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Did you know what it means when a cat has a left ear tipped?

Managed Care

Derby-Cats-on-chair
Derby Cat on Chair

The notch signifies that the cat is part of a community of feral felines that have been spayed or neutered and are being cared for. They are part of a TNR (Trap/Neuter/Release) neighborhood program to trap, test, spay or neuter, vaccinate and release the feral cats back where they were found.  These cats are not your neighbor’s pet that goes inside and out.  They are feral or wild and belong to no one. 

When the cat or kitty is under anesthesia for surgery, a small portion of its left-ear is removed so that the cat colony care takers know that this cat does not need to be trapped again for this procedure.  It’s a good thing.  No new litters will be born and the cat can be returned to a closely managed cat colony.  So when you see a cat like this, it is healthy, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered, and well cared for.

Neighbors Helping Cats

Derby-Cat-Rose
Derby Cat Rose

There are pockets of people involved in this program everywhere and several are in New Bern.  Their purpose is to provide a life-saving solution to a cat overpopulation problem.  These cats live healthier lives than the strays that are left to fend for themselves.

I have seen the success of this program in my neighborhood through a group named Derby Cats.  They take the cats to Spay Today, Inc., a low-cost spay/neuter service in Greenville where $55 covers the cost of spay/neuter, rabies vaccine, and a 3 way combo vaccine (distemper).  Derby Cats also provides pre and post-op care, any necessary medical care, food, litter and transport all made possible by the generous donations from our neighbors.

During the process, some of the friendly cats are placed into foster care where they can be socialized and adopted into a home.  The ferals are released where they were picked up or, if that is not possible, are sought after as barn cats. 

To learn more about Derby Cats, become involved, or make a donation, please visit their Facebook page.


Meet: Dora – The One Eye Love

Meet: Dora – The One Eye Love

A traumatized kitten from a trash can coffee cup finds a home, health, and happiness.

What Was That?

It’s 3:00 am, and five-pound Dora is tearing around the living room, attempting to climb the blinds and curtains and everything else she knows is off-limits during the day. All that can be seen is one little eye glowing with glee as she speeds by. “Having one eye doesn’t slow her down a bit,” says Ben, who found her on the side of a busy road almost six years ago when she was only five weeks old.

A Rough Start

“She was hiding in an empty cup by some trash,” Ben remembers. He noticed her little head poking out and pulled over. “She ran right to me, meeping and crying.” Dora was in a rough shape, weighing only nine ounces and covered in fleas and scratches. She also had significant trauma to her left eye, which couldn’t be saved.

Dora the cat on the couch
Dora on the couch

Happily Ever After

Sweet Dora never seemed to mind the loss of her eye. She even tried to play with her stitches as soon as she came home from the vet after surgery. More recently, Dora’s job has been class mascot as Ben’s wife, Rachel, taught elementary school online. “Dora Zoomed with me every day. She’d walk all over the keyboard, sniff the camera, and twitch her tail when she heard my students talk. The kids loved it. She’d take a nap by the window to supervise.”

Hobbies & Habits

Dora’s hobbies include tackling her 17-pound older cat brother, Fluffy Ed, and napping with her more patient older brother, the Magical Mr. Mistoffolees. She also enjoys listening for the sound of a lid being removed from a rotisserie chicken container so she can roll on her back and beg by showing her fluffy belly.

~ Written by Rachel Donnelly

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TRUE TALES: Polly & Piper

TRUE TALES: Polly & Piper

Early this summer I received a call from Polly, a worried pet owner with a specific concern.  Her little beagle, Piper, needed to have surgery on her leg and Polly needed help with post-surgical care.  This care included bringing Piper in from the car on their trip home from the hospital and helping Piper go outside three times a day until she was able to walk on her own. 

Piper had had surgery on the other leg two years before so Polly already knew what to expect and how to plan for Piper’s comfort.  After discussing the details, I said, “Sure, we will be happy to help.”  Polly was so relieved that she scheduled the surgery after our phone call and called me back with the dates.

Recovery Plan

Fortunately, Piper proved to be a cooperative patient.  She was always happy to see us and did her business right on schedule.  The Crockett’s Critter Care team gently moved her from her resting area to the yard and back on each visit.  Initially, we carried Piper up and down the long ramp off of the deck and placed her gingerly on the ground.  She remained leashed to protect her from doing anything that might jeopardize her recovery.  As she healed, she was able to maneuver the distance from the house to the yard and back on her own.

We checked Piper’s incision regularly to make sure it was healing well.  When it was time for the bandage to be removed, we were able to do so without any fuss.  Piper’s progress was steady and uneventful – just what the doctor ordered!    It was gratifying and rewarding for us to be a part of Piper’s recovery and to see her walking on all fours. We love getting calls that are out of the ordinary.

Happy pet, happy home.  

Polly was appreciative of our help saying, “Cannot begin to express how grateful I am to Jeanne and her staff for the help they are to Piper and me. Wonderful.”

We believe that Piper will have a full recovery so she can return to the Beagle lifestyle that she was born into – sniff, stop, smell, roll, wag her tail, enjoy some treats, and gaze adoringly at her doting master.  

Summertime Pet Adventures

Summertime Pet Adventures

One thing I love about summertime – the days are longer. That means I can take my dogs out for an early morning and late evening walk when the temperatures may be a little cooler and the daylight is stretched to the limit. It’s good for them and for me. There are more hours to explore new places. I know people who take their dogs to the beach or the river on a nice day.

Park Place

I have found a new place close by to explore. It’s the Martin Marietta Park in New Bern. It’s still being developed and, sometimes, Davy and I have the park all to ourselves. Progress is being made with the boat ramp, restrooms and more. When this park is complete, it will have about 850 acres with activities for adults, children, and pets with forest, lake and river views. For now, even in the early phase of its development, it is pet-approved by Davy.

There is a 3.2 mile park loop that allows dogs on leash. Davy loves the exercise and the opportunities to sniff and smell. I love a good outing and the chance to see birds that I don’t get in my backyard. I can’t wait to see the birding activity that the fall migration will bring.

Short Leash = Safe Dog

When we are walking in the neighborhood, we spot a lot of squirrels, bunny rabbits, baby birds, and an occasional possum, or deer. I keep Davy’s leash short so he doesn’t have a snake encounter (they are out now too); I want to see exactly what is in front of his nose. My neighbor’s dog was frolicking in the park when she heard a yelp followed by her dog limping toward her. It turned out to be from a snake bite. If you have ever seen a dog swollen and whining in pain from a snake bite, you will think twice about letting your pup get too far ahead of you on the trails. A vet visit, pain meds, antibiotics, and time allowed her pup to fully recover.

On the Road…

Car rides are fun – now that they don’t always end up in the vet parking lot. Davy is happy to jump into his crate in the back of the SUV. An interesting side note: He knows by the direction I turn the car where he is likely to end up. When I drive him to school, he faces the back window; when we go to the park, he faces the front window. I can tell that he is happier going to the park!

Curious Kitties

Cats enjoy the summer too. They gravitate to their perch to watch the birds come to the feeder. Many of my clients have their feeders lined up with their cat trees by a window so the cats can get a bird’s eye view. Cats also love to find a sunny spot to snooze and summer provides them with comfy rays of sunshine almost every day. Kitties love to climb on the screen by the open window to get as close as they can to the flowers, animals, and scents on the other side.

Bird’s Eye View

I have a few clients who place their bird’s cage on the porch or patio on nice days so their birds can enjoy the scenery and the sun. I imagine that it feels good to a parrot, cockatiel, parakeet, and conure to have some wind under their wings and to hear our yard birds up close.

Staycations

Your caged pets like bunnies, hamsters, gerbils, lizards, and your indoor cats are best left inside to stay out of harm’s way. They can have a fully enriched indoor space with toys, perches, hiding places, boxes and games where they can play in a safe and healthy environment.

Summer affords us a lot of extra daylight and nice warm temperatures to enjoy with our pets both inside and outside.

DID YOU KNOW? Seven Summer Safety Tips for Dogs

DID YOU KNOW? Seven Summer Safety Tips for Dogs

Here are the essential things that you can do to keep your pet safe during the heat of the summer.  
1.  Learn the early signs of heat exhaustion: 

  • Excessive panting
  • Excessive or thick drool
  • Reddened tongue, inside ears
  • Red or pale gums
  • Glassy and/or red eyes
  • Anxiousness or restlessness
  • Reluctance or refusal to go on

2.  Shorter, slow outings at cooler times of the day are safer!
Exercise in small doses in the early morning or as the sun sets.

3.  Test the surface of the asphalt for three seconds: 
It’s too hot to touch with your hand, it’s too hot for paws.

4.  Provide room temperature water for your dog to drink

  • Bring it with you when you go outdoors
  • Give your dog plenty of chances to quench his thirst
  • Be sure the water bowl is always fresh and full at home, too

6.  Minimize sun exposure
Apply sunscreen made for dogs if needed.

7.  High humidity = Low Activity

  •  Find some shade, take a seat, and relax
  •  High humidity makes it harder to keep cool 

We believe that dogs need to get their paws on the ground for an adventure outside of the house. When you are unable to walk your pet yourself, our trained team of professionals is ready to step in and stroll. Let us help keep your pets happier and healthier.

For Fear Free professional pet sitting and dog walking, contact Jeanne Crockett, owner of Crockett’s Critter Care.

Happy Pet! Happy Home!