Today we have some sad news to share with our followers. Yesterday, our group made a difficult decision to help Grandma cross the rainbow bridge. Today, I wanted to take a moment to share a story about Grandma and Blackie that I had written but had kept in my draft folders. As much as it hurts to think about not seeing her anymore, I wanted to make sure our followers remember Grandma as a survivor.

I remember the day I met Grandma; she walked out alongside Gracie, Blackie, Handsome, & Princess. They were the Portable cats. Grandma caught my attention because she was so tiny compared to the other cats. She also was very stoic. Once in a while, she would meow or roll on her belly, but most of the time, she would sit there and watch you prepare her meal.

Even though she was petite, she was a survivor. She managed to live outdoors for 12 years. The story of her losing her home comes to mind and reminds me of her resilience.

Grandma used to call the portables her home until the campus decided to tear them down. I remember that the days before they tore down the portables, some volunteers had taken the time to block any holes to keep Grandma and Blackie from entering the portables. That did not work. Grandma and Blackie found a way back in, and we had to figure our next steps.

The morning that they were tearing down the portables, two volunteers and I woke up early to lure Grandma and Blackie out of the portables. Then we had the task of keeping these feral kitties entertained long enough for the construction workers to demolish the portables. That was a difficult task. The construction crew was going to tear down the building at 6 am, but as we all know, construction does not go as plan, so they began a bit later. Blackie and Grandma got tired of us and ran for the portables. We begged the construction workers to let us go home and get an air horn to scare the kitties out of the portable. The construction crew was so kind and patient, and they allowed us to get our air horn. My heart was racing and, all I could think about was that I was glad Blackie was with Grandma. Protecting her and making sure she was okay during this time. We blew the horn, and Blackie ran out. We did not see Grandma, and the construction crew began tearing down the portables. My heart sank. I thought we had lost her, but two days later, one of our volunteers saw her at night.

This tiny girl was a survivor because she was resilient. She had managed to survive life outdoors all on her own, and when things got a bit hard, she knew who to lean on for some help. As we wipe our tears, we know we have to keep taking care of the rest of the cats. Our focus turns on helping Blackie get through the loss of his mom and making sure that we are there for him, so he can lean on us when times get hard.

The portable cats: Gracie, Handsome, & Princess edition

It’s been a while since we have seen these three show up for breakfast. Once in a blue moon, we will get to see one of them, and twice we have seen Gracie and Handsome together. Many times when we post a picture of them on Facebook, people ask who they are? and mention that they have not seen them before, so today, we will share a little bit about this beautiful trio of kitties.

Back in the day, two years ago, we had portable on campus. They were not in use, so 5 of our kitties made it their home. Gracie, Handsome, Grandma, and Blackie were always together and got along great. Princess was there too, but Handsome would chase her off, so she settled down by the last portable. It was fun to pull up to the portables and see all five kitties greet us. Blackie and Grandma would always get up close. Gracie was talkative. Handsome was by Gracie’s side, and they used to love rubbing cheeks. Princess!, we could not forget about Princess. From the last portable, at a safe distance from Handsome, she would meow at us. It seemed like she was saying, “Do not forget about me!”

When we got the call that they were going to tear down the portables, Two of our volunteers trapped Gracie and Handsome to keep them safe. Losing the portables, their home, really rocked their world. Grandma and Blackie moved on to another station, and we are lucky to have them greet us every morning. But Gracie, Handsome, and Princess moved around campus. As of today, we know where Handsome and Princess reside. We do not see them every day, but we have wonderful volunteers who set out trail cams to check on them. Gracie is still unwilling to let go of her old home. So she is all over the place at the moment. We are hoping that soon she will settle down with her brother and best friend, Handsome.

Disclaimer:  Our commitment is to not have food in low feeders after we feed unless we are specifically video taping – if we are taping, we do put out some food to see which campus cats come by that station.

The Schuster Trap

If you follow us on Facebook, chance are you have met our Schuster. He is one of the most photogenic kitties. He is such a flirt and loves to pose for the camera (His signature move is laying on his back, exposing his belly, and it almost seems like he is smiling ). Some of our Facebook followers are deceived by his sweet demeanor and charming face and think he is not a feral kitty. So today, he will dedicate our post to him and inform the world about the Schuster Trap!

Schuster lives with four other kitties: Cece, Harry, Sandy, and Lemur (she is an elusive kitty; we will write about her in weeks to come, so stay tune).
As soon as our volunteers pull up to his station, he is front row and center. He greets all of our volunteers; even new volunteers get to see his charm. He loves to trip some of our volunteers by weaving through their legs as they walk to his station. On the rare occasions, he is not there, we go into panic mode and start calling out his name until he shows up.

Once we get through the gates to his station, he arches his back and rubs himself on our legs. He will do it a couple of times until you cannot resist and pet him. This move is a TRAP!! Once you get the pet in, he will give you a swat with his paw; if you decide to go for the pet one more time; then, he gives you a nip. No worries, we were all warned about his game (pet-swat-bite), so we all are aware and commence evasive maneuvers once we get our pet.

So next time you see his picture, do not be fooled by the belly roll, the sweet smile, and the silky skin; know that he is just setting up his trap. Honestly, it is worth getting the little swat or nip on the shoe in exchange for those belly rolls, the pets, and even the opportunity to throw the ball and watch him chase it. It might be a trap, but I will take my chances: keep loving on him! Who knows, maybe one day, he will purr for me.

Does Mean Mommy deserve her name?

The short answer is YES! I mean, we can ask her son, William. William shares his space with Mean Mommy. He has been smacked a few times for getting too close to her. Her name does not mean we do not love her. Even though she loses her temper with her son, she is always super cheeky with us. Lately, she comes closer to our volunteers to get her paws on some treats; Temptations treats, to be exact.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Mean Mommy has always had a short temper with her sons William and Harry. She used to smack them as kittens if they would try to eat before she did. She is a strict mommy, who has clear expectations on what appropriate behavior should be, and she is an enforcer of her laws.

She recently moved to live with her son, William. She was on a different part of campus before. Before the move, she would watch volunteers from the safety of the fence. Once we filled the station and got in our cars, she would enter the station and eat. She was not very social and would not allow us to pet her.

Now that she moved with her son, she comes close to our volunteers. One of our volunteers was even able to pet her! Mean Mommy was unsure of this interaction, but it is understandable none of us have attempted to pet her before. I think that is only a matter of time, and you guys will start seeing pictures of Mean Mommy getting brushed by our volunteers. As for her son William, he is also well-loved by our volunteers, and occasionally his mother allows him to enjoy some treats beside her.

Friends or enemies?

Are Big Red and Junior friends or enemies? It is hard to describe their relationship. They enjoy each other’s company, but they also like to push each other’s buttons. I would argue that Big Red is the button pusher, and Junior has learned to stand up to him. They started cohabitating in 2019. They did have encounters in the past, but they did not spend too much time together as they do today. Both Big Red and Junior had life-altering events occur in their lives outdoors that led them to lean on each other for companionship and support.

You see, Big Red had many friends, but his bonded mate was Mean Mommy. His close friend was Scrappy. Scrappy loved pets, and when I first started volunteer with the coalition, the only way to pet Big Red was to pet Scrappy first; and then quickly move over to Big Red. It seemed like Scrappy assured Big Red that he can trust me. Life for outdoor kitties is hard, and Mean Mommy and Big Red’s life completely changed when they lost their friend Scrappy. They both moved to different areas on campus and made new cat friends.

Junior had a similar situation happen to him. His best friend was Buddy. Buddy and Junior were always together, and I would sing the song by Harry Nilsson, “Best Friend,” to both of them. This song, in my opinion, personified Buddy’s and Junior’s relationship. Junior lost Buddy. We were all devastated by the loss of Buddy. As I am writing this, I cannot help but cry. Junior was the one who led our volunteer to his buddy, and she made sure to give Buddy a proper burial.

What brings comfort to my heart is knowing that Big Red and Junior have each other, and even though it is not a perfect relationship, they have managed to cohabitate quite well.

Temptations treats!

Our kitties love their temptations treats! We have noticed some of the more elusive cats are coming out and even getting near our volunteers to get some Temptations treats. Mama Kitty, who used to show up once a month, has been showing up consistently. Mean Mommy, our standoffish kitty, even allowed one of our volunteers to pet her. Jasper, another elusive kitty, has also been showing up for breakfast and even checks his little shelter for treats. Now, these changes could be a result of our wonderful volunteers, but the pictures do not lie; Our cats love their treats!

If you would like to donate treats, please click on the link below:

Happy Holidays from the Campus Cats

Happy holidays! We want to take this time to thank our followers and volunteers.
We appreciate all our followers who purchased a calendar or donated food. We are truly blessed to have your support.
Also, we are grateful to have such a dedicated group of volunteers. Our volunteers not only feed our kitties, but they make sure that the shelters are clean and even give our cats their flea treatment. No matter what the temperature is like outside, our volunteers never miss a feeding. They go above and beyond to make sure all our cats are happy, healthy, and well-fed.

If you would like to donate, click the following link

If you would like to purchase a calendar, click the following link

2021 Campus Cat Calendar

Do not forget to purchase your 2021 Campus Cat Calendar for the cat lover in your family. This calendar is a collection of the pictures our Volunteers take every morning during their feeding. We use the proceeds to give our feral kitties the best life we can. The money we get from the calendars goes to buying cat food, shelters, flea treatments, and to pay for vet bills.

Our 2021 Campus Cat Calendar is now available. For a limited time only, get 20% off the regular price of $17.49 and free shipping! Available for $13.99 now thru 12/31/2020! Click the link below to buy a calendar today!

Shelter Donations

With the cold temperatures rolling in, it is always a good idea to have shelters for kitties to stay out of the rain and keep warm. We want to give A big THANK YOU to Tim & Erin from Yountville, CA, for donating two new shelters!

All our kitties really enjoy their shelters!!