Monday, June 1, 2020

Photo Day

The shelter has asked for photos of the kitties in quarantine so that they can network them at the shelter.. so I thought I would take my nice camera out for a spin and give it a shot.

Ash (Bowie) did pretty well, the camera didn't frighten him at all. Abigail (Crema) was not a fan. She has shown over and over that it takes quite a while for her to get used to new experiences enough to even investigate it.

Ash currently lets me pet him. If he is eating or is eating treats I can easily pet him. If I walk up to him, most of the time I can get my fingers in under his ear/chin area and am able to give him scritches. Occasionally, he gets a little worked up by it and I stop. 

Abigail will let me get my hand near her while she eats. I can pet Ash while he eats and she sits right next to him eating, but if she feels my hand near her, or if I touch her, she reacts immediately like I have touched her with a flaming hot poker and she is off and I get hissed at. She will sniff my hand if I walk up and offer it about 90% of the time now instead of hissing at me on sight, and I have gotten her to take treats from my hand. Most of the time she thinks if she just noses it I will drop the treat because that is what I did originally to get her to come towards me, but now we are working on making her work for them and she's not always on board with that. I will sometimes feed a smaller dinner and delay breakfast so she is very hungry in the morning to hopefully make her more motivated to work with me, but with minimal success. She is absolutely a challenge.

I was able to pet her a few weeks after she originally showed up here, and she loved it, but when she realized what was going on she got mad at herself for giving in to the luxury of it all and took many steps backward. I KNOW that if she could just get past the fear she would make someone a great snuggly kitty, but I don't know if she can get past that fear any time soon. She is going to need a home where the people are okay with a project, or maybe a barn. I just hope something comes up soon, because as much as I love these guys I am jonsin for some wee baby kittens and kitten huffing and doing regular photo shoots again..

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Saying goodbye

 Seventeen years ago this improbable kitten came into my life. Born at 1.7 oz, less than half the size you would expect a kitten to be, I was told to expect him not to make it. I didn't think that was acceptable and I fought tooth and nail to save him. I was so new at fostering, there was so much I didn't know but somehow we made it through.

He was special. I loved him hard and giving him up was a challenge. I sat there on adoption day both loving and dreading it. When his folks walked in, looking for an older kitty but enchanted by my boys, I talked to them about kittens and then encouraged them to look at the older kitties. They came back and they wanted my "Peanut". I suggested they adopt "Gonzo" who was a good fit for him and the deal was done. Their new mom promised to give me updates.

I was really quite shocked when she did. So many people promise that and so few follow through or they think one update is.. IDK, bothering me? (Totally not!!) but Ann reached out to me once a year or so (sometimes more, sometimes less) to let me know things were going well. She shared a few of their challenges and several of their joys.

I was so thrilled earlier this month when she included me in their 17th birthday. The photo made me laugh. It was hard to see Treads declining, but I knew it was happening so it wasn't a shock.

What was a shock was just a few weeks later to learn of his passing.

It has been seventeen years since I held him, and I am reduced to a puddle at this news. While I am thrilled he lived so long, and happy that he was a part of my life throughout, the idea of no more photos and updates about him......

Yeah, I loved that cat.. oh who am I kidding, I love that cat.. he was a special soul, that is for certain..

My heart goes out to Miles for the loss of his brother and for his human peeps who miss him dearly. - and while it is out, I think I'll just go mainline some chocolate and grab a box of tissues and sob..

Friday, May 15, 2020

My Unrequited Loves

Yes, Bowie and Crema are back. Previously I called them The Boy and The Girl but now I'm calling them Ash and Abigail.

They were adopted out by the shelter as "Spirit Cats" but the family that adopted them weren't quite ready for their nature. I give them immense amounts of credit for trying as hard and as long as they did but there were kids involved and I respect the decisions they made.

They were comfortable in the house, but still not comfortable with me. I tried harder and harder to make friends with them but I realized that was just making things worse so I started ignoring them. I show up, I give them treats, the wand toy gets waved around a bit..

and despite the looks I often get, as long as the grabby hands stay reigned in they are okay with me.

I love them so much.. even the looks they give me, even the snarling at me when I dare to offer treats a little too closely.. my heart aches to hold them and give them a good huffing.. but alas, that is not to be.

I thought I had a good placement for them, but it didn't work out, so these two are looking for someone who has it in their heart to hang out with a couple of really adorable kittens who like deli meat and do kinda want to be around you but have some serious PTSD when it comes to hands and towels.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Precious Metal Prints Nose Print Necklace of Muffin's Nose

A silver pendant with a nose print  in a box

Way too long ago I purchased a kit to make a nose print necklace from a promotion Precious Metal Prints did. I bought it with the intention of making a noseprint of Jack, but when the kit arrived we were attempting to sell a home and it sat in a pile of "these aren't bills" mail that got stuck in a box and I didn't uncover it until long after we moved and Jack was gone.

I was heartbroken and I wasn't sure what to do with it and then one day Muffin came up and stuck her nose in my ear for the millionth time and it seemed most appropriate to use her nose instead.

The kit came with what looked a bit like a contact lens case with a two-part white and blue silicone epoxy. You mix it together with your fingers until it is a uniform color and then "smoosh" your cat's nose in it (or dog, or whatever you would like)

I was least comfortable with that part, as Muffin wasn't feeling well at the time and the last thing I wanted to do was make her more so. The first time I tried I got a decent impression but she moved unexpectedly and I ruined the impression.

They warn you that the silicone sets up quickly, and I was able to try a second time which came out poorly so I tried a third. By that third time, it was becoming less pliable and so I decided to go with it, which is why the print isn't quite as defined as I would have liked.

I packed it back up in the packaging they sent along with it and sent it off. They returned it pretty promptly and I was thrilled with it.

the backside of a silver nose print pendant  from Precious Metals Prints
The back of the pendant
a close up of my cat's nose print necklace
a close up of the nose print pendant

I wore it for a few days after Muffin passed, but I remembered what happened to Susan Willett at a conference we went to a few years ago when a pendant she had for her blog Life with Dogs and Cats fell off and she lost it. I could not bear the idea of losing this and she was gone and I could not get another, so I have stored it away with her other keepsakes.

I am posting now because they have a 25% off sale currently going on if you use the discount code PETS that I found on their Facebook page. As of today, the price for a silver pendant is $79.99 with the code bringing it down to $60. They also have a gold option which is $109.99.

This is not a sponsored post. I bought the necklace and I thought it was something you would enjoy learning about and possibly buying for your own nose print. They also do fingerprints if you have a loved one you would like a keepsake of.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

The unannounced foster - Suri

Last month I saw a post by a kind of local rescue group on Facebook asking if anyone was willing to foster a kitty with chronic diarrhea. She was a nine-year-old kitty and the owners took the kitty to the vet multiple times trying to fix the problem and couldn't so they elected to rehome the kitty instead.

One look at that face on that post, and you KNEW I was a gonner..

*Not the actual FB photo

I mean, seriously..

Since I have a history of "curing" uncontrollable diarrhea with diet change alone, I literally didn't think twice about it. I saw that someone else had reached out to foster, so I figured it was superfluous, but still, I raised my hand and said I was available, even though I totally wasn't (my foster room was full)

Not sure how it all worked out, but I found myself driving nearly an hour and a half to pick her up at the vet. Not that I minded one little bit

When I met Suri, she climbed right up on my shoulder and snuggled in. Whenever I would hold her that is where she wanted to be. She had been suffering from diarrhea for over a year and was down to just under five and a half pounds. She was obviously tired and not feeling well but she was an absolute love. She had also been shaved due to some pretty severe matting. She still had some on the bits that were left long and we worked on those in the weeks that I had her.

The vet recommended food they didn't have on hand and medications they didn't have on hand, so I packed her up and brought her home and got her what she needed. Unfortunately, the food that was recommended she could not eat. I don't know why, as I was told she was kibble fed prior, but when she put it in her mouth it simply fell out (the vet said her teeth were fine). I offered her a can of food to see if it was the kibble that was the issue or if she just wasn't hungry and she scarfed the can down so fast she threw it right back up. It was then that I started her on the "Connie's protocol for diarrhea of unknown reasons" aka raw food. I was very fortunate that she loved it and took to it right away since she was nine years old and had a history of eating kibble and older kitties have a well-earned reputation of being "picky*" when it comes to food.

*they aren't being picky, it is a long complex set of survival skills, often combined with foods sprayed with flavorings that have actually been shown to be addicting. It is very complicated and picky is just too simple of a word, but this is a whole 'nother post, so "picky" will do.

Unfortunately, my homemade raw chicken diet didn't seem to help. She did put on a little weight, but the litter box was still far from good. Years ago, I had another kitty with gross stools and the holistic vet I worked with at the time recommended food with either pork or white fish because they were better for this sort of thing. (Honestly, I don't remember exactly what she said, if it was better digestible, or if they were "cooling" foods, etc.. she was awesome but it was a VERY long time ago) so I thought I would try a raw pork diet. Suri took to this as well.

In a few short days, there was marked improvement. Not great, but no longer puddles and the obnoxious amounts of gas in her digestive tract, that you could hear rolling through, were gone. She thrived on the diet, producing a solid looking stool pretty quickly after starting it and getting up over six and a half pounds*. I think she has a bit more healing to do and in time will put on a little more weight, but she was healthy enough to put up for adoption.

*The actual story is a little more complicated than this with a few more twists and turns and detecting to come to the conclusion I did, but this post is getting long enough and it really doesn't change things in the end

Suri continues to be a love.. I mean a "I have to have half an hour of snuggles before I will even consider eating" love. I mean a "you seriously have nothing better to do than to snuggle me so get down here now" love.

My heart both ached and rejoiced at the time I got to spend with her. Some of you might be wondering why I didn't share her with you while she was here. The truth of the matter is I simply could not bear to hear people tell me "oh, you should adopt her" or "Oh look at how much she loves you!! You can't give her up"

See, not only am I trying to not adopt right now - for several personal reasons - but because of her obvious food restrictions (we accidentally fed her chicken a couple of times and her gut had serious problems with it) she simply would not have worked out at Casa de Gato. I loved her, I love her still, I enjoyed every single solitary second with her and when time came to give her up it hurt.. badly.. (she went home with a few too many things so she would have a small bit of me for at least a little while)

Her new family reports she is loving on them as quickly as she loved on me. She was unimpressed with the family dog and found a nice sun puddle to lay in for a while. I am absolutely thrilled for her and am very glad she spent a small part of her life with me.
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