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BS: Buttje is in heaven now

Leadbelly 22 Jul 13 - 04:15 PM
Leadbelly 22 Jul 13 - 04:10 PM
Leadbelly 18 Oct 07 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,Cats at Work 18 Oct 07 - 04:42 AM
katlaughing 17 Oct 07 - 04:09 PM
Leadbelly 17 Oct 07 - 03:50 PM
katlaughing 17 Oct 07 - 11:37 AM
Dave'sWife 17 Oct 07 - 03:29 AM
Genie 16 Oct 07 - 10:48 PM
katlaughing 16 Oct 07 - 11:28 AM
Genie 16 Oct 07 - 12:24 AM
GUEST,Cats at Work 15 Oct 07 - 08:28 AM
Ruth Archer 15 Oct 07 - 04:54 AM
GUEST,Dave'sWife on other computer 15 Oct 07 - 03:47 AM
Ebbie 15 Oct 07 - 12:32 AM
Genie 14 Oct 07 - 08:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Oct 07 - 05:17 PM
Leadbelly 14 Oct 07 - 02:17 PM
Genie 13 Oct 07 - 07:15 PM
Greg B 13 Oct 07 - 06:50 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Oct 07 - 02:52 PM
Leadbelly 13 Oct 07 - 02:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Oct 07 - 12:40 PM
Backwoodsman 13 Oct 07 - 10:54 AM
Dave'sWife 13 Oct 07 - 04:58 AM
Backwoodsman 13 Oct 07 - 02:34 AM
Dave'sWife 12 Oct 07 - 09:57 PM
Phot 12 Oct 07 - 06:53 PM
katlaughing 12 Oct 07 - 03:15 PM
Backwoodsman 12 Oct 07 - 02:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Oct 07 - 01:45 PM
Becca72 12 Oct 07 - 12:44 PM
jacqui.c 12 Oct 07 - 12:05 PM
Backwoodsman 12 Oct 07 - 11:55 AM
Backwoodsman 12 Oct 07 - 11:53 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Oct 07 - 09:24 AM
Leadbelly 12 Oct 07 - 04:20 AM
open mike 11 Oct 07 - 09:33 PM
Dave'sWife 11 Oct 07 - 09:27 PM
My guru always said 11 Oct 07 - 04:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Oct 07 - 04:43 PM
SINSULL 11 Oct 07 - 04:21 PM
Becca72 11 Oct 07 - 04:15 PM
katlaughing 11 Oct 07 - 04:09 PM
Anne Lister 11 Oct 07 - 03:12 PM
Leadbelly 11 Oct 07 - 03:09 PM
Leadbelly 11 Oct 07 - 03:07 PM
katlaughing 11 Oct 07 - 02:34 PM
alanabit 11 Oct 07 - 02:26 PM
Leadbelly 11 Oct 07 - 02:16 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now/ For Kat
From: Leadbelly
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 04:15 PM

So sorry, but forgot to tell you above that this is for gone Kat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now/For Kat
From: Leadbelly
Date: 22 Jul 13 - 04:10 PM

This is to remember your warm-hearted sympathy


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Leadbelly
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 02:31 PM

katlaughing: by looking at the pictures of your relaxed cats I got the feeeling that they are really happy ones! Moreover, Colorado seems to be a wonderful place to live. Remembers me of western movies.
Well, born in Hamburg and living in Bavaria for about 28 years we do have the alps. But Colorado has its own distinctive character. Great.

A great big kiss to your lovely cats. Won't tell to mine about Colorado. Otherwise they might become dissatified with their actual surroundings!

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of gone Buttje. He was very similar to your red and white cat. Some poeple say-apart from their colour- cats do all look like the same. Like "Little Boxes (Pete Seeger).But that's not true, as you will know.

GUEST, Cats at Work: another almost incredible story about a cat and about what she was able to initiate concerning the autistic boy!
Very well done, to give the remaining money to Cat Protection. I'm sure Mumsie would have liked this decision.

Believe it or not, but spontaneously creating this thread and to read all contributions makes it a little bit easier to me and wife mentally to overcome the death of Buttje. This was and still is a great help.

Again, many thanks to all!!

Manfred from Germany


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: GUEST,Cats at Work
Date: 18 Oct 07 - 04:42 AM

Thought you might be cheered up by this. Until this year we had 2 cats here at work, Mumsie and Joshua. Mumsie was found in the school compost heap with 2 new born kittens 15 years ago. My Special Needs children looked after them and when we could not find an owner, the Head agreed to them becoming school cats. Mumsie was looked after by an autistic boy who had real problems communicating with anyone and we used Mumsie as his method of getting through the day. He left College with as good as qualifications as anyone else and the ability to communicate openly with anyone, all thanks to Mumsie. In 1999 she won the Arthurs National Cat of the Year for her services to autistic children. Part of her winnings was £1,200. Both her and her surviving kiiten, Joshua, lived off the money for the rest of their lives. Last night I took the remaining money to the local Cat Protection branch who have dedicated the Old Cats Home, the area where all the oldies that can't be homed for one reason or another, live out their lives peacefully and in comfort, to their memory.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 04:09 PM

Manfred, thank you. Your Heart is definitely in the Right Place! If you'd like to see our current, and one or two of our past, "loves" please click here.

If you have any pictures of Buttje, it would be lovely to see.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Leadbelly
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 03:50 PM

What a fascinating dream about Oscar, Dave's Wife! I can fully understand your sadness when you realized that this was only a beautyful dream because my wife Mechthild has had a similar dream two days after Buttje's death. And like you did she felt very sad after waking up. Today I told her about your dream and especially about your wonderful sentence " At least I had him back for an hour or so in that dream". She looked at me and smiled a little bit and said "Wonderful".

Nevertheless, I think it will take some time to overcome this event. By fortune I found Buttje's body. It would have been more frustrating not to find anything and to expect or to do hope for a long time, that a beloved cat will come back not knowing what happened.
Fortunately(?), we do have some other cats so that gone Buttje wasn't the only one to give love to. But at any time there's the question: who will be the next?
As a consequence every night when a cat comes to sleep next to me I think to myself:"Enjoy these minutes before sleep with this cat. It might be the last time". Afterwards I regularly speak to her something like this:"Maxi/Pipi/Schnucki, please be cautious and wary outside".And then I press her to my body while she purrs like crazy. Sorry, but to me that's what I never would like to miss in my life.

Special thanks go to...

Genie for "Manfred, I suspect that anyone who thinks humans have souls but animals don't has never truly loved and been loved by a dog, cat, bird, or other non-human friend".

GUEST, Cats at work for "My heart goes out to you in your loss and Isolde and Bathsheba send special cuddles and purrs".

Ruth Archer for "It's worse when they're young, somehow...you feel like they were only babies, and you've let them down".

katlaughing for the story about her old lady Siames.

And to all others not mentioned!

Manfred


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 11:37 AM

Ah, that's beautiful, Dave's Wife!

I had an old lady Siamese who *visited* me after I had to have her put down. She was the matriarch and would spend every night at the top of my pillow. She would give me "kisses" on my forehead just before I'd go to sleep. I missed her horribly.

One night, I was lying on my bed, quite despondent at the thought of going to bed without her. I felt something jump up on the bed. I thought it was one of the other cats. Without turning over to see which one it was, I reached behind me to stroke their fur. As I did, I felt a raspy tongue lick my hand. By then, I was turning over and talking to the cat I thought was there. Still petting the warm, soft fur, I looked and saw nothing except a depression in the bed. I knew then it was her and told her thank you for coming back just for that little bit. I slept so well that night.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 17 Oct 07 - 03:29 AM

This thread may have been a factor in the dream I had last night. It was disturbing but for a moment when I woke up, I was happy - let me explain.

I mentioned my eldery Tomcat, Oscar, who went senile and dashed outside at the age of 20 after a lifetime of being indoors. he ran right under the wheel of a car. We were so brokenhearted that we after bringing him to the vet to be put to sleep, we decided not to take his body home or have him cremated- something we'eve never done before. Our vet has an arrangement to have animals mass cremated when the "parents" don't want to shell out $150 for the full individual cremation. We were broke at the time trying to cover $300 a month in medications for our epileptic & hypothyroid Alsation and our Siamese female cat who was battling kitty kat breast cancer. We figured that $150 was 2 more weeks of meds for the doggy.

Anyhoo - I always felt guilty that we didn't bring Oscar home and bury him in the yard (illegal but people do it all the time) or have him cremated. Since his death, my Alsationm, Puppers finally gave up the ghost and had to be put to sleep after a stroke and our Siamese female, "Baby", lost her battle with cancer in May of this year. All these animals were rescues. The two dead cats were former ferals and Puppers the Alasatian escaped from a Puppy Mill near our home. Needless to say, we miss them all terribly and the pitter patter of little paws is greatly reduced in our house.

So after posting to this thread about the Serial killer Coyote, I fell asleep and had an amazing dream. Oscar, the old tomcat was crying at the front door! I went to let him in and still not convinved it was him, I felt for the scar tissue on his right hip from when he had to have his hip rebuilt and lo and behold - it was him! I asked him if he was a ghost cat and he didn't dematerialize so in my dream I called up the Vet to ask if they had a record of the crematory dude actually picking Oscar up. They said they'd call back and when they did, they said they had not wanted to tell me but that when they went back in the room after we had said goodbye to him, oscar's body wasn't there. They just assumed we had taken it with us afterall. I told them oscar was here with me now, alive and they said to bring him in. In ym dream, we brought him in and they X-rayed him to match up his hip with old x-rays and they did. it was him alright and he wasn't old anymore. He was healthy and happy. I brought him back home, told him how much I missed him and he curled up with me on the bed. I said "wait til daddy gets him, he'll never believe this!".. and then I woke up.

I was actually happy when I woke up and had to look around to be sure it was just a dream. After that I was so sad again. Sniff sniff. At least I had him back for an hour or so in that dream.

Leadbelly - maybe Buttje will come back to you in your dreams. if he does, don't waste time in the dream taking him to the vet to prove it's really him - jujst snuggle until you wake up! That's my advice!


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Genie
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 10:48 PM

You kinow, Kat, I can't help but reflect on my own childhood, and my Mom's, in the light of the protectiveness that seems to pervade US society these days. When my mom was a (farm) kid back in Arkansas, she might encounter rattlesnakes and other hazards in the course of a day's work or play. And people did sometimes die from things that happened in an "ordinary" day. When I was in second grade, we lived in a small village bordering a very rural area, and my friends and I would roam through abandoned quarries and fields, finding snakes, frogs, and wild flora and fauna of all sorts.   We could have fallen into pits or streams, been bitten by various critters, or even been accosted or abducted by 2-legged vermin. I'm sure sometimes that happened.
But when I look at my neighbor kids, who aren't even allowed to walk the 6 blocks to the nearby school in a very residential neighborhood for fear of being molested or hit by cars or whatever, I can't help but wonder how much freedom, how much of life's richness -- life's wonder -- we want to exchange to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm.

I don't have an answer. Just questions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 11:28 AM

The last cat I lost to a car was Bagheera, who died in 1977. We lived on a quiet, residential street with little traffic and he never left the yard, but one day. Our yard was actually our landlord's back yard, so our yard was quite "safe" as it didn't front any roads.

That day, for some reason, he left and was found run over, by our neighbour, on a very busy one-way, two-lane street a few blocks over. I have no idea how or why he got there, but some thought a loose dog may have chased him.

I moved to a small ranch and let my cats go in and out at will, through a window. One of them disappeared only to come home half-dead, several weeks later, to stay a little while, then left again to die. We finally figured out he'd been accidentally locked in a nasty neighbour's shed for who knows how long without food and water. My poor beautiful Dashell was dead.

Then we moved to New England, to a house literally right on a busy road. My six prairie cats became indoor cats, actually in a motel room for two months, first, then to the house. They adapted fine and I never had the heartbreak of losing them to anything other than age or illness.

The only other cat I have lost since then, besides to disease/old age was one my brother had out for a walk in the yard. I used to take them all out with the front door open. They would stay within a certain area and go in as soon as I clapped my hands. He had my calico, Najuni, out with his cats. She was the newest and youngest. He turned away for a moment and in the next she was being chased by some asshole's dog, one we later found out had been loose and killed cats before. He got my beautiful girl and she was gone, dead.

My heart could not take any more of that kind of heartbreak. They are my children, too, just as Cats noted about hers. From then on, we have had a homemade "chicken coop" for them out the window, in which they can enjoy the fresh air, roll in the grass, and scratch in the dirt. They have a balcony, a scratching ramp, and toys to play with and they are safe and content and I am spared the agony of any premature death of any of them.

I cannot imagine ever having it any other way. The uncertainty of not knowing what has happened to a family pet, or of finding them and knowing they went through a terrifying and horrible death that I could have prevented if I'd kept them in, would kill me eventually. I consider it my duty to protect them esp. considering the unconditional love they offer in return.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Genie
Date: 16 Oct 07 - 12:24 AM

I think outdoor cats fare much worse in coyote territory than they necerssarily do from cars in residential neighborhoods where cars are fairly infrequent and usually not going too fast.   Many cats generally hang out in their own yards or on their own porches most of the time. But staying in your own yard is not much protection from coyotes - or from hawks, for that matter. I have thought of moving to San Diego, but if I do, Grisabella will have to stay inside a lot more than she does now, even though the weather's milder, because of the coyotes in Tecolote Canyon.   
The 2-block long street I live on in Portland has at least 15 to 20 housecats plus several strays, all of whom spend at least some time outdoors (though most of them are kept in at night), and nearly all these cats have been around for years.   My Melanie is the only one I know of that has ever been hit by a car on this 2-block residential street.   (On a much busier, longer street a few blocks away I used to see dead cats from time to time, until the city finally installed speed bumps. Since then, none.)   But we don't have many 'varmints' that would hurt cats except at night (e.g., the raccoons and possums).

I think, as with people, quality of life is as important as longevity, and there's no one-size-fits-all answer.   But, yes, losing a dear kitty is losing a member of the family.   Getting another one can help heal the heart, but a new feline companion never really "takes the place of" one you've lost, any more than having another baby would replace a child who had died.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: GUEST,Cats at Work
Date: 15 Oct 07 - 08:28 AM

My Cats are my children ~ I don't have any 'real' children and when anything happens to them it is a wrench and it hits you just as much as anyone else you love. What makes it worse is that they are, in effect, helpless, and you cannot tell them you must not go out. I lock my cat flap sometimes, like fire work nights. My 2 love to roam on the farm next door and Isolde always make sure she is out to supervise the early morning milking!
My heart goes out to you in your loss and Isolde and Bathsheba send special cuddles and purrs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Oct 07 - 04:54 AM

there are two sides to the "to cage or not to cage?" debate. On the one hand, I've always felt similarly to the people who say it's not fair to keep a roaming animal inside...and I've never understood the compulsion to keep things like birds, rabbits, guinea pigs etc in cages. The rabbit hutch was invented when rabbits were a major food source, both to protect them from predators but also, like the veal crate, to keep them from getting too much excercise so that the meat would be nicer. This is an appropriate environment for a pet that you "love"?

I lost our gorgeous little tortoiseshell cat, Bumblebee, at only 7 months old(small village, driver going too fast - you know the deal). But she was a farm cat, and roaming was in her genes - it would have been cruel to keep her in.

On the other hand, there is the effect on the local wildlife (next door's cat has decided it likes us, so has begun bringing us sparrows, field mice, etc and laying them thoughtfully on the door mat). I have heard it suggested that cats ought to wear a bell, to warn the prey, but also that a cat's ears are so sensitive that this drives them nuts.

Then there is the oblivion some cat owners seem to feel about their cats being a nuisance in the neighbourhood, though this usually comes from people having more pets than is really sensible. I had a neighbour across the road who had 7 cats, and because she kept a litterbox in the house, and the cats never fouled HER garden, she blithely assumed they weren't bothering anyone else. Well, cats apparently don't foul in their own gardens if they have an alternative, and they did - mine. Again, it's not such a huge issue if you're only talking about one cat, but when it's that many, gardening is no longer pleasant - it's like emptying one big litter tray every Saturday. Disgusting.

So there's no easy answer - but Leadbelly, I can sympathise with your loss. It's worse when they're young, somehow...you feel like they were only babies, and you've let them down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: GUEST,Dave'sWife on other computer
Date: 15 Oct 07 - 03:47 AM

McGrath of Harlow says:

..There must be something about North America, compared to South America and Europe, that just doesn't suit smaller cats.,,

Yep - it's called a Coyote!

Here in Los Angeles, Coyotes are just as frequently the cause of death of indoor/outdoor housecats as confrontations with cars are.

We had a serial killer coyote stalking our neighborhood about a year and a half ago - It was a female who would venture down from the Hills about ten blocks away and then stay in our area for a few days, hiding in garden sheds and abandoned houses. She killed 17 cats that we know of (found their bodies). We'd see her in the distance and sometimes we'd find skat or eveidence that she had been sitting in one area for some time stalking some fat tabbies but we never did catch her even with the involvement of Animal Control. I'm hoping she had the sense to go back up into the hills. We still do see coyotes but usually only in winter or during pup season (are coyote pups called pups or kits?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Oct 07 - 12:32 AM

It comforts me to believe that any creature that is capable of love has a soul. We know they have a spirit!


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Genie
Date: 14 Oct 07 - 08:38 PM

McGrath, I can't say I blame you. However, many animal lovers "rescue" cats and dogs from shelters, animals that would otherwise very likely be 'euthanized' (read: "executed"). Or we are "adopted" by animals that are already fending for themselves on the street.
In some cases, such as mine, having a 100% indoor pet is out of the question, simply because of my travel and work schedule.   Even when the outdoor or indoor/outdoor cat does eventually get killed by a car or other critter, that cat may well have gained years of happy, good quality life by being given a loving home (and food, medical care, etc.) before that happens. Every decision needs to be weighed against the other reasonable options. Or, put another way, "the perfect is the enemy of the good."

Manfred, I suspect that anyone who thinks humans have souls but animals don't has never truly loved and been loved by a dog, cat, bird, or other non-human friend.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Oct 07 - 05:17 PM

I'd never let a kitten of mine go to a home in a city.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Leadbelly
Date: 14 Oct 07 - 02:17 PM

Dear Genie: "It really does leave a hole in your heart when a beloved furry family member dies, whether in kittenhood or at a ripe old age."

That's exactly what we felt about similar losses in the past and what we actually do feel. But there's always the same question coming on: why?

Backwoodsman said "Time heals all" and this is absolutely correct because otherwise it would be hard to compensate such an event.

In the meantime we do accept what has happened because we believe in god. He took back our red-haired darling because he loves animals the same as human beings. I'm sure about this.

Manfred


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Genie
Date: 13 Oct 07 - 07:15 PM

Leadbelly, my sincere condolences on the loss of your little Buttje.   I lost my 5-year-old Melanie LaMew similarly, to a driver who was going too fast for our little 2-block (between stop signs) residential street, even though Melanie (reportedly) did run right out in front of her car.   


On the subject of "caging" cats, I agree that, especially in some areas, cats really need to be kept indoors for their own safety and perhaps for the sake of the birds.   But Melanie, like the venerable Grisabella, who adopted me shortly after Melanie's death, spent her formative years on the street before adopting me and was not at all content to be perpetually caged.   I did routinely bring her inside before dusk, as I do Grisabella, but that particular day I fell asleep in the late afternoon and did not wake up till later in the evening, after she had already been hit.   
My maternal grandparents were farmers, who always had outdoor cats, largely to keep the mouse population in the barn under control.   Barnyard cats (and kittens) do get carried off by coyotes or hawks or stepped on by cows, but that was a hard fact of life that I learned to accept as a child. As for city cats, I'm not sure which one is worse off - the street-wise outdoor (or indoor-outdoor) cat or the indoor housecat who "escapes" one day only to find she or he has no clue as to the ways of the outside world.   In any event, while I see the benefits to keeping cats as strictly indoor pets, I think there are benefits both to cats and to the human community by letting some of the felines roam outdoors sometimes.

It really does leave a hole in your heart when a beloved furry family member dies, whether in kittenhood or at a ripe old age.   I am very sorry for your loss.

Genie


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Greg B
Date: 13 Oct 07 - 06:50 PM

Hey, they sleep on me, lick my face, etc.

I've seen what cats do outside.

They stay in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Oct 07 - 02:52 PM

Sometimes the wildlife comes indoors to the house cats. I awoke this morning to a dead gecko (and it's separated tail nearby) on the corner of my bed. The calico nabbed this one (I can tell by her behavior and visiting the scene of the prey display long after I found it and discarded it).

I thought they were leaving the lizards alone. Maybe this big old guy was just too tempting. Too bad. I like knowing the lizards are munching any bugs that get into the house (and unless it is a tarantula or a moth the cats ignore our spider and insect life).

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Leadbelly
Date: 13 Oct 07 - 02:29 PM

Backwoodsman: Sorry, but there's no reason for having fear as to wasps. They are nice little insects without any aggression if you don't hit them. The same is due even to hornets which have a home in an old tree in our garden. They are really wonderful. It goes without saying that this could be another cup of tea in case of children. But this doesn't change the fact that basically they are peaceful and really fascinating when they are going to watch you standing in front of their nest-building.

Dave's Wife: I'm convinced that you are aware of total peacefulness of all kinds of bumble bees. Therefore, cannot understand the fear of your dear husband (or are you joking?) to built houses for ground bumble bees .By the way, in contrary to your observations our cats do stalk bumble bees and all insects flying around. Poor Buttje was an expert in catching a dragonfly. That's one of the dark sides of cats.

Would like to thank you for making clear the differences between cats in general between the US and Europe.

Manfred


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Oct 07 - 12:40 PM

"...the US never had a housecat sized cat running wild."

Interesting point. The curious thing is that down in South America there are no fewer than six species of cats that are more or less the same size as the European Wildcat. There must be something about North America, compared to South America and Europe, that just doesn't suit smaller cats.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 13 Oct 07 - 10:54 AM

LOL! It's not the bees I fear, it's those little b****rds the wasps! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 13 Oct 07 - 04:58 AM

Backwoodsman - so glad to have helped in my own with a little explanation. We do certainly have our share of happy barncats out on the farms to be sure. I also don't doubt that there is a feral cat problem wherever there are people who don't care about animals much and don't think about tossing them by the road.

Incidentally, I saw an amusing TV program that documented a study in the UK that kept track of everything "housecats" dragged home dead for year or so. One particularly viscious little wellfed girl named Missy or Misty killed something everyday, mostly voles and rabbits. The study found that the housecats were killing mostly for sport and not consuming their kills. The vole population seemed to be suffering the most.

Here in the US, it seems to be songbirds that suffer disproportionately. My own well-fed girl (the daughter/grandaughter of Big GingerBoy) dragged home a still warm Lesser Goldfinch a few weeks ago and it broke my heart because they are smaller and more beautiful than hummingbirds. We only get them here in the fall and I grow a tall stand of maximillian (Prairie) sunflowers for them just so they can stay more than 10 feet off the ground whilst feeding. She also kills a baby mourning dove every spring or two. Bad kittie. I restrict her from going out during typical bird feeding hours and somehow she still manages to snag them.

At least she has stopped pulling the tails of our local fence lizards. We went known for about 3 years as the Cottage of Tail-less Lizards. I finally built the Fence Lizards a refuge in each graden so they can get away from her fat paws and conserve their tails. Fence Lizards' tails will snap off if grabbed and writhe about like a worm or snake. My fat cat brings them in the house and plays with the disembodied wiggling tails.

Until I built the refuges, she'd also bring in the tail-less lizards to play with who were playing dead. I'd have to rescue them and set them back out. Making them some rock piles and refuges out of broken pottery near the house foundations gives them just enough space to get away from sneaky cats, keep their tails and their lives. It's very hard on them to lose their tails and then have to go about with a bloody stump for months waiting for it to regrow. They are good for the garden and eat pests so the least we can do is help them keep their tails, right?

I'm a bit of a sucker for animals if you haven't noticed. I've even tried to get my husband to make some wooden houses for the ground bumble bees we have but he's terrified of bees and refuses. I'll likely have to do it myself. it's not hard - just drill some holes and set the thing on the ground. At least the cat doesn't stalk bumble bees!


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 13 Oct 07 - 02:34 AM

Thanks for that explanation Mrs. Dave - clears up a few misunderstandings regarding yet another of the differences between the USA and the UK! Just goes to show how speaking the same language (almost!) and watching many of the same TV shows doesn't necessarily mean that life's the same in both countries! LOL!

We too have a large feral cat population in the UK. The Cats Protection League has a policy of neutering all cats which come into its possession for care or re-homing, and I believe the RSPCA has a similar policy (or, if they don't do it automatically themselves, they strongly encourage neutering of re-homed cats).

The cats that have owned me have all been allowed freedom to roam, but were neutered at the first opportunity (around 6 months old here). Better for the cat and better for people (IMHO! Please, dear readers, don't poke me in the eye with a sharp stick for having an opinion!).


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 09:57 PM

I think what or UK and european counterparts don't understand is that the US never had a housecat sized cat running wild. The "domesticated" cat (is it felis sylvestris?) is not native to the New World. We do have some small wildcats such as the Lynx and bobcat here but they are quite bigger. In Europe, there was always a wild cat about the size of modern housecats. All our housecats are imported and as such, they have no natural niche here. Over the few hundred years they've been here, they have decimated some species.

We also have a much larger problem in the USA with abandoned cats and large colonies of gone feral cats. Allowing an intact housecat to roam free here is the height of stupidity and insensitivity since conditions permit virtually out of control breeding. We simply have a much different situation.

The large female I have now came from a feral colony that was founded largely by one Tomcat. For 15 years that Tomcat, known as Big Gingerboy, bred with every female he could find over a 10 block area. We had so many kittens every spring that we were costantly finding dead ones, diseased ones, starving ones and so on. it was heartbreaking. I finally launched a Trap Spay/neuter and release program which helped but we couldn't stop the one prolific Tom becuase he was somebody's free-roaming pet and by law, we cannot trap a cat that belongs to someone. His owner felt it would be cruel to neuter him or keep him inside. Poor old Big Gingerboy was flea-ridden, was deaf from mite infection and had one ear torn off from a fight. His life was far from happy. He died the same spring that I rescued one of his grandaughters who is now my pet. He was also her father and she looks just like him!

Once Big Gingerboy went to kitty heaven, the colony collapsed, which greatly improved the our neighborhood. We got all the new kittens spayed and neutered, adopted out as many as we could and cared for the rest until they moved on, died, or chose to come inside. We still have some of my cat's siblings and uncles in the area, but they are now all cared for, altered, fat & happy pets. I wish it this was true for all such cats.

Stories like this are common in most US cities, I'm afraid. The rural areas don't have it so bad. I'll not tell someone else whether to keepo their cat in or out, but I will beg them to see to it that their pet doesn't make any more kitties for me to have to trap, neuter and release. Once you've seen the misery of these urban feral colonies, you never want to let it happen elsewhere.

So in summary - the reason for the movement towards keeping cats indoors in the USA is specific to the problems we have with cat overpopulation and the fact that they are an invasive species in our region of the world. We have to try and balance what's best for Felix and Felicia Kitty with what's best for the rest of the critters and what's best for those poor kitties eeking out an urban feral existence.

If anyone needs more info on help with feral cat colonies, please go to AlleyCats.org

Thanks


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Phot
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 06:53 PM

So sorry to hear of your loss, we live on a main road, so the worry of losing any of our four is always there.

Ours are always free to roam, but most of the time they stay around the back garden, or our neighbours gardens. But still keep a watching brief on the world out front, lounging in a sunbeam on the table.

Chris and Fiona.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 03:15 PM

Folks, I am sorry I responded to one particular part of Leadbelly's initial post. Bekka, you know I agree with you. This is the last I will post about it in this thread.

Over here, cats are considered a "domestic" animal. The following guide, for cat lovers in the military, lists some reasons why they do not need to be let to roam free: Don't let your cat go AWOL.

Oh, and NO, we do not declaw our cats. I consider it inhumane. I trim them, they have scratching boxes, and, if someone is really worried, there are clear plastic panels for affixing to the corners of furniture or pretty plastic caps one may put on their cats' claws. (I don't do that, either.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 02:25 PM

Becca, as I said - JMHO. Not picking a fight, just stating an opinion, exactly as others have done. We have our views, they're different, that's fine, makes the world go round. Pax ma'am? :-)

McG - correct on all points (IMHO again!).

S:0)


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 01:45 PM

Dogs and cats just aren't the same. What's right for a cat would often be downright cruel for a dog, and the other way round.

Not letting a cat roam free in a field just because there was a possibility that sometime some fool might come racing across it in a vehicle would count as cruel to me.

As the song puts it Why do people cage the things they love the most?


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Becca72
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 12:44 PM

I'm trying to resist the urge to get into further argument because this is not the place to do it. But how many people let their dogs run free? Why is it ok for a cat to wander where ever and get hit or eaten by something bigger or poisoned by come cruel bastard? I know that I will never change the minds of the "they need to roam" crowd just as you will never change my mind that it is never ok to let a cat outside (unless you have a rig like kat).
As for housecats smelling bad, that's just silly. Male cats will spray if you don't have them fixed, but there is a simple solution to that (snip snip) Abd sure, if you don't change the litterbox it gets pretty gamey but I have never in 30 years of having cats as pets found one single cat that smelled bad. Dogs stink far worse.

That said I'm going to leave this thread to what it should be about...sending condolences to Leadbelly


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: jacqui.c
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 12:05 PM

So sorry Leadbelly. Animals can just wind their way into your heart! May you remember the time that you were privileged to have Buttje and the joy that he gave you.

Knowing where Becca lives it would not be safe for her cats to be allowed out, straight onto a very busy road. All three are very happy and healthy nonetheless. I have, in the past, had cats who did not want to go out, even if they could and seemed to be happier staying in the home environment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 11:55 AM

Sorry, Leadbelly, I forgot my manners - my sincere condolences on your loss. "Time heals all" is the good news.
S:0)


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 11:53 AM

"in the USA, there has been a serious movement to make all cats indoor cats"

Won't their owners' homes smell bad? Cats have a natural odour which, in my experience, gets stronger if they don't get out and get the fresh air in their fur, and is transferred onto carpets and furnishings. And, not only do they hate being bathed, but it's not recommended to bathe them more than once a year, if at all (according to our local vet).

Cats are wild animals by legal definition (at least in the UK) and, more importantly, by natural inclination. I find the idea of imprisoning them in a house as repulsive as keeping birds in a cage, or goldfish in a bowl. They have instincts and needs which are satisfied by being allowed to roam - if it means they take a risk or two then so be it. That, as they say, is life.

And yes, I'm a cat-lover. I've had cats killed by cars, and one had a leg almost severed by a cruel b*****d who hit her with a shovel - broke my heart, all of them, but I won't ever be a warder in a feline jail. I can't help feeling that refusing a cat the opportunity to 'do what comes naturally' is a worse option than accepting the risks involved in allowing it it's freedom to roam and suffering the grief when something bad happens.

JMHO. I'm sure many will tell me I'm wrong, but it's how I feel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 09:24 AM

"in the USA, there has been a serious movement to make all cats indoor cats"

De-claw them at the same time maybe?


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Leadbelly
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 04:20 AM

Dear friends, many thanks to all of you for your contibutions and comforting words.
Living with cats for over 30 years now, we still have 3 other ones aged 7 years ( Pipi and her sister Maxi) resp. Buttje's sister Schnucki (1 year of age). I think,this will help a little bit to overcome the actual loss of Buttje.
We buried him in our garden next to Milli (mother of Pipi and Maxi). Milli became the victim of a crazy driver in March of this year. Won't hope that it goes on like this.

Again, many thanks to all Mudcatters,

Manfred


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: open mike
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 09:33 PM

is was about a year ago my dog was killed by a car...
i know how you must miss your furry friend.
hugs to you and remember the good times.
Laurel


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 09:27 PM

Leadbelly - in the USA, there has been a serious movement to make all cats indoor cats hence the critical comment. it's a wonderful idea and certainly the best thing for urban cats. It's certainly best for their health and for the health of songbirds and other wildlife. If it can be done, it should be done

However, like many people, I have taken in former feral cats and it's nearly impossible to make them 100% indoor kitties, try as we may. I have on semi-feral adult cat who began life as a pampered kitten but was tossed out of his home by an angry boyfriend and who then ran with some local ferals until I found him. I've never been able to get him to come inside for any length of time unless the front door is wide open unless it's very cold or raining. My other cat who is mostly indoors is also a former feral but she will drive us crazy trying to squish herslef between the window slats to go out if we don't let her out on demand.

I had an old Tomcat hit by a car 2 years ago and I know how awful that is. He was a totally indoor cat who at the end of his life was kind of senile. He was 20 years old and would sneak out the door and then run like a madman for the street. One day he did this and ran right under the wheel of a car. Thankfully we were able to get him to a Vet to be euthanized quickly. Poor old fella.

I am so sorry about your baby Buttje. May he rest in peace.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: My guru always said
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 04:53 PM

So sorry to hear this! 'Cats leave their pawprints on your heart'

When I had a cat as a kitten, or when she or her daughter had kittens I had to teach them to stay away from cars and roads. Not going into details here (some may think it a cruel lesson and perhaps it is, but have had to be cruel to be kind) but not one of them came to grief with a car.

I agree, cats are wanderers and we love them for that!


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 04:43 PM

Cats can learn to keep away from a busy road. Ours have, touch wood. It can be the unexpected vehicle speeding along where it normally feels safe that are the biggest danger. Which seems to have been what happened here.

As for cats wandering, I think cats are entitled do so by virtue of being cats. If the environment is too dangerous for that, it's really not fit for a cat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: SINSULL
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 04:21 PM

My cats were all indoor cats in NYC. No choice. But one old guy got out every time he could. It broke his heart not to be able to roam.
Now mine all live indoors but wander at will. I love to watch them prowling and playing with leaves. Freddie of course kills whatever he can corner. Lizzie sits in the driveway and suns herself like a nosy old lady. They don't go far but Freddie does crosas the street. Still I wouldn't deprive him of his outdoor life.

Poor little Buttje. Sorry you lost him, lead.
SINS


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Becca72
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 04:15 PM

So sorry to hear of the little darlin's passing.

and kat, I agree with you 100%. My 3 boys never leave the apartment unless it's in their carriers to go to the vet. They are all happy and healthy and just the right weight so being indoor only does not seem to have any ill effects.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 04:09 PM

Leadbelly, well, I disagree from experience, but let's not get into that.

I do extend my deepest condolences on your loss. I have had the same happen, a long time ago, and I know how devastating it can be. Actually, no matter what takes them away, it is always very sad and heartbreaking when we lose one. May you both find comfort.

All the best,

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Anne Lister
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 03:12 PM

So sorry to hear this ...sending virtual hugs to all concerned.   Luckily our cat doesn't seem to wander far outside our garden (or if she does she doesn't let us know she's doing it!).

But losing a member of the family is never easy.

Anne


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Leadbelly
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 03:09 PM

Oh, forgotten: many thanks for your replies!


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Leadbelly
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 03:07 PM

alanabit: "in Germany, there is a culture which asserts that people should be allowed to drive as fast as they want as often as they want".

That's exactly what supposedly caused Buttje's death! Knowing german people driving like crazy seems to be a must.

katlaughing: Cats cannot be compelled to stay at home. That's nearly impossible I do believe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 02:34 PM

It's so hard when that happens. My sympathies on your loss.

kat


*Look out below - Critical Comment Alert*























I have to say I've never understood folks letting their cats roam loose. There's so much that can get them. I hit someone's cat one Christmas Eve while driving v-e-r-y slowly looking at Christmas lights with my children. The cat darted out from between two parked cars; there was nothing I could do. I did stop to see if it had survived. We tried to find its owner to no avail. It was very traumatic for all of us (of course including the poor cat) as we had eight inside cats of our own at the time. Even now, my cats only go out in their "chicken coop."


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Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: alanabit
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 02:26 PM

Regrettably, in Germany, there is a culture which asserts that people should be allowed to drive as fast as they want as often as they want. Everyone is sorry after their accident. I am sorry to hear you have lost your cat to some arrogant prat. I am even more sorry that many people have to lose far more.


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Subject: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
From: Leadbelly
Date: 11 Oct 07 - 02:16 PM

Last night our dear little tomcat Buttje didn't come home as he usual did. This morning I found him on a track across the fields nearby. Killed by a car or a traktor.
I've never seen my wife weeping so much. One year old Buttje was her little red-haired darling she loved so much.
We cannot understand that some people drive their cars like crazy even on tracks across the fields.
To tell the rest of this short story: this year we have lost another cat by car accident and another was seriously injured. And this happened in a region without heavy traffic.


Very sad,

Mechthild and Manfred


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