Thursday, December 24, 2009

Blog dedicated to "Hollie"

Hey ya’ll and HoHoHo!

First, let me greet our new subscribers from the Hiram and Sandy Springs venue. Welcome and thank you for asking to be brought into the HawkTalk family fold. You will laugh, cry and learn stuff and not necessarily in that order. And if at any time you become weary, just ask and I’ll remove you post-haste…toot-sweet.

The sky is blue right now, but just wait…with the cells coming out of the Midwest…oh boy, here we go again. As much as I don’t like being cold, at least I’m not digging out of the snow and ice from this cell coming out of the mid-west and the one last week that hit our friends in the northeast. With the new gutters on the house, (Thank you, Dave L!) I will be interested in how the basement fares. Interested and NERVOUS.

Brian, let us plan a day either this weekend of the first of next week for Richard’s release? Please call me to set up a time. 770.720.1847. As you can see, his cere is healing nicely and he will be very happy to get back into the wild. He missed his courtship/breeding opportunity this time around, but it couldn’t be helped. Well I say it’s too late, but if his wife hasn’t already left him for another and he gets cracking with the flowers and the rats, he might have time!

Guys, take this lesson from the male bird…he knows that in order to keep the pair bonding going strong, (and if I have to explain THAT to you, then you are in trouble!) you must continue to do and cluck and preen and bring mice to your girlfriend. Not just in the beginning either, but ALL the time. Repeat; ALL THE TIME. Exhausting, I know, but if you don’t, she will shut down and you’ll be by yourself on the couch watching sports. ‘Nuff said on that subject.

Richard – Looking GOOD!!! Where did that cowlick come from?


Thanks to Dr. David Martinez over at Loving Hands AH for helping Richard. If it weren’t for the generosity of doctors like him and the owner, Dr. Jo Ann Roesner, I wouldn’t be able to do this.

Below is Richard’s radiograph. He was pelted with buckshot and the large bone in his forearm was fractured. By the time he was noticed and recovered by the multiple Good Samaritans from the neighborhood, his fracture had already started to calcify, so it was at least 2 weeks old. This means he went for 2 weeks without food! Not good. When I first felt his keel, I freaked out because it was so prominent.

The flight muscles are attached to the keel (the first part you carve away at Thanksgiving) and when their fat reserves are gone, they metabolize the flight muscles to keep the body systems operating. I could grab his keel with my thumb and forefinger, which means he was too low to eat solid food at first. Birds that present such as Richard are so starved that they will gobble down anything set before them and then promptly fall over dead because they lack the energy to process it. (I can’t tell you how many Good Samaritans have accidentally killed the bird by feeding it before getting it to me). After tube feeding him for a few days, he was able to put a little weight on and then I could switch over to ‘real’ food…

We didn’t surgically intervene because the smaller bone was there to support it while it healed. So it was cage rest and LOTS of food for Richard while his body did the work.

Please keep Richard in your thoughts as he is released back into the wild, won’t you?

It was on this day four years ago that my life (and heart) was opened back up to having cats. I have loved them all my life, but when I divorced 20 years ago, the x took the cats and I kept the birds, so I went for many, many years without cat hair stuck to my butt. I know all you cat people out there are nodding in unison!

I used to get my cat ‘fix’ down at the local convenience store. Mr. Boots was the store cat and what a cool kitty he was. Black with white boots and he drooled like mad when you stroked his fur. He won hearts and held court in the back of the store next to his cat bed. There was even a chair for the customer to sit in while ‘Bootsy’ received attention! So THAT’S why they call it a ‘convenience’ store? Who knew?

He hadn’t been feeling well and one day when they let him out to use the bathroom, I followed him into the woods and watched him strain to pee. He was growling and miserable with pain, but he allowed me to put my hand under him and when I pulled back to look...BLOOD. This was an EMERGENCY! The owner immediately took him to hospital and with catheterization, meds and a diet change, he was on the mend. I stopped by Christmas Eve afternoon, 2005 to check on him. He was coming along nicely and so I knew he would be ok.

On the way out to my car, I catch a glimpse of a tan cat coming from the same part of the woods where I followed Bootsy. He was yowling his head off and heading RIGHT for me. I have never seen the look of desperation in a cat before. He ran over to me, pleading with me to do something. I could see his ribs and he looked to be about 6 months old. I’m guessing he was either put out or abandoned when the people left the rental house next to the store.

It was overcast, cold and starting to drizzle, and I could have just turned away but I did not. I made a snap decision to pick him up and put him in the car. I was only a mile from home, so I knew he could handle it. I told him when he got in the car that I had little money, so if he was accident prone, we would have problems. I vowed to scrape money together to feed him, but trips to the doctor were out of the question. He thought that was a reasonable deal and meowed his approval.

He wasn’t neutered, so I wouldn’t allow him to come into the house for obvious reasons, but I turned part of the basement into a cat room for him. Heck, it already had a cat door installed so we were half way there!

Litter box – check. Cat food – check. Bowl of water – check, but he drank out of the pond. “It’s better for me, anyway,” he says.

He liked to patrol, so he only popped in a few times a week. He never stayed home long enough to schedule a trip to the vet’s office for you-know-what. He was a smart kitty in that regard. For a while, at least.

Three months later, I have to go out of town and when I return a week later, David has brought his new wife home. She was feral and VERY pregnant. “Oh crap”, I said to myself. She delivered her babies in a sideways 5 gallon pickle bucket in the cat room. I went from one cat, to an entire family. I fell in love in about 5 seconds. I had to be careful because the wifely unit was feral and I was afraid she was going to move them somewhere outside and that would be bad.

David – From his rooftop perch


His favorite spot by down at the pond


And when he wasn’t drinking out of the pond…he hung out in the bird bath


After a bowl of half and half and a pinch of catnip


Creating ripples in my heart that have never stopped


David’s wife, Mommy


He told me that he only fathered one baby, Cristobel, a lovely blend of the two.




The day before he was neutered…he has no idea what is about to happen to his noodles


After he was neutered, he started coming in the house. Face was the only other cat he would allow inside. This is Face, Cristobel’s brother, with David on the bed and I am somewhere in between…

I am all about quality of life, over quantity and so I never held David prisoner. He was free to come and go at will. On August 23rd, 2008, he didn’t look both ways before he crossed the street. He is now buried down by the pond.


I am so glad to have Cristobel. When I touch the tan part of her fur, I know that I can still be close to her daddy…

David’s soaring above me here, waiting just beyond the veil…


He says, smiling…”I miss loving you too, mama.”


Please hug your pets and peeps as they leave out the door because you never know if you will see them again.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and thank you for your donations of Mouse Money. We ALL appreciate it.

Oh yeah...Mr. Boots is well and is living La Vida Loca at Sue’s house. She works at the store and keeps up posted on his shenanigans.

You may follow the convenient PayPal link on our HawkTalk site if you would care to make a contribution. Your help, helps me help....m.

Monteen McCord
www.hawktalk.org

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