Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Behold, the power of Happy Bear.. or not



I know that many people have been waiting for the joy that is a kitty on Happy Bear again. I would like to say this happened because I worked my magic and Happy Bear worked his and encouraged Darcy out of her hiding hole for some love, but that was absolutely not the reason.. so what was?


Poor Butters has been stuck in the bathroom since mid December because I am a pretty strict isolationist when it comes to kitties and I don't like mingling different litters (I know I know, I just did, didn't I - hey, I said pretty strict, not an absolutionist)

I was hoping that either Darcy or Butters would have moved on by now, but at this point I haven't heard anything about either one of them moving on. Butters is starting to show signs that the bathroom is simply not enough room for her so I thought I would open up the door and see what happened.

Darcy wanted to be friends in the WORST way. She was kind and gentle and did everything right. She meowed when Butters' back was turned to her so she wouldn't 'sneak up' on her, she walked low to the ground so as not to be threatening, she held back and waited and waited, following when Butters got too far away..


It was and is an absolutely beautiful thing to watch. I'm kinda loving Darcy all that much more for this. Butters, after investigating everything, tends to hang out with me on the couch (she likes playing with the hair scrunchies I've been using - which I'm not a huge fan of) and so Darcy has taken to coming up on the couch to be near her but not too near her.


Butters accepts that Darcy isn't going to go after her, but she is still not ready to be near her. This was as close as they were willing to get to one another without hissing. Darcy respects that and was waiting for Butters to check her out.  I was able to reach over and pet Darcy and we had a nice few minutes hanging out together.


Butters is completely unsure about all of this, and shortly after this photo she hissed and lashed out at Darcy so I decided it was time to end this. I do not leave them out together when I'm not around. I keep telling Butters that Darcy is good people and she needs to relax, but she doesn't believe me.. yet.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Darcy is still with us



Darcy is still here. She still enjoys eating my food and pooping in the litter box I clean for her, but she is still not a fan of me. I pull her out of hiding each time I visit and hold her until she calms and I scratch her neck and flank which she seems to like.

Some times I ignore her to see if she'll come out on her own. Sometimes she will, most of the time she won't. She enjoys playing so that will always pull her out. The other day she came out, walked toward me and hid in the box near the couch (see photo), which I took as a sign that while she still doesn't trust me, I've been promoted to benefit of the doubt.

And then last night...


She stays with me because I gently restrain her and redirect her when she starts to leave. After I've held her for a while, I stop redirecting and if she wants to leave I let it happen. Shortly after the above video, I had hoped she was happy enough to stay but she left just as soon as I gave her that option. It hurt a little that I couldn't convince her to stay, but I have to remind myself that not all cats are lap cats.

As much as I enjoy her here, it is beyond time for her to go. I hope her people show up soon

Monday, January 7, 2019

Meet Butters



Meet Butters. I was originally going to name her Berries, but when I tried to call her that I said Butters instead of Berries and it just kinda stuck. I was going with Sweet Cream Butter Milk but that was an obnoxiously long name.. Then I thought of Cream or some sort of Ice Cream, but I kept coming back to Butters.. so, as I said, Meet Butters!


Getting a good photo of her is not easy. She is extremely affectionate and wants to be in my lap or in my face or sticking her nose in my armpit or my cleavage. She likes to give what we have affectionately started calling "full Smedleys" although I haven't been in a spot where she could rub her entire body all over my face but I have the feeling she would if she could.


I received her mid-December. I didn't introduce her because there was the speculation that she might be pregnant. The vet thought she felt an enlarged uterus so I took her in and started feeding her well in hopes of kittens.


She eats well, very well, exceptionally well, downing four 3oz cans in a day if I would let her. And I did initially, hoping that she might be eating for six. She can eat a can of food and lick the bowl clean in under three minutes.





Turns out she is Fakey McFakerson.. (actually, she never said she was pregnant, so I suppose that is kind of a mean thing to call her) and we have no babies. I am fairly certain she went into heat for a couple of hours the other day, doing the rear foot shuffle and the 'broken tail' stance when I touched her behind - which she is not doing now.

She is an absolute love, I mean a "some people might return her to the shelter because she is too affectionate" absolute love.. I mean her name should probably be Bacon kinda love.. 😼

Not sure how much longer she will be with me as she should have no issue finding a home as she is very young and quite affectionate. Darcy has had a couple of inquiries but she is still here at the moment. Hopefully, she will be moving on soon and I can start contemplating paint colors for the kitten room. The yellow that is in there is nice but it makes it hard to get good photos. I'm considering a gray or mossy green. I'm also contemplating doing different colors so I can have options when taking photos. I have some climbing shelves to put up and a cabinet to put together for storage.

but you know I'd rather have kittens..

Monday, December 31, 2018

Tails from the Foster Kittens - 2018 a year in review


January:


This year started out, once again, without kittens. We had just moved to NH two months before and we were not settling into the house as well as we had hoped. It was a nice home, but it just didn't suit our needs. We had plans to renovate it but we were having a hard time getting anyone to help us with that and so we were quite frustrated.

I took some time to write a post about FeLV and I bought a new chair that I really like and I got a very good deal on. Yes, the blog was quite boring

February:


February was an incredibly slow month on the blog with just six posts and two of them being sponsored content. Fleurp started her spring molt a little early that year and looked quite rough for a while because she really hates it when I groom her.

March:


Things started to pick up in March. I shared with you how Jack liked to make me jealous when I was busy and couldn't pay attention to him. Twee had a dental and had a very bad reaction to the sedation so we are planning on never doing that again. I noticed a rather large lump on Eli - which is still there and hasn't changed so we are thinking it is a lipoma - since he has two others.

I tried to drum up some interest in this kittenless kitten blog by asking you which of The Crew you thought was the cutest and I ended the month with my annual "Make Mine Chocolate" post. I have owned two bunnies in my life and I love rabbits as pets, but they do have unique requirements and I think people should know about them before adopting.

April:


In April, Jack started shivering. I do not know if this was connected to what ended up taking his life in just a few short months, but I will regret not looking into this further. The vet wrote it off as his being an old man and it was very cold when he would do it. She was most likely right, but hindsight is never kind, is it?

This month I also went to Kansas City to go to BlogPaws. I was chosen as a Chewy influencer and they contracted with me to pay my way; my hotel stay and airfare. Unfortunately, I still haven't seen reimbursement for despite contacting them several times on this

I also wrote up a post about those little black cysts that cats get in their ears.. mostly because we were having issues with them.

May:


May finally saw kittens back on this kitten blog. Michaela came to me pregnant and gave birth here.

I also shared with you my trip to the Great Plains animal shelter (wow, not one post about Jack all month.. but there was one about Fleurp)

June:


June brought lots of cute kitten photos as well as the much loved "naming day" post.

One of the online groups I was in was having a huge debate over goat milk being an appropriate milk replacer for kittens, so I wrote a post about it. I have been using it for years and all of my kittens have been happy and healthy with great growth and weight gain and minimal if no diarrhea that many kittens suffer with when they are on commercial products. I was sold but so many people had been told there was no taurine in the milk (not true) or that there wasn't as much fat in it (which is true but there is more than enough) so the kittens would be undernourished in that regard (not true). People wanted facts, not antidotes so I spent some time pulling articles and contacting sellers of goat milk to get the facts so I could put them in one place so the next time someone told me emphatically that using goat milk was going to kill kittens, I could share with them the facts. .

Wow.. no Jack photos in June either, but there was a post about Twee and one about Skippy.. and I even updated you all on Fleurp's annual bout with anemia and how shaving her seemed to help.

July:


You know I was going there because this is the one post that still makes me laugh when I think about it..  The squirrel post came out better than I thought it would and I still love these collages of the kittens from birth until ten weeks .. it is rare that I have good headshots for all the kittens for every week they are with me, and considering the turmoil of the year I am thrilled I was able to get these.
I also announced that Michaela was leaving us to go and nurse another set of kittens that lost their mom..

I also found a photo of Jack that I uploaded but didn't make into a post, so you saw (but no one noticed - or if they did they didn't say anything) a post of Jack back at the old house.

August:


In August I finally announced that we were moving. It was an incredibly rough year, much more so that I have ever let on, and by this point, I was pretty close to losing it. Fortunately, my kitten supplier knew just what I needed and provided me with another batch of kittens.. Michaela and her new charges needed a place to stay and I had a kitten room that was aching for kittens. Fortunately, these kittens were happy to give massages

August saw a couple of informational posts, such as my experiences with giving CBD to my cats and another mythbusting post about Pedyalite for kittens - since there had been a great deal of fear-mongering about giving it to kittens. Skippy celebrated National Bow Tie Day and I shared with you my new obsession with the wildlife in my backyard

September:


Things were going well in September, unpacking this time around went much smoother, things were falling into place, the kittens were doing well - even if they were being obnoxious and were ready to move on - and then things went south quickly and then they got worse.

As for The Crew, I noticed things weren't as they should be with Muffin and Jack. Muffin went to the vet and it was recommended that we give her fluids more often so I blogged about doing that in conjunction with a sponsored post hoping to make it a little more shareable and interacted with as sponsored posts are what keep a lot of bloggers going. Supporting those, commenting on those posts (not just here but any blog you visit) helps a great deal.

Jack's symptoms were minor and I was trying to decide if they were even a thing.. as I tend to be paranoid and no more so after things go bad..

I also shared more photos of the deer that visit my backyard

October:


I was still processing the loss of Graham when the unimaginable happened. Weirdly I posted a conversation about grief in the form of a poem I had with Muffin a few months prior the day before everything went bad having no idea what was about to happen. And when I say bad, I mean really bad. I mean "you take on a pregnant cat because you need a project to distract yourself and realize that isn't enough so you take on another pregnant cat" bad.

(my lamenting about Jack's passing has been hidden in white font, highlight if you want to read it, or just skip if you don't have tissues)

I didn't have the time to process his illness.. to give him a calm and serene goodbye I would have liked, that he deserved. Every time I went to check on him every fiber of my being, every cell, everything was screaming "NOOOO!!!" at him. I can't imagine how horrible that made him feel. I really wish I could have had even a few more hours to come to terms with it - but even to this day three months later my body is still whimpering "no no no no no no".  Emmy took over a year, Ollie took a little longer. Kit was only a matter of weeks but it was so obvious that she wasn't going to make it from pretty early on. Jack took just a few days.. from the nosebleed at night, to the vet appointment the next day, to his rapid and horrific decline so we made an appointment for that next day. He still looked healthy and beautiful... but he wouldn't even eat his beloved dry food - which I always joked would be his last meal.. 

But life moves on, and Darcy gave birth to five kittens and three survived, and Onyx gave birth to four. I was asked for a calendar of Michaela and her two sets of kittens so I created one. I have learned a great deal and if I do it again I will photoshop the images to have captions of names and a little more information about each kitten.

And then Twee ended up in hospital. (she got better)

November:


November was particularly hard for me. My husband's work was keeping him out of the house a lot and there was no Jack and kittens who weren't affectionate enough to make up for the loss. There were a few posts, like where I shared the names I had chosen for Darcy's kittens and Onyx's kittens.  I also wrote up a post about adopting one of my foster kittens if you ever think you might want to.. 

December:


As you can see here, I was able to get my Christmas card put together and ordered. I also put up the Christmas Tree which in retrospect seems like it was a bad idea since I became quite sick from whatever got into the cat toys and Fleurp tried (we suspect) to eat it.  She is doing better but is losing quite a bit of fur due to the stress of it all. Even now I hear her munching on the tree and I'm very close to pitching the thing right out the window.  (ho ho ho)

I did have quite a bit of fun with a six-part series of posts about the Kittens' Christmas sweater party. (1,2,3,4,5,6) Darcy and Onyx's kittens hit weight and were neutered and went up for adoption. The waiting list was long enough that the kittens all made it home by Christmas. Ren and Spottacus went together, Zephy and Wyatt went together. Kreb and Romy went together and Milo went by himself - which worked out really well because he was always okay playing by himself. Darcy and Onyx started becoming friends once the kittens were gone. I received notification that someone wanted to adopt Onyx so she left. I was worried about how Darcy would react but she took it in stride, much like when her kittens left. I think she likes being able to play without having to share. I just wish I could get Darcy out of her shell. I recently received notice that Darcy has someone interested in her so she won't be here much longer either.

Looking forward:

There are projects I have for the kitten room. I want new paint and new lighting for certain. I'd love to get new flooring in the bathroom down there but that might have to wait until next year. I have some shelves I would like to put up and some art. I'm actually searching Pinterest for baby room ideas - and man I hope I don't start getting baby advertisements now.

I am overly paranoid about all of my cats right now as well and I am going to have to get them all into the vet for a checkup over the next few months. With the moving and the holidays and the onslaught of vet bills, I am thinking of opening up my "scrapnipping" venture, where I make catnip toys out of scraps of my craft fabric that I have laying around.  It has been a while since I did this.. so I'm curious what you think a good price point would be. Would you like to buy toys individually or in sets?  Do you like pure nip or nip and fiberfill for a fluffier toy? I am pretty sure I still have some alpaca fur.. would fur stuffed toys interest you? No suggestion or comment is unwanted, please, I would like to know your thoughts. If you don't feel comfortable posting them in the comments, feel free to email me at connie at kittyblog.net

toys I made in 2016

I also want to take a moment and thank you for taking this journey with me. Whether you have just joined us or are a long time reader, I appreciate you taking part of your day to spend with my kitties. Your support is greatly appreciated.

I have mentioned this before but it has been a while - Your comments, your time, shared with me, helps me do what I do. Being active in rescue and within online rescue communities, I see so much of the bad side of pet ownership. It is people like you, who value cats, who find value in a little blog on the corner of the internet that helps remind me that there is good out there, that there are people who think cats are worth more than toasters..

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Working on pulling Darcy out of her shell - socializing an undersocialized kitty



I am going to apologize for the quality of the photos ahead of time, they are all from my two-year-old cell phone; the reason being that I was fairly certain that the click of my camera would have startled her and ended any progress we were making.

I moved Darcy's cage out of the bathroom because I wanted to open up her world. When I watched her on the camera I noticed she was coming out and being in the room with Onyx but as soon as I opened the door to come down to the kitten room she would bolt back into the cage.

Since I knew she was getting comfortable in the room I continued to pull her out and hold her and release her after she started to calm a little. Earlier in the week you saw how she stopped and looked at me and then sniffed my shoes. The next day she did this....



She sat there grooming for almost a minute before heading back to the cage on the far side of the room. I didn't move, barely breathing as she sat there and licked her foot. I think we were both trying to be chill about the whole thing. I just love the relationship building between Onyx and Darcy.. (I still think Onyx's name is actually Lucy, but that's just what I've started calling her for some reason)

I decided to move the cage to the main part of the room so she could sit in her cage and I could force her to see me by lifting up the sheet. I pulled one of my old kitten tricks of bringing my dinner down to eat in front of them. I like to pretend that it shows them that I'm not the witch from Hansel and Gretel and I'm not trying to plump them up to eat them. It also gives them incentive to come to me (aka food). Onyx was all over me but Darcy wouldn't leave the cage. I could tell she was interested and she watched me the entire time instead of turning her back to me and sticking her head in the corner.



Since I had her interest, I thought I would try playing with her again. I started off playing with Onyx, but I kept tossing the toy into the cage and pulling it out to try to get her attention.


She loves to play and if I can get her distracted enough she forgets to be scared of me. I am using this opportunity to "impose" myself into her world. I'll move a leg and see if she runs. Or I'll talk to her while she is playing. Last night I was even able to stand up and get her to continue to play (but the moment I moved the play was OVER!. She is not a fan of my being this obnoxious to her. She still would prefer it that I stop insisting on talking to her and touching her, but I know that I'm making progress.


I am so glad they are liking each other this much. It is nice that Onyx models well-socialized cat behavior for Darcy and she can see that no harm comes to her when she splays herself all over my lap and gets her ears rubbed.
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