Friday, April 29, 2011

Helping the kitties in Alabama

Ok, and all the other pets too..

I was reading Ingrid's blog about Helping out the pets in Alabama
and this in particular caught my attention:

Most of the local veterinary practices in Tuscaloosa have suffered enough damage to be forced to close.  One remains open, however–run by Dr. Jimmy Canant and Dr. Paul Bronold.
They have been working literally around the clock–without rest, without breaks, and, most painfully, with barely enough resources–to treat the cats and dogs injured by the tornadoes. Some of the injured animals are brought in by their owners, whose own vets’ offices are non-operational at the moment. But most of the animals being brought in have been separated from their human companions. Nobody knows to whom they “belong,” or who will care for them as they recover, or who will pay for their treatment. Dr. Canant and Dr. Bronold are treating all of them, regardless.
Canant Veterinary Hospital is in desperate need of any support we can provide. They need donations of food and other practical necessities. Most desperately, they need money for medicine and supplies-and money to share with local animal shelters who are also struggling with super-human efforts to make sure that no dog or cat who can be saved is left behind.
They set up a  donation page so people can help out.  I like this because I know exactly where the money is going, and it will be directly used to help out the animals and the people who are caring for them.  Generally appeals like this are for general help, and I'd much rather generally help the animals in my area, because I can see first hand that the money is used as it is stated. 

Another reason this struck me is because when I was watching the incredibly ostentatious wedding this morning I heard one royal trivial fact that really stuck with me.  The royal family is supported by the tax payers of England, and it turns out that it works out to about one British Pound Sterling per person.  (about $1.50 USD)  I wondered about all the good that could be done if everyone threw a dollar at the problem.  Seems like such a trivial amount doesn't it?  A dollar.  You can't get much for a dollar, but it can join with other dollars and save a life.

So I'm going to donate.  I hope the small donation I make will help out if in no other way then to let the doctors know that people around the world are thinking of them, and it helps them continue what they are doing just a little bit longer.  I hope our pebbles dropped in the pond makes a tidal wave of help.

Active at 2 PM

Web cam is working again.  Still not in perfect focus.
snack time

getting away from the kids

was that a webcam that moved??

checking on the kids

tapping a wandering kitten

Checking on the non-wandering kids

Get out of the food bowl!! (probably Bug)

Kids!! what am I going to do with them??

I'll lay down and call them to me
Moments after that last pict they did end up all snuggling next to Jordan and settling back down

Weight updates

Lily: 235
Nigel: 245
Bug: 235

They are quite humorous during meal time now, and often I feel like I'm feeding Fluffy from Harry Potter
They still really enjoy chewing on me while waiting their turns, but they are less likely at this point to actually wait their turn.  They are starting to bite their siblings, push their way up to the syringe, and generally be a nuisance. Teeth buds are definitely starting to break through, and I am not looking forward to the day they do.

Bug was a little persistence last night, so I offered her a little of the canned food I gave Jordan.  She ate that right up off my fingers, but took a while to get the idea that it could be eaten off the floor and did not get at all that it would come out of a bowl.  I gave it to her because she started eating litter.  Why is it kittens eat litter long before they get eating food???? I don't think I'll ever understand that one.  Maybe it is something in the clay they use that smells like something ... who knows.

Watching the wedding

I wasn't going to watch the wedding live.  I watched his parents get married live, but I was going to watch this on Tivo so I could forward over all of the fluffery.  I did say if I was awake at 4 AM I would watch it, and low and behold Muffin decided to wake me up at 4:09.   I watched a little non wedding TV so I would be able to fast forward over some of the fluffery, and then settled down to watch the pomp and cirumstance.

at which point Muffin settled herself on my pillow next to me, put her paws on my shoulder and "watched" the wedding with me.  Twee showed up a few minutes later, perched herself on my leg and hip, and "watched" with us.  Jack stopped by for a few moments for some lovin, but I think he wasn't at all into the wedding and went off to do MANCAT things.

I thought it just too funny that my girlie girl kitties and I "watched" the wedding this morning.

(and I have to say I was completely impressed with how calm and composed and how much Catherine seemed to be enjoying the day.  So much more so then HRH)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2AM feedings

You know.. there is a reason I didn't have kids... *grumble grumble grumble*

actually it really wasn't their fault. I woke up in the middle of the night and my cats realized I was awake and came and stepped on my bladder. I heard the peepers start up (not quite sure why they were quiet to begin with as they never shut up) and I thought the first one was a kitten cry. When I realized no one was in distress, I wanted to roll back over and go to sleep, but I was awake, and I realized that it was probably better to get up now, and sleep later.

The kits were surprised to see me. They were also quite covered in goop. Pee? Poop? hard to tell, as it didn't smell like anything in particular, but they looked goopy, so it was bath time. I got a small bucket, put the kits in a holding pen, changed out the bedding, and proceeded with feedings, then washings, then put them back in the cage. Jordan was VERY confused by the whole process. When I put Lily in the cage after her bath, she was torn between comforting Lil and going and "rescuing" the other kittens - which fortunately at this point is just putting a nose to them to make sure they are OK. Nigel and Lily were a little more gooey then Bug, which makes sense as she is the only one who is so ready to eat solid food.

I did remember one aspect of kitten growth which might shed some light on this. It is that mother cat's clean the kittens and stimulate them to go when they are nursing, but when they are weaning they stop. It is theorized (or decided on, I'm not sure) that they don't like the taste of the meat once it is digested. digested milk: OK, digested meat: gross.

What was quite amusing is that when they hit the water, they all went pee. :) Guess kids are all the same.

This afternoon before going to work I gave them another feeding, and found a kitten poop in the cage. solid and well formed if not a little squished from being laid on, which is another good developmental sign.

Nigel is still behind weight on Bug, which saddens me, but he's a happy boy now that he's got milk straight up no chaser, and I'm sure he'll be a big boy any week now.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Well fiddlesticks

So I weighed them, and Nigel has not gained any weight in two days. Hasn't lost, which is a positive, but no gain in two days is nothing to take lightly. There were no additional signs of diarrhea (the towel was clean) but he did not eat very much at all.

I did not get home for a lunch time feeding today, and it showed. None of them had made significant gains. But at this point Bug weighs more then Nigel

I do not have to go into work tomorrow until noon. I'll drag my poor tushie out of bed when my husband gets up in the ridiculous wee hours of the morning to do an AM feeding, and then another right before I leave. I'm also going back to straight KMR with out the cat food in it just in case that is an issue with them. I can't imagine it is, since I've done this with so many other kittens, and in some cases even earlier then I did with this set, but every kitten is different and since he seemed to start having an issue after I added it, we'll back up and see what happens.

*sigh* I shouldn't complain, I knew I was signing on for difficult when I agreed to take home Jordan in the first place.

btw, teeth buds are definitely about to break. Why they chew on me I have NO idea.. but they do.


 I didn't weigh them last night, and intended to do that when I fed them this morning, but I didn't get down to feed them until the time I was actually supposed to be at work (mornings are not my favorite time of day) so I just got down to basics.  They did make a complete mess out of the towel they were on.  I'm not 100% sure it wasn't diarrhea from one of the kittens since Nigel had diarrhea looking butt.  But it could be that mom had recently given him a bath, since neither he nor the towel smell like poop.  Definitely will have to keep an eye on that.

Jordan isn't shedding as much as she was, just normal cat shedding now.  She feels a LOT better - physically to the touch, but I'm sure she personally feels better as well since she isn't as sickly as she was but she still has eye issues. When she first showed up, the fur that is thinned felt very rough and course.  It is starting to feel a little smoother at this point which is good for her.  She did however lose her remaining three whiskers.  I do not think she is making any milk at all, but she does not mind the kittens nursing on her which is good.  I'm so glad she is around, because usually when I have orphaned kittens I end up doing this every day

It is time consuming but it makes kittens who love water.. which is funny.  This particular set of three kittens were adopted together, and their owners tell me how much they love jumping in the shower.  My sister adopted one of my kittens that got a lot of baths as a kitten, and she jumps in the shower too.

It was also asked if Jordan didn't move to her 'Summer Home' because it was cozier, and maybe covering the cage might help... the cage is mostly covered (except the door way) so I'm not really sure why her preference / insistence for smaller quarters some days.  Hoping to get the kittens on to solid food (way too early) I removed the box yesterday.   Wanting to keep them in the cage, I covered the door way (with just a sheet so Jordan can get in and out easily) which so far has worked.  The kittens don't quite get that food comes from outside sources and not from something shoved in their mouth.  That's OK.  But their little teeth buds are definitely coming, I can't see them but I can feel them when they chew on me, which is cute, but it is going to start hurting when their teeth do come in..

I also made bone broth yesterday, and offered Jordan some of the marrow.  She was not interested. Not all of my crew care for it, but I thought if she would like it that it would be good for her.

I saw this over at ICHC, and laughed so hard..
funny pictures - Mother's Little Helper
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Kittehs in the news

Over at ICHC, I learned of a poor little kitty who is now a refuge..

It appears a poor calico kitty got washed into the river and ended up on Governor's Island in NY.  I can't imagine how happy this kitty was to get in dry land.

The giggle of the post is that she does not have her own twitter handle... yet.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dinner time

Pre meal, clean and hungry

looking for food

Jordan and Lily

After the first round of food

Lily looking please with herself

Jordan looking for a snack

MOM!!! I'm clean I'm CLEAN ALREADY!!!

Post bath

Hey, I burped, there is room for more...

snuggle time
No matter how much I fill them up, they always end up going to Jordan and nursing.  The comfort of mom trumps all.

morning smiles

Force feeding (and I call it that because in the AM I don't have time to wait for them to be 'hand fed') on Monday morning is not much fun.  I feel a little bad that I rush it because I'm sure the kits - like all of us - want to enjoy their food.

But this morning was especially interesting.  It was the first morning of 'gruel'.  I mixed some of the kitten food from last night in with the KMR this morning and it was very well received. I, however, forgot just how much of a MESS it is!  KMR is not all that clean, because it dribbles out of the mouth and gets all over the chin, but it is mostly water and just wipes right off.  Jordan has been all too happy to consume clean the remainders off the kittens, which I'm all too thankful for.  But when the dribbles are full of bits of meat, they grind in not wipe off.  Poor Bug was trying to chew on her own foot because there was some debris on it, then she went and chewed on her brother.  She is the smallest, but she certainly does love her food.

I always use a towel when I feed to keep my lap food free, and it looks like I'm going to have to use a new towel for each and every feeding.  Oh the laundry we will do.

Once again Jordan came to my rescue.  Apparently she is a BIG fan of the food I mixed in, and was all too happy to hold down her kittens and give them a good cleaning.  I did watch for a while to make sure there was no nomming.. Her poor tongue was moving so fast, I had to wonder if she didn't burn more calories then she was consuming, but she was happy, the kittens were bloated to the point of popping, and I'm sure they all settled down for a nice long morning nap.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


not sure if my cats hate it when I declultter or love it.  It does disrupt their world pretty drastically, but new things are uncovered, things are moved and thus made more interesting, and closets are reveled as new territory to explore.

Friday when I got home from work I hung up my coat on the coat rack, and noticed my winter coat.  Thought it was time to put that away, so I went to get a hanger from the front closet where we keep our "In season but don't really wear often" coats, and noticed a slew of winter coats.  well it just devolved from there.  I cleaned out that closet, the closet in the office where we keep some winter coats and some of my clothes, and the closet in the craft (former bunny) room, where DH stores some of his coats, some of his summer clothes, some of my stuff was in there and three large boxes of "stuff" we threw in there to hide one day.

On Friday I pulled out all of the extra pillows and some bedding that had been "stored" by throwing it in one closet or another.  We had to go through it all and decide which pillows and bedding were "good" and which were ones we really needed to throw away.  But neither one of us was up to it on Friday, and Saturday wasn't good for us either, and .. well we didn't get to it today.. but the cats totally do not mind (it is a good thing they are so forgiving)


Today I worked on those large boxes in the craft room. They were in the closet on the floor, and when I pulled them out to remind me to work on them, the closet floor was empty.  This was fascinating to Skippy who acted like we added a new room on to the house, and he was in and out of that closet all weekend, as were most of the crew.  Of the boxes, one was DH's summer clothes, so that went back untouched.  One held some of my pumpkin collectibles, and I went through those and decided to part with some of them.  the third box held some stuffed animals, some computer equipment, a bucket of pens I've had for 25 years, and some left over medication from fostering back in 2003-2004.  One of those medications had Kodi's name on it, and I was brought to tears.  I have lost misplaced a lot of the pictures from that time frame, so I don't have a lot of Kodi which makes me very sad.  I'm hoping they come back to me when I am read to view them and smile and not cry.

I found a jar of baby food that expired in 2004.  It looked perfectly good, and I knew my cats would eat it, but I just couldn't bring myself to open it. However the bag of open treats were fought over.  I could not believe that they not only smelled like you would expect them to smell for being new and not eight years old, but that my crew would fight one another to eat one!!  Talk about "fake food"..

The pens I finally let go of.  I hate throwing away anything useful, and pens are always useful right?? well it seemed to me that every three or so years I would go through them, test them and throw out ones that didn't work, and keep the rest and then not touch them again for years.  This time I didn't even test any of them.  I dumped them out on the floor, pulled out any that had sentimental value (there was a pencil I remember buying in high school, and pens that have my father's business name on them) and tossed the rest.  It bugs me a little to do it.. but it was so totally about time.

I also cleaned off one of my dressers in the bed room.  The bedroom cat post is near that dresser, and we were constantly trying to keep cats off it.  I moved a humidifier to try to be a fence, and then covered that in other things, and still they would maneuver up there.  So, I moved the post to the other wall just on the other side of the door...
where it was

in the new location, and now it is totally fascinating!
It is amazing how when you move something, it appears to be a whole new thing to the cats.  I know they know it is the same post, but it had to be rubbed on in the new spot, and sat on.  Muffin and her sibling Eli were fighting for the top spot. Eli had won at this point, but Muffin ALWAYS gets her way.
She was incredibly pleased with herself.

I am by no means done, (see above where I mention I have a hard time letting things go) but I did a lot today, and we are all pleased.

more growth

I was late yesterday getting their AM feeding, and at no point did they "gain" weight.  They held their weights from the day before.  I was starting to panic, but this evening they told me they are "doin fine"

Lily: 209
Nigel: 204
Bug: 189

Which is double digit gains for all of them.

Their bellies are expanding quite nicely when I feed them.  Tonight though they would not stop screaming, so I kept feeding.  Bug's got so big, I could see her belly button, which was starting to concern me, so I dug out a can of kitten food and popped the top and offered her some gravy.  She LOVED it.  So much so that I offered her a little solid food, and she nommed it so enthusiastically, I think I have bruises from her little toothless jaws nipping me.  She also got herself covered in it some how, and Jordan thought that was just fine because she got to nom clean it up. 

When I have orphans, I will often add canned food into the milk long before I intend on getting the kits on solid food, and I think it is about time for these guys.  Try to keep them fuller longer, and give them a few more calories to help them grow.

It has been a while since I got photos of them, I'll have to see what I can do about that tomorrow.

Happy Easter

Looking for something to do with those left over plastic eggs after you eat all your jelly beans?  Put some cat nip in them, and have more Easter fun..
2003 - When the crew was young

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter - a little early

I thought about making a post for "Make mine Chocolate" on Easter, but then I thought "wouldn't that be too late?"
a baby bunny at the shelter

I really doubt anyone reading this blog would irresponsibly bring a rabbit home, but as someone who previously owned rabbits, I thought I'd share my experiences.

I have owned two rabbits and fostered a mom and her babies once. This by no means makes me an expert - I fully admit that. Tobin lived for 11 years, Bri for only a few (I believe her best friend Skippy has recurring bordatella and infected her)

Rabbits are not easy.They look easy, they read as easy. You feed hay, veggies and some pellets. You change out the litter.. sounds easy right?

But there are a lot of other things, like they chew. They chew a LOT. I have baseboards that are gnawed, I have books that are missing part of their covers, photos that have pieces missing, letters that have holes in them, and photo albums that are going in the recycling because she chewed the covers. All wires are fair game to a rabbit. All wood. Anything that will fit into their mouth is basically a chew toy - well with the exception of the items you often give them to chew. Rabbit teeth never stop growing, so they need to keep them active to wear them down. You also should check their teeth regularly to make sure they are growing straight and are not overgrown. This is NOT easy, as a rabbit is not a fan of your fingers near your mouth. Often you will get nipped.

Same with rabbit claws. Rabbits in the wild dig burrows, and the claws are very handy for that. In a home, there is little use for them. So they need to be trimmed often. Being a prey animal, they are not fans of being held in one place with out an escape, so nail trims are NOT easy. They also have long quicks, and bleed excessively when you hit one.Nail trims can be done by owners, but you need to be careful.

Because rabbits do NOT like to be restrictively held. They will kick with their strong back feet, which can be painful if you get hit. Not only that but they are so powerful that if you do not hold them properly, they can actually break their own backs.
Kit handing with foster bunnies

Rabbits and other animals can co-exist. My cats loved my rabbits (well some of my cats were a little scared of my rabbits) and enjoyed hanging out with both Tobin and Bri. I know of someone who had free roaming rabbits and dogs. They got along wonderfully for years until one day it appeared the play got a little rough, and they came home to ... well, it wasn't pretty. I also had a friend who had a free roaming (in the home) rabbit. She was well socialized, but there were issues with power cords and bunny poops.

Rabbits need to have a mobile gut. They need to have constant access to food and thus they have constant output. Fortunately, rabbit poops are small and round and hard and can be swept right up. A rabbit with gut issues is a very sick rabbit so if you find soft pellets, it needs to go to a vet. One thing though, rabbits make cecum, which comes out of the gut, but it is soft. Rabbits eat this to boost their nutritional input. Cecum is soft, but if you are seeing it, your bunny needs to go to the vet.

URI is deadly to rabbits.  Bri did not eat all of her dinner and was not excited to eat her breakfast.  I took her to the vet that day, noticed a little discharge by her nose, and she was dead within hours.  Bunnies are incredibly fragile in regards to health, and ANY sign that a rabbit is not 'right' means a trip to the vet.  Not eating, not pooping, lethargy sneezing, eye discharge, etc.  In larger animals, you can wait it out and see what happens, not so with rabbits.

Bunnies all have different personalities, like kitties, but as prey animals, they are a little harder to get to know.  My first rabbit Tobin hated carrots. He used them as hockey pucks and pushed them around his pen until I would throw them out.  Bri loved them, but she loved the greens more (Thumper's mom would be proud)  Bri used to "yell" at me if I was late getting her breakfast.  Tobin was very sensitive to getting too many pellets and fecal matter would collect on his behind. Their idea of giving love is not like those of cats and dogs, so you have to be accepting of their version of their joy to be with you.  Bunny binkys (running around and doing a kick so their body flips a little)

Rabbits also molt twice a year.  They blow their coat. and look pretty silly while it happens.  If you happen to be sensitive to rabbit fur (which is easy when it is everywhere, up your nose, in your eyes) it is not much fun.

Rabbit skin is also very thin.  Watching a few rabbit spays and talking to the vet who did them, I learned that they are very delicate, and it is more difficult to spay them than other animals.  Rabbits who are intact have to deal with raging hormones and are generally less acceptable pets.  Males become aggressive,   females get protective, and they both can become cage aggressive.

They are adorable and fun, and it is rare that I would say that someone should not get one, but you should know what you are getting into.  Not to mention in a few weeks there is going to be a TON of them on Craigslist, petfinder and at your local shelters.

There is a cute interactive bunny at Make mine Chocolate  to see if bunnies are right for you.

Muffin and Eli meeting Tobin
Bri and Skippy
Bri with attitude
Bird toy hanging behind Bri would allow her to make noise to call attention to her

Friday, April 22, 2011

Evening weights

Wed - 157
Thur - 168
Fri - 184!

Wed - 164
Thur - 174
Fri - 193!!!

Wed - 144
Thur - 152  :(
Fri - 166!

As you can see they all did wonderfully this evening.  I'm breathing a little easier.  A friend stopped by and his 9 yr old daughter wanted to visit the kittens so we sat her down and put them all in her lap. They were hungry and started chewing on her which she thought was a riot.  She grew up with out pets, and now is living with three huskies, so she isn't versed in the way of the kittens, but she's so cute with them.

When they left I fed, and got the great weights but they didn't seem as hungry as they had been.  I still got what I considered enough into them, and called it a night.

Jordan keeps bringing them back to the cubbie.  She'll sit in the box for a while and it is random when she moves them.  I get the feeling it is her "summer home"  and it is just too funny.


Well, I decided to go with "Crossing Jordan" themed names.  I like the piggie names, but the shelter always looks at me funny when I come up with names that are too unique.  And since I am spelling impared, this will be much easier for me to journal.

At this point I am going to go with Lily, Nigel and Bug for Girl #1, Boy and Girl #2.  I feel a little odd giving a girl such a masculine name... but when you see her little face, you might understand why.  That and she also seems to enjoy being with Nigel.  Of course they are only two weeks old, so I reserve the right to change her name to Macy :)

full of milk

got  milk?

look at my tosies

full belly

more tosies (don't faint)
Unfortunately I only got one good shot of him.  I tried to get a nice pict of him on my lap, but Jordan came over and tried to pick him up, so I have several out of focus shots of her biting his tushie, so I gave up and gave him to her.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

two weeks old

The are doing well, but are still oh so small.  The smaller girl is 22 g smaller then the boy, who was in the 170s (unfortunately they were all odd numbers tonight, and I left the weight sheet in the kitten room)  I think he is 178 and she's 154.  She only put on 8 grams today despite getting a noon time feeding.  on the positive side they finally took a bit more then 13 g of food  - normally the max was 10.

It was asked how they compare to "normal" kittens... From ""
A newborn kitten weighs 110_120 grams (3.5_4 ounces) depending on the breed and nearly doubles the weight by the end of the first week. Weight gains also depend on the litter size. Without supplemental food, a kitten from a litter of 2, on average, reaches a body weight of 350 grams in 12 days whereas 27 days are needed for a kitten from a litter of seven.
so they are half (or worse) the weight they should be... seeing as this is day 14.  Maybe they are just destined to be small, which is very possible seeing how little they eat.  They normally take in about half of what they are going to eat and then need a break. Even the larger girl kitten who eats VERY well (sucking it right out of the syringe) does the same.  I put them back with Jordan to burp and let the food settle.  They soon start screaming for more food, but they don't eat as well for the second or third rounds, and often I feel like I'm forcing it in.  But I keep feeding until they stop screaming.  Jordan takes care of the clean up, and the lovin, I'm just the food at this point.

Although at this rate they are going to be with me until July.  I was only able to foster 16 kitties last year because I had so many long pregnancies with small litters.  Looks like it might be another small year.  (although I should probably knock wood or I'm going to end up with twice that amount or more as previous years)

Happy Birthday kittens.
food, food, food, food, food, food, food...

I win, feed me first!

Jordan gets fed first to distract her
 If you click on her photo, you can get a better look at her coat.  It is still very sparse, but it is starting to feel smoother and not as course.
after the first feeding

snuggle time

yes, they are "nursing" on her leg
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