Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!



We have had fun all week with our Halloween posts - hope you enjoyed them too. The Witching Hour is upon us - a time when the veil between worlds is thin; when witches, demons, ghouls, and other creatures walk walk among us; 




and when front porches look more like pirate ships and graveyards.








It is that magical time of year when things are not what they seem....

It's Halloween! It's Halloween!
The moon is full and bright
And we shall see what can't be seen
on any other night:

Skeletons and ghosts and ghouls,
Grinning goblins fighting duels,
Werewolves rising from their tombs,
Witches on their magic brooms. 
It's Halloween! It's Halloween!

Have a spooky, fun, treat filled magical time!
Happy Halloween from all of us Cats of Wildcat Woods.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tabitha, Vampire Kitty


The witching hour is getting closer!  It wouldn't be Halloween without a vampire or two.  Did you know there are folk tales of vampire cats?

The Japanese believed in a certain variety of shapeshifting demon that appeared as a cat. This cat often had two tails, and sometimes it could change size, growing from an ordinary house cat until it became larger than a person. It was like a vampire, in that its main purpose seemed to be sucking blood from humans and killing them. After a vampire cat had killed someone, it would be able to transform into an exact copy of that person. It would use this ability to get close to new victims, who would not suspect until it was too late to save themselves.

We will leave you today with a musical tribute to the best Dracula of all time - Bela Lugosi!




Happy Halloween - one final scary post coming tomorrow! We are joining in on Camera Critters and Photo Hunt - Dark so do go by and visit them.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Forever Friday with the Symphony Kittens

We are taking a break from our Halloween posts to do our usual Forever Friday.  Keeping  with our theme this week we are featuring  several sweet black kittens from Alley Cats and Angels near Raleigh, North Carolina. I have mentioned them before since they utilize  TNR on feral colonies and will adopt out ferals if tamed or to people with barns to provide housing for the displaced colonies.  Here is their blog story of the Symphony Kittens -

The SPCA forwarded information to us about a colony of ferals with a very limited income caregiver and our one of our TNR Task Force Leaders, Marie P, has been working for the past week trapping for TNR at that colony.  There are approximately 15-20 adult cats and about 10-12 kittens.  So far, 7 of the ferals were "fixed" through our Alter an Alley Cat program last week and we hope to get the remaining cats done this week and next week.  8 kittens have been trapped so far (6 black and white kittens and 2 all black kittens) and there are approximately 3 more kittens to catch.  The kittens are approximately 5 weeks old.  Thankfully, there was someone in the area that is willing to foster the kittens and we are ecstatic because we truly had no available foster homes for them.  Two of the household members play for the North Carolina Symphony so we have dubbed the kittens the "Symphony kittens".  No word yet as to if they will be named after famous composers (Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, etc.).
 






Aren't they sweet - didn't I tell you?  Let's help find them all forever homes - pass this on whether it be Facebook or Twitter or email!  Please do check out this great rescue organization - they have a Facebook page, blog and web site Alley Cats and Angels.

And thank for all the great comments on our Halloween week posts - we have enjoyed reading them.  We will get to you all on return visits - Mom did the posts done beforehand cuz she has been nursing Pop over some surgery this week and has been busy with that and caring for us all by herself! Come back on for more Halloween fun over the weekend.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Boo to You!



I am Al the ghost cat coming to haunt you on Halloween! Boo! Did I scare you?

Did you know that there really are ghosts cats? During the American Civil War, Tom Cat, mascot at Fort McAllister, Georgia, kept up the troops spirits by scampering along the ramparts, dodging cannon shot and musket balls. His luck ran out in March 1863 when a stray shot hit him. But to this day, staff and visitors claim to see Tom Cat's ghost running around the fort and feel an invisible cat rubbing against their legs!
(This story is from the book Cat Biz that Mom has on sale on her Wildcat Woods Vintage Treasures blog to raise money for caring for us!)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Zombies


I am Sweetpea, Zombie Cat and I am coming to get you.......this is one of those accidental scary pictures Mom took of me.  But I do look like a Zombie, don't I?

Mom is a big big Zombie fan and found out that our town has started an annual Zombie walk once a year.  For some reason they missed it this year and she and Pop were very upset! It seems almost 2000 zombies showed up for the walk through downtown Asheville and the video below was taken by a Zombie about the Zombie Walk 2010!  Check it out.






If you read yesterday's post you know that in 2008 Mom and Pop dressed up as Zombies for Trick or Treating with a friend and their daughter.  Here is a picture of them with Mom's very special Kitty Litter Cake!  Does it resemble something every cat knows?  Eewwww!



The recipe for the Kitty Litter cake is very simple ( the topping is cookie crumbs and tootsie rolls. Mom added Milk Duds too) and can be found online at this site.  Mom might make it again this year...it is very tasty if you can get over the grossness!  Happy Halloween.  We will be doing spooky posts all week so stop back by!. We added this post to Anipals Photo Hunt for Trick or Treat week.  Go check it out.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween Hijinks

Snowball and friends.

Happy Halloween - we will be celebrating all week long so this is just the first in a series of Halloween postings. Back in 2008, before we had this blog and after we had just moved to our home now, Mom had an exciting adventure on Halloween.  She would like to tell you all about about it ....

On Halloween morning I went about feeding the kitties and getting ready to run some errands. We were invited to go Trick or Treating with a friends and their daughter. We planned to dress up in costume and make a special cake for Halloween. Just as I was about to leave the house for a few hours I checked on us cats one last time. We had converted an old workshop/carport into a indoor/screen porch cat shelter for the white kitties. It was still a work in process.


Norm cleaning on the top shelf.


When I went out to the screened porch I noticed some of the foam board  put in the ceiling for insulation was on the floor. I looked up and several little white kitty heads peered down at me from the rafters above!!!! They had gotten up into the ceiling from the various shelf perches we made for them. It was an old workshop so I did not know whether the cats had access to the outdoors from here. Not all of the cats were up there - Al and Snowball were not good climbers so they were still in the screen porch, watching all the commotion. I knew I had to get as many back down as I could before they could escape. So much for my day running errands! Those kitties always seem to pick days I have plans to get into mischief!


Al is not our best climber and a bit of a bully.

I stood up on one of the tables and pounded hard on the ceiling making a lot of noise and succeeded in getting a couple of cats down. I finally had to make a hole in the ceiling to see who was still up there. I had taken a head count but wasn't sure. I pulled the foam board loose and saw Smidge and Lily still up above me. I sprinkled tuna and catnip on the table under one of the ceiling holes and Smidge and Lily were just about to come down when Al, my blue eyed deaf cat, went after gray tabby cat Tabitha. All the screeching and commotion scared the cats back up above! I finally put everyone else inside. 

Smidge, not sure she wants to come down.

With my walking stick I coaxed Smidge down a hole to the porch. I put her inside and tried to get Lily to come down too. No way -- she was not moving - tucked away in the far corner of the ceiling.All this had taken me a couple of hours. I still had a cake to bake and costumes to make.

I gave up for now on Lily. I left two holes open and food out. I went out for a couple of hours to run errands and finally when I came back she had come down to eat. I picked her up and put her in a kennel cage while we fixed the ceiling. We secured the smaller foam boards with tape and nailed the larger pieces back - I had made a mess of it all trying to get up there. This time it would hold so we let the cats back out.

Lily, safely down from the rafters.

We were running late but still able to make our date or so we thought.....Don and I dressed in our costumes, got the cake ready and headed for the car before realized we forgot something...the house key. We had locked ourselves out!


With the cats all watching (and probably laughing at us) from inside the house and the screen cat porch, Don removed the heavy air conditioner from the window so I could climb in, carefully blocking the open window so no cats would jump out - thank goodness we had left the A/C in this long or we would not have been able to get back inside.  I closed the window from inside and unlocked the door, taking the keys with me this time.


We made it to our date with friends - a little late, disheveled and dirty but then we went  as Zombies so that was OK! 

Hope you enjoyed Mom's funny Halloween tale - more to come each day this week - some funny, some scary and some haunting! Romeo the Cat is posting about Black cats all week so do go by!

Mom's hosting a Give-away on her other blog to celebrate 150 followers -so do stop by and visit. Go to Carolina Mountains and Give-away page.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Forever Friday with Sparkles, Moonie, Alice and Possum

Fellow blogger (daily dose of dogs (aka cats with your coffee) and animal lover, Chrystal and her family run a privately funded rescue operation in the Midwest and have several wonderful animals up for adoption - she needs to find them homes so she can take more homeless animals into her shelter.  Please open your hearts to these very deserving and loving cats (and dogs) and give them a home or help pass the word on to find them homes.  You can contact Chrystal and read more about them at her blog here

Lover boy Moonie is a year old. He gives kisses and willl do anything to get your attention -  drop onto his side in front of you, roll around at your feet, climb into your lap.  This guy craves attention. If you want a little buddy and great companion, this is the cat for you.





Alice is an absolutely beautiful cat.  She is almost entirely white, with a wildly colorful tail.  Some think she has the markings of a Turkish Van.  She is cautious with people and other cats, at first.  She needs a home with  patient “parents” who will let her adjust at her own pace.  Once she gets to know you, she slips over for attention and starts purring.


If you like white cats, you will love Possum (neutered male) who has golden eyes.  Now 6 months old, he looked like a little possum with his tiny pink nose when they took him in.  Possum is an extremely handsome little guy.  He loves people, seeks out attention and gets along great with all of the cats in the cathouse.  If there is a lap available, he will be the first one in it.


  
Beautiful little Sparkles was born in July 2010.  She came to live here with her brother Ash who has been adopted..  At first, she was afraid of people but she has opened up and adores being the center of attention..  Sparkles lives up to her name in her personality and is a play hog - never stops.   Not yet spayed.  (Spaying would be a requirement of adoption.)


Location is not an issue - if you would like to give one of these great cats a home, Chrystal will find a way to get the cat to you somehow.  She also has dogs available so be sure to visit her blog and follow along in her day to day animal rescues.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Just Hanging on Wordless Wednesday




Please check out more Wordless Wednesday post here. Happy Tocktober! It is Derby's birthday today so go join the party!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Falling Slowly......



To get the full effect of these pictures, please click on the You Tube video first...Mom is not very savy with adding music to her blog yet. We have some very perilous pussycats napping...falling slowly.....






By the way, Mom loved the movie..the two stars really fell in love and wrote all the songs themselves. They won an Oscar for this one.

Friday, October 15, 2010

National Feral Cat Day - Oct 16

Big Guy and Nick outside the evolving shelter.
 
October 16 has been declared National Feral Cat Day by Alley Cat Allies, a national feral cat organization.  They hope to make people more aware of the plight of feral cats and what  can be done to help them.

Most of you know that all but two of my cats were feral cats living in the wooded area behind my farmhouse when we moved to North Carolina.You can read about them in last year's Feral Cat Day post here.

Many people, and this includes many so called humane society shelters, feel that ferals are the equivalent to a wild animal and should be killed to keep their populations down.   This is cruel and inhumane and certainly not the solution.  Once a feral colony has been displaced, another will come to live there since it usually is a place with access to food, shelter and relative safety. 

Big Guy (cow cat), Nick who have gone to the Bridge and Ivy who lives inside with us now.

The most important thing we can do for ferals is to Trap, Neuter and Release them back into their colony or into a safe place for them to live out their lives. This way the females don't continue to have litter after litter, endangering their health and adding to the feral cat population.  With the great educational programs in place by Alley Cat Allies, more communities realize this now and offer assistance to those who want to help feral cats. I was fortunate to have a compassionate veterinarian in my neighborhood ( Dr. Barbara Farmer who now lives in Raleigh and neuters for Alley Cats and Angels) who spayed and neutered my cats for a nominal fee. I set humane traps or dog kennel cages out with food inside and caught each cat one by one.  I would drop off the cat at Dr Farmer's office and within a few ours, the cat was back at my place recovering to be set free later that day or the next if they needed more time. During surgery, ferals are ear tipped - the tip of their ear is cut off or a V shape nick is made so the spayed cats are identified from the non spayed ones.  I did trap some more than once but knew they had been done and released them. Vets need to know how to handle ferals for the spay/neuter process.  Not all vets will work with you on this but many do.

As I was providing TNR to the colony, I realized that while many neighbors were feeding the cats, they did not have a substantial shelter.  They had been living under and inside abandoned trailers and cabins in the neighborhood.  That first year I built an igloo of straw bales and covered the outside with a plastic tarp, layering straw inside for warmth.  Straw allows them to snuggle deep and the natural air pockets keep them warm. Blankets get wet and stay wet while straw will air dry.

Lily and her kittens lived mainly under the house - they are all inside with me now.

My husband got more involved the next year and we converted a kitchen counter into a shelter.  We raised it off the ground on pallets and gutted the interior, insulating it. We added a cat door with a flap to keep the weather out and even put Plexiglas windows on one sunny side with wood doors to open on warm days. We made the top removable to have access to clean and lined the interior with straw.  Eventually we added a lean-to roof on the front with place under it to for them to sit and us to use for their water and food. This kept them dry on rainy or snowy days. We also added another deck on a second level on the other side as well. This allowed them to be outside yet out of the weather. It was quite the shelter when we finished with it and housed them thru two hurricanes and many winter blizzards.

Ivy, safe indoors now and relaxing on the back porch.

One winter we had temperatures at or below zero for days and I wanted to keep the cats warmer than they were.  I don't advise everyone do this but it worked for us.  We set up a warm place for them under the house in the crawlspace.We laid down plastic just inside the entrance and used large square plastic trash cans lined with straw for additional shelter. We covered the trash cans with insulation and more plastic.  Then we put an electric heater in the crawlspace under the house (to keep our pipes from freezing as well as the cats) and left it on low. We closed up the entrance except for a small flap they could get in and out yet the wind did not.  This worked well and they were under the house until spring.  We set up a food station under the deck next to the crawlspace with water and dry food.

I checked on them daily, watching them play and interact from my kitchen window or from our back porch. As the years went by I took them indoors if their health was not good or to the vet for check ups if needed.  Eventually our local humane society realized that they did indeed live lives worth living - the cats had all they needed - food, shelter, medical care and someone to watch over them. 

Lily and her kittens now - indoor only cats.

If you know of any feral cat groups that need someone to care for them, please contact Alley Cat Allies.  They can point you in the right direction for local assistance. They provide information on how to do TNR, build cat shelters, tame feral kittens and who to contact in your area to help.  Don't let your community mistreat them - they deserve our respect and love as any animal does.

If you are doing a post today for National feral Cat Day please leave your link below and if you want grab the code for your blog. (Click get the code, then click blogger, then easy link and then click generate code - it should work.)




Check out our Wildcat Woods Vintage Treasures (see sidebar for link) blog for great stuff - we are offering 20% off in honor of National Feral Cat Day - from Oct. 16-23. All proceeds help pay for our ferals. We are joining Camera Critters today too.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Forever Friday - Black Cat Friday

Mom went back to look at all the Forever Friday posts and saw that all the black cats she featured were still on the Petfinders list except Bella. And she also noticed that all her local shelters had many many black cats still waiting for forever homes. We love house panthers so in this month of black cats and spells let's work our own magic to find homes for these deserving cats.


If you are a fan of the cartoon "Plugger", you will be a fan of this big senior cat! All black Clubber has 6 toes, thus the name. He would be the perfect companion for a quiet, calm household. For more info on how to adopt him visit Animal Compassion Network in Asheville, NC




This is Shadow, a 1 year old Maine Coon mix neutered male from the Avery County Humane Shelter in Newland, NC. For one reason or another Shadow keeps coming back. Never his fault! Shadow has found his home twice and the families have had to bring him back due to lack of money or moving to a new location. Please help us find his forever home.




Avon is a short hair tuxedo cat available for adoption at Brother Wolf Rescue in Asheville, NC. This is her story:   I was rescued from an abusive home just days before I gave birth to 6 kittens. I arrived at my foster home with my six 3-day-old kittens and I then took on 2 more kittens who had been abandoned. I was a fantastic mother to these eight kittens. I am just over a year old. I am a VERY sweet gal. I love to cuddle. I talk to get your attention - I just love to be the center of attention now that my babies are on their own. Please call my foster mom so you can meet such a precious lady; her number is (828) 778-3011.




Keever is a silky black fellow with a sweet, soulful nature. Bonding with people is his trademark. He will follow you around and sit on your lap. In between playtimes, he loves to be brushed and petted. He is good with other cats. We've had this little sweetie for over a year, simply because of his color! Please call his foster mom at (828) 281-2885 to meet Keever.

So let's work some black cat magic this week and find homes for these lovely cats...think positive thoughts that a special someone will come into their lives.

When witches go riding
And black cats are seen
The moon laughs and whispers
Tis near Halloween!

Thankful Thursday - Tree Guys

Mamacita here.  We got woken up early this morning with lots of large trucks and noise.  I wanted to see what was going on but Chica slept thru it all. The white cats are scaredy cats and all huddled together rather than watch the fun.
The tree guys came by this morning to trim all the trees hanging over the wires.   Last winter we got two ice storms and lost power for days. Brrr, that was cold so all summer they have been working on our street (which is a very long 7 mile heavily wooded through the mountains street) putting up better power lines, new poles and trimming the trees so they don't touch the lines.

We are very grateful for all the work they did and are still doing so hopefully we won't lose our power this winter. Yay for the tree guys!

Do come on by for our special National Feral Cat Day post on Saturday October 16. Join in with us to teach folks that feral cats deserve a chance - we are all rescued ferals (except for Chica and Yoko).  We are glad someone gave us a chance.

If you are posting for Thankful Thursday then join in the blog hop! Be sure to visit Teacher's Pets - they are the ones who started this.

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