Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve

A little merry Christmas Eve activity from the fosters ... sorry if the videos get yanked, there was background music playing that I obviously don't have rights to broadcast.

Star of the show is Davey (long hair grey) ... can you tell he is blind?

Happy Holidays !

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Return of Roscoe - Part II

We pick up where we left off ...

Monday, November 13th

Big day for the kittens.  Everyone was due for something so we packed up all 13 in their various carriers and went off to the clinic for shots, deworming, etc.  Since SOMEBODY brought in fleas (thank you very much), I took this opportunity to deep clean everything the cats had ever touched.  Nine loads of laundry later, the house vacuumed, the kitten room scrubbed & polished and a new kitten space set up.

I made a valiant effort to dose my cats with Vectra.  Lorenza wasn't too difficult about it.  Cotton always acts like I'm pouring acid on him.  Colleen, well, let's just say after chasing her around for most of an hour, she got her way and has yet to be touched.  She'll just have to pretend to scratch for a while longer.  It's a little sad to watch her try to scratch with her absent leg.  (update:  a couple of days later, she did hold still long enough to get her dose, too, so Yea! no more fleas)

But enough about everyone else, this is Roscoe's story.

Since Roscoe is 4 or 5 months old, he didn't have any shots today, just flea treatment.  He and the kittens were given a whole room of their own at the shelter to play in all day.  When I picked them up, Roscoe was hiding under a bench and the little blind cat, Davey, was on the very top of a 5 foot tall cat tree.  (he's great at climbing UP, not so good at DOWN)

Turns out two of the Five Pack kittens have reached the magic 2lb mark so they got to stay and will hopefully be adopted very soon.  Bye bye Knox & Clint!

Mimmi & her kittens also stayed behind for a few days of extra clinic TLC.  Mimmi may not have enough milk for all 6 of her hungry kittens.

So Roscoe, Davey, and 3 kittens came home.  I thought I had constructed a pretty good kitten fence in the new area.   Well, my kitten fence is not very escape-proof.  They were over the wall before I was even back downstairs.  In the end, I gave up and let them be 'free-range' kittens.  They'll spend the nights tucked away in the shower so they don't get into anything they shouldn't overnight.

Roscoe was in rare form tonight.  He had a great time playing with the kittens, but he forgets that he is twice their size.  He's a little rough on them.  His favorite target is poor Davey.  Who beats up on the blind kitty?

Tuesday, November 15th


Went to the clinic today to draw blood again.  Poor baby is a hard stick.  He's like a pin cushion.  Didn't get enough today, so he goes back again on Thursday.  Still trying to find out (or rule out) what might be causing the detached retinas.

Wednesday, November 16th

Roscoe - 'fraidy cat or secret bully?

Roscoe plays pretty rough with Davey.  Not so much with the other kittens. 
Is he a bully because he picks on the blind kid? 

I also caught him chasing Colleen around today. 
Is he a bully because he chases the cat with 3 legs?

He is becoming more bold with Cotton.  Although Cotton acts all big & tough, inside he's a marshmallow.  Has Roscoe called his bully-bluff?

Friday, November 18th

Roscoe is one smitten kitten.  He follows Lorenza around like a shadow. 
She's sweet to him, too.

Tonight, after lots of kitten play & some amazing flying kitten stunts, Roscoe is curled up by my side, purring.  He is now voluntarily approaching for pets & attention.  He loves a snuggle.  Just a couple more days before he returns.

Tuesday, November 22nd

Today's the day.  The kittens all return to the shelter.  Davey tested negative for everything in the blood work (good news), but the clinic will start him on some medications to see if his eyesight can be improved a little.  They'll watch him while I'm busy over the holiday.  Only little Leticia isn't at the 2lb mark yet, so she may find another foster home to gain the last few ounces.  Haskell & Robin are ready for their furever homes.

This has been Roscoe's tale.  He has really turned the corner from 'fraidy cat to fantastic feline.  He'll make a great cat for someone.  Hopefully, he'll also have some playmates.  He may take a little while to settle into a new home, but once he does, he'll be your friend for life.  Good luck Roscoe!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Story of Roscoe

OK, so tomorrow came and went.  I didn't get around to posting, but I did make lots of notes and here is Roscoe's story (to date):

Sunday, October 23rd

Returned today from Best Friends' No More Homeless Pets convention in Las Vegas and picked up one really scared kitten from the shelter.  Roscoe is about 4 months old, a neutered male brown tabby.  All legs & tail, he is skinny (not underweight, just a very slender cat) and frightened of life.  He'll spend tonight chillin' in the 'kitten room' and start tomorrow re-learning to be a kitten.

Monday, October 24th

As you may have read in the other post, today brought Mimmi and her 6 tiny day-old kittens into foster care here.  She's set up downstairs in a separate room that's quiet and apart from all the rest of the cats in the house.  Moms with kittens are so easy to foster - they do all the work!  But this isn't Mimmi's story, back to Roscoe.

Today, he's still petrified and hiding.  He's not hissy, spitty, angry, bitey, or scratchy.  I pick him up and cuddle a lot.  He sort of cringes and tenses up, but doesn't fight it.  We tried a little cat harness to see if he'd walk on a leash.  Yea, not so much walk as huddle.

Tonight, he's hiding under the covers.

Tuesday, October 25th

Some purring & making biscuits, but only under the covers.  Not sure if it's still just a scared response or really happy-kitty.

Wednesday, October 26th

Here's what I wrote to the clinic today about Roscoe:

I know it’s only been a couple of days, but thought I’d give you a quick update on Roscoe. He’s a sweet little kitten, but terrified of life. He’s fine when held or as long as he feels protected (like under the covers), then he purrs up a storm (not nervous purr, but happy purr) and makes biscuits. That said, he’s going to be a tough nut to crack. He seems to lack curiosity and any play instinct.

When I deal with typical ferals, they are scared & aggressive – hissing, spitting, etc, and isolation will usually break them down. With a scared, passive kitten who is otherwise sweet, I find that ‘kitty see, kitty do’ is more effective (or has quicker results) in teaching them to play & learning to trust.

So do we have some other foster kittens (preferably older) that are happy & outgoing where we can maybe take him back to the ‘litter-pack’ level & give him a re-boot on life? I hate to take any away from other foster families, but what about the 3 kittens I had a couple of weeks ago (Clyde, Manolo, Damita?) – they should be almost 2lbs now & almost ready to return. I’d love to give Roscoe a few days with some playful kittens so that he can see that life can be fun instead of scary. I need some of those kittens that are crazy happy to see people – always rushing the door to get to you faster (or maybe just to get the food faster, whatever).

I can hold him & love him forever, but I’m not sure it will produce quick results. My cats aren’t the playful types, so not such good role models. Any kittens over about 1 lb would do but older is better (I think), as long as everyone is healthy.

Thursday, October 27th

Like I told the clinic yesterday, seems like Roscoe needs a pal.  Today, I picked up young Davey - the cutest little gray & white fluff ball with big wide eyes.  He's a little young (maybe 6-7 weeks or so) but hopefully he'll be a little pal to Roscoe.

Friday, October 28th

Little walkabouts upstairs.  Some peek-a-boo from under covers.  Doesn't approach yet.  Roscoe is pretty much ignoring Davey.  Davey just wants to be picked up & held.

Saturday, October 29th

Roscoe voluntarily came out of his hidey-hole today.  He is showing a little interest in the kitten - so begins curiousity!  He took his first walkabout downstairs.  He is still crying & cringing a bit, but is more outgoing and seems to be settling down.

Sunday, October 30th

The kittens were left alone in the kitten room most of the day.  Roscoe was perched on top of a pile of blankets on top of the counter when I got home.  Maybe trying to get away from Davey?  Davey is acting a little like the tag-along little brother (just a little bit of a pest).  Turns out he has good cause.

Monday, October 31st

Took Davey to the clinic today for an eye exam.  I suspect he is blind (or nearly so).  His pupils don't dilate and he bumps into things occasionally.  But that's Davey's tale.  Roscoe spent the day out of the kitten room, roaming the house.  By evening, noise of the trick-or-treaters outside made him fearful again and I found him crying behind a door.

Tuesday, November 1st

Still trying to find some pals for Roscoe to play with, I brought 5 more foster kittens home today.  Everyone settled in well.

Wednesday, November 2nd

The new kittens (about the same age as Davey, 6-7 weeks or so) are happy & lively.  Roscoe is watching intently all the huslte & bustle of the new brood, but can't say he's joining in the fun. 

Thursday, November 3rd

Let Roscoe have the run of the house today to give him a little break from the kitten crowd.  He's scared at first.  Ran around zoomy-kitty for a couple of hours from one room to another.  By evening, he was bouncing up on to the bed and attacking my feet under the covers.  He's still crying out a lot, but spent the night out & about. 

In the midst of all this, Roscoe discovered toys today.  Turns out he LOVES the fuzzy catnip toy.    It's so great to see him playing like a kitten!

Friday, November 4th

Found Roscoe hiding behind the bathroom door again this morning.  Maybe letting him spend the night roaming the house was too much for him.  Tried to move him back to the kitten room, but he'd have none of it.  He spent the day hiding somewhere.  Finally appeared at dinnertime.  Showed off his stalking prowess by catching a fly in midair!  Super-kitty behavior!  Spent the evening stretched out under the bureau and taking small forays out to see if he can make friends with my cats.  Cotton says no.

Saturday, November 5th

Another case of the zoomies.  Scaring the wits out of me by jumping up on the upstairs bannister over the stairwell.  Yikes!

Sunday, November 6th

Breakthrough!  Following Lorenza's lead, Roscoe tentatively approaches for some morning cuddles.  He's still crying out (maybe we'll just call that 'talkative'), still bouncy, but less hidey.

Monday, November 7th

I am the kitten whisperer.  At this writing, Roscoe is camped out on my lap - purring up a storm.  Today he is attention-seeking, playing with toys, talking to me (he's quite chatty), enjoying kisses, and trying to make friends with Cotton, Colleen, and Lorenza.  Oh, and helping me write.

This evening, he is all about the cuddling and lap time.  After two weeks, a little play-time with some string toys and all I see is a happy 4-month old kitten.

Tuesday, November 8th

Roscoe spent the night cuddled up on the bed with me & the other cats (except Colleen, of course).  Cotton isn't pleased, but Lorenza was licking Roscoe's head this morning (sweet girl!).  Still not sure where Roscoe spends his days, but I'm sure he's turned the corner from 'fraidy-cat to sweet kitty.  Still more tests ahead for him, but for now, I get happy purrs and baby biscuits.  It's all worth it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

He-e-e-re's Mimmi! - Oct 24, 2011

Today's post was going to be all about Roscoe ... a new foster kitten I picked up yesterday for a few weeks of TLC ...  but more about him later.

I just got back from the shelter with a new mom and her 6 tiny kittens!  They look to be just a day old - so tiny.  She's a sweet young cat, probably only about a year old, just darling and so far a really good mom.  Story goes, she came into the shelter with her sister (also with a litter of 5 kittens!).   All of them are black tabbies or tortie girls.  Our friend Trish has the other mom & babies. 

Here's a quick peek of their arrival:

There really are six kittens in there

Pretty Mimmi
More about Mimmi (and Roscoe) tomorrow.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Somebody's in TROUBLE!

Damika says, 'Not me!'

Meet the new kids - September 20, 2011

They look scared here, but within 5 minutes they were fluffy little purry bundles of joy.  Meet Damika (the grey) and her two brothers Manolo and Clyde. 

That's Manolo on the right - he's got a gorgeous silver mane.  Clyde, although the biggest of the three, is slightly more timid.  He's a very handsome jet black puff ball. 

They look like they might grow up to have medium length coats.  We'll see.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Anchors Away..Bye Bye Sailor - September 12, 2011

Well, I know it's been a while.  Been busy, but no excuses.  Sailor's little 3-pack litter is growing slowly.  Today they had their 8-week checkup, shots (yuck), and blood draws.  Everyone is doing fine, but they are still way behind the timeline for 8-week-old kittens.  The URI really set them back.  All are right around the 1 lb. weight mark and solid, but tiny for their age.

Today they also said good-bye to mom Sailor.  The shelter is having a fabulous cat adoption event over the next week, so hopefully she will get a fur-ever home really quickly.

Here's some updated photos:

Sailor is a fabulous girl ... still very kittenish and playful, but also willing to be carried around.  She'd be great in a family with kids or just having an owner to pal around with.  She co-habited easily with my cats - not aggressive or submissive, just willing to go along.  She'd probably be good with the right dog, too, but I don't have one to test with her.  She comes when called and loves a good snuggle.  Like I said, a fabulous kitty all around.

Driscoll (L), Drake (R), Brodie (up front)
Too bad you can't see their toes in this snap.  They are cutie-patooties!  These boys have their mom's sweet disposition.  They are slow growing, so I'll probably have them around for a while yet.  This is a rare quiet pose - usually they are just a blur of action!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Star Wars Saga - May 13 - Aug 24, 2011

A long time ago (...over 14 weeks)
... in a shelter far, far away (ok, not so far) ...

Creamy, a beautiful lynx-point Siamese, arrived without ceremony.  With her stunning blue eyes, she was quickly adopted and carried off for that 'special' surgery required before she was allowed to be taken away to her fur-ever home.

Moments before the first cut, kindly clinic staff discovered that Creamy was smuggling several bundles of joy insider her.  She was quickly spirited away to foster care, where she waited patiently for several weeks before there appeared five tiny new lives for whom she must care.

While Creamy cared for these new lives, a huge white stormtrooper growled menacingly outside her cave, and dark forces loomed nearby.  As she struggled to care for her tiny rebel band, the evil URI threatened their allies away in the valley below and not all of their little friends survived the war.

After 6 weeks of feeding & cleaning, Creamy had taught her little padawans all she knew.  She returned to the Jedi Temple of Adoption and was soon rewarded with her happily-ever-after fur-ever home.

Now our little heroes are ready for their own adventures.  Today, Luke, Leia, Anakin, Han Solo, and Obi-wan (Ben) face the lightsabers of surgery and will soon be off to their own galaxies far, far away.
Top (L to R) - Ben, Leia, Anakin
Bottom (L to R) - Luke, Han

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kitten updates - August 17, 2011

Well, it's been a tough couple of weeks here.  Sailor and her little polydactyl kittens all had to go into 'intensive care' for the terrible case of upper respiratory infections that struck our little brood.  Unfortunately, three of the littles didn't make it.  We lost Bentley, Hoover, and tiny Pickles.  Sailor has bounced back strong, although she doesn't have milk anymore to feed her babies, so the remaining three are now bottle babies.  Mom is still around to clean & comfort.  The kittens are about a month old now but due to their set backs, the appear more like 10 days to 2 weeks.  These are some tough little boys.  Drake, Driscoll, and little Brodie are back on their way.  Looks like they will be around here for several more weeks while they try to gain weight & catch up to their age group.

Sailor with Drake & Driscoll

L to R, Driscoll, Drake, Brodie

The big kittens, on the other hand, are mighty terrors right now.  Everything is something new to climb & explore.  Everything is a toy.  They are eating me out of house & home - 4 cans of food a day between the 5 of them!  Growing up is hungry work.  I did a little random weigh-in on Sunday (their 8-week mark) and thought the whole bunch was nearly at the magic 2lbs, but during the 'real' weigh-in I found that most of them are just in the 1lb 12oz range.  (Maybe depends whether their bellies are full.)  A few ounces to go before they bound out of here to their new homes.

A rare quiet moment for Luke & Ben

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Toe count ... drumroll, please ... - August 4, 2011

Six little runny noses. Twelve little rhumy eyes.  139 tiny dirty toes.  That's right 139.  An odd number to be sure.  If you add in Mom's toes, that makes an even 150 toes between just 7 cats.

Anyone who knows cats knows they typically have just 18 toes, 5 on each front paw and 4 each on the back paws.  Our little polydactyl kittens have an average of 3 extra toes each.  Everyone but Brodie has 5 toes on each back paw.  Lucky Brodie has six on one of his back feet.  He also has an odd number on the forepaws - six on one side and seven on the other.  Destined to be one very lucky kitty, to be sure.

Sailor, our mom, also has different front paws.  She has a 'normal' 5-toed paw plus one 6-toed - but the extra toe is like a thumb!  Two of our littles (Pickles & Hoover) have seven on each front paw.  Driscoll & Bentley each have 6-toed front paws.  Drake, like brother Brodie, has a six-toe and a seven-toe.

Hey, who needs a manicure?

But back to the runny noses.  Poor little babies.  Mom's basically over her Upper Respiratory infection now.  She's feeling much better, eating well & bursting with milk.  She's bursting because the kittens are too stuffed up to suckle.  Clinic vet let me put the kittens on the same antibiotic as mom.  Our great friend Mary lent her nebulizer box (basically a vaporizer into which you put the kittens for a breathing treatment with saline vapor).  Since the kittens can't nurse if they can't breathe, they are also getting tube-fed so they don't dehydrate.  A little BNP ointment for the gummed-up eyes.  Rinse.  Repeat.

At least the upstairs kittens are healthy.  At week 6, mom Creamy went back to the shelter yesterday.  She'll be spayed & ready for adoption right away.  A gorgeous lynx-point Siamese, she should have no trouble finding a forever home soon.  She's a real sweetie-pie.

Back to the kitchen, I'm sure it's feeding time for someone.  :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Behinder I get, the Behinder I get ... August 2, 2011

I've tried, really.  There's just so much going on that I can't seem to catch up.

Where to start?  Let's see, 10 days ago I picked up a new mom & 6 tiny kittens (sorry, still no good pictures).  I thought all I'd have to deal with were a couple of fleas, but no-o-o-o...  Mom (Sailor) came down with major Upper Respiratory Infection, first in her throat - causing massive drooling.  She wasn't able to clean or care for her infant kittens very well and barely able to eat anything.  She lost her magnificent motor-boat purr.  Poor baby.  She's such a skinny little thing anyway.  After a couple of trips to the shelter clinic, we came home with a laundry list of meds - ValTorb for the sore throat, Vitamin C & Lysine to boost her immune system, and Colostrum to help with her milk production.  That seemed to help for a couple of days, but (of course) the URI expanded to her eyes & nose.  She stopped eating again.  Back to clinic for more meds, now MetaCam & Amoxicillin.  We'll beat those germs out of her yet!

Sailor loves her scratching post
She's taking better care of the babies now.  So far, they are still gaining weight, slowly, but still gaining.  It's some relief that at least I don't have to bottle feed them (keep your fingers crossed).  Sailor is such a sweetie-pie.  All she wants is to cuddle up and be held.  She takes her meds like a trooper.  When she can eat, she loves A/D mixed with a little KMR 'gravy'.

Camera shy?
The kittens (a little over 2 weeks old now) all have their eyes open (no goo, yea!).  There are a few sneezes, but so far, nothing like what Mom's got.  There will be pictures as soon as they are all cleaned up - and that promised toe-count!  We've got 5 boys and 1 girl - Driscoll, Drake, Hoover, Bentley, Brodie, and Pickles.  All gray-ish, tabby-ish polydactyl kittens.  From what I can tell right now, they WILL be a handful!

A rare quiet moment
Meanwhile, upstairs .... Creamy's kittens have been through Week 5 - one of my favorite weeks of kittenhood.  Running, jumping, bouncing, climbing, eating - all of life's important lessons crammed into one week of action-packed learning.  Did I mention climbing?  Where's the 'OFF' switch?  And who keeps missing the litterbox?  You guys know better than this!  Anyone who has raised little kittens knows, that first week of litterbox use, no matter how many times you scoop, the whole room reeks of kitten-poop.  Ew-ew-ew.

A Handsome Prince
Oh, and then there's the extra shelter kitty here on 'vacation' while the indoor/outdoor kennels get resurfaced?  Princey-Boy (or just Prince).  He's a beautiful Maine Coon, but slightly tempramental.  Would probably like to be an only cat.  He's 10 years old - turned in by his owners who claimed the reason as 'they have a 2 year old daughter'.  Not sure if their intention was to protect the cat or the kid.  He has taken up residence in the upstairs bathroom so that he can have 'a room of his own'.  I go in several times a day to say 'hi' and give him some love.  In the evenings, he gets to come out into the den with me for a little TV time.  He's still kind of nervous about the big change in his life.  He'll be here for a couple of weeks or so.

Lorenza (barely visible in cubby), Colleen (up top), Cotton
For those of you keeping track, when you add in my own 3 cats, thats 17, yep - seventeen cats in the house.  I think that's just one shy of official 'crazy cat lady' status.  Thank goodness for the two moms, even though they've both been sick, I couldn't have done it without them.

So now you know why there've been no posts, no pics, no videos.  I'm exhausted.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New kittens!

Sorry, no pictures yet, but there's new kittens in the house!

There I was, minding my own business ... went to the shelter to pick up food for my mom & kittens when our fabulous Animal Control officer Hope brought in a lucky new mom with six 3 day old kittens.  "Please take them home", she asked, ... so what else could I do?  We named the mom after Hope's daughter, Sailor.  There are 5 boys & 1 girl, but I left the list of their names at the clinic.  Will pick those up tomorrow.

Mom & kids are settling in now so pictures will be forthcoming.  Here's a hint ... there's LOTs of TOES!

Purr-sonalities! - July 20 2011

At 4 weeks, while they are still not 100% steady on their feet, the kittens are spending more time awake now and their new little purr-sonalities are starting to show.

Luke is definitely the Jedi Master of the team.  He's very gregarious & adventurous; always the first kitten to bound out to greet you & typically first to try new things.  Recently, he was the first kitten to step up to Mom's dinner plate & dig in to fill his belly with real food.  He was also the first smart kitten to figure out what the litter box was for!  Kittens learn a lot from watching each other so he'll be the leader of the pack, for sure.  May the Force be with you, Luke.

Luke eats his first meal

Leia is bright & bouncy.  She spends her time practicing her pouncing and teasing poor Han.  Being the only girl, she is tough & strong-willed.  Surely destined to be a princess in someone's galaxy.
Princess Leia Organa Solo

Han is the explorer.  A rogue and a bit of a scoundrel, he plays with Luke & Ben, but also has his solo time, checking things out around the kitten den.  A tough guy with a heart of gold; he's quick on his feet - he'll be making the Kessel Run in no time.

Han Solo explores

Ben is a bit of a hermit; spends a lot of time alone in the 'Jundland Wastes' of the kitten cage (that's peeking out from behind Mom's litter box) & from the back of the kennel 'cave'.  He is gentle & sweet & has that look of being wise beyond his years (or weeks, in his case).  Great friends with Luke and puts up with Leia's bossiness.

Obi-wan Kenobi (Ben to the rest of us)
Anakin.  The quiet one.  He's a mama's boy.  Spends most of his time alone (brooding?)  There's good in him, I know it.  Let's hope he doesn't turn to the Dark Side.

Anakin, with Luke

Monday, July 18, 2011

Luke gets a bath - July 17, 2011

Just too cute ...

Tough week - July 11-17, 2011

The kittens are growing fast.  The period between 3 and 4 weeks is tough.  Little wobbly legs make for clumbsy motoring (but funny!).

We had a little worry earlier this week.  Mom Creamy seemed to be losing her milk.  She was not eating very well (she's really picky anyway), so she was not consuming enough calories to make enough milk for 5 hungry kittens.  The babies didn't gain much weight up to week 3, so after a trip to the vet for mom to make sure she was OK otherwise, we tried supplementing mom's milk with a little KMR (kitten milk replacement formula).  The kids didn't take too well to the bottles, but we discovered that Creamy REALLY liked the taste of KMR ... and Voila! ... by mixing a little KMR 'gravy' into her food, Creamy started eating enough to make milk again.

Meanwhile, our favorite kitten fairy godmother (Mary E) helped wiht bottle- and syringe-feeding for a couple of days and now the kittens are just about ready to eat on their own!

Anakin, Luke (foreground), Ben & Leia (background)

Luke gets a bath

Friday, July 8, 2011

Shake a Leg ... or is that Shaky Legs? - July 8, 2011

The kittens are toddling around ... trying out their shaky little legs.  They're pretty good at it, too.  Growing up so fast.

Hey, what's out there?

Leia:  Come on boys, let's go!

Ben:  I dunno ... are you sure about this?

Whoa, wait for me!


Luke expores beyond the pen

Son, you have no teeth.  This is not your lunch.

Yea, lunch!

Purr, purr, purr, purrrr, purrrrrr

Nom ...nom... nom...nom  - thanks, Mom!
Han:  Mom, I'm getting sleepy ...

Band of brothers

And ... we're out