Monday, August 31, 2015

Guess you know what this means..

I got the call last week about a trio of kittens needing foster care. They came from a pretty bad situation and were apparently absolutely covered in fleas. It took a few days for the testing and defleaing to commence and I took them home on the 25th.

Yes, they were completely freaked out, but I had the feeling they would be better off in the room and not caged fostered, so I let them out to roam. They absolutely loved it, and had a lot of time running and playing and climbing on things. They also spent quite a bit of time sleeping on Happy Bear, which made me very happy indeed.

They also did very well with me. Feral kittens will hide from me and not be out and about in the room when I am there - which is why I lock them up so I can force interaction. They would walk with in an arm's length of me, and considering they had just gotten here I was very happy with that. I also had them playing with a toy with me.

However I wanted to put my hands on them so I could feel how they felt and so I could double check genders. I was able to tease the little black and white one with in reach and I reached down and got a hold of her and she completely flipped out. If she had been any older than she is I am sure I would have been quite bloody with great big deep bite wounds, but because she is so small her attempts to kill me dead were just sad instead of painful.  I held her close and apologized for freaking her out and she was painfully thin. She is also dramatically smaller than the other two.

Because she flipped out, the other two weren't coming anywhere near me, so I continued to play with them and talk to them and then called it a night. When I went down in the morning I realized they hadn't eaten.  I viewed the video of the room (see web cam links at the top of the page) and saw that they were acting like very normal kittens but they weren't eating. Their stool was even nice and firm. I was concerned, but considering all of the other signs were okay, I went to work. I watched them all day and they still didn't eat more than a bite or two. I offered them everything.. and when I mean everything, I mean everything. They looked great, were active and playing but simply not eating. Two of them did vomit though.. but since they weren't eating it was simply liquid.

Since I couldn't put my hands on them with any reliability, it was time to lock them up and cage foster them.

This way I could force feed them.  I tried commercial kitten milk and I tried raw goat milk. Neither option suited these kittens and I was lucky if I could get 5ccs in them. I force fed them meat baby food, and if I got two ccs of that in them of that it was a good thing.  Kittens of this size (about two pounds) should be eating a great deal more than that.

I contacted the shelter and explained my problems and picked up some fluids, some a/d and some more dewormer.  My hope was that their tummies were full of round worms and that is why they were so reluctant to eat enough food. Thirty six hours after the deworming they still weren't eating. So Saturday I brought them to the shelter and found out that the largest girl went from 2.23 lbs to 1.74. This was not good. The staff was quite perplexed too. They asked me what I would like to do next, and my thought was a vet visit. The woman I was talking to went to discuss them with another tech. They looked them over again and then went to talk to a third staff member. The decision was to put them on antibiotics on the off chance they had an upper respiratory issue going on, despite not seeing or hearing anything.  The kittens still had good energy and were still looking good so I didn't push for the vet visit.

The antibiotic went over about as well as you might expect and I got the look of disgust. I also decided to deworm them again on the off chance that their bellies were so full of worms that the first dose didn't kill enough to make a difference.  They had given me a package of Fancy Feast Appetizers saying that they had kittens that didn't eat that would eat those, so I gave them that and went about my day.  When I checked on them later they ate about half of that appetizer, so I brought them down some raw food.  They ate some of the raw food.

Things were starting to look up. Since I don't know if it is the antibiotic that is helping or the second dose of strongid, so I am keeping them locked up for a few more days while we finish the round and make sure they are eating.  They are eating two to three times what they were originally, but to me it is still about half what they should be eating to put some body weight on.  So I am feeling optimistic enough to start blogging about them, but I'm still quite concerned about them.

I've also gotten the largest of the three to purr for me, which is very nice. She was purring before but I think it was because she wasn't feeling well, but she did start purring when I was holding her and patting her, so I am encouraged.  The middle one.. oh she is a pip. When I force feed her she throws her head back and tenses up so hard it is almost like she is having a seizure... she isn't, she's just being a drama queen.  The littlest one, the black and white one really wants me to go away and not come back. she looks a bit like a gremlin when I hold her and pat her... but hey, at least she doesn't growl.

So I have my work cut out for me.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Happy National Bow Tie Day

Skippy's favorite holiday is upon us once again.  That boy sure does look dapper in a bow tie. He wasn't sure which bow tie to wear to celebrate, so we had to try out a few..

Is this on straight?
I think this one is too big for me, I'll wear the sparkle one
See, this one matches my eyes... sorta.. 
So then I can wear the white one?
Dapper kitty is dapper.
I simply adore bow ties on cats, and fortunately Skippy puts up with them. He wears them all the time.

Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day

Emmy and Kodi
Oh how I adored these cats. Each one taught me so much. Em brought me into the world of the cat lady by becoming diabetic. Ollie taught me to love a soul despite of and because of a grumpy nature. Kodi taught me about FIP and brought me into being an advocate and to share with others what I learned so that his life was not in vain.

Andrew - foster
Lori - foster
Chandler - foster
Buffy - former foster
Henri Sigmond Spitter
Smivick - foster
Miss Benny - foster
Cupcake - foster
There are others, but the early parts of my blog aren't well categorized. It is hard, doing what I do, but because I do it I have helped save so many. None of are promised a long life, and I take comfort in the fact that those kittens that died young had the best possible life at the end.

This post is part of Zee and Zoey's blog hop check out other posts here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Why The Crazy part of Crazy Cat Lady Must End

Being a human being of the female variety who loves and owns cats I have been made fully aware of the "Crazy Cat Lady" stereotype. I have never ever been a fan.

A number of cat ladies have decided that they were going to 'embrace' the crazy part of this status and fully ignore the negative that comes with it. Kudos to them. Really. It is so nice when you find people who can be made fun of and they simply do not care. Unfortunately, that has never stopped people from continuing to talk badly. Nor does it empower people, of lesser constitutions who feel the need to not be made fun of, to stand up for themselves. However, I do think that by allowing this stereotype to continue we harm cats.

Just about every time the conversation about 'crazy' comes up in regards to cat people, invariably the question about why the people who love dogs aren't considered crazy, and inevitably someone pipes up and says "yes, I am a crazy dog person" It is not the same.

Crazy Cat Lady action figure vs Crazy Dog Lady image (from this etsy shop)
Notice how the Cat Cat lady isn't wearing clothes, how her hair is unkempt and she looks grumpy, whereas the Crazy Dog lady is wearing pants, she appears happy and approachable. The Crazy Cat Lady is seen as an anti-social, a hoarder living in squalid conditions that reek of cat odor and is a danger to her own health, the health of her cats and the health of her neighbors. The Crazy Dog Lady is thought of as fun, social, a bit weird maybe, but totally someone you could relate to if left alone to talk, and she is most certainly not date-able nor destined to be a spinster. The crazy in Crazy Dog Lady is the "enthusiastic" meaning of the word crazy, where the Crazy Cat Lady is forced to wear the mentally deranged, foolish, absurdly out of place, or even the extremely annoyed or angry parts of that definition.

So what does this have to do with improving the lives of cats? Young women are afraid of being the crazy cat lady and being shunned by friends and potential future husbands/mates. I have actually heard this argument from men as well. Being called a Crazy Cat Lady is and always will be a 'bad thing' to non-cat people (except those people who don't care what others call them).

In 2013 the tv show "The Crazy Ones" did an episode with a cat in it. If you aren't aware of the show, it is about an ad agency with four young people, two male and two female - one of which is the daughter of the owner of the agency Simon - which just happens to be the late great Robin Williams. I adored the show, but this one episode in particular really spoke to me and I adore the ending, but there were a couple of scenes where Syndey (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar) is either told or parrots that older single women should NOT have a cat as it spells out their doom forever finding a mate which should be their life goal. I particularly dislike this moment seventeen minutes into the show (well this video - which was pretty badly recorded but was the only version out there right now)

It is sad that we as a society have come to this. I can only guess that cats are vilified because they are independent and not pack animals like dogs. Liking cats says you are okay not going along with the group and spending time in your own company;  Liking dogs, being pack animals that generally need to socialize and need approval of the being in charge. On a personal note, I find this so fascinating because men rarely state they want a clingy seeking approval woman in their life but want a strong independent woman, but yet they are drawn to dogs and shun the idea of a cat... but I digress.

Cats have such horrible reputations. Almost everyone who comes into my house is amazed I have seven+ cats (seven who live here and any random number of cats who are being fostered) because in general my house does not smell of cats, nor is there an abundance of cat hair, or whatever cat stereotype they expect to find. Yes, my cats are raw fed so their litter box smell is minimal, to begin with, but as completely sane cat people, we take care of our cat's needs and their refuse.  Why is it people don't expect the house of a dog person to smell like wet dog or be covered in excrement but they do for cats? My cats don't (generally) suck up to strangers and stick their muzzles in inappropriate places, and as such, they are labeled aloof, despite the fact that they were all over me two minutes before company showed up.

And then there was this video...

(btw, the 47-year-old kicks butt!!)

This is an absolutely lovely video until you get to the 53 yr old at 2:15 where she says one cat is enough cats... it is not only what she says, but HOW she says it. I literally commented with a swear word on the Facebook post where I first saw it, fortunately my phone changed it into "Duck you 53 yr old, cats are awesome" which I think makes my point a bit more elegantly, because when you swear in the comments section, no one listens to you, and they put you in that 'crazy' category of people who don't need to be listened to (see what I did there?)

Owning a cat, and better yet saying you own a cat, should not be something you have to feel brave to do. No one has to 'stand up' for owning a dog, nor justify to anyone if they want to spend their time visiting the theme parks of the US to ride all of the roller coasters, go spelunking, or collect rubber ducks.  We should never EVER have to use the words 'heck I even have a husband' when talking about how awesome cats are because seriously, cats are freakin awesome! and they certainly do not need us to justify it.

So let's not buy in, give credence, or accept that owning a cat makes you crazy. What makes you crazy is having an actual mental condition.

Owning a cat.. well, being owned by a cat.. is..


and if you want to call me crazy for putting a tiara on a cat or doing this, by all means, you do have every right to, but I will think you are crazy for being so closed minded.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Twee and her coat of just two colors

I adore this photo of Twee I was able to capture the other day, because it shows off her infamous leg dangles AND the fact that her coat is two sizes too big for her. What looks like excess fur is actually skin and fur. It is odd because she has never been overweight, she was just born with a extra large coat (and she has a waddle that could put your eye out if she ran past you)

Twee also is about to get a visit from the Tooth Faerie.  I was checking out her teeth because we have been using a product to help clean tartar. Twee has had extreme reactions to sedation when she was a kitten so I am so hesitant to get her dentals. When I saw her teeth were covered in tartar so shortly after her last dental (it was a little over six months when I noticed the build up) I wanted to try something.  So far it seems to be working, but she had been flinching when I touched her to check in her mouth. I touched one of her tiny teeth behind her upper canine and she flinched again, and the tooth pretty much came off.  She is doing much better now that it has broken off, and as long as it continues to heal up I am going to wait and see if the root will need to come out when we are ready to do another dental on her.. which hopefully will be much later rather than sooner - but that will all depend on how she does, because I'd rather risk her under sedation when she is in good health than when she is not feeling well from an infection

Monday, August 24, 2015

What's this?!? and no, it is not a tail warmer.

So last Friday I went out and picked up my mail to find in it that I had a package that I needed to sign for. I had to wait until the next day in order for it to get back to the post office so Saturday morning I braved the crowds (my house PO is in the heart of a very busy tourist town) and found there a very large box. I was so perplexed as I didn't remember ordering anything, and certainly nothing from out of the county. The packing slip didn't help jog my memory at all, so I tossed it in the car and brought it home.  I opened it up and laughed, and shared the above photo on my Facebook page to share my few minutes of mystery with everyone.

Muffin and Fleurp had no idea what was in the package.. they gave it a good once over too. I think they were hoping to sit on it for a while but I was too curious as to what was in it to let them.

Well this clears things up, doesn't it? Fleurp is still hoping it is food. I do have to say I was mightily impressed with the packaging. That bit of artwork up against the box is a thin plastic folder that the invoice was in (which also didn't help me figure out what it was because it was in Korean)

The second I saw the first box I laughed so hard because Robin had told me she was sending these and we both joked about it taking so long to get to me that we'd forget. I had first seen these chair socks on Facebook and not only were they so darn adorable but they weren't for sale anywhere. Robin apparently found somewhere and ordered them for me even though they were on backorder.

Sadly my chair legs are a little too wide to fit them right, but they are still freakingly adorable. I am so going to find just the right thing to put these on, until then I am going to put them somewhere where I can see them all the time because they are so cool.  Thank you Robin!!

I have you and Gracie in my thoughts as you go through these difficult times
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