Mobile Spay Clinic – Got the Jimmy Legs

Mobile Spay Clinic

I'm still Jenny from the block

Hey does anybody attend their Block Association meetings? I finally did a couple weeks ago. Sorta.

When we moved in at the end of 2006 we received a flyer for the meeting, but we didn't make it. We didn't see another flyer until a month ago, so I decided I better make it to this one so I could find out the schedule. It was at 6PM, so Jeannie couldn't go. Plus it was that Tuesday a couple weeks ago that snowed all day. I was running around, picking up newly-fixed cats from BARC,I was tired and I had to shovel the sidewalk so nobody sued me. I was thinking of reasons not to go, but I went anyway.

The meeting was at the library at the end of the block, whose staff didn't seem to know anything about any meetings. But the Young Adult Coordinator checked her log book and confirmed that somebody booked a meeting room. She took me to the empty room, so I sat around trying to determine how long to stay before I could in good conscience, bail.

Eventually a guy showed up, he was the treasurer of the group. Nobody else showed up. But we talked for a while and he said he'd try to adjust the meeting to make them more appealing to the block (like moving the time to 7PM so people could actually make it). He had lots of ideas he wanted to act on, but of course the problem was money, and getting people to pitch in.

One idea included getting the city to erect barriers on our block during the days of summer, so the kids could play without fear of being mowed down by anything but gunfire. He brought up an initiative to get people to clean up after their dogs, which would be nice though I'm not sure how to enact it except to put up a bunch of scolding flyers.

When he started talking about dogs, it gave me leeway to starts my spiel on cats. I told him about our TNR efforts, and how the people we've worked with would trap ferals in people's backyards for free. He warmed to the idea, especially when I noted that a fixed cat won't spray that awful musk, or make yowly mating noises.

Additionally I pointed out the ASPCA would be coming to Saratoga park on the 28th to do their Free/Low-Cost Spay thing. He seemed vaguely aware of the Mobile Clinic, but didn't know its schedule. So I said I'd put up some flyers to alert people.

I only put a few homemade flyers (which I forgot to save so I don't have any electronic version, the ones here are general info flyers) up that explain the process, but I justified it because I wanted to focus attention on my own block. While I was hanging a flyer, a couple of women walking a little dog asked me about it. They too seemed to be familiar with it, but didn't know the details. I gave them a flyer and clarified that people on assistance got their pets fixed for free, which they didn't know. Not sure if they'll take their dog in, but I'm glad to get a little evidence that the flyers might help.

Now I just gotta find a way to get more people to show up to the meeting! Maybe I can get the newly-renovated Dunkin Donuts to cater the affair.

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 jimmylegs.com 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

Way down in the hole

Tonight I am meeting up with some good folks who have been doing some TNR (trap-neuter-release) work in the neighborhood. I'm borrowing some traps and setting them up in the back yard, in an attempt to capture some of the feral cats that hang around. Once fixed, they'll recuperate in BARC's warehouse space, and then they'll be returned to the yard, no longer a burden to society. That is, if we can catch any.

These cats seem pretty smart to me. Will they fall for the trap? What's more, what if one cat does get caught and the others see it happen? Will they put 2 and 2 together and steer clear? They will be baited with tuna, and i didn't put any food out for them this morning, so I'm hoping they will come around as soon as we show up. If they don't go for it right away, I'm not sure what we'll do. I'll be home tomorrow, so maybe I can hang around and deliver the cats once they become ensnared in my clutches.

I just hope we get the cats that actually need to be fixed. We have two cats, Freddie and Big Jon, who are already fixed, but not yet ready to live the pampered lives of indoor cats. Unfortunately, they strike me as the likeliest subjects to get caught. Oh well, I'm sure some time in the hole with give them much-needed insight.

Got me first when she learned to howl

Flossie, originally uploaded by Jimmy Legs.

We've had Flossie inside since the middle of October. Soon after she was in, we noticed she seemed to put a lot of weight on, in two prominent bulges on either side of her stomach. Yay, more kittens! But lately we had begun to question that diagnosis. Flossie kept wandering around the house, howling louder and louder, later and later. The howl is particularly distinctive in both its volume and its creepy, primal resonance. We tried to convince ourselves this was just some weird pregnant cat behavior, like a woman craving pickles and ice cream. Then she starting spraying vertical surfaces. Such weird pregnant cat antics!

Finally, the truth could no longer be denied when Jefe started humping on Flossie. Well, he tried to hump her. He's fixed but when he's around a female in heat, he does his best to oblige. The resulting scene is like a cross between a nature film and watching someone backseat drive: Jefe tries to figure out what to do while Flossie scolds him for not getting the job done. We didn't stop them; we were actually hoping to get a little peace and quiet! No dice.

Lucky for us, the good ol' Mobile Spay Clinic would be pulling up to Saratoga Park on Monday morning. Lucky for Flossie, too, as I was ready to strangle her after her 6-hour howling session last night.

A hint to those considering availing themselves of the Mobile Spay Clinic's services: bad weather = no line! I went over at 7:15 and was the first person in line. Only about 5 other cats showed up; consequently, I had Flossie dropped off by 8AM, and she was back home by 11! Now that's efficient! They also cut her nails and vaccinated her. This whole operation is far superior to what I went through with Baby Bones last week (two trips to the vet, tons of money blown, same result). Flossie's recuperating and I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep for once.

For those keeping score, we have had 3 cats fixed by Mobile Spay, 2 fixed at the retail vet, for a grand total of 5 cats fixed (and 9 cats adopted out)!