Monday, December 31, 2018

Tails from the Foster Kittens - 2018 a year in review


January:


This year started out, once again, without kittens. We had just moved to NH two months before and we were not settling into the house as well as we had hoped. It was a nice home, but it just didn't suit our needs. We had plans to renovate it but we were having a hard time getting anyone to help us with that and so we were quite frustrated.

I took some time to write a post about FeLV and I bought a new chair that I really like and I got a very good deal on. Yes, the blog was quite boring

February:


February was an incredibly slow month on the blog with just six posts and two of them being sponsored content. Fleurp started her spring molt a little early that year and looked quite rough for a while because she really hates it when I groom her.

March:


Things started to pick up in March. I shared with you how Jack liked to make me jealous when I was busy and couldn't pay attention to him. Twee had a dental and had a very bad reaction to the sedation so we are planning on never doing that again. I noticed a rather large lump on Eli - which is still there and hasn't changed so we are thinking it is a lipoma - since he has two others.

I tried to drum up some interest in this kittenless kitten blog by asking you which of The Crew you thought was the cutest and I ended the month with my annual "Make Mine Chocolate" post. I have owned two bunnies in my life and I love rabbits as pets, but they do have unique requirements and I think people should know about them before adopting.

April:


In April, Jack started shivering. I do not know if this was connected to what ended up taking his life in just a few short months, but I will regret not looking into this further. The vet wrote it off as his being an old man and it was very cold when he would do it. She was most likely right, but hindsight is never kind, is it?

This month I also went to Kansas City to go to BlogPaws. I was chosen as a Chewy influencer and they contracted with me to pay my way; my hotel stay and airfare. Unfortunately, I still haven't seen reimbursement for despite contacting them several times on this

I also wrote up a post about those little black cysts that cats get in their ears.. mostly because we were having issues with them.

May:


May finally saw kittens back on this kitten blog. Michaela came to me pregnant and gave birth here.

I also shared with you my trip to the Great Plains animal shelter (wow, not one post about Jack all month.. but there was one about Fleurp)

June:


June brought lots of cute kitten photos as well as the much loved "naming day" post.

One of the online groups I was in was having a huge debate over goat milk being an appropriate milk replacer for kittens, so I wrote a post about it. I have been using it for years and all of my kittens have been happy and healthy with great growth and weight gain and minimal if no diarrhea that many kittens suffer with when they are on commercial products. I was sold but so many people had been told there was no taurine in the milk (not true) or that there wasn't as much fat in it (which is true but there is more than enough) so the kittens would be undernourished in that regard (not true). People wanted facts, not antidotes so I spent some time pulling articles and contacting sellers of goat milk to get the facts so I could put them in one place so the next time someone told me emphatically that using goat milk was going to kill kittens, I could share with them the facts. .

Wow.. no Jack photos in June either, but there was a post about Twee and one about Skippy.. and I even updated you all on Fleurp's annual bout with anemia and how shaving her seemed to help.

July:


You know I was going there because this is the one post that still makes me laugh when I think about it..  The squirrel post came out better than I thought it would and I still love these collages of the kittens from birth until ten weeks .. it is rare that I have good headshots for all the kittens for every week they are with me, and considering the turmoil of the year I am thrilled I was able to get these.
I also announced that Michaela was leaving us to go and nurse another set of kittens that lost their mom..

I also found a photo of Jack that I uploaded but didn't make into a post, so you saw (but no one noticed - or if they did they didn't say anything) a post of Jack back at the old house.

August:


In August I finally announced that we were moving. It was an incredibly rough year, much more so that I have ever let on, and by this point, I was pretty close to losing it. Fortunately, my kitten supplier knew just what I needed and provided me with another batch of kittens.. Michaela and her new charges needed a place to stay and I had a kitten room that was aching for kittens. Fortunately, these kittens were happy to give massages

August saw a couple of informational posts, such as my experiences with giving CBD to my cats and another mythbusting post about Pedyalite for kittens - since there had been a great deal of fear-mongering about giving it to kittens. Skippy celebrated National Bow Tie Day and I shared with you my new obsession with the wildlife in my backyard

September:


Things were going well in September, unpacking this time around went much smoother, things were falling into place, the kittens were doing well - even if they were being obnoxious and were ready to move on - and then things went south quickly and then they got worse.

As for The Crew, I noticed things weren't as they should be with Muffin and Jack. Muffin went to the vet and it was recommended that we give her fluids more often so I blogged about doing that in conjunction with a sponsored post hoping to make it a little more shareable and interacted with as sponsored posts are what keep a lot of bloggers going. Supporting those, commenting on those posts (not just here but any blog you visit) helps a great deal.

Jack's symptoms were minor and I was trying to decide if they were even a thing.. as I tend to be paranoid and no more so after things go bad..

I also shared more photos of the deer that visit my backyard

October:


I was still processing the loss of Graham when the unimaginable happened. Weirdly I posted a conversation about grief in the form of a poem I had with Muffin a few months prior the day before everything went bad having no idea what was about to happen. And when I say bad, I mean really bad. I mean "you take on a pregnant cat because you need a project to distract yourself and realize that isn't enough so you take on another pregnant cat" bad.

(my lamenting about Jack's passing has been hidden in white font, highlight if you want to read it, or just skip if you don't have tissues)

I didn't have the time to process his illness.. to give him a calm and serene goodbye I would have liked, that he deserved. Every time I went to check on him every fiber of my being, every cell, everything was screaming "NOOOO!!!" at him. I can't imagine how horrible that made him feel. I really wish I could have had even a few more hours to come to terms with it - but even to this day three months later my body is still whimpering "no no no no no no".  Emmy took over a year, Ollie took a little longer. Kit was only a matter of weeks but it was so obvious that she wasn't going to make it from pretty early on. Jack took just a few days.. from the nosebleed at night, to the vet appointment the next day, to his rapid and horrific decline so we made an appointment for that next day. He still looked healthy and beautiful... but he wouldn't even eat his beloved dry food - which I always joked would be his last meal.. 

But life moves on, and Darcy gave birth to five kittens and three survived, and Onyx gave birth to four. I was asked for a calendar of Michaela and her two sets of kittens so I created one. I have learned a great deal and if I do it again I will photoshop the images to have captions of names and a little more information about each kitten.

And then Twee ended up in hospital. (she got better)

November:


November was particularly hard for me. My husband's work was keeping him out of the house a lot and there was no Jack and kittens who weren't affectionate enough to make up for the loss. There were a few posts, like where I shared the names I had chosen for Darcy's kittens and Onyx's kittens.  I also wrote up a post about adopting one of my foster kittens if you ever think you might want to.. 

December:


As you can see here, I was able to get my Christmas card put together and ordered. I also put up the Christmas Tree which in retrospect seems like it was a bad idea since I became quite sick from whatever got into the cat toys and Fleurp tried (we suspect) to eat it.  She is doing better but is losing quite a bit of fur due to the stress of it all. Even now I hear her munching on the tree and I'm very close to pitching the thing right out the window.  (ho ho ho)

I did have quite a bit of fun with a six-part series of posts about the Kittens' Christmas sweater party. (1,2,3,4,5,6) Darcy and Onyx's kittens hit weight and were neutered and went up for adoption. The waiting list was long enough that the kittens all made it home by Christmas. Ren and Spottacus went together, Zephy and Wyatt went together. Kreb and Romy went together and Milo went by himself - which worked out really well because he was always okay playing by himself. Darcy and Onyx started becoming friends once the kittens were gone. I received notification that someone wanted to adopt Onyx so she left. I was worried about how Darcy would react but she took it in stride, much like when her kittens left. I think she likes being able to play without having to share. I just wish I could get Darcy out of her shell. I recently received notice that Darcy has someone interested in her so she won't be here much longer either.

Looking forward:

There are projects I have for the kitten room. I want new paint and new lighting for certain. I'd love to get new flooring in the bathroom down there but that might have to wait until next year. I have some shelves I would like to put up and some art. I'm actually searching Pinterest for baby room ideas - and man I hope I don't start getting baby advertisements now.

I am overly paranoid about all of my cats right now as well and I am going to have to get them all into the vet for a checkup over the next few months. With the moving and the holidays and the onslaught of vet bills, I am thinking of opening up my "scrapnipping" venture, where I make catnip toys out of scraps of my craft fabric that I have laying around.  It has been a while since I did this.. so I'm curious what you think a good price point would be. Would you like to buy toys individually or in sets?  Do you like pure nip or nip and fiberfill for a fluffier toy? I am pretty sure I still have some alpaca fur.. would fur stuffed toys interest you? No suggestion or comment is unwanted, please, I would like to know your thoughts. If you don't feel comfortable posting them in the comments, feel free to email me at connie at kittyblog.net

toys I made in 2016

I also want to take a moment and thank you for taking this journey with me. Whether you have just joined us or are a long time reader, I appreciate you taking part of your day to spend with my kitties. Your support is greatly appreciated.

I have mentioned this before but it has been a while - Your comments, your time, shared with me, helps me do what I do. Being active in rescue and within online rescue communities, I see so much of the bad side of pet ownership. It is people like you, who value cats, who find value in a little blog on the corner of the internet that helps remind me that there is good out there, that there are people who think cats are worth more than toasters..

15 comments:

  1. Connie, I hope that 2019 is a far, far better year for you, that it brings good health for all, and an abundance of joy and laughter. Adoptions too! Wishing you all the very best...Happy New Year.

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  2. What a rollercoaster ride. We are sending lots of purrs for a happy and healthy 2019.

    Toys? We like the nip/fiber filled ones so they are a little more grabable

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  3. Those are cute toys ! A set of three would be a good idea. We wish you health and happiness for 2019 ! Happy New Year ! Purrs

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  4. It certainly has been a tough year for you, with some sweet moments amidst the pain. I wish you all the best as 2019 as you continue your efforts for these cats and kittens.

    I like the idea of a few toys together in a batch, with catnip. These go over very well with both Saku (10) and Sasha (18.5).

    Happy New Year!
    Eileen

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  5. What a year. It definitely had its ups and downs. We’re wishing that 2019 is much happier for you.

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  6. Wow, 2018 was such a rough year for you in so many ways! Here's to a much better 2019.

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  7. Happy New Year! Catnip and fiber would make a good toy.

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  8. Thank you for blogging and for this post. To answer your questions, I think an alpaca fur stuffed cat toy would be great. My cat doesn't like catnip so I like checking out alternatives. Depending on the size and difficulty of the pattern, maybe a toy might cost $3-5? I have no preference of sets versus singles.

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  9. I’m so happy Onyx got adopted. I knew she would. Hoping Darcy continues to slowly blossom and isn’t missing Ony too much. Thanks for all you do.

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  10. Here's wishing you a better 2019. About the "scrapnipping", I've been seeing catnip bananas, so I'm going to suggest crescent moon shaped kickers. Mixing alpaca and catnip sounds like a winner.

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  11. We hope you have a wonderful New Year - full with love, peace, and happiness. 2018 sounds like it was devastating for you - I'd say it can't get worse - but I know very well that it can. We're grateful for your blessings - and the way you bless us throughout the year with your fosters, expertise, and love.

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  12. Wishing you and the kitties a happy and healthy new year!

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  13. I hope 2019 is a happier year for you. I think sets of toys (perhaps themed) is a great idea.

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  14. 2018 was like a boxer, punching on your heart! Still so very sorry for your losses.
    As for your catnip toys, I suggest multiples, and I'm not a fan of fiberfill, since the cats like toys that are stuffed with catnip!

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