Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tabby twins obviously excited about the holidays

Happy Solstice! Eating, playing and sleeping - it's the KittyStar life. Who needs a special holiday? We get "kitty crack" (also known as dehydrated chicken or wild salmon) every day as it is. We can take or leave catnip. We might like organic tatar tots more often...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The tabby twins had guests this week and were not hospitable. They went upstairs into the kitty loft and wouldn't come down. But you can see how relaxed they are around me. We frequently have group hugs while they are in their favorite bed. Typical of many cats, they wash themselves after I kiss them - I don't take it personally. This window spot remains their favorite even after setting up two great beds in chairs by the baseboard heater and adding a thick cushion to the settee.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Have you had your KittyStar today?

In honor of requests for more pictures of the KittyStar himself, here's Alexander taking a break. Yes, he's even smiles when he sleeps. Did I mention the curls on his tummy? Someone once said he smells like candy, seriously.

Brother it's cold outside

(Adian on the L, Odin on the R)
The boys really noticed the change in the weather, even though they are inside in a heated apartment. They prefer sleeping by the window on a counter, so I added a Snuggle Safe to their bed - it's a microwavable disc filled with paraffin that retained heat for up to 12 hours. It's perfect when you don't want to leave a heating pad plugged in. I think they would like to even eat in their bed!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Do I get a treat after this damn photo session?

(That's Odin challenging me to take yet another picture; his brother is more resigned to the fact.)

So I am slightly exploiting these kitties to hold them up as an example of precious little beings who would either cease to exist in our "system", or would go on to perpetuate the cycle of breeding more feral cats if we don't take notice and kindly spay/neuter neighborhood cats and help find suitable homes when appropriate. Stay tuned for more as I make ethical arguments advocating for feral cats and show you more adorable pictures where I objectify the tabby twins!

Look into my eyes

(Odin is on the left and Adian is on the right.)

Odin and Adian love to cuddle together and are a perfect pair since they have very different personalities. Odin like his namesake, is brave, clever, confident. Adian is much more shy and sensitive, and often (literally) hides behind his brother. Just look into their eyes and you will understand why I care about feral cats.

As a marginalized population, neither wild species nor truly a "pet", they are routinuely killed in most low-kill and municipal shelters. Animal control facilities and many humane organizations simply do not want to spend their money helping feral cats. They are listed as "unadoptable" and a danger to their staff, then quickly killed. TNR (trap/neuter/return) and managing the colonies, rather than eliminating them, is the only solution.

Wild Boys

Making Odin and Adian stay in a cage for a few weeks may sound cruel, but it allowed me and other humans to slowly introduce petting and handling without trauma. They had no place to run so they had to eventually accept the touching. (Best Friends and Alley Cat Allies are fabulous resources if you ever need to socialize a kitty.) It's been likened to "horse whispering"; the similarities I can see being that horses are prey animals and even though cats are predators, the size of humans makes us seem like the predator. This may explain why kissing and having my face close to these boys was one of the most difficult aspects of "being tame" for the kitties.

Introducing Odin & Adian

These boys were humanely trapped at a site in south Seattle with many unaltered cats, a busy residential street, and an irregular source of food. The goal was and is to continue trapping the feral adults to have them altered and then return them to live their lives. Kittens however, can more easily be "rehabilitated" to live as domestic cats and have a more comfortable life.

Odin and Adian were so wild upon intake that they refused to be caged and approached, so they were were allowed to run lose in the KittyStar studio. They were altered and treated with a topical product that kills fleas and worms (we wore heavy gloves!) After a few weeks of delicious twice-a-day meals, I was able to start petting them while they were eating. They also love to play with interactive DA BIRD toys and started looking forward to my visits. I began feeding them inside an open cage. Then one day, I shut the cage door so that they could begin socialization.