Friday, October 26, 2012

RIP Tommy

Too much has been going on here, too much to keep up with these days, it seems.  I'll jump right in...

This is a teary post, just a warning...

Well, I have some very sad news.  Its really hard to talk about still.  I had one of the stray cats, Tommy, put down this morning.  I took him to the vet for shots and a check-up - it appeared he had a cold.  He started sneezing.  The vet tested him and found him to have feline AIDS.  The vet explained that feline AIDS is like human AIDS, but only can be transferred to other cats.  She called it the fighting disease; she said it's most likely transferred when a cat is bitten.  Terribly, Tommy was bitten by Benji, another outside stray.  We had Benji tested when we got him his shots and Benji was negative for all diseases back then.  But if Benji bit Tommy, who had feline AIDS, then the vet said there's s good chance Benji will got gotten it.

Tommy was an amazing cat.  He was lean and tall, 11 pounds, all long legs and long tail.  He was jet black, shiny pretty black.  I called him Tommy Long-Legs.  I always said he was a black Siamese cat, as he looked Siamese, but was pure black with large slanted yellow eyes.  The vet said he was approx 5 years old, which was older than we thought.  He was such a calm cat, so gentle, so sweet.  He sat purring on my lap in the vet room as we waited for the test results.  He was calm as a cucumber.  The vet came back with the test kit that showed positive and explained my options as I cried.  She said we could keep a cat with feline AIDS, but it can spread to other cats by saliva and/or biting.  One of our indoor cats, Bobby, always plays rough with the other indoor cats, and Bobby has been known to bite them in his play.  And Benji the outside only farm cat always attacks Tommy and bites him.  the disease was bound to spread.  The best option was to have sweet Tommy Long Legs put to sleep.  I didn't want him to suffer for the remainder of his life.

The vet left and checked her databases for anyone who wanted a single cat.  A cat with feline AIDS can live happily in a single cat household.  I didn't remind her at that time that Tommy had a cold of some sort that probably was never going to get better.  Regardless, they could not come up for a home for Tommy.  And so I held Tommy while he was euthanized.  I rubbed his throat and he purred contently when he laid his head down on my hand.  I felt him purring as he stopped breathing.  It was one of the saddest things I've done.  Tonight when Randy comes home we will bury him.  Rest in peace, Tommy.

And next Benji will have to be tested again.  The stray cats keep showing up here, we don't ask for them.  Wish me luck in the future with Benji and Brindle.  And I promise my next post will be happy.  I'll talk about the chickens or something.  Or maybe I'll discuss the upcoming hurricane, or our well that recently broke and had to be replaced.  So much has been going on... 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October Already!


There's always lots to discuss about life here on the farm, and I'm always short on time to talk, it seems!  So most likely this blog post will include lots of topics!

Guess what???  Remember that big fat hen that I got from the local shelter?  I named her Bonnie.  Big Bonnie.  She's laying eggs now!  Yeah for Bonnie!  Bonnie was abused before being picked up by animal control in the city.  I determined originally she was a farm hen, who was caged in the city.  Then she was let loose to wander the city streets.  Only thing, she was caged without being able to stand or walk and she lost the ability to walk much, she lost her muscle ability of her legs!  And animal control called me, and I took her home to my farm.  She loves the other chickens, she fit in well, easily accepting status as the lowest hen in the pecking order.  Thing is, she didn't care.  They picked on her, she just turned away.  She's not really even part of the pecking order.  She learned how to walk and even waddles a funny-looking run sometimes.  And the other hens stopped picking on her.  She eats side-by-side with the other hens and has gained enough strength to sit on the roost at nighttime with the other hens.  She's lost some weight.  And now, dear Bonnie has started laying eggs!  I thought she was too old.  I guess not, I guess she was too unhappy.  Now she's a happy bird and lays a medium-colored brown egg every day.  I'm so glad to have rescued Bonnie.


Pennie was the other shelter hen we rescued.  Only she was someone's spoiled house chicken.  She still loves to come into the house.  I used to bring her in the kitchen every now and then for an hour or so while I cooked.  She'd walk around, talking the entire time, would spill the cat's dry food bowls and drink the cat's water.  Only, last time I brought her in she ran from me when I attempted to catch her.  It was terrible.   It took me a very long time to catch her.  She didn't want to go back outside and fought me terribly to be free in the kitchen.  I felt bad for her.  She doesn't act sad to be outside with the other chickens, but she prefers to be inside the house, and that's not gonna happen, sorry Penny.  And so I stopped bringing her inside, it was just too hard to catch her last time.  I thought she was going to break a leg running from me!  She was slipping on the ceramic floor and sliding across the kitchen in her hurry to escape my grasp.  It would have been just terrible if she hurt herself trying to run from me!  Dear spoiled Penny.  Penny also lays a medium-colored brown egg every day out in the chicken coop.  Yes, Penny, you really are a chicken.

Tommy Cat

I saved the best news for last.  Tommy Cat has returned!  He was an outdoor cat who disappeared for months.  We thought he was dead, killed by a fox or hawk.  I searched the local shelter, no Tommy.  Then one day Randy saw Tommy come sneaking out of the woods, sneaking to the front porch, and the other stray male cat, Benjamin, attacked Tommy, making Tommy run away.  Randy realized that Tommy left because of Benji.  Benji must chase him away whenever he comes to eat.  Tommy is a lover, not a fighter.  Benji is more wild and doesn't like to be pet or hugged much.  Tommy prefers hugs and pets to food, and runs from Benji.  Hmmm, Benji is a guard cat, it seems.  It's good that he'll keep all the other stray cats away.  Benji likes Brindle, the female stray, but that's it; he only tolerates Brindle and nobody else.  Too bad for Tommy Cat.

And so Randy went out into the trees where he saw Tommy, and Tommy of course came to him for pets.  And the rest is history.  Tommy Cat now lives inside, away from mean Benji.  Every day Randy brings Benji in and locks Tommy and Benji together in the bathroom, often letting Benji stay in overnight - both cats locked in the small bathroom together.  He's trying to make them be friends - both are fixed male cats.  We don't plan on keeping Tommy inside forever, but I cannot imagine putting him back out in the cold at this time.  I really don't know what we are doing with Tommy, but I know Tommy loves being inside, he loves the attention, loves to sleep on the bed, and has made a fast adjustment from outside stray to inside spoiled cat.