Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Orphans at work

as promised, photos of the kittens when I brought them to work...


Anne & Oliver:

Annie taking a kitten nap:

Playing with office supplies:

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Winding down:
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Their possible new mom and dad:

Orphans at work

Well I took Oliver, Anne and Annie to work last Friday, and it went surprisingly well. They were a little more freaked out than I expected, but they adjusted pretty quickly and spent most of the morning hanging out with my boss on her desk. They are a bunch of charmers. Oliver much more so than the girls. He is a show off and a lover. When I go and feed him he runs right up to me, and licks my ankles and rubs his head in my hand. He also likes to flomp over and show me his belly :)

I have quite a few photos, and I need to upload them and post them. I'll get to that in the next few days.

They are going to get tested later in the week. Either Thursday or Friday afternoon, depending on how things go. *crosses fingers that they come up negative* They are so healthy, they have to..

Skippy Update

I went back to the shelter on Friday, and I saw Skippy's new owners. They said all the right things, and seemed on the surface to be perfect parents, but I wasn't 100% happy with them. Why? well they said a few other things that led me to believe they were just saying things to make us happy. I would have prefered they said "yes, we are going to let him out" instead of hiding it. Reason being Skippy is EXTREMELY prey driven, and probably will run after something small and get very lost. Also they had no questions about the possible re-occurance of his urariny issues. I would think that potential owners would want to know what that might mean for them and Skippy, but they didn't ask. Maybe they've dealt with it before? I don't know. I do know they said they really liked the idea that he wanted to cuddle a lot, and that they would be home to cuddle with him.

While I am an indoor only no dry food advocate, I am accepting that many cats do live a long life going outside and eating dry food. However, there are some cats that can't do that (like Benny or Skippy). Getting the right cat to the right people is what is important.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I got a very nice comment on my post about returning Skippy. CG (oddly enough my own initials) just returned her first foster kitten (and I am assuming it is a woman) and is dealing with the guilt.

Guilt. I know it all too well. The "I want to save them all and I can't". Every time I go into the shelter for supplies I seem to come out with a new kitten to care for. I just recently had to turn down a two day old kitten who needed round the clock care because I realized bringing kittens into work every day was NOT going to work out (co-worker's dog thinks kittens are toys) I felt horrid.

But there is some acceptance of that guilt, and I just live with it as a companion to the joy that comes from the good I am able to do. CG has limitations in her life with three high maintenance kitties. For her own good, and for the good of the kitties she does own, she knows her limitations. Adding more and more cats would overwhelm her and do harm to her own beloved cats.

When I am tempted to add more (than my already busting at the limits seven cats) I am reminded of a woman who used to foster with me. Under just one year her household went from one cat to 12. 12. Now I have no issue with her having a dozen cats because I know her, and know she can take care of them, but when I had six I was easily overwhelmed with them (of course one of those six was a diabetic) and I couldn't fathom having double that number. I think I vowed at that point to never have more cats in weight than I weighed. *smile*

I know it is so easy to keep kittens. They are small. They don't eat much. They are fun, and cuddly and playful. Basically they sucker you in with cuteness. however by giving in, you put their life, your own, and the lives of any of your current pets under more stress. Maybe it would work out (as it did in my case when I kept Fleurp - but I struggled long and hard about that) but there is a good chance you'll just overwhelm yourself and not provide the home for anyone you want.

I also have to remind yourself there are a *LOT* of great homes out there. No, they aren't yours, and no, they probably wont do everything as you would do it, but that's ok. The kittens will be loved and cared for, and while you might do it differntly, the cats will be happy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dropping Skippy off

Well that was hard. I was so certain because he has always shown so much confidence that he'd be fine going back, but he wasn't.

It very much felt like a mom dropping off her clinging child on his first day of school.

he reacted badly to the ferrets that we were 5 feet away from, and he reacted badly to the other kittens that were there. They keep the kitten cages in a hallway, and in the AM they let the kittens run the halls. Well I went in there with the skipster and held him to see what he wanted to do. He cowered into my lap and hissed at the other kittens. I tried to get him to join in the play, and he just scrambled to get back on to my lap.

We tried him in an adult room, and he seemed ok in there until one of the younger cats started stalking him and cornered him.

So we put him back in the hall and put the bully orange kitty in the adult room. I put Skippy inside the open cage, and left him. I know he just has to get used to thing and he will be fine.

I also just got an email from the shelter saying he isn't neutered. For some reason when they shaved him down and cath'ed him for the infection they didn't neuter him. I asked earlier in the week if they wanted to double check, and I was told he was neutered, and I thought he was, but apparently he wasn't. Soooo, he goes to the vet tomorrow.

Poor Skippy. He's not having a good day.

Monday, July 20, 2009

It's time


I think this is the second hardest return I've ever done with a foster kitten. The first being Jack - and I ran into the shelter and got him the next day. Skip is headed back tomorrow morning.

Skippy is such an uber special little boy. I've never known a kitten so cuddly, so gentle, so playful, so happy, etc. Ok ok.. Fleurp was pretty freaking special too, but she was not as cuddly as Skip. He'll sit with me for ... if not hours a very long time in kitty time... then he'll go play or watch the kittens for a bit and then come back to me and cuddle some more. I pick him up, and he snuggles into my neck.

He deserves the absolute best home ever. Mine is pretty darn close, but with seven cats I know I could not give him the attention he needs. Muffin takes up my lap most of the time, followed by Twee. Jack takes up my nights, and Ollie takes up the afternoon/evening shift. DH is usually covered by Kit if not her then Twee.

I want someone who stays home a lot and loves to read or watch TV (so a lap is available) to take him. I want someone who understands or is willing to understand that dry food is evil and that going outdoors is just wrong. I know *hangs head*, I know.. But this is what I want. I can only pray that just the right home comes for him - what ever form that takes, and he is happy for a VERY long time.

Most of my fosters I am ok with passing on to new owners. I love them while I have them, and then let go. Some stick with me. I fear Skippy will be cuddled around my heart for years and years to come. The more that are there, the harder it is for me to let new ones in. I get burnt out quicker each year.

I am going to have to remember to not take only kittens any more..

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Clams from the clam festival

I am not a fan of any seafood. But I do enjoy going to the clam festival. There is a lot of good food (aside from clams) and lots and lots of craft stands.

This year finally we had a stand for cat toys.. which of course I had to buy something from. Need to support the sale of stuff for cats. She was clever and made clams for the clam festival..

They were enjoyed

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Happiness and Joy

Sometimes I just don't care because I know deep down if I do care I am in SERIOUS trouble. Such as the case with Happiness and Joy.

They are STILL at the shelter.

They are regressing even further. They are not getting the one on one attention they deserve. They are absolutely beautiful cats, but there are so many absolutely beautiful cats at the shelter who are out and begging for attention, that getting them a home is going to be a lot of work. Work I can not do as I have a job.

When I went to the shelter this morning I went to visit them. I just sat there crying patting Happy because I knew the chances. They would make wonderful pets and would make someone VERY happy if they had the time and the drive to work with them for a bit. I can't imagine it would take more than a month to get them settled into being pets. But sitting in the shelter they are turning in to wild cats. The manager is considering releasing them into a barn. It kills me to think they will lose their ability to enjoy human companionship. But at least (one way or the other) they will have each other. I've never seen a pair so bonded.

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

You can not save them all

Well sadly Yippy went back to the shelter this morning. I couldn't figure out why Skippy would not leave her alone while she was out of the cage, but played very nicely with her when she first showed up, and when she was in the cage:

But then I realized that Skippy's prey drive was very very strong. He chases ANYTHING that moves and what more fun to chase than a living being. Yip spent most of her days in the cage so when she got out, she just wanted to flex her muscles and run. This resulted in some play, but when she would escape his capture and take off again, he went into overdrive and things got ugly. He never hurt her, but it did get to the point where I felt the need to step in before he got any further into predator mode. There are very few noises so tearing to the heart as a kitten crying out while being attacked.

I tried many different things to help them co-exist, but fighting against nature is a pointless battle. I contacted the shelter and arranged for Yip to find a new foster home where she wouldn't be harassed. I thought about keeping her as she only has a couple of weeks till she is old enough, but I am very overwhelmed with the orphans as it is, that I'm actually looking forward for Skippy to go back (as much as I adore him)

Bringing her back felt so wrong. My emotional side felt that there was more I could do, that there were other things to try, and that I was 'giving up' and basically doing the wrong thing. I knew my emotions were wrong. I knew that the shelter would take care of her and find her a home where she wouldn't be harassed, and where her foster parents would have more time to snuggle and play with her (which I am severely lacking with Skippy's demands, and the demands of the orphans, and the demands of my own crew)

There are times when doing the thing that feels wrong is the right thing to do. You (ok I) just have to learn to accept this.

I wasn't going to post about this right away, but I got a comment on a post I made several years ago about a foster mom who had a sick kitten:

You seem like an expert at fostering! I just picked up a foster kitty last Thursday that was about 7 weeks old. She weighed 2.9 lbs. She was very lively the first day, then had diarrhea every day after and started sneezing and having watery eyes. When I took her back to the shelter for an exam they said she had lost 9 oz. But didn't want to give her anything for her eyes because it might cause more diarrhea. Two days later she had stopped drinking and playing and mostly slept. She did eat better but everytime she did she had diarrhea. I got permission to take her to the emergency vet and for her to stay there until the shelter picked her up the next morning. Did I do the right thing leaving her at the vet? I kept thinking that she wasn't getting better staying with me, but I feel like I abandoned her. Of course, when we got to the vet she seemed livelier (like when you take your car in and they can't replicate the problem). Should I have kept working with her in the hopes she would get better on her own? When is it the right time to release the kitty back to the shelter?

Interesting how things like this happen. While this is not the same set of circumstances, it is the same emotional feelings.

Since the poster did not leave a way of replying, I thought I would reply here. I'm often saying that all questions regarding cats have been asked before, and will be asked again, so even if the original situation has resolved, it never hurts to add another opinion to the situation because it will come up again.

so yes, you very much did the right thing. You did the right thing at every step. Could you have done more? I don't know. From only the information you gave me I could suggest a few other things for you to have tried, but I would be uncomfortable suggesting them with out more information. Diarrhea is a very common problem, and usually not much of an issue - except for the young, the infirm and the elderly just as it is in humans. Young kittens do not have very many reserves and diarrhea for a couple of days can be dangerous as it drains the kitten of fluids and can dehydrate the kitten, and it drains the kitten of nutrients since food does not have time to be fully absorbed.

Did you do the right thing by leaving the kitten at the vet? Yes. They are much better equipped to handle the situation if it deteriorates. They have foods that are easier on the system, and they have fluids they can give to help keep the kitten hydrated.

Why did the kitten seem to improve when you brought it to the vet? well this is a testament to how comfortable the kitten is with you. Cats / Kittens will do everything they can to hide illnesses. When the kitten was comfortable at the house, it felt a little more able to indulge itself in it's illness. When you took it out of it's comfort zone, the kitten felt the need to work to hide how bad it was feeling. It is so very very common - and happens to me ALL THE TIME! Often I joke with the shelter staff that I just needed to bring the kitten in to fix it.

What you are feeling is completely normal. We've all been there at one time or another. I felt I was abandoning Yip because I could not get Skippy to not chase her. But since we can not save them all, sometimes you have to put them in more capable hands. It's hard to admit that - but with each experience you learn to help you deal with the next one. We have to work with the system we are in. Your shelter has proceedures in place and you do have to work with them, because after all, the kitten is still theirs.

Thank you for caring for that little kitten. Thank you for caring. I hope this will not put you off fostering. It is heart breaking when it goes wrong, but it can be so very rewarding when it goes right.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dirty Kittens

Oh the bother of orphaned kittens. It is great that they know how to eat on their own, but I wish they would figure out how to eat with out getting it all over their bodies. They need to be bathed daily.. and this is why

and this is them getting baths...

and this is the little girl after her bath...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Yippy is incorrigible

Yip was growling at Skippy, so I set her up in the cage on the lower half. Well she found out that if she climbed the side of the cage and pushed aside the orphan's litter box she could get up on the second level.

When I first walked back in to check on them, she was sitting there with the orphans looking at her like she was a god.

I grabbed a clip, and clipped the towel across the small hole under the litter box, and hoped that would work (but I'm sure you figured out by the title of this post it didn't)

I picked her up and put her down in the room and she immediately started growling at Skippy again. *sigh* So I grabbed a four pack of canned food and put that over the hole and reset everything and went out to exercise. Two minutes later I checked back in on them

So I tried to think what I might have that might work, and remembered the NIC cubes I bought for my rabbit to make her a cage. I took one panel of that and laid it down over the hole, put the canned cat food over that, and the litter box on top of that... and after an hour she was still on the lower half of the cage, so hopefully she's still down there. She is still growling at Skippy who keeps doing the happy dance in front of her. He wants to be friends. If anyone can win her over it is Skippy.

Gratuitous orphaned photos:

more on the Orphans

Well they are eating food very well. Well, at least they are getting most of it in them. They still don't quite get the fact that if they walk through it it gets all over them - so they are getting daily baths. I so want to get a video of bathing them, but hard to do with only two hands. Maybe next week.

So here are them all covered in food. and yes, I so very much need names for them.


I went to the shelter today (I so need to stop doing that, they keep pawning kittens on me)

They had a 2lb orange little girl who was all alone. They thought Skippy might like her, so I brought her home. Below are some photos and videos of their meeting.

She's really sweet and loving. She's a little intimidated by him, and if you can tell from the photos he was showing off how impressive he is.

I know Yippy is a pretty silly name, but I couldn't help myself. I ended up setting her up in the cage. She was treated for fleas and ear mites. Her fur is a little greasy, and will need a bath in a couple of days. Can't do it now as she was just treated with frontline.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Updates on the nuts & others

I brought them into the shelter on Saturday to be adopted, and well frankly it was a serious mistake. It was the first sunny warm day around here all month (no, seriously) No one was at the shelter, so I left.

Stash got adopted first. Mac second. They told me that Hazel went home, but when I went to look at Cash and Almond, she was sitting right there. They mixed up the other girl tiger kitten that was in the cage with them (and who was a bit older and a bit bigger - hazel's paperwork said she was very petite.. and this other kitten wasn't) so we re-adjusted the paperwork.

Today I got an email that Cash and Almond went home together. I'm so thrilled over that. Cash really will benefit from having a friend with him. So Hazel is still there at this point.

Benny is still at the shelter. They are working very hard to find her just the right home. I suggested she might benefit from a harness and walking outside. I took her for her first walk on Saturday and it went very well, but I noticed she seemed to get over heated and her fur easily mats, so I suggested that they give her a lion cut. They gave her one and she looks really good. I think she actually really appreciates it.

Happy & Joy are still at the shelter. I checked in on Joy (Happiness is still in treatment room for a little cold) and she was interacting with the volunteer who was in the room with her. I was so thrilled!!! I sent in a little write up on them hoping to find them just the right home - as I so do not want them going to a barn.

Until they all have a home..

07/09 fosters

Well I did it again. I have three more kittens. And not just kittens, but orphaned kittens - that I need to take to work and feed often.

One boy (black) and two girls.

One of the girls has a lump on her side-ish area. I think it is a hernia, but I very well can be wrong. I've sent photos to the shelter and will let them decide what they want to do.

Now, for the cuteness...

Skippy Videos

day 10 of ringworm watch and he appears to have dogged this bullet. So he's getting the free run of the kitten room tonight. I'm almost afraid for him... which is downright silly.

Skippy in the cage

Skippy wants to cuddle

Gonna let this one speak for itself :D
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