Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Muffin 2002-2019

Muffin's time on earth has come to an end. I have broken into a million pieces and am in the process of putting myself back together, which is not easy as most of these edges were still sharp and broken from losing Jack.

Losing Jack so suddenly I swore that losing them slowly was much better, but it is an absolute bear to go through.

Muffin started going downhill back in May when I opted to have the growth/cyst on the back of her ear removed. I wonder how much time that cost me at times, but I fall back on the fact that it was going to totally impact her quality of life because it was growing and I could see it becoming a serious problem for her and draining it was not an option - as it actually drained on its own once and it grew back almost immediately.

I was able to nurse her through that and she had some good days and some bad days, but her kidneys were failing and there was nothing that could be done for that. Her blood work said she had been dealing with it for years but it did not slow her down until the end. She bravely faced muscle wasting and arthritis, and she continued to rule over life at Casa de Gato until Thanksgiving.

It was at that time that I knew the end was near. If it hadn't been the holiday I might have scheduled the appointment then and set her free of her body then, but I couldn't. I was selfish. I did everything I could think of to improve her quality of life and then some, and somehow, someway, we did it.. we had one last Christmas together.

It was completely bittersweet.. I was able to cuddle her and love on her and tell her what a wonderful kitty she was, but she was so tired and she wanted to lay in her hammock and not with me for most of the day. I offered her food often, I gave her many treatments with the Assisi Lounge, but she had become anemic and there was very little life left for her.

She had a few good days, and I was very hopeful we would see the new year.. but that was not to be.

There might have been more things we could have tried, more meds, more treatments, more.. but she was tired.. her life was little more than sleep and being medicated and I loved her too much to make her live that life..

Even at the end.. every single cell in my body wanted to tell the vet to go away (we were lucky enough to have an at-home euthanasia) but I knew, I knew.. it was time.

There is so much I can't face right now. Walking up the stairs to go to bed the first time was almost impossible because for the last month I was either carrying her up with me or she was waiting for me at the top of the stairs. I've rearranged my office so hopefully, that won't be as hard..

The other kitties seem to be adjusting okay. She had been so sick for so long I think they more than knew..

I miss her so fiercely.

She was a force. She was the most willful kitten I have fostered, the most determined, the most set in her course of action. She knew her mind and she was going to get you to know it too. I was her human far more than she was my cat.. and I loved her for that.

In Star Trek, Klingons have a tradition of bellowing at the sky when a warrior dies to warn those in Sto'Vo'Kor that a great warrior is coming. Somehow that made up tradition seemed to fit..

oh how I miss her..

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas

If you did not get a holiday card from us, here it is..

if you wanted one and didn't get one, let me know and I'll get one out to you. I hope you have a lovely holiday

Dear Santa, let's try this again

Two years ago, Happy Bear wrote a letter to Santa asking for what his little heart wanted most..

Unfortunately, the reply was less than what was hoped for. The question is.. are the elves that are helping Santa any more efficient this year?

I also wanted to show off the upgrades to the kitten room bath. It still needs a coat of paint, and something over the sink - be it a mirror or maybe a painting, and a backsplash of some sort, but this is the general gist of what it now looks like.

Just a reminder what it used to look like.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Dear Santa.. what's this?

Hey, look! Santa came!

Two little boys who have already been neutered and who just need a little time at finishing school.  We have "No Socks" and Chester.. I was thinking of renaming No Socks to Field.. but the CatMan poopooed that idea.. so.. what do you think I should name the solid black one?

They are both unsure of humans. When I walked in No Socks hid behind the couch and meowed at me. I called him over and he came out. Chester stayed in the carrier and it took quite some coaxing to pull him out, but once he realized we were cat people .. well..

We have some behavior issues, and some litter box issues which might need some serious retraining - I hope not but we'll see how it goes. Chester started peeing in the bedding and when I grabbed him to put him in the box he continued to pee all over me, all over the floor on the way to the box and once we got there he finally ran out of urine 😹

He is incredibly curious and really liked watching me wash out his urine from the bed.. Both need an extra dose of confidence, but that will come with time..

Friday, December 6, 2019

Visiting kittens

A while ago I went to visit a friend's foster kitten. I swear this kitten was trying to come home with me!! What do you think?

Yes, the kitten fever burns..

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Christmas Tree oh Christmas Tree

It is that time of year again.. and isn't it a blessing that Miss Muffin got to take her place once again..

For those of you who are new to the blog, several years ago I couldn't face dragging out all of our ornaments and decorating the tree so we just threw all of our cat toys on the tree. I loved it so much we have done it ever since.  To do this we have to pull out the basket of toys which Muffin loves to crawl in and claim as her own. Last year we lost a number of toys to moths and the basket was retired and they have been in a plastic tote, so this year we just dumped all the toys on the floor, and true to her nature, Muffin claimed all the toys.

The tree is a little sparse due to the reduced number of toys, but I still think it looks lovely.. It makes me happy, it makes the cats happy, and we don't have to stress about broken ornaments..


If you would like a Christmas card from us you can send me your address, fill out the postable form. I sent out the first wave of cards yesterday so if you don't get one in the next few days, please request one.. I didn't keep the list from last year because keeping up with who has moved would be too much.
Previous trees:

Friday, November 29, 2019

2020 TFKblog Calendar

Since I was asked for all of the photos in this year's calendar, here you go.. Just so you know the "©TFKblog" will not be in the calendar. I put it here because they are in the internets..

Lulu.com is having a Black Friday sale.  If you use the code BLACKFRIDAY25 you get 25% off..

You already saw January..

Thursday, November 28, 2019

A Thankful Thanksgiving

What I am most thankful for is I get another Thanksgiving with this girl. This is the same photo as last year because she is currently sleeping in her little house.

These past few weeks have been rough on her - and me. I am constantly trying to figure out how much quality of life she has; when she has a rough day I wonder if everything we are going through is worth it for her. At this point, rough days only last a day and she comes around. She is sleeping more than she used to, but she still is demanding food or attention and giving me what for if I don't jump at her whim. Most mornings she wakes me up, even if she no longer sleeps in the bed.

It has been hard for me.. I am still grieving Jack, and I swear that this slow decline is way way better than the surprise ending Jack had, but it doesn't make it any easier.

She is dealing with failing kidneys and we are giving fluids. She hates it. Fortunately, she doesn't fight it and I cuddle and kiss her while it is happening, but as soon as it is done she runs for the hills. Food is an issue too.. she stopped eating the raw in May when she had the surgery to remove the lump behind her ear. Finding a food she will eat consistently has been a challenge. Keeping her brother from demanding his fair share of her food has also been a challenge 😸

She has also lost some weight. At her height she was 14lbs. When we finally stopped all dry food and got them on a raw diet she went down to 12 and hovered around that for years. She is currently ten and a half on a good day. She has lost most of the muscle mass in her feet and her arthritis are conspiring to prevent her from wanting to walk up and down the stairs these days. Because of this, I ordered an Assisi loop lounge. I had the original loop that I won from The Conscious Cat and that helped her quite a bit. While I was using it she actually wanted to sit up in the cat trees and I even found her in a window!! (granted there was a chair there that helped her get up, but it was impressive none the less) so I am hopeful that the lounge will help as well. I decided on the lounge over the loop because the loop is not rechargeable and it only lasts a short time.

Because of the price of the lounge, I have started selling "Scrapnip" toys again. I set up a Scrapnipping page on Facebook to try to drum up business.. but I am happy to work with you in whatever way you might want to reach out to me if you are interested in buying some. I even listed a few knitted bed I made, but no one has seemed interested in them. Probably because I couldn't figure out a price to ask for them.. people hate it when you don't price things 😸

Everyone else is doing well. Twee loves to sign us opera at 5 in the morning.. Eli likes to yell at us for not doing whatever popped into his head. He is 17 years old and never really bothered communicating with us before now so he is a little unsure how to do it. Fleurp is still fluffy and Skippy is still doing his thing..

This was very much a difficult year for me (see Jack) and I know I have not kept up with my blogging as I once used to. When I originally set up this blog I intentionally didn't name it after any of my cats because I knew there would be a time when they would pass and I didn't want that burden on myself or my blog with changing it or keeping it. When Em, Ollie, Kodi, and Kit passed it was somehow okay to continue on. as if this were independent of that.. but Jack.. Jack really was the inspiration behind starting the blog so I guess it makes sense that it is different.  I am hoping next year will be better.. easier.. heck, I will take just having fewer tears

I know, I know, this post has become such a downer.. I am sorry. Hopefully, it will help you to look at your loved ones who are frustrating you with softer eyes and give them a big ol hug and be thankful that you are able to be with them this year.

If you are facing this holiday without your loved one with you.. I send a big ol hug to you..

Heck, I send a big ol hug out to anyone who got through this with me.. It means so much that you keep coming back and want to share my journey, or at least this little part of it.

So thank you..

And I hope you have a wonderful holiday full of love and delicious foods to eat, and cat fur up your nose.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Christmas Card

I just wanted to remind you that I am sending out no-obligation Christmas cards.. Technically, they don't say Christmas on them, but there are kittens in a Christmas setting..

And no, this isn't the card.. I like it to be a surprise for you when it shows up.

Please enter your info at Postable. You only need to give me your address.

And again, if you would like to send me a card my address is

Tails from the Foster Kittens
PO Box 554
Grantham, NH 03753

Friday, November 22, 2019

another plug for the 2020 Tails from the Foster Kittens calendar

The Catman looking in on a pile of kittens which is the cover for the 2020 Tails from the Foster Kittens calendar

As I mentioned, the 2020 calendar follows the 2019 fosters.. so it is probably no surprise who or what is in the calendar this year, but I hope you like it anyway..

It was suggested that I put names on the photos because, apparently, I'm not the only one who has issues remembering after nine or ten months.. so, let me introduce you to January's Calendar Girl..

Since Darcy was still with us at the start of 2019 I thought it only fair that she start out 2020. I wish I knew who her mom was so I could share this with her, but that is okay, I am sure she is living the very best life and is doing well.

If you would like a calendar, the cost is 2020 Tails from the Foster Kittens calendar is $14.99 and shipping is $3.99. Lulu constantly has discount codes. You can check out their Facebook Page to see if there is one active. They had one that ended yesterday, but I am certain another is going to go up for Black Friday.. as they had a nice one last year.

Now, the question becomes, do you want me to spoil the calendar by sharing all of the photos or would you rather it be a surprise?

As a reminder, if you want a no-obligation Christmas Card from us you can enter your address at Postable.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A Hello and a Goodbye

This was destined to be a short term foster from the beginning, but it ended up being even shorter than I imagined.

NHKittens had a bunch of kittens that needed medical clearance so I was asked if I would take a few of them and of course I said yes immediately. I went to get the four of them and brought them home. I was told that they had an accident in their carrier so they were unhappy and a little stinky.  No big deal, I can deal with both.

I got them home and let them out and they immediately hid. Totally understandable, but a little more than was reasonable because there wasn't a ping on the webcam (which tells me when there is activity) for hours.

I let them decompress for a full day before going to see them. They had plenty of food and water so I was worried about neither and I could check on them with the webcam. When I went down I had a hard time finding them. Thankfully the room was still set up for fearful cats and I hadn't swapped out the couches (the other is up off the ground where a cat could get under) I had no idea how necessary it was going to be.

turns out we had one kitty with a pretty bad URI. This little gray girl had opaque green snot coming from her eyes and her nose so she was taken to the vet and given medication. Fortunately, she was willing to give me the benefit of the doubt and let me do it. She wasn't a huge fan of being held, but I could get her to purr and I was able to rub her belly with her consent. I did have to give her a big warning to not act like Jack in any way or I would be deadded.. After seeing the Nebelung at the shelter the previous weekend, it was almost more than I could stand.. Thankfully she was her sweet little self and while I loved her for who she was and where she was in the world, and I got to spend time with her without being a complete and utter mess - which I feared would be the case if another Nebelung came into my home. I wasn't given names, so the Catman said we should call her Jill, which I did and it was totally fine. Yes, given different life circumstances I could totally see myself keeping her but right now, with Muffin's health on the decline and whatnot, is not the right time.

Unfortunately, we had a bit of a situation..

This little golden nugget was much larger than the other kitties. I really wasn't told much about them (not even their names) and so I was attempting to get to know them. Each one was very nervous after the day of decompression, but they allowed me to pick them up and take a quick peek at them to make sure they were in good health, were not covered in poop, and have a quick positive interaction to try to build trust. The first three went just fine, but this girl was not having any of it. Unfortunately she didn't tell me that until she told me in the worst way possible. Yes, I was bitten.

I went very slowly, I put my hands on her first, a gentle pat. She gave me no warnings. She looked me right in the eye - which in hindsight was defiance but at the time I thought was interest. I picked her up from her hiding spot and moved her on top of the little cubbie. She was securely on all four feet. She did not try to scrabble away. Her body language said she was uncomfortable but not much more than that. I patted her again, and still no warnings. No hissing, no growling, nothing.  I picked her up and was okay until I tried to sit down with her, at which point she needed to get away now. I was too close to my husband to feel comfortable just letting go. I didn't know if she was going to end up in his lap or on his face, so I was attempting to redirect her toward the ground when I felt the claw go in one finger and fangs in another.

This isn't the first time I have been bitten.. Always by cats who do not know how to communicate properly with humans.. I knew to let it bleed, and to my husband's credit he just let me let it bleed until I had a nice pile on the floor. I was able to direct him to get me what I needed to take care of myself and after a few minutes, I was cleaned up and was letting the shelter know what happened.

I watched it for a while and nothing seemed to be happening so I ended up going to bed. I had never reacted before, but I know darn well to not take anything for granted when you are bitten by a cat. You really should get to a doctor, but watching and waiting for any sign that it is getting worse isn't necessarily a bad call - as long as you go at the very first sign.. cat bites are dangerous in a few different ways.

I went to bed. I woke up and I had a red streak that was there the night before and I assumed was just a bruise from all of the bleeding. I marked it with a pen and attempted to go about my morning, but the more I thought about it the more I thought getting it looked at was going to be the better of two ideas. Not so much for the bite that was doing rather well, but the claw punctures that were swollen. Of course, the doctor was much more concerned about the bite (as he should be) but regardless of how he treated it, everything was taken care of with the antibiotics and the tetanus shot I was given. It has been a few days and the worst of it was the tetanus shot which STILL hurts.. smh.

Anyway.. I decided to leave her to her own devices as she had no idea how to talk to people and appeared to not want to learn. The other three seem to be reachable and I assume will be able to learn that people weren't only to be feared. The gray one was the first one to come out on her own to eat when I was in the room. The tiger one was next. She was a bit of a flirt and even flopped on the floor and rubbed her head on the floor and showed off her belly. This was an interesting show because the second I moved she was GONE! but she didn't mind making herself vulnerable in front of me, so I know she will be a wonderful pet once she learns to trust.

But this was to be a very short foster because it was decided that the orange kitty was going to be a barn kitty and she was able to schedule them to be neutered shortly after the incident. They went back to the shelter on Friday to be neutered and then to another home who wanted a project. I sent them off with some rescue remedy and a comfort zone defuser and the offer to take them back if they are too much. I hope whoever they are with has the right energy and clicks with them and so they learn to trust.

I wouldn't have minded spending more time with "Jill" but it is probably for the best as I might have just fallen head over heals and kept her despite logic and reason.. I am guessing there is going to be another Nebelung in my future.. just not right now.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

VIsiting friends #formerfosters

I knew for a couple of weeks that I was going to go to the shelter from yesterday's post, so when I was invited to visit Casey and Cabana I couldn't resist piggybacking a trip down to see them.

Lauren was incredibly generous to invite me down and I was glad to know. She had been sharing photos of the duo on Facebook so I knew they were adjusting well, but seeing it in person.. of cuddling them one more time.. well, I couldn't resist. As you can see I got the trademarked cuddle from both of them.. (and they didn't even know I had treats at that point.. yes, I am not above bribing my former fosters for attention)

Sadly, my camera was dead so I only had my cell, and they were so excited and active that I got relatively few photos.. (and most of them were quite fuzzy) but it was wonderful to spend some time with them, to feed them some treats, and get to know their mom a little better. I knew Lauren was a lovely person by how generously she has been sharing them with me, but spending time with her was a delight... and seeing her goats was such fun!

But then there was this..

Yup, they ended up right where they were supposed to be..

Then I received a message from Jasmine's mom (former foster Slate).  She had some food her kitties weren't eating and she offered it to me. I figured I could swing over to see them and it all worked out as well..

Jasmine showed off for me a bit, showed me her bed, told me I was not going to take her back, and was downright adorable.. It was lovely to see her and spend a little time with her family, but it was getting late (there is so little sunlight this time of year in New England and driving at night is not a lot of fun)

I also visited another set of fosters a while ago..

My friend Kathleen, who adopted two of my fosters years ago and who has connected me up a number of people who have ended up adopting from me, invited me out for a visit. I had to be in the area for work, so I made a quick jaunt over to see them.. yes, on an island off the coast of Maine, yes, it was absolutely amazingly stunning.. Meghan who also adopted some of my former fosters came along. It was a wonderful time among friends.  While Kathleen's kitties were mostly a no show (except for Rocky who decided to pose for me so beautifully) I did get to go over and see this year's most popular foster kitty and his sister

Now I swear there is no food in my purse and trying to get in it was completely her idea.. :) (and yes, I was frisked before leaving)


I do want to remind you that I am sending out Christmas postcards again this year. If you would like one you can submit your address here. I am also selling a calendar with photos of my fosters from this year. You can pick it up here

Monday, November 18, 2019

Shooting at the Shelter Series 2019

I used to like to go to the shelter and take photos of the kitties for several reasons. It would show there are beautiful cats at the shelters waiting for homes and they aren't all "broken" or second-hand problem cats. Also because it helped me work on my photography skills. It is very hard to take good photos of cats in the standard shelter environment because there is rarely good lighting.

I went down to the Monadnock Humane Society in Swanzey, NH for a volunteer orientation. I am hoping to continue to foster this winter and I figure the more shelters I put my name down at, the more likely I am to get fosters.  NHKittens has closed up for the year, so it is either this or go without.

After orientation I asked if it would be okay to take photos and I was given permission and sadly I realized way too early in the day that my battery was not well charged.. so I didn't get as many photos as I would like. Nor did I get a lot of great photos because the shelter was open and I was by myself so getting photos of kitties in cages was hard and most of the cats in rooms were... well they were labeled Spirit Cats.

They also had a lot of "pocket animals" as well.

When I asked, it was mentioned that they were hoping for a really nice photo of Tina (aka the kitty above) she had been at the shelter for some time and they were hoping to promote her. I sat with her for a while. I tried to entice her to play with me, but the longer I sat there and attempted to ignore her the further back into her cave she withdrew. I so wanted to take her home to foster and give her a break from shelter life, but being new and unknown I didn't know how that ask would go. I have to say I adore that they have someone who makes blankets for the cats. I saw several like the one above with the name of a kitty in the room with it. It is a blessing for cats to go to a home with something that smells like something familiar.. so not only do they have possessions, they literally have a safety blanket.. how awesome.

They also had a cool set of shelving in one room for the cats to get up off the floor. I thought this was a really cool option that ould easily translate into someone's home if they have a wall.

I then went to one of the Spirit cat rooms.

The fluffy black one, in the middle, eyed me like she might like to get to know me better, so I went over to say hi, but she did not respond to my request for an exchange, so I left the kitty "un-molested".. and for a woman with the nickname of grabby hands, you have to admit that was pretty impressive.

Next a couple of the pocket pets:

and a few of the kitties up for adoption. I don't see them on the website so I will avoid using names.. The black and white kitty had several photos because I just loved the bokeh and the whiskers..  The lighting wasn't great so focus was an issue.. ah well..

And then there was this beautiful kitty - which caused me to drain my camera to the point the battery died..

He was highly playful and really wanted to get out of the cage, so getting photos was not easy. He was a little mouthy but gentle and the second I said no he stopped. I probably could have spent all day right there with this kitty, but I had things to do after - but that is for another post.


I do want to remind you that I am sending out Christmas postcards again this year. If you would like one you can submit your address here. I am also selling a calendar with photos of my fosters from this year. You can pick it up here.. I am planning on sharing a few more photos in it later this week.  I am sure there will be a black friday sale happening if you want to wait for a discount, I totally get that. 
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