Here are pictures of some of the cats. Two of them, Meemo and Markus, are no longer with us, but the rest now have full access, from the garage-shelter to the main house. Right now, with the season changing, my main concerns are:
1. Finding a way to groom Taj, Rocky, Julio, Izzy, Sowelo, Webster, Anjou and Turina (see some of their photos below) of matted fur, which was something new that happened this year over the winter. It may be that they are getting older, I just don’t know why and what caused it. I wonder if it may have been the diatomaceous earth that was sprinkled repeatedly around the shelter last fall to kill fleas, even though it was food grade, they might not have liked licking it off of their fur, but I don’t know. The matting affected s/h and l/h’s equally. Some of the cats had smaller harmless clumps, which eventually fell off. Piph, however, developed a serious mohawk on his back, but because he is easy to handle, I was able to help him. What came off looked like a Conan O’Brien toupee’. Same with Fantasia, who allowed tender attempts at clipping over several weeks, but Anjou, though he is friendly and easy-going, is too short-haired for me to be able to help him without risk of injuring his skin, given my grooming tools are basic, pro tools are outside of the current budget and most of the cats would be too scared anyway. Professional grooming services are far too expensive for these cats to be able to keep eating while the few get groomed, and unfortunately, I have tried to set up grooming appointments nonetheless, and have had to cancel because the cats just couldn’t be on time for their appointments or handled, including Anjou, who freaked out when he got into the mobile grooming van. And Izzy, for instance, still doesn’t tolerate being touched, and it is a long-term if not fruitless process to get him to do anything, let alone tricking him into a carrier or cage. Forcing is out of the question, having been responsible for dealing with the emotional repercussions of forced trapping and confinement, I wouldn’t opt for anything like that again.
2. Keeping the shelter flea-free. Last spring/summer we were almost home free, until September, then we got hit, and I had to spend over six hundred dollars for medications. If flea meds turn out to be needed, the funds for such may not be easy to come by this season. Not to put faith in the wrong thing, but to be prepared. We also have large catnip bills. So if you would like to help, secure donations can be made via Paypal by clicking the Donate button in the sidebar.
3. Renting or buying a floor cleaning machine that will be able to handle the concrete floor.
4. Finding more good people willing to adopt older ex-feral cats.