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September 2009

Sept. 30, 2009
Subject: Meet G.K and B.K.

Hello. G.K. (Girl/Gray Kitten) and brother B.K. (Boy/Black Kitten) were rescued near the jogging track by St. Mary's alum Erica Avila, her sister Rebecca (a freshman), and senior Ricky Gonzalez. The four-month-old kittens were sterilized, vaccinated, and microchipped yesterday at Blue Cross Pet Clinic. G. K. and B. K. are very sweet and well-socialized felines.
Normally the vet expenses would have been $134.20, but thanks to the San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition, we paid only $35.20. The SAFCC is offering grant-funded vouchers to pay $50 per neuter/$75.00 per spay for individuals and organizations engaged in TNR who use private veterinarians. Fortunately for us, Blue Cross is one of the participating veterinary clinics.
And more good news: Erica has found a home for the gray kitten and has offered to foster the brother until she can find a suitable home for him. We really, really appreciate this kind of proactive help. We can always find money for vet bills, but getting fosters and adoptors takes a village. Thanks for your support.
For Paws Cat Wrangler

Sept. 25, 2009
Subject: Meet Fuzz, Buzz, and Mango

Hello. These cats are the last of our neighborhood sweep. We fixed 15 owned cats (9 males, 6 females), 80% of them in various shades of orange/red/yellow. This post-grant project came about because a neighbor asked for help, which led to another neighbor asking for help, etc.
It's been an interesting little project-and a relatively easy one too, since we didn't have to trap the cats-but it was expensive. Even with discounted surgery for five cats, we spent $648.80 in less than a month. Clearly, we can't maintain that rate of spending for long.
But we'll stay busy enough with the cats on campus and the four kittens we have in foster care. Thanks for your support.
For Paws Cat Wrangler

Sept. 22, 2009
Subject: Kitten Updates

Hello. In the midst of all the trap-neuter-return news, we can't forget our kittens in foster care who will eventually need permanent homes. Foster mom Shirley Martyn reports that Corbie is gaining weight (2.5+ lbs.), developing a shiny coat, and trying to win over the resident cats.
The tiny kittens found at the baseball stadium are thriving and developing good manners under the tutelage of Winky and Speedy Lucio. Foster parents Joe and Nettie keep the kitten chow flowing. The siblings weighed less than a pound each when they were found; they now weigh over 1.5 pounds each.
Kitten weight is more significant than age when it comes to spay/neuter. Although some vets operate at 2 pounds, our vets prefers to wait until kittens weigh 3.5 to 4 pounds. So these little guys will be in foster care for awhile longer.
And then there's six-pound Amos who has an undescended testicle and can't be neutered until the hidden testicle can be "found." Thus his nervous foster parents (yours truly and Rosie Cutting) are playing the "wait and hope to see" game with this guy. Amos is well-socialized by the resident felines and spoiled by the humans.
Please spread the word about these very good kittens. Thanks for your support.
For Paws Cat Wrangler

Sept. 18, 2009
Subject: Ginger, Paprika, Carob, Coco Loco, Jonesy.

Hello. The neighborhood cat sweep continues-as does the predominance of orange cats. We got all these cats fixed in one day for a grand total of $50.00. Animal Care Services (a.k.a. the "Pound") was offering $10.00 spay/neuters with microchips and rabies vaccinations. Normally, these three females and two males would have cost $348.00. What a deal!
So why don't we always take cats to ACS and save a lot of money? First, we had to make appointments in advance which only works if we're dealing with cats confined by willing owners; you can't make an appointment for a cat you just hope to trap.
Second, ACS isn't able to offer these specials all the time. In fact, Animal Care's budget will be cut this next fiscal year, so fewer low-cost spay/neuter opportunities will be offered. (And euthanasia rates for unwanted kittens and puppies will surely go up.)
Anyway, these non-reproducing felines are now back in the neighborhood and won't be sending any kittens our way next spring. Thanks for your support.
For Paws Cat Wrangler

Sept. 15, 2009
Subject: Meet Corbie

Hi. Corbie is in that wide-eyed "space alien" phase; he's about 12 weeks old and weighs a whopping two pounds. He tested negative for FIV/FeLV and had his first vaccinations at Blue Cross Pet Clinic. Aside from being a little undernourished, Corbie is in good shape and is very friendly and playful.
There are conflicting stories about how this dark chocolate kitten ended up on campus, but here he is. All we can do is eventually get him neutered and find him a home. In the meantime, Shirley Martyn has kindly agreed to foster Corbie for a few weeks.
Now here's where YOU come in. Once again, we need you to spread the word, share pictures, etc. We definitely want to have him neutered and in a permanent home before Halloween. Thanks for your support.
For Paws Cat Wrangler

Sept. 11, 2009
Subject: Meet Cayenne, Rhubarb, & Fireball

Hi. It seems like we've found the mother lode of orange cats. This colorful trio is part of the neighborhood pilot project we've been working on for a few weeks--seven orange cats so far. Of the 196 cats we've fixed over the years, Fireball is the only who had to have his tail amputated due to an injury. (Cat tail amputations run $25 these days.) Happily, he's made a complete recovery.
These cats were returned to homes in the neighborhood and are not part of the campus colony-although I suspect Cien, Spice, and Flash may have some connection to this vast orange clan. We have more orange cat stories to relate in the future. Thanks for your support.
For Paws Cat Wrangler

Sept. 7, 2009
Subject: Meet Puzzle, Mystery, Enigma, & Surprise

Happy Labor Day. Once we polished off our $3700 grant last month, we immediately started looking for another grant-worthy project. The quickly-named "Helping Cats, Helping Neighbors" pilot project began when someone from the University Park Neighborhood Association (of which I'm a member) asked if we could trap and spay a "Fertile Myrtle" female cat she was feeding but couldn't catch.
Sure, we thought; we've known for years that the cats on campus come from the neighborhood surrounding us-better to head them off at the pass, so to speak. And we'd be providing practical help to a real person in the neighborhood.
Let's just say our pilot project has far exceeded our expectation. Who knew there were so many orange cats? Thanks for your support.
For Paws Cat Wrangler

Sept. 3, 2009
Subject: Meet Flash

Hi. Since several people have already encountered Flash (and even brought him to the library last night), I thought I'd better get his story out fast. The six-month-old tabby appeared on campus Tuesday morning and was whisked to Blue Cross Pet Clinic where he was neutered, vaccinated, etc. He was returned to campus Wednesday morning. Flash is very people-friendly; based on his eagerness to get past closed doors, he may have been an indoor cat at least part of the time. His previous owner may have let him out, not realizing Flash was entering adolescence and ready to roam, rumble, and reproduce. These urges will subside now that he's neutered. Flash is a fine candidate for adoption, so please spread the word.
If Flash stays on campus, he needs to be accepted in the established colony, and acceptance is granted by the resident cats, not by us lowly humans. The guys--Cien, Spice, Bevo, Devlin, and Ringo--probably won't object, and Thomasina is so feral she doesn't identify as a colony member. Ruth is the colony boss, and she and Flash had a growl-and-howl meeting this morning. We'll just ignore the feline sound effects and hope for the best. Flash is 12th orange cat we've encountered in the two weeks. For those stories and a few more, stay tuned. Thanks for your support.
For Paws Cat Wrangler

Sept. 2, 2009
Subject: Meet Abigail & Ezra

Hello. These are the kittens that enlivened a recent meeting with the resident assistants. Abbie and Ezra were found by a UTSA professor out for a stroll near our baseball stadium. Amazingly, the professor had heard of For Paws and thus brought the kittens to the library--along with a very generous donation. Had he not rescued them, they would have been dead in a day or two. Now Abby and Ezra are being fostered by the Lucios and their cats until they're old enough to be adopted. We'll keep you posted on the progress of these two very lucky kittens.
I recently asked what students would like to do with For Paws but didn't receive much feedback from currently enrolled students. Perhaps cat people, like cats themselves, don't like to assemble in groups, so here are a couple of things people can do on their own or with a few others to support the campus cats. Collect canned or dry cat food (or cash) and bring to the library. If you shop online, join iGive. For Paws will receive a donation for each purchase you make.
We've been extraordinarily busy the last few weeks and have lots of tales to tell. Thanks for your support.
For Paws Cat Wrangler

Comments? Email Caroline Byrd or call Caroline at 436-3430, ext.1317.

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