Cat Butt

Of Tiny Toes & Bottle Feeding Blunders

April and her kittens have been here for a few weeks and every day I enjoy seeing them making progress. It's a slow change, from being blind, to opening their eyes, to struggling to stand, to taking awkward steps. Their tiny, sharp cries alert their mama who attends to them constantly. She's a very small cat and regardless of how attentive she is, as the kittens grow, I grow more concerned about her ability to provide for them.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Brave blue world.

April has been very fussy about her food. I've even gone against my own better judgement and put down grain free dry food for her in case she'll eat it. Right now she has to eat and eat a lot or the kittens will be adversely effected. I've been trying every sort of food I can find, but few things tempt her. She loves fish based food. I don't love that for her, but at this point, she's got to eat.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The sole tuxedo in this litter. I've chosen a name for her and will announce it soon!

A few days ago, I brought three of the kittens to my Vet so they could show me how to bottle feed them. I decided if I supplement the smallest kittens it will help them and help mom, too. The problem is getting the kittens to drink the formula.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Poor April. She's just wiped out from all the feedings.

The entire process of bottle feeding is very daunting to me, but I had to push through my fears. I've never had kids or bottle fed or even seen it been done. I did some research, watched videos. They make it look so easy, but looking down at the 10 ounce lifeform in my hands, wriggling around, not wanting to sit still, realizing she could die if I screw up, is not my idea of a good time.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Pattycake!

“Okay…relax. You can do this.”


©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.

First problem was getting the formula OUT of the bottle. The rubber nipples are made of some sort of self-healing material so no matter how many times I took a match, heated the tip of a big needle and poked repeated hole after repeated hole into it, I couldn't get the formula OUT. It was VERY ANNOYING. I used a knife, but I could only get a tiny tiny stream out of the nipple if I used both hands to squeeze the bottle.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Who is that peeking over April's shoulder?

I was told to try using a syringe, which did end up working a bit better. The problem is it's easy to accidentally shoot a stream of formula into the kitten, which could cause her to aspirate and there's MATH involved..how much does the kitten weigh? How much formula should she have in a day? Her mother is feeding her so she should not be overfed, but what is enough? What if she won't eat it all? The ratio of food to water is 1:2, until they get older than it changes. Weights are in cc's. Syringe is in mL. My scale weighs in ounces! Ugh.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Talk to the paws.

Somehow it worked out kinda…sorta. I started with the littlest kitten. She has bizarre polydactyl toes and has a tiny white spot on her chest. I put her onto a towel on my legs, placing her at an angle so she is sitting up. I tried not to jam the tip of the syringe into her mouth. I almost stabbed her eye. Then I worried I was going to drown her in formula if I pushed the plunger on the syringe too hard. The formula was very warm, but cooling off fast. I had to get this done. She licked at it, then turned her head away from me. I couldn't see where her mouth was because her fur is black and my close up vision is lousy.

Bellys up.jpg ©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Baby belly! Squeeeee!

 

I took a breath and relaxed, trying not to panic. She will eat what she will. I'm doing my best. I wiped off her face and tried again. She licked at the syringe, but turned her head again.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Attack!

I learned how to help her eliminate and I read somewhere that the kitten may not eat because they need to empty out their bladder first. I held her over a few paper towels and lightly rubbed her back end with a warm, most cotton ball. She wriggled and cried, then the pad got a light yellow stain on it and a few drops of urine fell out onto the paper towel. At least I was doing something right. April, alerted to the kitten's distress, sat up and looked at me, ready to pounce. I dried the kitten's behind and showed her that the kitten was fine. The kitten calmed down. I tried feeding her again, but it was like trying to throw a dart into a moving target when you're drunk. Good luck with that.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. April getting her kitten to eliminate. I give April a snack afterwards to “cleanse her palette.”

After what seemed an eternity, the kitten lapped up the contents of a syringe and part of a second one. It comforted me to see her eat. I remembered to tap her back with one finger to help burp her. She obliged me. I gave her a kiss and lifted her wriggling tiny self back into her bathtub home. She joined her sisters who are trying to get fed. Some were struggling to get to a nipple. I grabbed a second kitten who began the process all over again.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. A kiss for Mama.

I only got three kittens fed before the formula was cold. I decided to make certain I weigh the kittens every day. I have to stay on top of this. With six kittens and a tiny mama, it would be very easy to lose one or more of them. Even at three weeks, they are not out of the woods.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Cutie.

I've been supplementing the feedings for a few days. I'm still not great at it, but some of the kittens will wriggle a bit less and let me feed them. The runt, who I am calling, Cutie, recognizes me when I walk into the room. She runs over to the side of the bathtub and stands up on her hind legs. She furiously scratches her big, clumsy paws on the side of the tub. She's reaching up to me, crying. I lift her into my arms and she quiets down. I think she is bonding with me, her surrogate mother. It melts my heart. Surely she is too young to have any idea who or what I am but I am lost in her expression. Her big round eyes, so dark and sweet, look right into my soul. Her paws, not much bigger than my fingertip, rest on my left hand while I feed her with my right. I am as in love with her as she with me. Here we go again. No foster fail this time. I must remain aloof.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Painful cuteness. Make it stop!

Well…perhaps I'll put off being aloof for a few more weeks and just feel love for this small soul. I'm rooting for her and her sisters (and maybe one brother?). I hope their journey will be a long one, filled with good things and that I'm helping them get off on the right paw, even if it has a crazy number of extra toes of on it.

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Use the ChipIn Widget, below if you'd like to help this family. They'll need vetting (times seven) in the next few weeks and supportive care like cotton balls to help them eliminate, paper towels and cleaning supplies, kitten formula, baby food and new kitten-specific toys. We'd also like to invest in getting a web cam so we can broadcast the kittens on the net! We figure that will add about $200.00 to our fundraising.

 

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Lunch time.

The donation you provide April's Family is TAX-DEDUCTIBLE. The money will go to my 501©3 Non-Profit Cat Rescue: Kitten Associates.

If you'd prefer to send a check, please make it out to: Kitten Associates and please note on the check the funds should go to "April's Family" mail it to:

Kitten Associates
P.O. Box 354
Newtown, CT 06470-0354

Any funds not used for the care of this family will go into our General Fund.

 

If you can't make a donation, you can help us by getting the word out. Every dollar helps and every Re-tweet or FB Share does, too. THANK YOU for caring about this very special family!

 

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Squee!

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A Tough Day for Nicky

AUTHOR'S NOTE: The intention of this post is to help educate, not sensationalize an event that was personally very disturbing to me. I've given it a lot of thought and I feel it could help others if I share what happened yesterday to our cat, Nicky. The video, below, shows puddles of urine that are very bloody. In fact, it looks more like puddles of blood. If this is disturbing to you, PLEASE do not watch the video. There is also a single photo of a second area of urine, below, as well.

 

It's been very challenging to take care of Nicky since we found out he has renal disease, a mass on his spleen (not cancer), and possibly, lymphoma. Nicky gets sub q (under the skin) fluids every other day. We monitor that he's eating well, but he's losing weight. He frequently urinates a great deal of urine, outside the litter pan. We've studied his habits, made certain the pans were spotlessly clean and had to stand “guard” next to him while he urinates in case he feels stressed. We've worked on keeping the stress down. It wasn't possible with kittens running around, but now that Jakey and Teddy are adopted, things are fairly quiet.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Nicky a few months ago.

Thursday the 12th Nicky peed on one of the rugs. I caught him doing it. As usual, there was a huge puddle to clean up. There was nothing unusual about it. I battle with myself not to get angry, to just clean it up and move on. It's very difficult to watch my belongings and my home get ruined, but I know I'm not alone and that so many other people have far worse situations.

Friday the 13th, I was doing my usual routine of sitting with April and the kittens, getting mama fed, cleaning up the litter pan in her room and so on. Everyone was doing fine. Sam had to step out to run an errand. I said goodbye to him through the closed door of the foster room.

A few minutes later, I heard Bobette get into it with another cat. I've been allowing her the option to come out of her room, hoping she would get acclimated to my cats so I could use her room to foster more kittens. So far the experiment isn't going very well and she screeches at the other cats, then chase them away. So far she is not physical with them. The altercations last a second, tops. I finished up with April and got out of the room to see what had happened.

I went to Bobette's room. She was sitting on the bed. She looked fine. I walked down the hallway into my bedroom. I didn't see any cats. I thought I should take a shower and get ready for the day. I walked to the doorway of the bathroom and something caught my eye. There was a puddle of what I thought was blood on the floor.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The first sign of trouble.

I looked at it closely, then cleaned it up. It didn't smell like urine, but I know Petunia will some times mark near that spot.I thought it was her since she's had crystals in her urine in the past, but how was I going to figure out which of eight cats was doing this? I scanned the floor near the first spot and I saw small drops of bloody urine. There's only one cat who would drop urine and that was Nicky. Nicky had “PU” surgery years ago to remove his penis because he was getting blocked up so often. I didn't know about the importance of removing grain from a cat's diet at the time and if I did, we could have cured him without spending $8,000.00 to have surgery done. After the surgery we were told that Nicky may have some incontinence issues. I've never seen much from him, but seeing these drops made me realize it had to be him.

For some reason, I looked on the bed. We have a PawsOff® cover on it, but it wasn't covering next to my pillow, which was exactly where I found a small puddle of bloody urine. HE PEED ON THE BED!!!!!!

I ripped the sheets off the bed and put them into the laundry, then continued my search for both Nicky and for more puddles.


©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Warning: more blood, also, you can hear me crying so please be advised.

There were two bloody puddles on the landing between the first and second floors. There were droplets on the floor headed towards the bathroom. There was a puddle next to the dishwasher. I saw Nicky, he was straining on the carpet. I grabbed him and tossed him into the litter pan, blocking his escape. I was freaked out. I was angry. I knew I shouldn't be either, but I couldn't help it. Nicky ran out of the litter pan and started straining again. I grabbed him and tossed him into the downstairs bathroom and shut the door. At least if he peed on the floor it was tile and I could clean it up. I needed a few minutes to calm down and get things clean.

Then I realized my phone must have rung during all the commotion. There was a voicemail. It was Sam. He got a speeding ticket on the way to the Apple Store where he was going to try to get his dead PowerBook sent out for service! Great! I called him back, but only got his voicemail. I told him what was going on with Nicky. I called the Vet and told them I was pretty sure it was Nicky and they gave me an appointment for 12:30pm

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Nicky and Sam waiting for Dr. Larry.

Sam called back and told me Nicky had been vomiting earlier that morning. This not good. Clearly something is terribly wrong. Nicky was furiously scratching at the door to be let out. I opened the door.

What I saw took my breath away. The bathroom looked like a scene out of a horror movie. There were puddles of bloody urine scattered all over the room, on the counter, and the floor.

Nicky ran out of the room and vanished. I made myself shoot some video of it because I wanted Dr Larry to see it later, but I was so upset I could barely get any footage. I was certain that this was a sign that Nicky was going to die and soon. I thought that perhaps something had ruptured inside him or that had had a mass in his bladder on top of everything else.

 

I called Dr. Larry's office and Super-Deb answered the phone. Deb is my comfort, my friend. She always has a way to help me calm down and take a breath, but Super-Deb just lost her most dear cat in the world, Pete Puma, to lymphoma. Pete was a big orange Maine Coon. He lived through so many challenges it was amazing he lived into his teens. Here was Debbie, being her usual calm self and I am bawling my head off. I told her I had an emergency and that we couldn't wait until 12:30 to come it and that I was bringing Nicky in NOW. Deb was great and said to come in and they would fit us in. I reached Sam and told him what was going on. He would meet me at the Vet. I just had to FIND Nicky, pack him up and go…oh and put some clothes on! I was still in my jammies.

Nicky was hiding in the closet. Not a good sign. I managed to pack him up and get us in the car fairly quickly, but once I got on the road, it was another nightmare. I didn't get more than 200 yards out of my driveway when I got stuck behind a driver going 30 mph in a 40 mph zone. I waited for the passing zone to come up and I shot past him, cursing the whole way. I didn't get very far because the traffic came to a dead stop. It was 10:30am! What was going on? A semi-truck got STUCK making a turn onto the state road, so the traffic was limping along. It was really only moving because the cars ahead of me were turning around and going the other direction.

I got onto a back road, then got stuck, again behind a driver crawling at abnormally low speed. If they were doing the speed limit I would have just followed along, but I couldn't tolerate these slow drivers. Nicky was crying. I smelled urine. I thought he could be dying. I passed a few cars and just did what I needed to do. I finally got to the Vet. They told us to wait a few minutes. Sam was there already. We both looked pale and miserable. I started to cry again, the sound of it mingled with Nicky's own cries.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. This is what a cat in pain looks like. If Nicky was hunched over with his front paws tucked under him it would be called “meatloafing” which is another sign a cat's in pain.

Dr. Larry was in the middle of a difficult case regarding a dog. He had his partner take over so he could see Nicky, who he calls; “my boy.” Dr. Larry loves Nicky and would do anything for us. We're very lucky to have such a caring Vet.

Nicky's back end was bloody. They checked to make sure Bobette hadn't bitten him in the butt-which we were all hoping was the case. He had no visible injury so they took him in the back and did blood work and x-rays. We were sent home to wait.

Around 3pm we got the call to come get Nicky. X-rays did not show any mass. The ultrasound guy-Dr Kearns, was not available to come in, but from looking at Nicky's blood work it was clear something was going on. His white blood count was very high. His kidney function, as expected was not great, but not terrible. Nicky has lost over a pound in a month. With only those few things to go on and that Dr. Larry felt nothing on the physical exam, they decided to get Nick on antibiotics. They also gave him Reglan to keep him from vomiting and Buprenex(now that I look up a link for this medication, I see it should not be given to cats with kidney disease!!!!) to make him more comfortable.

We were to wait and see how he does over the next few days.

It's Saturday the 14th. Nicky didn't eat well and paced a bit. As soon as my head hit the pillow last night, he started to cry. I called to him and he came up to bed and was fairly quiet. This morning I haven't found any urine puddles, but I'm not sure Nicky has peed. He did vomit and he may be having problems with the antibiotics or the buprenex or both. Was this a simple urinary tract infection or is something else going on?

 

Looking back on it, I believe the urinating out of the box may have been a brewing infection. We were so locked onto the fact that his kidneys are losing function that we assumed that was the case. Perhaps we had two issues going on that needed to be handled differently?

 

At this point only time will tell if we're treating Nicky appropriately. We'll keep things quiet and hope Nicky improves or we may find out we missed something (again). For now, Nicky's home and that's what counts.

Fist Fight Friday

It began simply enough. I was trying to take some photos of Mazie. She's taken to sleeping in the little basket that hangs off the cat tree. Most of the cats are too heavy for it. Nicky tried it once but the results were less than stellar (in his mind...to me the results were hysterical!). I need to update Mazie's photo for Petfinder. She's been here for almost a YEAR! We gotta get her a forever home!

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Umm...yes you are!

As I photographed Mazie, Spencer and the DOOD had to investigate. Mazie, content to literally hang out, wasn't bothered. I snapped a few photos, then noticed that Spencer and the DOOD were getting into a playfight.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Mellow Mazie in her hanging bed-basket.

Of course I had to capture the antics as long as no one was getting hurt and the fighting was kept to gentle bitch-slapping and not claws out and ready to rumble

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. You can tell it's Spencer by the overabundance of pouff.

What was almost as amusing as Spencer and the DOOD going at it was the fact that Mazie continued to sit there, unfazed by the the ruckus. Blitzen lurked in the background. He was probably smart to avoid getting into the middle of it.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Three cats, one cat tree. Now that's a good use of a cat tree!

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Spencer and the DOOD begin warming up. Mazie just sits there.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. The only thing missing is the sound of Spencer snorting while he tries to breathe and smack the DOOD at the same time. Blitzen's on the left. See him?

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Mazie? Are you just gonna sit there? I guess so.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Gotcha!

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Gotcha big honkin' tail! (Hi Mazie! Still sittin' there!)

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Spencer's got that fed up look on his face (so does Mazie, it seems). This won't last much longer.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Shot looking UP from underside the second level of the cat tree. DOOD!

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Spencer, the mascot of CiCH declares playtime is over. Time for the napping phase of the day to begin (again). I hope the DOOD leaves him alone! Mazie is STILL in the basket!

Foster Cat Journal: Day One. The Tiny Miracles

Mama weighs just over five pounds. She's skin and bones on her young frame. The Vet determined she is between 9 months and 1 year old-the same age as Cara. I can't imagine a cat that young having SIX kittens, but it happens all the time. I feel sick about it. That poor creature, trying to survive in what was, up until recently, a truly heartless world.

She has an haunted quality to her expression that speaks volumes of what she has suffered. Though she is malnourished herself, she provides for her newborns as they struggle for access to the warm milk that sustains them.

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©2011 Bobby Stanford. Just rescued and on the way to the Vet. I wonder what this mama thinks will happen to her now?

Yesterday we prepared ourselves that this Mother would have to die based on what we heard from the shelter. She wasn't eating-for days. She was depressed, lethargic. What was wrong with her could have been the end of her.

Once she and her babies were in foster care, Mama began to EAT and eat well. It will take time for her to regain her strength as her hind end is red and swollen from many days of diarrhea. She has a small abscess on her tail that the Vet thinks is a self inflicted bite wound from giving birth. She may have been tugging at one of the kittens as they were being born and she bit her tail by accident. The wound is not bad and she really shouldn't have antibiotics just yet, so Maria will keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't get infected.

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©2011 Bobby Stanford.

Overall we were VERY LUCKY-SO FAR. Mama is in rather good shape, considering. They did a stool sample on her and it was negative for parasites. She had no fleas. Maybe she knew life in a home for a time, but they got rid of her a few days after she gave birth.

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©2011 Bobby Stanford. Lunchtime rush is on.

Her kittens were in good shape, again, for now! Maria and I are both terrified of them coming down with the you-know-what-plague that seems to hit every cat that comes out of a shelter. It's wait and see. I find I am a bit reluctant to give them names-that said, should the worst happen, maybe they should have the dignity of having a name before they pass away? I hope it's not something we will meed to worry about. Right now, they're OK, getting fed and mostly sleeping in a big pile with each other-little orange puff balls.

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©2011 Maria S. Little orange puff balls.

I can't get over their orangey-goodness. I wish I could give them all kisses and welcome them to the world. Happy Belated Birthday to you my sweet babies!

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©2011 Maria S. Squee!

Taking on seven new foster cats will require some funding. I'd like to start raising donations for them so we'll have it set aside when they need it-or in case of an emergency! I'm using a low cost S/N clinic, but even with that, everything that has to be done will be times seven cats.

If you can help this little pumpkin patch, your donation is tax deductible as all the money goes to my non-profit, 501(c)3 corporation, Kitten Associates. Any overages that we don't use for this family, will be used to provide food and vet care for the other cats in our program.

If you want to send a donation DIRECTLY through to PayPal, then we will get 100% of your donation IF you take the following steps:

1. Log in to YOUR PayPal Account

2. Select the tab: SEND MONEY (on the top of the page)

3. To: info@kittenassociates.org, Fill in Amount, then choose the PERSONAL tab below where you fill in the amount and select: THIS MONEY IS BEING SENT AS A: GIFT

4. Press "continue" to finish the payment transfer

Checks can be made out to: Kitten Associates. Please note: Bob's Angels on your check and mail to: P.O. Box 354, Newtown, CT 06470-0354

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©2011 Maria S. Just a bag of bones today...but one day she will be plump and happy again...one day soon.

And now for some FUN. We need names! I'm open to suggestions-I may not use the names you offer, but let's give it a shot. We need a name for Mama and we have FIVE BOYS AND ONE GIRL (we think) who need names, too. They should all have names in honor of Bob. Here are his names and nicknames: Robert J. Dole, Bob Dole, Baba-D, Bobbie Tinkleberry (hee hee). Post a comment here with your suggestions or visit our Facebook page and leave a comment there.

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©2011 Maria S. Sweet dreams little ones. Grow big and strong!

Hiding in Plain Sight

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From CNN.com last night.

It's tough to be in a bad mood today, knowing that President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden is DEAD. Perhaps Donald Trump will shut up and stop asking for Obama's birth certificate now? As someone who bares the scars of living through 9/11 in New York City, I can say that I AM very glad, bin Laden is gone-even if it doesn't end terrorism. Our Country has been in dire need of something positive-good news. Between the economy, foreclosures, job losses and the horrific number of violent weather spawned problems, it's really ABOUT TIME we had something to SMILE ABOUT.

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Found on Facebook. Originally posted by Mike Green. Copyright holder not known.

Yes, I know about the controversy about the good old USA taught bin Laden how to fight and gave him lots of money to do so. Is it a surprise he turned on us? No. Using tax money to build secret armies is not my idea of a wise use of money, but honestly, I don't know much about this issue. I know about cats, that's about it. Oh and I know that maybe today is the start of better times for us all...okay, except for one guy. Not a good day for him as his body starts to rot in the Arabian Sea. Then again, good day for the fishes!

What do photos of Nora's butt have to do with Osama bin Laden's dead body?

Both things make you smile and they both smell bad.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Nora chants to herself; “You can't see me! You can't see me!”

Okay, it's a bit of a stretch. I don't care what anyone thinks. I'm in a good mood. Now that President Obama figured out where bin Laden's been hiding, maybe he can help me figure out the answer to why Nora has to sit, head-first into one specific cat condo, many times a week. She just sits there, not moving. I don't know if she's meditating or if she thinks she's hiding but we know she's failed miserably.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Nora's brother, Nicky, goes in for the sniff test that will certainly alarm Nora and force her to leave her “hiding place.”

The other cats check on her to make sure she's all right. After a few minutes she pops her head out of the condo, looks around nervously and runs off. Guess bin Laden can't do the same any more.

Way to go Navy Seals! Way to go.

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Sifting Through the Pieces

I'm trying not to think about Bob...24 hours a day. I'm trying to remember to not loose my footing, to stay calm, to try to breathe. I don't want to make a rash decision, but I also don't feel like I have a lot of time to think. With the Holiday crush upon me and with Polly and her family and MacGruber about to arrive, I need to get things ready, but all I want to do is lie down next to Bob and just be with him.

I know I can't take enough photos of him. I can't pet him enough times. I can't listen to his crazy purr long enough. I got up at 5am, went downstairs and just sat with him and petted him. I can't take one second for granted. I can't assume he will be here tomorrow. Sure, that's true for all of us, but when you KNOW the sand in the hour glass is running low, is there any way to prepare?

I've made a few more decisions. I took Bob to get a blood test to check to see if his blood will coagulate properly. If it does, then he is a better candidate for surgery. If it does not, then we'll stop here and just let Bob live out whatever days he has left. If he's OK to go ahead, then I'll meet with the surgeon. She is VERY well respected-certainly one of the best. I'll only have a consult with her, that's it. If she says we can go ahead, then I have to make a very difficult decision. Dr. Larry told me that if we did open Bob up and they find that he has cancer, to wake him up out of sedation is unkind. It would be asking so much of Bob-to have him wake up, then face painful recovery, only to die a few weeks or months later in even more pain from the cancer spreading.

“You have to prepare yourself now for being able to make that choice for Bob, if it comes to that.”

There goes my heart, breaking into little pieces. I can't put Bob through Hell, but there IS a chance it is benign, operable, can be removed and he can live for a few more YEARS. How can I not take that chance? My head feels like it's going to explode.

I ordered a new cat tree a few weeks ago-before all this mess with Bob. I bought it on a lark, thinking it would give another one of my cats a place to go if she got stressed out. The box just arrived a few days ago when I was hormonal (why do cat trees show up when I have PMS? If you want a laugh, read THIS and THIS). Sam and I weren't on great terms (still). Somehow we still managed to put the thing together without killing each other.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Blitzen, the parts inspector arrives.

In a way, it was nice to do something that got my mind off things. The simplicity of tightening down a bolt helped me stop obsessing. Seeing the parts scattered across the floor, while my cats excitedly inspected every piece made me break with tradition, as of late, and actually smile.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob helps with the inspection, but as usual, Nicky fails by smelling Bob's tail, instead of the parts of the cat tree.

Blitzen was fascinated. He sniffed and climbed on everything. Bob and Nicky joined in, but were soon bored and went back to taking a nap. Blitzen, began to scratch on the sisal posts just seconds after they were in place. Lock down a sleeping platform and he was on it having a field day.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob!

Blitz was certainly test-driving the cat tree and it was a good thing he did-he's about the ONLY cat that will actually FIT onto or into most of the damn thing!

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bratty boy “helps.” (we're still building the cat tree at this point)

It's small. This is not a cat tree for full grown cats, save for the main platform that's big enough for any cat to lie on, but the rest of it is tiny. One piece was so small we didn't even bother to attach it. Honestly, this will be GREAT for my foster kittens, but my guys will not be able to enjoy this very much.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson

Of course, tell that to Blitzen. He loved it. There was only one problem.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Blitzen gives this cat tree a 1-Belly Up!

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bucket o' Blitz.

“Someone” is not big on sharing.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Spencer was investigating the top of the cat tree when Blitzen reminding him whose cat tree it was.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Not sure which end of Spencer you're seeing in this photo.

I admit that Blitzen is good for cheering me up when I'm feeling down, but it makes me feel guilty, too. Blitz is, in some ways, much like Bob. Blitz has a crazy purr and it's obvious he shares a resemblance with Bob, though Blitz is very light in coloring. Blitzen is all things joyous and fun-full of promise and magic. He has decades ahead of him, most likely. His story is just beginning.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. King of the Cat Tree (for now)

Bob was like Blitzen once-a long time ago. I never knew Bob in his youth, only as an adult. I bet he was a handful when he was a baby. I find myself wishing that I COULD have been his “mama,” from day one. I could have prevented him from getting FIV+, he'd still have all his teeth and most likely, he never would have gotten a mass on his liver in the first place...but I can't get a “do over” to put Bob back together again. I don't have the right tools and I'm pretty sure the instructions are written in Chinese.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob, enjoying his heated cat bed.

Big Updates on BIG O, PAULY & MARIA & Our First Adoption Event!

Big O (“O” for Orange, not you-know-what!) is in da house!

This poor boy was rescued from HELL by a good samaritan named Mary Jo. The SAME Mary Jo who also rescued and is still rehabilitating Hope, the little kitten who was gored by some creepy person, using a fish hook. Mary Jo could not stand by when she heard about a big orange cat who got dumped after his owner got dementia and whose son did not want to care for her AND her cat. Poor Big O. You can read more about his backstory HERE.

Connie, my friend and benefactor of all things cat food related, saw Big O's story and fell in love with him. After suffering the loss of her own dear boy, Lion King, who was also a big orange boy, she decided to rescue another cat in his honor. Without ever meeting this kitty, she just decided to go for it-figuring she would find a way to make it work.

Two weeks ago, Connie and I jumped into her car, which has a bag of carrots in the back seat and little bits of hay sprinkled across the cushions (treats for her horsey!). In my car there is cat hair and cat food bits. We headed out to New Jersey to meet Mark, who had just driven up from Georgia with his wife, our CiCH blogger, Izzy and a car load of rescue cats. Okay, so we had a bit of a kerfluffle about finding each other, but it did get sorted out and soon enough we spotted Mark and his car load of cats: Big O, Pauly and Little Maria. I couldn't wait to meet them all and Connie was jumping up and down. We said a quick hello and goodbye to Mark. I didn't like the way Big O looked. He looked a bit limp and I wanted to get his butt to Connie's so we could get him fed and watered.

We put Pauly and Little Maria in the back cargo area. They seemed comfortable and well...and very CUTE. It was like Christmas. You know you have a gift to open and you can't wait for the time to come to see what's inside the box. I wished we could teleport to Connie's house-where everyone was going to stay. After all this time, the fundraising for Little Maria's surgery, the hope Mary Jo could rescue Big O..finally coming to a conclusion. The cats were just about home.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Big O arrives!

We were told that Big O did NOT like to be crated, so I offered him my lap as Connie drove us back to CT. Big O, well, he looks “road hard and put away wet.” He's far too thin for such a big cat. His legs wobble from weakness that we suspect is due to diabetes, but has yet to be proven. Big O liked to chat. Connie would talk to him and he would meow back to her. I asked him if he liked Chicken...silence. I asked again...still silence. I asked if he liked fish..MEOW!

Then Big O went into the back and laid down. He was very quiet during the rest of the trip. I started to panic that he was crashing. I am waaay to overprotective of cats, or paranoid OR, maybe I was right? Fortunately, we got back to Connie's house in good time. She pulled up in the driveway and I heard a “thump” on the roof of the car. Connie said; “Oh, that's just Charlie.” Sure enough, a big orange tabby with white paws walked non-challantly down the windshield, sat on the hood and meowed “Hello.”

Note: Charlie has to be an outdoor cat. Long story...but Connie knows not to let the cats out...just sayin'...

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson.

We got Big O into his OWN room (for now, until he can meet the other kitties). I put down some food, but he didn't like it. Connie hurried downstairs to grab more options. We started with grain free canned, but ended up with Fancy Feast. Hey, a guy needs to eat so we didn't get fussy with him. As Big O ate, we got Pauly and Little Maria settled in THEIR own room! (I hope Connie has a room for me, too! I love her house.)

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Pauly is ready to check out his new digs.

Pauly popped out of the carrier and started checking out the room. He ate, slid under the furniture, looked out the window. He is long and skinny and has the cutest tail with a tiny white tip. He acted as though he had lived there forever.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Little Maria, looking much more plump and healthy, poses for a photo.

Little Maria took a bit longer to investigate the room. She walked with a slight limp, which should go away as she grows. She's a very petite kitten, but you can tell she's a sweetheart, even though she was nervous in her new foster home.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Big O, before his beauty treatment and vet checkup.

I went back to Big O's room and just sat with him. He was chatting and walking around the room. He tried to jump onto the window sill to look out the window, but couldn't manage it. I felt so bad, but had to remind myself that whatever is wrong with him is going to be sorted out in the coming days. In fact, we have Jennifer, our Premiere Diabetes Expert on our side and she will be coming to see Big O in a few days. Big O's already been through the worst part of his life. Now it will only be good times for him as much as we can all provide.

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I had my first Kitten Associates Adoption Event at Animal's In Distress's shelter in Wilton, CT last weekend. Pauly and Little Maria were there, along with my guys. It was HOT in the room, so I begged Sam to drive an hour each way to deliver a fan. The kittens were all confused and within the first few seconds of being crated, Pattycake blew a huge, loose stool all over the brand new cat bed in her cage, which, in turn, filled the room with the stench of wild poo. This is not a good way to welcome the folks who were about to show up to adopt a cat. It also did nothing appetizing for the cider and doughnuts we had placed across from the cages on another table.

Connie grabbed the cat bed and rinsed it off outside while I fretted and sweated and finished getting everything else set up in time.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. It was really HOT in the room and the kitties were all flat and tired.

Then a stream of people came into the shelter. Within the first hour a cat from AID got adopted-who had only been there a few days. Folks came in to look at my kittens, but mostly beelined into the next room to see the cats and enjoy the air conditioning.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Another hour passed and another cat got adopted. This time it was Moose, a big orange Tom who'd been waiting for MONTHS to find a good home. We were all delighted. Meanwhile, my guys just sat there looking glum. We set up the fan and made sure they had water. I offered them a litter pan I rigged up out of a cardboard tray from cat food. Moonie and Patty acted like they wanted to use it but it was far too tiny. I ran into the shelter and borrowed a litter pan. Good thing I did because BOTH cats used it and once again...weeeeeee...another blast of loose, stinky poop! What a way to CLEAR a room! In all the adoption events I've done, the cats have NEVER gone to the bathroom. Apparently, my good luck had “run out.” What could I do? I took a picture. Sue me.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. When I think "Harvest Festival" I think of the smell of POOP.

So I guess this is my way of saying the adoption event didn't go too well for Kitten Associates. We collected about $4 and my clothes stuck to my crevices from sweating for 6 hours. I ate two doughnuts and drank too much cider. My blood sugar was swinging wildly. Who needs illegal drugs when one has sugar? It was getting late and I wanted to pack up and sit in the air conditioned car. I went into the shelter-proper and visited their kitties before I left.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Meanwhile, in the next room, Pauly has a nappy, while waiting for the adopters to show up for the event.

Pauly wasn't feeling at his best. He was struggling with a mild URI.
Little Maria was just a dear, sweet, baby. In a crate to keep her from running around too much on her leg-which is still healing, she sat quietly or watched people pass by. I wanted to tell everyone her story about how her leg had been broken for a MONTH..how she almost was euthanized at a shelter in Georgia, but what would it matter to them?

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Little “Super Cutie” Maria.

Little Maria was already adopted, anyway. We knew it was going to happen but couldn't say anything until everything was ironed out.

Yes, I said ADOPTED!

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson.

Apparently, Connie was madly in love with Little Maria from the first day I posted information about her-and, in fact, was the reason we were able to save her life in the first place. Connie had arranged for a placement for Little Maria at AID and was a big part of paying for LM's surgery, too. We could all see it coming. Sure enough Connie confirmed that she has adopted LM and that LM has already made a best friend with Connie's other rescue kitten.

But that wasn't the last adoption of the day...there was one more. Someone you know, too. Hee hee...but this post is way too long as it is, so that will be the NEXT update. Or wait..should I update you about Princess, who was deathly ill just 10 days ago or was she the one who got adopted? No wait..this is confusing. I need a doughnut and some cider.

Foster Cat Journal: Beautiful Bobbi Needs a...?!!

This was Bobbi a month ago. Stuck in a cage on death row, covered with fleas and being declawed, had no way to even scratch herself. Because she was such a sweet baby, the Kennel Master, Robin, urged our friend Betsy to get the word out on this kitty before it was too late. Fortunately, Animals in Distress in Wilton, CT offered to take her once I could arrange for her vetting and quarantine in Georgia and once our friends, Izzy & Mark could transport her north.

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©2010 Henry Co. Care & Control.

Bobbi arrived two weeks ago and has been enjoying the quiet life in our friend, Connie's home. Soon, Bobbi will be moved over to the Shelter, where she will live until she's adopted. There's never a risk of her being euthanized due to space issues, but...adoptions are down— the lowest point anyone can remember. We simply MUST get together to get the word out for Bobbi, once again.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobbi, safe and sound and doing just great in foster care!

This gorgeous creature is safe, but she STILL needs a forever home—ideally somewhere in Connecticut, but if we found a great home, I know we could arrange transport.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson.

Bobbi's only 1-2 years old. She's very mellow and sweet. She has impeccable litter box manners and loves to sleep right next to you or even on your pillow, if you don't mind! She is declawed-ALL FOUR PAWS, is NEGATIVE for FIV/Feline Leukemia, is up to date on her shots.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson.

Bobbi would be a great companion to pretty much any one or any family. We think she gets along with other cats, but won't know for certain until she's at the shelter.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson.

Because she was badly infested with fleas, she still is a bit itchy and has some scabs which we feel should resolve. In the meantime, please give her a scratch if you meet her! She really likes that.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson.

And don't forget, Bobbi is a true Manx! With a very cute butt, if I do say so, myself! She also has adorable black spots on her back foot, just like my boy, Spencer!

If you'd like to know more about how to adopt Bobbi, just contact Animals in Distress or visit Bobbi's Petfinder page OR, you can always email me: info@coveredincathair.com

Animals in Distress also has 12 OTHER kitties who have been waiting months and months to find a Forever Home. They have some very lovely cats at their shelter, even a Siamese! If you can adopt one of these babies, you'd really be helping them to help MORE kitties! Spread the word!

We got this girl rescued. Now let's find her a GREAT HOME!

Wasn't that a nice blog post? Oh well...nevermind...just as this was about to go to press...

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BOBBI JUST GOT ADOPTED!!!!!!

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