Day 290 – Stuart’s birthday!

Stuart

This is Stuart, he’s been quite the helpful little guy this past year and today is his sixth birthday!

Like Ashton, he was found just after he was born with an umbilical cord still attached. I had come home late in the afternoon and as I got out of my car I heard small screaming noises. It was getting dark and starting to rain, just like the day we found Ashton, so I ran around to the back yard trying to trace the sound.

Finally I stooped by a wall of ivy we have between our yard and our neighbors. Eight feet high and 30 or so feet long, its pretty formidable. The ivy grows between our two fences and that was where I pinpointed the noise. I had to snip a couple of wires, reach through and pull out a tiny, wet, screaming kitten. Since he was the first kitty we ever took care of I set him up like I’d set up a baby bird. Into a basket with lots of towels, a special light at one end for warmth and a hardware cloth cover. At the time we only had a couple of other cats, most of the ones that lived around us were feral. He was so tiny I named him Stuart Little, after a favorite childhood book : )

We started the every-three-hour feeding schedule and just hoped. He was a fussy little thing! He would scream when he was hungry and then bat the bottle away, even after his eyes opened. For as tiny a creature that he was it would sometimes take 2 adults to swaddle his limbs and get the food into him!

But we did, and he grew. He had a brother from the same litter so we named him George. His mom is the feral matriarch of the area that we did finally get trapped and spayed. They all still live around us, here they are today:

Mom and George

Mom is in back, George is up front.

We also have a special birthday treat for Stuart -

Stuart's party : )

Stuart likes pink so we pulled out this cloth for him. And yes, all my animals really do eat out of Fiesta dishes, except the bunnies since they would find a way to chew bits out of them. Today Stuart gets pink and grey to match : ) He also gets his favorite food:

Tiki cat

This is the cats favorite food (and I don’t own stock in the company but wish I did…) so he gets his FAVORITE of the favorites, the chicken.

Cat cake

Our version of a cat cake is some Tiki chicken with a frosting of salmon pate (not too much since its salty human food!). Chunk was the first one to check it out…

The Stuart hopped up to check it out…

And told Chunk he didn’t appreciate his nose in his bowl!

Chunk wisely decided to wait until Stuart was done, which usually takes about 30 seconds. Fine plan, but no one planned on the chicken…

The Pouff monster!

Pouff, our little Mille Fleur chicken, sensed treats so she hopped up! Chickens LOVE chicken, which seems odd to us but here is the photographic evidence : ) I took it away so she wouldn’t end up eating her weight in her cousins.

Stuart on a valance

Through the years Stuart has done the usual cat things, and he does have a fondness for heights. Here he is on the valance in my daughter’s bedroom.

Ouch! lip

He loved chasing small flying things until he caught a bee…and the bee kissed him : ) He didn’t like it : (

Stuart and the squirrel

One of the ferals used to bring me small furry creatures as some sort of gesture of love, we think. I didn’t mind so much about the moles and gophers, I figure any creature like that who comes into our yard with the chickens and the cats is probably a really good example of Darwinism in action. One day Quattro caught a young squirrel who was still alive but in shock. We brought the squirrel in the house to recover MUCH to the cats and chickens fascination. After a day or two everyone lost interest and the squirrel did eventually recover. My daughter named him Jeff and he lives in our yard to this day.

Gwen and Stuart

Here is one of my favorite pictures. Gwen was our greyhound, we adopted her from a rescue. We were told she was SO shy and hesitant that she might not make it. We kept her warm and loved and in time she grew to trust us and was a big goof ball at home and in her yard. She wasn’t animal reactive when they tested her but no one expected her to make all the other small furry creatures part of her comfort since Greyhounds are trained to chase a small furry object. She really does have her head across Stuart’s hind end and Stuart would seek her out when it was cold. He may never have know a cat mommy but I think we filled that void for him as best we could : )

Happy Birthday Sweetie guy : ) Let’s hope for many more!

Tomorrow – A Farm morning

76 days to go!!

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