's got fight wounds and even her ears / nose / eyes looked clear.

I haven't been able to find ANYONE to take her.  I can trap her, but then what? I think I am going to try to sit out there again tomm... and maybe even the next day. Guaging at how nervous she is I might leave the window open a crack so she can hear me and talk to her. Trying to get her to trust me even if just a little .. hopefully before she has the cats under the porch. They would be ok now, but we'll have some more deep freezes and there is no way they would live.

And tomm I am on my way to set up some kind of "home" on the porch and hope she likes it enough to have the kitties up here versus under the porch where I can't be of any help.  I am debating if a rubbermaid type container or heavy cardboard would give her (and the kittens?)   more protection ? ?


Michelle
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#7
Debs

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Hi Michelle, get a styrofoam cooler and cut a hole out on the end big enough for her to get in and out of and put some straw in it. Just make sure its big enough so there is room for the kittens. It will keep her nice and warm and her kittens too when she has them.

Out shelters are full up of cats too right now, its such a shame that people don't get their cats spayed and neutered and just take the kittens in to the spca or let them run.

Good luck with her and let us know how she's doing. Hopefully we are on the downside of this cold weather.
Deb, Spike(RB 3/13/07), Riley (RB 8/12/13), Tigger, Jake, Tyson and Jax

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#8
Beauty's Kathy

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Have you checked out the alley cat website yet?

They have a poster that shows a kitty and says She has a home. It is outside.
Many kitties are very happy outside (trust me, I have tried to bring some in and they will not stay in.)

For now feed her and keep her warm. She will come around in time-

Thank you for taking care of her

Kathy

#9
CatPaws

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Checking in for updates on Miss Kitty?  Have you given her a name yet?  

What does she think of the new house you built for her?  Any sign of kittens yet?  

Tell us the updates- please.
HELP JUST ONE

Love, from AJ's Pride and Skeeter's Joy

#10
SydsMom

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We haven't named her. Just calling her "kitty kitty" which is actually pretty funny because my son names all his "friends" like that. His best buddy is a stuffed mouse named "mousie mousie".

Anyhow, she came late on Monday night. I was actually getting worried because she she has been showing up like clock work between 7-8 or so.  It was after 11 when she came and I didn't see her.  She DID sleep in her little house that night though (the straw was all smooshed in a perfect circle).

Last night I didn't see her either but she was here (the food is gone from both the dish outside the house and the dish in the house - I bought one can of food and have been putting a little in a dish in the house to lure her in).  I'm not sure if she slept there lastnight....  I had a bad migraine last night and wasn't checking every 10 mins for her.  Hopefully I can see her tonight.

I did post on a website that helps with funding so we can get her (and maybe the kitties) vetted. She's got $50 so far smile.gif  

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#11
SydsMom

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Last night my son was leaving to see his dad and I turned the porch light on and was shocked to see THREE kitties scatter from the porch (where the food is). I knew there were two but now there is a fluffy grey one too.

He/she was kinda funny. The two other kitties bolted the minute the light came on and his head was still in the dish. He looked up like "Who.... WHAT?? Oh crud... I'm eating her food!" and he went to bolt, looked at me again like "Sure I can't stay?" so I kinda hid from the window but he bolted anyhow.

Someone is bleeding out there and I have no idea which one it might be , but there are little blood spots near the food dish.  I've contacted a bazillion places to try and trap these guys and NO one wants to help me :(  

I was talking to the neighbor the other day when I took trash out and she was griping about the "spotted one"  (that's my pregnant calico)  getting in her garbage.  I'm worried what the neighbors will do if they find out I'm feeding / caring for these guys. Let's say she was less than friendly about their presence :(
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#12
Debs

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Oh no Michelle. I wonder if your calico is getting ready to have her babies. I wish someone would help you trap them and get them checked out. I had to laugh at the fuzzy grey one with his head caught in the food dish. he sounds like a pretty guy.

I wouldn't say anything to the neighbors, might just make them angry and just carry on what you are doing. Hopefully once she understands that the food source is going to continue to come from you she may stop getting in the neighbors garbage. We can only hope.
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#13
SydsMom

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Well I haven't seen Ms. Calico today and I think she may be the bleeding one  sad.gif since there is no new blood on the porch and I know grey fluffy butt is here tonight.  He's cracking me up.  I went to the porch after I put "dinner" out for Ms. Calico, flipped on the light (Calico doesn't care) and I see this fuzzy grey butt launch into the air.

So a little while later I go to see if he hogged all the food wanting to make sure something is out there for my calico baby and I flip on the light .... again this flying fuzzy grey butt in the air.  I filled the bowl and went in.

I just went down to make sure the house was locked up and just for giggles I flicked the light on real fast ... and ... you guessed it ... grey fuzzy butt launching across the porch. I think he was sleeping in the "house" so I shall leave him alone now. LOL.

Do cats have "territory" ? Could he have kicked Ms. Calico out of here ?  I'm worried about her.
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#14
Beauty's Kathy

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Where are you located? Have you asked Alley Cat Allies- they have a feral friends network- trapping one or two cats is not too much- we get people wanting us to pick up and pay for huge colonies of cats.

Good luck
Kathy

#15
Judy

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Michele, here are some addresses and telephone no's that help with spay/neuter and also TNR...

There is also a telephone no. and email address for the mobile spay/neuter unit

I can't believe I found it so easily...

http://www.pawsohio.com/low%20cost%20spay%20neuter.htm

Good Luck...Judy

#16
SydsMom

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QUOTE (Judy @ Feb 22 2009, 10:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Michele, here are some addresses and telephone no's that help with spay/neuter and also TNR...
There is also a telephone no. and email address for the mobile spay/neuter unit
I can't believe I found it so easily...
http://www.pawsohio.com/low%20cost%20spay%20neuter.htm
Good Luck...Judy


Thanks Judy. I'll check into a couple things on that page. The mobile unit says it comes to Medina, but I've never seen Medina on the schedule and called them and they said it's extremely rare that they actually come here because they don't get enough response.

My best bet really is to find someone who takes the FOA's without all the fees I think (I called an animal hospital pretty close and they have mandatory all vaccines / pre-op bloodwork ... which took the price to nearly $200 for one cat !!!  blink.gif   My cousin just found a place near her that didn't require the additional work and she took a stray she adopted off the streets there with the FOA , but she said she'd never go back it was really sub-par. The others on the page are for cleveland. I'll try calling them, but I am not sure they will help an out of county resident.
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#17
CatPaws

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Hi Michele:  Have you seen Ms. Calico recently?  What about Gray Fuzz?  Do you have access to a have-a-heart trap that you could use to catch either one?  

I am just wondering if the kittens are already here.  Who's using the house you built now?

  


HELP JUST ONE

Love, from AJ's Pride and Skeeter's Joy

#18
SydsMom

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We have KITTENS !!!

Looks like three or four  were born some time last night.  Mama tossed one of them out and it's deceased. Not sure if it was born that way or her tossing it out of the box caused him to freeze. I was really sad, but realize there isn't much I could have done.  Will she move the kitten or should I attempt to ?

Mama's been in the box all morning and she's blocking the doorway with her back so I haven't had a real good look. If she sees me getting close she gets VERY VERY defensive so I am keeping a safe distance... I don't want to stress her out.

Anne found a lady that has said they she take the kittens in 3-4 weeks (does that sound right to all of you?) she said that will give them long enough to be with their mama but not long enough to run away and be hard to catch.

IFluffy butt is hanging around a lot in the front of the house.   He isn't getting close at all... so either he's ticked someone took over his box (he was sleeping in there sometimes)   Hope he doesn't start a fight or hurt any of the babies.

It's supposed to be a lot warmer this week so I'm hoping that will help.

PS Anne just sent me an email and told me that fuzzy butt's ear is clipped - he was in the garage  as she was on her way out of town..... and she got to see him pretty good. So I guess he / she has been TNR'ed already.

Edited by SydsMom, 25 February 2009 - 09:34 AM.

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#19
CatPaws

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GREAT news on Fuzzy Butt's "neutral" status.  I hope it really is an ear tipping and not the result of a fight.  I hope he continues being a gentleman and doesn't try to chase the new family from their nursery.

Sounds like the person who is willing to take the kittens is making sound decisions.  Let mom nurse for the first critical weeks, but don't let them get too old before socializing with people starts.  

What happened with the deceased kitten?  Usually when the mother rejects one of the kittens, it's because she knows something we don't  Still, it's very hard to see.

I'm just thankful she used the little makeshift house- means she's comfortable.



HELP JUST ONE

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#20
Debs

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I love the name "fuzzy Butt" he sounds like a real character.

I'm glad she had the kittens in the house you made for her, they will be nice and warm. And good idea to stay away so she doesn't move them to someplace less safe.

And I'm sure it would be safe for you to take that once kitten away. I'm sorry you had to see that, its always sad when they reject one of their babies.
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#21
SydsMom

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Well, there are apparently 3 kittens left in the box - I'm still guessing because Mama is like a gestapo and won't let me anywhere on the porch. She came flying out at me when I was trying to put food down yesterday.  

She did something with the deceased kitten ?  I left it there that first night and the next morning it was gone. So I'm guessing she dragged it off some place ?  Or maybe another cat / animal did ?

I can't even see her / them in the box. She's in the back and she's shoved all the straw by the little door.  She's made herself and the kittens a little cave !!  I can hear them at times mewing like crazy though.  They sound so cute!!  

I haven't seen Mr. Fuzzy Butt at all.

I'm still talking to some rescues... now that I have a place secure for the kittens I  just need to get mama fixed up once she is regrouped from the kitties.  The rescue lady who is taking the kittens thought maybe we could wait a few days and try to nab them all at once (Mama and kitties) since Calico isn't leaving the box that I've seen . She basically wants to corner them in the little house - throw something over the door to block them in and transfer to a larger secure crate .....  and then she can take them all.... until the kitties can be seperated and calico can then be spayed and re-released here.    

I'm not so sure about that ? I've seen feral cats that are "trapped" and it ain't pretty. I'm thinking it's not a good idea with the kittens, but someone tell me if I'm wrong. I'm new to this cat rescue stuff. LOL

Any thoughts from the cat ladies?

Edited by SydsMom, 28 February 2009 - 11:19 AM.

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#22
Judy

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If this rescue woman is a cat/kitten rescurer I'd go with what she says...

I am sure that some of the other more savy cat people will have some thoughts on what she's talking about...

I once helped a little old lady get some feral kitties fixed and it was such an ordeal...very scary and stressful...the cats were as wild as could be and they were on her back porch and they were literally climbing the walls...I had on a jacket and leather gloves and did manage to catch them before I hyperventilated...

If I were you, I wouldn't watch...you'll get stressed and upset...with luck, all will go well...it may even take a couple of tries...

I am so glad you are having help with this...I'll keep checking back to see what's happening...It's so cold today in Ohio...when will Spring get here?  Rumor has it March is going to be more like winter than Spring...Judy

#23
CatPaws

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Wow, that's a risky venture to attempt.  I hope she's very experienced at doing this, because if she fails on the first attempt, it's likely Calico will move those kittens.  I do applaud her willingness to help with Mamma too.  So many times they are just left behind.

My guess is Mamma gave Mr. Fuzzy Butt a thrashing, and he won't try again to venture too close to where she has the kittens.  I hope he's found another place to get food to keep him going.

  Just be very careful yourself when putting the food out there.  Those hormones can make a nice kitty a real tiger.
HELP JUST ONE

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#24
SydsMom

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Fluffy Butt is dead   sad.gif Saw him in the middle of the road today... hit by a car.  I've been crying half the day over it. I'm so so so sad.  He was so pretty .... it's just not fair.

And there is only one kitten left. Calico isn't taking care of them or can't... not sure which.... she threw one out yesterday and I can see another one in there, not moving.  The live kitten is on the other side. The kitty rescue lady is going to come take the last living kitten tomm when Calico is away (hopefully) or I'll remove it as soon as Calico isn't around. She'll attempt to hand feed it, but she said it may not make it even then ....

It's been a sad sad kitty day today sad.gif

Edited by SydsMom, 16 March 2009 - 12:27 AM.

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#25
CatPaws

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magicmoon.gif   Sad news, indeed, on Fluffy Butt.

I'm really worried about Momma- and whether she is sick (I'm thinking pyometra).  She took so easily to your little homemade hut, I was optimistic for her little ones.  Especially after she made it through the really cold spell.    Hopefully momma and her last little one can be helped.


HELP JUST ONE

Love, from AJ's Pride and Skeeter's Joy

#26
SydsMom

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Well Calico has "disappeared"  I am worried there is a predator around (maybe injured fluffy butt and that's why he was slow / got hit by the car?) ... thankfully the kitten is in her new home and has a new mama.  Tami (the rescue lady) had a friend who had a nursing barn cat, so they took the kitten there and the mama welcomed it - so that's AWESOME news.  Tami says the kitten is nursing well and she'll send me pictures tomm or Friday. I'll be sure to post them.

All that said ... I'm pretty sad. To go from 6 kitties to NONE in just a few days is quite the shock. I am surprised how attached I've become to all of them, and Fuzzy Butt's death has gotten to me. I feel like maybe I should have trapped them all sooner and then maybe be wouldn't have died, though I am not sure what I would have done with them. sad.gif

Edited by SydsMom, 17 March 2009 - 10:00 PM.

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#27
SydsMom

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Kitten is doing well. Adjusting to barn life pretty good.

Still no sign of Calico or fluffy butt.... but I've got a greyish / black one that is hanging out a lot now. He's a piggy !!! Unless someone is helping him he eats A LOT every evening ... and I see him in garbage bags a lot too.
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#28
SydsMom

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Just a note that Calico is back :D Saw her sniffing around the other night while sitting outside with a neighbor so I ran home and put food out for her ..... so happy to see her safe again!
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#29
Debs

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Oh Michelle, I'm sorry I didn't keep up with this. It must have been devastating for you to lose those babies like that. I'm so glad the one kitty is doing great though. And I'm glad Calico is back. Too bad she couldn't be trapped and spayed before another litter comes along.

And I'm so sorry about Fluffy butt.  sad.gif

Edited by Debs, 28 April 2009 - 10:50 AM.

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#30
SydsMom

SydsMom

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Calico has been TNR'ed !!
I finally found a group willing to have her vetted and release her back near me.  
She came home and spent some time in the garage utility room. She wasn't so appreciative of my hospitality, but she sure was happy when I let her go. I didn't see her for a few days, but now she's back to sleeping under the porch (she never did really get into the kitty condo I made her) and taking the kibble I leave out for her. She seems to have recovered well from the spay... I do think she got into a fight the other night as I heard a ton of "cat fight" noise.... but when I saw her a little while ago in the field hunting for something she looked fine !!

And kitten is doing fine. He'll likely stay a barn cat.... the rescuers children have fallen in love with him. They've named him  Toomor ? (not sure on the spelling) .  They keep promising pictures, but I haven't gotten any yet.

Edited by SydsMom, 14 May 2009 - 10:11 AM.

Michelle
Charlie & Zoe
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Angel Sydney 1-2-10
Sydney2.jpg
Angel Brittany 9-22-07
Brit2.JPG




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