3 Cats and their Cat Sitter

An open letter to the humans who maintain the home of three very important house cats.

Regarding the Pet Sitter, Amy.

Dear Humans we Dominate,

cat

"Sometimes, the truth hurts. To bad." Erie

This letter is long overdue.  The substitute Amy the pet sitter has been “tending” to our needs for years now and we are just now making time in our busy schedule to tell you what we think of her.  First of all, she smells.  Bad.  Like dogs.  It disgusts us.  If you could talk to her about that you won’t regret doing it.  Secondly, she does not feed us enough.  I’m sure this is either a shining example of what you consider is “good for us” or of Amy’s inability to follow instructions.

Fred disagrees but Obi and I (Erie) think that 30 minutes a day is not enough time to adequately care for our needs and provide necessary adoration.  We want her here to pay attention to us when we are ready, no when she just happens to be around.  Therefore, we have decided she should be on call, so that we can summon her as needed, 24-7.

cat

Fred allows me a peak at his lovely coat.

Fred says to make her leave quickly and tell her to stop uncovering him.  

Obi is really upset, he invested a lot of time watching the houses on the street and chose you as his caretakers and you routinely leave him with Amy who does not feed him enough.

We might consider forgiving you for leaving us if you reintroduced canned food into our paltry diet.  As for Amy, we’ve decided she is as trained as she is going to get and that training a new substitute would be to much trouble so you can keep her.  Do talk to her about the smell though.

Your Adored Cats,

Erie, Obi Wan and Fred

 

Obi Wan Cat

"See, she smells bad." Obi Wan

 

IndyFeral – Saving the lives of cats most in need.

I have unfortunately been unable to upload the pictures that I want to include it this post due to my malfunctioning internet.  I will update the post ASAP.

 

IndyFeral was my gateway into truly becoming involved in animal rescue.  My introduction to feral cats was much like most people’s.  I kept seeing a couple cats lurking around the garbage outback, lounging in the sun on the porch and hiding in the bushes out front.  I started feeding them and realized they were not friendly to humans and likely not owned or not fixed.  A little research lead me to IndyFeral.  The next thing I knew I was not only the caretaker of what turned out to be 8 feral cats but an active volunteer with IndyFeral, having been quickly converted by the enthusiasm, devotion and empathy everyone involved exuded.

The mission of IndyFeral is simple:  IndyFeral seeks to reduce the stray and feral cat overpopulation through the non-lethal method of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), not trap and kill.  This mission is so important because ” In the U.S. the most comprehensive data indicates that nearly 72% of cats that enter these facilities are killed.  For feral cats, the kill rate in shelters and pounds rises to virtually 100%.” (Source)

What is Trap Neuter and Return?  TNR is a humane and non-lethal approach to feral cat population control. It is a comprehensive management plan where healthy feral (free-roaming) cats are sterilized and vaccinated, then returned to their habitat and provided with long-term care. (Definition courtesy of Alley Cat Allies.)

What is a Feral Cat?  “A Feral cat may be defined as any cat to wild or unsocialized to be kept in a typical home.  These cats are often born in the wild and avoid direct human contact.  Every feral and abandoned cat is the end result of irresponsible pet owners who failed to spay or neuter their cat then allowed it to roam freely.”  *As defined on the IndyFeral website.

This 1 minute video also explains what a feral cat is.

I would add that in my opinion these cats are the most in need of our assistance and protection as well as perhaps the most deserving because we have abandoned them and without organizations like IndyFeral there would be no one to advocate for them.

When Lisa Tudor realized that there was a great need for a TNR program in Indianapolis, IN it 2002 Indy Feral was born.  Thanks to the fantastic volunteers, some of which have been active since 2002,  that she was able to bring into the cause Indy Feral can proudly present following amazing statistics:

  • 23,194 cats fixed
  • Assistance for over 2,500 managed colonies
  • 2,717 friendly cats/kittens removed from colonies

Marion County, Indiana passed a TNR Ordinance that regulates the care of stray and feral cats with the assistance of IndyFeral who was instrumental in passing this ordinance.

IndyFeral is somewhat unique among rescue groups as you will see if you visit their website.  They share regularly updated listing of many dog, cat and wildlife rescue resources on their site and in a pdf format.  They also offer the only comprehensive listing of low cost medical care for pets in Indianapolis that I know of.  In this way they make it clear that they are a part of the solution, for all animals in need in Indianapolis, IN.  A special, unique and effective organization that deserves our support through a monetary donation, food donation (scroll to bottom of page) or by volunteering.

I hope this post will make you look at the stray cat in your yard a little differently next time he shows up.  You can help save lives and IndyFeral will help you do it.

 

Mary and Bella, feline cold war.

cat
” I was here first.”

Mary:

I was happy as an only cat for years.  I had my mom to myself and when she could tear herself away from me and I was provided with, Amy a pretty good substitute servant.  I like her because she appreciates my need for treats and a lap.  Then the unthinkable happened.  Bella, another cat (and her human-training them is so hard) moved in.  We disliked each other immediately.  It was MY house, she did not belong and I made that clear, but my efforts were in vain, she’s still here.

cat
“I like it here, except for Mary.”

 

Bella:

Moving is very stressful for me but once we settled into our new home I made myself comfortable and began a campaign to rid myself of Mary.  I thought this would be simple, she’s kind of soft, always playing sweet to the humans, never putting them in their place.  Humans require intensive training and follow up sessions on a regular basis to remind them who is in charge.  This includes but is not limited to swatting and hissing in the middle of a required adoration session to keep them on their toes.  This is sometimes followed up by allowing more affection immediately or simply walking away.  You have to keep them guessing.  The same tactics, modified to terrorize a cat, were be employed for my Rid the House of Mary Campaign”.  Thus far this has only resulted in much hissing and growling the humans discourage for some reason.

 

Mary and Bella:

This battle for dominence continued until the most unthinkable thing in the world happened:

 

 

Labrador retriever
“My name’s Millie and I love my new home.”

 

 

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Our out and out war had to be altered to a cold war, allowing us to join forces occasionally in a covert operation to rid our home of this vile creature.  We have tried everything from blaming any and every thing the humans dislike on the dog, ignoring the humans as punishment and attacks on the enemy.  Alas, we are still at war but considering that cat’s are far superior to dogs, we will eventually prevail.

Until we do we now look forward to our humans leaving because the dog leaves too.  Training Amy the substitute is an ongoing process but she’s preferable to the dog.

 

Bella the calico cat
“It’s exhausting being a cat.”

 

Mary the cat gettin gpets
“Lap time with Amy.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cats’ Emails to Their Humans on a Weekend Away

These Happy Critters were abandoned to my care for the first time.  This is what they had to say to their humans via email.

Correspondence shown in maroon are letters received from the Cats to the Humans.

Correspondence shown in black are letters received from the Humans to the cats.

Notes in blue are from the Pet Sitter (aka. Substitute Mom).

"Your really left us?"

Dear humans who have apparently abandoned us,

The substitute showed up, so that’s a good start. She tended to our needs as instructed under jimi and Simons supervision. We all graced her with a chance to pet us then ignored her, as a substitute deserves.

Your cats.

(they become much more affectionate with the substitute very quickly!  I was glad to see everyone. All is well here, unless you’re an “abandoned” cat that is)

Dear Substitute Mom,

All of us humans were very happy to hear from our kitty friends.

We arrived here a little later than we planned 6 humans need more breaks than the 1 puppy.

All the owners especially Jimis’ much appreciated update and can see he is in good hands

Thanks

"We aren't being fed at all."

Abandonment Day 2:

To the humans on probation,

(Henry is the spokes cat) Mila, Jimi and I greeted the substitute. Yes, she gave us pets and Simon finally intruded on that but we are being starved!  Jimi is having great time chasing Simon. The rest of us are bored.

The Cats

"We are not getting any affection and it's very stressful."

Abandonment Day 3:

We are under a lot of stress right now. That’s all we can say

It was a stressful day for all of us too…. we’re hoping tomorrow is a better day

We miss you all too

"If she trips and breaks something she won't be able to leave."

Abandonment Day 4:

Well, the substitute is quite trainable so she is acceptable. Feeding the birds is a waste of OUR time though.

"I don't like her at all."

Last Day!

Ok, the sub can be used again. That is if you can bear to leave us again, which is unfathomable to us.

 

"Ok, you can let her care for us again."

 

We appreciate the great care you gave the kitty crowd… They were missed.

Even dog people like kittens, a little.

"Let's see if you are an acceptable human."

This is Emma, the newest and at present, the youngest, Happy Critter.  I thought her tail was at attention while she was inspecting me but it pretty much stays that way all the time.

Here she is having fun with her big sister Inky.  I’ve been caring for Inky for a couple of years now.  Today was the first time she came out to meet me at the door.  Our relationship progressed from her hiding from me to meeting me at the door today.  I think she has decided she will get no attention with Emma around unless she comes on out.

KITTEN ATTACK!

Kitten attacking finger.

Kitten attacking foot.

Kitten attacking foot.

Kitten attacking hand.

Emma seems to have enjoyed our first meeting and I didn’t loose to much blood.  The best part about Emma, aside from that tail, is that she has breathed new life into her big sister Inky.

Please keep getting puppies and kittens so that I can restrain myself from adding to our furry family.

 

If I didn’t share my home animals……

 

If I Didn’t Have a Dog…or Cat…………

I could walk barefoot around the yard in safety.

My house could be carpeted instead of tiled and
laminated. All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture, and cars would
be hair-free.

When the doorbell rang, my home wouldn’t sound
like a kennel.

When the doorbell rang, I could get to the door without
wading through all the fuzzy bodies who beat me there. I could sit on the couch and the bed any way I wanted
without having to consider how much space several
furry bodies would need to get comfortable.

I would have enough money, and no guilt, to go on
a real vacation. I would not be on a first-name basis with 6 veterinarians
as I put their yet-unborn grandkids through college.

My house would not be cordoned off into zones with
baby gates and makeshift barriers.

I would not talk baby talk: ‘Eat your din din’…’Yummy
yummy for the tummy’… My house would not look like a daycare center, with toys
everywhere.

My pockets would not contain things like poop bags,
treats, and an extra leash.

I would no longer have to spell the words B-A-L-L,
W-A-L-K, T-R-E-A-T, O-U-T, G-O, R-I-D-E, S-U-P-P-E-R,
and C-O-O-K-I-E.

I would not have as many leaves INSIDE my house as
outside.

I would not look strangely at people who think
having ONE dog/cat ties them down too much.

I would look forward to spring and the rainy season
instead of dreading ‘mud’ season.

I would not have to answer the question ‘Why do you
have so many animals?’ from people who will never
know the joy of being loved unconditionally by the
closest thing to an angel they will ever encounter.

……………………………..How EMPTY my life would be!!!

Cricket-Back in Sunny California

 

My review of Amy’s Happy Critters, Inc. long term “care” facility – By The Cricket

"I'm so happy to be home, I promise to be the best cat I can be from now on."

I was banished from my natural habitat of Santa Monica, California to Mooresville, Indiana from the summer of  2010 to January 2011.  Where is that you may ask?  What an excellent question.  If you google anything “Mooresville” you are directed to Mooresville, North Carolina.  I can only assume this is because North Carolina has a climate suitable for feline habitation unlike Mooresville Indiana.  Since I am a mature feline of unparalleled patience with a heart that is far to big for my own good, I allowed the caretaker who abandoned me in the back of beyond to resume her duties providing my very modest care requirements.  Also, she seems to have freed me from the arctic with no time to spare.  Apparently the weather there can actually be worse then the horrors I experienced during my incarceration.  Plus, the substitute servant added yet another dog to the house which was already overrun with pets that were not me.

"This is not California. I wonder if I'll be left behind in Kansas City, Missouri now?"

The trip back to my natural habitat was not quite as harrowing as the banishment experience as a whole.  There was a moment in transit where I feared being left behind in the dreaded Midwest again.  I was forced to wear the harness and stuffed in to a box that fits under an airplane seat.  Humiliating, not to mention uncomfortable.

About Amy and her pet “care” facility;  the bathroom was spacious but only cleaned once a day, the beds were suitable, the food was edible but the portions were paltry – I nearly starved, the view was nice once the staff placed my heated bed in the window and put an entertainment center (bird feeder) on the roof outside of my window.  As I have tried to make clear, the weather is appalling, horrible, unsuitable for felines, depressing and generally unacceptable but, I did have access to considerably more square footage then I ever have in California.  Of course I could only access the entire facility when the dogs were confined at night and I had to fight off Monkey and Domino, aka The Black Devils, most nights but a girl needs a little excitement from time to time and they are wimps.  Domino doesn’t even know how to hiss!

In short, should the small box that serves the sadistic purpose of cat transport container come into view again, I am NOT GETTING IN IT. I have no intention of leaving Santa Monica ever again, not even for more square footage.  If my substitute servant, Amy, would care to preform her duties here where the the sun shines and water does not freeze I will hire her.

"Aren't' you going to fill the food bowl? Did you loose your watch or something?"

 

Cats Simon, Millie, Z Z and Fred Keep Track of their Pet Sitter

To our humans,

We are unsure how you can bear to leave us as often as you do, but you do manage it. You have provided a substitute servant for us and over the years she has improved her efficiency and been able to spend more time offering us her lap and providing pets.

Simon reminds me of my priorities - canned food of course.

She does not let us outdoors at all which is frustrating.  Except that Fred gets to go out, unfair!

Fred keeping track of Z Z

(Fred here:  I do get access to the house this time, at last, but she is still a bit scary.  I have allowed her to pet me a few times though.  She does provide canned food after all and I just can’t resist trying to trip when when she’s carrying it.)

(Pet sitter’s note:  Fred is a feral cat who over the last 3-4 years has become an increasingly more domesticated cat of his own accord. What is a feral cat? )

(Simon here: She is spending way to much time letting Fred in and out this trip though.)

She does not visit us nearly long or often enough.  Perhaps she could stay here next time to attend to our needs appropriately?

We are also dissatisfied with the areas of the house unjustly off limits to us.  She refuses to open the doors or let us into these areas that are rightfully ours.  Apparently someone has barricaded the doors this time so we can’t even provide access ourselves.

(Simon again:  The guest bathroom is also closed, this is surely an oversight on your part as you know that I like to look out he window in that room.  Filling the bathtub was just for fun, I only did it once and I probably wouldn’t do it again.  Haven’t you heard of second chances?)

Simon on his way to keep track of my activities.


Millie being disturbed from her wistful watching of the outside world.

(Millie here:  She sometimes will try to clean my eyes which is unacceptable behavior.  Period.  I do give her a bit of affection from time to time, even sitting in her lap occasionally.  She keeps the boxes clean, but not quite up to my exacting standards.)

(Z Z here:  At last she is letting my best friend Fred in the house.  I don’t understand why she isn’t letting me out when he goes out.  At least he gets to come in.  It’s also unfair that he gets access to the areas of the house off limits to us when he comes and goes.  Who knows what we are missing in there?)

Best Friends reunited.

ZZ showing off his best side.

As a rule, leaving us is unacceptable of course.  But, f you could make the above changes in the servants routine, (Amy is it?) we may consider not knock over any more lamps.

That’s our offer.

Simon, Millie, Fred and Z Z