Fonzerelli Fuzzlenuts

Fonzerelli Fuzzlenuts is a short-haired white male.  He’s a super-friendly people-person, who just loves snuggling.  He was barely a year old when he came to us.  He’s very well-mannered, both with humans and with other cats.

We first saw him outside, and he walked towards us, “talking” at us, when we called to him.  On the 3rd day, he walked right in our enclosed porch for us and begged for lovin’.  We figured by the rather strong aroma, and his apparent young age, that he’d probably been dumped because it didn’t occur to his previous owners that a little trip to the vet and a quick snip-snip would eliminate that nasty odor…they’d rather almost literally throw him to the coyotes, than get him neutered.  There are spay & neuter clinics and such, some of them mobile units; training for up and coming young veterinarians, for instance, that can cost barely $40 for a neuter.  They just need a bit of research to find when and where they take place near you.  We’ve had coyote packs with as many as twenty members in this area, and they love to eat cats!  Just dumping them out in the wild will end up with them dead!  We tried to find his owner for almost a month, just in case he’d simply escaped on them and the new influx of hormones had sent him wandering, before we went ahead and had him neutered.  He wasn’t starved enough to have been traveling all that far, as indoor cats rarely have the first clue about the mechanics of catching your own dinner; and none of our neighbors recognized him (in the country, there’s usually a mile or more between most houses, so we didn’t have to check with all that many people).

He went through a faze, thankfully short-lived, where we nearly re-named him “Pig-Pen”.  Dirt baths are actually good for a cat’s fur; when they are finished grooming the dust out of their coats, it’s like they’ve had a luxury spa bath with a very expensive shampoo and conditioner.  The problem is, they let off a literal dusty little cloud with each movement, until they groom it off!   And Fonzie wasn’t satisfied until he’d had a solid week of rolling in as much dirt and dust as he could find.

Fonzie had to have been a house-cat before he came to us, and not a barn-cat; he was much too familiar with the intricacies of house life–opening doors, the most fun pathways over the top of furniture to avoid touching the floor, the fun of water faucets, what comes from refrigerators, the joy of nicknack rearrangement; sleeping through the use of a shop vac as a feline brush…  He’s one of the ones who likes to be vacuumed with the hose-brush.  He was a little startled at all the other strange cats wandering around, but it only took about a week before we could trust him loose with the others without expecting mass mayhem and bloodshed.  Now it’s just moderate mayhem and wobbling furniture.  Since the vast majority of our colony is seniors or near-seniors, he’s only got a couple of willing playmates–mainly Clancey Too and Yonkers.  It can be interesting when he mistakes one of the more “mature” cats for one of his playmates; some do look quite similar, if you’re not paying attention.  They usually don’t take well to Fonzie’s “requests” to play–not that I blame them, as he enjoys the pounce method of asking.  Luckily Fonzie isn’t a super-alpha type, and will easily back down the instant somebody gives him what-for when he Bothers Them.

He seems to have some of the most interesting sleep poses!  He could probably sleep through an explosion, too, so long as you don’t pick him up–in which case he simply shifts around to hug you, and if you don’t hold him very still, playtime begins again.


Meow’za is a short-haired black house cat with green eyes, born in 2003.

She came to us after she’d been hit by a car.  She was only maybe four to five weeks old, and an owner was never found–she was probably a stray.  The lady who rescued her took her to a veterinary hospital that was considerably over-priced, and quite obviously more concerned with their profit than the care of the creatures brought to them.  They’d wanted this good Samaritan to fork over more than three thousand dollars to perform surgery on the kitten, whose hip was broken in three places.  A set of the most horrible x-rays we’d ever seen, a poorly bandaged leg (the bandage extended to twice the length of the kitten’s leg!) and a single night’s stay had our friend’s bill already over eight hundred dollars–all for rescuing a stray!

We once had a cat who had to be “re-plumbed” (a male with very serious urinary tract problems, who needed surgery to basically become female in that one area–or else be put down) that only cost us nine hundred dollars–total, that’s surgery plus medicine and further checkups!

We were completely scandalized, and insisted our friend let us deal with the kitten from then on.  Our veterinarian re-bandaged the kitten’s leg properly, gave us pain medication for her, and restrained herself from saying things inappropriate for polite company over the atrocious excuses for x-rays.  She said surgery was not necessary; the kitten’s bones would heal just fine on their own, (and fourteen years later the cat has no problems).  After two more visits, our veterinarian bill (with our serious multiple-cat discount!) was a total of about $57.

At one point early on, as her leg had Meow’za pretty much incapacitated–we even had to hold her upright in the litter box!–we got creative, and put together a little wheeled cart-type thing of duct tape, dowels and casters for her to use to get around.  It even had a little “seat belt” so she wouldn’t pop out of it.  Not exactly the most artistic of creations, but she seemed to like it.  She could zip around in it pretty quickly!

She’s doing just fine now.  As a matter of fact, she’s doing better than some of our other cats, who have never had a serious injury (that we know of).  Once her hip had healed, we kept finding her balancing on the top edge of doors!


Neelix is a short-haired brown tiger male, with a sweet disposition–if a bit on the “alpha” side.

We brought him in from the barn in sub-zero weather one winter in the late ’90’s.  He crawled right into Mom’s lap when she went up into the hayloft looking for him, after we hadn’t seen him for a couple days.  We had no idea he was that tame!  He was starving to death, someone had apparently dumped him, and he found his way to our property.

He was a big help in cat-proofing our outdoor enclosure to prevent a feline Houdini from escaping.  It took nearly three years before we had the fence perfected so he couldn’t get out!  The little stinker was smart; he knew very well when we were watching him.  He’s the reason we added two feet of chicken wire (later changed to hardware cloth, with 1/4″ squares) to the top of our six foot fence, angled inwards at a forty-five degree angle, for instance.  We nearly re-named him “Spider-Cat” when we first him going straight up the wire.  He got onto our roof, one time!  Sheesh.

The day we finally got the better of him with the fence, he howled like his heart was breaking for three hours straight.  Then he sulked for the rest of the summer!  After that, Mom usually took pity on him during the summers and would let him out while she was working on the landscaping.   He was usually pretty good about giving her a “fly-by”–racing by her at top speed, to let her know he was near, without risking her taking him inside before he was ready.  He was usually going out to the barn to hunt up mice and sparrows, then he’d bring them back and munch on them under a convenient shrub about fifteen feet where she was working.  Occasionally he’d be reluctant to come in when she called, just before supper.  He figured out real quick that she’d then keep him indoors for a week straight, after a stunt like that; if he wanted to go out the next day, he had to get his little tail inside when she called “In!”

In 2016, Neelix started really looking his age of 19 years; he was starting to be hard to keep eating, he began dehydrating frequently; then bad diarrhea became a real problem, along with vomiting.  On top of that, he had the feline version of a bad cold, poor baby.  We were getting really concerned about the possible start of organ failure, but he pulled through, and with the help of a daily half slice of cheese the diarrhea has gone away.  By Spring of 2017 he merely had a bit of a sniffle.  He still needs hydrating every couple weeks, but our veterinarian taught me how to do that years ago, and keeps us supplied with bags and such as we need them.  Neelix is nowhere near as active as he used to be, which is entirely understandable, considering he’s the feline equivalent of in his nineties!