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.