We didn’t intend to disappear from blog posting, but life has gotten a little crazy for the Three Irish Cats the last few weeks. You see, their owners are selling the house, and pre-sale prep has kept the Food Lady from important tasks like blogging and researching and posting adorable pictures to Facebook and Instagram every day. (At least she hasn’t forgotten to feed them!)
Rest assured that Aine, Emmett, and Seamus are enjoying quality box time, chasing packing peanuts, and checking out redecorated rooms. We’ll be returning to our normal weekly posting schedule before you know it!
How can you tell if a cat is stray, lost, or feral?
One way is to look at its ears.
If a cat is part of a managed feral cat colony, chances are good its left ear will be tipped. Look closely at the cat. Is its left ear missing the pointy end? That’s an ear tip.
If that seems extreme, consider the alternatives. Some caretakers have their cats tattooed, but in order to see whether the cat is tattooed, you need to catch it. Remember how many tries it took me to get Fireheart? (At least four!) It’s even harder to get a cat who has already been trapped.
The ear is tipped while the cat is under sedation for spay or neuter. The cut heals quickly and doesn’t cause the cat any pain. In fact, the ear tip can save the cats life!
When an ear-tipped cat is turned into a shelter, shelter employees can quickly see that the cat is part of a managed colony, and they can work to trace the cat’s home. Without an ear tip, a feral cat will be killed in the shelter, sometimes upon intake if the facility is full.
In our suburban neighborhood, we had our backyard cats ear tipped and microchipped. There are a lot of people around here, and I want to make sure these cats can continue living in peace. Even if these cats are turned into a kill shelter, their ear tip and chip will let the shelter know which rescue group manages these cats.
I used to dislike the look of the ear tip. I think cats are beautiful, and tipping their ear changed their appearance for me. But after we trapped Ghost and had him neutered, I changed my mind. Before, he was just a stray cat wandering the neighborhood. Now he’s the neighborhood cat, and his tipped ear shows that I care about him. (Not to mention he won’t be fathering any more kittens!)
We have this basket. It’s old, and it used to be a baby bassinette back when it was brand new. I’ve had it for years. These days, the basket is next to my desk so the cats can nap in it.
Just about every cat who comes through the house takes a nap in the basket. The permanent residents take turns pretty much every day, especially when its chilly.
Even foster cats and my parents’ cats who sometimes visit spend time there.
Sometimes, there’s plenty of room for two, usually Emmett and a buddy.
Other times, one cat passive-aggressively pokes around until another cat gets annoyed and vacates the basket.
Earlier this week, we bought two more baskets so that each cat has one. Emmett has immediately taken to one basket, which is shaped like the original bassinette but deeper.
The other one is in the “cat resort” my son set up for the cats with a toy attached to it. No one has napped in that one yet, but they’ve all sniffed around it and batted at the toy. All in good time; there’s a lot of winter napping time left!
It’s been a little more than a month since Dickens and Poe were adopted and went to their forever home. I’ve been getting updates from their new family, and they are so happy! The boys took a couple of weeks to settle in, but now that they’re comfortable, they’re snuggling and playing and begging for attention — even shy guy Dickens.