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Cats of Colonia de las Rosas - Page 8

post #211 of 479
Thread Starter 
Thank you, AddieBee, you would think so wouldn't you? A friend who has helped me in many cat rescue ways before, thinks she can help me. My problem is that I can't explain the issues very well. It's government-owned property and there are so many layers of bureaucracy. They're not really subject to legal pressure either because they have deep pockets. Now I know, too, that animal control doesn't have a real TNR program.

Also, now that I've calmned down, I've realized that the main office of the housing authority is totally out of touch with this site. Even the main office ON the site is out of touch with "the senior side."

Unless someone here reports me they won't know and won't care if I feed the cats. I did sign an rental agreement that includes a clause not to feed stray cats on the property. When I moved in I never realized that there were actually homeless cats here with no one to care for them. It just never occured to me.

The shelters will be spotted by yard maintenance. They won't really stop to think what they're for, they will just see them as something that doesn't belong and remove them.

Roll Call: Alfie, Blackie, Dude, Josesito, Lady Day, Louie, Oscar, Red, Sneakers. 9 total.
post #212 of 479
Maybe you can work with the yard maintenece people FIRST? Then one step up, and then sort of "leave it"? That way, only YOUR immediate workers would "turn a blind eye" and let things be... they could alert you if an inspection was int he works etc.

However, I also think you need to get best friends on your side...

www.bestfriend.org I think. Animal activist welfare group in
the west of the country - Nevada or Arizona or something??
Maybe its Utah, anyway its an idea.

I know how hard it is... I fear the same thing for my babies. Has alley cat allies got anyone you can talk to in your area?

And thanks again for your support and hugs re: Dewey. I just posted on him, I would so LOVE it if a catsite member adopted him. He is such a DOLL of a cat. V. much a Maine Coon...
post #213 of 479
Thread Starter 
Your idea about yard maintenance is a good one. I know, because I thought of it, too!

I don't have a real outgoing personality. I'm sort of the shy geeky sensitive type -- you know short brown bob, glasses, overweight and short. People mistake me for a nun! (My daughter always thought I looked like the "smart girl" on Scooby-Doo.)

It's hard for me to approach people. Otherwise, I would probably have worked something out by now between the yard people and the garderners.

It's been cold for us and very dry. Alfie is going to be a big boy! He's really growing. He's long-haired and cute.

Red has been waiting with the other cats. He comes halfway up the sidewalk to the front door!

Roll Call: Alfie, Blackie, Dude, Henry, Josesito, Lady Day, Louie, Oscar, Red, Sneakers. 10 Total.
post #214 of 479
Katie: I understand. I'm shy too, but I have to Make my self be outgoing.
Here's what I think - work with the maintenence staff and gardeners. See if you can get local buy in. Show them the shelter you want to put out.

Explain about the benefits. Ask someone to be your spokes person..
maybe? I still think we can find a group that can and will help you.

Faith - I will say prayers for you! And great news on the Alfie and Red
post #215 of 479
Thread Starter 
Thank you opilot. You're as sweet as can be. I appreciate your caring and helping.

Guess who came tonight? Yes! MAMIE!

I'm always so glad to know she's okay.

The cats are not the same since last Friday when I came out so sad. They took one look at me and got very somber. I never realized our walk to the bench was more than a ceremony -- it was a celebration. Now it's much more subdued. They know.

Roll Call: Alfie, Blackie, Dude, Henry, Josesito, Lady Day, Louie, Mamie, Oscar, Red, Sneakers. 11 total.
post #216 of 479
Thread Starter 
I still wasn't celebratory tonight. I forgot to call the cats' names as we marched forth to the bench. I have to make an effort, I guess. I can tell the cats really miss hearing their names. They might even begin to forget that they are each one precious individuals.

Truth is, I haven't shaken off my depression. If I can't shake it off soon, I'll suffer clinical depression and have to go back to taking medicine which I don't want.

Roll Call: Alfie, Blackie, Dude, Henry, Josesito, Lady Day, Louie, Oscar, Red, Sneakers. 10 total.
post #217 of 479
I'm really out of it, so please pardon anything that comes across sounding strange. My sleep patterns are totally messed up at the end of a pregnancy and I can't take anything for it right now.

I think that it's good that you recognize the difference between "feeling depressed" and clinical depression. A lot of people jump at meds when they begin to "feel depressed" and I think that's how we've wound up having such a medicated state in our country. I've been fighting anxiety and depression most of my life and have finally dispensed with meds in favor of "better" alternatives (like more Vitamin D in my diet and more sunlight -- it does help!).

You really do have a difficult situation, and I know your situation all too well. We lived somewhere once where feral cats were simply killed -- it was the solution that the trailer park manager had to getting them out of the way. Sad, too, considering that they helped to control the pests (all but the random stray ferrets!). At the time I didn't know that there was *anything* that we could do to help and it simply made me feel depressed for them. There were a couple that appeared to be purebred, too. These days it makes me hate the irresponsibility of owners who don't alter!

I feel certain that there is a solution for you for these babies. If you determine that you *can't* keep feeding them, then IMO it's most humane to have them trapped and possibly adopted. I know that's hard, because they are *your* babies (how I know how that feels!) but think of the difference it could make in their lives vs. living in the wild with nobody caring for them, if it comes to that.

I hope that it won't. I honestly believe that if you can find a good feral support organization that you can get help, but I can also understand your shyness in contacting somebody with regard to this and advocating for yourself and the cats. Maybe this is simply God's way of putting an opportunity in front of you to make a serious difference for ferals in your area? It seems that would be something that would mean a lot to you!

And also remember how much Graycie and Go Go need you, too. They will know if you're in a funk and I've found that some cats wind up blaming themselves when we have issues in our own lives. Let them support you as much as they want to and need to as well. If the ferals are feeling it, so are your indoor babies.

You can, and perhaps should, still celebrate your love for these cats -- because that's what the celebration is. For them, somebody cares enough to take care of them, and most of all, somebody actually *cares*. That's what the celebration is all about, not just about the food -- it's about what you feel. You don't have to let go of that.
post #218 of 479
I've read this thread for so long now. Is there ANYBODY on TSC near you?? Come on guys! We've got to be able to help someone who WANTS to help cats so bad!!!!

Can someone out there make contact with Katie in person? Help her out? Crippling shyness is a real problem, and I am all to aware of how it can hurt people the entire lives. So is depression, and medication doesn't always help, sometimes it HURTS.

This wonderful caring woman needs help. We can help! Someone can help by being her "voice" and advocating.

Meantime, Katie, don't quit feeding. Keep doing it!! And don't get too down about their fate. Maybe it is right and proper to trap and tame and re-home them. More will inevitble move in however. That's the sad way of the feral lifestyle - if there is a niche to move into some will wander in and fill it.

I say that this project of yours CAN be done. You need someone who is stubborn and won't quit and who will advocate for you and the cats. It is all to sad that getting help to help cat like these is so hard.

When I started with my cats at Carradoc, I fed them only for a year. I had 4 then 8 then suddenly 20! That's when I began to realize I would have to TNR or quit feeding. I was depressed beyond belief. I had taken on the responsiblity, and due to my feeding they had bred more and more...somehow I was responsible for these cats.

I had removed 17 kittens and cats from that site over the 1.5 I was feeding. During the entire time, I was trying to get assistance, funding for low cost spay service etc etc. And no one would help. I tried Alley Cat Allies I tried the Humane Society... finally several good folks stepped forward to help.

I got some funding for 1/2 the cats, I got help with getting traps, and now, I'm meeting other people in TNR private rescues an the like. Suddenly, its coming together.

But it has taken me over 2 years, many tears and lots of begging. Mostly, I just wouldn't give up. And there have been heartbreaks along the way, like getting Dewey and Martini and having to give them up for better homes to the shelter where their fate was uncertain. And the ones that were hit by cars, or died and/or disappeared.

I think someone on this board can help you find someone in YOUR area. And that person can be the thorn in the side of management/the county that is needed. Please TSC guys?

Katie does such good work. The cats are her life. They make her happy - we all know how these cats can make us feel good... and helping them is truely a blessed thing. Sometimes its the only thing we CAN do to help in this world.

And Katie dearest - know that we are all behind you here, we are thinking of you, hoping for you - and maybe someone is even working towards helping you.

Remember that when we think the worst disaster has befallen, it is then that our moment of grace arrives and we are "rescued" by an unlikely turn of events. Sometimes its just that when it is darkest, it is hardest to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Those cats need you. *We need you*. Please don't give up on them? Don't give up on *you* either!!

Have you tried to find a TNR rescue group? There must be many in your area?
And people on the board probably know about them and can give you contacts??

As Ghostbeck says, that may be the solution for now. And, as she wisely says, the celebration is that YOU CARE. They know it, you know it. Celebrate it. The joy of animals is that they don't worry about the future, and you should not for the short term worry either. continue to feed, and we will continue to try to find the assistance you need.

Here is one of my favorite poems that speaks to me about the beauty and joy of animals:

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry
post #219 of 479
I checked the TCS long-distance assistance thread and I only got one hit for the entire state of California. That doesn't mean that there isn't anybody here, just that nobody has signed up through that thread to help out.

IMO, I think you/we should start a separate thread with a shoutout for help or support in your area. It's a big city and I'm sure that we have somebody living in your area who is able or willing to help out in some way.
post #220 of 479
TCS this is an URGENT appeal for help for long time TCS poster
Katie and the cats of Colonia!!

If you've read her posts you will know, Katie is faced with her feral colony being starved because she's been told she will LOSE her apartment if she continues to feed the strays. Katie has struggled to find HELP>

She suffers from health problems and depression at times (who wouldn't faced with losing her home or her beloved cats?) and isn't able to advocate as forcefully as she needs to!

PLEASE HELP if you are in the LA/CA area. There MUST be someone out there who can assist? She needs a spokesperson to talk with the gov't and/or county agencies she has to deal with.

Someone on the ground would be IDEAL. She needs help convincing the county that feeding/TNR and sheltering is the BEST solution for these cats.

I always thought LA and CA were PROGRESSIVE but this is outright regressive - threatening her with losing her home if she tries to fix this feral cat problem!!!

Where is Alley Cat Allies?? Where are the people from BEST FRIENDS???

Come on guys, there has to be ONE, just ONE person who can step up to connect Katie with sources of assistance. Surely, surely SOMEONE can do something???

I hate to think this board with all its great hearted members can't help one person - especially when she's willing to do the grunt work??

Anyway folks, this is Xmas - look in your hearts and see if you can't find time to help this woman who is doing so much for the homless hungry abandoned cats at her apartment complex.

post #221 of 479
Opilot, can you please accept a PM?
post #222 of 479
Thread Starter 
You guys are kind beyond belief. I once attended a group for depressed people and discovered that they are often the kind,est, sweetest people. You are both kind, sweet and good persons. Thank you.

I don't want to take medicine because it dulls ALL my emotions, and even my creativity. I'm hoping to pull out of this funk, soon. This is strange, but I started taking fish oil for inflammation and it helped the depression tremendously. That's how I got off the meds. If you can, and you're depressed at times, I recommend giving it a try.

I called my cat's names tonight and our march was a little more lighthearted. Yes, they can tell. It seems that Louie-Louie is very sensitive to me. When I walk around the garden, even to come back to the entrance he follows me, and I can see his concern in his eyes. It's touching because Louie-Louie won't let me get closer than four feet! Blackie and Dude have also come to let me know how grateful they are.

Roll Call: Alfie, Blackie, Dude, Henry, Josesito, Lady Day, Louie, Oscar, Sneakers. 9 total.
post #223 of 479
Vitamin D and sunlight has been helping me, but I'm not sure that my depression has been chemical at all. I've had a ton of misdiagnoses over the years, and I seem to have more of a problem with anxiety than depression. If I get hit again (post-partum?) I'll try the fish oil to see if it doesn't help. Is that an amino-acid deal? I'm going to be taking supplements while nursing anyway!

I'm glad you were able to give that bit to the cats tonight, hon. I'm sure that they are concerned for you -- that's very understandable. We're concerned for you, and for them, as well, and hopefully we can help you find somebody here at TCS who is able to help.

If there's anything that *I* can do, even if it's just helping you to draft a letter or a script, please let me know and I will be more than willing to do all I can provided that the baby doesn't come unexpectedly.
post #224 of 479
Katie: A while back I was severely depressed - turned out I was having thyroid flaring and not functioning right... speeds up then slows way down.

I thought I was nuts, and they wanted me to take drugs - I insisted on seeing 3 docs before I found one who figured out I did have thyroid issues!!

I took something called SAMe and also more L-Tryptophan (sp??)... got them at GNC. In combination, these worked so well I actually got euphoric!

SAMe helps with liver functions and also with depression and chronic pain. And depressed people often are low on L-Tryptophan, which is used... to make seratonin (the neurochemical that helps elevate mood!).

So diet is a definite factor. I take fish oil anyway for my inflamation issues, and it helps also with other problems including... depression!

I will send you the exact products so you can look them up. Definitely recommend the SAMe though.

And Ghostbeck, I've cleared my messages so you can PM me.
post #225 of 479
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone -- thank you so much for all your encouragement. It's hard coming to this thread -- it all comes up.

Tonight I went out and got home a little past my usual feeding time. As soon as I came in the gate I started calling softly, "kitty cats, kitty cats." Little Alfie came barreling out of a garden patch, so fast I almost tripped over him. He was disappointed when I went inside -- but that's where the food is!

Yes! Again!


She sat and looked at me while I talked to her for awhile before I went inside.

Red is there four nights out of five now -- waiting on the sidewalk -- and joins us on our celebration march.

Roll Call: Alfie, Blackie, Dude, Henry, Josesito, Lady Day, Louie-Louie, Mamie, Oscar, Red, Sneakers. 11 Total.
post #226 of 479
Thread Starter 

Not so good for my little cats, but what we pray for in So. California. The fire season is over: It's raining!

Of course it always astonishes us to see the first rain. Everyone drives faster to get out of the rain! Then all that slippery stuff that's been sinking into the roads comes up to the surface and makes IT slippery.

The TV news is It's raining! Followed by all the accidents.

My poor babies, though. When I took out their food I had to put it in the small space by the rec bldg that stays dry. When they came they were all wet. I tried to pick up little Alfie. He must not have realized it was me at first because he was so busy eating. When he did, he squirmed and wiggled out of my hands.

He was wet on top and bottom. His legs and tummy were wet. I hope that Louie-Louie shows him somewhere dry to sleep and lets him cuddle up.

Roll Call: Alfie, Blackie, Dude, Josesito, Lady Day, Louie, Oscar. 7 total
post #227 of 479
Thread Starter 
It's still cold -- well, I'm not sure what cold is to the rest of you -- to us its cold at 50 degrees and tonight is going a big lower according to the weather report.

Everyone was waiting at the door. I met neighbors on my way out, and they told me, "they are waiting for you."

I used to love it when they told me that. Now I'm trying to decide if I should keep a lower profile.

Roll Call: Alfie, Blackie, Dude, Henry, Josesito, Lady Day, Louie Oscar, Sneakers. 9 total.
post #228 of 479
Katie, those neighbors might be support though?

I've lost my voice on what to say to you any more, and I apologize for not being more supportive. I think I have an uncanny ability to put myself in your shoes, and right now coming here is making me feel quite sad.
post #229 of 479
Katie: So long as they support you (neighbors) go for it! They love you those babies do, and you love them. Keep that chin up and battle on.

Have you tried the SAMe I suggested? You aren't taking a drug, its a diet supplement and they use it with great success in Europe. I seriously would looki into trying it. a dose of 2 pills 2x for 4/5 weeks to see an effect.

With the Ltryptophan. It sure worked for me. Can't say for your situation.

Meantime, we all love you here, and we aren't giving up on you....
post #230 of 479
Thread Starter 
Thanks opilot. I just saw the title of your thread on Titi -- congratulations! It's a good feeling to know they will be cared for. I'm glad you reminded me of the Ltryptophan. I have it right in my cupboard. I give it to my Gracie because she has a herpes virus -- only when she sneezes, though! Did you know it was good for that? For humans, too.

When I got home from shopping tonight, the cats were waiting for me. They were on and under a bench near the door and hiding among the plants. They were very discreet about their hiding places. As soon as they saw me they got excited.

When I came back out they were waiting at the front door. We had our joyous walk to the feeding bench while I called their names.

Roll Call: Alfie, Blackie, Dude, Henry, Josesito, Lady Day, Louie, Oscar, Sneakers. 9 Total
post #231 of 479
Thread Starter 
Ordinarily I would be pleased as punch 'cause both Red and Mamie came tonight. Mamie came after I called her.

But little Alfie was not there.

I called and called, "here kitty kitty here kitty kitty here Alfie Alfie Alfie" but he did not come.

My kitten that ate potato chips from my hand. That almost let me pick him up. That let me stroke his back as he ate. Alfie. My Alfie.

Roll Call: Blackie, Dude, Henry, Josesito, Lady Day, Louie, Mamie, Oscar, Red, Sneakers. 10 total
post #232 of 479
Thread Starter 

Yes! Yes! Oh, Yes! I heard a tiny meow and went looking and answering and found him in a drainpipe in the garden. I couldn't get the grate off and went to another grate near the building and called and he came. I couldn't see to the bottom, though. I decided to go upstairs and get a flashlight.

As I was leaving I could see Lady Day meowing at the opening. When I got back, there he was running to the food!

We were all so relieved! Blackie sat in my arms purring and kneading my shoulders and Louie sat nearby watching me. Henry was there, Lady Day and Oscar came, too.

By the time we quit congratulating ourselves, little Alfie had finished eating and left. I guess he did what cats do when stressed. He found a comfortable spot to settle down and sleep. Sleep tight, Little Alfie!

Roll Call: Alfie, Blackie, Dude, Henry, Josesito, Lady Day, Louie, Oscar, Red, Sneakers. 10 total.
post #233 of 479
Thread Starter 
All the fuzzy wuzzies were there tonight except Mamie.

I forgot to call out their names because I got a phone call from my beautiful and intelligent daughter.

It is supposed to rain later tonight. The last of the storm that flooded the northwest. I hope all the cats find somewhere warm and dry to sleep.

Roll Call: Alfie, Blackie, Dude, Henry, Josesito, Lady Day, Louie, Oscar, Red, Sneakers. 10 total.

P.S. It is now 3 in the morning and raining. I just went out to see if the cat's food got wet. I found Dude, Blackie, Oscar and Louie all cuddled up under the eaves of the rec bldg trying to keep dry. It's dry there, but not warm. I didn't see Alfie -- I expected him to be with Louie. I hope he's okay.
post #234 of 479
Thread Starter 
It has quit raining although the weather report is for 20-30% chance of rain for the next few days.

After seeing my little boys all pushed up against the rec bldg wall last night, I had to do something for them today. I went to a big drug store and was looking for a plastic container to make a shelter. I told the workers what I wanted and asked if they had something to cut the plastic with. They were all young and got real interested in what I was doing. They helped me find the right size container and the young man even cut the opening for me!

Then he thought of a way to make a flap door with the piece he cut out. I was very happy! When I got home I made another by emptying one of my daughter's containers. I know, my bad.

I put them in places I think are fairly inconspicuous in the garden of the woman who lives next door. I'll have to talk to her tomorrow.

At least I know 2-6 cats will be out of the wind and cold tonight.

Roll Call: Alfie, Blackie, Dude, Henry, Josesito, Lady Day, Louie, Oscar, Red, Sneakers. 10 Total.
post #235 of 479
It's nice that they will be out of the rain!
post #236 of 479
Thread Starter 
Hi kluchetta, I didn't know you were following my thread.

Cats: they are beautiful, delightful, funny, heart-warming -- and so darn frustrating!

Tonight I checked the boxes I had put out and it was obvious no one had used them. The cats here are used to being chased out of boxes that the gardners put out for their own uses, so I guess they have gotten skittish about all boxes.

So I put some of their kibble in the boxes -- lids off -- hoping they would hop in and eat. Ho-ho-ho! No way! they all just walked around trying to figure out what was wrong with me.... finally Louie put his front paws on the edge of a box, looking longingly at the food....then the box toppled over!!! Finally he got the nerve to tiptoe up to the box and lo and behold! there was the kibble! He started crunching away and was joined by Alfie and Josesito. No one else would come near.

There was no interest in the other box. I finally picked it up and went to the feeding bench and put it down where they usually eat. I retired to a bench nearby to watch. Henry finally got up the nerve to jump on the side of the box. Without tipping it, he put his front feet in and crunched. The other cats sat watching. He ate in that uncomfortable position for awhile and jumped down. Then he came back, but this time the box toppled over.

He started munching on the spilled kibble now on the side of the box, and the cats were taking turns eating. I started getting cold and went over and put the kibble back in the box, and took it back to its hiding place halfway under some plants. Some of the cats followed me so they know where it is and there's food in there. I did the same with the second box and put it behind the gas meter apparatus.

I put some kibble on top of both the boxes so they at least might jump up on the boxes. Small steps. Small Steps.

Then I, the Great Goddess of Food, Water and Petting, put down the rest of the kibble in the usual place. Gave them fresh water and left for my Olympic heights.

Roll Call: Alfie, Blackie, Dude, Henry, Josesito, Lady Day, Louie, Mamie, Oscar, Red, Sneakers. 11 total
post #237 of 479
Silly kitties, what if you put blankets or other camoflage over them?
post #238 of 479
Thread Starter 
A blanket.......hmmmmm.......I have to think about that idea. The thing is the gardeners here have all sorts of boxes, containers and plastic stuff that they stack in the corners of their gardens. Sometimes the cats try to take shelter in them, then when they are discovered they get rudely chased away -- sometimes with hoses.

So they are skittish of these nice hidey places I have provided them. I'm afraid the blankets will just look like more of the gardeners' paraphernalia to them.

When I got the boxes out, I saw that the food in the one hidden under the plants was mostly eaten! Just a few pieces of kibble left. Yaaaaaaaaay!

Now to continue hidey box familiarization. I put both the boxes where I usually feed them with the lids next to the boxes. I put food in the boxes and on the lids. They had no problem eating the food on the lids. By the time I got too cold to sit watching them, it was mostly gone. I put both boxes back, with food inside, and on the lids.

Then I poured out the rest of the food for them to eat. I think we are making progress. I had an idea while I was sitting tonight (feeding Alfie potato chips). Tomorrow night, I'll put real human tuna in the boxes. Yeah, that.

Roll Call: Alfie, Blackie, Dude, Henry, Josesito, Lady Day, Louie, Oscar, Red, Sneakers. 10 Total.
post #239 of 479
How could they resist human tuna? Also, maybe some KFC - but that might be kinda expensive...
post #240 of 479
Thread Starter 
Had to suspend the shelter familiarization program today. I spent time with my daughter and didn't get home until 9:30 p.m. I left them 2 cups of food at 4:30 when I left and the food on top of the boxes was gone and the food IN one of the boxes was eaten.

Still, when I got home I put down the full amount I usually feed them.

Roll Call: Alfie, Blackie, Dude, Henry, Josesito, Lady Day, Louie, Mamie, Oscar, Red, Sneakers. 11 Total.
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