13.8.10

introducing: pony!


Well, we're keeping her! We brought this tiny kitten inside and have named her Pony (I don't know why -- it just popped into my head and I liked it). She came bounding over to me through the wildflowers when I called out to her yesterday, so I scooped her up and brought her in. Geoff built a pen for her in the spare room. We found a vet with more reasonable fees and she's off for her first shots and check-up later today (also the fees weren't explained well when I first went in to the other vet for an estimate -- they're spread out over time, not all at once).

It wasn't easy for me to rip her away from her family, and she cried loudly all night long, but I think that ultimately it will be best for her. The feral cat problem in Toronto seems to be worse than ever these days (also, we seem to hear some vicious cat fights every night, and between the abandoned building across the street and the park, there are so many passing raccoons and other beasts). Luckily she's sweet and snuggles right up to us so maybe she'll adjust quickly. She's sleeping at my feet right now.

I just hope that Oreo grows to love her!





REPLIES

Kate: Yeah, I can understand the sense of suffocation! I think sometimes I'm in denial about how much smog we have here, even when I have a hard time breathing outdoors.

Jane Flanagan: Haha, yes, there are some benefits to being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic for a few hours, I suppose!

Verhext: Ugh, I know. Silly brains! Shut up!

Siubhan: I can appreciate them both, but in general, yeah, I prefer the city. At one point I was merely living uptown and I felt so cut off from the rest of the world (which was ridiculous), so I can't imagine living in a suburb or in the country. I guess I have some kind of irrational fear of it.

michelle: Thanks! Yeah, the water was especially sparkly the next day, but I'd run out of film!

nice-etc.com / caitlin: Yeah, I think it's nice for a couple of days, but I couldn't spend too many days in a row "relaxing!" I think I'd go crazy. Oh, the cabin culture in southern Ontario is probably similar to other places... basically some people have these enormous cottages in the woods (sometimes they are bigger than their houses in the city). It's not something I grew up with so it's always a bit unfamiliar to me. I prefer a water slide park! Haha.

tschitschi: I would, but I like to think that if I had been in the city I would have been productive in some way (and if I wasn't productive, I would have felt bad!). I've never been a big Patti Smith fan (musically), but the book was well-written and the story was fascinating. It's mostly about Robert Mapplethorpe, who was a very compelling figure! It took me one day to read, so it's quick.

Rachelle: It's really great! The colours are amazing. Plus the colours of the camera itself are also amazing!

Nedda Ebo: Ha, thanks! I like "more fun" too.

hellojenuine: Aw, I'm sorry! I don't want to sound ungrateful! But I guess my ideal days outside of work involve being in the city.

sarah: I love it too! This camera is so good at it. I loved the flare in your lookbook! I think about it sometimes, haha.

hila: Thank you! And yes, I agree.

heleen: Thank you! Yes, it is a very beautiful place. Water makes everything so pretty.

stephanie renee: In the fall, oh man, there's nothing I want more than to live in a farm house or something like that... but I know that if that were to happen, I probably wouldn't enjoy it.

Sarah: Haha, I laughed!

oaklandetsuko: Oh, I hope you can get one! It's a very lovely camera. Luckily the price is modest, too!

Gillian: I really liked it! I thought it was well written, and pretty classy (no gossip and things like that). Now I'm pretty intrigued by Mapplethorpe and would like to learn more about him. I'm lucky that I've traveled to a few beautiful spots in my life, and even though I don't like extreme heat, I love all the colours and flowers in those places!

55 comments:

  1. AAAAAAAAAAHHHHH! Pony is adorable! I'm glad she has a nice home and good people to live with! I'm so happy for you all!

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  2. oh so cute! i love that she is black white and ginger! i've just posted new pictures of my 6 kittens. I have to give 5 away in a months time, I will be devastated!

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  3. She's cute! How could Oreo resist?!

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  4. I think you did the right thing :) it's a shame you couldn't take the entire family, but you've given Pony a chance to have a loving home and a lovely life. I wish there were more people like you in the world.

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  5. Ohmygoodness! Too cute!

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  6. awww, what a sweet face. i hope oreo loves her, too!

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  7. Aw, she is adorable!! And I love the name pony!!

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  8. She is so sweet and fuzzy! And obviously really lucky to have you for a... mum!

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  9. She's so precious!

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  10. Oh man! Reading about Pony makes me want to get another kitten. But I can't have three cats. I just can't.

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  11. Oh my goodness, she's adorable! I bet you all will have a lot of fun!

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  12. Pony, what a great name.

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  13. betsy13.8.10

    If you have trouble getting Oreo to like her, I hear using catnip works. I wish I could adopt a cat, I feel bad for the feral ones, and hate hate people who think it's OK to just abandon them.

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  14. She is so adorable!

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  15. Hi Pony! She's so adorable!

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  16. she's just beautiful. lovely name too!
    & don't worry, you didn't sound ungrateful! most times when i escape where i live is to go see another city, cities are great. but hopefully once either my boyfriend or i can drive we can escape & soak up some nature too.

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  17. Welcome to the family, Pony! A perfect name; I wish you all a sweet life together :)

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  18. pony pony pony! lucky ducky kitty!

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  19. I'm so happy for you all! When I was a toddler pretty much the same thing happened to my parents; we used to visit this farm pretty regularly, and a feral cat that lived in the woods nearby would come and beg for food from us. My parents, who have always been big suckers for cats, got in the habit of bringing a can of cat food every time we went there. Then, one day, the cat jumped up on our car and refused to get off, so my parents brought him home. It was only when they took him to the vet that they discovered that the cat was riddled with bullets, presumably from hunters. They were too close to the hip joint to remove, but the cat (whom we named Sebastian) wasn't in much pain from it and lived with us happily for 10 years. He was the sweetest cat I've ever met.

    I wish you and your new kitty a wonderful life together. I'm sure she'll be much-loved!

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  20. oh, i hope oreo takes care of her like she's her little sister.

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  21. oh, welcome Pony!
    I do love her name Anabela,
    it sounds so nostalgic and sweet.

    And I'm happy for her,
    she's a lucky kitten,
    what a nice family to live with! ♥

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  22. So sweet!!! I hope that she settles in well with Oreo.

    So there are many feral cats in Toronto? I had no idea! I've never seen a feral cat in my part of the world, it must be heart breaking for cat lovers :(

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  23. She's so damn cute! I love when kittens are that age where their walking, eating, and sleeping is so unbeleivably cute to watch and laugh at. and Pony seems like just the perfect name for her :)

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  24. well done...you did a really wonderful thing..and what a cutie pie she is!

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  25. She's the sweetest – it sounds like she was made to be your cat. I don't think I've ever seen a puss with such cute markings either.

    I had a fairly feral cat once upon a time, who was just older than kitten age when we adopted him – he was very sweet, but incredibly jumpy. It sounds like you have taken Pony in just early enough to avoid that sort of thing. Looking forward to more sweet pictures!

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  26. Yikes, cutest cat ever!

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  27. awwwwwwwwwwwww, she is SO adorable! I hope she adjusts to your home quickly!

    and that is really horrible, that there is that much of a feral cat problem in Toronto...I remember hearing a few cats outside my apt in Brooklyn when I lived there, and the few times they would fight with one another, and I always felt so bad...I wish my allergies would have let me do something for them!

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  28. Man, she's sweet! Congrats! (Great name, too!)

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  29. Pony is very dear. Congratulations on the newest addition to your family.

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  30. Anonymous14.8.10

    Are her family also feral in your garden? Would it not have been better to try to keep them together rather than rip her (your words) from her family? Im not judging and maybe I misread but it just sounds rather horrific to me.

    She is beautiful, and Im sure she will be well looked after, it's just a shame she couldnt be well looked after at such a young age, along with the rest of her family.

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  31. Any time ANY cat can get a home, it's good. I was just reading an article about the overpopulation of pets, it's crazy. So many animals are killed every year because ferals are left unspayed/neutered.

    She will adjust to her new family, and has a MUCH higher chance of survival being in your home. Of course you can't adopt every cat (though I wish we could!!!)

    Ask your local ASPCA about catching the rest of her family and spaying them, then trying to find them homes, or catch & release?

    She's so, so adorable. Congratulations on new kitten babies!

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  32. Shin Ae14.8.10

    She's absolutely adorable. I just want to snuggle her (despite my terrible cat allergy!). I hope you enjoy her so much! Congratulations!

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  33. Hello Anonymous,

    I didn't write about the situation with the others because it is a source of stress for me. When I used the word "ripping," it was meant to convey the anguish and guilt that I felt, even though I knew that what I was doing was ultimately for the best. I didn't take this cat because she's cute. I didn't want another cat, because I don't know how my 7 year old cat will handle this.

    I still think it is better to have one kitten indoors, away from her family, healthy & reasonably happy, than to let her live outside where her average life span will be two years. I'm sorry if you think that what I have done is horrific. These are domestic animals who are living outside. Canadian winters are pretty brutal. The idea of these cats outside in -30C/-22F degree weather is MORE horrific to me. If Pony's mother isn't spayed, next year she will have another litter of kittens and she will forget all about this litter. You can't anthropomorphize cats.

    Geoff and I have been in contact with nearly every rescue group in Toronto this week. Most of them are so overwhelmed that they haven't responded to my emails or phone calls. One group asked me to have friends and family "share the load," and that is the ultimate message from these groups. I took this kitten because she is the only one of the four who is not terrified of me. The others are, even when I bring them food (when I made the video of them that I posted the other day, they came closer because they were STARVING, and they have not come so close since). The mother is even more terrified, and runs away when she sees me at my second-floor kitchen window. Toronto's Animal Services and our OSPCA are not no-kill shelters. If they take in these animals, they will euthanize them if they deem them to be "untameable." I have been researching this all week.

    I was told by the rescue groups and by the vet that this is the best age at which to take them away from their mothers (six weeks) and to socialize them. I weighed the costs of bringing in four kittens and caring for them indefinitely, but there is NO WAY that I can care for five cats total. Never mind that catching the rest will be very difficult. I have also been in contact with a trap/spay-neuter/release program that has just started up in Toronto, but to do this for the mother, I will have to take a workshop and learn how to do it properly, by myself. It is a very nerve-racking and scary thing. Even the program coordinator has told me that she understands my fear. If you've ever seen an adult feral cat in a trap, you know why I'm afraid.

    Geoff & I are doing our best. I have registered the colony through feraltoronto.com, I have sent countless emails and have made many phone calls, I have been trying to meet the needs of this tiny kitten, when I have limited financial resources. I have arranged for a foster for when I CAN catch the other three. I have received quite a lot of well-intentioned but ultimately unhelpful advice from people who have never been in this situation. My neighbours are doing nothing at all.

    If you would like to discuss this further or if you have direct assistance that you can provide, please feel free to email me.

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  34. Well said, Anabela! Baby kitties (that are old enough to be adopted) always seem to have a rough night the first night they are away from their mommies...they adapt so quickly however! I'm so happy you were able to give Pony a loving, healthy home! I was told yesterday by my local organization that mommy kitties can go into heat while they are still nursing and can repeatedly go into heat until they get pregnant (unlike dogs). "They are quite the breeders" she said. I think it's incredible that you are trying to save the rest of the family and get the mother spayed. Bravo!

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  35. Excellent response AB. You are working so hard and many of us readers and friends know how hard this has been on you and Geoff.

    Just to accentuate the point to the anonymous commenter "You can't anthropomorphize cats." Cats are not family oriented animals and the mother/siblings will all leave each other very soon. In no way is this "horrific", little Pony will have lots of love and company in her new warm home.

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  36. you're doing everything while everyone else does nothing. that alone is amazing. you're doing the right thing. <3

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  37. Aww, girl. I wish we could afford to take one! Also, kittens are so much work. But Pony is so cute and I'm sure Oreo will learn to love her. Fingers crossed!

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  38. Great response to the anonymous comment. You're doing so much more than most would and it's so unfortunate that the situation in Toronto is so bad. Take care. xo

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  39. This kitten is so adorable! Pony is a super cute name too.

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  40. she is such a cute kitty

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  41. Bravo to you, Anabela. My heart hurts for your anguish (and for the kitties of course). If I lived anywhere near you, I'd be there in a second to help with the other feral cats in your backyard. Sending you positivity and a hug, from NYC.

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  42. so cute! god luck with her.

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  43. too cute! she's about the size of my little lion when I first got him, but he's so big now!

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  44. sooo cute !!!Pony is such a cute name too and I'm sure it was the best for her, wish all the best with this new kitty around, fall is going to be warmer :)

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  45. I think it's great that you're taking this little one in. There are too many cats and dogs out there in the world to not give the strays and SPCA residents another chance. She's adorable.

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  46. Pony is a delightful name for a kitten! Animals can be very expensive, but they are such nice company that it is always worth it. Have fun with Pony!

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  47. Pony is a perfect name, so cute.

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  48. pony is such a lovely kitten!
    we do what we can, and giving her a comfy home is a great thing.
    i've recently discovered your blog and just want to say Hello.

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  49. pony is beyond adorable!

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  50. oh my gosh - she is SOOOO adorable!! if the boyfriend weren't allergic to cats we'd definitely have a kitty in our apartment too. sigh!

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  51. what a sweetie, she's beautiful! Our two cats were both feral (brothers) and I still occasionally feel guilty about taking them from their home, but I know they're much better off. Maine has a similar cat problem, it's frustrating and makes me sad.

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  52. your sweet pony is adorable. i wish i had my own space so i could raise a kitty.

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  53. I also think you did the right thing. She needed to be with her Mom the first 6 weeks or so, but now she is old enough to be in adoptive home.

    My husband and I did the same thing with our first cat. A friend had a feral cat who brought kittens under her porch. We took the kitten that was the most tame. She adjusted very well, and spent her first day with me curled up on the couch. At night, she stayed in our laundry room with a bed, which I think made her feel safe. She was a little older when we took her (maybe around 12 weeks), and she took to us right away. She is 3 now and the sweetest and most loving cat I have ever seen. She insists on being held.

    Good luck with your new addition...she is adorable. I also wanted to let you know about Alley Cat Allies, an organization that promotes the humane care of feral cats, but I'm not for sure if they work in Canada.

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  54. I'm sorry to go on a rant, but Anon, that was an ignorant, pointless comment. I understand that the situation might sound horrible or unfair, but anyone who's lived with both indoor/outdoor and wild/semi-wild/feral cats knows that taking a kitten away from its mother, while it sounds harsh, is absolutely the best thing to do if it means a better, longer, healthier life for him or her.

    On my family's farm, there are a handful of cats who either I or my parents could never quite tame--whether because we couldn't catch them when they were young or we didn't have enough spare time to properly look after them or, occasionally, because they just refused to be tamed (some cats are just like that.) It breaks my heart to see what a difference there is between the quality of their lives versus the cats that live indoors at the house. I feel like I've failed each and every one of them. They get in fights, they have to live outside in the cold, wet and snow, they get sick, and even though my family does everything they can to improve their lot in life (including feeding them twice a day), it can be very hard to take proper care of them when they are too wild to catch so we can give them medicine or clean them up.

    There is no doubt in my mind that, given the proper resources, Anabela would take every single one of those kittens, plus their mother, into her home. But what is she supposed to do? It breaks my heart every time I see cats for adoption or in shelters, because I want to take all of them home and love them and care for them and give them the best lives possible--but I can't do that, I don't have the space, the time, the money, any of it. So I drop a few dollars into a donation jar and hope for the best. Anabela is already doing more than most of us by taking in even one of these kittens.

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