Monday, July 22, 2019

Kitten Room Shenanigans

With this last bunch of kittens, I came to the conclusion (once again) that I really hate scrubbing kitten poop off painted walls.

Back in Maine, we had concrete on one section of wall and we had smooth scrubbable wallboard on the wall we installed. Since the dried poop came off that a lot easier I tended to put the litter box up against that.

This time I have no such option. I probably could install something, but I've got a bunch of other projects I want to get through first and so when I ran across some rolls of discounted self-sticking shelf liner, I bought one that I thought would cover the closet that is in the kitten room.

It has always been my plan to use the closet for the litter boxes, but this has been the first time I've actually done it. I covered the floor with plain white. It didn't last very long before it started to rip, and there is a small wrinkle that is catching litter crumbs but I'm not ready to pull it up yet. Those issues are actually under the litter box so as of right now the whole thing is still doing what I intended it to, making it easier to clean.

I liked this patterned paper on the roll. It is not for people who have a little OCD..

I tried to get the pattern lined up, but I gave up pretty quickly.. I do not have the patience for wallpaper apparently..

I decided to go over the baseboard but not over the trim.. for some reason there is quarter-round trim on the outside of the baseboard. It is all fancy and pretty but it is a bit annoying to clean. When I get around to replacing the floors in this room (probably a few years away) I'll take it out and do something else..

The curtain is just there because I had nowhere else to put it when I brought the other two out of the packed boxes from Maine as I only have two windows in this room but I had three back there. I probably won't leave it so low because.. well kittens.. You just know someone is going to jump up and try to hang on it and since it is just a tension rod that won't end well.

I'm thinking I might also like to put a shelf in the closet but I haven't worked that all out yet.

Currently, the closet door is tied open so kittens can't shut themselves in, but I'm guessing I am going to remove the door all together at some point. I had considered putting in a cat door so it was a bit more enclosed (to contain litter) but that would make the litter area very dark and I'm not sure I'm okay with that. We'll see how it goes.

I've been working on cleaning up the kitten room and hopefully, new kittens will arrive soon.. as it always feels so weird when I don't have kittens to take care of.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Fabulous Finds Friday Canvas Art from

Jake from reached out to me a little while ago to see if I was interested in reviewing* any of the products they sell in exchange for that product. I took a look around their website and found throw blankets, phone cases, bags, and canvas art. I am currently pairing down my throws or I would have been all over that (I mean do two people really need 17 throw blankets?) and the phone case would have been really fun but they didn't have my phone as an option.

I had been wanting a canvas print of Muffin. Oddly I don't have one. Over the years I have gotten free coupons from Shutterfly as well as a few other companies for free canvas prints as long as I pay shipping.  I even paid to have a few photos put on canvas for gifts for my family. But having owned eight cats (well nine, but Kodi died so young back in 2002 that we don't have really good photos of him) it simply takes time (or a lot of money) to get them all done.

This is one of my favorite memories of Muffin..

It is from 2011 at Christmas time when we were unloading the cat toys from the cat toy basket to put them on the Christmas tree. Every year since we started doing this Muffin would crawl into the basket after we started raiding it for toys. Every year it made me laugh and it brings me joy..

After I placed the order I did run into a little bit of an issue. My house does not have postal service so to get mail I need to have it sent to a Post Office Box. To compound this problem my home isn't actually in the town that my post office is. So, when I run across a website that won't allow shipping to a post office I am at a loss as to if they intend to send it to my home via FedEx or USPS or the such (so I need to give it one address) or if they intend to send it to my home via the postal service (you would be surprised how much of a problem this is)  I took the gamble that a currier would bring it to my house and lost.. I wrote to them about this and they informed me that they use third party shipping services so they have no control over this.. I am guessing most of you don't have this issue, so it is no big deal. They were quite apologetic and offered to replace the canvas if I wasn't able to track it down, which I did, it was just at the wrong post office.

The canvas was wrapped in a thin clear plastic bag and then put in a cardboard box and wrapped with packing ties. Absolutely none of this went to waste. The bag is being used for trash in my office, the packing ties were awesome kitten toys and the box is being used by Muffin who loves it VERY much.

I have hung it in my office where the painting of the mother cat with kittens was hanging and I absolutely love it. It has a nice color saturation and as you can see from the photo above it has a black backing on it which makes it feel much nicer than the other canvas prints I have.

I received a 16×20 Canvas for free including shipping. Standard price on their website is $89.99 and shipping for a canvas of this size is $15.98.  They are constantly running coupons and sales so if you are interested you can check them out. Right now everyone gets 50% off a canvas.. (I clicked re-order of this print to get what the standard price would be and it automatically applied the sales code)

I would not hesitate to order from them again. If I ever get off my duff and redesign the logo of this website I will probably order a tote with it for when I go to conferences. They have a wide variety of products from playing cards to pillowcases. The wrapping paper looks like it could be a LOT of fun!

Thank you Jake for the opportunity. I love my print and am very impressed with it.

*While I did receive the product for free that did not influence my review in this post at all. All opinions are mine. If the product had failed to meet my expectations it would not have made it on to the blog

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Big Goodbye

I was told that the kittens had a vet appointment on Wednesday at 3pm so I packed the kittens up and off we went. I went down to the foster room and packed up their blankets (so they would have something to smell like them) and some of their favorite toys and then rounded up kittens.

Sunsweet and Marble were the last ones to be snagged and when I turned around to find them they were sitting close together on one of the toys in the room. It was so sweet. I have said it before if they weren't picked to be adopted together I would have insisted on it.

I picked up Marble and gave her some love and plopped her in the carrier and turned around to find Sunsweet and found he decided to "use the restroom before leaving".. he is such a good boy.

Their physicals went well, no reason to put off adoption. The fecal was negative, they didn't have a fever, their heart and lungs sounded good.. so the rescue took them from me for their adoptions. Two were that afternoon another was to be the next day.

I knew it was coming, but to come home kittenless is hard.. that's okay though, the room needs a good cleaning and I'd like to get up the climbing wall we have planned.. (ha ha ha.. with this heatwave coming probably not). I also want to change out the sink in the bathroom and put new flooring down. I'm trying to decide if we want to replace the toilet that is in there and I'm thinking I do.

But I do have to say, I hope I get kittens before all that happens (since I've been looking for a sink for months now and haven't settled on anything at this point)

One final look at Hedy's kittens..

Sunsweet and Marble - being adopted together
Why Marble, when did you get an orange tail?
Midnight and Agate - and yes, the size difference is real
They are also going home together
Midnight says "Goodbye"

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The removal of the kitten bits

This past weekend the kittens made weight and went off to the spay / neuter clinic and poof, we now have adoptable kittens.

The future owners have been contacted and I know they are all chomping at the bit to get them, but they have been in recovery mode here making sure that they remain in good health until that time comes. Wednesday they have an appointment for their health exams and if they come home with me from that I will be surprised. (I won't mind, but I'm guessing not)

They were still a little groggy when they made it back to me. They were slow out of their carrier and while they were hungry and ate, they didn't eat much. I checked on them again a few hours later and made sure they had enough food for the night and they did.. but like most when they have surgery, this is what they really wanted to do..

Sunsweet wasn't quite sure why his sisters were a little more testy than normal. His belly felt weird because of the tattoo but he wasn't in nearly as much discomfort as they were so he ended up wandering off and sleeping elsewhere.

They have recovered quickly. Midnight had a second incision for some reason and is taking a little longer to be back to normal, but she is totally okay and they are all active and playing and eating .. oh how they are eating.. oh how thankful I am for all of the donated food..

This was a very nice bunch of kittens.. it was wonderful getting to know them and help them grow.. but I will say, next time I'm so lying about kitten weights.. cause the disappointment from excited future owners when they aren't making weight when they are so close.. well yeah.. 😺 I can't blame them in the least.. I'm getting excited to meet my next batch of kittens (no, there aren't specific kittens waiting for me)

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Throwback Thursday

I thought it would be fun to see how far they have come..

Sunsweet then
Sunsweet now
Slate then
Slate now
Agate then
Agate now
Marble then
Marble now
Midnight then
Midnight now

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Happy National Kitten Day

And don't get me started with "but every day is kitten day".. look, this one is labeled as such, so let's just smile and move on 🐱🐈

This past weekend there was a request for help on FB from the woman who I deal with at the rescue I foster for. Kittens were being transported up to her and she needed some help getting them. I asked about helping but someone had already stepped up. I was fairly certain that someone was my new friend Sally so I reached out to her to see if she wanted company on her trip.  It was her and she was very open to having someone join her, so off I went. (okay, fine, Sally was super nice and came most of the way to get me for the trip)

The transport had some mechanical issues so they were very late in arriving, but once they got there we were to pick up a mom and her kittens and a group of kittens without a mother.

We met up in an abandoned Burger King parking lot (next to a well-lit gas station) and when the van rolled up Sally brought the carrier to them. They closed the door, put the kittens in the carrier and I put that carrier in the car while Sally gave them the second carrier and got the paperwork. It is a very interesting experience I must say. It was nice to be a small part of their journey to their home..

After being in a van all day in a carrier with their litter, they didn't smell the best, but that's okay. At one point I heard a bit of scrabbling and saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I reached out and found one kitten had forced their way out of the carrier (the kitten unzipped the carrier just enough) and I got to snuggle it and give it what for kisses as Sally pulled off the road to make sure no one else had escaped.

It made for a long night, but that's okay.. because kittens..

Monday, July 8, 2019

Five little kitties, all in a row

We have just passed the ten-week mark and Sunsweet is holding on to his "I'm the BAYBEE!!" status.. he is the littlest of the group and has yet to hit the two-pound mark. Agate hit that weight a couple of weeks ago, but she has always been larger than the rest. Sunsweet was aided in his quest to stay here by having a day when he wasn't feeling well. He lost two ounces and I was about to start to panic when he said "haha just kidding" and started eating well and being his obnoxious self.

Actually, I think the dry food I had put back down wasn't agreeing with him. I had removed that from them again when I saw soft stool in the litter box and right after seeing the soft stool he started being quiet/losing weight.

I am overfeeding them and giving them bonus meals of raw food because I know I have people anxiously waiting for them. Although, considering all of the food disappears, I guess I can't really say I am overfeeding them...

So, Sunsweet is currently 1lb 13.5 oz.. so I am hoping that this week or this weekend he'll make weight. And if not, I'll stick rocks in his pockets.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

An update on Hedy

I have been willing to share more of Hedy on my facebook page recently because she is starting to look more like a cat and less like a fur covered skeleton. Even so many people have commented that she looks very skinny so I thought I would do an update post on her so you all know where she stands.

I don't remember the exact weight Hedy came to me at but I believe it was in the low 9lb region. She arrived at the beginning of April and didn't give birth for three weeks.

Hedy when she showed up
 I had to check twice that this wasn't Butters.
Three weeks later after giving birth

She arrived with a URI and some stress shedding. After a few trips to the vet, she started doing well and we had a fairly uneventful pregnancy by April's standard. I know we had some food issues, but once we got her URI settled she seemed to eat well and I don't remember any major issues with diarrhea at the start.

After the kittens were a few weeks old, Hedy started losing weight quite dramatically. She was eating but she had horrific diarrhea. I swear for every ounce of food she ate she produced three of "nacho cheese" looking diarrhea. She was filling up two litter boxes in twelve hours. We tried several different dewormers and had her in the vet multiple times trying to figure out what was going on. I tried offering her raw food and she didn't want it.

Skinny Hedy
After the third round of "well, I have no idea", we tried premium foods. One day I walked into the kitten room and the stool odor was incredibly strong and almost fruity smelling. I looked at the food she loved and that she licked up the gravy first of and saw it was full of potato starch. It was then I decided to remove the dry food and any food that has plant-based ingredients in it; wouldn't you know it.. nacho cheese turned into toothpaste.

So, I fed her only fancy feast kitten food as that was the only food I had in the house that didn't have rice or potato or other plant-based ingredients. She ate it because I gave her no other option. She wasn't a huge fan but she ate enough that it should have put weight on her despite nursing five kittens. Her weight slowly fell down to under six pounds.

eating well and losing weight
the only good use of the phrase "Calories in / Calories out" 
At that point, I freaked and tried raw again. This time she ate it with gusto. she would eat two or three times what she would eat of canned (where she put it I have NO idea) and slowly the weight started to creep back on.  She didn't poop for three days - which is pretty normal for a raw fed cat. I had no idea if she was gaining weight because she was holding in stool or if the raw was doing its job.

Hedy hiding from the kittens
Finally, poop showed up and while it was not the typical dry raw fed poop, it showed me that the weight gain was her own and things were finally FINALLY going in the right direction. Even at six and a half pounds, you could almost see the bumps on her bones through her fur.

Slowly, all too slowly, weight came back on. She started looking a bit better. The fur that remained on her back (since she lost most of what was on her flank) started feeling softer. Something is still not right because she never developed that bone dry poop that comes from eating raw. She might need more medical support she might just need more time on a carb-free diet, I'm not sure.

I am out of here! - Hedy

But she is leaving me today. We are going to neuter her and see if the hormones running through her body is adding to the problem. Since she has started hissing and biting the ears of kittens she has shown she is ready to move on so she will stay with the rescue until a home is found for her. She has been spending most of her time up on the cabinet where the kittens can't reach, only coming down occasionally to use the box or lick the back of the head of a distressed kitten.

The kittens are still with me and will be until they reach weight to be neutered. Agate is there (she is such a little bruiser) but the rest of them need a little finishing. I wish I could keep them at least a couple more weeks because there is so much more for them to learn in their family unit. If I had my way I'd keep them until they are 16 weeks.. they are still super cute at that age and I think it makes for better adult cats, but I get that people want their kittens, and since I have people who are chewing their fingers off waiting for them, I won't fib and keep them longer than is necessary.

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