Friday, September 29, 2017

We have chrysalis!

Wednesday night I saw this:

I checked on him several times in the evening but he continued to look like this (I should so totally name him - and a non-gender specific name since I have no idea if this is a boy) so I went to bed. In the morning I had this:

I"m kind of glad I missed the whole spectacle because instead of spinning a web around themselves they literally break their skin and molt into their chrysalis. There are interesting time lapse videos on YouTube if you are interested in seeing it. So in nine to fifteen days, hopefully, there will be a butterfly.

The one that is outside is a day or two ahead of the one inside so that one could very well hatch first. We'll have to see.

So, I'm back to not having anything to care for.. *sigh* I kinda hope my cats don't take this as a signal to get into trouble to make me care for them. Although, with this cold that is coming on, maybe I should just take some time and care for myself.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Eli is a happy boy

After everything this boy has been through, and considering how paranoid he is, it always amazes me when asks for belly rubs. I can never refuse him.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

There is just no stopping the grabby hands

Well, I couldn't help myself. When I went to check on the three remaining caterpillars on Monday morning and I could only find two. One was still eating the other was off on a peony plant just hanging out. I was running a little late so I didn't have time to try to collect it so I decided to do it when I got home from work. Losing them one at a time like this was hard.  When I got home there was only the one left and I really could not stand it, so, yeah, I collected it.

At first he wasn't eating but after a few hours he started to eat so I am hopeful that he will thrive and we'll have a chrysalis soon.

For fun, I went out one last time yesterday to see if I could find any others. No more caterpillars, but there was this.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Muffin haz a sad

Momma has let our treat stores become dangerously low!! I do not know how we will survive. Why just today this happened..

Momma emptied the chicken dust on the breakfast plates - and then *THEW AWAY THE BAG!!!* I was forced to lick dust up off the ground. That is no way for a proper lady cat to eat a treat..

I think there is something wrong with the momma.. I really do. I think someone needs to send *her* a bag of freeze dried chickens..

Monday, September 25, 2017

And then there were three - the caterpillar saga continues

I am going to admit that it has been a bit depressing to go from nine caterpillars to three. I don't know what is happening. I've seen some of them wander off into the peony plants right next to the milkweed, so I've been looking to see if I can see if they formed chrysalises in my peonies, but so far nothing. I'm not sure that is because my peonies are so dense or they just aren't there. Once again, I am tempted to intervein and take them inside but I'm not sure that is any better for them. I wish I could see just one form and hatch, but unless I do I won't be sharing any more updates.

I did find two interesting things this last time out to my garden. First, I received a fall strawberry. It was yummy.

There was also a moth hanging out in the garden

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

This caterpillar is a little lost

I went out after work to check on my kitten-pillars and I could only find four of them until this fifth one caught my eye. It was a little frustrating because the mosquitos were out in full force buzzing in my ears and trying to make a meal out of me so I might have overlooked someone.

They have eaten all of the leaves at the top of the milkweed and left all of the bottom two-thirds of the plant. Looking at the photos I wonder if it is because they are all full of poop, and I am wondering if I clear them off if they will be more appetizing. *shrug* I do not know as this is my first real time watching caterpillars.

I feel bad about the other four. Part of me wants to find out what happened to them, mostly to know if I can save the others (yes, I looked to see if they started to form their chrysalis). I should look to see if I can find another patch of milkweed just in case.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Chewy to the rescue to save Jack from the empty treat cupboard. #chewyinfluencer

Jack does not approve of my letting my cupboards become bare. With the upcoming move, I am loathed to buy lots of things that we will have to end up moving, but he promises me that he will eat any treats we have so that we don't have to move them.

When this month's influencer program from Chewy offered me Carnivore Crunch treats for dogs from Stella & Chewy's, I looked at the ingredient list and realized these would be great for Jack. And Fleurp and Skippy and Eli. Muffin won't eat treats that aren't either highly processed with lots of artificial flavors on it or freeze dried chicken. Twee doesn't eat treats.

I also like that this package comes with an easy-open pull tab. Jack likes that feature too because it means I get into them faster so he can get to them faster.

Jack inhaled the first three treats I gave him so I had to give him two in order to catch a photo of the treat. I was a little surprised he ate treats at all since he had just come back from the vet where he was diagnosed with an actual urinary infection. They had to do a cystocentesis to get his urine and he usually feels pretty bad afterward. These had to be some mighty tasty treats

Jack says thank you to Chewy for sending him yummy things.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

What's up caterpillar butt?

It is hard to watch caterpillars and not touch them. I want to participate in 'raising the young" if you will, but my interference would be just that, interfering. they know what they are doing, for the most part, I can only watch.

Each day I check on them seems to bring out new hatchlings. I was up to nine the other day but only had seven yesterday and that was with the inclusion of yet another new caterpillar, so I'm fairly certain we lost three of them to something. Maybe they were on lower leaves and I just didn't see them, but I looked for quite some time.

I'm hoping we get chrysalis soon. I talked to a co-worker who has collected them for years for the classrooms and she says they aren't that late but I still worry. I suppose I don't really want them heading south during hurricane season, but I'd like them out of here fairly quickly as I need to dig up my peony plants to take them with me.

One thing I wasn't expecting was the amount of pillar poop these guys put out. It is kind of impressive.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Tails from the Monarch Catepillars

Well, my "kittenpillars" are still outside munching away, getting bigger and bigger. At last count, we had six, but I found one new baby one. Nothing really new to report, but here are a few more photos.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon

I found this quote from A.A. Milne a long time ago and knew that I needed to connect it up with this series of photos I have from 2004-2005. I have been looking, quite unsuccessfully, for their original electronic versions (I haven't used film for photos since 2003) but I recently put my hands on some printed versions I have.

Now be kind, because digital photography was questionable for the average consumer back in 2004. I still have one of my early cameras that took pictures in KB.. lol. The poor thing doesn't even have a removable storage device. I wanted to try to pull any old photos off of it, but I can't find the power cord and batteries no longer charge it up.

These are back when my babies were truly just babies..

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

What is a foster kitten blog without foster kittens??

Seriously woman! And you call yourself my mother!!

Poor Skippy, he has been party to my shenanigans due to my not having kittens. While I have been packing, I found his sparkly bow tie, which he's never worn, so I put it on him to see how it looked. It is okay, but it isn't my favorite.  Then I found (rediscovered? uncovered? no, not really, I knew where it was all along, but I was totally looking for a break from shoveling through the clutter in my office) the fez and knew that Skippy was just going to have to put up with me and my love of a mad man in a blue box.

And Skippy was all like "Don't you have something to take care of" to which I shook my head and repositioned the fez. and Skippy retorted "what about those things out in your thingy" (he has no concept of outside) which reminded me that I had decided to let the milkweed, that was popping up in my flower bed, grow to see what would happen. It only started appearing last year after 12 years at this house and last year I pulled it all up. I've always loved milkweed and their pods and have been fascinated with monarch caterpillars. I loved watching them hatch when I was a kid, so I wondered if I let the milkweed grow if they would come.

Every time I checked them, I saw nothing. some nibbles but no visitors. One day I saw a monarch floating away from the house and I was hopeful, but alas, nothing for weeks. Then this weekend... 

How exciting!! I looked around for more and found one on my peony plant and told it that it was being very silly and it should get back to the milkweed right away. It didn't listen to me, so I "helped" it.

In all, I counted five, but I saw one in the pictures below that I didn't see when I was taking the photos, so we have at least six. I'm trying not to make a nuisance of myself, but it is hard when I don't have kittens to be all not 'grabby hands' (as evidenced by my 'helping' that one on my peony plant) (okay, fine, it is hard in general for me to not be all grabby hands.. I admit it, you are right on that one Dee)

I don't know why the milkweed suddenly started growing in my garden, but I'm glad it did. I hope they have a lovely journey down to Mexico - that is if they pupate and emerge on time to get there.
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