Monday, November 28, 2011

Leftover Kitten Joy - November 28, 2011

Here's some leftover kitten joy from last week.  Enjoy!

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.