One of the pleasures we have in life is the privilege of taking care of a feral cat colony at the South Carolina State Museum and EdVenture. We have been feeding the cats there since before 2007. We named two of the most prominent male members of the Colony “Big O” and “Pippie”. O and Pip were always together. If you saw one alone, the other was guaranteed to be somewhere nearby. We described them as “the old married couple”. Those two, plus their Daughter, Grey, made up the core of the Colony of approximately 20 cats.
All that was forever changed on January 16 when “Big O” crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
O had been sick for a couple of months. We are fortunate to have several folks from DHEC looking after the cats during the day – and it was those folks who alerted us just after Thanksgiving that O looked down and was not eating much. We managed to get him to a veterinarian and return him to the Colony within a few days. The troublesome part was that he had tested FIV positive. While FIV is not an immediate death sentence, in the case of a feral, time is not on their side.
We and the DHEC folks kept a close watch on him and did our best to provide good food, shelter, and a warm bed. Sadly, he started to deteriorate at the beginning of the year and was found on a Museum sidewalk the morning of January 16. We are having him cremated and intend to sprinkle his ashes on a hill in the place where he, Pippie, and Grey were always found sunning themselves.
This has been extraordinarily difficult not only for Stoney and me, but for the folks at DHEC (who I understand are many) and also the folks at the State Museum (who have a funny story to tell). Seeing Big O and Pippie every day gave people a sense of constancy. We now have to work thru our grief and make certain that Pippie, Grey, and the other members of the Colony are well cared for – in honor of the man, Big O.
Made October 17, 2011,
this is the October 9 litter at 8 weeks.
Of course, we had to keep them until they were old enough
to be spayed and neutered before they go out to the farm -
which meant the middle of January, 2012.
Needless to say, they went nowhere since we gave them names -
Blackie, Jr, Arabella, Amelia, Lindberg, Doolittle, and Jacqueline ("Jackie").
Made October 9, 2011, this is a litter of six kittens
when they were about 7 weeks old.
These are kittens born to a mother cat that belonged to a neighbor.
They were in a pasteboard box on her front porch.
As soon as they were weaned, the mother cat moved them to our back yard.
The neighbor couldn't take the kittens in, so we kept them -
with the intention of re-locating them to the same farm
that houses the re-located ferals from the State Museum.
(yea...right...they're going to the Farm...)
A 2011 video of the feral colony maintained by Cheezefriend "Straycatz".
She has four in her colony at her home in Georgia.
They are Eeny (Eeny Bean), Meeny (Sphinxy),
Miney (Money Boy), and Moe (Lil Moe).
When she saw the story of our colony at the State Museum,
she asked if I could pull together a video of her colony.
She sent me the disc from her camcorder as well as a few still photos
and this is the result.
What, you may ask, is a "Cheezefriend"?
She is one of several folks I've met at a humor site called ICanHasCheezeburger.com.
The site has pictures of cats with funny captions and has
a growing social network of people who like cats.
It is also responsible for perpetuating
a type of pidgin language called LOLSpeak -
a language believed to be spoken by LOLCats.
The Bible is currently being translated into LOLSpeak
by the LOLCat Bible Translation Project.
City of Cayce House of Cats
1914 Memorial Drive
Cayce, SC 29033-1519
Phone: (803) 603-3385