So Many Cats

There are a lot of feral cats and indoor/outdoor cats in my neighborhood. There are several people on my block alone who will feed them, and one neighbor who seems to routinely take them in to be neutered/spayed and vaccinated. Or at least there was, because there are a few unaltered males in the neighborhood now.

All four of my cats were rescues.  Three of them came from this neighborhood.  The two youngest cats are siblings that were born in the window well of my basement window. They're called Charlotte and Owen.

Back when Charlotte and Owen were baby kittens there were three adult cats in the neighborhood that were clearly related to them. Their mother (obviously related, and called "Mommacat" back then and mostly "Emma" now) and what I assume were her two siblings: her brother Porsche (they are nearly identical except for size), and a third cat that looked identical to Porsche, only with a moustache (Dave - because back then they were "Vera, Chuck, and Dave").

Dave disappeared for the longest time. I assumed Dave was the least feral of them and had gotten adopted off the streets. Dave showed up for dinner tonight - looking great. Fat, shiny, ear-tipped. So maybe Dave has found a home and just came around to visit the family

(note: Dave may be a girl. I haven't been able to get close enough to check. For the longest time I thought Porsche was (and he was Portia) because he had been neutered and I never got a good look at his back end until very recently).

Other frequent visitors include Charles (presumed to be the father of Charlotte) and Owenfather, who is obviously the father of my Owen.  There's also an orange cat that shows up every three or four days that I have creatively named "Orange" (Ori for short).

I really think I want to try to catch Orange and take him to BARCS (the local shelter). He's so affectionate and sweet, but clearly bothered by some kind of eye infection/irritation/cold (there is always much scrubbing after petting him to keep my cats safe) and recently a limp. He's just too much of a love to keep living out there. I can't afford to get him patched up and neutered, and he would not do well with my cats.

Anyone want a slightly raggedy Orange cat?

We Have Mice

We have mice.

Not on purpose. I would love to have mice as pets, but I live in a house with a terrier and four cats.  The terrier and two of the cats are excellent mousers. We found this out at about the same time we found out we had mice. 

You know what's not cool? Nearly stepping on a dead mouse that's in your bedroom doorway.

You know what's even more not cool? Finding a mouse with its tiny feet chewed off. Or finding just the head of the mouse.

You know what is the most uncool thing in the history of uncool things?  Thinking your cat has a dead mouse in his mouth and finding out the hard way that the mouse is only playing dead and has just bitten you.

It was on that day that I learned that my tetanus shot was up-to-date, teeny little field mice generally don't carry rabies, and that telling a doctor and/or nurses you've been bit by a mouse will get you some really strange looks and a lot of questions like "how did you manage that?" and "in the city?!"

Fortunately that issue was resolved with antibiotics and a cat that eventually re-captured the mouse and ... well ... that might have been the severed head. I like to think that my cats have a sense of justice.

Several of the mice were caught humanely, in a no-kill trap, and released far, far away from our house. Near a Dumpster(tm) by a Dunkin' Donuts. (Feast well, little mousies!)  Some of the mice didn't fare so well (see decapitation, above). They were humanely thrown away. (I would bury them, but... Terrier.)

The number of mice we've seen/they've caught has dropped off dramatically, but not entirely. I blame the constant rain and the incredibly warm winter. The mice are probably reproducing like crazy, and getting flooded out of their mouse-y houses.

Honestly, having mice in the house doesn't really bother me that much. I would be more bothered if we had a problem with goats. Although that'd be a lot more fun to talk about. Probably easier to trap, too.