A rare moment-Malibu sitting still.
Malibu's been here for a few days. I'm having a tough time warming up to him because once he decides to hang out with me, I get attacked. This guy has a strong drive to nurse, so I'm constantly pushing him away and trying to keep his wet nose off me. Yecch.
I feel guilty. I should be non-judgemental about my fosters and give each and every one of them the same loving care. I like Malibu! He's a good kitty. He's still quite skittish, but even when he hides under the night table, he purrs! I can hear him from a few feet away. It's pretty amusing.
Malibu enjoys channel surfing now!
He's slowly improving, though I need to spend extra time with him because tomorrow...drum roll...I'm getting three more kittens!
Who is ready for some company? Hmmm, let me guess?!
Four kittens aren't bad, but four older kittens, well that's like eight little kittens in craziness! In a way, it's been very peaceful with just Malibu here. He's very tidy and doesn't get into anything. It's been a good break, though I better take a nap today, too. I have a feeling I'm going to need to be well rested tomorrow.
I was cleaning the floor in the Foster Cat Room, so I tossed everything onto the bed to get it out of the way. Somehow Spencer navigated between the pile of stuff and settled into the corner, quickly passing out cold. This is how he "helps" me clean. He keeps me company while I work. I guess I could use him as a mop, that would actually help, but I doubt he would like being dipped in floor cleaner.
BTW, though he does not have the following of Sockington, I will say that Spencer has his own fan club, too. So there! So what if it's only a few people! They count!
We can't believe a week has passed since Tweetie came to visit you at Socks Army HQ and now we're wondering-is Tweetie ever coming back? Or are you gonna keep him as a body double??
We know you're super busy being a celebukitty, so have some champagne and salmon and we'll talk soon!
We're so happy for your success on Twitter! Reaching ONE MILLION FOLLOWERS (any second now!) is quite the acme of success! Way to go, big boy!
Zabby's been busted out of the Henry County Animal Care & Control! WOOOHOOOO!!!!!!I just LOVE saving another kitty. Do you realize it took over 16 people to help this ONE kitty her life back!? If folks had spayed/neutered their cats, this story would never have to happen. Shelters wouldn't be overcrowded and no animals would be needlessly put down. I know-preaching to the choir. We need more ways to get the word out and to get LOW COST S/N for all animals.
Judy, from Kat5 Rescue has Zabby boarded for the next two weeks. Necessary quarantine to make sure she doesn't have anything contagious that could be spread to the generous folks at Catnip Cottage, who'll be giving Zabby a place to live until she finds her forever home.
More good news! Zabby's paw has been treated and is improving. Her combo test results were NEGATIVE! All that remains is for Zabby to get spayed next week, if she remains in good health, then on August 24th Bobby will drive her to South Carolina!
Photo: Henry County Animal Care & Control
Zabby is NOT FOUR YEARS OLD. Zabby is only 8-9 months. Just a baby. If you can give Zabby a forever home, please contact me until we have Zabby moved to Catnip Cottage.
Many people ask me, "How can you foster those cute kittens? I'd want to keep them all! I'd be too sad to let them go!"
Well, I'm sad to see my fosters go, but I'd rather be sad because they left to go to their forever homes, than sad that they died because I couldn't foster them because I already have a house full of cats! Okay, I have a house full of cats, but not "FULL" of cats.
So THIS is why I do it! I cry, then a few days later, I get a gift. This (see below) is who was once called Pixie and Twinkles, now named, Sprite and Cherri.
Are they un-f-ing-believably happy or WHAT?!
Do you suddenly realize that all the pain you may have felt is erased or at least greatly softened by this photo? By knowing "your babies" are doing well? Thriving? Joyful?!
Does THIS photo make you happy?!
I want all of you to get off your butt and offer to foster ONE kitten or ONE cat or ONE LITTER of kittens from your local shelter. It's not a lifelong commitment. It's not expensive. It's a beautiful way to give back to your community and to those smallest of creatures who are helpless without you. And YOU get something, too. Along the way you'll get such a big dose of love and affection it will stay with you long after they've gone to their forever homes. Then you get another big dose when you find out they're doing really well and are HAPPY!
P.S. and say hello to Snowman; Sprite and Cherri's older brother. He was a rescue boy, too!
Thank you so much to Alpha and her wonderful family not only for giving these kittens a loving and fantastic home, but for also providing these great photos and giving me the permission to share them with all of you!
It's back to Kitty Boot Camp! This week's "camper" is Malibu, a buff short haired boy with a very sleek Oriental Shorthair/Siamese elegance to his form. Originally, he was the friendliest of his litter and the most outgoing. I believe he was overlooked, giving his littermates more attention, since they needed socializing. By the wayside for too long, Malibu became timid so it's off to visit me for some alone-time to help him shake off his bad habits.
Malibu was very shy his first day. He wouldn't let me get too close, but he did surprise me by being willing to let me pet him once I, er, sort of, um, cornered him. Last night he was willing to jump onto the bed and keep me company while I folded laundry. Yes, it's my secret power over unsocial kittens-I fold laundry and ignore them! Works every time!
Malibu kitty is SOOOO skinny! I'll have to get a better photo of him one day so you can see he's almost invisible if you look at him from certain angles. He's very quiet and has a bit of licking, drooling nervous behavior to work out. I hate drooling! Two of my own cats do it and it's gee-ROSS!
In a few more days, Malibu will be joined by more big kitties. This is the point at which my Blog posts will become shorter and more infrequent due to the fact that I can't type and pull my hair out at the same time. Kittens that are over two months old do not get TIRED. EVER! Yet, I will be tired running up the stairs to see what they've knocked off the shelf, NOW or if yes, that WAS the TV set that just got knocked over and exploded all over the floor. I feel tired just thinking about it. 'Nuff said.
I AM SO PSYCHED!!!!!!!
I HATE KILL SHELTERS! It seems the SOUTH is rampant with them, not to say there aren't ones here, too, but the numbers of cats and KITTENS and dogs and PUPPIES put to sleep are shocking. Sure, maybe it's insignificant to think that saving ONE cat or dog from one of those places isn't going to make any difference...
...except to that cat or dog! They want to LIVE. They deserve a chance at a good life!
So get a load of this:
FRIDAY: A Plea Goes Out on Twitter by my friends at Kat5 to Help Zabby. I read the post. I looked at the photos (some are re-posted here). I ask about her age. She looks young. Maybe we can find a placement for here somewhere! I know I can offer to donate a few dollars, too, to help with her Vet bill, so I let the ladies at Kat5 know I'm working on it.
Photo: Henry County Animal Care & Control
Later That Day: I get an email from another one of mine, Jennifer, who works with the Feline Diabetes Message Board. She asked me if I could post ad Ad on Petfinder for her as she was trying to find a great home for a very nice kitty that was going to be euthanized by her "family" (what family would do that to their cat? not any FAMILY I know) for being mean. In actuality, this poor cat had never been spayed and had a nasty mouth full of dental problems. I'd be mean, too, if I felt like crap!
"Sure! I'll post an ad for you! Wish I could do more..."
So I post the ad for : LUCY And while I'm at it, I ask Jennifer if she knows anyone that can help Zabby. She says she'll post the info on their discussion group board and get back to me.
SATURDAY: Jennifer emails me that she has a placement for Zabby in South Carolina! WOOHOO! She's going to the Catnip Cottage in Summerville, SC! I let the Kat5 team know we have a placement, now we need transport from GA to SC.
SUNDAY: TICK TOCK
Zabby's paw injury (bite wound) is healing nicely. She's so very thin for a 4 yr old kitty. Poor sweetheart!
MONDAY: So far no luck. Kat5 is trying their best. Can't get a transport yet. Need to hurry!!!
TUESDAY, TODAY: YES! Jennifer's crew kicks butt! She emails me that she has a transport person! A wonderful person named Bobby (WE LOVE YOU!) has offered to drive the 4 to 5 hour drive up and back whenever we need it. Okay, I wasn't raised to believe in Angels, but I am starting to change my mind about that! WOW!
All Zabby needs now is a trip to the Vet, to get her combo test and this is where I get a stomach ache-she MUST be NEGATIVE for Feline Leukemia and, I believe FIV, too. After all this, if she's sick, it will be a bad ending to this story.
Photo: Henry County Animal Care & Control
Fingers and toes are crossed. Phone calls and emails and shutting back and forth. Zabby will hopefully be with her new rescue group soon. Of course, if you live in GA or SC and would like to ADOPT Zabby, contact me right away! This girl deserves a Happy Ending!
I admit I've been dragging my feet about writing this chapter. It means that the last few stories I'm able to share about Tweetie will draw to a close; even though there IS so much more to this story than I can tell here, right now. Reflecting on our last day together, too, will remind me that my relationship with one, very special kitten is also possibly coming to an end.
If you don't already know this, introducing a new cat into a home where there's already one or more cats, should be done with great care. As with people meeting one another, first impressions matter. Get off on the wrong foot, or paw, in this case, and it can set up years of discord, damage to the home and stress for all concerned.
When the new cat is about to meet a Celebukitty, there's even more at stake. Not only is their meeting going to be of concern to their new family, but to the Global Press at large. Will the headlines read: "Sockington Rebuffs Tiny Twin, Tweetie" or "Sockington Welcomes Ward Warmly"?
The answer won't be completely obvious for some time. You simply MUST be patient about how things will pan out. Be willing to give it time, whether it be hours or MONTHS, for your cats to all get along. They may never sleep snuggled together on your bed, but at least they should respect each other's space and not fight. You must NEVER toss the new cat into a room and "let them work it out" with the cats whose home has been usurped!
A Few Introduction Tips
The new kitten or cat must be separated from the group, in their own space, with their own litter pan, food, bed and toys. It will be their "safe haven" when the day comes that they're allowed the freedom to explore the rest of the home. It's from this separate room that the introductions are done, either by opening the door slightly or, in our case, by putting window screens across the doorway.
Even though Sockington and Penny are famous kitties and it's really really cool that Tweetie looks a lot like Socks, their introduction is a serious matter. This is about their lives together as a new family, not a publicity stunt.
The Big Moment
I had a can of what I call "Kitty Crack." It's the one brand of cat food I've never seen a cat turn away from. I won't say what it's called (Solid Gold), but it's really expensive and if they want to ship me a crate, that would be awesome!
The plan was to feed Penny and Socks this delicious treat on one side of Tweetie's room divider, with Tweetie being fed on the other. This would help the cats to associate a positive experience with seeing each other. Using window screens, the cats could see and smell each other through the screen, but Tweetie would be safe from harm should one of the cats decide to lunge at him.
Food Lady, Mr. Scott, Sam and I stood breathlessly as Food Lady put down food for Penny and Socks.
Penny didn't even get close to the screen or her food. She figured out what was going on and immediately ran off. At least she wasn't aggressive. No tasty treat was going to change her mind. This left Socks to meet Tweetie.
Socks wasn't sure what to make of the creature behind the screen. His skinny tail puffed up while Tweetie looked eagerly at him. There was a sharp "hiss" from Socks, who wanted to lick at the yummy food, but was distracted by his tiny doppleganger.
Curious, Socks took a step closer. Tweetie, remained eager and friendly, with tail held high. Perhaps he hoped he could play with Socks soon?
Socks and Tweetie sniffed each other's face through the screen. Though Tweetie did nothing to provoke him, Socks hissed and Tweetie hissed only in retaliation. This cat may be big and look strangely familiar, but Tweetie wasn't gonna be no scaredy cat.
Food Lady reached down to comfort Socks, but shocked by the sudden distraction, he lashed out with another quick hiss, this time at Food Lady. This is not unusual and it's worth noting that when a cat is stressed, a comforting voice, staying neutral is great, but hands off until the cat is in a relaxed state. Yes, this is how I got bit-trying to handle a cat who was highly stressed and I assumed I could deal with him. Wrong! Sometimes it's better to let things cool off a bit, if possible.
Fortunately, Food Lady was only startled, but not hurt. Socks just wanted to let us know he was distressed at this visitor. Point taken.
Then Tweetie was given some food, which he happily ate, regardless of the giant cat towering over him with the rather silly attempt to scare him with his almost pouffless tail. We all had hoped that Socks would just eat and relax, instead of try to look menacing, but he ran off.
With a bit of cajoling, we were able to encourage Socks to return. Tweetie was still ready to be friends, but Socks wasn't ready for that. With a short, guttural growl and quick hiss, Socks ran off again, seemingly for good, this time. Poor Tweetie. He just wanted to make friends. He behaved far better than I could have hoped. He didn't run and hide. He didn't flip out. He was brave and confident. Gone was the fearful feral kitten I once knew.
Finally, Face to Face. Tweetie Wonders; "Are You My Daddy?"
Even though the introduction was far from a Hollywood Ending, it could have been much worse. Penny will need time to come around or she'll just stay in "her space" and avoid any interaction with Tweetie. Socks showed interest and although felt threatened by the newcomer, he returned, just moments after running off, with tail held high, looking as fabulous and calm as ever.
It was time for me to go. Enough excitement for all the kitties for one day. Time to let them all relax. I asked for a moment to say goodbye to Tweetie and everyone kindly left the room. I stepped over the window screens and Tweetie dashed behind the toilet. I called to him and he came right over to me. Unsure of what was going on in this new place, with new smells and a giant cat hissing at him, he was still willing to leave the safety of his hiding place. I picked him up, then was surprised to see a mirror on the wall in front of us. I hadn't noticed it before. Tweetie looked at the reflection just as I did. I took a mental portrait of us at that moment, sorely wishing I had my camera. It was the first time I ever saw myself with Tweetie and it made me tear up. I realized this may be the last time I ever hold this sweet little cat. The last time I feel his quick purr or hear his goofy burble. I got to this moment with a lot of hard work, patience, a few painful bites on my finger and a lot of love. Though my heart suddenly ached, there was nothing more that I could do other than to kiss his forehead and leave him to settle in his new home. I promised myself I wouldn't cry in front of his new family. It was a tough promise to keep.
This is my life; to socialize feral kittens and to help find them good homes. I'd done my part. Now it was up to Food Lady and the rest of her family to decide if Tweetie will be a good fit in their home. Part of me wishes it wouldn't work out so I could take him back, but I realize I'm being entirely selfish and this just feels like the place where Tweetie was meant to be-I know again with my silly predictions!
I hope that Sockington and Penny will find their way to love Tweetie, as I have, and that their home is filled with a lifetime of joy. I really enjoyed meeting Socks. He's just awesome in every way. I'd love to get to know Penny. I feel badly we only had a moment to visit with her. She's really a beautiful girl. I wish I could tell them both that it's going to be okay. That they'll still be just as famous and just as loved, if not moreso than before.
Food Lady and Fat...err...Mr. Scott are both focused on what's best for all the cats. Their sincere desire to make certain the introduction is done in the most positive manner possible is truly impressive. They're very good people who I hope to become friends with as the days pass.
Here's to new beginnings-a new chapter, of either Tweetie's visit?...or Tweetie's rise to fame, alongside his older mentor, Sockington?
What will happen to this little fella? He no longer has to fear being released into the woods, but will Tweetie's visit turn into an adoption or will he come back to Connecticut to find a new home?
All I can say about that is, of course, stay tuned...and...shoot! I forgot to get a pawtograph!
Ten weeks have passed since Gabby, the feral mama, and her 3 surviving kittens came to live with me. So much has changed since that first day.
Gabby did a great job as a Mom, giving me little to do, other than make sure she got PLENTY to eat and stay the f- away from her! I tried a few times to sweetly coax Gabby to take food from a spoon or enjoy a treat, but she could only hiss her reply that she was not gonna come around-not one tiny bit.
As you know Gabby was eventually taken to be spayed, get her shots and ear tip, then was released to her caretaker Larry's property. I was told she was very happy to return to familiar surroundings.
The kittens have grown well and even though there were a few setbacks, such as Pixie's broken toe and Twinkles reluctance to eat, but by their last few days, they all seemed to be thriving.
As expected, the Spay surgery did take a lot out of little Twinkles. She was very thin when I got her back from the Vet, but quickly gave her lots and lots of good food, which she enthusiastically ate.
Since the Pre-Adoption forms had long since been filled out and approved, my last remaining task was keep the kittens occupied until their new families arrived. I can't believe how much they've grown! How they're starting to look more like adults, than kittens and also just how beautiful they all are. I was surprised to see that Sprinkles and Twinkles seem to have very faint tabby markings in their coat! Tre exotique!
The adopters arrived on the same day, not wanting to wait one extra moment after the girls were cleared to go to their new homes. I was glad there are still a few families out there who still want to adopt since our adoptions are dramatically lower than they were last year and we've got older and older kittens in the program as a result. Stinkin' economy!
Sprinkles is going to be called, "Ninja" and will be living with another kitty named Patches, who's not sure he loves his new playmate just yet.
Twinkles and Pixie were adopted together and will be renamed: "Cherry" (for Black Cherry) and Pixie will be named: "Sprite." They'll be enjoying their new home with Snowman the kitty, who seems to be okay with the new arrivals. The kittens will also have a very sweet little girl to play with them named, Chloe, who loves all animals and giggles like crazy at every one she meets.
I spent a good part of yesterday cleaning the room, sanitizing the litter pan, dishes, floor and bedding and got the place re-organized and ready to go for the next crew. I'd like to take a few weeks off, but it's Kitten Season and we are overloaded with kittens who need help. So I get the weekend off and on Monday I'll be taking in FIVE BIG KITTENS!
We're not talkin' newborns. These cats are between two and five MONTHS old. I fear they'll be too big and rambunctious. That they'll simply open the door and let themselves out. They'll hang from the ceiling and have kegger parties when I'm not home---or worse, when I AM HOME!
And so, the a new story dawns. I hear rumors that one of the kittens is very shy and needs my help. Will he bite me like Tweetie did or just hide in a corner? WIll I fall in love with him, too and accidently call two of my cats his name? (It's embarrassing to call your OWN cats the name of one of your fosters. Shame on me!).
I have no idea how this is going to shake out. I've never fostered kittens this old before. I better enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts. I have a feeling things are about to get a bit crazy and I don't need to be a psychic to know that!