Author Archives: Maggie

The Hairy Auction in aid of Community Cats Network

Hairy house raffle pic CCN

The Hairy Project was set up to hopefully raise funds for Dog and Cat Rescue,
by holding Auctions with items that have been made by me here in The Hairy House and items donated by like-minded Animal Lovers.
The first Hairy Auction started on 13th February and was in aid of Coolronan Dog Rescue, raising €1,850 for the Rescue.
The second Hairy Auction was held on 16th May for 10 days in aid of two Wonderful TNR Projects involved in Rescue and Rehoming. -Greystones Kitty Hostel and The TNR Fundraising Page run by Debbie Hogan who helps out TNR projects around Wicklow, Co Dublin and Dublin Areas. This auction raised €1,500 for Greystones Kitty Hostel. €1,000 for TNR fundraising Page run by Deborah Hogan and €200 for Maeve O’Donoghue for her Mullingar Dogs that she helps to get out of the Pound. and €50 each to 3 emergency Cases.
The third auction was in Aid of Cats Friends Rescue and took place on Friday 25th July . This Auction Raised €2,070.50 for Cats Friends Rescue.
REMEMBER None of this is possible without YOU. So Come and Join in the Fun and Help Save Lives!
TOTAL RAISED AND GIVEN OUT SO FAR IS €6,770.50 since February 2014
The Next Auction will be held in aid of Community Cats Network in Cork on Friday 25th September 2014 at 9pm.

Please visit The Hairy Auction Facebook page on the link below to place your bids. Thank you Belinda Morgan for this fantastic fundraiser.

 https://www.facebook.com/groups/653491301356271/

Hairy house raffle pic CCN

Oiche mhaith mo Croí

We constantly get calls from people that have sick cats. Following a process of elimination we determine if the cat needs emergency care or not. I arrived for a trapping last night and, low and behold, the carer had fed the cat two hours before I arrived. The probability of the cat coming around again was pretty slim. I was informed that he had
not been looking well for a while. I hung on a bit longer to see if he would show…and he did. The most amazing tom cat approached the patio, holding his head up high, walking tall with all the dignity he could muster. But unfortunately he was in a bad way. He had a large laceration on the side of his neck. He appeared dirty and dishevelled, and broken. Cats are amazing creatures. No matter what happens to them, what they have to go through to make it through another day, their dignity always remains. He looked at me with the two most glorious eyes I have ever seen on a cat. I swear to god he knew I was there to trap him. I put out the trap and filled it with food. He was standing about three feet away from me, saliva dripping from his mouth onto the ground. I turned to him and asked him to go into the trap so we could take his pain away. He looked at me and walked straight into the trap. I know this sounds silly, but it was the nearest thing I could describe to a spiritual experience. The handsome boy was taken home to the feral shed. Jim transferred him into the hospital cage with some warm vet bed and food.
I brought him to the vet today. Most of his teeth were missing and the others were rotting. He had Plasmacelled Pododermatitis on three of his paws, was covered in lice and positive for FIV.
He went for his final sleep today in the vets. I listened to his heart beat after the lethal dose injection was administered. His heart kept beating for a short while, slowed down, and then stopped. Oiche mhaith mo Croí. Maggie & Jim.Lavernes cat

How do we carry out a Trap-Neuter-Return project.

The first contact comes from a multi-faceted approach ranging from telephone calls, emails, website, Facebook or direct contact from vets.

Oral contact with the carer:

  • We telephone the carer to establish what physical condition the colony is in.
  • Establish if any cat or kitten needs emergency care and arrange it immediately.
  • Estimate how many cats and kittens are there.
  • Estimate how old are the kittens
  • Establish how often and what time the cats are being fed and if there are other feeders .
  • If the colony is in good health we post or email you an assessment form

https://communitycatsnetwork.wordpress.com/information/tnr/

 

Arranging the colony assessment:

 

  • The carer fills the assessment form on site or has sent it back to us.
  • We arrive on site at feeding time to visually assess the colony.
  • We discuss the financial cost of the neutering with the carer.
  • We explain the trapping procedure.
  • We arrange a trapping date with the carer.

 

farms cats photo

 

Arranging the neutering and veterinary care:

  • The CCN welfare officer makes contact with the nearest  partner vet to the colony to arrange a time and date for the neutering.
  • The physical health of the colony is discussed with the vet or the veterinary nurse.
  • Extra treatment will be discussed when the vet has assessed the cats in surgery.

 

The trapping:

 

  • Depending on the number of cats to be trapped the Community Cats Network welfare officer decides what traps and cages to bring.
  • The CCN welfare officer arrives 30 minutes before feeding time to set up the traps.
  • The cats are trapped humanely and transferred into feral cat handling cages.
  • The carer signs the Community Cats Network consent form.
  • Depending on the time when trapped and availability of vets, the cats are either taken straight to the vets or held overnight to be taken to the vets the following morning.
  • If the cats are held overnight they are transferred into humane comfortable cages with food water and litter for the cats’ comfort and welfare.

hospital cage completed

          Hospitalisation cage in the opened position to show the                   bedding & feeding area.

 

 

Veterinary treatment and neutering:

  • The CCN welfare officer transfers the cats back into the transport cages and bring them to the allocated vets.
  • The transport cages have information on each cage pertaining to that specific cat. The veterinary nurse or vet will complete the forms once the surgery  has been completed.
  • In the veterinary surgery the feral cats are transferred into a cat restrainer cage to make it safer for the veterinary practice to sedate the cat and cause less stress on the cat.
  • Once the sedative has taken effect the cat is taken out of the cage and given a full health check. The cat’s mouth, ears, teeth, eyes, legs, pads and body are checked for any anomalies or abnormalities.
  • If any abnormalities are found the CCN welfare officer is contacted immediately by the vet to discuss further actions.
  • If everything is normal the surgery continues
  • Female cats will be spayed on the left flank – this is always the left hand side of the body. It provides faster access to the organs being removed. The female will have her uterus and ovaries removed to fully ensure that procreation can never take place. Spaying also removes the possibilities of life threatening uterine infections. Additionally, it also greatly reduces the risk of developing potentially fatal mammary tumors later in life.
  • Male cats will be castrated. Both testicles will be removed. This will remove their ability and want to mate with females of the species. Neutered male cats become less likely to fight after neutering and are less likely to become involved in fights, resulting in bite injuries and the risk of contracting viral infections. Sexual contact in cats can also lead to transmission of deadly viruses.
  • Both female and male cats are left ear-tipped. This is a universal  method indicating the neutered status of a cat.
  • All cats in our care receive a flea and a worm treatment.

 

Eartipped cat                                                     Eartipped cat.

 

Post-operative care:

  • The CCN welfare officer collects the cats from the vets after surgery.
  • The cats are put back into the hospitalisation cages with clean bedding, water and food.
  • The males are kept for a minimum of 16 hours after surgery and females 24 hours.
  • The cats are checked post-op on an average of every 2 to 3 hours to make sure the bedding is clean and they are recovering well.
  • The carer is contacted to make arrangement to return the cats.

Returning the cats:

  • The cats are transferred back into the transport cages and returned to the carer.
  • The carer receives a quantity of food, CCN’s feral cat aftercare handbook and a photographic and health journal of their cats.

 

Sterilisation of the equipment:

  • After the return of the cats the CCN welfare office has to clean and sterilise all the equipment: traps, transport cages, hospitalisation cages and holding area used for the specific colony to avoid contaminating the next colony or transferring infection.

Feral cats colony information:

  • The CCN welfare officer inputs all the information that they have gathered about the colony into our computerised database.
  • Photos and descriptions are then uploaded to our Facebook page.
  • CCN welfare officers are always available for contact with the carer at any stage.

The Four Phases of compassion fatigue.

Those of us who work on behalf of and who dedicate our lives to animals go through four phases in our career evolution.  As we are unique, so are our individual stories, but we all go through a similar process and, if we survive that process go on to understand that we have achieved what we wanted in the first place.
Phase One — Honeymoon

Red hot and raring to go, we are out to change the world.  We are high on life. We know we can make a difference; that our efforts on behalf of animals will ease their plight.  We work what seems like 25-hour days yet are energized.  Our enthusiasm overflows, our capacity for challenges is limitless.  We eat, sleep and live in the cause for animals.  Our friends don’t understand our obsession and turn away or just fade away, and we let them for we meet new ones.  Some of us though don’t make new friends; we’re too busy working for animals.  Some of us become loners with only our canine or feline companions to keep us from total isolation but we’re content because we have a cause.  In our zeal we tend to affix simple solutions to complex problems — every animal should be sterilized or no animal should be euthanized.  We’re often late because we try to rescue animals from highways and streets.  We think we understand the problem and we know we can fix it if only people would get out of our way.
Phase Two — Depression

Our phase one enthusiasm has turned sour; the bubble bursts and we crash.  We see the same people coming into the shelter with yet another litter — they haven’t heard our message.  We continue to euthanize, there seems no end to it.  Even our friends — those we still have left — don’t understand us.  We can’t seem to reach anyone.  Animals are still abused and neglected; their plight seems unchanged despite all our efforts.  We’ve lost the boundless energy that characterizes Phase One.  We no longer wish to talk about work, don’t even want to admit where we work.  We’re tired all the time.  We go home from work, lock the doors, turn out the lights, turn off the answering machine and close the window blinds.  We’re too exhausted to cook so we scarf fast food, pizza, potato chips or chocolate.  Some of us buy useless objects we can’t afford.  Some of us turn to alcohol for it takes away our feelings of hopelessness.  We ignore our families and even our pet companions get less attention than we know is right.  We seem powerless to affect any of the changes that drove us to such ecstasies of dedication in Phase One.  We have become horrified by the work we have to do.  Even our dreams are filled with the horror.  Every animal we take in, every animal we euthanize is yet another nail in our coffin of defeat.  Somehow we’re to blame for our failure and it’s destroying us; our wall of isolation gets thicker and thicker.  It blocks the pain and the sadness and makes our life somehow tolerable.  We continue on because every now and then we get a spark of Phase One energy.
Phase Three  — Anger

Our Phase Two depression has turned outward and we’re mad as hell.  Hopelessness turns to rage.  We begin to hate people, any people and all people unless, like our co-workers they dedicate their lives to animals the way we do.  We even hate our co-workers if they dare question us — especially about euthanasia.  It occurs to us, let’s euthanize the owners not the pets.  Let’s take everyone who abuses an animal, or even surrenders an animal and euthanize them instead.  Our rage expands to our out-of-work life.  That guy in front of us on the highway, the one who’s in our way, euthanize him too.  We rage at politicians, television, newspapers, our family.  Everyone is a target for our anger, scorn and derision.  We have lost our perspective and our effectiveness.  We’re unable to connect with life.  Even the animals we come in contact with seem somehow distant and unreal.  Anger is the only bridge to our humanness.  It’s the only thing that penetrates our shield.

Phase Four — Resilience

Gradually and over time the depression of Phase Two and the anger of Phase Three become replaced with a new determination and understanding of what our mission really is.  It is big picture time.  We realize that we have been effective — locally and in some cases regionally and even nationally.  So we haven’t solved the problem — who could — but we have made a difference with dozens, even hundreds and sometimes thousands of animals.  We have changed the way others around us view animals.  We begin to see our proper place in our own community and we begin to see that we are most effective when we balance our work and out-of-work lives.  We realize that work is not our whole world and that if we pay attention to our personal lives we can be more effective at work.  We understand that some days we work 14-hours and some days we knock it off after only 8.  We take vacations and we enjoy our weekends.  We come back refreshed and ready to take on daily challenges.  We see that all people are not all bad.  We understand that ignorance is natural and in most cases curable.  Yes there are truly awful people who abuse and neglect animals but they are a minority.  We don’t hate them.  When we find them we do all we can to stop them from hurting animals.  We recognize that the solutions are just as complex as the problems and bring a multitude of tools to the problem at hand and use them any way we can and we begin to see results — one small step at a time.  We reconnect with the animals.  Our shields come down.  We understand that sadness and pain are a part of our job.  We stop stuffing our feelings with drugs, food or isolation.  We begin to understand that our feelings of anger, depression and sadness are best dealt with if we recognize them and allow them to wash over and past us.  We recognize our incredible potential to help animals.  We are, little by little, changing the world.

The author of this article is Doug Fakkema.

Brief Biography

  • January 1971:  Graduated from San Jose State University in California with a B.A. in radio-TV-film.   
  • September 1971:  I walked into the Lane Humane Society (Eugene, Oregon).  Worked in animal shelters 19 years, mostly as executive director.  
  • July 1990:  Began full-time teaching and consulting around the world, 1.8 million air miles.
  • January 2014: Retired from full time traveling and teaching, but continue to teach Compassion Fatigue classes on a limited schedule.

For more information visit http://www.dougfakkema.com

When we grieve for a Loved Animal

If you are reading this because your beloved pet has died, I offer my heartfelt sympathy. To lose someone you love is very stressful, especially if it was unexpected. Only you know how deep your connection is to your Loved Animal and, the deeper the connection, the more profound your grief. That connection is not gone though. It is possible to maintain it in a different form, throughout the rest of your life, if you want. First, let’s look at what you might experience and what might help you deal with it.

What you can expect

Grief is our reaction to the physical separation from someone we love. It is a normal reaction that is experienced uniquely by everyone. So there is no right or wrong way to grieve (though it is possible to get stuck). Because grief is not really talked about, many people are surprised by the intensity of the pain, for example, and don’t know what to do to grieve. But everyone has grieving instincts that gently nudge them to express their grief. For example, one person might feel the urge to put away everything that reminds them of their pet (for now). While another person might want to keep everything close, as a tangible connection, until their pet’s absence is less of a shock. If you can, lean into your grieving instincts. They will guide you.

It is very natural to experience disruptions in more than one area of functioning because of grief. Your physical body may experience any of a wide variety of temporary changes, from early waking, to increased or decreased appetite, from headaches and digestive upset to numbness or tingling, even fatigue. Your social self might want different things, e.g., you might want to withdraw from others, for a while. Your mind might have some difficulty with standard tasks, such as concentrating or remembering. And depending on what you believe, your spiritual self might struggle with the fact that a loving God or Creator would allow this to happen.

These are all reactions to the shock your whole system has had. Each person will experience a different mix of these grief reactions. And there is no schedule for when they should end. The best thing to do is to be patient with this process and to be gentle with yourself. (It will also help you deal with the stress if you can eat nutritious food, get any kind of exercise and rest as needed. Your motivation to do these things might be low, but they actually help. Trust me.)

Grieving requires actions

Every time we do something to express our grief we inch forward on what is known as our grief journey. Crying and telling your story to others are two of the most obvious, and probably, involuntary ways we grieve. But there are as many grieving actions as there are creative people in the world. Here are some ways that others have found meaningful:

  • Plant a tree or flower in honour of your cat.
  • Keep a journal to allow you to express your thoughts and feelings and to also track the course of your grief journey.
  • While they are still fresh, write down all the good memories you have of your pet, anecdotes and favourite traits in a nice blank book. These memories fade with time so it can be comforting to turn through the pages of such a book.
  • Put some of his or her hair in a precious box or locket.
  • Light a candle.
  • Frame photographs of him or her.
  • Make a donation to an organisation that works on behalf of animals.
  • Volunteer for an animal organisation.
  • Foster an animal who needs a temporary home.

 

There are many other ways to do something that is either comforting or meaningful. Just let yourself do the things that feel appropriate for you. We are all different. This is good to remember when people are giving you advice on how to deal with this big change in your life. What worked for your friend, might not work for you.

Finding support

It is vital to talk to people who can be sensitive to your loss. Even if there is just one person who seems to understand, make use of them. And the online community might offer a resource of support if there is nobody in your immediate circle. As human beings, we have a need to tell our story, usually multiple times. We need others to know what we are dealing with. It is part of the process of making it real. For at first, the shock usually numbs us and we just feel stunned. This is a protective response that gives us time to get used to this change.

Unfortunately, not everyone has experienced a strong connection with an animal and so, cannot understand that it is possible. This may result in insensitive remarks that make things harder for you, at a time when you are least able to deal with them. So, try to be selective about who you talk to about this very personal loss. Don’t feel obliged to tell anyone who asks why you seem to be different. This is not a grief that is universally appreciated as significant, but I can tell you, as a professional and as an animal lover, that loss is loss and grief is grief. We need support when we lose someone we love, no matter whether they had two legs or four. And we need to protect our grieving hearts from the possibility of thoughtless words from people who cannot understand.

Context

When your beloved pet passed away, there were other things going on in your life. Your ability to deal with this real loss is affected by whatever else you must deal with. You could be facing exams or dealing with caring for an elderly parent. You might have a health issue or be worried about money. As human beings, we can only deal with so much. I think of it as a battery that is charged that then runs down. Certain things recharge our batteries. You know what boosts yours. And stressful life events run them down. It’s important to know this as you deal with your loss and figure out how much charge is left in your batteries. Self-care is important all the time, but especially at a time like this. If you make time for the things that feel nurturing to you, it will ease your stress.

Staying connected

It is a common myth that we must forget those we have lost. To grieve someone we must remember them. You might remember your Loved Animal by thinking about him or her each morning as you start your day. You might just say their name from time to time. You might sit by the tree you planted in honour of this tender creature who gave you unconditional love. And though it might sound strange, you could try writing a letter or several, over the years, to express your thoughts and feelings directly to him or her. This can provide relief and there is no reason not to do it. If it feels healthy to you, listen to your grieving instincts. If you are concerned that you are not making progress or you are unsure about whether things are moving in the right direction, I welcome a call or e-mail.

Finally, one of the best ways to remember and stay connected to your pet is to think about the traits they displayed and incorporate one trait into your personality. For example, your pet may have been patient, and you find yourself lacking it. She may have been very loving, and you find it difficult to show your affection easily. Or he may have been compassionate, sitting quietly by those who were distressed, calming them by his presence. You know your pet like nobody else. So you will know of at least one trait that you admired. To adopt that trait for the rest of your life would be an enduring legacy for your Loved Pet.

For more information on grief counselling please contact us.

 

Hazardous plants to your cat.

The following is a fairly comprehensive list of plants that are potentially poisonous or harmful to your cat when eaten.

Contact with some of the plants listed may be sufficient to cause skin irritation (marked *) It is often the fruit or seeds of plants that are potentially harmful. Many of us are already familiar with plants that carry really toxic berries such as Deadly Nightshade. Only a small quantity of these need to be eaten for a fatal result. Other plants in the list may come as a surprise – Daffodils for example. Here, however, it is the bulb that causes harm if ingested.

The fact that the list contains some very common plants should not be cause for concern. Most of these potentially harmful plants taste bad and are unlikely to be eaten in sufficient quantities to cause permanent damage. Woody garden plants are also unlikely to be eaten by your cat – tender household plants pose most risk.

House plants

Amaryllis

Aphelandra

Castor Oil Plant, see Ricinus

Christmas Cherry, see Solanum

Chrysanthemum, see Dendranthema

Codiaeum

Croton, see Codiaeum

Cyclamen

Dumb cane, see Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia *

Devil’s Ivy, see Epipremnum aureum

Elephant’s Ear, see Alocasia, Caladium

Epipremnum aureum

Ferns

Holly, see Ilex

Hypoestes phyllostachya

Hyacinthus

Ivy, see Hedera

Mistletoe, see Viscum

Nerium oleander

Oleander see Nerium

Ornithogalum

Poinsettia, see Euphorbia

Senecio

Star of Bethlehem, see Ornithogalum umbellatum

Umbrella Plant, see Schefflera

Zebra Plant, see Aphelandra 

 Garden plants

Abrus precatorius

Aconitum *

Actaea

Aesculus

Agrostemma githago

Aleurites

Allium

Alocasia

Alstroemeria *

Anagallis

Impatiens

Ipomoea

Iris

Ivy, see Hedera

Ilex

Jasminum

Juniperus sabina

Kalmia

Laburnum

Lantana

Anagallis

Anemone

Angel’s Trumpets, see Brugmansia

Angel Wings, see Caladium

Apricot, see Prunus armeniaca

Aquilegia

Arisaema

Arum

Astragalus

Atropa

Avocado, see Persea americana

Azalea, see Rhododendron

Baneberry, see Actaea

Bird of Paradise, see Strelitzia

Black-eyed Susan, see Thunbergia

Bloodroot, see Sanguinaria

Box, see Buxus

Broom, see Cytisus

Brugmansia

Bryony

Buckthorn, see Rhamnus

Burning Bush, see Dictamnus

Buttercup, see Ranunculus

Buxus

Cherry Laurel see Prunus laurocerasus

Chincherinchee see Ornithogalum

Caesalpinia

Caladium

Caltha *

Catharanthus

Celastrus

Centaurea cyanus

Cestrum

Chrysanthemum see Dendranthema

Clematis

Colchicum

Columbine see Aquilegia

Conium

Convallaria majalis

Corncockle, see Agrostemma githago

Cornflower, see Centaurea cyanus

Cotoneaster

Crocus, see Colchicum

x Cupressocyparis leylandii *

Cyclamen

Cytisus

Daffodil, see Narcissus

Daphne *

Datura *

Delphinium

Delonix

Dendranthema *

Dicentra

Dictamnus

Digitalis

Echium *

Euonymus

Euphorbia *

Elder, see Sambucus

False acacia, see Robinia

Lantana

Lathyrus

Larkspur, see Delphinium

Lilium

Lily of the Valley, see Convallaria

Linum

Ligustrum

Lobelia (except bedding Lobelia) *

Lords and Ladies (Cuckoo pint), see Arum

Lupinus

Lycopersicon *

Lysichiton

Madagascar periwinkle, see Catharanthus

Marigold, see Tagetes

Melia

Mirabilis jalapa

Monkswood, see Aconitum

Morning Glory, see Ipomoea

Narcissus

Nerium oleander

Nicotiana

Nightshade, deadly, see Atropa

Nightshade, woody, see Solanum

Oak, see Quercus

Onion, see Allium

Oxytropis

Paeonia

Papaver

Parthenocissus

Peach, see Prunus persica

Peony, see Paeonia

Pernettya

Persea americana

Philodendron

Physalis

Phytolacca *

Pokeweed, see Phytolacca

Poppy, see Papaver

Polygonatum

Primula obconica *

Privet see Ligustrum

Prunus armeniaca

Prunus laurocerasus

Prunus persica

Quercus

Rhamus (including R.frangula)

Rhododendron

Rhus *

Ricinus

Robinia

Rosary pea, see Abrus precatorius

Rubber plant, see Ficus

Rudbeckia

Rue, see Ruta

Ruta

Sambucus

Sanguinaria

Schefflera *

Scilla

Skunk cabbage, see Lysichiton

False acacia, see Robinia

Fems

Ficus

Flax see Linum

Frangula see Rhamnus

Fremontodendron *

Foxglove see Digitalis

Four o’clock: see Mirabilis jalapa

Galanthus

Gaultheria

Giant Hog Weed, see Heracleum

mantegazzianum

Gloriosa superba

Glory Lily see Gloriosa

Hedera *

Helleborus *

Hemlock, see Conium

Henbane, see Hyoscyamus

Heracleum mantegazzianum

Hippeastrum

Holly, see Ilex

Horse-chestnut, see Aesculus

Hyacinthus

Hydrangea

Hyoscyamus

Skunk cabbage, see Lysichiton

Snowdrop, see Galanthus

Solandra

Solanum

Solomon’s seal, see Polygonatum

Spindle Tree, see Euonymus

Spurge, see Euphorbia

Strelitzia

Sumach, see Rhus

Sweet pea, see Lathyrus

Tagetes

Tanacetum

Taxus

Tetradymia

Tobacco, see Nicotiana

Tomato, see Lycopersicon

Thornapple, see Datura

Thuja *

Tulipa *

Veratrum

Viscum

Wisteria

Yew, see Taxus

* Contact with these plants may be sufficient to cause skin irritation

If you have any questions about this or other topics please contact us on

Captain Jack

Captain Jack

We received a call from a lady in Timoleague that had a feral cat with a sore eyes. We when we got there we say a number of cats and kittens. The carers said one of them had a sore eye. We waited for the cat to show up but in the mean time we spotted a grey tabby with some mucus in his eyes. Assuming this was the cat the lady spoke about, we trapped the cat. We called the carer to ask her and she said ‘no it not that one’ it’s ‘the white one’ so we continued to trap. Eventually we saw the cat with the ‘sore eye’ our first reaction was oh **** the cat’s eye had completely burst. We trapped the cat and contacted the vet.

IMG_0288

He was immediately brought to the vet and the operation to remove the eye immediate ensued. The entire eye had exploded through the membrane leaving the cat blind in one eye and constantly exposed to infection.

IMG_0365

The vet had to remove the remainder of the eye and stitch the eye closed. Without this operation the cat would have died a slow and painful death due to constant infection.

IMG_0377

We decided to name him Captain Jack after his ordeal and is now back with is feral family.

IMG_0435

 

After talking with the carer we decided that it would be a good idea to start another village project.

Timoleague is a small but vibrant village in West Cork. Like most other villages in Ireland it also has feral cat population. Because of our work in other villages in West Cork the word has spread. Timoleague residents want to neuter the cats in their area. With the help of local residents we are establishing a census of the village of the domestic and feral population and documenting all cats. We can only estimate at the moment of how many cats are they but the estimates are coming back at about 30 plus cats. 15 of these cats have already been privately funded and we hope to raise the money locally to neuter the rest of the cats. If you would like to contribute to the neutering fund and help Captain Jack fellow ferals you can click the paypal link and donate. https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=EJ5AGXUVHWSM6

Lieutenant Dan… A cat’s decision.

The latest news on the Lieutenant Dan saga

Claire Meade at The Cat Hospital oversaw Lt Dan’s treatment from the very beginning; first with the amputation of his seriously damaged leg, then with the lancing of the numerous abscesses that repeatedly formed on his head. Weeks passed when I had to clean the abscess every night to draw out  puss.

Necrotic flesh removed from Lt Dan Abscess

The  decision was made to operate to remove the dead skin around the wound in the hope that his head would finally heal.  This surgery was combined with Laser treatment from Emma Robertson,Veterinary Physiotherapist.

Lt Dan after his operation

Dan undergoing laser treatment

We hoped that Dan could finally be free from pain. Unfortunately this was not to be. Lieutenant Dan seemed determined not to get better. Lieutenant Dan’s abscesses started last October. He had numerous medical tests done, including a test for MRSA, but they all came back negative.  Although the laser treatment seemed to help Dan, he had a relapse in March. 

Lt Dan’s abscesses after his relapse

Claire Meade, however, did not give up hope. She had one last trick up her sleeve. After spending her own time to come up with an answer to Lt Dan’s problem, she treated him for Nocardiosis a form of bacteria that can be picked up from the soil.  Dan faced six weeks of antibiotics, twice daily, coupled with Emma’s Laser treatment.

Dan, all wrapped up and ready to receive his medication.

Within weeks of Dan receiving his new medication he was up and about like  a new cat.

Dan then decided to take the matter of his new life into his own hands. He figured out how to use the cat flap (something that he had never bothered to do before) and returned to his natural feral life. He spent eight months living with us in our house – without the need of a cage once his leg had healed – and played with our cats, but always suffered from his abscesses. He now spends his days in a feral box, or boxes, of his choosing, in our back yard.

Lt Dan peeking over the garden wall

Our cat flap is fixed to the window so I made a special ramp for Dan when he wants to come to visit. He comes in to the kitchen for his breakfast and dinner and, late at night, he sneaks in for a cuddle with Captain Underpants by the fire.

Lt Dan’s special stairs.

I miss him terribly, but I get the odd glimpse of his rear end disappearing around the corner of the house if he sees me.

Lieutenant Dan has made his decision to live his life the way he wants it and who am I to deprive him of this great joy?

Dan playing in the hedge.

Lieutenant Dan cuddling with Captain Underpants.