Thursday, January 9, 2020

What's this? New Kitten Room Addition

I got something new for the kitten room.. any guesses what it is? I will tell you that Chester was not too sure about the whole thing and watched from a distance for quite a bit of the construction.

the print really amuses me

The kittens use it, but I don't see them up there unless I encourage it with a toy. They both seem to like to "play Aliens" with it though and "burst" right out of the chest!

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Chester and No-Socks

I am fostering Chester and No-Socks through The Feline Connection rescue in Fair Haven Vermont, and the rescue's adoption fee is $130 per kitten.
It took a while to suss out their personalities as I was a) distracted and b) wanted to give them a fair amount of time to settle when they got here. I was given some background on them and I didn't want that to taint what I saw and experienced with them.

Chester came to me with some behavioral issues, namely litter box issues. We had one incident while he was here and that was almost immediately after he arrived and I think that had more to do with the fact that he hadn't found the litter box yet than he decided the place he was going was the better option.

Chester is a high energy kitten who wants to be involved in whatever it is you are doing. Trying to get photos of him was pretty rough because he wanted to check out the camera, wanted to go after his brother, wanted to investigate everything. He is going to be an excellent snooperviser.

However, he is a bit insecure. He wants to be reassured that he is a good boy and that everything is okay. He thrives under complements and praise. Not feeling sure about things, he will retreat and hide until he feels comfortable again. He LOVES to play. He likes feathers, the toy on a string I love, crinkle balls and I have a small stuffed starfish that he can not resist. He likes wrestling with his brother and he is also a bit of an attention hound. He really likes snuggling into my chest and nuzzling my neck and armpit.

"No-Socks" is a very dignified boy. He also loves to play and hunt toys, but he is not above letting his brother do all of the hard work. He does not seem to like the name he came to me with and I've been calling him bud or buddy. I've tried "Fester" out on him and he responded to that a few times.

He likes being petted and getting attention, but he is more likely to snuggle up next to your legs than climb in your lap when he is settling down for a nap. His personality is very interesting, almost like he has a dry sense of humor. He makes me laugh. For a while, I wondered if he was simply tolerating Chester as he was the only other kitty in the room, but the more I spend time with them I see that he really likes hanging out with him and will also seek him out for snuggles or wrestling.

They are both very good, well mannered, kitties. They both are prone to play with my hand when I go to pat them and they are too revved up, but they do it very gently, not hurting me in the least when they grab on to my hand with their paws or when they give me the bitey bite. They have been very clean and other than a little litter kicked out of the shallow litter box I haven't had to clean the room once since they have been here.

Both of them like jumping on to the sink when I refill their water bowl - wanting to be involved in whatever I am doing - and will lick water right out of the faucet. They are quick to purr and are ever so ready for their new home.

I would highly recommend Chester being set up in a "base camp" once he goes into his home. He will need time to adjust to a new home, his new people, and the new "rules" of how his people are going to interact with him. Once he feels secure, letting him explore parts of his new home and then being returned to "base camp" (one room in the house with everything he needs, food, litter, toys, and lots of playtime) increasing the amount of time he has to explore the home each time. This will help build his confidence while keeping him close to a litter box for most of the day which will reinforce good litter box habits. They will both protest over being separated from you, loudly, but they have always stopped after a couple of minutes.

They are a charming pair of boys and anyone would be lucky to have them.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Muffin 2002-2019

Muffin's time on earth has come to an end. I have broken into a million pieces and am in the process of putting myself back together, which is not easy as most of these edges were still sharp and broken from losing Jack.

Losing Jack so suddenly I swore that losing them slowly was much better, but it is an absolute bear to go through.

Muffin started going downhill back in May when I opted to have the growth/cyst on the back of her ear removed. I wonder how much time that cost me at times, but I fall back on the fact that it was going to totally impact her quality of life because it was growing and I could see it becoming a serious problem for her and draining it was not an option - as it actually drained on its own once and it grew back almost immediately.

I was able to nurse her through that and she had some good days and some bad days, but her kidneys were failing and there was nothing that could be done for that. Her blood work said she had been dealing with it for years but it did not slow her down until the end. She bravely faced muscle wasting and arthritis, and she continued to rule over life at Casa de Gato until Thanksgiving.

It was at that time that I knew the end was near. If it hadn't been the holiday I might have scheduled the appointment then and set her free of her body then, but I couldn't. I was selfish. I did everything I could think of to improve her quality of life and then some, and somehow, someway, we did it.. we had one last Christmas together.

It was completely bittersweet.. I was able to cuddle her and love on her and tell her what a wonderful kitty she was, but she was so tired and she wanted to lay in her hammock and not with me for most of the day. I offered her food often, I gave her many treatments with the Assisi Lounge, but she had become anemic and there was very little life left for her.

She had a few good days, and I was very hopeful we would see the new year.. but that was not to be.

There might have been more things we could have tried, more meds, more treatments, more.. but she was tired.. her life was little more than sleep and being medicated and I loved her too much to make her live that life..

Even at the end.. every single cell in my body wanted to tell the vet to go away (we were lucky enough to have an at-home euthanasia) but I knew, I knew.. it was time.

There is so much I can't face right now. Walking up the stairs to go to bed the first time was almost impossible because for the last month I was either carrying her up with me or she was waiting for me at the top of the stairs. I've rearranged my office so hopefully, that won't be as hard..

The other kitties seem to be adjusting okay. She had been so sick for so long I think they more than knew..

I miss her so fiercely.

She was a force. She was the most willful kitten I have fostered, the most determined, the most set in her course of action. She knew her mind and she was going to get you to know it too. I was her human far more than she was my cat.. and I loved her for that.

In Star Trek, Klingons have a tradition of bellowing at the sky when a warrior dies to warn those in Sto'Vo'Kor that a great warrior is coming. Somehow that made up tradition seemed to fit..

oh how I miss her..

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas

If you did not get a holiday card from us, here it is..

if you wanted one and didn't get one, let me know and I'll get one out to you. I hope you have a lovely holiday
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