The #DavisGirl Kittens are Sick/Our Community Cat Colony Feeding Station was Just Dismantled Without Consent

So OMG, right?

Hand tight, this post is crazy. I have sad news, uplifting news, a twist, and an ask.

Here’s the twist – we came home from our feral cat colony yesterday and found another dead groundhog in our backyard. PLACED in our backyard by someone, likely poisoned like the one from July. Well, possibly a third because we found a dead groundhog on the alley behind our neighbors house. I thought it looked strange for a hit-by-car critter. I called 311 to report the body. Animal Care & Control called me directly, were incredibly inappropriate and unprofessional, and assured me (sight unseen) the groundhog had been hit by a car. So there’s that.

Those two groundhogs bookend my week.

Dead Groundhog
This is the area where the groundhog was discovered. Poor thing.

So here’s my happy birthday to myself – I am asking for fox who care to do so to invest in a crowdfund to help my foster kittens and my community colony cats I originally wanted a shed (a “Sue shed” rather than a “she shed”) but lots of intense shit with the cats has happened so I’m pivoting to tying my upcoming 51st birthday with, well, asking you for money to help cats – SURPRISE!

Maybe Santa will bring me a shed.


All the good stuff is “not yet” and the challenging things are “yes, right now, please and thank you.”


Here’s the cat two-parter.

First, the #DavisGirls kittens (aka Kristina, Sam, and Molly like the General Hospital characters) are 7-weeks-old and pretty sick. I trapped them across a five day period in late September from the streets of Allegheny West on the Northside. Pittsburgh CAT took them in as foster cats and we opened our second bedroom to literally offer the foster care.

The Davis Girls
Christina (l) Molly (m) and Sam (r)

They all went downhill fast. Little Kristina went from 2.2 lbs to 1.25 lbs in a week. They were rushed to a vet tech and then to an urgent care vet. They have a contagious GI parasite common in kittens, and sometimes lethal. We’ll see what happens … they didn’t test positive for the super scary diseases, but they aren’t out of the woods. They are all running temperatures.

Sick Foster Kittens
Awaiting their fate at the vet office. Molly (l) Sam (m) and Kristina (r)

Their bill went from about $350 for the spay/neuter to close to $1000 for veterinary care, supplies, etc – not including anyone’s time. I have asked folx living in Allegheny West to help with these expenses but I need to ask everyone. Pittsburgh CAT is an all-volunteer nonprofits overflowing with kittens – this is our third set of three since June (that’s a lot) and I know they took in at least two large litters on Friday alone. These sweet babies need our help and we need your money to give it to them.

Cat colony Truck
Remember this truck?

A related issue is my community cat colony in Manchester sometimes known as the #FaulseyFerals. We inherited it in December. We fed everyone daily under an abandoned truck, did a lot TNVR, identified four missing pet cats and reunited with their humans. We kept everyone safe when their abandoned house was torn down. Rain, snow, heat – one or both of us showed up with four liters of waters, six+ pounds of food, and assorted can food and treats. We cleaned bowls, we removed bugs, we spread straw, we navigated the constant array of visitors who parked in the property instead of on the street like the rest of us. We sorted out groundhogs, opossum, and, yes, raccoons.

We recently dealt with theft of our bales of straw, trashing our site, but the worst was sudden and unexpected decision to tow the abandoned truck, right over the cats dishes. They couldn’t even move the dishes.

The couldn’t even move the damn dishes because they have total and complete disregard for the cats – all of the critters – and the people who live nearby, including us caretakers. Dump your trash and run over our bowls for some unknown reason that the truck was towed.

Cat colony
All that’s left …

This lot is owned by the URA and is technically public. I have permission from the adjacent property owner to feed/trap and from another adjacent owner to trap. There is a moratorium on selling URA properties in Manchester so I have no idea why this happened. You can check for yourself that no Manchester properties are listed on the URA website EVEN THOUGH they do own properties in Manchester. I asked them to address this in July. <crickets> I reached out to a contact there to see if they were involved.

McCann and Chester
The feet of the people who towed away the truck without moving the food dishes. Do you recognize them?

I do know last night we had to deconstruct two winter shelters on the spot – in the rain – and convert them into temporary pet feeding stations. I’ve got to get the lot cleaned up, discuss with the property owners how to meet everyone’s needs, find someone to deliver 6-10 bales of straw, find shelters, keep the food dry and clean for now and hope everyone keeps coming back.

Temporary feeding station

To say I am overwhelmed is quite obviously unnecessary. The kittens and the community cats need a lot of my time right now as do my own pets, my other commitments, my wife, etc. Maybe it is a good thing I don’t have a shed to assemble, eh?

So for $350, I can buy 3 very sturdy feeding stations that blend nicely into the property. That includes shipping. I’d have to pay someone to assemble but I hope a volunteer will offer.

For about $100, I can buy plenty of straw bales to keep them safe and dry plus fill their beds and keep the ground free of bugs and gross things. Or you can drop actual bales of straw (not hay) at the site.

I need about $50 to buy replacement bowls that if stolen or run over by another towtruck are not a huge loss, BUT are still decent for the cats.

I need another $150 to buy premade winter shelters from local rescue groups. That’s helping my colony and helping those rescue groups. I clearly don’t have time or energy to make shelters this year.

My birthday is October 22 and I’ll be 51. I missed my big 50th celebration thanks to being COVID-19 safe and had hoped to celebrate this year, but nope. I’ve also been establishing a nonprofit organization to manage all these types of projects – we just filed with the Commonwealth and I had hoped to be able to start accepting donations in its name, but nope.

Note: that IS pretty big, exciting news. Stay tuned for an update when I’m 51 years old.

All the good stuff is “not yet” and the challenging things are “yes, right now, please and thank you.”

So whether you are a cat lover or groundhog enthusiast, if you want to celebrate 50+1 years of Sue, if you know what its like to jump up every few hours at night to check on the wee kittens or try to medicate said wee kittens while they have a fever, or you have straw to unload.

If you’ve ever been disappointed because a milestone is overlooked, even though you understand why … if you want to help wee kittens get past the 2 lb mark. If you are a fan of General Hospital and want the Davis Girls to flourish!

Great news is that we have lots of ways for you to invest in our efforts, celebrations, outrage, and grief.

Facebook fundraiser

Steel City Snowflake

Venmo @pghlesbian 

CashApp $Pghlesbian

Paypal.me/Pghlesbian 

This fucking sucks.

I don’t want turning 51 to be cruddy. I had plans for a spa weekend last year. I had plans for a shed this year. Now I have plans to drag bales of straw across a field. I mean, that’s cool, too.

 

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