Saturday, March 13, 2010

The iron monster ...

HUBBY submitted a letter to the editor to our local paper and it says it all below.

Kitten traumatized by steel leghold trap.

About four weeks ago a large, beautiful, solid black year old kitten showed up at our house ... so friendly you wouldn't believe it, and he loved to be held. It was during that terrible, terrible frigid weather, and we fixed a weather-protected box for him on the front porch with a comfortable, large old blanket inside to keep him cozy. If we had kept him in the house our territorial indoor cat would have torn him to pieces.
Then he turned up missing for about two days. We thought possibly someone else had taken him in. One evening, late, I went out on the porch with a flashlight to look around his box. He was there by the door of his box - his leg crushed in the steel jaw leghold trap that he had dragged with him from who-knows-where.
His odyssey through the woods in the dark night must have been excruciating-and here he was, trap and all , back to his newly-adopted home, pleadingly looking up at me in the rays of the flashlight, with that ugly monster still imprisoning his leg.
He was lucky that he was able to break the trap free from its station. I have heard that sometimes an animal will chew off it's own foot in order to escape. I called for my son immediately, and between the two two of us we got the strong jaws apart, freeing him once again. His leg was useless then, though he tried to hobble on it.
I took him to the vet the following day, and the x-ray revealed that his leg was luckily not broken but traumatized. The vet said that his leg would probably eventually heal, but to watch it. She gave him a shot of antibiotics. At this point he is doing well, and has pretty much full usage of his leg, as far as I can tell.
The "iron monster" is still on the table on the back deck, reminding me, first-hand, of the cruelty of this machine. If you're going to kill small game at least have the decency to shoot them. I think that this instrument of terrible suffering should be banned.

Signed: D.G.

Pictured below is the "iron monster"...if you click to enlarged you can still see a few of our new cat's fur. Getting trapped with this ought to hurt bad, don't you think? I'm not against trapping and/or wildlife management; I fully understand about the importance of restoring balance to nature but there should be a better and safer tool to restrain target animals...what if our new cat was not able to free the trap from its place?...he probably froze to death because it was zero below most nights that week...poor guy.

A while ago, I blogged about our very territorial cat, Oreo here ... as you can hear, Oreo was really hissing at Guy that is why we can not let him in. (our son named our new cat Guy, I would have preferred Inky but I was the one who named Oreo, so I let him.)
What to do, what to's too late to bring Guy to an animal shelter; we fell in love with him!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

2010 Robotics

GOOD DAY my friends ... I'm back! Between being busy and winter blah I did not feel like blogging ... but I'm a little inspired now; must be the nice weather we've been having lately, sunny and feels like spring! ... missed you guys!

Anyway, here's a bit of good news, the Naples Grapes of Wrath robotics team, where our son is a member, tested their robot last Friday and Saturday to compete against 50 other high schools around our area and all the way from Canada and Pennsylvania. I took Friday off, so hubby and I went to watch their competition. It was quite exciting!

The game for this year is a 3-on-3 soccer game. The field is divided by "humps", pictured below, with two goals at each end. Robots have to go over the humps or under a tunnel and try to make a goal. A few seconds before the game ends, robots gain bonus points for suspending from the tower in the center of the humps. I don't really understand all the rules and scoring system but it was still fun watching all those robots "play" soccer. :)

Our son, reading a book while waiting for their turn to compete... he looks tired. Their team spent the night in the city so they probably went to bed late.

When our son came home Saturday night, it was hard for him to contain his excitement; he was wearing his medal around his neck and proudly told us that they won FIRST place! Yay! All that hard work paid off ... they worked on their robots after school for six weeks, and there were times where he came home after midnight because they were building/working on their robots.
So, what better way to start my first blog for 2010 than this? ... pretty cool, huh?
Their team will now advance to the national event held in Atlanta, GA, during their spring break.

It's nice to be back! I'll come visit you soon ...