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Foster Cat Journal: The Cat Tree that Hormones Built-Part 2

I let the kittens out of their room to have a break while I built the cat tree. They saw the parts and got all excited! Each kitten had to sniff-test everything before they got bored and ran into the bathroom to rip the towels off the holders ('cause it's FUN).

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I read the directions. I only needed ONE tool. How hard is this gonna be to build? Piece of cake! I just needed to find a 7/16" wrench (though I had to look up WHAT a wrench looked like online, first!).

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This is not bad at all. I just have to screw THREE legs into the platform that has FIVE holes in it. Okay there's a clue here. Not all the holes look the same. Two do not have threads in the hole, so they must not be for the legs?!

I screwed down the legs, but they didn't fit tight to the base and I was worried I'd strip the screws, so I did the best I could. I know I'm going to use bolts on the opposite end of each cedar post, to connect it to another platform. I'm thinking this will give the cat tree the rigidity it needs. I thought it was weird that the bolts were driven into the bottom of each post, along with a tag, reminding whatever fool was building this thing that yes, THIS is the bolt you need.

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Why isn't the bolt in a NICE PLASTIC BAG? Why is the FOUR HUNDRED MILE LONG BOLT in the end of the post? I use the wrench, not sure which end of it, to get the first of THREE bolts out. I turn it. The post turns, but the bolt does not. The post is ROUGH cedar, so my hands are going to get full of splinters if I hold it tightly.

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I get a wash cloth to protect my hands, grab the post and give the bolt a turn. FINALLY it budges a QUARTER of a TURN. WHAT LUNATIC PUT THE BOLT INTO THIS POST? Was it a sister with PMS, too? I hope a woman would have more sense. This f-ker was in there so TIGHT that the best I could do was do quarter turns, even stopping every so often to MEASURE how much of the damn bolt had come out of the damn post, to see if I was ALMOST DONE. It got to 1 3/4" and I took a break. I read my book for awhile. I played with the kittens. My hands hurt and I was already getting a knot in my neck. I was not going to give up. I would just go slow.

I had no choice in the matter. My only speed was SLOW. I got up and went back and tried again. This time I discovered that being fat is an advantage. I could hold the post with my left hand, press the post against my stomach to keep the bloody thing from turning, then use my right to unscrew the damn bolt.

It worked.

It took an hour to get the three legs put on the cat tree. Just about that time, Sam came home. He must have either remembered I was having PMS or took drugs, because he came into the bedroom, saw what I was doing and offered to help get it finished up. He was nice. Something was wrong. Maybe he knocked off a piece with a Mistress! Of course! That was it! Instead of going to the Store, he shagged a cheap floozy! I'd have to check the fridge and pantry to make sure he really went to the store! I didn't say anything, but I simmered, waiting for further clues.

The rest of the assembly was very easy-of course, because Sam showed up. So no one will believe what a beyatch it was to get those bolts off! My biceps knew better, plus I swore I had a splinter just over my belly button.

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The kittens gathered around to inspect the new cat tree before it was delivered to their very lonely and bored Mama.

Sam moved the cat tree for me while I stood in the bathtub, holding Cupid in my arms, waiting for the next fight to begin. We were both being very careful to use as few words as possible and to just get the job done so we could separate again until the next mating season would draw us back together.

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I placed Cupid on her new cat tree. She gave it a sniff and jumped off it. Great. Another wise expenditure of funds I don't have.

She came right back, jumped up and begin to investigate. I scratched my fingers against the nice, tall sisal post to get her attention. Right away she grabbed it, dug her claws in deep and stretched out her back. It must have felt good to her since there is nothing soft in the bathroom she can scratch.

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She posed pretty for a few photos. At first, not sure what to think about this thing.

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I hoped she would warm up to it and in a few minutes of me petting her, she began to relax and enjoy her new hangout spot.

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It made me forget I was hormonal to see Cupid enjoying herself. Although there's little room for me to sit down with her, at least during the many hours she's alone, she can get up high enough to see out the window and scratch and nap on a number of different platforms.

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I counted my blessings that I got that cat tree built without killing anyone and that Sam and I had an unspoken truce. I would go back to the bedroom and read while the kittens played. Sam would play his guitar in the basement. Cupid would enjoy her cat tree. All of us alone, but somehow still together, under the same roof. Now we just had to wait for all this nonsense to pass and for life to settle back down again.

Update: Groceries WERE purchased. No floozies were had. Cupid enjoys the out-of-bounds, brand new, cat bed that's on the top of the dryer. So far she doesn't hang out on the cat tree unless I'm in the room. Hmpf.

Foster Cat Journal: The Cat Tree that Hormones Built-Part 1

It's not my fault I get PMS. I didn't go online and order a 12-pack of the “Super-Beyatch 2010 Kit.” You know, the one with “extra Rage flavored” tablets?

I get PMS. Some times it's REALLY bad. I think it's PMDD, but since I'm going insane at the time, it's tough to do any research when all I want to do is slit my wrists, cry, get mad about things that only usually annoy me, watch chick flicks, overeat carbs, or do all of those things at the same time.

As a Public Service, I notify Sam a few days ahead to watch out. I do this every single month. Every single month he seems to FORGET to steer clear of me during this malström and gets pissed at me when I start to get pissy.

Yesterday we had to run some errands. Before we even left the house, Sam noticed we'd gotten a big shipment by the front door. I was delighted to see that Cupid's new Cat Tree had arrived! The box was too huge to schlep into the house so I suggested we cut it open and take the parts into the house and leave the box in the garage to take to out to be recycled later. So Sam stepped up and started ripping the box apart. Intent on being helpful, he grabbed at the contents of the box as I had already started to do. I hit some of his fingers and he recoiled back, shouted, then gave me a REALLY nasty look. Well my friends, that was it.

There goes the switch. KAH-CHONG! (Yes, that's the sound it makes. Trust me.) The PMS I had been trying so hard to avoid went from a simmer to a boil. I thought; “If he hadn't been trying so hard to be a Boy Scout (push me out of the way), we could have just gotten this done without the drama!” Now I was mad. He was mad. The tension only got worse as I drove (safely and not insanely) to the Bakery.

In trying to avoid things going more postal, I said that I didn't feel like we were getting along very well and that I thought we should forget doing the other errands and just go back home. Well, that just pissed Sam off even more, but what was I to do? I knew that at any moment I was going to lose control, drive into a tree, screaming all the while; “I TOLD YOU I WAS GOING TO HAVE PMS. I TOLD YOU. DID YOU LISTEN TO ME, EVER?!!!!SEE? THIS IS WHAT YOU GET FOR NOT PAYING ATTENTION! WHY DIDN'T YOU STAND NEAR ME IN THE BAKERY? DO I SMELL BAD? YOU HATE ME, DON'T YOU!”

So we got home. I took off my coat, trying to be calm. Sam walked in the door, got his car keys and turned around and curtly said; “I'm going to the store.”

You have GOT to be kidding me! We didn't even HAVE to go to the store. So I offer up the shopping list and manage not to rip his head off. All I could do was think what a jerk he was for putting a bigger rift between us while I'm really trying NOT to do or say a thing. It's the only way to prevent Armageddon. 100% avoidance of each other until it passes!

I decided I was going to build the stupid cat tree for Cupid. I told myself I would go slow and if I got upset, that I would stop. I saw the video about how to build the cat tree on Drs. Foster Smith's web site. It looked super easy. I can do this. I do not need help!

RIGHT???!!!

Foster Cat Journal: Mum's Bum -Rated PG

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Donner declares; “Mmmm...nothing smells like home more than me mum's bum!”

Foster Cat Journal: And the Award Goes to...

Cupid does not care for me to read while I'm having one of my visits with her. She also likes to make sure she rubs her ringowrmy foot all over my book, my pants and anywhere else her rear left leg can reach.

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In a way, I was grateful to her for interrupting my reading. I took it as a cosmic approval that the book sucked as much as I feared and I really shouldn't bother with it. I'd forced myself to read up to page 100 because the author is a famous, fancy-pants, but I just didn't get it. The story had too many back stories and not enough “forward” story. It just annoyed me. It annoys me to even write about it. I wanted to slap him and declare; “GET ON WITH THE F-ING STORY, will ya?!”

Who is the author, you ask? I can't say. It would be unprofessional of me to reveal HIS name because HE wrote something that was made into a crappy mini-series AND he won a Pulitzer for one of his novels. And he lives in Maine. And his latest book is about Cape Cod. That's all I'm sayin' and NO, I do not think the book was “FUNNY” as I've seen others declare.

He wrote about getting crapped on by a seagull. That is NOT funny. It's especially not funny if you're traveling in Scotland, with a family you just met, and a giant flying rat craps down your arm, in front of two young children, who are suddenly shocked into silence because they have good manners, but whose eyes are about to pop out of their heads because they want to laugh so badly. They wait for a nod of the pooped-upon to let them know it's all right to laugh their asses off, while you try to swab away the shit storm on your sleeve.

See? It's funny when I tell about MY experience of being pooped on, but in this book eh, not so much. Plus, being pooped on is just a few lines of a bigger story. It's not going to win anyone a SECOND Pulitzer, 'cause if there was a Poop Pulitzer, well, stand back because I would surely win it!

Foster Cat Journal: Fighting with the Foreign Lesion

I really hope I don't have to change the name of my web site to: Covered in Ringworm. I really don't. I'm not a big fan of change, in the first place, and it would be an understatement to say this was an unwelcome surprise.

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Ahhh...life is good for Cupid. If we only knew then...

I've gotten a lot of emails from other folks that do rescue. I feel like I've been sitting in a bar, shootin' the shit with my war Veteran buds. We're kickin' back some brewskis, bitchin' about our wives (well, more likely, cats, in this case). Their reaction to the state-of-the-worm is always the same: [cue inhalation of cigarette smoke and exhale while speaking] “Yeah, I had ringworm go through about ____ cats. I was real lucky because my own cats must have built up an immunity to it since they'd had it before (BEFORE??!!). That is just one thing you don't want to have to deal with. It's just a nightmare.”

[cue additional smoking] “Yeah, I knew a rescue group that had to shut it's doors for ___ months when one of their kittens broke through enemy lines with it. Oh man, it was bad! There were medics scrambling everywhere, trying to get a handle on the situation, but it was dire. No one got much sleep for weeks, that's for sure.”

[order another round of beers] “In '67...I'll never forget it. The look in their eyes when I told them it was Ringworm. Those damn swamps-all that wet, leads to no good. No good. And all that ointment. The smell. I'll never forget that smell 'til the day I die.”

We all nod silently. Everyone knows about the Ringworm epidemic of '67 and still brings a chill down to our toes.

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This is the foreign lesion!

One of the guys pats my hand in solidarity. She's fought that battle before and wants me to know she's right there with me...

...Until she realizes that I might be carrying Ringworm, too. At which point, she quickly smashes out her ciggy and makes a mad dash for the door and the waiting bottle of hand sanitizer in her car.

“Zombie-Kitten” Calls Press Conference

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Blitzen, the Zombie-Kitten, called a Press Conference today to discuss the recent attacks on his helpless human foster parents. Sadly, no one showed up to the conference, save for me, so I'll do my best to report this exciting news bulletin.

Blitzen, who suspiciously enough, was born on Halloween of 2009, indicates that he is not the living-dead, Zombie-kitten we insist he has become, but rather a simple kitten, going through a hair-chewing-fetish phase.

“I can't help myself," said Blitzen. “There are far worse things on heaven and earth that a cat could get caught up in, like peeing on the sofa or clawing the curtains. I have no interest in eating brains, that I know of. So far I've been eating turkey, chicken, sometimes a little salmon, but NO BRAINS! I'm being framed, I tell ya. Eating hair does NOT make me a ZOMBIE!”

Sources close to Blitzen are spreading rumors that the little fella is headed off to Rehab, somewhere in Arizona, near where Tiger Woods is suspected to be seeking treatment for sexual addiction. Of course, Blitz won't be at the SAME facility since his foster kitten salary only provides for “just the basics” sort of place.

As I watched Blitzen's passionate plea for understanding, a tear rolled down my cheek (I had something in my eye). That poor little kitten. So innocent and fresh, already being cruelly blamed for actions that were not his doing...but then something occurred to me. We use brain flavored shampoo!!!!

Oh my GOD! He's just waiting until he grows larger, into a full-fledged Zombie-CAT, when his true nature will come forth and he'll have the strength to open our skulls! By then our defenses will be down! It will be too late!

I mustn't let on that I know. I know the truth about Blitzen. He wasn't framed! He IS a ZOMBIE-KITTEN! I must come up with a plan to rescue us from his powerful cuteness! I must get him adopted out to another family! I must not adopt him!

Either that or we have to change shampoo! It's for his own good!

Groundhog Day-Prediction for 2010

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It's that time of year again. Time for Punxsutawney Phil to make hopeful predictions about the upcoming weather. Will winter lose it's icy grip soon or will we have to endure six more weeks of bone-chilling temps?

This year, through my very high-up contacts, I was able to ask Phil to add a prediction, just for me—well, for my foster cats. I asked Phil if he could tell me WHEN my fosters would be ready to get adopted. After all, they've been here for over a month and they appear to be getting to a point where maybe they're well enough to go to their forever homes.

Phil pondered my question for a moment, then came out of his snug burrow. His answer was clear:

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I could have saved $278 by not taking Cupid to the Vet this morning and just figured, heck, the cats are going to be here FOREVER. Might as well get used to the idea of having TWELVE cats.

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It appears that the little bald patch on her right rear leg is most likely

RINGWORM

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Que the scary violin music! Cupid, watch out! The RINGWORM-Psycho is gonna get you. It's right behind you! Ack! Hey, don't rub your ringworm on the bed, while you're at it, OK?

We did a DTM culture, which takes 7-10 days to get a result. In the meantime, I have to treat the area externally, for now. No need for nasty anti-fungals. If Cupid gets another patch, she WILL have to take the meds. The hope is that we caught it quickly enough. Cupid also had a nasty rodent ulcer on her mouth and her blood tests showed a falling Hematocrit level, which could add up to an immune disorder (FIV+, FeLuk), so we re-did her combo test. Showed she still is negative/negative and negative for heartworm, too. We ran another CBC to see if she's doing better. She's certainly gained weight-up about THREE POUNDS now and she is still a sweetheart.

Of course, her kittens have been exposed to her, and so have we, and so has OUR BEDROOM. Cupid is to be quarantined from all of us for the next SIX WEEKS. Hence Phil's prediction. “He told me so,” I know!

So poor Cupid is locked up in the bathroom. It's cold and dark in there, so I'm going to go out and buy her a heater and a cat tree so she has some vertical space in the tiny room. I feel TERRIBLE about this. Saturday we were going to put her up for adoption. Now it will be March 16th before she is cleared again.

The bedroom's been cleaned up, kinda-sorta and I'm doing a mountain of laundry. I cleaned up the foster room as best I could, but I already know that Donner likes to groom her mama, so I'm guessing any day now the kittens will break with ringworm, too. They'll all have to stay put. No more running in and out of our bedroom for now.

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If I only knew then, what I know now. Don't lick da Mama, Donner!

I'm going to take it in stride, not have a nervous breakdown, but I may begin to fantasize about running away from home or becoming an alcoholic or both.

Maybe I should ask Phil? Six more weeks of madness or is sanity just around the corner? If you see Phil, please don't ask him for me. I don't want to know the answer.

Zombie-Kitten Sighting!

RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!!

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He looks so INNOCENT! Don't let his cute face fool you! He wants to eat your brainz!

Foster Cat Journal: When Zombie-Kittens Attack!

This post is not for the faint-of-heart. This is about a kitten, who was cuddly and sweet when he was little, but who has now turned EVIL. Yes! He IS a ZOMBIE-KITTEN!!!! His only interest is to CHOMP on an innocent Blog-writer's head, taking huge mouthfuls of hair, in a depraved desire to gnaw away until the skull can be penetrated and the juicy brains gush forth!

I don't know how much longer I can survive this vicious attack, but at least I was strong enough to warn all of you that if you see this furry fiend to RUN, RUN, RUN away-just as fast as you can!

Consider yourself warned...ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

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