Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Michaela's weight

Several readers have asked about Michaela's weight

When she showed up at my house on 22 days ago she weighed 3.22KG which translated to just over 7lbs 1oz. Last night I weighed her and she weighed 4.33 which roughly translated to 8lbs 9oz.

I don't usually weigh in KG, but for some weird reason I think it is a bit more precise (which is silly as it is the same scale just different settings) and I was told she was not eating well when she was dropped off. Originally, her eating wasn't great so I would weigh her each day. Each day the scale went up a little bit so I was feeling more and comfortable so after almost a week of increasing weight, I stopped weighing her.

What was interesting was on day one she had no idea what I was asking of her and when I put her on the scale she wanted off immediately. Each day it was a little easier to get her weight because she would wait a little longer before stepping off. These days when I put her on the scale she just stands there waiting for me to praise her. She is so smart.

She is eating quite a bit these days. It is interesting because some days she eats three cans but then some meals she barely eats half a can. The shelter dropped off some 3 oz cans and I fed her the Weruva Cats fowl ball and she LOVED it. Inhaled it before I finished scooping her box. I threw a case of it on the Amazon wishlist on the off chance anyone wants to feed a poor starving kitty ­čś╗

I'm also working with her to be carried around. Initially, she would hate it when I would pick her up. She would immediately start looking to get down and generally wasn't very nice about letting me know what she wanted. I would put her down the moment she asked and since she was generally calm enough to be placed on all four paws before I let her go, it was a fairly painless process. Now twice a day when I visit her I pick her up for a little snuggle and a kiss and she lets me. Each time I get just a few more seconds. Hopefully, once the babies come and she's a little more comfortable in her own skin she'll be a snuggly girl.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Kitten Pool update

Well, one-third of the people who entered the kitten pool has already been eliminated. I get the distinct feeling she is not going to give birth today either so that eliminates more than half of the guesses.

I did google how long after you felt movement, and they said two weeks, but maybe they didn't mean the subtle movements that feel a bit like a butterfly wing but more the distinct movement of a head *shrug* If so we are looking at another week of kitten watch. *sigh*

An update on her vomiting:  I couldn't get a handle on her vomiting, aka why she was doing it. At first, I thought it was a beef issue, but it happened after I fed beef foods. Turns out that it was the dry food (and the soy in the tuna?) that was causing it because once I eliminated the dry food it stopped. Now that she is on a canned food only diet, we are going through a ton of canned food.. fun fun.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Michaela's in the basket!

I brought the basket out into the room and Michaela immediately checked it out. We talked about birthin babies and she assumed the position and then...

I bet you want to see these babies.. 

yeah, well, so do I.. 

until they come out could you scratch my ears 
(I'm having a hard time with that right now)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Day elebenty billion without kittens - playing with light

At this rate, I fear I am never going to have kittens ever again, I'm just going to get this kitty who has swallowed a nerf football and who likes to chew on my hair and splay herself all over me.

But like the saying goes, a watched pot never boils, so I decided to see what I could do with different light options available to me when trying to take Michaela's photograph in the late afternoon. There isn't much natural light in that room, to begin with, and even less as the sun sinks below the tree line.

Full flash

no flash

bounced flash

up in the window light bounced flash

up in the window no flash

She was so over my playing pawpurrazzi.. all she wanted was for me to rub her belly and scratch her ears.. so I did. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

More food for Michaela thanks to the #chewyinfluencer program

The other option from the Chewy Influencer program - where they offer a few items for bloggers to try in exchange for an honest review - is Purina Pro Plan canned food. Since she wasn't eating at the beginning of the month I liked this option because it is a variety pack of seafood options. Cats who aren't eating well often will eat fish flavors because they have a much stronger smell than regular cat food. The variety pack includes eight 3oz cans each of Seafood Stew Entree in Sauce, Salmon and Rice Entree in Sauce, and Tuna Entree in Sauce. Fish is also naturally high in omega 3s, which are good for growing kittens.

But would she like it?

She ate the can, which was nice because she was eating so little at the time. I've been shying away from fish flavored foods since because Michaela has been vomiting every couple of days and I don't mind cat vomit, but fish cat vomit.. *shudder*

I am happy to have a variety of foods to offer her. I wish I had a bit more turkey cat food for her because she seems to like that best, but I ran out of that pretty quickly.

Monday, May 14, 2018

A donation of Dr. Elsey's cleanprotein Dry Food to the Great Plains Kitten Shower thanks to #chewyinfluencer

If you remember, I had my April offerings from the Chewy Influencer Program (where they offer me several items to choose from in exchange for an honest review) sent to Kansas while I was at BlogPaws. Stilwell reviewed one product for me and I planned to bring the other to the shelter as a donation. Turns out they were having a kitten shower that weekend, which was even better!

The second item for April I chose was Dr. Elsey's cleanprotein Grain-Free Dry Cat Food. This is not a new food to me, I learned about it a little while ago and have meant to do a review of the canned version of this food for my own cats, but haven't gotten around to it. Knowing that most shelters prefer to feed dry food (because of the convenience) I thought a bag of good food would be helpful even if it was only two pounds.  Dr. Elsey's makes a few claims about this food which is interesting like: •Over 90% of protein is animal-based. •Primary ingredients are among the highest biological value proteins available. •Lower glycemic formula delivers just 4% of energy from carbohydrates.

I have to give kudos to any food that tells you upfront what the carb level is of their food. You also have to love a company that has a bit of humor about things

So, we went to the kitten shower..

The shower was at Great Plains SPCA Animal Shelter. They had a few tables of displays talking about enrichment for the cats while they hang out at the shelter like puzzle toys and laser games. They are also including some Christmas light displays that shoot out pins of light so the cats cat watch them as they sit in the cages. Not see is a table that had "make your own cat toy" out of cut up t-shirts (which I did) and other crafty type things you could do quickly. They encouraged people to give the toys to the shelter cats.

Speaking of cats, they did have one kitten there and somehow I didn't end up with it in my pocket.. Probably because I was being watched very closely. Jenny was there volunteering and knew I was prone to walking away with kittens.

They had a bean bag toss game for kids too, as well as refreshments

Their wishlist was on full display. I am sure more shelters have very similar needs and could use either a bag of food, a case of canned food (always in short supply) or any of the things above.

Thank you to Chewy for the donation and another chance to take photos of shelter cats - which you will see in another upcoming post

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Kitten Pool

It has been suggested that I start a kitten pool. Post a comment with when you think Michaela will give birth and how many. I'm going with 5/20 and four kittens.. and no, I don't have any inside information.. (no x rays, no ultrasound, not even any real skull count), probably more wishful thinking than anything else. As I mentioned on Monday, I am fairly certain I felt the kittens move for the first time on the 6th. I also know that the vet said that she could not feel kitten bones the morning that Michaela arrived on April 30th

Sorry for the poor quality photos of her belly, but a black cat after dark does not photograph well.

So, what do you think?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A special former foster update - Happy Birthday to Miles and Treads

For those of you newer to the blog, Miles and Treads were part of a foster group I had way back in 2003. Treads (the tabby) was originally Peanut, the runt of the litter that was born at 1.7 oz. I was so scared that I ran the whole family into the shelter and I was told to just let nature take its course.

I was not having any of that and I interfered often and with reckless abandon. I isolated him and his mother so he could have one on one time without being knocked off by his siblings who were twice his size. I held her down and let him nurse when she wanted to get to the other kittens. I supplement fed him whenever I could.

I could not, would not, stop fighting for him. When the time came to return them for adoption my heart broke. Ann adopted him and his brother "Gonzo" now Miles, and has given me random updates over the years. Yesterday morning that photo came in and I nearly broke down. It was so nice to see him again. I am so happy that he is doing well and has reached such a milestone in his life.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Teaching Michaela to play

Now that Michaela isn't scared of everything, I can tell she is getting very bored in the kitten room. I thought I would break out the always loved fishing pole toy and try to work off some of her energy.

To say she had no idea what was going on is an understatement. The toy almost sent her back into hiding, but I went slow and did my best to activate her instincts...

She really only wanted to run off with it, so I let her and it went where some of her other favorite things ended up. This gives me hope that she will enjoy mothering in that basket.. now I have to get serious about getting my webcams back up and running.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Another new food for Michaela thanks to the #chewyinfluencer program

This month's Chewy Influencer sponsored offerings (where I am offered free product in exchange for an honest review) included two different types of canned food. Since I have a pregnant queen who wasn't eating well I thought I'd grab them both to see if I could entice her to eat more.

First up is the variety pack from I and Love and You. There are three flavors; Wholly Cow!, Savory Salmon, and Purrky Turkey Pate. I like that beef, salmon or turkey is the first ingredient and that it is made in the US. I am not a fan of the vegetables in the food, but at this point I was aiming for something to get her to eat more and the question is, did she want it?

I offered her the turkey flavor since she seemed to like poultry over fish with the other foods I tried.

She ate the first can in pretty short order so I put down a second before I left. I am thrilled she liked it so much and hope she likes the other flavors as much.

I would also like to add that I have finally felt babies move - either that or she has some really bad gas, but since her stool has been perfect I'm guessing it is the babies. The general guideline is once you feel them move there is about two weeks left in the pregnancy, so we probably won't have Mother's Day babies. She is getting more and more comfortable in the room and no longer scrambles to hide when I walk in the room. She wishes that I would spend all of my time in there. Anyone want to adopt a velcro kitty?

Friday, May 4, 2018

Convincing Momma Michaela to eat

When Michaela was dropped off to me it was conveyed that she was not eating well. Considering all she was going through and how scared she was I was not surprised. I was hopeful that being somewhere quiet without competition would prompt her to eat.

While she was willing to try anything I put down, she was not all that interested in eating that much. She almost seemed to have a "you have to pet me elebenty million times to activate my appetite" rule. I would rub her belly for a while, she'd jump down and eat a few bites then jump back up for more attention. Leaving her alone with the food didn't help either. I tried mixing it with some water, I tried fish flavors (which did get her to eat a bit more on her own). I got so exasperated, I tried raw.

That hit the spot. Have to say it made me a little proud, but I'm running low on raw at the moment so I can't put her on it exclusively.

I have been able to get her weight up from 3.22kg to 3.42kg (she's put on about half a pound) so I'm pleased with that. I still wish she would eat more though..

This made me smile. I'm not sure why she put the dog hair toy, that Robyn from Love and Hisses gave me, in the Moses basket I'm hoping she'll give birth in, but I'm choosing to believe it is a sign that she thinks the basket is an acceptable place for babies.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

#BlogPaws 10th Anniversary conference with @Chewy #ad

A view of Kansas City from my hotel room

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the BlogPaws conference this year. It was held in Kansas City, which isn't too hard to get to from New England, so I purchased a ticket at the early bird rate last year and spent the entire year anticipating the conference. Then, in the final months, I received a sponsorship to attend the conference
I am a BlogPaws Conference Sponsored Blogger on behalf of®. I am being compensated to help share information about the BlogPaws 10th Anniversary Conference and with my readers and fellow Influencers, Neither or BlogPaws are responsible for the content of this article.
I was excited when I was chosen by Chewy to blog and share social media posts about the conference. Making a point to search out fun and interesting things to share with my followers definitely enhanced my conference experience. The fact that most of the sponsors in the exhibit hall were "bipetual" this year made it easy for me to find wonderfully interesting products to talk about on the blog in the upcoming months.

A display of Lenny Pad reusable potty pads
I am super excited about Lenny Pads reusable potty pads
Pet Fusion is coming out with new toys and less bulky gloves for handling fractious cats
Pet Fusion has some really interesting products coming out
Wool cat beds from Dharma Dog Karma Cat
These Dharma Dog Karma Cat® cat beds are super cute

You can see in the background of that last photo the "living room" they set up in the exhibit hall. They had several areas for bloggers to congregate and mingle with their friends and other bloggers. They were called experiential areas and they had a "patio", an "office", and even a "kitchen" where they were dishing up dog food for the dog bloggers.

Learning sessions are the heart of the conference, and I attended a few of them. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get as much out of the sessions as I would have liked, but I know others who enjoyed the ones they attended. Sessions ranged from Facebook Ad Essentials to How to Start a Podcast. If you would like to see some of the past sessions, the BlogPaws YouTube channel has a few of them from 2013. You can even watch a segment from PetWorldInsider about the 2017 BlogPaws conference in Myrtle Beach

But do you want to know what I think is the best thing about going to BlogPaws? It is meeting up with like-minded individuals who spend their days thinking about their pets, photographing their animals, who go out of their way to learn more about their pets so they can share what they have learned with the world. I'm sure most people have other cat owners that are local to them, but very few people have another cat (or dog, or ferret) blogger in their own backyard. I was able to connect with old friends like Julie and Cupcake (above) from Cats Going Places and I was able to meet new cat bloggers like Tuxedo Trio. Hanging out with people who are passionate about the same things you are is priceless. Not only do you *not* feel like the crazy one, you just have to listen to learn from these amazing women and men and it only helps hone your craft.

Chewy has acquired the BlogPaws community and will be in charge of the 2019 conference. This is not really a surprise since both BlogPaws and Chewy had been brought under the PetSmart brand. While no announcement has been made as of yet for specific dates and location, they have said the conference will be in Florida. If you are considering going to a blogging conference and you want to learn more about blogging about pets, want to connect with brands and other bloggers and be part of the pet influencers network I recommend you attend the 11th annual BlogPaws conference.

In all honesty, going for the swag alone is reason enough to go..

The swag given out in the swag bags for cat bloggers
Travelin Jack shows off the swag that was just in the cat swag bag
Because this was just the beginning. You should see all of the stuff I got when talking to the brands about their products. You really do need to bring an extra suitcase to get it all home.

A big *Thank You!* to Chewy for sponsoring me to go to BlogPaws and I look forward to what you have in store for the pet blogging community in 2018 and beyond. You should totally check out their social media platforms and follow along because they share some really cute cats and dogs there. (that and the more you check them out, the better I look)

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chewy. The opinions and text are all mine. Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

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