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7 Things To Do If You Find Stray Kittens

Submitted by Gold River Cat Society via Care2.com:

It’s kitten season! For cat lovers this means pictures of friends’ newly adopted bundles of joy on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and whatever hip new social media sites I haven’t even heard of. But it also means stray fur babies who need help.

What should you do if you come upon kittens outdoors?

1. Assess the situation.

First investigate whether the young ‘uns are on their own. Their mother may be away temporarily to hunt for food, she may be hiding because you are there, or she may be moving the family, one by one, to cushier digs. Back a ways off, stay still, and watch. Give her some time — at least a few hours. If no mom appears, move on to #2 below.

If the mother shows up your action plan depends on whether she is a stray (a pet who has lost her home) or feral (a wild animal who wants nothing to do with you). It’s easy to tell the difference: try to pet her. If she won’t let you close enough for petting, try bribing her with food to get her within arms’ reach. To catch a stray mom, see #5 below.

If she is feral you’re looking at a TNR (trap-neuter-return) situation. Alley Cat Allies has a helpful guide to performing TNR. Keep in mind that kittens younger than eight weeks (here are some tips on determining a kitten’s age) should stay with their mother if at all possible; if they are in a safe location, they are best off remaining there with her. Bring them food, water and shelter (click here for a ton of shelter options).

If the kittens are more than four months old, don’t scoop them up and carry them off — they probably won’t take kindly to it. Treat them like feral cats (meaning they need TNR and not adoption) unless and until they prove otherwise.

2. Do you have time to do it right?

If you have decided they need to be taken in, consider how much time you have to give them. Stray kittens need more than food, litter and  toys — they also need you. Without a lot of positive human interaction the kittens won’t be adoptable and will have to go back outside when they are old enough and have been spayed or neutered.

Kittens younger than four weeks require special round-the-clock care. Do a gut check and make sure you are up to the task before committing to take them on.

3. Can you get the kittens spayed or neutered?

If you take them in, you will need to have your little charges spayed or neutered when they are old enough to prevent them from producing yet more kittens who need homes. They will also need vaccinations and possibly other veterinary services too. Can you afford all of that?

If you can’t, do you have access to veterinarians or organizations that can help? Some vets will reduce their fees when the patient is a rescue, and there are groups that will subsidize the costs or even pay them in full. Find out whether there is one near you.

4. Can you get the kittens adopted?

Unless you plan to keep all the kittens you take in you will have to find adoptive families. Here are some tips on how to do that. Are you willing and able to put in the time and legwork it will take?

If you have considered all these questions and decided that you can’t or don’t want to do what it takes, alert a rescue group to the kittens’ location. Petfinder has a tool to find an organization near you.

If you are up for the challenge, here are your next steps.

5. Catching strays, including the shy ones.

If you’re lucky the kittens will be friendly. See #1 above on how to tell whether a cat likes people. If they let you pet them you can pick them up and pop them into a cat carrier to take them home.

For kittens you can’t touch you will need a humane or “no-kill” trap, which is a cage with a door that shuts when an animal is inside. Before buying one look for a rescue organization that loans them out. Read Alley Cat Allies’ instructions for trapping cats.

6. Make them feel at home.

Prepare a somewhat small, quiet space for the feline family. It should have no hidey-holes that you can’t reach into — you will need to touch the kittens to socialize them, administer any medications, take them to the vet, etc. Create a cozy spot in their room or enclosure where they can retreat and feel sheltered, but make sure you can get a hand in there.

Supply food bowls, water bowls, bedding and litter. The litter box must be shallow enough for stubby little legs to climb in. Fill it with a non-clumping litter — kittens can ingest litter, and you don’t want it clumping up in their tummies.

Keep the tots warm, especially if they are orphaned. Wrap a towel around a heating pad (set it to the lowest temperature) or a hot water bottle. Kittens must also have space to get away from the warmth so they don’t get too hot.

7. Socialize the kittens.

Teaching kittens to love people is a gradual process. Some of them take to people quickly, but prepare to be patient with more reticent types. My favorite part of socialization is the last stage, which involves lots of petting, cuddling and playing, but you have to lay the ground work to get there. The Urban Cat League has a video and a written guide to socializing kittens. Alley Cat Allies offers a detailed how-to.

For more information on helping stray kittens, visit the ASPCA, Petfinder and Alley Cat Allies. The Humane Society has ideas about preventing overpopulation and reaching out to help stray kittens even if you don’t stumble upon any yourself.

Here’s to kittens and making sure they are all safe and sound!

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/7-things-to-do-if-you-find-stray-kittens.html#ixzz3TJcDTZdg

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Spring 2015 With The Gold River Garden Centre


The Gold River Garden Centre

-by Bridgite Messer

Has spring already sprung? Pineapple Express, El Niño, climate change….whatever it is, gardener’s can certainly take advantage. Just to be able to get outside this early in the year without a rain coat, or mitts and scarf, is very nice and there are many jobs that can safely be done:

  • Lawn Care – I won’t dwell on this topic as I have written on this many times, but just to remind you, applying lime to the lawn can be done regularly throughout the year, even now. It helps to raise the pH of our acidic soil, thus creating an unfriendly environment for moss to grow and helps the grass to utilize fertilizer, which can be applied once the lawn starts growing to the point that you need to mow. Also, bone meal can be applied to the whole yard. It provides a safe natural way of boosting phosphorous (middle number of fertilizer) in the soil. Gold River soil is typically low.
  • Pruning: February is the ideal month to prune. I have several maples in my yard that I like to keep a certain shape and size. This is an easy task. I have let them grow to the size I like and now each February I simply snap off the branches that grew the previous season. These are easily identified by a reddish tone where older branches look grey. Other than deciduous trees, many other plants benefit from early pruning – eg. Clematis and Roses. Evergreens are a different story. To be safe, just “Google” the variety that you have to be sure about the best way to prune. Don’t prune your Hydrangea! All the flowers for this year are already hiding in those dead looking branches sticking out of the ground.
  • General Clean up – For your curbside, this year’s clean-up will be easy. There is minimal sand on the roads so I hope you take a few minutes to sweep up what is there. A tidy street view is an important part of helping your yard, and your street, look its best. Raking and edging the lawn always helps too. Don’t go too crazy in the garden beds yet as dead material helps to protect any new growth from frost.
  • Many people are concerned about bulbs growing and plants budding too early. I always just let nature take its course. Gardening is about enjoyment, not stress. Maybe, something that you consider very special out in the yard might warrant extra effort if we do receive a forecast of a heavy frost after a warm spell. Just simply temporarily cover these plants with extra leaves or cover budding bushes with burlap or light plastic. Luckily, in Gold River, cold snaps usually don’t last very long and typically nothing too drastic results from an early spring. A favourite event in my yard is the early sign of winter ending offered up by the crocuses and other bulbs and I find that the biggest threat to them is deer, not frost, and they seem to always know when they are popping out of the ground! I start using rain-resistant Bobbex, a deer repellent that really works.

So this will be the fifth season for the garden centre. Each season has had a different focus with the intention of enabling Gold River to still have access to a large variety of plants despite only having a small garden centre. Most categories have already been covered, so I plan to start over, returning to Year One by bringing in a large order of trees and bushes. If anyone has any special requests, now would be a good time to let me know. (Until end of March)This order will probably arrive early in April (usually after Easter) with the bedding plants starting in the first week of May. The weather might change this schedule, but bedding plants don’t typically perform very well if they are planted too soon.

The 2015 seeds are in! They are located at the main store until garden traffic dictates to move them over to the garden centre. I’ve got something new for you this year: Sprouting Seeds! Home grown sprouts are up-to-the-minute fresh (they grow until ready to eat) and delicious. These are seeds that can very simply be sprouted right by your kitchen sink, up-to-the-minute fresh and eaten within about three days! Sprouts abound with antioxidants; they’re full of protein, chlorophyll, vitamins, enzymes, and minerals. And talk about good for you: ounce for ounce, they provide more nutrients than any other known whole food. I’ve been enjoying fresh sprouts for about a year and as your guinea pig, I can soundly tell you that it’s simple and fun, proving that you can enjoy them year-round in juices, smoothies, sandwiches, salads, soups and other dishes. The Sprouting Seeds come from West Coast Seeds and are certified organic: alfalfa, mung, broccoli, fenugreek, pea, sunflower, wheat grass…and more. I can teach you how to get started or you can easily learn from the tons of information on the internet. I found this little blurb onsproutlivinging.com that might inspire you to give “sprouting” a try:

10 Benefits of Eating Sprouts

  1. Protein: The quality of the protein from beans, nuts, seed and grains is increased when sprouted. Specific amino acids, such as lysine, can be found in higher quantities in sprouts versus full-fledge plants, allowing our bodies to grow and repair while maintaining a healthy immune system.
  2. Enzymes: Sprouts are estimated to have a hundredfold more enzymes than their raw, full-grown counterparts. Enzymes are proteins that help speed up biological functions and break down food.
  3. Chlorophyll: All sprouts are an excellent source of chlorophyll, the substance that gives plants their green colour. This green “plant blood” can detoxify and cleanse the body, oxygenating the blood. Chlorophyll can also fight and reverse protein-deficient anemia, treat skin disorders, and even protect against cancer. Chlorophyll can only be found in plant sources and is especially rich in sprouts.
  4. Fibre: Fibre is known to be present in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains, but when sprouted the fibre content is increased. Fibre keeps the digestive system functioning normally while maintaining healthy weight. By eating more fibre, you can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  5. Vitamins: You may have noticed a trend developing, but the vitamin content of plants is also at its peak during the sprouting phase. For example, the vitamin B2 content of mung beans increases over 500% after sprouting! Vitamins A, C and E are also known to increase significantly in sprouted grains, beans, seeds, and nuts.
  6. Minerals: The sprouting phase allows for minerals to merge together with the protein from the grain, seed, nut, etc., enhancing protein function and increasing the bioavailability of the protein and minerals, such as the electrolytes calcium and magnesium. This means that the nutrients are more easily absorbed into the body during digestion, making them more usable for maintaining healthy body function.
  7. Fatty Acids: Sprouts are a great source of essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6. Fatty acids help with a variety of bodily functions, such as regulating blood pressure, blood clotting, liver function, and more. These essential fats cannot be produced by the human body and therefore must be consumed in food, resulting in most people being fatty acid deficient.
  8. Antioxidants: The antioxidants content of sprouts is very high and has many health benefits. Because of their ability to reduce oxidative stress, sprouts have even been researched as a beneficial dietary addition for astronauts, who are at risk of oxidative stress from radiation. Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals, which can damage cells and increase the risk of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease, and more. Sulforaphane, an antioxidant found in broccoli sprouts, has been researched considerably for its cancer-prevention benefits and is believed to help lower insulin levels and maintain blood-sugar content, reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  9. What They Lack: Most of the benefits of eating sprouts are based on increases in nutrients; however, what sprouts lack in comparison to full grown plants is just as important! For example, sprouted whole grains contain less starch while offering more vitamin C, protein, and carotenoids. Most importantly, wheat, barley and rye, all contain gluten, making them difficult to digest and dangerous to those with celiac disease. However, when harvested as a young, sprouted grass, such as wheatgrass or barley grass, these plants are gluten-free and safe to eat for those with gluten-intolerance when pure.
  10. Cost and Accessibility: Not only are sprouts affordable, but you can also grow them yourself! Home-sprouting will ensure that there are no pesticides, additives, or chemical treatments used on your sprouts, reducing the amount of harmful toxins you consume.
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VERY Early Spring= VERY Early Kittens

Via Gold River Cat Society:

The crocuses are up, other bulbs are sprouting, and the salmonberry bushes are budding. All this means we have an earlier Spring than last year’s, if you can believe that, which then means kittens could arrive earlier than usual.

If at all possible, please ensure that, if your cats are not fixed, they remain indoors. If you cannot do that, contact the Gold River Cat Society at 250-283-7606 to help you with your cat’s spaying/neutering.

This offer is open only to people who CANNOT afford to get their pets fixed. Some people availed themselves of this service last year without proving financial hardship and took money away from those who truly needed it. Because of this, we will need those who request our help to fill out a confidential application form and supply proof that they really cannot afford the fees. If they can pay for some, we ask that they pay for their cat’s inoculations, which are cheaper than the surgery. But since private pockets are still the source of funding until we get our charity status from the CRA, please have patience if you are on the waiting list.

BTW, if a person can afford to buy and operate a large pick-up, an SUV, or a higher-end car; buy liquor/drugs; and/or buy cigarettes, his/her application may not be accepted. But we will expect you to get your cat fixed!

We will also take in any unintended litters, so PLEASE don’t throw them away like trash. We would also like to be informed of any feral (wild) litters so we can socialize them and adopt them out. At that time, we’d like you to tell us their precise location(s) so we can trap and spay the mother (vet science had progressed to the point where Dr. Dave can spay a lactating female without drying up her milk).

Giving a voice to those we often do not hear,

The Gold River Cat Society

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Gold River Cat Society 2014

Via Gold River Cat Society

In 2014, The Gold River Cat Society accomplished the following:

Kittens- We had a total of 49 kittens, 4 of whom did not make it because of illness. Of the other 45, two were stolen from the store (theft reported to the RCMP and on social media but have had no progress), and the rest were adopted out through Bosley’s in Campbell River. We’re still in the process of fixing the last, which were our Halloween kittens (2 all black and 2 all orange/ginger) who were adopted out in early November.

Cats- The GRCS fixed 12 owned cats. We also adopted out 5 adult cats through Bosley’s in Parksville; 3 to the CR SPCA; 3 to Cat Span’s Barn Cat program in Oceanside; and 4 to Paw Prints, a rescue based in Gibsons that sends adoptables to Vancouver’s Animals in Action and unadoptables to a barn colony on a property in Kamloops. We rehomed 2 locally.

Village of Gold River/BCSPCA Grant- This year, the GRCS trapped approx. 26 feral cats for TNR’ing (Trap, Neuter, Return) based around the Gold Crest Apts and Larch Place. We’re awaiting formal confirmation of this year’s grant, which we hope will finish the purpose of fixing all the feral cats in town; however, we have trapped the “easy” ones and now must go for those who are trap-wary. Wish us luck.

We also provide food and water to the feral cats, and food and litter to people who cannot afford the supplies.

If you know of any abandoned or feral (wild) cats or kittens, please contact us at 250-283-7606. Speak clearly and give precise locations of the cats along with any other information you think necessary.

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