We Want You to Foster!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Meet Romeo

"I'm NOT feral, someone let me outta here"

That's what Romeo appears to be saying while he's in the trap. Romeo was trapped near the side of a road somewhere and brought into Operation Catnip last Sunday. It was obvious that he is not a feral (he's clearly shouting about how friendly he is and asking to be taken to a nice safe home). Could you say no to that?

At first, he was named Cracker Jack because he's so sweet. But then his name was changed to Romeo because this boy will be the love of your life! Romeo is only about 4-4.5 months old and was clearly owned at one point because is is sweet beyond words. And he is also a snuggler, cuddler, all around love bug.

Below is Romeo and his teddy bear in the PetSmart Knightdale adoption center.

Alley Cats and...

Geese??? Well kind of. Two Canadian geese have taken up in a little mound of grass under a tree at a local shopping center where I take care of my feral colony. Mother Goose (yes, I had to make sure I used that) has laid 5 eggs. There is no water around so every day when I feed my ferals, I make sure I have at least four gallons of water with me so the geese have water. Put out a small kitten size litter box with water, and there is a deeper container of water also. However, Father Goose likes to stand in it and get it all dirty. Men - you know how they are. :-)

They've been eating dry cat food, cracked corn, and bread. Tomorrow, I'll call a local wildlife place to try to get some help. I'm worried once the babies are born. Mama will have to take them across 6 lanes of traffic to get to a water source and they won't make it because people drive like fools.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Meet Sasha and her babies

Sasha and her babies were abandoned and found by a wonderful person that took care of them until a rescue could take them in.

Sasha is a Seal Point Himalayan and is exotic and beautiful. She has five kittens, four females and one male. Three of the kittens have little "smooshed" faces, and they are all adorable.

* Mathilda

* Madeline
* Melody
* Monique
* Maynard (Mayhem Maynard) "Move over, I'm coming thru! Out of my way - out of my way! The heck with you, I'll just crawl right over you!"

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fantastic Adoption Weekend

We adopted three cats/kittens this weekend at our PetSmart Knightdale adoption event. The following cats/kittens were adopted: Ming Lee, Shelby, and Eden

Some of our adoptable cats can be seen at PetSmart Knightdale through Sunday, May 2nd in the adoption center.

Stay tuned, we have lots of kittens available for adoption in late May, early June.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Can you say kitten season is officially here?

We can! We have 28 (yep, twenty-eight) kittens in our adoption program. Only a few of them are available for adoption, the others will be available in late May/early June. We adopt out when they are 12 weeks old, have been spaye/neutered, have at least 2 FVRCP vaccinations and are rabies vaccinated, FeLV/FIV tested, as well as treated for intestinal parasites and fleas, and microchipped with Home Again microchips.

We will do a foster to adopt on a case-by-case basis for kittens 8 weeks old or older.

We have applications already in on at least 6 of the kittens and these soon to be adopters can't wait until the kittens can go home with them.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Our four newest additions

The four kittens are 8-9 weeks old and were rescued from a local high-kill shelter yesterday afternoon. If we hadn't have pulled them from the shelter they would have been euthanized today. It's so sad. So many births that could have been prevented if only more people spayed and neutered their pets.

There is one sweet black male and three beautiful torties. The four were tested (for FeLV/FIV) today and given their first vaccine.





New pictures of the "NCIS crew"

Yep, we named them after the popular television series NCIS. These four kittens were rescued without their mom, so they were raised by a surrogate mama cat. The kittens were born on/around March 4th. They are all male and two of them appeared to be solid white when rescued at around 3 days old. However, as you can see they have developed color. McGee has beautiful blue eyes and Siamese mix markings. Ducky also has blue eyes and the peachy/orange on his tail and ears are starting to show more every day.





Surrogate mama Abby

Updated Pictures of the "Singers"

Born on February 19th and abandoned in a box at the end of a horse farm with their mom while they were only a couple hours old, these kittens are simply delightful. Although I don't know what it was about them tonight, but half of them insisted in getting a foot in the picture. :-)

Of the six kittens, two are boys (Smokey - the black kitten and Fabian the gray/brown tabby) and four are female (Aretha - the tortie and three orange tabby girls - Chelsea, Jewel, and Thumbelina [also called Tink]). Yes, three orange tabby girls. Female orange tabbies are not all that common. Over 85% of all orange tabbies (no white) are male. Apparently, in order to get an orange female you need a mating between an orange male and a tortie female (or an orange female). If it is to a tortie female half the female kittens will be orange and the other half tortie. If you mate orange male to orange female all are orange.The inheritance is sex-linked as the gene for orange/red series colouration is on the XY sex chromosomes.
Thumbelina aka Tink



Fabian (adoption pending spay/neuter)

Chelsea (adoption pending spay/neuter)


Monday, April 20, 2009

Carolina kitties ready for adoption this weekend

Well, Newton, Eden, and Shelby were spayed and neutered today and are recovering. Actually, the kittens are trying to tell me they don't need to recover and want to run and play and jump, but I've told them they need to take it a little easy.

They will be available for adoption at our PetSmart adoption event this weekend. These kittens are so delightful. Wonderful personalities and so adorable. Whoever adopts them will be very lucky.


Eden (adopted 4/25)

Shelby (adopted 4/25)

Volunteer Spotlight - Barb and Rich

Alley Cats and Angels would like to recognize Rich and Barb Cunningham for all they do for the cats.

Barb and Rich come over several times weekly to shower the cats with love and attention. They transport items to and from yard sales in their truck. They've temporarily fostered a bunch of cats when new flooring was putting in the second cat room. And right now, they are fostering Coco.

Barb is the official kitty taxi. She transports the cats to and from all medical appointments. She is so flexible and accommodating and we very much appreciate it.

Rich is our handyman. In the process of putting a ceiling fan in the first cat room. Has already put a cat door in the door that heads into one of the rooms that houses litter boxes. There are really too many things to count and again, all greatly appreciated.

And starting this week, Barb and Rich will take care of the cats two days a week. That includes litter box duty and food and water. WOW, that is such a huge help and the words thank you are really not enough to express how grateful we are. Barb and Rich - thank you very much. You don't know how much this means to us.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Weekend Update

Adoption Program
The weather was so beautiful that the traffic at PetSmart was a bit slower than usual this weekend, but Hemingway was adopted today. Hemingway is the gorgeous long-haired tuxedo cat who is polydactyl on all four feet (two extra toes on each front foot and one extra toe on each back foot). He went to a great home with three children. The mother teaches kindergarten and is off for three weeks so they'll all get to spend quality time together. The couple has a 12-year old and three dogs.

Congratulations Ritchie family, you adopted a fantastic cat. And he's lucky to get to live with such a great family. I'm going to miss Hemingway and those toes (he has 7 toes on each front foot and 5 on each back foot).

Barn Cat Program
We relocated several cats to a great barn yesterday. Smaller barn but very nice with a winding staircase to a great loft. Eli and Plaxi will be very happy there once they are released from their cage in a few weeks.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Our kitties will be in the PetSmart Luv-a-Pet Adoption Center for the Spring National Adoption Weekend

Our great adoptable kitties will be in the Luv-a-Pet Adoption Center at the PetSmart Knightdale from Monday, April 27th through Sunday, May 2nd. Our first time in the adoption center and we will be there for the super adoption weekend (Spring National Adoption Weekend [May 1-3]).

The super adoption weekend is a great time to adopt a cat. Well, it's always a great time but that weekend each adopter will not only walk away with a fabulous feline companion, they will also receive the following:
  • A "Welcome to Pet Parenthood Guide" your guide to raising a healthy, happy pet. It includes information on caring for your pet and savings on products & services totaling more than $147 for cats
  • A Free bag of Pro Plan® dog or cat food (up to $13.99 value)
  • A Free 20lb jug of Tidy Cats® Scoop Litter (up to $8.99 value)

Please come visit the cats and find a loving four-legged friend and constant companion.

How many gray kitties can fit in one donut shaped cat bed?

Well this time, it was three and they seem to fill the bed quite well. Meet Katie Lou (top), Silver (bottom left), and Snowcap (bottom right). These cats were all rescues from a feral colony and are not really the friendliest of my kitties but I love them all the same. They seem to be happy, eat, sleep. Love to play and snuggle with each other and other cats. They never try to go outside - the door opens and they run in the opposite direction. Silver does allow me to pet and brush him when he asks for it. Katie Lou and Snowcap not so much -- although Katie Lou does jump up in bed with me now (but I can't get a big head, she only does it to sleep next to my cat Bailey, who she loves dearly).

The things we do for the cats...

We've done so many barn relos lately and my old car just doesn't quite cut it. It's a real struggle to fit a 48-inch cage in the car along with all the items we loan and provide for the relos. If we are relocating 3 or more cats, I have to find someone to drive me in their SUV or truck or call my daddy and have him drive. Also with the adoption events, fitting all the cat filled carriers in my car is quite the ordeal. And Marie has to take everything else with her (cages, adoption bin holding all our paperwork, etc.). Plus my car was not mechanically sound so

So Monday (yesterday), I bought an SUV. Now anyone that does animal rescue knows car payments are something most rescuers can't afford, but sometimes it's just necessary. I did buy a pre-owned car, but it's in immaculate condition and with the great price bought a very reliable dealership (J&M Chevrolet in Zebulon, NC -- my parents have bought all their last vehicles from J&M) and the monthly payments were pretty low. Well, until I added in the premium protection warranty (actually a very good warranty, not like most extended warranties) including tires and rims and dent wizard. All told the payment is a bit higher than I wanted to fork out each month, but worth it for a vehicle that's large enough for rescue. And one that's reliable with a really good warranty.
I bought a tarp today for the back when we pick up cages from the barn homes. I also bought a larger rubbermaid tote to keep all my feral cat feeding supplies together and nice and neat. However, those of you that know me know my car is usually well a pit. So anyone want to place bets on how long I can keep the inside of this one clean?!

Friday, April 10, 2009

AMAZING progress for Alley Cats and Angels' barn cat program

In the past eight days, Alley Cats and Angels has placed 12 cats in barn homes. These are cats that were feral, semi-feral, or extremely shy and anti-social. One horse farm took 4 cats and four other farms each took in 2 barn cats. And we have a relocation of 3 cats lined up for a horse farm next weekend (April 18).

In the past, we had to blindly email farms and beg them to take cats and could go months without finding a farm home. But now people that have adopted barn cats in the past from Alley Cats and Angels are referring other farms to us. As of today -- only 3.5 months into the year, we have already placed half the number of cats in barn homes as we did in all of 2008. This a landmark for us -- but most importantly, it is a great accomplishment for the cats; this means those cats needing barn homes will not have to live in cages for a long while we find them a home.

Alley Cats and Angels has also partnered with several other local rescue groups to help feral, semi-feral, and extremely shy/anti-social cats in the rescue group's programs. We have been successful in finding barn homes for those cats.

Just as we do with our adoption program, we work hard to match the right barn cats to the right barn. For example, a very high activity level farm/barn would most likely not be a match for hard core feral cats, but would typically work for friendly cats with litterbox issues or cats that like people but are shy. Each situation is different and we evaluate each farm and set of barn cats carefully to ensure the right match.

Relocating is not as simple as taking cats and releasing them in the barn. Alley Cats and Angels has a protocol for relocation that must be followed. The cats must be confined in their new environment where they can acclimate to their new surroundings by sight, sound, and smell. Alley Cats and Angels loans each farm cages (with all the other items needed) to be placed in a secure environment for a period of 2-4 weeks. During the confinement, there is litter box duty and farmers need to talk to the cats to bond with them. We even provide the farm with litter needed during the acclimation period. Once the cats are released from their cages, farms must agree to provide food, water, and shelter for the cats. We do follow-up calls to see how the relocation is going and to answer questions if there are any.

Since we founded in early 2008, we have placed over 90 spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and ear cropped cats in horse farms, llama farms, and other rural situations. We have placed cats in locations including (but not limited to) Bahama, Chapel Hill, Henderson, Hillsborough, Lumberton, Raleigh, Roanoke Rapids, Rocky Mount, Selma, Warrenton, Youngsville, and Zebulon.

Monday, April 6, 2009

New pictures of "kitten batch 2"

This mama and her six babies were one week old when we rescued them from a high-kill shelter. They are now about 5.5 weeks old and are some gorgeous babies!!
Bella (adoption pending spay/neuter)
Pippin' (adoption pending spay/neuter)


Ellie (adoption pending spay/neuter)
Squeaker (adoption pending spay/neuter)
Baxter (adoption pending spay/neuter)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Around the world and back again

Or at least it seems that way.

Yesterday was an extremely long day. Started packing up the car at 9:45 for a barn cat relo. Drove from Knightdale to Apex, tranferred items to Marie's car (she has more room) and headed to past Aberdeen. Got Hannah and Montana, the barn cats settled - the friendly male barn cats were already trying to flirt with them (yes, they are ALL spayed/neutered, vaccinated, etc.).

From there we headed past Laurinburg to near the NC/SC border to pick up cages from a previous barn/garden cat relo and then headed back to Apex. At 3:00P, we managed to stop for something quick to eat while passing through Sanford after stopping at the local drugstore to pick up some Excedrin Migraine to hopefully keep mine from getting worse.

We stopped in Apex and offloaded some items to my car before we headed to Hillsborough to pick up cage from another previous barn/garden cat relocation. Brie and Gunnar are doing well there and seem very happy.

From Hillsborough, we headed to Bahama to check in on some foster kittens and take pictures (pictures will be added to blog this week).

From there, we stopped in Durham to meet and evaluate some cats potentially needing barn homes. We work hard to match the right cat to the right home, regardless of whether it's a friendly cat in the adoption program needing an indoor home, or a semi-feral cat needing a barn/garden home. With barn cats, it is absolutely imperative that we match the level of feral/semi-feral/super shy, etc. to the activity level of the barn.

From there, back to Knightdale to unload all the cages, and do nightly cleaning of litterboxes, refills of food/water, etc. Marie set all the cages up under the carport so I could easily bleach everything down today.

Then we headed back to Apex. After a quick stop at the grocery store for items to make pasta with alfredo sauce, we headed back to Marie's house and were finally able to make some dinner at around 10:45 at night. Ate and then I unheaded home. Got home past midnight What an exhausting day.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Self Deprecating Humor

You know you've been around cats too long with not enough human contact when yougo out at lunch and try to figure out how old somebody's itty bitty baby is and so you ask your friend discretely "at what age do babies open their eyes?".

Only to be laughed at hysterically before and after being told that human babies are not like kittens (eyes closed),human babies are born with their eyes open.

The sad thing is, I was serious…. But hey, at least I didn't ask when the kid would be litter trained.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Updated pictures of Kitten Batch 1

Ginny, our newest foster parent sent pictures of the kittens she is currently fostering. The kittens are quite a handful (very fun and entertaining handful) that it makes it hard to get a picture of all six of them together. These are the first set of kittens we took in - they were born on February 19th. Their names are:
  • Smoky: DSH black kitten, male
  • Aretha: DSH tortie, female -- her tortie colors are coming through more each day
  • Fabian: DSH gray tabby, male
  • Three DSH orange tabbies - ALL FEMALE!!: Chelsea, Jewel, and Thumbelina

Now they are all named after singers except Thumbelina. And she's named Thumbelina because actually sucked her little "thumb", we have a picture of it. So adorable.

Above: Smoky, Aretha, and one of the orange girls

Above: Smoky -- let me tell you this boy has personality galore. What a lover.

Above: See Aretha's tortie markings starting to show more on her face.
Above: Fabian and the girls (I can't tell who's who from the pictures!!)
Above: Aretha and two of the orange girls (again, no idea who's who from just the pictures!!)

DeMartino and Graham Cracker find new homes during our adoption event this past weekend

DeMartino and Graham Cracker were both adopted this weekend.

DeMartino has been in our adoption program since July 2008. There's nothing wrong with De, in fact he's a fantastic cat. But as a new rescue group, we haven't had much exposure so De didn't have much exposure. This weekend, he was a favorite again as people stopped by to visit the cats during our weekend adoption event. But when John came by, it didn't take him long to realize De was the cat for him. Congratulations John on adopting one terrific cat.

Graham Cracker - previously returned because of allergeries - was also adopted. His new family is going on vacation this week but wanted to make sure they were able to make Graham the newest member of their family so we went ahead with the adoption contract but we're keeping Graham until April 22nd. He is currently in another foster home until then.