BARC – Got the Jimmy Legs


Lookin' for some hot stuff

Beehive Adoption Event 6/29/08, originally uploaded by lisacat.

The folks who provided us with so many cat-related services over the past few months need your help! Now that summer's upon us, all those cats that they didn't get to trap, neuter and release have had kittens, and a whole slew of them are shacked up at their recovery space in Williamsburg. Dubbed The Empty Cages Collective, they're housing some 45 cats in their warehouse, and they need to get some of these critters in some decent homes!

To that end, they are having the first of possibly several adoption events, this one at The Beehive Salon on N.7th Street. From 2-6pm on Sunday. Come meet the shining stars of their gaggle, from lil baby kittens to adult hard-luck stories. I'm hoping to stop by if I can, though I normally avoid shelters and related adoption centers, if only because I have such little willpower when it comes to taking in animals (I walk the long way around the Petco to avoid the homeless cat adoption area, which I'm sure makes me look like a dick to them).

Meanwhile, we're helping to lighten their cat burden by taking a displaced feral cat to our back yard; we'll be assimilating him into our ragtag colony over the next couple of weeks. But unlike last time, we ensured this cat is truly a feral and so he will not end up in our house.

I'm hoping to be able to advertise our foster cats on ECC's new Petfinder site, and of course if any of you are interested in a little (or not so little) bundle of joy, check out our own list of cats. But if you must have tiny kittens, head to the salon on Sunday.

Twist away the gates of steel

Sheer Hatred, originally uploaded by Jimmy Legs.

My company is now officially another company. Whoopee. The last week has been super annoying, the kind of week that makes me want to push people's buttons just because you know you can quickly have them as annoyed as you are. This is the kind of week that you almost wish for a crowded subway, just so you have an excuse to elbow a stranger in the ribs. Luckily, this is a wish I don't have to hold my breath to get on a regular basis.

I supposed over all the transition has been pretty smooth, I just have lots of tedious stuff to do, people pushing me from all sides even though none of them really know what they want. They just know somebody is supposed to be doing something, so everybody's been running around like their hair's on fire, if only to look like they know what's going on.

I skipped a company party to pick up some TNR cats from the shelter. It's times like these I suspect my priorities need to be reevaluated. But then I remember that trapping wild cats doesn't adequately fund the lifestyle I enjoy that has proper resources to trap and hold feral cats. Then I shut up and I get back to work. You should get back to work too.

Where the cabs don't stop

Get out your shovels, originally uploaded by Jimmy Legs.

So we finally got some real snow! I wonder how long it will last this time, the afternoon forecast is for "Wintry Mix" which always makes me think of "Winter Blend," the combo of cauliflower and broccoli sold in the Key Food frozen food section. So it never sounds as bad as it actually is.

This morning I got to take a barometer reading of how Bushwick is affected when Old Man Winter descend upon us. As you know, I've been trapping feral cats and getting them fixed at BARC through a new program. I was planning on bringing in a cat this morning, but had to give up because everybody was using up all the car services.

I've done this before, call up a car service around 8, jam up to BARC to drop off the cat(s), then hop on the L train to go to work. But every single number I called was either busy or giving me that interminable 'hold' recording ("Your call is very important to us"). I did get one answer from a poor soul who seems to have received the phone number of what I'm guessing is a now-defunct livery company ("why people call all the time this number?!')

What I can't figure out is, who's taking these cars? When it snows a lot, isn't mass transit still the preferred mode of travel? The streets weren't too bad, at least there wasn't much traffic when I headed out later, the cat back in its room to wait until tomorrow to go in. But what few cars were out were moving slow; I can't imagine anybody was getting anywhere faster this way.

So who is it taking up all the cars on these days? Is it people taking their kids to school? Somehow that seems to be the only possible justifiable reason, even though that too doesn't make a lot of sense. Don't people know that those cars are needed to cart stray cats around town?

I suppose I could just take the cat on the train, though the prospect of walking with my poorly-designed cat carrier from the Marcy station to BARC is fairly daunting. So maybe I'm just a wimp, but at least I won't annoy people on the train with a yowling space-taking-up box.

If I win the lottery, I'm buying BARC a helicopter just for pet transport.

Goin' to a place where the tough guys go

In the Pokey, originally uploaded by Jimmy Legs.

I can't wait for this week to be over! so much annoying stuff going on with my job; I think some of my coworkers spend all day, every day attending meetings. They do nothing else, just go from meeting to meeting, all the time. This is my theory, anyway. They don't mind meetings that stretch on for hours, they never need to take a breath, they just keep on talking. And god help you if they get near a video projector. Anyway, that answered a lot of questions to me as to why it takes so long to do stuff around here: everybody is in meetings all the time. Or conference calls. It's unbelievable.

Meanwhile, the TNR train keeps on truckin'. Our 7 ferals are back on the street, and seems to be no worse for the wear. Some, like Grumpus, even seem friendlier than they were pre-surgery. Last night, Grumpus was eating by the window, I reached out and petted him. He didn't even flinch! Makes me think he may not be a real feral, which is sort of sad. But he's got food and he's got shelter (storage tub!), so he's doing all right.

Traps are being set again, to catch whoever we can in advance of Saturday's TNR action. BARC is again hosting the Snip Truck, and can take a lot of cats, so we're gonna try to catch the few remaining stragglers fixed. This will be run much like the Mobile Spay Unit Days, if you have a non-feral cat, you can get it clipped for $25. The cats have to be there by 9am Saturday, no food after midnight Friday. They truck will be there, so let's fill it up. I suspect 15-odd cats we've altered so far may not in fact be all the unfixed stray cats in Brooklyn.

Ironically, I find all this cat-trapping, carting around, and urine-cleaning to be less stressful than my day job, even though I get to sit in front of computer, hardly moving all day. Except when I'm running from one meeting to the next.

email me jimmy at if you need more info about fixing your ferals or house pets. I think they do dogs, too.

It's my cat in a box

Tuxedo Lady, originally uploaded by Jimmy Legs.

A total of 6 feral cats and one indoor cat are being fixed over at BARC right now. After Wednesday's bumper crop of 4 (Grumpus, George, Blue and Tuxedo), I set up the 3 remaining traps and by bedtime we had two more (Mugsy and Baxter)! This worked out well, as Jeannie had literally said she wanted to catch these very two cats for her birthday, which is today. It could only have worked out better if they had gift-wrapped their traps.

They were not happy campers; Mugsy, especially, was crazy, rolling around in his trap and generally making an embarrassing spectacle of himself. I put them in the cellar for the night and when I came back in the morning, both had calmed down quite a bit. It's like they accept their fate or something. Or maybe a night sleeping in a warm house far outweighed any resentment they might have felt.

I dropped them off with Tumbleweed at BARC, I'll be picking up the latter after work. The rest will go home on Saturday. I don't think they'll care, but I feel a little bad sticking them right back out in the yard after spending several days in a climate-controlled environment. but hey, maybe they'll actually use the cat condos with some frequency!

Through this all, Freddie the Outdoor Cat oversaw the process. Despite apparent hunger, however, she avoided all the traps, even though it meant waiting on getting fed. I don't know if this proves she's smarter than the other cats or what, but I'm glad we didn't have any false-positives by finding her in the traps.

There will be one more Spay Day on Sunday, so I'm gonna keep trying to trap cats. Off the top of my head I know Chauncey, BabyMomma and Marbles are still out there. Cauncey is owned by somebody, but they let him run around unfixed. Marbles also appears to be owned by some people across the street, she too is unaltered and has been pregnant twice in the past year, though her litters mysteriously disappear long before they should. So in any case, these cats ought to be fixed.

Pictured above is Tuxedo (never thought of a catchier name), the lone female we captured. Females are either smarter or naturally more suspicious, so we don't get many to the yard. But I'm glad we got her, as I'd seen her (from a distance) with child several times over the past year. Getting her spayed will put a real dent in the local cat population. I hope!

More photos of the SoBu TNR