Friday, April 14, 2017

2016 - A TFK Year in Review.

I really stink at looking back at what happened in the past year. I've really only done it one other time in the fifteen years I've been doing this blog, but we has a few major losses this year and it has been weighing on me that I no longer talk about Kit. I figured this might be a way around that 😊

Also, reviewing the year is hard, because kitten season skews the year up entirely. What year do I add kittens that started with us in December but are still here in January? Do I mention them twice? See.. such weird questions you only ask yourself when you run a blog and you are thinking of doing a year in review post..

ANYWAY.. without too much more adieu..


January started off with the continued fostering of Gandalf the Gray

He was such a fun little boy. It was a pleasure to have him here.

Eli celebrated National Static Electricity Day.. his favorite holiday of all. He gets so mad in the summer time when there is no static to be found. I also blogged about helped a friend out by sharing images to help spread the word about shelter animals and finding them homes. Seriously, I love this video


February saw the adoption of Gandalf and the arrival of Lemon, Sprite and Wryn. Lemon was a really sweet kitty but she lacked communication skills and tended to growl at me instead of purr. As some of you know, Lemon's daughters went on to be adopted by a woman I have made friends with and they have popped up on the blog a few times post adoption.

This month I also became really annoyed at an internet meme that basically told people not to take any advice off the internet when it comes to your pets. Yes, there are sources on the internet that are less knowledgeable than others, but if you can tell the difference between fake news and real news, then you can probably figure out a good source of information on the internet. (apparently, I am still bothered by this)

Raffe, my four-foot giraffe in the kitten room, underwent his first of two major surgeries to straighten out his neck. I did a pretty good job the first time, but the internal structure was just no match for two pound cats hanging off his head, so a second was necessary - but that was much later.

I also went to a shelter meeting where they talked about improving the shelter and the upgrades they had coming and I believe this was one of the first "shooting at the shelter' series where I try to take pretty photos of cats at the shelter to share with you. I do it to work on my photography skills - taking photos of kitties in the shelter environment is challenging because the lighting is often not very good and I don't want to hinder other people looking at the kitties.


March started with Wryn and Sprite still with us. My husband had gone out of town for a week and he was missed by all the kitties, none so more than Kit.

I spent a blog post musing about the pain of fostering which I think is a good read (if I do say so myself) and an important topic. And sadly, far too timely for what was to come.

I blogged about the dangers of lilies. I think it a shame that florists aren't required to put a warning on lilies considering how toxic they are. I thought it was just because cats are still considered second class pets, but I found out they are also toxic to dogs. I also did a post for declaw awareness day.

It also saw the start of the short lived 'random photos from my phone' series of posts, which I think is an awesome idea and I REALLY should get back to it because I take a bunch of cute photos on my phone and it would get me to back up my phone photos more often.


No joke, on April 1st I blogged about feeding your cat a vegetarian diet. I occasionally run into pockets of people who think this is a good thing. You can read the post or you can just accept "obligate carnivore" (and yes, I ran into a vegan who actually said the words 'the myth of obligate carnivore', and yes, it really hurts when I bang my head onto my desk)

Wryn and Sprite were adopted at the end of March and then I kitten-sat for them for a short while. Their new mom was moving and her house wasn't quite ready for kittens. Once she took them home, I went to the shelter and I brought home "Skinny" who I quickly renamed Art3mis. She was very unhappy with absolutely EVERYTHING going on and spent most of her time behind the couch.

I had gone to the NE Fed Conference and learned about how some communities are dealing with homeless cats. The statistics they provided about leaving cats where they are found were mind blowing.

As Art3mis' kittens grew, I could not restrain my grabby hands. Seriously, I should have gotten a medal for leaving them alone as long as I did!


Art3mis' kittens were still with us and things were fairly uneventful until it came to litter box training. And then it hit the fan. If there had been a fan in that room I would joke that it litteraly hit it because those boys .. well it wasn't fun

It took all the way to May 10th for the CatMan to feel comfortable meeting the kittens. He said he was afraid of stressing Art3mis out, but I think he was just afraid of Art3mis.

Muffin, Jack, and Fleurp went to the vet for a check up. Muffin's routine blood work found her SDMA levels were a little high. I searched high and low to find out exactly what I should do to help her. The only thing my vet had was to give her fish oil and consider a low protein renal diet. Since I object to Rx renal diets on several different levels (I don't believe low protein is appropriate and I hate the ingredient list) I opted for the fish oil. I'm not very good at it and subsequent tests had her SMDA actually dropping... so while I do believe she is in the beginning stages of renal failure there isn't much more to do than to watch her. Sadly, she also has some serious muscle mass loss in her feet and some arthritis in her bones, It aches to know my time is drawing short with my 15 yr old girl.

With healthy kittens doing nothing more than being cute, I did an AMA aka an Ask Me Anything post and gave you a tour around the kitten room.


Art3mis' kittens were still with us in June and were becoming obnoxiously adorable. Several of my posts held warnings about extreme cuteness. They thought climbing Raffe was super fun and was the reason he needed a neck transplant later on in the year.

I got another bee in my bonnet about cat food, having see too many people say that kitten food is vital for kittens to the point of making other people feel bad that they were feeding adult food to kittens. Is there a difference between cat food and kitten food? In a word, no.

I created another post about fostering and how hard it can be when foster families are told they should so totally keep a kitten. It happens to me and I try to explain that right now it is not a good idea for me to keep other kitties due to Jack's health. People seem to forget that their reasons for not adopting another kitty are valid reasons for other people too. It hurts when I see it happen to friends more... and I wrote this in response to a number of comments on a friend's situation.

June also saw Art3mis' kittens go up for adoption and the introduction of new kittens to Casa de Gato. Four little kittens and one was missing a foot! It was a good thing the kittens liked to hunt flies because we had a few get into the kitten room.


The new kittens were quite afraid of humans and would often attempt to hide from me. I had a few different people stop by to visit them in an attempt to acclimate them to new people.

I also introduced them to freeze dried minnows. That was fun.


There was a small glitch with the surgeries with the kittens. We do not know exactly what happened, but I have my suspicions.. as a result, Corrie spent a couple of days disorientated and having some issues with her coordination. I was worried about her and said so on my blog. That post got in front of the right set of eyeballs and happily, a friend of a friend adopted her and her bonded sister Lily (they are now Rose and Lily). The rest of them were doing well and were adopted quickly.

Muffin celebrated National Lazy Day. Twee celebrated National Middle Child Day. Skippy celebrated National Bow Tie Day again. Fleurp celebrated National Just Because Day. And Kit simply loves her dad.

August is the height of kitten season and I wasn't being offered kittens so I thought I would contact the other shelter in the area to see if they needed any help. They offered me two kittens, Emma and Elsie.


Emma had a bit of a health scare, but September saw her in good health and we just coasted until their scheduled return date.

They were replaced by Cinnamon and Cayenne

We celebrated National Teddy Bear Day with a Happy Bear retrospective. He is really starting to show his age.

I did a post on my diagnosis of Lipedema. It still floors me that 10% of the women suffer from this disease but yet conventional medicine still blames women for eating too much. If you can't buy a match set of bra and panties, you might have lipedema. Even if you don't have it, Please, educate yourself on it. There is a good chance someone you know does. Ten percent.. that is about the same as breast cancer and awareness for that is EVERYWHERE!

Cinnamon and Cayenne weren't here long, so I was once again without kittens. I decided to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day, and boy were my cats happy!


There were still no kittens at Casa de Gato. Fortunately, my friend had some, so I went to visit them.

(it is at this point in creating this blog post that I am seriously jonesing for kittens) In the second week, we brought home Benji who looked so much like Skippy I couldn't resist sticking him in a bow tie. He just needed a short stay to get caught up on vaccinations before going up for adoption.

Mid October brought us the fish kitties. Their Halloween photo shoot was a lot of fun.


It was also at the end of October that I came clean about Kit's health issues. She had several bouts of illness over the year, even having one blood test that came back that made the vet say FIP. I have a history with FIP, and I KNEW you couldn't diagnose it with a blood test and I KNEW she didn't have it, but the vet kept saying it. I finally had to stop him and say since FIP is incurable, let's pretend she doesn't have it, what else is there? He mentioned cancer and wanted to do x-rays and other tests. Since Kit is my husband's cat I wasn't making any decisions without him and after talking to him, he decided to treat her conservatively. We went back for the followup appointment and redid the blood work and were going to pursue x-rays when her blood work came back markedly improved. It was decided that she didn't have FIP or cancer that it was most likely just an infection. She did well for quite some time, then had another downturn.

Well, at the end of October she became ill again. She had some congestion and some sneezing so we just assumed she caught a cold. We put her back on conservative treatment, but she did not improve. One night I found blood. I pulled her aside and gave her a good once over and found a lump on her throat. I don't check my cats over every single day, but I do give them a hands on rather frequently. I can't say how long it had been since I had felt her neck and it was 'normal' but it couldn't have been more than a couple of weeks. It floors me that she would be gone two weeks later.

One thing I never shared with you was that the only way I could cope with her entire illness was to write blog posts in my head. I shared everything with you guys. Unfortunately, the thoughts in my head never made it to the computer.. which actually is probably a good thing because this would have been one of the saddest blogs ever.


The fish kittens received visitors and really enjoyed it. I also blogged about the fun of trying to photograph kittens.

Kit had her last non-illness related post, reviewing some treats for Chewy on the 8th.

and then on the 11th, we said goodbye. I'm still not over it. Every time I get emotional about it, I just tell myself that she is just in the other room. My memorial post is here.


To keep things light, we celebrated National Have a party with your bear day and had another Happy Bear retrospective.

I introduced you to the ARLGP's new shelter that they built.. it is absolutely amazing. And I introduced you to three more kittens: Paris Prism and Pirate.

They were under socialized, so they hung out with me for a few weeks.


I spent some time socializing the P kittens and they did very well. They went back to the shelter pretty quickly as well.

I decided to sell some catnip toys to raise some funds for vet visits; the sale went pretty well. I didn't get a lot of feedback so I'm unsure if this is something I should do on a regular basis or not. I also sent out TFK Christmas Cards.

I decorated my Christmas tree with cat toys once again. I doubt I'll ever decorate my tree with anything else ever again because it just makes me smile. (seriously, go to that post, you get to see the tree in all of its glory)

Happy Bear wrote a letter to Santa

And apparently, Santa is hard of hearing...

I ended the year without kittens, but I did create a post on why I feed raw food to my cats. I have talked about it on and off throughout the years, but never really put it all down in one place to have a cohesive explanation of why I do what I do and how it has helped.

~*The Wrap-Up*~

285 blog posts, 27 kitties fostered with just one birth at the house. It was a very long year and it had its share of heartbreak. Hopefully, we won't be going through that anytime soon. *knock wood*

What was your standout memory of my blog from 2016? What would you like to see more of in 2017?


  1. Thank you so much for reminding me about the post about leaving cats where they are instead of taking them to the shelter. I still think that needs to be practiced on a very wide scale.

  2. it is hard to put these together, but so interesting to look back and sometimes see things you missed or touched your heart....we are still so VERY sorry about Kit.

  3. I enjoy all of your postings. I truly do. I am so sorry about Kit. I wish for you that at the time you had put down in writing what you were dealing with. Even if it was only for you it sounds like it would have helped you. I still write about Abby, and it's for me, even when I think no one wants to hear this, it's I need to say it. If no one reads it, it's OK. I finally recognize after almost 4 years I'm always going to miss her and it's going to make me feel sad but I also know too after 4 years that I wouldn't trade one moment of the 8 years I had her. The thing so many don't 'know' is that fluffy beautiful young kitten will one day be a senior cat and knowing how to say goodbye is as important as saying hello.

  4. We are aware that we may be looking at a future without Chucky. Chuck and Angel are our first cats, so I don't know what to expect. And my tendency is to fly off the handle, so some counselling would be helpful. Your non-posts about Angel Kit would be of interest to many of us, but whatever you want to blog about, we love to read! I want to be like you when I grow up (or retire, whichever comes first...LOL!)

  5. My heart goes out to you. As a former foster for cats, dogs and children I know about some of what you experience. What a very busy year you had. I am going to check out some of the links you have posted and read more. Hugs and thank you for all you do for sweet kittens.

  6. We LOVE your bonnet bees and thank you for sharing every one of them. What beautiful photos and memories. What a year it was. Thank you!

  7. Thanks for the review. It brought back lots of memories of all the kits and cats you fostered and even the sad memories of Kit. Paws up to you...seriously...for everything you do.

  8. You certainly had a busy year and much sadness with losing Kit. I admire all you do for the kittens.

  9. Honestly-the Lipedema post. Your frustrations/humiliations, the witch-doctor treatments, the complete lack of knowledge by professionals, the failure to communicate with you, and on and on. It was compelling to read, and I wonder if it was somehow therapeutic to write? And, way less, the story of Art3mis.

  10. We agree, it's hard to do these retrospective posts but they're so worth it. I realized we missed a few important ones this way. And she's with Summer that one post is so important. Plus the raw food one! And ... Kit. Hugs. Loads of hugs.

  11. What a great look back. I can't believe that it was only last year that I started following your blog. That giraffe pic is too funny.


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