Don’t Touch That Mailbox!

cat looking out window above mailbox

My neighbor's calico cat makes sure her mail is delivered properly!

I often see my neighbor’s calico kitty looking out the windows of the enclosed front porch as I walk by on my way to Main Street. She’s truly a neighborhood guard cat! Finally the light was right on an overcast morning to catch her photo without glare on the glass, and it turns out to be one of the days when she’s guarding the mailbox, my favorite pose. I’d think twice before messing with her!

Of course, she probably has her buddy the serious brown dog, who I also often see in the porch, do her dirty work, as she seems like a true Queen Cat. I can just imagine her telling the dog, “Of with her head!” I’m on foot, I’d better get away while I can.

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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Amber Buttercup Bids a Cheery “Good Morning”

Orange and white cat on windowsill

Amber Buttercup greets the morning.

Amber Buttercup enjoys the early morning sun on her favorite windowsill in front of her highly-customized mini blind. You can see she is so pleased to see me with my stupid little black thing.

She may have actually been cheery until I showed up.

Can’t a lady have any privacy in her sunbathing? Can’t a princess address her realm without the riff-raff showing up to plead for some favor at her window?

But then again, when you are as lovely as Amber Buttercup, this is to be expected.

See more photos of Amber Buttercup, including a demonstration of what she usually does next when I show up!

See other cats in windows from my walks around the neighborhood, and other neighborhood cats.

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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Pink Rose Window Kitty

gray cat on windowsill with pink roses

Pink Rose Window Kitty, from my neighborhood.

Window Kitty!

I often see kitties in windows as I pass houses in my neighborhood on foot, on bicycle or in my car (am I a distracted driver? at least I pull over before I take the photo!).

I have to catch up on posting these photos, like this lovely solid gray kitty from last fall, keeping watch in the big picture window on the porch reflecting the fading pink roses by the railing, classic Venetian blind behind her.

I posted this on my Facebook page a few weeks back without realizing readers here might not find it there. Enjoy!

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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Neighbor Kitty

tabbya nd white cat in window

The neighbor's kitty bird watching.

Another window kitty!The weather has been warm and the windows are open. Too bad for the photo the screen is in the window, he is really a handsome tabby and white kitty.

I saw this guy from my second-floor window in a property that is “kitty-corner” to mine. There’s a little unkempt area in the corner where the yards meet since they are rentals, and mine is a wildlife habitat, so it’s rife with birds and all sorts of other things that are waking up and ready to eat.

This particular four-unit building has always allowed pets, so I often see cats in the windows but can’t always catch them because there’s usually a bit of foliage between us . I’ll have to catch up with the photos I’ve taken.

See other window kitties from my walks around the neighborhood, and other neighborhood cats.

 

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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Losing Apartment, 9 Cats Need Foster Homes

photos of four cats

Four of the cats who need a home, looks like Lily, Samantha, Jennifer and Toby.

A friend sent an e-mail over the weekend informing us of a friend of hers who had lost her job several months ago and is now losing her apartment. The nine cats she lovingly rescued will need homes by Friday, February 17—but only temporary foster homes because she intends to get back on her feet when she finds another job and take them all back into her home.

She is offering to pay all their expenses, and just asks that you keep them safe while she re-establishes herself.

I will note that I have fostered one or more cats for people in transition several times, and each time, once they got back into their own apartment, they came back for their cats. I tend to trust these people, and knowing their cats are safe and loved lets them work on finding new homes and new jobs without worrying about what would happen to their pets. You not only help the pet, you help the person as well—often, giving up a pet is the most difficult part of financial hardship, leading to depression and completely inhibiting any chance of rebuilding one’s life.

I had word today that three of the cats may have been placed, though I’m not sure which three that would be from this list. But it doesn’t matter, if you can foster one or more, just comment on this blog post and I will put you in touch with their person or one of the people helping her. I get the idea the mid-month eviction was a total surprise and they are looking for a home for her as well as her cats.

We are near Pittsburgh, in Western Pennsylvania.

photos of four cats

Four more of the cats who need homes, looks like Lily's kittens, marked with an (*) below.

Her note is below, as well as the descriptions of the cats, several of whom were rescued from near-death experiences.

I have 9 cats in need of temporary foster homes. The following is a brief history/physical description on the kids. All of them are in good health, strictly indoor kitties, no special needs/diets.

I will provide for food, litter and any vet needs. They just need safe shelter while I re-establish myself. I love them all very much, and would like to have them all back once I’m settled. They are important to [me], but their welfare comes first to me since…they are my only family left. Should they be placed, I hope it would be OK to either see them, or be updated on how they are.

Here are the kitties:

Jennifer — 14 y/o Black DSH, spayed female. She prefers quite places and people. She is also known as “Jettie.” She was rescued from Ft. Wayne, IN Animal Care/Control Death Row at approximately 2 years of age.

Samantha — 14 y/o Red Tabby DSH, spayed female, declawed. She is very active for a Senior, and does have a tendency to try to”escape” to the outdoors, but usually stops once she sees grass. She is very social with other cats and with people. She is also known as “Skeeter.” She was the stray that wouldn’t go away and was approximately 2 years of age when she came to us in Ohio (and was already declawed).

Lily — 6 y/o mottled Tortie DSH, spayed female. She also prefers quiet places and people, but does rule the roost. She was rescued from intentional drowning. She is also known as “Momma” since she gave birth to 5 kittens.

Toby — 5 y/o White with Red Tabby spots DSH, neutered male. He is pretty active,gets along with other cats and people. He is cautious on first meeting. He is also known as “Oby,” and rescued from the engine of a truck in Ohio at just a few weeks of age.

*William — 4 y/o Silver/Red Tabby DSH, neutered male. Very friendly, gets along with other cats and people well, very active. He is also known as “Woobie” and is one of Lily’s 5 babies.

*Piet — 4 y/o Silver/Red Tabby DSH, neutered male. Very friendly, gets along with other cats and people well, very active. He is also known as “Peeker”and is one of Lily’s 5 babies.

*Juliana — 4 y/o Silver/Red Tabby DSH, spayed female. Friendly, but reserved, gets along with other cats and people well, very active. She is also known as “Pinkie” and is one of Lily’s 5 babies.

*Wilhelmina — 4 y/o Chocolate Sealpoint-looking DSH, spayed female. She is very friendly, gets along with other cats and people well, very active. She is also known as “Willa” and is one of Lily’s 5 babies.

*Beatrix — 4 y/o White/Red/Gray DSH, spayed female. Friendly, but reserved, gets along with other cats and people well, very active. He is also known as “Beebee” and is one of Lily’s 5 babies.

photo of four cats

Four of the cats who need homes.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Guarding Their Castles

orange and white cat

The Creamsicle kitty.

As I walked for an errand through my neighborhood this afternoon I saw two of my neighbor’s cats guarding their castles: at the top of the steps to their front porches, right in front of the door.

And they matched the homes’ decor as well! The Creamsicle Kitty, above, coordinates beautifully with the white door (and white siding) to his home, plus the warm weathered boards of the porch with just a touch of cobalt as a complementary color.

Below, this lovely swirly marbled tabby boy sits atop his steps covered with carpet in his colors, in front of a dark wooden door fronted by a storm door with black wrought iron scrollwork doing a poor imitation of his stripes.

tabby cat on porch

The dark marbled tabby boy.

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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


The Honor of Rescue

pawprint in ice with snow

Pawprint

The thermometer registered 14 degrees this morning as the sun finally rose on a frosty morning in my neighborhood.

And there were fresh feline pawprints in the light dusting of snow across the yard and up the steps to my deck along with prints embedded in the ice underneath. It could have been that tough tabby tom cat with the white paws who gets the Fantastic Four all upset when he trots through our yard—tom cats often seem immune to just about anything in the world around them with their single-minded intent and they seem impervious to life-threatening cold—or it could have been one of the other cats I’ve seen outdoors, some who I know belong to someone, others who might be stray, escaped, left behind, tossed outdoors. I’ve been monitoring the population in my little section of the neighborhood in the same way for the 21 years I’ve lived in this house.

Just a nice tabby cat sunning himself on the porch.

But one cat who is not outdoors on this brittle morning is Skeeter, who was the first cat I thought about as I felt the cold seep through two doors, and glad that though he lost his struggle to injury and infection, he hadn’t died alone and slowly freezing to death.

Did he know this was on its way when he came to my neighbor and friend Peg Bowman for assistance last weekend? Or had the abscess encircling his neck only become so intolerable that he would, in his own proud way, indicate that humans had some purpose in his life and that was to make him more comfortable?

Or had he perhaps remembered somewhere back in his dim past the love and affection of a human, someone who had chosen him and loved and petted him and sought that remembered comfort?

We rarely know the stories of stray cats who show up as if from nowhere, who may even come to our doors in their own way asking to share our company. A neighbor’s cat who likes your yard? A lost cat on its way home? An unintentional escapee trying to make its way in an unfamiliar world? A feral cat simply following the paths of other cats on its way to another food source?

We will never know how Skeeter came to be living outdoors as an intact male cat at the impressive age of at least eight to ten years, perhaps more. We know he wasn’t feral since he was too comfortable with the presence of humans and let Peg pet him after putting forward some objections and informing her he really was a rough, tough guy. But did he escape as a kitten before he was neutered, or was he intentionally not neutered as some cat owners choose not to do, was he simply not wanted in the first place, a little tabby kitten from an unintended litter foisted on someone who really wasn’t interested in the first place, thereby entering the stream of cats living outdoors to roam and reproduce?

cat in blanket

Skeeter after some pain meds.

Though we thought he had a chance of survival and we knew any recovery would be long and complicated, he came to us for human help, showed us he had a great will to live and we gave him the best we could. He in turn did the best he could, and though he died in surgery, his belly was full, he was hydrated and comfortable, had been treated gently and respectfully by the people around him, and he was already under anesthesia and felt no pain. Most important of all to us and, I think, to him, he was not outdoors, alone, in freezing rain, snow and brutal cold on his last days.

And apparently hundreds of other cat lovers felt the same as Peg and I circulated his story. We never doubted we were doing the right thing by Skeeter, and were sincerely heartened by the comments and even donations of others who supported our decision and helped with the costs of his medical care and were there with sincere condolences when we reported his death. I’ve always said that people who love animals are the best people in the world, and whether it’s an injured kitten or a battered tom cat they will give freely whatever support they can.

I’ve been rescuing cats for about 30 years, have had my share of cats approach me for help, seen my share of injuries and abuse and life and death. Peg is a long-time cat owner but somewhat new to rescue with her own two shelter cats indoors and at least one “porch cat”. She is already aware of cats in the neighborhood; when Skeeter showed up and she realized the extent of his injuries she didn’t question if she should do something only what was best to do for Skeeter. I am flattered that she called me and that I could be there to guide her and support her decisions. She’ll soon be volunteering with Animal Advocates in Pittsburgh; another cat rescuer in training.

And as she and I communicated on the phone, in e-mail, on Facebook and face to face on her porch and in the emergency clinic, we discussed not only his survival but also his death, and agreed that if treatment didn’t work, then walking the last part of life’s path and helping a living creature find a painless death was no less an honor than helping it live.

But the best part of rescuing cats is ending up sharing my life with my own rescues, those who’ve ended up staying with me, or should  I say more accurately “those who have come to rescue me”, and made my life the better for their love and taught me the importance of each individual cat.

So this crusty old tom cat, as was my impression of him, lived life on his own terms and is probably raising a lot of hackles with salty stories of life on the streets up there at the Rainbow Bridge, but I’m honored to have shared his last days and helped a friend give comfort to another living creature.

Other articles about Skeeter:

Skeeter’s Diagnosis

What’s the Matter?

Skeeter on Life With Cats

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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.