Category Archives: cat health

Nothing Ever Goes as Planned

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I’ve been delaying an update on Piggy, Vickie, and the SEVEN kittens, because I have hardly a thing to say.

First, the SPCA is crammed full of kittens and there is no room for my seven. It’s so sad. So much irresponsibility regarding cats in this county. If you are feeding them, maybe it’s up to you to make sure that food isn’t making more kittens? Sigh.

Well, I am feeding them, and I do feel responsible. Even though I live 20 minutes away, these are my babies.

Firstly, I had difficulty getting a cat trap. So a few days of my week off were wasted in regards to cat trapping!

I did catch Vickie on Wednesday. I thought like a cat, and moved the trap a few times to make it seem ‘safe.’ I also had to distract all the babies with food, while also making sure she knew where more food was. It didn’t quite go as planned, as she went in twice and didn’t trigger the drop down door. The third time she did, but it also caught the all black kitten, Bear.

Me, watching Vickie not-trigger the trap!

Vickie freaked right the hell out, of course. My first surprise was how quiet she was, no vocalisations at all. Just banging around trying to escape. But when I picked up the trap with her and Bear in it she bit the hell out of him, right on the back of the neck. He screamed. It was horrible! I had to let him out, somehow, and I did.

My brilliant husband came with me and drove to the vet that would do the spay on Vickie, and I am so thankful as my adrenaline was through the roof making my hands shake and my brain less than perfectly functional. It’s also super hard to find parking so no way could I deal with all at once.

The volunteer I’ve been working with took Vickie back and released her, but I couldn’t get the trap back until Friday. Himself came with me again, with high hopes.

I sort of … pushed Piggy Peggy into the trap. She’s my friend, I didn’t want to trick her too much. But it didn’t work; she immediately got out the other side and then she was mad at me. Fail. She left the area completely and we gave up.

I couldn’t even try to get Piggy again this week. I work until 6, and the vet doing the TNR closes at 4. I also give a coworker a lift home so I couldn’t stay late even if they did stay open longer.

Also, Piggy was upset with me and didn’t appear until Wednesday this week. Then it rained like hell for two days. I’ve still been feeding the babies of course.

Yep, seven. Didn’t this start with four? I’m thinking four are Peggy’s, and a bit older, and the other five are Vickie’s. Bear, Shark, and Jupiter are definitely Peggy’s kids. It’s so hard to tell the other ones apart.

I did name another one yesterday. There is one very small baby with an all black face, and she has gotten so brave in the last two days! She is now Elf. Maybe she is the runt of Peggy’s litter?

I’ve been playing with them as well, and between the cheese and the toy, I get Elf, Shark, and Jupiter climbing up my legs. Touching is still iffy, but today I managed to get in some full-hand strokes, not just a finger on the back. The shy ones play by themselves after they eat, but the named ones stick by me.

Cheese please?

I was also given some wormer, seen here. Hoping those fat bellies are my good food and not worms. But it’s likely worms.

Today wasn’t so good. I heard a lot of sneezing. Peggy came up and didn’t want cheese, she only wanted to sit on the blanket beside me. I eventually got her to eat a little bit, but she definitely did not feel good. I rang the TNR vet and I can pick up some antibiotics tomorrow to put in the food. I hope they eat it. I also hope I can catch Peggy.

This whole experience has been harder than I thought, and scary, and stressful. I’m super happy I have Vickie spayed now but so much more needs done. I’d still love some donations for the SPCA, they might take the babies if room opens up.

The Plan for Peggy and Co.

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I finally have the timing right: I know Piggy isn’t pregnant right now, I know where all of her kittens are and one teenager.

I also have all of next week off work! The Halloween stars have aligned to allow me to get them all help.

Look how close they will come now! My big steel-toe boot is right there.

I’ve been in contact with the county SPCA, which is very local. They are even aware of a colony directly across the main road. Likely it is a colony founded by one of Piggy’s daughters from a previous year, who has set up over there after surviving the crossing.

It’s the perfect time to stop this nonsense, give these babies a good life, and keep any more from being born and raised in the bushes beside a very busy warehouse.

It’s even more urgent as one of them has bad eyes. Bad eyes, but is also the friendliest and bravest kitten of the six.

This poor sick baby ate bits of cheese from my fingers, and then climbed up my leg in hopes of more!

I’m in love. Over and over again, I’m in love. Oh, with this little face especially.

Here is where I beg. Please, if you can, donate to help these lovely babies find forever homes.

We are also going to get Piggy Peggy (and hopefully Vickie) spayed and returned. They will keep their territory clear of other feral cats, and this is definitely Peggy’s turf. I am of course tempted to bring her home with me, but my boys are indoor only and so very bonded that she would have to spend most of her time outside in a strange place. What with my neighbour cat very decidedly, and violently, thinking this whole estate is her territory, it would be bad for them both. Of course if I can find Peggy a safer place I will be sad to lose my friend, but happy for her new, safer, life. As it stands, she knows very well how to be safe where she is. I won’t ever stop caring for her. If she looks ill or has parasites I will be there. Vickie… is very feral. In a few years I might tame her like I did Peggy. But it’s going to take a lot of time.

The SPCA is no-kill. If any of these kittens are seriously ill, there might be a problem to deal with at that point. First is to catch them, veterinarian check them, and get them used to humans more than my meagre attempts. They are young enough that there is lots of hope to tame them before it is too late.

So please, if you can, donate via PayPal by emailing it to my blog email. No matter how much it is, it helps. We need help, and it is such a burden on shelters to take in these unloved ones, give them health care, and find them homes.

Please. Heretherebespiders@gmail.com

…And on Wednesday, Even Closer…

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It was raining like hell on Wednesday, and I had little time with the cats as I had a personal emergency and so lost my lunch 45mins.

I fed them under the bushes so they wouldn’t get rained on too much. I got wet of course!

Something is wrong here…

Ah, no!

One two three four five … six. Six kittens now? I swear they are multiplying.

Six. Sigh. This gets worse every day. Except… look how close I am to them all. That’s very good! I stroked the ones who let me, but I move slowly and quietly and try not to hover my hand or arm overhead as that scares them.

Piggy’s Clowder

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Something has changed in Piggy Peggy in the year I didn’t see her. Now that I’m back at work again, she has clearly missed me and is showing it in some very surprising ways.

It was obvious that she had recently weaned another litter of kittens when I first saw her again, in April. She had the remnants of milk still, the poor thing. Soon, I found missing fur on the back of her neck and initially thought it was mange. It was not. The baldness was from mating. Cats aren’t very romantic.

Soon Peggy disappeared for long weeks. I knew she’d had more babies.

I’ve been looking for the kittens ever since.

And I’ve found them, living in a dense garden hedge that borders my workplace. The company put up a fence a few years ago along that line, and the homeowners keep it nicely trimmed even on the side they can’t see. It’s thick, and it’s chock-full of cats.

Six, I thought. Piggy Peggy, a mostly black teenage daughter from the spring I’m calling Vickie, and four kittens, one all black and the rest black and white. Then I spotted what I believe is a male teenager, all black. Seven, Then I met who I expect is daddy Tomcat, pure white and stunning. Eight. Then I saw a fifth kitten! Nine. Oh no, no no.

Piggy and Vickie.

For now there are nine. I say for now, because I’ve seen two dead black and white cats in the road across from this house. How many have died there that I didn’t see? It could be dozens by now. I saved just one, Iggy (who is still happy and healthy and beloved). But he cost me a lot of money. If she is having at least 4 kittens 3 times a year… this is awful. They die. They die horribly.

I know it’s hard to see, but there are two kittens in this picture. Taken 7 October. This is where they are living, in the bushes.

At the same time, it’s amazing to see them interacting. And also how my efforts to make friends are working, but it’s Piggy Peggy who is the one teaching not only her kittens, her teenager, but me.

She kept me away, and kept them away and safe as a good momma does. But they are bounding about now and exploring, and I am not making this up but she is trying like hell to teach the little ones, and her teenage daughter, that I am safe. I am honoured.

I’m also feeding them all!

Next post is about how she is educating her babies, including Vickie, and some surprises.

Last picture is as close as I could get to the kittens on 11 October. Notice Piggy Peggy is watching over them, and watching me also.

Return to Piggy Peggy

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So, I’ve been off work for nearly a year and a quarter. I’m back now, and easing up from half days into full time.

Today, my old friend found me!

She is looking good! Her ears are clean as is her fur, and no parasites that I could see.

She was happy to see me, and remembered me right away. I didn’t even have food but I got to give her lots of cuddles and even some lap time.

Unfortunately, she still hasn’t been spayed. She shows signs of yet another recent litter. I’m also concerned because the houses I believe she ‘lives’ at have For Sale signs out front.

In any case, it made me happy to have a visit with my old friend Piggy Peggy today.

“I Know We Will Love Him”

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Iggy went home with his new family today! Friends of ours, they are a man and woman with a little boy and girl.

These are kind, intelligent, thoughtful, artistic people – Iggy couldn’t be in better hands. He has already made himself at home and loves having four sets of hands to pet him!

Best part is I can visit with him when I want to (but of course I will let him settle in and bond with his new people for a while first).

Thank you to everyone who followed his rescue with me. iDJ and I are quite relieved he is safe now – and I bet Iggy is, too.

Jailbird Iggy 

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He’s still at the vet. They neutered him last Thursday, the abscess is healing nicely…but he’s lonely. I just don’t know what to do. It’s costing me both in money and mental distress. I miss him at work all the time, but he can’t go back there as he comes inside the warehouse.

I’m beginning to think that turning him out in my back garden and hoping for the best is my only option. I hate that idea. I hate how people don’t take care of cats. It’s so frustrating to be full of love and full of hate at the same time.

Iggy Update

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We visited with Iggy kitty today. He is completely relaxed at the Vet’s office: nothing seems to get him upset. Doc mentioned how chilled out he is with a bit of surprise or admiration, not sure which!

His face is still leaking from the abscess but it is healing. He made sure to rub goo and drool all over me and hubby. My chin was a bit crusty afterward – Iggy loves to be held close and give sloppy headbutts. 

Of course, he is still full of love and cuddles – he didn’t want me to set him down! Quite the drool machine, too, and got so excited to see me he did nip a little, but not hard. The excitement overwhelmed his little kitty circuits at first. 

They are letting him heal for a bit longer and will do the neuter on Monday. He can go to a new home on Monday evening, if I can find one. I have a new coworker who is interested, and he got permission from his mother, but I’m a little concerned as I don’t know him well. Iggy needs to be kept inside as he has no sense of danger, it seems. I don’t know if this guy has really understood that, yet. I sent him a text yesterday but had no reply, which doesn’t speak well to his dedication to the idea of taking Iggy in. Or on. I expect Igs will be a bit of a challenge. 

He is using the litter box in the cage no problem – we saw him do it!

Doc N agrees that our two-cat one-dog household is very stable, especially with how Lumi loves all over the dog and Siamese Lokii. He thinks that introducing another cat would be a bad idea for our current happy family. We showed him pictures of Lumi cuddling with Lokii and hanging out beside the dog. The first thing he said was, ‘Don’t mess with this, it’s rare and easily broken.’

Going to be about €150 if he goes home somewhere Monday evening; if he stays longer it is €15 a day.

Oh, and he needs a bath still. He’s rubbish at the washing up. I’d make a joke about him being the typical male, but none of us believe in stereotypes or think they are funny! I’ll save that one for the work lads.

No new pictures, I didn’t think of it and the doc was closing up for the evening. Here’s a blurry older one. 

Iggy’s Adventurous Day

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Yes, I named him. Since he comes when I call for Peggy (and just to confuse things further, I call Piggy Piggy Piggy when I’m looking for her), I chose a rhyming name. Iggy it is.

It rained nonstop from when I got to work until 1:30 when I went to lunch. First thing I did on my break was get soaked while walking around the building calling and looking for him. No sign of him, or Peggy. To be expected in the rain, really, but it worried me for my plans.

I sat in an open doorway and ate my lunch, looking for him and hoping he would come to where he last saw me the day before…nothing. Just as I was about to go back to work, my phone rang. It was my favourite coworker. 

“Get in here, quick! Your cat is in the warehouse! The managers are all right here, they will freak out!”

I bolted for the area Iggy was in, wrapped him up in a moving blanket and took him back outside. I gave him a can of tuna, closed the door, took all my stuff back to my workbench and went back out to see how he was….no cat.

He was already back in the warehouse, as comfortable as he could be. Shit!

Another coworker was bringing her carrier in, but she was still at lunch. Shit shit shit.

I couldn’t leave him in there. He followed me everywhere. It is a crazy busy place, not safe for little kitties! Not to mention getting me in big trouble for encouraging him.

Another of my favourite lads said that there was someone in the office who wanted him. So I went and got her. Iggy-to-be loved all over her…but also tried to bite her twice. She is very young, still lives at home, and had to ask her parents if she could bring him home that night. To make the hours I waited shorter, the answer eventually was no. Well, maybe for the best. Iggy never tried to bite me.

Eventually the carrier arrived, and I popped the remainder of the tuna inside. I’d also brought in a tee shirt of mine as bedding and to hopefully make him feel safer when caged – familiar smell and all. He went right in. Door closed…tuna gone…the howling commenced. I covered the carrier with the moving blanket, but he was going a bit berserk, pulling the blanket into the carrier. And noisy? Oh yeah.

He calmed down a bit, but not before one of the aforementioned managers said I should move him to an outlying building in case the Big Boss heard him. So I did.

I rang hubby to give the update, and he suggested I ring the vet and ask if I could bring him in tonight. It would be a huge favour. I work until 6:30 and the vet we love is 45 mins away from where I work, even when someone drives as fast as I do. The doc on duty said he would wait for me. This is why we love this place!

I made it in 35 minutes, due to very little traffic. Iggy was incredibly good in the car, I have to say! I covered the carrier again, and that may have helped. He did pee on my shirt, however. I don’t blame him one bit.

On arrival, he came out of the carrier not in a rush but happy to be free and happy to see me and be loved on again. Doc Richard squeezed the abscess and it…fizzed. Like spit bubbles. He said it was oxygen generated by the bacteria festering in Iggy’s cheek. Iggy didn’t complain or try to get away, either. Instead he rubbed the bacteria juice on me, yay!

Doc said he is between 2 and 4 years old, and has been indoors before by his behaviour. Not just in a warehouse, but a real house. He gave Iggy an antibiotic shot which was huge and only hurt him toward the end of the syringe. It was a lot of cc’s. Doc Richard also pointed out that the small wound by Iggy’s ear is the other side of the bite that caused the abscess.

Best of all, Richard thinks that Iggy will easily adapt to being an indoor cat and toilet train himself quickly. Doc also scanned for a microchip (none of course) and agreed that Iggy ‘is a lovely fellow.’

I’ll ring tomorrow and see how he is doing, of course. He might need a few days to heal before being neutered, too. It’s okay, I’ll figure something out for him. Everyone who met him thinks he is just lovely, and he is. 


Pic of him roaming the warehouse. You can see how swollen the left side of his face is. 

Saving a New Friend

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I have definite plans to bring the new work-cat home tomorrow and then to the vet Friday morning. Circumstances are perfectly aligned to make it quite manageable, if I can get him into the car…

He is really, really lovely. Unlike Peggy, he loves to curl up and stay on my lap. Unlike Peggy, he has no problem at all with being picked up and carried long distances.


This was today. Once I stuffed him full of tuna and chicken, he hopped up on my lap, curled into a ball, tucked his head under my jacket and purred. He also has a weird, hitching breathing style that worries me.


He also, unlike Peggy, is absolutely filthy dirty. I rubbed a damp paper towel over his back today, and pure black dirt came off of on the towel. He definitely does not have a clean place to sleep. People might be feeding him, but no one thinks of him as their cat – the main reason I’ve not catnapped Peggy yet.


Incredibly dirty and a bit bald around the ears. Also in centre of the frame is a small scab under his ear.  He doesn’t mind me poking at this one.

I know he is a much more desperate case than Peggy. Especially when I noticed he had some difficulty eating today’s chicken. I took the first chance to have a closer look, and yes, he has a swollen left cheek and what looks like an open abscess. I likely encouraged him to rip it open by scratching his head so much yesterday.

I wasn’t about to grab his face and make him show me the wound, of course. The dark spot is wet fur and the orange crust is likely pus.

The plan tomorrow is to catch him and bring him home, but not inside the house. Maybe in our shed overnight, as small and junky as it is. In the morning, a run to the vet and leave him there with all the info I can give them. Fix the abscess. Worm him. Check on that odd breathing. Neuter him. All of this; if he doesn’t have a horrible, deadly disease that is going to kill him anyway.

After that? I don’t know. I don’t know if I can take him home – hubby points out rightly that one indoor outdoor cat and two indoor only cats will cause havoc. I’ve also realised he is about 1/3 the size of Lumi – like having a housecat meet a Lynx he rightly could be terrified. Of course we have a big dog also, and he could be scared of dogs. And…he knows how to spray to mark territory, I saw him do it in a very inappropriate place. I think being in our house with two other male cats would likely make him pee on everything.

He needs a warm safe place with cuddles and laps, access to the outside, and fewer cars as he has no damn sense around them. I don’t want to see him dead on the road and know I could have prevented it. 

I’ve never asked before, but if you want to donate to helping so-far-nameless kitty, you can send a donation via PayPal to my blog email address, heretherebespiders @ gmail . com (spaced it out so maybe the spam bots won’t find me, hahahah).