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Does My Butt Look Big in This Cat Condo?

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Either my cats are oddly gigantic or this heated Kitty Cabin is too small. Spencer CAN squeeze himself into this thing, but he's more likely to get stuck in the opening, which causes him to freak out and run excitedly around the house. At least it got him to move!

Please accept this goofy photo as my Blog offering for today. I'm still wiped out from the past two weeks and yesterday, spent at an Adoption Event in a bit too warm weather, tapped me. I promise to get you updated on TWEETIE (many updates there), as well as poor Pixie, the other fosters, Bob Dole, Nicky and Gracie. Lots going on!

Stay tuned!

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The Tweetie Chronicles: Chapter Three

Tweetie is really growing on me now that I can pet him without worrying about being bitten. Okay, I worry, but it's not as it was before. This guy has really come out of his shell of anger and fear. I dare him to push the envelope of comfort by rubbing his face, head, back and...oooo...belly.

When I get to his belly, he lurches, then runs off, but he's never angry or rough with me. Perhaps the stimulation of being touched is too strange to him? It's as if he becomes electrified, hyper-sensitized. I'd like to ask him, but I don't they make Rosetta Stone for Cats.

Sprinkles had some company. Her adoptive Mom came to meet her. It went fairly well and I believe Sprinkles will be adopted into a nice family with two elderly dogs and an 11 month old kitty. I hear that Sprinkles name will be changed. I'm sad about that, but heck, I can always call another foster kitten Sprinkles. I could call them ALL Sprinkles, but that would annoy the crap out of our Director!

I was thinking of really BAD names for cats. Here are a few: Tampon, Rabid and Acne.

Anyway, I asked Sprinkle's Mom (who also had her 21 yr old daughter with her) if they would be willing to meet Tweetie, just to get him used to being around new people. I warned them about being bit, to move slowly and keep their voices down.

I figured the entire time Tweetie would hide or hiss, but he shocked me by allowing not just the daughter, but the Mom to pet him-all over. He rolled to the side and purred away. He had moments of nervousness, but he kept coming back to allow them to touch and play with him.

I started to realize that I made a mistake. Both Mom and daughter were cooing and ooing over Tweetie. Clearly they were smitten with this kitten! I reminded them that Tweetie would be a bad fit for their home (which was absolutely true). Their kitty, Patches, is already a fearful kitten and with Tweetie's strong personality, I think it would be a bad fit. They were very reluctant to agree with me, but did realize Sprinkles would be better for them.

At least I know that Tweetie is adoptable even as he is. This is fantastic news and I'm so very proud of him. As the days pass, I can see how anyone would love him. He really is adorable and when his motor gets going you just get sucked into his charms.

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File Under: Should Have Stayed in Bed

5AM, once again, almost as though a vengeful alarm clock went off, I wake up, hearing one of the blasted cats puking. I dragged myself downstairs to discover Cricket leaving a trail of puke from the kitchen to the basement stairs. Nice.

Before I can even reach the paper towel dispenser, I smell something awful. I look, and, of course, I find Nicky (most likely) dropped a few "friends off" on the bathroom floor.

I'm so tired and so tired of these 5AM puke up calls. I reach down to clean up another mess and all of a sudden I get horrible pains in my abdomen, then my chest. I slowly stand and shuffle over to the sofa and just sit down. I'm so woozy from the lousy sleep, it's really effecting me.

After I finish cleaning everything up, I slowly drag back to bed. My legs are heavy. It's too hot in the house. Ugh.

I finally get to sleep after an hour and I drop off deeply for awhile. Then, guess what? Yep. Bob pukes. 9am. He is hungry. I should have been up by now to feed him. I think he pukes when he's super empty because all he vomited was some water. I get the cats fed and figure I'm up for the day.

I get the food ready for the kittens and make my way back upstairs to feed them. I open the door to "The Ladies Room" (which is my guest room where Gabby and her 3 girls are) to find little Pixie laying on the floor, looking rather odd. Something is wrong, but I go about getting them fed. I see her on the bed, where I feed the kittens. She's not bearing weight on her front left leg. She looks like she's shaking. Oh no.

I feel her leg. It feels normal, though what do I know from normal? It doesn't feel massively broken. She doesn't want to eat much, if anything. I call our Director. I'm frantic, but it's because I'm not used to this stuff yet. She assures me she will get me a Vet app't and to not worry. Maybe the kitten is sick or she has had a bad reaction to the FCRVP shot she got a few days ago.

Longer story, shorter-I end up taking Pixie and her sisters to visit Super Deb and Dr. Larry. It just worked out better for all and I was glad to have them see the kittens.

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Super Deb gives Twinkles and Sprinkles a nail trim. Ooo la la!

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Everyone got checked out and they were all looking well. Pixie tolerated a lot of touching, flexing, testing of her limb, but it made sense to run an x-ray just to be sure it wasn't more than a soft tissue injury.

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Turns out Pixie broke part of her pinky toe! Not a bad break, but it was determined she'd need cage rest for the next 2 to 3 weeks. This will probably mean she won't be going to her new family in a week or so. Pixie's back home resting in a big dog crate with Sprinkles to keep her company.

What's their crazy feral Mom, Gabby, think of all this? When asked for comment, she simply hissed.

It's just after 3pm EST. Half the day is gone. I need to reset myself. I organized an Adoption Day for TOMORROW and I have to focus on making sure that's all set. I also need to hang out with Tweetie. Poor guy is lonely but doing well. I'll catch you all up on his progress later today.

Right now my bed is calling me. I hear it puking so I better get going! Ha!

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The Tweetie Chronicles: Chapter Two

A week ago today, Tweetie bit me when I tried to pet him. Since it broke the skin and Tweetie hadn't had his rabies shot yet, I was "strongly urged" by Dr. Larry to get my arse to the ER to get post exposure Rabies treatment. I made a few calls and found out it would be covered, but the insurance company "urged" me not to go to the ER. The only place that HAS the meds IS the ER.

So I cleaned out the wound and decided to just give it some time. Tweetie had already been in our Program for more than the 10 day observation period, so odds are, he and I would both be fine.

I think this is a metaphor for Tweetie. At first, I was "urged" to consider releasing him. He'd bitten me and the Director. He was fearful, but not aggressive (whew). It was an appropriate "treatment."

As you know, we decided to give it some time and see how Tweetie did on his own. Isolation can some times push a feral kitten into yearning for physical connection so deeply that he'll seek it out from the ones he may have feared most, humans. But not every kitten will respond well and there's a tipping point at which we MUST release them if we can't coax them into being social butterflies.

Yesterday was an important clue to how things might go with Tweetie, once he was returned to living in my bathroom (still have other fosters in the "guest room" so this was what was left). I realized I was reluctant to engage with him, fearing another bite. After feeding him, I decided to just let him unwind for an hour. He'd just been returned from being neutered and getting his shots and being parted from his family and I didn't want to add to his stress.

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I went up to see him again. I found him lying in a comfy cat bed in the bathtub. He was stretched out, relaxed. I called to him in a whisper as to not stress him. I kneeled down slowly and prepared to extend my hand out to pet him, keeping my fingers together (or else they think you're putting your claws out at them!)...when I heard something.

Tweetie was purring.

LOUD.

I began to pet the back of his head and he kept on purring. I petted his back and he tensed up a bit, but let me continue. I even rubbed his belly a bit, which scared him and he jumped up and ran to the cat condo near the tub. With me sitting, he could, in a sense tower over me. I felt this was better for him, too. He relaxed. I petted him a bit more, then he had enough and ran to rake his claws onto the cardboard scratchy thing.

We had a nice play time. I got him some new toys which he enjoyed.

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Then he did something that broke my heart.

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He dove onto the bathroom rug and furiously began to "make muffins" on it. His purr filled the room. He was, most likely, comforting himself and thinking about his Mama. I wanted to pick him up and hold him, but it's too soon to try that. Tweetie has shown remarkable progress in a very short time, but I need to be patient and take it slow.

Author's Note

I just started to implement tags, that you'll see listed at the bottom of all my new posts. Click on any tag to see related articles I've published that contain those words or phrases.

Now, I've written about 500 posts, so keep in mind it will be awhile before I finish getting every one tagged properly. I may just curl up in a ball and cry, wishing a genie with magical powers would just "poof" and make everything tagged now, but if I had a genie with magical powers, I sure as heck wouldn't waste a wish on tagging Blog posts!

Really. Who do you think I am, anyway?

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Oh yeah. I forgot to upload this a few weeks ago. I guess things got a bit busy. This is Sprinkles first litter pan poop. I'm so proud of her! She got her first round of shots and her first checkup today. She's doing great! (and I think she's gonna get adopted by a really great lady...shhh...don't tell)

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The Tweetie Chronicles: Chapter One

I'm really choked up right now. I just finished having a nice, cleansing cry. Some of my tears were for seeing the Masters of Mayhem leave to be spayed/neutered and on to wait for their forever homes. The rest of my tears, were allocated to Tweetie.

As we often see, the kittens we rescue during TNR, aren't always easy to socialize. Some are flat out wild beasts who will only be tamed over a long period of time, if ever. Because we don't have the time to socialize each kitten, we have to choose which are candidates for placement and release the ones that will simply take too much time in foster care to turn around.

It's the part of doing rescue work that I don't care for. I know the kittens who are released will have a harder life. At least they'll have good health and a caregiver to start with. The rest is up to them. I'm a big softy. I admit it. I want ALL the kittens to get a good home and not have to live under a fallen tree or under someone's shed, but it certainly beats being in a cage in a shelter, where they will slowly go mad, never be adopted for being too fractious and end up being euthanized.

So up until this morning, I was mentally preparing myself to be okay with Tweetie being released in the next week. He's getting neutered today, then evaluated, then probably returned to where he was first trapped. His old home base.

Then I got a short email. It was from Sockington's owner, Jason. Whose famous cat looks like he's Tweetie's father. He asked if he could possibly help little Tweetie and then...everything changed.

I realized it would be wrong to release Tweetie, when he has so many friends rooting for him. That perhaps, this one time, this one kitten's story of learning to love, might be worth telling. I spoke with our Director and we had an uncomfortable conversation, which, thankfully, blossomed into understanding and a little "bending of the rules."

Tweetie was slated to be ear-tipped today, just in case he ended up being released. It would prevent him from having additional sedation and stress, but I asked to cancel the procedure, worried that it would effect Tweetie's chance of being adopted. In our give and take, I offered to cover the medical expenses should Tweetie need to be ear tipped at a later point and instead of being evaluated by the Director just now, Tweetie is going to be released...

...to me.

This is going to be tough, but I need to give it a try. Tweetie is going back into my bathroom. He'll be on his own, without his siblings. "Tough love" may help turn him around. I'm going to give him the time he needs—which may be months, but I'm going to stick by him and with any luck, one day I'll be writing about Tweetie getting adopted.

This is very risky. Tweetie could end up not turning the corner, then we'll have to release him, but at what point? If he gets too old-even 6 months, he'll be harder to place and I can't have Tweetie in my bathroom forever.

For now, I'll be writing about Tweetie's journey to find his love for people and and my struggle to help get him there.

NOTE: I just created a special Twitter page for Tweetie. You can follow his "Tweets" here

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Never Can Say Goodbye

Barely twelve days ago I took in four kittens. They've been living in my bathroom/laundry room and for an hour or two every day I let them into the adjacent hallway so they have a chance to get in a good run.

I'm impressed by their endless enthusiasm for play time. They run, jump, attack each other, climb up my front, back, legs, until I look like I tried to escape over razor wire at a Federal Women's Prison.

Even though I've blown through an entire tube of Bacitracin, in this short amount of time, I've fallen in love with the little buggers. Each one is special and I must admit I'm jealous of whoever gets to adopt them.

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Twitter, is a quiet, friendly kitten. She's also a dead ringer for the first foster cat I took in over 15 years ago. She loves to play.

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Angel is brave, bold, big, beautiful, with a quick purr and a sweet cry, whenever he knows food is being prepared. He loves to sit on my lap, then use the higher vantage point to jump onto the other kittens.

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Fluffy, you complete me. I'm a sucker for tuxes and not only are you a fine tux, but you've got the sweet and silly personality to match. I love to watch you run. You have awesome fluffocks (butt fluff) and you crack me up. I think your name isn't good enough for you. I hope your new family calls you something more fabulous. Not that this IS fabulous, but for some reason I want to call you, Molly.

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Lastly there's Tweetie. The cute fellow who looks like a celebucat, Sockington, and who is responsible for my wee website to actually get more than 40 hits in one day. Tweetie, I've seen you slowly come out of your shell. You let me pet you. You even purred. You even seemed to like it. Sadly, it may not be enough. I did try to convince our Director to let you stay here, after you're neutered tomorrow, but she has to evaluate you and if you don't pass muster, you'll go back outdoors.

I don't want to say this as a death sentence for you, but it hurts because I see your heart and I see you try, but deep down if you just had to live with humans and no other cats, I think you might be terrified and unhappy. I hope we get lucky and find an understanding adopter for you, but it has to happen in the next few days. Whatever happens to you, you won't soon be forgotten.

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While I won't miss the mess that will take a good day to clean up and I won't miss having to move a blockade out of the way to do a load of laundry, I will miss the little 2.5 pound Masters of Mayhem.

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It's been a pleasure knowing you and I wish you all a great journey and a happy, wonderful life.

Fun With Poisoning Your Cat!

Later that same morning, about 5:06AM:

I realize I never bothered to look at the insert in the box the pain meds came in. I only had to medicate Bob for four days, so why get involved with reading miniscule type with my old people eyeballs?

Really, how bad could it be?

Then I went online and saw THIS.

WHAT

THE

#^#$!?!

Apparently Metacam is NOT approved for use in

CATS

Last I checked, BOB IS A

CAT!

And WHY didn't anyone bother to tell me it has known side effects of

ACUTE (horrible terms since it's far from CUTE) RENAL FAILURE!

This is for a CAT who is at least 15. It would be one thing if Bob was young, maybe he would have better odds of surviving this stuff, but GEEZUS. Maybe we should have let him suffer for a few days with a sore tooth hole and not risk

KILLING HIM!!!!!

Just makes sense to me and ever more so at about 5:37 am.

So let's be calm. It's just one web site with about 30 horror stories of cats on Metacam. I found another web site that said, hey, it's not THAT bad and since cats can't handle pain killers, this is about the best that can be done for them and the benefits outweigh the risks.

This is like the time I took VIOXX. Wow, did I feel good, but luckily I didn't take it for very long because it could have DIED from it. Oops! Guess the FDA missed that one. Oh and when I took "Yaz---that fun and funky birth control pill that's supposed to make your periods like a blissful day at the spa? Well, I was on it for four months. I didn't SLEEP. I got PMDD, instead of PMS and I was violent and suicidal, but hey, I'm just one dumb person. Probably was something else that did this to me though oddly enough, I slept like a rock and didn't try to off myself when I stopped taking it. Now there's a lawsuit claiming increased numbers of women having Heart Attacks, Strokes and Blood Clots from this crap. Huh. Guess it wasn't just me having problems.

This reminds me of the saying; "That which doesn't kill you, makes you stronger (or more pissed off or have not-cute renal failure)."

I'm thinking I have to call Dr. Larry and YELL at him, then ask him if I need to bring Bob to the ER. Bob's breathing seems heavy. I'm trying not to flip out. I wake Sam up, because why should I have to have all the fun, alone? I ask him if he remembers seeing Bob use the litter pan or drink water. He remembers one, but not the other, I remember the opposite. Good, so he must have done both? I get Bob to drink warm water mixed with tuna water so I know he's got some fluids on board. I lay down on the hardwood floor, while he sits in the "cat loaf" position on a comfy cat bed. Fat as I may be, I have not nearly enough padding to be comfortable at this point, but I love Bob and I want to watch him. I'm waiting for a sign, telling me I need to get dressed, rush him to VREC in Norwalk and drop about $1,000.00.

Nothing. No sign. My right shoulder and hip are complaining. I'm really tired. Fuck it. I go back to bed, knowing I have to get up in less than two hours because we're signed up to do a dog transport. Ugh.

Of course, I can't get to sleep. I think about the nice lady's web site. She says Metacam is ok. She has complex math that makes my head spin. How many KG's is Bob? How many mL/KG dose did he get? I need my Parents. They did math!

My alarm goes off. What sleep? I get up to check on Bob. Somehow, while I was lying in bed worrying, one of the cats blew this hairball.

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I really like how there's a little swooshy tail at the right tip of the hairball. That's classy.

I can't believe I'm going to confess this, but I got two forceps out and "teased" apart the hairball, to see if I could get any idea of what color the fur was. Sure enough, it was Bob's.

He puked up his food because this Mother of a hairball was ready to blast out. Bob's breathing has always been a bit heavy, but he's had ultrasounds done. He should be fine. All that pissing and moaning for nothing?

Maybe yes, maybe no. I'm still going to have a TALK with Dr. Larry about this.

and no, Bob did not get any more Metacam. Nor will he. He ate well, had a nice long nap on the deck. I have yet to see him drink or use the pan, but I will be watching. I WILL BE WATCHING!

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WHAT THE F...?!

It's 4:30 AM as in THE MORNING BEFORE THE SUN RISES AND I SHOULD BE SOUND ASLEEP IN MY BED. But no, once again, for the fifth time this week, I awaken to the sound of a cat puking.

While my fading dreams tease me to return to them, my desire to be a good Cat-Mama, ok my desire to make sure they didn't puke on my parent's antique oriental rug, drives me out of bed. Also, as some of you may recall, last year Bob Dole, the cat was VERY ill for many weeks, vomiting many times a day and always around 4 or 5AM, thank you, Bob. Bob was diagnosed with Pancreatitis and since it's a bitch to deal with, the sooner I figure out Bob needs meds, the sooner I can get him back to feeling better.

Now, I can almost tell which cat is puking just by the sound. Each barf has its' own unique timbre. For example, Gracie moans prior to puke-off and her offspring, Tunie, cries as though she were reenacting the death scene in La Boheme. It's great to get enough pre-puke warning that I can quickly usher (chase) the cat off the (damn) rug.

Bob, on the other paw, has a very LOUD gulping sound. It rattles the windows. When Bob's about to blow, there is no question. He usually does three warning "gulps," followed by a splash, sort of like a drink recipe if you don't count the fact that the contents don't end up in a glass and you'd probably never get a good tip if you tried to get someone to taste it.

I hear the telltale "Gulp, Gulp, Gulp." I race down stairs, trying not to break my neck since my legs haven't caught up with my brain. I reach the last step and see Bob waving slowly towards me. His gait says "Old Man," but he looks up at me those Puss In Boots (from Shrek 2) Eyes, pleading to be fed, again.

"There will be no food at 4:30am. I'm not teaching you to wake me up this early to feed you. No way." and with that, I begin the far too familiar search for The Unholy Grail, hoping I will see it before my bare foot accidently does, first.

My dear parents oriental rug, which I just hauled to my house last summer, after selling and emptying their home after they had both passed away. The rug is HUGE for my small house. It's wildly colorful and doesn't really fit my decor, if 100 lunchboxes and a collection of salt & pepper shakers that look like miniature appliances count as decor. It's got a boo-boo in the corner from my mother leaving a wet plant on it without any sort of protection, so I had it patched. It's not worth that much money, but it's the rug my Mother made my brother and I sit on while she mopped the kitchen floor. It became our island and we could go no further than the edges of the rug while the floor was wet. Mother would set the timer for 30 minutes and leave us alone. We would touch the floor every two seconds. It sure seemed to be dry, but why couldn't we leave the rug?

Because my Mother wanted a break from two crazy kids and took a nap for half an hour and her kids were too stupid to realize what was going on.

So this is why I have to protect the rug.

Woah. Bob barfed. A lot. On the rug. I quickly estimated it would be a two trip clean up. One to pick up the big blob, one to wash off the rug. I started to worry. Bob might be getting sick again...or...was it the Metacam he was taking for post surgery pain?

What I found out next almost made me scream, but heck, this post is getting kinda long, so I'll finish it up later. I need to get my Rant on and I'm still undecided on whether or not I need to have a LOUD, YELLING, SCREAMING "TALK" with Dr. Larry.

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