Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Eli says:

Eli says he likes not having foster kittens.. more Momma time.. More belly rubs (but she better not pick at my eye goobers, I hate that)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Vacancy at Casa de Gato, or the sad sad tale of Happy Bear

And once again the kitten room is empty. This batch was only here while they needed medical treatment and when they stopped blowing snot bubbles almost immediately and healed up quickly, they started becoming overly rambunctious and started trying to sneak past me when ever I walked in the kitten room. I tried to return them last week but there was 'no room at the inn' as it were, and when I got an email on Friday saying they could come back, Cattius Finch had a bit of goop in his eye.

I held on to them to see what would happen, but it cleared up so yesterday afternoon I brought them to the shelter. Someone contacted me about potentially adopting one or two of the kittens, but no further contact was made on that front, so they have gone back to the shelter to wait for their people to show up. They are lovely kittens and while they aren't the most open to new situations, they are far and above others that I have had, so I am sure they will do fine.

I was a little concerned that they weren't going to be able to take them back, since they just imported 70ish animals from Georgia, but they had reserved me a cage. They will go up for adoption before they are neutered, and neutered before they go home. I wish them well.

So there is a vacancy at Casa de Gato, I do not know how long it is going to last. There is a potential cat sitting request from a friend, but we still need to wait to see if that is going to pan out. If it does, it will happen August 11th, and that doesn't seem like enough time to take on more kittens. If it doesn't then I'll throw my name back in the hat and hope something comes up. I might even offer my room up to one or two different rescues in the area if they have need. This week is probably going to be a bit slow.  I have a few housekeeping posts to put up, I also have some general housecleaning to do thanks to kittens, as well as Jack and his inappropriate elimination and Muffin dealing with a hairball as well as an ant invasion I can't seem to eliminate..

Friday, July 25, 2014

Emily LIckinson

Emily Lickinson has some very interesting facial markings, making her face look like she's all grumpy even when she's purring and happy.  She quite often looks like she is giving you the stink eye, when really all she wants is for you to pat her, and if you could do it with both hands, all the better.

"Sadly" the kittens are still with me through the weekend - and who knows how long. I keep telling the shelter they are ready to go back, but they are full since they have been importing kittens from down south. Which is nice and all, but these kittens deserve to get in front of adopters too..

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Interview with a Fosterer - Robin A.F. Olson

Today I've got another great interview for you. I contacted Robin over at Covered in Cat Hair and founder of Kitten Associates to see if she might have some spare time (ha ha ha) to participate in my series, and I was very fortunate that she said yes!


Introduce yourself and where do you hail from? 
I’m Robin A.F. Olson and I’m a Graphic Designer, Cat-Blogger (www.coveredincathair.com) and I run a non-profit cat rescue. I live in Sandy Hook, CT (yes, “that” Sandy Hook).

What rescue group, shelter or sanctuary do you foster for?
I’m the President & Founder of Kitten Associates, a non-profit home foster mjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj%?*(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((;[[[[[[[[-=]63333333333333333333333333based cat rescue (my cats get on my keyboard when I’m not looking). I’m also the main foster home for my rescue.

What kinds of animals do you normally foster? 
Cats and kittens from high-risk situations like friendly strays that are pregnant, or kittens from kill shelters. I do work with cats that have behavior problems, terminal illness and disabilities, as well. I don’t do TNR or work much with ferals. I don’t think I’m good at that. I’m a good faux cat mom to kittens or a great support to mama cats.

How did your adventure being a fosterer begin?
 It’s been so long…gee…I offered to help a rescue with a kitty named Taz who was a miserable wreck. He’d been living in a junkyard for a long time and looked terrible. The Vet told us his fur would never grow back. My ex-sister-in-law ended up adopting him and he blossomed into the most amazing fluffy creature. He lived a very long, well-loved life.

How do you keep yourself from becoming too attached to the fosters you help?
It’s a fallacy that any of us have the power to not become attached to our foster kittens. Putting a wall around your heart is impossible, especially when you have a sick kitten you have to rehabilitate. The key is to remember that to do your job right, your only task is to prepare that animal to be adoptable. Once you do that, it’s time for that animal to find their forever home. That cat is not going to be loving towards its family if you don’t show it how to love. You should love them deeply and trust in the cycle of letting go, then starting anew with another cat/s. Yes, there are very sad days, sometimes there are tears, but I always say I would rather cry from missing them than from knowing they didn't live because there were no foster homes. After doing this for over a decade I can tell you there are lots of kitties whose names it takes me awhile to remember and they were the same ones at one time I cried about when they got adopted. There are a few I wish I hadn't let go of and there are still a much smaller number who never left, but only because I have the space and ability to care for them appropriately.

I wish people would stop being afraid of feeling heartbreak over kittens leaving. It’s probably the biggest obstacle of finding good foster homes and it means many kittens will die—that’s a heartbreak I can’t bear.

What is most frustrating for you as a foster? 
I don’t find fostering frustrating. It’s a lot of hard work. It can be long hours. You can’t take a day off from it unless you have someone who can cover for you. Maybe cleaning up kitten plops when they are learning their litter pan manners is annoying some times, but they are so much fun it’s worth the extra scrubbing.

What is most rewarding? 
It’s a tossup between being able to say “screw you” to the Grim-Kitty-Reaper because I’ve rescued cats right before they were killed or lost their lives due to the horrific conditions they were suffering in and having the honor of helping kittens become confident, grow strong, have a sparkle and joy about them because they never had to know a bad day or cruelty. I’ve often been told that our kittens are different than ones at other rescues because I spend a lot of time with them and because we spend a lot on appropriate nutrition and vet care. I’m VERY proud when I see our kittens running into a room, their tails held high, ready to love and be loved.

What experience moved or inspired you the most? A few years ago a family lost their 21 year old cat at a local diner when they had stopped to get lunch while on a trip to Maine. I joined a search for the kitty who was deaf and nearly blind. We set up wildlife cameras, feeding stations, nothing. No sign of the kitty. On the fifth day, the day we knew he would die if he didn't get help, I got up at 6 AM. Something in my heart told me to go back and look again and to hurry! I went back to the same area. I heard a branch fall. I looked…and sure enough there was Chester, almost lifeless under a tree. He was in very bad shape and I told him not to die as I ran with him back to my car. Chester somehow recovered enough after five days of intensive care to be reunited with his family. He lived another six months and passed away on Christmas surrounded by love. I will never forget Chester for the rest of my life.

Do you have pets of your own? How do they respond to the foster animals?
Anyone who fosters ends up with a cat or two. I have a “blended cat family.” Some are mine and some are my partner’s. They sometimes accept fosters and some times they will exhibit some inappropriate behaviors. It’s a tough balance to keep everyone happy which is why I try to have some slow periods so I have more time with my own cats and fewer fosters.

What advice can you give to someone who might be wanting to become a foster?
Do it. You've got to get past the fear of the pain of having to let the cat go. Usually you only foster for a few weeks to a few months so how attached are you going to get? You are literally saving their lives by offering to lend a hand. Our rescue needs foster homes so badly and they are nearly impossible to find. I have two foster homes I rely on and it’s taken me four years to find the second one we just added.

When you are not saving animals what do you like to do? 
I don’t really have any downtime, but I recognize I need to start adding some non-foster time to my life. If I did have time I would go on a road trip, discover a new place to eat (I’m a “Foodie”), go to the movies, visit a flea market or do my job as a Spotter for the National Weather Service—probably things most people take for granted, I rarely have time for and appreciate when I DO get a chance to do them.

And now the questions from Inside the Actors Studio:
  What is your favorite word? Cabbage or RESCUED!
  What is your least favorite word? Euthanize
  What turns you on? Um…foot rubs?
  What turns you off? People who don’t spay or neuter their pets.
  What sound or noise do you love? Purring
  What sound or noise do you hate? Pastels on Paper (yeah, I’m weird)
  What is your favorite curse word? Fu@k! (because it’s so very versatile)
  What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Stand Up Comedy
  What profession would you not like to do? Be the “Grim Reaper” at a Kill Shelter
  If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “I’m proud of you. You did right by me.”

Monday, July 21, 2014

Dancing Kittens

These four really do like to play, and they like to fly through the air after cat toys. Before we get to the photos though, I do want to share that they have names.  Amy shared a link with some punny cat names based on literary characters and I challenged her to come up with names, so with out further ado, may I introduce:
 Catticus Finch - boy
 Emily Lickinson - gray girl with white
 Jane Clawsten - gray girl
 Katniss Everclean - black girl

and now, watch them fly..

Friday, July 18, 2014

Former Foster Friday -Maxwell and Ducky (formerly Faraday)

Since Maxwell and Faraday found their home through social media, I have been blessed to be able to see photos of them, and their mom messages me from time to time on how they are doing. I must admit their adjustment went far better than I expected it to be.  I can only do my best for them while they are here, and they took so long to 'turn' into friendly cats that I feared going into a new home with other cats and a dog would give them a huge setback.  I really need to learn to trust in the kittens.. they really are like little rubber bands in more ways than one.

Faraday's name didn't work well with his new family, so they spent some time and came up with a new one for him that works, and he is now Ducky.  I can't say I'm displeased with that since I love rubber duckies, I like Ducky from Pretty in Pink and from NCIS. However Ducky got his name from the Dinosaurs movies.. Yup, can't disagree with that choice in the least.

I recently asked their mom to write up a little update so I could do a "Former Foster Friday" post for them.
Maxwell and Ducky, formerly Faraday, have come a long way in the past month. Starting out they were very shy and spent most of their time under the couch. They would come out for meals, and we could coax them out with toys, but the rest of the time they were out of sight. Moving from their special kitten suite into our home with a curious boxer and 2 older brother cats was a bit overwhelming.

But with time, they gained confidence and together took over the house. They have turned out to be very loving kitties. Maxwell goes from lap to lap in the evening so we all have a chance to give him some attention. And Ducky climbs up and head butts us to get out attention, purring while he does this. They're great buddies, playing, exploring, and sleeping together. They are a wonderful addition to our family here on the island.

It's been a while since we've had a pair of kittens. These are the first 2 that actually came with instructions in the packet from the shelter. The boys have gotten very accustomed to having 4 square meals a day, and are the hungriest cats I've ever seen. Maybe it's because of their rough beginning and not having their mom around for long. They wait on the mat in front of the stove next to the cat bowls, and as soon as I make a motion to fill their bowls, they're talking and pacing and practically tumble over each other as I put the food down. And Ducky still growls when he eats. Once their bellies are full, they'll settle down and nap. They're on the lookout for a sunny warm spot to crash, on the table or arm of the couch. Inevitably one will wake before the other and start licking the other just before the biting starts, leading to a wrestling match. They are live entertainment for the rest of us.

after first meeting the dog
meeting other local wildlife
Brothers, they are good for laying on
basket of dog toys
Taking a nap after their vet visit

Looks like these two are inseparable.  I am so very glad they are doing so well. They did move on to an island off the coast of Maine. A vet comes round once a year for annual check ups, and there are vets on the mainland if something pops up, like kitten check ups, they just have to take a ferry ride (oh I can so picture my cats singing the song of their people while on the ferry)

Thank you Kathleen, for sharing them with me, and with us.

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