Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Other Litter

I was asked if I wanted to take these kittens. Initially, it was asked if I wanted the combined litter of the two and I offered to take Bridget's litter first simply to get them out of the shelter so they didn't need to take care of them there.

The names are subject to change since they aren't very good kitten names but right now I'm going to use these because I need them to discuss the litter.

When I first got them to the house, I pulled one out of the carrier to say hello and I was met with a "please no, don't, let me go, go away" response.  Hey, at least they said please.  (FYI, I know I have a mix of genders but I don't know who is male at the moment so they are all going to be "she" for lack of better info)

Because of this response, and because of Capa's eyes in the above photo (and to some extent Cape's eyes as well) I knew they were totally going to need some time to decompress.  Giving them a small area to get used to is for a multitude of reasons. the smaller the space the faster they get used to it and the faster they get over worrying about threats coming at them from their environment. It also helps me to put my hands on them so I can check them over to make sure they are okay, to get them socialized to me and to help them understand that humans are a good thing. So, I set them up in the bathroom. I didn't even take them out of the carrier, I simply removed the door to let them explore at their own pace.

I left them with food/water/litter/toys and left them for several hours. When I came back down to check on them, the above photos is what I saw. The food was gone, the water was gone, the litter box was used, but I am beyond wrong. I'm not just "not trustworthy" which is what Bridget and her sisters said.. these guys are right on the cusp of being feral and not being able to be brought back. It saddens me.. but I will do everything I can to try..

See.. they growl at me. That is an out and out challenge. What is even more worrisome is that Cabana has challenge in her eyes. After a day of decompressing and seeing me bring food and clean up the litter, she still has the same initial attitude. Her siblings are also growling and hissing at me, but when I reach out to touch them they shrink back and make themselves smaller. When they do this I don't worry about being bitten or scratched. I am able to pick them up and pat them and offer them food.. that is going well. Cabana, not so much. I finally pushed through her challenge and risked being bitten and picked her up and I knew she wanted to be on her own four feet so I put her on the toilet so I could restrain her but she would retain some feeling of being in control. She flipped out and nails went flailing and she was reaching around with her mouth in what I feared might be an attempt to bite me so I removed the restraint and let her leave.  That is the worst possible outcome because know she knows if she reacts I will back off. I will be giving it additional tries and if need be I'll be using protection (I prefer not to as it implies I don't trust them, which just escalates the situation)

So.. if you could think nice calming Cabana thoughts, that would be nice..

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Kitten room shenanigans

Last I left you there was this...

I didn't have names (I still don't) so I have been calling them "Small, Medium, and Large" for the simple fact that they are of three different sizes.

They wanted nothing to do with me initially. If I reached for them I got hissed at but they didn't really run (I didn't give them much space to do that - purposefully so they didn't). They would look away, not challenge me, it was like they were resigned to it. They didn't have to like it, but they knew whatever was going to happen was going to happen..

Fortunately, they were food motivated..

So they got a little snuggle, I would rub the right spots and I would get positive feedback that it was the right spot, and then we would end the session by offering food. When they ate I knew that while they were afraid of me there was the start of trust. In the above photo, you can see just how far that trust goes..

Very quickly, the littlest one said: "Okay, I've got this, you snuggle me, you play with me, you feed me, you're good" and she told me her name was Bridget. It is not my choice. I tried switching it to Gidget.. but no.. It's Bridget thankyouverymuch.

Briget was DONE being in that tiny bathroom.. she wanted out, so I had to put the baby gate up. She was totally distracted by a good cuddle though, and her huge personality showed her sisters that it is safe and that I'm a good thing, so then this happened..

Medium likes attention and will ask for it if she sees Bridget getting some. Large.. yeah.. she is interested.. she doesn't hide when I show up.. but she still has some trust issues and she will only let me give her love if I pick her up and I can only pick her up if I go very slow and am calm and basically 'meet her where she is'.

a horrible photo to show that she will stay for a few seconds unrestrained when I'm attempting to give her love.

Bridget REALLY wanted out of this room though.. and initially, I thought that was not going to happen for a while. See, I was told there was another litter for me that was coming up from down south.  Turned out that litter was even less social than these three, so she got her wish..

it did not go as easily as I had hoped.. all three of them eventually left the bathroom but they immediately returned to it. This is completely typical, it is why I chose the bathroom as their initial "safe room" as it is smaller and it was easier to acclimate to.. so when I removed the bathroom from them, they beelined it right to the litterbox closet and refused to explore. I felt a bit bad that I had to rush this but I didn't even consider that I would need the bathroom for the other litter.

It has been a day, and they are doing much better. I can walk up to all three of them and that is what matters.. "Large" makes me work for it, but I'm okay with that. In time she'll get over it.

But what about the "other litter"?  Well, that is a post for another day 🐱

Monday, July 29, 2019

If you clean it, they will come

So, it has been a while since I've had kittens.. Figured it was time to set things up because..

No, really, I'm just putting filler here so that when this post is shared you won't see this..

Look close.. you'll see an eyeball in there..

well, technically six eyeballs

They tell me that I am not trustworthy and at least one of them has told me to back the hiss right off. Fortunately, they are all hiss and no swat, so I am able to pick them up and give them snuggles. The one that hates me the most likes having her chin rubbed.

I have been told they are all girls, but since I'm still working on trust I'm not about to go peeking. They also need nail trims but I'm going to wait a couple of days on that too.

One of them is more friendly than the others. She calls to me from the room they are in, she wants to get out.. Time will tell if that is an option. It probably will be.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Updates on Hedy's Lamarrs

For those of you following along on Facebook, you have probably seen the updates on three of the five kittens Hedy gave birth to here a few months ago, but for those who haven't here they are

Slate from Judi:

Slate's new name is Jasmine. She was too cute. We were talking to her and she was alert and responded with facial gestures and alert ears. We gave her the name options and she responded with her tongue hanging out of her mouth to all options except for Jasmine. It works well keeping with a Disney theme since our other cat is Tinkerbell. So now I have 2 princesses in the house. She had a good evening. She rode the 45 minutes trip well. My daughter and her sat in the back seat both with the seatbelt on (my carrier straps to the seatbelt for safety). She used the kitty litter box once we showed it to her. She has several sleeping options but she decided that on top of me was the best option. I fed her wet Kitten food and she loved it. I will send you some pictures soon. Letting her get adjusted first. Again thank you for taking such good care of her and for the great socialization. I appreciate it greatly.

Sunsweet and Marble from Brenda:

Disney and Vegas (aka Sunsweet and Marble) made the long trek to their new home and are settling in nicely. They had a snack, used the facilities, explored nooks and crannies and yes, got stuck in the lobster trap..

I have actually gotten a lot of updates from Brenda about Disney and Vegas and they are absolutely LOVING life in their new home. Since they don't have other pets in the house to deal with they pretty much got free run from the beginning and have been getting into the normal kitten shenanigans.. If you have fb, Brenda has been sharing a lot of photos in my Tails from the Foster Kitten Group there.. (which I started because you usually get notifications for a group long before fb will share with you a post on a page.

I have also heard from Holly who adopted Agate and Midnight - who are now Aggie and Smudge (subject to change)

Agate and Midnight from Holly:

I meant to message you earlier to say how wonderful Aggie and Smudge are doing -- although we keep calling Smudge "Punkin" so not sure what her name will eventually be! You gave them such a good start to life and we are so grateful to you for that. We're keeping them in our kitchen/great room area for a while and eventually, we'll open up the rest of the house too them. They've used the litter boxes from day one -- always thankful for that, right?! We're so glad we adopted two -- they just love playing together and keeping each other company. Since I have no clue how to post photos to FB, can I email you some and then can you post them??? If so, please give me your email address. Oh, and they're eating like horses -- it's been 14 years since we had a kitten and we forgot what their appetites are like! Many thanks again,

And since she shared with me multiple photos, here they are..

As for Hedy, last I heard she hasn't found her people yet, but she is in the loving care of the rescue coordinator who adores her.. so I am not worried about her in the least..

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)
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