Save the Cats of TribeOfMa
I often saw her hunting in my garden. A harsh harsh winter, and she looked scrawny; limping with a broken hip, and she dragged a crooked, broken tail around. What I didn't know at first: she wasn't hunting for herself - she had a litter of 4 kittens to support.
I 'rescued' all 5. They moved into an old caravan on my site, then into a little chalet I built, and now they live in my tiny house. Next followed 2 little feral torties... that's 7!
Next, somebody dumped little Newb in my yard. New Total: 8!!!
Newb arrived with a vicious form of IBS - he required a lot of veterinary attention, and relies forever
on a special diet. But he's doing well now.
When I started 'project' Ma, I had 2 jobs. I don't lead a fancy lifestyle; never have. And I thought, why should I involve an over-stretched cat rescue service. Times are tough. I can help, and they can take care of the more needy/desperate cases...
I shared 1,000s of photos on Twitter, documenting the trials and tribulations of Ma's little tribe.
The fun times, the joy, and the lessons learned. Meanwhile I donated to many worthy causes whenever and whatever I could.
Now it's my time... In October 2014 I lost one job. Then in the following January my 2nd "back-up" job went as well.
For a while I believed savings could easily bridge me over to a new job. But.... The west of Ireland is not doing so well in the so-called 'economic recovery'. I'm applying for jobs on an almost daily basis.
I've given up all luxuries - including my car, broadband etc etc... And now it's crunch time. Unfortunately, almost daily. At times I can barely feed the 'tribe'. They were all ferals and really rely on the environment they grew up in.
I could say, hey - I'm numero uno... and do what the stranger did who dumped Newb over my fence - make it somebody else's problem... But cat rescue services and SPCAs need donations, too. With me these 8, 9 - oh, oops, - 15 cats have a safe, warm and loving place in a safe but 'exciting' cat-friendly environment.
So, I'm desperate to keep them. But without support I won't be able to support them any more.
Any funds raised here will go to the tribe - cat food, medical bills, and so on. Meanwhile, I am looking for work, and at some stage I will be putting together an eBook featuring some of the best photos of the tribe's exploits.
The Tribes Twitter is @TribeOfMa
In March 2016 a Swiss Print Magazine, The NZZ Folio, published an interview with the Tribe's staff - i.e. me....
It can be read here :)
First Ma-Cat's strained leg...and again.... And the obligatory abscess for Mr Stripey who just cannot not provoke Mr Clubber. In addition it seems I spent much of this months applying tick, flea and mites medication. The bugs are crazy this summer. And to finish the month, iCan Opener caught a bug-relative of cat scratch fever. Something rather unpleasant. That is why I haven't been online much. Really not feeling all that well, and it keeps me from going to the internet cafe in town. I temporarily canceled my internet at home. Since I have no PC/laptop anymore, there's no point in paying for broadband. My smartphone contract covers some data, but reception isn't always great here in the wild west.
So there.... August cannot be any worse. (CAN it????)
As always: thank you very much for the continued support for the TribeofMa and for Leo's Gang of Strays.
Without you July would have been even worse.
First of all because Thank You for still reading these <3
For the next couple of weeks I have a lot on my plate, and I don't know how much time I have to spend on Twitter. So, in case you miss us you can print this for your fridge ;)
But seriously. What's new? Ma-Cat's sprained improved, but it is not perfect. Today I noticed that she doesn't enjoy touch just below her knee. She walk ok again, and appears fine otherwise, but I didn't like her reaction. Therefore, I had her checked out again.
X-rays showed no damage to her knee - nor any other
obvious damage. So she is back on Meloxicam, and she'll spend the weekend at the clinic for some cage rest.
As to Little Miss Feral - the tabby I have been trying to trap for some time now - she is still in Houdini mode. BUT on the plus side: she is making efforts to fit in with the other cats. She finds spots to chill near Mr Clubber. Maybe she 'senses' that he is somewhat on the outside BUT ALSO a formidable force that the others don't want to mess with?!
Leo's Farm Stray Gang is in good form. Like in many places, the tick and mite population here seems to enjoy the current climate. So those critters require some attention. But otherwise Leo's 5 and their random visitors are all a-okay.
And it's all thanks to you!
So: Thank You All. Thanks a Lot. Vielen Dank.
go raibh maith agat
On the cat front: Ma-Cat has fully recovered from her little injury. Long-term (very long-term) she might profit from an operation, but for now she is a-okay.
The feral visitor lady still collects her food two to three times a day. So far, no sign of a litter. I will trap her at the end of April if all goes to plan. Although, she is still very shy and hissy - and who can blame her. Life is hard.
Leo's stray gang is enjoying spring, and all five (and their two to three friends) are healthy.
More shortly. This was just a mini update to explain our online absence.
Thank you all for the continued support.
Have a good peaceful spring.
First of all: a belated Thank You for the love and support over the Holiday Season. The cards, the parcels, the donations.... <3 Thank you, thank you.
I hope you all know how much I appreciate it.
The little Tabby Lady in the 1st photo is a new 'visitor' to the Tribe's realm. She uses one of the cat chalets for short pit stops on her hunting excursions. She also - occasionally - sneaks into my little house at night to check out the cat bowls. I leave food for her in the chalet. The next step, obviously, is to trap her for a check-up and a 'fix'; however, I have the strong 'feeling' she may have a litter of kittens somewhere. Her entire behaviour reminds me very much of that of Ma-Cat when SHE was still feral and used my garden to hunt for her litter that she had hidden away on an abandoned neighbouring farm. A certain urgency mixed into the feral cautiousness - and her appearances here are carefully timed - as you would expect from a feral mother with a litter stashed away somewhere vs a bored stray looking for a break. And I'm using "feral" because she doesn't strike me as 'just' stray. But we can discuss the difference elsewhere ;)
Anyway... I'm keeping an eye on her - including that of a motion-controlled night-vision camera.
Leo's farm gang of five is doing well. I still visit them twice daily for feedings. Change of bedding; to de-worm etc etc.... They have 2 regular cat visitors that also get a bite. Those 2 live on farms in the neighbourhood and are very much 'pet' cats (neutered too), but they are big, nosy and if I don't give them treats, they will steal from Leo and his gang. Feeding them together also helps create a superficial bond, and prevent tension and fights. AND injuries.
That aside: I passed the first 2 of 6 mini-exams that are part of my course, and I finally sorted out most of my internet problems at home. In my area fixed line broadband is still a few decades away, but I had a dish installed on my property to receive a more reliable kind of wireless internet than what you can get with USB- or WiFi-dongles in rural Ireland. So there....
Thank you again. None of this would be possible without you. 15-18 ex-ferals and strays and their 'friends' have a secure, sheltered healthy life because of YOUR support.
Now bring on spring :)