Wednesday, August 28, 2019

A family photo for #Cabanaandthegang

Hey, Casey, do you think we can get a family photo??
Is there baby food involved? - Casey
Did someone say baby food?? Cape and Cabana (with Casey in the background) 
Okay, everyone on the couch, try not to move too much while I figure out the white balance
Could you get a little closer?
Arrgh, my white balance again.. Cabana, could you be a little less brilliant for me?
Okay, but more brilliant than that, I kinda need you to look at the camera
well now you all look like you are about to be abducted by aliens.. 
Lady - you are weird - Capa
Okay, that's better, that is a little less alien abduction and a little more album cover photo..
but can you get a little closer?
oooh, got it!!
Casey!! it is not that kind of photoshoot!!
and no, these kinds of photos will not have people sending you oodles of baby food.. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Pawsome customized Jack socks made by Socksery

Olivia from the Socksery Team - that want to spread joy by making pawsome customized pet socks with people’s furbabies on them - reached out to me last month regarding their custom socks. She was wondering if I might be interested in a free pair of socks in exchange for a review.

I jumped on board immediately. I was offered a similar opportunity a while ago but it slipped out of my fingers because I couldn't find the right photo of Jack to use. This time I was prepared as I had found one and kept it on hand in case I decided to buy a pair.

Because... Jack. He was just so freakingly handsome.. *sigh*

I sent off the image and Olivia said that would be great, so I sat back and waited for the "magical socks, personalized with (my) furry friend’s face" to arrive.

I chose a size Medium and to have the background purple. The background comes in different color choices such as blue, light blue, pink, red, green and orange. You can also choose two or even three faces to put on your socks. You can see those options here. They also have a face mashup where there is no background to it. (Okay, fine, you can even get your dog, or put your own face on a pair of socks. Heck, if you were clever you could probably use just about anything - but you know my preference.. kitties!!)

So.. what do I think of the socks? Well, come on, they have Jack on them, they are freakin awesome!!

customized purple socks with a nebelung cat face on them
A pair of Socksery custom socks one face up the other face down
Looking at the inside of a custom printed sock from Socksery
a side view of a pair of purple custom socks from Socksery
a photo of a pair of custom socks from Socksery being worn by a woman with size 9 wide feet

I will tell you that I wear a size nine wide shoe.  I'm also not a completely fair representation of what they look like on because my calves are incredibly thick due to my lipedema.  Because I generally have an impossible time getting socks like this on my feet at all, I was incredibly impressed that I was able to get them on. They have some good give to them, but they aren't all loosey-goosey so you would have to worry about them falling down.

Negatives?? well, um.. well there is a seam down the side that runs all the way up the sock, but that's minimal... I mean like I'm digging for a negative here.

Now that I'm looking at the photos I will say that the purple is showing up on my screen as a shade or two lighter than they actually are.

So I grabbed some Crayola crayons to help you understand the color a little better..

showing the true color of customized socks by Socksery by using Crayola Crayons the purple sock is closest in color to the purple crayon

The wrapper on the Plum and the Violet are very similar to the sock color, but the swatch of the violet was the closest in color.

I love them.. LOVE them.. Now, the question becomes if I had normal-sized calves would I wear them. I am so torn on that because I'd LOVE to show them off, but I would hate having them wear out. On the flip side of that, I could always buy new ones! 😸

If you have a pair, or you buy a pair, I'd love to see yours.. cause I think these things are so cool..

Monday, August 26, 2019

A photoshoot for #Cabanaandthegang

Being afraid of their own shadow, I wasn't very comfortable bringing my big camera down and subjecting the kittens to the click and the flash of my Nikon.. so all the photos so far have been on my phone.

But with their time drawing to a close I wanted to try to get some better photos of them.

Since they weren't keen on sitting still for me, some of these aren't the best.

Casey - she takes a minute to realize she likes me
Cabana finds me interesting, my hands are still very evil.
Capa is now a lap kitten. She was not sure about the camera, but if I sit down she's on my lap
Cape is almost always under the cat tree.
If I pull her out she purrs like a motorboat and loves attention.
If I have baby food or a toy she will come out on her own.
Capa wondering what the camera thing was
Cabana almost looks worried that I am going to try to sit on Happy Bear with him

All in all not a bad time of it. They didn't make it easy as they moved a lot so I have a lot of fuzzy photos.. and white kitties and flash do not go well together as you will see in the next post about them.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Major developments with #CabanaandtheGang

With Briget and her sisters gone, it was questionable if I should let Cabana and his sisters out of the bathroom or not. There is a lot more space to get used to, a lot more to defend against, a lot more to be afraid of.

But the four of them were destroying the bathroom in less than 12 hours which meant leaving them there was a lot more work for me and it wasn't challenging them at all. They were used to the bathroom, they were not progressing any further toward me (well except Casey who figured out she adores having her neck scratched) so I took stock of the full room to see what I was dealing with.

The new couch is kitten height off the floor so I realized pretty quickly if I left that in there I'd never see them. Fortunately, we still hadn't taken the old one out, so we switched couches. They can still hide on one side of the couch where the arm comes up off the floor, but I can easily reach them in there without acting like a predator (scrambling to get them) so that worked.  The cat tree nearish the cabinet wasn't going to work either because I could just see Cabana making a scramble to get over there and leaping, and either making it and I wouldn't be able to get him or not making it and his falling from 7 feet, so I moved the tree far away from it. I removed a few items that would make scrambling for cover possibly worth it (like the unicorn and the giraffe) but left a few things to hide in. I also left the bathroom open because that was comfortable to them, smelled like them, they knew that.

And I was fully expecting to have to return them to the bathroom because I didn't know how it would go.

That first night they were out exploring and having a grand ol time. I knew in the morning they would be right back in the bathroom hiding from me - and they were.  After that, we have had some successes and some not so successful moments.

Casey loves me. She is usually quick to remember that the great big thing that invades her space delivers love and baby food..

and with baby food, usually, I can entice everyone else over. Cabana trusts Casey, so he'll usually come over to check it out and his love of processed meat product does the rest.

He still does not trust me though. I can only get him to come over if I have something he wants. Food, toys, or his sister's snuggles. Other than that he stays well out of reach, but the fact that he is not hiding is incredibly impressive. I did not think it was possible. I was certain he was going to have to be a barn cat when I first met him, so huge kudos to him.

Capa, the black and white one, still growls at everything. I offer her baby food and she growls. I go to pet her and she growls. She doesn't mind being with me once I have my hands on her, even volunteering to lay next to me the other day when the food was gone and I told her she could leave from our forced cuddle session. She has a way to go - or she needs someone who is willing to put some work into her.

Cape, the tabby, likes attention a lot but does not feel comfortable asking for it. She skulks around the room like she's expecting to be called on by a teacher after not doing her homework. If you can get your hands on her, she purrs up a storm. She likes baby food and play but holds back as if the other kitties have told her that they get to do these things first.

Since they are already neutered, I'll probably have them for another week or two, but we'll see. I've already the next litter set up waiting for me..

Monday, August 19, 2019

What a difference a month makes

This past weekend Briget was adopted by a lovely woman who has already given me an update. Her new name is Kit. My husband and I both teared up at that. I am so happy for her.

Molly and Evie are going to be adopted together. I have not heard, nor do I expect to, where or when they are going, and I am okay with that. I know that people love updates but they aren't always meant to be.

They came so far from the scared little balls of floof that showed up here a month ago. It was a privilege to know them.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Introducing the graduating class of Summer School 2019 #Brigetandhersisters

Briget and her sisters are ready for their next adventure in life.

Evie is still "less than" the most outgoing cat you've ever met, but I'm sure most people won't see her shier tendencies and will just chalk it up to being a kitten in a new environment. As long as she is continually challenged she will be an excellent outgoing kitty. She loves attention, she loves food and she loves to wrestle with her sisters.

Molly is a fun loving girl who is quickly becoming attached to me and enjoying my company a lot. this is so far away from where she started that I am amazed. She hasn't met a feather toy she doesn't like and she loves to climb on the cat tree. She says ping pong was her favorite subject

Briget is fearless and knows her mind and she isn't afraid to tell you all about it. She likes to snuggle and get her ears scratched as long as she isn't busy telling her sisters what to do or getting a rogue toy in line.

The girls were neutered last night so we only have a few more days with them until they go off to be adopted. Briget took the longest to come out of the sedation and I was quite worried about her for a few hours. I only really started breathing once she started eating.  All three of them were quite active drunks, choosing not to sit still and wait for the effects to wear off but instead to run around .. or should I say stumble around the room.. and attempt to jump on the couch, and even climb the tree.. Well, except Briget who was pretty out of it for most of the night.

These are some pretty awesome kittens and whomever adopts them will be very lucky. It would be absolutely awesome if they could stick together, but in the 17 years I've been doing this I have only seen three (well and myself, so that would be four) people adopt triplets.  I suppose as long as Evie isn't left on her own I couldn't really pick which way to divide them up.

Not sure when they will be leaving us.. but I am guessing it will be sometime this week.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Making end of live decisions when you aren't facing the end of life

seventeen-year-old cat sitting comfortably on a comfy chair

I am the owner of two seventeen-year-old cats. Muffin and Eli are siblings that I adopted back in 2002.  If you have been following this blog with any regularity you will know that Muffin is facing end-of-life issues with her kidney disease. Despite knowing she was in kidney failure I made the decision to have a growth removed from behind her ear and she has been suffering the consequences of being sedated ever since.

She is under the care of a vet and is due to have her blood drawn again to check her kidney values here any time now, but in general, she is doing okay despite several scares. My real dilemma is becoming Eli and he is the reason for this exploration of my feelings on what we are facing.


Eli was a very sick little kitten and trying to get him well I made him very fearful of humans by medicating him and then letting him run away as soon as I was done. I thought "get it over as soon as possible" was the best thing, but it only taught him that we were something to run from and fear. If you have to medicate kittens, hold on to them afterward, soothe and comfort them so they don't only associate you with being held against their will and having something really gross forced down their throat. 

When I made the decision to keep Eli, it was with the knowledge that I would never be able to treat him for anything longer than a couple of days. It would absolutely ruin his quality of life and that is just not something I am willing to put him through.  I made the rational and sound and unemotional decision that if the time came, I would rather release him from his body than make him endure something I *knew* would absolutely ruin his life from a quality standpoint. The few times I had to give him medication made that painfully clear.

While he has mellowed in his old age, being able to pick him up when I want to is still not easy. If I walk over to him with the intention of even patting him he evades me. He will come to me and ask for love and attention, and I am happy to give it to him, but he will not take it under any circumstances. Endure, sure, but he hates it.

What we are facing:

Now that he is 17, I know I am coming closer to whatever it is that is going to make me make that end-of-life decision for him. This week has been a hard one for him, as he has had a couple of instances of stomach emptying vomits (aka five or more in the space of an hour). He is also riddled with many lumps and bumps. Each one I have had checked out are simple lipomas (fat deposits) but they can't be comfortable and who knows what is under some of them.

So, I sit here with a seventeen-year-old cat who could probably benefit from some vet care, but is it in his best interest? Is it in mine? (just so you know, he had bloodwork done a few months ago and he checked out perfectly - he has always had regular exams - I am a firm supporter of regular exams for cats)

I know, this might sounds cruel to some, but I don't believe it is in his best interest. Taking him to the vets is hard on him. Having the vet and the techs examine him and draw blood and samples, it is hard on him. The stress is not good for him and if there is something brewing it can just make it worse.

But now that these moments are happening with a bit more frequency (once a month or so) and I wonder if I am making the right decision. Emotions are starting to get pulled into the decision making process. I am not focusing so much on what is right for him, but what is right for me. I really want to know what is going on. I want to test every lump, I want x-rays, I want answers - possibly answers that aren't to be had - as seventeen-year-old cats are often quite inconclusive..


I have two options.  Take him to the vet for tests or do nothing. 

*If I do nothing, I know nothing. I can give him fluids and I can give him Pepcid for an old man stomach - which is pretty common. I can give him CBD for any possible anxiety or mild pain he might have from the lumps (that don't really seem to cause him any discomfort from my point of view but since cats are so good at hiding things it would be a "to be safe" kind of decision) and when his quality of life is such that I can't keep him comfortable we can send him off gracefully. (which hopefully is years away)

*If I take him in I have one of two outcomes. I still know nothing except everything still checks out perfectly or we find something. Most of what we can possibly find in an old-man kitty means daily if not twice-a-day care, which I would not put him through. And while I hate to say this, but money is always a factor. Very few people are in the position to say money is not an object to treatment.  If he were three, or even thirteen, there wouldn't be much hesitation, as issues at that age are often easily treatable and take very little time but the chances of that diminish with every year of life. His being seventeen, his quantity of life is a factor. Sure, he *could* live until 30, but the chances of that - even with the absolute best care and the most willing patient - is minimal. 


At this point, I am sticking by my original "unemotional" decision made in love 17 years ago to give him the best quality of life I can, even if the quantity is reduced. Back then I was sure he wasn't going to make it to five, let alone ten. I am not saying that emotions won't get the best of me and I'll end up sinking hundreds of dollars for an answer that does not help me.. but if I do that doesn't mean it is the right decision.

Eli is in no danger at this point.. he simply vomits a little more often than he used to and has lumps. This is simply a discussion of end of life issues when you aren't facing end-of-life because they are important. I will probably have a few more over the coming weeks because I believe this is a very important topic and I don't believe there are enough resources out there for pet owners who love their pets beyond reason but yet are not willing (or not able) to "do absolutely everything to force them to live". Choosing to honor the cat and what they are able to do (or what you are able to do for them) is not the wrong decision.

And I still believe that in decisions of "when is it time", that a month "too early" is far far better than a moment too late. I do not want my cats to suffer.. Think of it as forcing someone to leave the party before the house burns down.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Cabana and the gang #Cabanaandthegang

From left to right: Capa, Cabana, Casey and Cape

The only thing more pathetic in the world of fostering than a sick kitten who can't breath well is this bunch.. I mean come on.. aren't they breaking your heart??

I was able to "peek under the hood" of three out of four of these guys and I am fairly certain Capa, Casey and Cape are all girls. Cabana.. no.. Cabana elects to have nothing to do with me thankyouverymuchisssss  And that is fine.  My job right now is to simply gain their trust.

Interesting, Casey was pretty easy. She started purring right away. Not "I love you" purrs, and she does not come to me and she still shrinks from me when I reach for her, but I has hope. She is in Camp Maybe

Capa.. yeah.. She's still in Camp No.. She's the littlest of the bunch.  I was able to trim a few nails tonight and I took off the yellow collars of any kitten that would engage with me (which you can totally read that Cabana has his) and I have a feeling they aren't all from the same litter as they didn't have consecutive numbers and there is quite a bit of size difference from Cabana..

Cape totally needs a new name (suggestions?). Anyway.. I can pick her up and I think I might have her in Camp Maybe. I was able to pick her up and love on her last night and when I put her down she didn't run like Capa does..

Sadly, it looks like they have coccidia as the litter box was filling up fast and none of it was tootsies and they were drinking a ton of water. I'm kinda proud of the fact that I was able to medicate them all (yes, even Cabana) without a drop of blood spilled and I'm fairly certain no trust lost. .. because this happened about 12 hours later..

Yup, Cabana walked in my general direction!!  Now, granted, I was waving one of the collars I took off of the other kittens so Cabana wanted to play.. but the fact that he was willing to engage in ANYTHING while I was around was huge.. HUGE.. I mean like my heart did a little happy dance huge..

Now I'm not saying I am going to get him to turn into a social love you and snuggle up to your neck kitten.. but I will totally take a slightly opened door and see what I can do with it..

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Naming Day #Brigetandhersisters

As you know, the three sisters came to me and I was referring to them as Small, Medium, and Large.

(is it just me or does the flash add ten pounds to those eyes!) 

Briget named herself.. She was the first to come around. she wanted OUT of that bathroom in the worst way.. she wanted to play and run and be an obnoxious little tomboy girl kitty and she is so flipping adorable when she does it. You can't tell in the above photos, but she has more brown on her than her sisters do.  (can you guess which one she is above?)

Next came Molly. She is the kitten formally known as Medium.. I'm not sure if she picked it or if it was just close enough to the sound of Medium that she went with that.. I threw a few names at her and this one stuck. She was the second one to come around and she very much wanted me to pat her but she did not want my hand coming at her for the longest time. It took her a while to figure out that it was pretty necessary.  Now we are cool. As long as the noises aren't too weird or the movements aren't too sudden. She has a little locket of white on her chest.

"Large" is the least trusting. She still has issues. She is okay with some forms of lovin, but I went to kiss her just a little bit ago and that was just wrong.  I am not that trustworthy.. she's sure I'm going to build a pit and throw her in and eat her if she lets her guard down. *eyeroll* (kittens are stringy and do not go good with ketchup) I threw a few names at her as well and what stuck was Evie.. (pronounced E-Vee - how would you spell that??) She is the longer haired one.

As for which kitty is which? Molly is in the first photo, Briget is in the front on the second photo and Evie is in the back.

I was reading over the post I shared about Briget and her sisters and noticed I spelled Briget both with and without a "d".  I found that most interesting for two reasons: the first that I don't think I've ever spelled Bridget without a D and second because Annemarie shared on facebook that the Irish spelling of Bridget is Brigid. I thought that was very interesting and thought it would make a more interesting name for the blog but Briget said no.. her name is Briget and if I could stop misspelling it that would be good..

So fine.. Briget it is.. whatever.. it is only for a few more days or so anyway.. A week.. what, two at the most??

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