Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Harley's Challenge

Harley is the second of the two cats my daughter, Jennifer, adopted from the FCCR&SNC (Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay Neuter Clinic) to help out in the barn, be barn cats. Her real name is Harlequin which means clown. Well, she doesn't act like a clown although, being a Tortie with her face looking like it had been painted one color on one side and another color on the other side, she looks like a clown.
At this moment she is in rehabilitation. After coming originally to our barn, hanging around while Diego (barn cat #1)was there, one day she dashed out the door. It was weeks before we saw her again, although the neighbors told us  she had taken up residence in their barn. Problem was, the neighbors left on a trip, thought they saw her in their barn before they left. But they didn't. Turns out she was closed up in the garage. After 3 days of not seeing her, I became suspicious.
 I went over, tried the door to their garage and it opened. At first I didn’t hear anything. So I called her name. Pretty soon I heard a weak meow. The garage was so cluttered I couldn’t even walk in much past the door. As soon as I rattled the food dish I heard her meow come closer. So I left food and water. The next morning and for the next day after that I left food for her and it had gotten slicked up by the time I arrived. I knew she could not stay in the neighbor’s garage.
I had to see if Jennifer would be willing to take her in her house too, to join Diego who had become unexpected house cat number one. (read about Diego) She agreed and we  decided  she needed a large cage for protection and one that would hold her litter box, feed dishes, a scratching and climbing post and a blanket. But the biggest hurdle was Jennifer’s husband. He  didn’t want any cats in the house. Such is the way of strange happenings. So Harley has an inside home for a while. Till March First. We’ll see.
Harley has been rehabilitating from being an outdoor/feral/barn cat. I think it could work. She still hisses when something startles her but she purrs a lot, too. Temporarily she stays in the Great Dane sized enclosure. Soon she will not remember that she was an outdoor cat. The kids love her and love taking care of her. I think the next thing I will do is see if I can pick her up out of her cage and carry her around the basement. I might even put a harness on her too. Now,  I go to bed every cold night and thank the great Cat Protector above that she is safe and warm  inside…for now.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Diego's Plan

I’m certain Diego had a plan.And he had almost everything worked out. The one that didn’t go as planned was the length of time he spent at the FCCR.(Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay Neuter Clinic) It was a heck of a lot better than wandering around scavaging for food, trying to understand why he was abandoned, but still, after a few weeks like this you would be crotchety too.
Getting hurt in a territory dispute at his new adopted family’s barn wasn’t planned either. But it did put him in the position to get what he wanted; an indoor home with plenty of room and freedom to choose where he was going to sleep and who he would adopt as his most trusted person. His week to ten days having to live inside and wear the Elizabethan collar set it up for him. After that it was clear, he didn’t want to be a barn cat, he wanted to be a house cat. We now think he had been a house cat all along.
He wiggled his way into the routine. First he slept in his crate, then on the bed in the basement and then on a pile of hunting clothes. One day he actually sneaked outside when no one was looking but came right back in. Hummm, he was no dummy. Then one night when it was stormy he came upstairs and slept in mom and dad’s bed. After that he discovered a hiding place in a closet. He slipped through the dog door once in a while but he always came back. He even came when he was called.
But the best thing he did was hook up with one of the 6 yr. olds. Tyler began to carry him to his room. Diego began to sleep there. Sometimes Tyler had a difficult time getting to sleep. His mom or dad would often need to lie down with him. But now that was Diego’s job. Diego had found his man. It was his plan.