Friday, May 30, 2008

Rescue Kitten's big adventure

My primary motivation for this post is to publicize this site:

Cats in the Bag - General Pet Searching Tips

The author's e-mail address bounced and frankly; given what her site is for I don't blame her for disabling it. My guess is she was flooded with calls for help.

My thank you e-mail to Pauline (should she ever see it):

"I would like to thank you for your pet search tips Web site. It got me through a lot these past couple of days.

Wednesday evening my indoor only young male cat escaped out the front door in an unfortunate tangle with my dog; he didn’t mean to run, he just got on the wrong end of the legs. I looked at him in horror as he panicked and darted. I made one attempt to dash after him and somehow had the sense to pull back and run in for some canned food. I returned back outside and he was entirely gone.

It rained all night.

Thursday was spent significantly canvassing the neighborhood and passing out fliers. I live in a rural area and I back into wilderness. I had spent enough time on you site to have some hope that he was actually very near by. It was hard to believe though; very hard. It was hard to deal with the fact that he simply wasn’t calling back.

When all was said and done he was located Thursday night at dusk about 20 - 30 feet from the door he came out of. He was under a giant rhododendron that backed into even thicker foliage with apple trees behind it. I had spent a lot of time in the apple trees because I thought that was the direction he ran but never got a peep. The apple trees were backed by a loud creek (you never realize how much you hate living next to a creek until you are calling for you cat – desperate for a reply).

People ask me if I think he was there the entire time. To be honest; I suspect he was. When I did find him; there was nothing about how he looked or acted that suggested he was just roaming around enjoying himself. Whatever the reason, he wasn’t willing to reply to me until that much time had passed. I was set up to sleep out for the night and do the “simply sitting” method. As it got dark I couldn’t stand it and did one more round of light calling. I got a response. Notably he would only respond when I was in front of him and not behind him in the apple trees. I think this is because in front of him was soft grass…behind him was twig and branches and I couldn’t walk without cracking them.

Once I had a visual on him it took about 20 minutes of laying flat on the ground and light talking until he came close enough in that I could be sure of my grab. He became far more chatty with me once I laid on the ground.

He immediately used the litter box and ate. It is about 24 hours later now and he is still sleeping and clingy. Behaviorally he is definitely different right now. He is not as playful but he also seems really tired.

Thank you again."

I would also like to acknowledge the Feral Cat Coalition who was still available at an odd time on a week evening for my sister to go over and get a live pet trap for me to set the first night he went missing. Description:

"Feral Cat Coalition
Redmond, WA, 425.883.7629
Offers a clearinghouse of advice and information about feral cats, and lends traps to assist with trap-neuter-return. Does not provide shelter for feral cats."

Uncontrolled cat breeding and over-population is a pretty daunting problem for anyone to take on and the woman running the Feral Cat Coalition is pretty amazing for making herself readily available like that.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Calligan Lake

On Friday, May 16th, desperate for sun and to finally locate Calligan Lake I decided to get my map out and getting hiking. I know why I couldn't find it last was because it was the uphill fork that I distinctly remember avoiding last time I was out there.

Mostly the access to Calligan Lake is a series of logging roads off the North Fork. The reason I mention it is because they don't note the mileage on the map of logging roads like they do of trails.

Had I bothered to figure out before we headed out that this was going to work out to about a 16 mile or so hike I probably would have re-thought the large mexican food meal as well as the little joy driving I did prior; resulting in a late (2pm) start for the hike.

But, we still had fun. The quilting doberman with hiking friend on an old abandoned bridge over the Calligan Creek:

I believe it was about this time that I noticed the mileage situation. Sadly this bridge probably would have been the fastest way to one end of Calligan Lake; however, just past the bridge was about 1 - 2 feet of soft snow on an abandoned road and I was feeling wimpy because I was in shorts; so we had to backtrack and probably add at least another mile on.

Finally at Calligan Lake:

We hardly had time to spend at the lake as it was after 5pm and I knew how long we had to go to get back. It was beautiful though.

The quilting doberman in his own little road swamp on the hike back out:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Dump

So everything else that didn't fit in the Wagners Bridge post gets dumped into here. :)

The young deer have really been out in the yard right now. Can you see the eyes in the window? That is a deer slowly advancing on the window because it is has spotted Rescue kitten:

At the end of March we had a freak snow storm that I decided not to blog about because I wanted to pretend it never happened. But there were some funny photos of the cats from it. It was confusing for all the birds apparently because the next morning they were really playing in it outside the window:

Then at the end of April I ended up watching another Shepherd; not to be confused with the one at the end of 2007. The quilting doberman would like to pretend that never happened either. This Shepherd is a 10 month old "puppy." Photo taken on the east Tiger road during an extensive hike in a sorry attempt to wear the "puppy" out:

Wagners Bridge

I have about given up all hope that spring/summer is ever coming. I think actually we are planning to skip spring and go straight to summer. However, yesterday it was overcast and not too cold so I wanted to see the progress on the Wagners Bridge out on the North Fork. To read more about the project and see a photo of the original bridge click here. I was sort of sad to see the original bridge go. I think the last session of serious storms and flooding we had out here was finally more than the bridge could handle and it wasn't very stable anymore.

They started this project last summer and it has been somewhat of a personal hiking nightmare as it managed to close off several areas that I love in the summer; including Sunday Creek which is pretty much only manageable in the summer due to a large swamp and the river crossing.

View from Wagners Bridge:

Anyway, since I couldn't drive the bridge I parked and walked it and then started out a road that is just past it.

Despite being a photo of clear cutting I actually really like the tree that remains:

This is on a bridge over the Calligan Creek:

This is also the time I wish I had brought my map because then at least I could have attempted to locate the Calligan Lake but really it is such a mess of roads that I had no idea where I was going and I just sort of wandered. It was a nice day and it didn't rain.