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Tater Tot's Sister, A Life in the Balance

WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTO OF EYE INFECTION BELOW (There are also images of it cleaned up and looking better so it's not too bad).


We've taken five cats from ONE property in McDonough, GA. Every time Maria drives past the home, she sees more kittens in the yard. Using her best, most diplomatic approach, she's been trying to work with the owner to convince him of how important it is to spay and neuter the cats that are roaming his yard.

To our knowledge, in only a month, we know two kittens were lost, never to be seen again and the owner admitted just yesterday that he'd found a third one dead in the yard. I cannot begin to fathom how these things can go on; cats giving birth, kittens running around, sick, starving and dying. He seems to understand he needs to do something, but he just doesn't get around to doing anything about it while the cats on his property keep reproducing.

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©2012 Maria S. Flea covered and sick, but finally in a place where she'll get the care she needs.

It's taken Maria almost a year to get to the point where he is somewhat open to the idea of spaying his cats if we find a way to pay for it. Maria estimates there are 8 to 10 cats on his property and one she saw last year who was just a kitten at the time, is pregnant now.

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©2012 Maria S. I thought this kitten was going to lose her eye when I saw this photo, but look below and you can see she's better once her face was washed. She still has an infection so she must be monitored carefully.

A small rescue like mine doesn't have the resources to correct this situation, but I'm looking into finding some help on a local level. If I can't find help, I'm going to do a fundraiser to get these cats to the low cost S/N clinic as soon as I can. We can't take in all the kittens that are being born. No one can. It makes me sick to think that Maria just drives home from work and collects another kitten or cat on her way-just to get them off the street. She can't look away and do nothing and I am very glad for that, but it does make me concerned that we now have ten kittens plus three adults with only me to find them good homes.

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©2012 Maria S. Now that her eye is cleared of the pus, this little girl can see out of both eyes. If left untreated the infection could cause her to lose her eye.

As you may recall, on Friday Maria rescued Tater Tot, a little buff and white kitten who was so weak he could barely stand. We got him to the Vet and he received fluids, a B12 injection and other supportive therapy. Maria said after she gave him a bath, he ate really well, then basically passed out, exhausted. It may have been the first time his belly was full in his life.

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©2012 Maria S. Much better!

Once Tater was safe, Maria turned her focus on getting the other kitten she saw wondering in the neighbor's yard. This kitten ran off when approached and Maria feared she was feral. She was also clearly sick with an eye infection, so we had to try to help her.


Before she could return to the property to look for the kitten, Maria got a number of texts from her neighbor, then an urgent call. She found a cat up a tree, could Maria help get it down?


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©2012 Maria S. Tater gets his eye medication. He's very sweet and friendly even though he doesn't feel well.

Maria let me know about the situation. My first reaction was that there are so many cats who need help in her area that they're falling from the sky? What is going on here? It seems everywhere Maria turns there's another cat who need her help.

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©2012 Maria S. Tater Tot Burrito.

This rescue deserves a special post, so I'll tackle that next because this kitty has an amazing story which is still unfolding. I hope you'll stop back to see a video of the rescue along with an update on how she's doing.

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©2012 Maria S. Tater gets some rest after being fed.

Rescuing the cat from the tree meant the little torte kitten would have to wait. Normally this wouldn't be an issue, but the last time we thought we had another day, two of the kittens died. I feared this little girl would be next. There are foxes in the area. Maria sent me photos of them playing in the yard. Kittens don't stand a chance against them.

Yesterday morning Maria got a call from the neighbor that he had possession of the kitten! Not only did he make the effort to catch the kitten but he called Maria. This is hopeful news even though I wish he would have done more sooner, but we have to pick our battles. This is a great start.

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©2012 Maria S. Tortie Burrito!

The kitten wasn't feral, thankfully, but like her brother, she is underweight and had a nasty eye infection. Maria had to bathe her to get the fleas off her. Under the dirt she discovered this kitten is a Tortoiseshell with dark brown and cream in her fur. One of her paws has peach colored toes and she has a whisper of peach on her chin and one cheek. We both wonder how she'll look as she ages since her coloring is just starting to show now. Her eyes are green so we know she's over 8 weeks old, but she only weighs 1 pound, 3 ounces. At this age she should be closer to 2 pounds.

The kitten was reunited with who we believe is her brother. Maria reported that they didn't seem to know each other, but they didn't hiss, either. Even if they're not related, they need a playmate and the comfort of having a friend as they both recover from upper respiratory infection, eye infections and the damage that was done to them by the flea infestation.





If you can help us with a donation, we would appreciate it VERY MUCH!! EVERY DOLLAR MAKES A DIFFERENCE!


The donation you provide to this Emergency Rescue is TAX-DEDUCTIBLE as we are a 501©3 Non-Profit Cat Rescue.

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 "Two Kittens Fund" 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.

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©2012 Maria S. All clean and pretty, now all this little lady needs is a name.



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 these little babies!


It's Good Mews for Miss Fluffy Pants Part 1 of 2

Just before Valentine's Day we took in a friendly stray kitty who was living outdoors at a Palette Factory in McDonough, GA. Our volunteer, Bobby, who alerted us to this kitty's plight, asked me to name her so the Vet could get her spayed and create her medical records. I called her Miss Fluffy Pants, thinking I'd change the name later, but the name stuck.

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©2012 Bobby Stanford. MissFP at her former "home" at the Palette Factory.

You can read more MissFP's back story HERE, but the short version is, MissFP has FIV+ which basically turned this sweet kitty into a rescue-roadblock for us. My rescue, Kitten Associates, doesn't have a lot of resources and space in my one foster home in Georgia is at a minimum. If I couldn't find MissFP a home, she'd take the only space we had and prevent us from helping any more cats until we helped her. That meant saying no to the requests I got to help kittens who are being born in the thousands in the south.

I asked around and got a lot of “sorry, no's” then East Coast Maine Coon Rescue was willing to do a courtesy post about her, but we didn't get any applications. I asked other big shelters in Georgia and didn't even get a reply. FIV+ cats, though the virus is not easily spread from cat to cat (only through a deep, penetrating bite wound), makes them tough to adopt. Add to that MissFP is black-which especially in the south makes it even harder to find her a home.

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©2012 Maria S. Miss Fluffy Pants.

The goal, as it is with ALL our foster cats, was to figure out a way to get her to my home and hopefully find her a placement in Connecticut, but I was getting requests to help local kittens and I had to say yes. MissFP would have to wait and so would our other adult cat, King. Because King so easy going Maria allowed him to share space in her home with her resident cats and it wasn't a problem for him to remain there for longer than usual. MissFP spent her days in a bathroom behind a closed door while Maria was at work. It wasn't a great life for MissFP and I felt terrible about it.

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©2012 Maria S. A good sign ahead...

I kept looking for help or a home for MissFP. I did NOT want her to go to a sanctuary, never to have a forever home. MissFP loves people and is okay with other cats, but prefers humans. For a short time I thought we found a forever home right in Atlanta for MissFP, but the person backed out at the last minute-just hours before MissFP was going to be taken to her new home. We were all devastated. MissFP went back to her cat tree in the bathroom and I went back to scratching my head, feeling torn between resentment and anger at myself. I loved MissFP even if it was only from afar and I didn't care that she had FIV+, I just wanted her to have a loving home, but it just wasn't happening.

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©2012 Maria S. The interior at Good Mews.

I was resigned to the fact that MissFP was ours for a long time to come and many little kittens were never going to see the light of day because our foster space was full. That's just how it was. It wasn't MissFP's fault. Even if she wasn't in our Program, we'd still only be able to help one litter of kittens at a time.

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©2012 Maria S. How true.

I got an email from Michelle, one of the Board of Directors at Good Mews. She wondered if I could help her find a rescue or sanctuary to help a cat named Clover who was testing positive for Feline Leukemia. I did what I could and gave her some suggestions. For the heck of it I asked her if there was any way she could help me with MissFP. Her answer shocked me. She had to check with some of the staff, but she was pretty sure they COULD HELP US! She'd write me back to confirm. All I had to do was WAIT and hold my breath. Was this the answer we'd been searching for for so long?

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©2012 Maria S. I think they understand what Jackson Galaxy refers to when he talks about the importance of building a “cat superhighway.”

At the time I didn't know much about Good Mews, other than that they were one of the biggest cat rescues in Georgia and that they help rescues out of state, too. They have the manpower and sometimes they have the space to take on another cat to the 100 or so currently in residence.

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©2012 Maria S. The view from within.

After hearing rumors that another huge cat shelter in Georgia shut down intake due to having 150 kittens, I was flat out stunned that Good Mews would even consider taking on MissFP. Not only that, but they were just as careful about placing their cats as I was.

©2012 Maria S. One of the cat's at Good Mews who's looking for a great home. This is HoneyBee on Petfinder!

I felt like I let MissFP down. It's a failure for us to not be able to find Miss FP a forever home, but it's always been difficult for us to place adults. Take Mazie for example. She was here for 14 months before she got her forever home. I know I shouldn't beat myself up, but I still feed badly. I'll never get to meet MissFP nor have the joy of meeting her new family. I will, however, be glad knowing that we have space in Maria's home for the 3 kittens she rescued last month. They'll no longer have to live in a ferret cage, but will have decent space to run and play.

Now if Good Mews would just call and tell me their answer is YES!

To be continued…

Where the Road Takes Us-Amberly's Journey

A friendly stray cat, starving and exhausted lays in the middle of the road one summer morning. Who knew the act of choosing such a dangerous place to rest would change this cat's life forever?

©2011 Maria S. Moments after the kitty was discovered.

Maria, our super-foster-mama, was going to a tag sale, but got a lot more than she bargained for when she saw this friendly cat in the road. She stopped to offer help, not sure she should get involved, but not being able to stop herself from helping this poor soul. All the questions she may have asked herself, all the worry about if she could handle taking on another foster cat and what that might entail. What if the cat was sick? What if she needed more than Maria could provide?

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©2011 Maria S. Baby Jack LiLac. Just rescued by Maria!

I was very glad that I could help Maria feel confident that she could take this on, by assuring her that my rescue group would cover any expenses and would find a forever home when the time was right. It became even more important that she had our backing after she realized the cat had given birth and that her kittens needed to be found as soon as possible. Many of you may have read about this miraculous search and rescue. It's detailed HERE including some amazing photos.

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©2011 Maria S. A Mother's Love.

The cat was named Amberly, though barely a kitten, herself, was also a good mama. She was laying in the road, hoping it would lead her to the right person who could help her. Her babies, just days old, were saved. I named them after plants and elements since they were found under the base of a tree. One of the kittens I named, Jack LiLac. He had a skunk stripe on his nose, but was as sweet as could be. Jack thrived in Maria's care until he, his mama and his family were old enough to come to my home to be fostered here.

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©2011 Maria S. Baby Jack.

Amberly's journey had taken her off the streets of Georgia, into a loving foster home. Her next stop would take her and her kittens across 1000 miles to my home where I'd be waiting to care for them. Who could have imagined she'd have to travel this all these miles for a chance to find her forever home? Amberly's new family was looking for her. We just had to wait for them to contact us.

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©2011 Maria S. Little Man, Jack.

The family has been with me for a little over two months. They're all remarkable cats with copper penny colored eyes. I got many applications for them, but each one was not good enough. We have strict adoption policies. I realize that makes adoptions slow, but it's important that we know every cat has the best, safest, most appropriate home. I tried not to give up that we'd find a match before the cats were too old, but it was challenging.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Jack, today. He outweighs his mama now.

Last week I started to get applications that looked very promising. One of them had interest in just one cat. They wanted AMBERLY! We met, we spoke at length about their home, their life, their past cats. I did a Vet check. I did a home visit.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Congratulations to Amberly & Jack!

The husband and wife came to visit the kitties today to finalize their choice. Although the couple wanted ALL the cats, they knew that Amberly had to be their girl. Amberly is barely recognizable from what she once was. No longer thin, with her coat thick and plush, there are new signs of her having a longer coat than we imagined. She's playful and robust and loves to race around the room, stop and give kisses, then lounge on a soft bed. She never has to worry about where her next meal will come from or having loving companionship.

What I couldn't have predicted was they they fell in love with Jack, too. Jack is sweeter than sugar and loves to wrestle with his Mama. They're more like siblings than mother and son. They'll never have to be parted, as this couple is adopting Jack, too! I'm glad they'll stay together for the rest of their lives.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Amberly & Truffles.

The family can't wait to give them the best home and most love they can provide. Amberly and Jack will have two small dogs to be friends with and two young boys to play with. It's a lovely home with plenty of space. The family is planning on getting cat trees and scratchers, feeding the right diet and giving them whatever they need. I couldn't ask for more.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Lady Blaze.

Jack and Amberly will be here for another 2 weeks. After that time they'll be going to their forever home. Contracts are signed. Fees are paid. I will really miss them a lot. They're so easy to love.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. BlueBelle is more lovely than ever.

I just can't understand and I suppose I never will-why Amberly was alone in the first place and why she had to give birth under a tree in the woods. I'm sorry she had to suffer. She must have known the love of humans at some point. We'll never know how she got to that road or why she was laying in the middle of it. Amberly's journey is almost to an end. She's on the road again one last time. This time it will take her to a very happy future, side by side with her son.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Periwinkle (left) is one of the nicest cats I've ever met. I have a crush on her.

There are more home visits coming and possibly more of Amberly's family will be finding their forever homes soon, too. Stay tuned!

First They Needed Their Mama-Now They Need You!

There's no question that Maria has a big heart. Her mission to locate and rescue kittens that had been hidden by a lactating mama-cat she found was a great success (that story is HERE).

The first night has passed. This morning Maria was greeted by hungry kittens and mama, alike. Everyone made it. They're all feeding well and they're all painfully adorable!

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©2011 Maria S. Hello. Would you like to love me?

Their story could end here. Maria would ride off into the sunset and the kittens would magically grow healthy and hearty, find perfect homes in a short time and there'd never be any problems-but Maria cannot be completely responsible with providing for this family. She didn't plan on taking on such an expense and she doesn't have access to things like Petfinder, which will make finding this family a good home very difficult. She needs help.

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©2011 Maria S. Little Calico Princess with orange flame.

I, too, didn't plan on taking in a family right now. I wanted to focus on getting little Cara healthy and my remaining foster cats needed to find homes. But doing rescue means you can never plan or even be prepared. You just have to do what is needed and do the best you can.

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©2011 Maria S. Little stripey cutie.

So without proper funding established or even knowing I'll have a foster home in Connecticut for them when they are big enough, I let Maria know I had her back. My rescue group, Kitten Associates, Inc. will be providing care for this family, then finding them forever homes later this summer. We can't turn our back on these fragile lives, nor can we turn our back on Maria, who has been a vital resource for us in Georgia.

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©2011 Maria S. Tender tortie baby.

This rescue is also going to kick off more BIG NEWS. A few days ago, Kitten Associates, Inc. had their Board Meeting. That day we got our 501(c)3 “Letter of Determination” from the IRS stating we ARE a Non-Profit Corporation! And before any of you fret, any donation from as far back as last September is deductible, so no worries! We had YOU covered, too.

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©2011 Maria S. Here's the family!

With any luck, this is the kickoff of something big, something wonderful-and what better way to celebrate our news with the rescue of such a sweet family.

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©2011 Maria S. Lunch is served.

We REALLY need your help. Everything this family needs is multiplied by six. Between their future spay/neuter, shots, wellness exam, de-worming, flea treatment, food, litter and transport to Connecticut, we estimate we'll need at least $1200.00. If any of the kittens get sick, we'll have to do a second fundraiser for that. The last family I brought to CT cost many thousands of dollars due to their repeated illness. The GOOD NEWS is that this family was NEVER in a Kill Shelter and haven't been exposed to a number of diseases. Maybe we'll finally get lucky and this family will stay healthy.

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©2011 Maria S. This is the sight we prayed we'd see happen.

We'll never really know what caused Amberly to suddenly trust Maria and show her where she'd hidden her kittens after more than 24 hours apart from them. It may have been that Amberly finally had a full belly and some rest at Maria's house and through those hours together, a bond began to ripen. Though Amberly is barely a kitten, herself, now that she has good food, she's more than willing to provide care for her kittens. The love she has for them is obvious and the joy we have knowing they are safe is priceless.

Enjoy this video of the kittens having their first meal at Maria's.

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©2011 Maria S. Safe at last.

Please use the ChipIn widget, below, to make your donation. The other way to help us is by sharing this blog post with your friends and family and perhaps a few of them can help this family out.

One of the kittens is a bit confused, to say the least! This is hysterical!

Your donation will go to Kitten Associates, Inc General Fund so we can provide for this family. Your donation is Tax Deductible, too. Every dollar adds up and we are grateful for whatever you can spare.

Thank you for helping rescue this family and for making their lives safe and happy!

Don't forget to Facebook-share, Tweet or let your friends know about this family!

Not on My Watch: Let's Bust These Babies Out ALIVE!

Henry County Care & Control is getting filled up with pregnant cats giving birth. One just gave birth this morning. I don't even have a photo of her yet. Every one of these cats is at HIGH RISK of losing their life-just due to the fact that kittens can easily pick up all sorts of disease in the shelter. To keep the other cats from getting sick, at the slightest sign of illness, the cats are put down-yes, even little kittens.

Now take the numbers at Henry County and multiply it by the rest of the state of Georgia-where so many other shelters are in crisis. Now add all the other shelters across the COUNTRY. Yes, it's a big number and there's no way we can save them all, but it doesn't mean we just sit here and do nothing but feel sad.

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©2011 HCC&C. Let's save this beautiful baby and her family!

This is a trying time for anyone who does rescue. You know if you can help even ONE family, the others may perish. Right now, I don't even funds or a place to put any of these cats. I wish I did. I don't know if it's more heartbreaking to know that I COULD save some of these cats, if I could get a foster family in GA and one in CT to step up, then find funding to support them until they are big enough to be adopted. I look at the's May..I STILL HAVE cats I rescued in November of LAST YEAR and so far their Vet tab is WELL into the thousands, probably close to $6K by now for all their bills. If I pull another family and they get as sick as the last bunch, it will ruin me, but how can I sleep knowing they need help? I know it's a risk to get these cats out, but if we act fast, they won't get sick.

This is what we need:

RESCUE GROUPS-anywhere in the U.S.A. that can be verified as a legitimate rescue organization, can contact Gerri Yoder, the Director of Henry Co. Care & Control, about any or ALL of these Mamas & Kittens. Gerri can be reached at:

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©2011 HCC&C. Here's Mama! She's a doll and a sweetheart.

I have someone (my dear, Bobby) who can pick up the cats and get them out of the shelter for you and we can help arrange initial vetting and transport if you need that done. Just contact me if I can be of help:

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©2011 HCC&C. What a pretty blue Mama and look at those little ones!

These are the faces of the cats I wrote about in my Mother's Day Wish post. These are the cats who for no other reason than their owners never spayed them, are now facing death.

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©2011 HCC&C. Let's save this Cow-Mama with amazing eyes and her family, too!

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©2011 HCC&C. This girl has already been at the shelter too long. She's STUNNING! Won't someone rescue her?!

Let's do something AMAZING. Let's Tweet, Share, Facebook, whatever you can to help get the word out on ALL THESE kitties. Let's find rescues who can take these cats. Bribe them with donations or offer to foster these cats or BOTH! MAKE THE DIFFERENCE we need to CLEAR THE SHELTER OF THESE FAMILIES BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. When we empty out HENRY COUNTY, let's help another shelter empty its cages, too. Com'on! WE CAN DO THIS! This doesn't have to be a SAD ENDING, but we GOTTA do the work to make it happen! WHAT DO YOU SAY? ARE YOU WITH ME??!!

Not on My Watch:The Happy Arrivals

I just couldn't wait any longer. I got the cats fed and/or pilled. Got myself dressed. I double checked I had everything, then left the house at 8AM knowing full well I'd arrive at the PETS Transport drop off location in Danbury 30 minutes early. I needed to get my hands on Noelle and Amelia. I wanted them off that big truck and into a warm, quiet car...really, into my lap. I've seen only a few photos of the girls and heard stories about them, but today, Connie and I were finally going to meet them. It's been so long since I felt the joy of rescuing a cat. I really have missed it.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Look familiar? Yep! Transport day is here!

There were only a few cars in the parking lot when I arrived. The car next to me, a subaru from NY had a couple in it holding a small beagle. I thought how nice it was that this dog was getting a new buddy today and how much things would change for that dog-hopefully for the better.

I listened to the radio, which in my car is rather daunting since the reception isn't so great. I heard about a new book that sounded interesting, but already forgot the title. I was just too excited. I kept scanning the parking lot for the truck and for Connie's car.

I watched Connie's SUV pull into the parking lot. I watched her navigate past some geese who were waddling around in the the parking lot. As Connie got closer, I waved at her. She saw me and I could see her jumping up and down in her seat! It was a hilarious sight. Connie is the perkiest person I have ever met. Her energy and good cheer is contagious and it made me feel even more excited.

There was already a truck form PETS in the lot, but I checked with them and they said the cats were on the next transport to arrive (any minute). I tried to stop Connie from getting out of the car, into the cold rain, but the second she parked, she was out of the car, ready to RUN over to the truck. I got things sorted out with her and we both sat in her car while we continued to wait.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. One of Kyle's team brings out someone's new dog.

The transport was right on time and as it pulled up, Connie said she was going to start crying (again!), just like last time. Seeing people meet their new pet for the first time is very moving. I think the lousy weather and the fact there weren't many people to pick up animals made it less emotional for us. I saw Kyle Petersen, the owner of PETS and the guy you see featured on Animal Planet's “Last Chance Highway,” get out of the truck. I met Kyle at a Conference a few years ago and we had a good chat about moving cats north. He's a really sweet man. We said hello and I told him to watch the weather. Bad storms are due this afternoon and he said he'd keep safe. Since we were second in line we didn't have to wait long for the girls. As usual, they were the ONLY cats on the transport. It's always full of dogs, but cats are rarely moved. Yes, there's a big whoopdeedo about bringing cats anywhere since there's an overpopulation problem for cats nationwide.

In the northeast, we don't have a problem with dogs, so it's “ok” to move them without hearing a peep from local rescuers, though some say the pit bulls, which are often sitting in local shelters, get overlooked because folks can get a Lab or a Golden from the south. Honestly, I have gotten the most lovely, friendly and even stunning cats from the south and the odds are far greater they will be euthanized and have less chance to find a home than cats up here. Of course, if I had the space or foster homes, I'd rescue local cats, too. The best I can do right now is help network local rescue groups with folks here who need help with their cats.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Kyle and our first look at Noelle.

Kyle lifted Noelle out of the carrier to put her into our carrier. She looked scared, but we only saw her for a second. Another moment later, Kyle had Amelia in his hands. Connie and I were vibrating, we were so anxious to get the cats. Kyle handed me the paperwork and Connie took the carrier. We got into Connie's car. Noelle was meowing, not really crying. I carefully lifted Amelia out and gave her to Connie and I took Noelle.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Hi Amelia!

Both cats were frightened, so we just held them and petted them and let them settle down. Suddenly we were in no hurry to go anywhere or do anything. We just wanted the girls to relax and we wanted a chance to get to know them a bit before Connie took them to Animals in Distress's shelter in Wilton.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Amelia is a show-stopper, she's so gorgeous.

We held them for a long time before I even tried to take a photo. It was lovely to see them. Amelia is stunning. Her eyes are bright green and many of her toes are white on a black paw. She seemed interested in all that was around her and after a few minutes began to settle down. Of course Connie and I decided we wanted to take the cats home with us, but we knew we tormented ourselves knowing we couldn't.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. White toes! Hee hee.

I noticed the people who were in the car with the dog were back, but the car was empty. Then I realized it was because they gave the dog BACK to be transported back south. Connie and I were heartbroken. I think Connie wanted to get out of the car and smack those people. It was very weird because they drove a little way, then stopped suddenly just in front of the transport. I said I thought maybe they were reconsidering. They sat there for a few minutes. The transport started to leave and they followed it out onto the main road. It was very sad. I hope that dog will be all right.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Amelia sees the geese in the parking lot.

Noelle was finally settling down. I wanted to get some photos, so I put Amelia into the crate and gave Noelle to Connie. Noelle started to call out to Amelia and turned to look for her. She clearly did not want to be away from Amelia-even for a moment.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

Maria had warned me that Noelle had bonded very strongly to Amelia. It was clear she was okay with us, but she needed to be close to her surrogate mother. I took a few quick photos, then offered Noelle some food. She ate a bit, but when she heard Amelia eating in the carrier in the back seat, she got very squirmy. I took the hint and put both cats with their food, together.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Noelle was a bit nervous but didn't mind being held at all.

The next thing I saw shocked me. Amelia was eating. Noelle was at the back of the carrier, afraid. Then she came over to Amelia. She didn't walk under Amelia, rather Amelia put her front leg over Noelle, as if to protect her. Noelle felt safe enough to eat some food

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Amelia protects her little ward, Noelle.

I grabbed a few clumsy photos. If you look carefully, you can see Amelia's leg over Noelle. Noelle ate like that for a few moments, then they ate peacefully side by side. I said to Connie that we've got to adopt those two cats out together. She agreed. What a pair they are! The love they obviously have for each other is deeply touching. Of course it will make them harder to adopt. Connie is determined to see they stay together.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson.

Even though we had two carriers, we left the girls together in just one so they could snuggle up on the last leg of their journey. It'll be a bumpy few days as they get used to their new living situation, but I have a feeling that they won't be at the shelter for long, anyway. These lovely ladies had us both smitten. I'm sure there's a family out there who will feel the same as we do.

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©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. I just LOVE Noelle's sweet face.

I was very happy to meet the girls. I had a good time talking to Connie. I hated to see them all leave for the shelter. My joy lasted until I walked in the front door of my home, had a huge fight with Sam, then he left for New York City, to visit his Mother in the hospital. Tomorrow it will be two weeks since she was admitted. It's unlikely she'll be going home any time soon.

Meanwhile, I'm left to wonder if Sam will be coming home any time soon, as well.

Foster Cat Journal: Here's the Poop.

I had every intention of taking the kittens to the Vet, mostly so that Dr. M could compare them to tiny Cinnamon, but not do anything else with them, since they seem to be fine. Cin was the one whose eye bothered her and who is skin-and-bones skinny. Just having the Vet look at one kitten could not cost much. Of course, that was not to be.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Waiting to see Dr. M. while Dr. Larry lollygags in ITALY.

The kittens were a definite hit with everyone at the newly-almost-done-with-remodling Maple Ridge Animal Clinic. I was sad that Dr. Larry didn't decide to scrub his family trip to ITALY, just to take care of my kittens, but I'll have to get over that.

These kits are delightful. After the initial “ooo-ing” and “ahh-ing” was over, Miss Amber brought us into the exam room, put the carrier onto the floor and opened the door. One by one each kitten shot out of their confines and began to race and sniff around the room. Cin ran to the back of one of the exam tables, into a TINY space where she was able to collect a bit of fuzz and give us a good scare. If she had been timid, I doubt we would have been able to get her out of that space! A moment later she was bored with her confines and jumped out and continued to run around with the others.

©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Super Deb giving Sugar Pie a lift, while trying not to fall in love with her.

Miss Amber began to weigh the cats. Cin is up to 1 lb 2oz, which is up from being less than a pound a week ago, but still about 6 ozs less than her SISTERS..and yes it is confirmed, I have a GIRL CLUB!

Weighing the cats was a good indicator of age, which is at about 6 weeks. I began to feel some dread as each cat had their temp taken and we discussed what should be done for the kittens. That's when I realized this simple visit was going to cost some bucks. Ugh. Then, Dr. M. came into the room and started to talk about testing, more shots, more meds...ho we go...and I don't get a discounted rate, (because I haven't asked and because I'm not a Non-Profit just yet and because I'm scared to ask, so I have to feel the situation out when Dr. Larry gets back from his trip) so this is going to hurt.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Yodel and Sugar Pie enjoy running around while their sisters get weighed.

Cinnamon's temp was a bit low, but not dangerously so. The stool samples came back. One tested negative for anything and one Elisa tested positive for Giardia. Dr. M wants me to treat all the kittens for about a week and said that this may be why ALL of them feel very boney. What is weird is they don't have the runs! For such little kittens they have really nice stool. Nice size and shape. Not mushy or even that smelly. Maria and I have been giving the kittens Bene-Bac, which may be keeping their digestive tract in better condition? One thing's for certain, the cats LOVE IT, so getting them to eat it is not a problem. And yes, if you foster cats, you need to know about the beauty of a nice stool. Many kittens have lots of intestinal parasites. Add to that, transitioning from their mama's milk over to cat food and odds are you'll be seeing mooshy poop-and with kittens that can be a dangerous thing if it doesn't resolve.

The other thing I learned was that because I wasn't sure how old the kittens were when they were pulled out of Henry County, I opted to let the vet in GA decide if they should be started on FVRCP shots. Well, that was a waste of time because they were too young. Now we have to start the series all over again. So each kitten got a shot, which really hurt poor Cin. and which didn't bother Sugar Pie a bit. The shots will be repeated again in 4 weeks and 4 weeks after that. They also should be re-snap tested for FIV and Feline Leukemia because they were too young to have an accurate result, as well. Great! So I just wasted a bunch of money on Vet stuff in GA. Live and learn. I hope learn...oy veh.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Sugar and Honey B. completely dwarfed by the chair.

Cinnamon's eye was definitely irritated. Was it due to a trauma or the beginning of the dreaded URI beginning to take hold? Whatever it is, she's being treated with antibiotic eye drops to see if we can get her feeling better.

We talked about diet and I'm going to add Nutri-cal to their food for awhile, along with my own idea of adding some plain chicken baby food into their grain free canned. They're also getting some KMR since they're still a bit on the young side. Basically, I give them whatever I've got.

You can say the same thing about the Vet bill...I gave them everything I've got, too. I have sooo got to find a Vet who will work with me and who I like and and and...but I first need to get my papers filed so I'm a proper Non-Profit! I've retained a great Lawyer and am looking forward getting this done, though let's not talk about money, because legal fees and filing fees make the Vet bill look quite tame.

Deep breath. It's going to be fine. It will work out. You won't lose your house and be forced to live in a cardboard box. You won't. Maybe a small shed? Like that guy on “Confessions of an Animal Hoarder?” I have to stop watching that show...more on that next...

Foster Cat Journal: It's Going to be Fine, Right?

I got up at 6AM yesterday. The fear that Moonpie was sick and in the same room with the tiny kittens gave me a gut ache. So I got up and did what I really didn't want to do. I moved Moonie and Pattycake into the bathroom, the only other spare room I can keep foster cats.

Moonie and Patty are BIG four month old kittens. They have lots of energy and enthusiasm. I hated to put them in a small room, but I made sure they have lots of soft places to rest and some space to bounce off the walls-which from time to time, sounds like what they're doing.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Moonpie, ever the clown, reacts to my singing!

They don't seem to mind. Moonpie's runny eye has cleared up and though he sneezes, it seems to be dry and a rare event. His appetite is great and he seems to be doing just fine. That said, I'm not moving him back to the room with the kittens any time soon. He is just too big and they are just too small.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Pattycake.

Last night I sat with the two cowbabies and Patty climbed into my lap. She definitely is a serious lap cat. She didn't move, just rested her head on my leg and relaxed. Moonpie ran around and BIT my iPhone! I moved it 5 or 6 times and he would find it and bite it again. He put claw marks through the clear protective screen gel!

When he wasn't being a nutcase, he was standing on the edge of the bathtub, rubbing his head on me. He jumped down and tried to get into my lap so I picked him up and held him while Patty stayed in my lap.

©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Moonpie, taking a time out from sharpening his claws.

Yeah, these two are friendly cats. No question. They are also a handful! I think they should be adopted together. Patty has a serene quality about her and Moonpie is a goofhead, but an affectionate goofhead.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Sugar Pie (left), Yodel (rear), Cinnamon (front), Honey B. (facing away from the camera).

The tiny kittens. Well, they are just the cutest things ever. Sugar Pie has a nickname-“Mini-Spencer.” Her markings are very similar to Spencer's and it looks like she will be just as fluffy! Her top coat is sparse and very long. I wonder what she'll look like when she grows up? As if I even have to wonder!

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Honey B. with Cinnamon.

Honey B. isn't as outgoing as Sugar Pie, but with more handling, I know she'll come around. She purrs easily and enjoys running around the room, chasing after her sisters. She's very pretty and has very nice markings.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Honey B. demonstrating Kung Fu Fighting. She's got skillz!

Cinnamon. Who wouldn't love this little “owlette?” She's sweet as can be, but far too tiny. She's skin and bones, but her appetite is great. Her siblings are far larger than she is, so I find myself very protective of her. I wonder if she has tapeworm on board-which would answer why she is so small and hungry. The de-wormers we use wouldn't kill that parasite.

Sadly, this afternoon, I went to feed the kittens and Cinnamon was a bit “off.” Her left eye was slightly closed and it appeared she was swallowing hard-maybe post nasal drip? She's not sneezing. Has no discharge. Her energy level isn't great. I gave her some L Lysine and I called the Vet. Dr. Larry is in ITALY, so we are seeing his partner, Dr. M. in the morning. Hopefully, it's nothing serious, but with a kitten this size, everything is serious.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Yodel sees his reflection.

Yodel. Another sweet kitten. Yodel has a goofy face and could be a miniature version of Moonpie, but with long fur. Yodel stayed more in the background, but would let me pet her and would give me a nice purr. This morning she was more outgoing and really enjoyed playing with the cardboard scratching pad and climbing the cat tree.

There really is no problem child in this group. They are all simply marvelous and I treasure each one.

If I could only relax. I'm very worried about Cinnamon. She is too little to have health problems.

Update: Just before posting this I checked on Cinnamon. Her eyes were open, tail up, she was running around, playing. She ate well and seems to be doing better-but she is STILL going to the Vet tomorrow just in case.

Foster Cat Journal: Full Hearts & Empty Bladder

I got up early to try to trap Buddy, my injured feral cat. No luck. If I could only tell him what was going on, I'm sure he'd cooperate. I keep hoping I'll see him and he'll have miraculously stopped limping, but that is not the case. I didn't even see him yesterday.

While I waited to hear the trap “clunk” shut, I packed up a small bag of cat food, dishes, cleaning supplies and water for my trip to New Jersey where I was going to rendezvous with Mark. It was fortuitous that Mark had to drive from his home in PA to NJ for work reasons, so it saved me an extra six hours of driving-for which I was very grateful. Meanwhile, Sam was still in NYC with his Mother, waiting for her paperwork to be finalized so she could be discharged from the hospital. This meant I couldn't borrow his sport wagon sized car and was stuck with my coupe. I emptied out my car and did some quick calculations. If the crates weren't too big, they'd all just fit. I had plans to take Connie with me, Bobbi's foster mom, so I had to account for her in the car, too. Maybe if we only breathed in, we'd be able to fit?

Finally around 2pm, I got the call. Time to head out to meet Mark! We'd leave in an hour. I was glad that Connie could come with me. She's very perky and can chat like there's no tomorrow. I love it! I told her I figured the time would fly if we talked on the trip. If we didn't hit so much traffic, it would have been a breeze. It wasn't terrible, but I sure was in a hurry to get to those kittens.

I was nursing a headache and was very tired from not getting much sleep these past few weeks. I decided to have some iced tea and some water, thinking I was dehydrated. It was a good idea until I got on the road.

My headache faded, but my bladder was getting full. I stopped at a rest area about an hour into our two hour drive. The line was so LONG at the Ladies Room, I gave up and went back to the car. I figured I could do my “thing” at the hotel.

My phone rang at about 5:03pm. It was Mark. He said he was just about to pull into the hotel parking lot. We were about a minute away, ourselves. Connie and I both thought that our timing could not have been better and that surely this was a sign that we were doing the right thing (as if we needed a sign!).

I pulled into the lot and Connie offered to wait for Mark, while I went in search of a bathroom. I briskly walked into the hotel, trying to blend in, so they wouldn't notice that I wasn't a guest. The place was a tomb. Silent. Empty. Great! I found a directory and quickly walked to the bathroom, my bladder throbbing with anticipation.

I saw the sign for the bathroom, the door was open and there were bands of wide yellow tape across the door with “Do Not Enter Cleaning in Progress” printed on it. I stopped cold in my tracks. I looked into the bathroom. A man was wiping off a sink. He turned and looked at me, then went back to slowly cleaning the sink. I whimpered, but he ignored me. I went back to the directory. No sign of a second bathroom that wasn't in a guest room. I was doomed!

So I went back to the car and waited for Mark to arrive.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. At last! Our first glimpse of Bobbi.

I'd planned to take a lot of photos as Mark pulled up, detailing every second of unloading the car and loading mine up, but it was hot and humid. The cats had already been in the car for over 3 hours and would have another 2 in the car with me and Connie. For their sake I just wanted to load and go.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Moonpie and Pattycake.

I said Hello to the kitties and took a quick look at them. Moonpie's eye had a big green mucus goop on it. Oh great! This is just great. We had to transfer the four smallest kittens into my carrier. I wanted to do it inside the car, but Mark insisted that the kittens were too small to run off. I was reluctant, but we did the transfer quickly, from one crate to another, across the parking lot. Once I saw how TINY the kittens were, I realized he was right.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobbi's ready to rock.

We got everyone settled. Connie insisted on holding Bobbi on her lap all the way home, so there was more than enough room for the other carriers to fit on the back seat. Bobbi cried and fussed so Connie opened the top of her carrier and she popped right out and took a look around. Connie started to coo and marvel about Bobbi, petting her and scratching her. Bobbi sat down as she was being scratched and started to jerk her back leg, as Connie found the good itchy spots around Bobbi's neck. Connie was saying how she'd love to keep Bobbi, so I yelled at her (okay, strongly reminded) that “if she keeps Bobbi then she can't foster more cats.” Connie reluctantly agreed, but we'll see if she can stop from adopting Bobbi after the week is over.

As I raced us back to CT, we'd hear an occasional sneeze from the back seat. I really started to stress out and had a nice flashback of last December when I picked up 9 kittens, some deathly ill, off a transport-followed by 4 MONTHS of sick cats. Connie and I tried to brush it off-the climate was different here than Georgia. The allergens were different. Moonpie's sneezes were just allergies or even if he was sick, it was probably not bad and would be better with some rest.

I knew all the cats had been exposed to each other so it was too late. We'd just have to wait and see how it goes. I didn't want to pit stop for my poor bladder. Those cats needed to be out of the car, quick, so I focused on getting us home.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Yodel just out of the cat carrier.

We arrived just before 7:30pm. I dropped Connie and Bobbie off. I almost shoved them out of the car. I was beginning to worry that the kittens really needed to get some food as soon as possible and wanted to be on my way. I think Connie was anxious to have some snuggle time with Bobbi, so she was out the door and moments later I was home since we only live about 1 1/2 miles apart.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Cinnamon enjoys dinner.

I got home. Sam was there, after his adventure caring for his Mother, so he helped me load the kitties into the foster room. I had a big dog crate set up for Moonpie and Pattycake. I thought that it would force them to rest and maybe keep the sneezes to their area, not all over the room. Silly me.

I let the kittens out and as they explored their new home, I quickly opened up a few cans of cat food. I put the plates down on the floor and without hesitation ALL six cats were eating hungrily and enjoying sips of water.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Cin is TINY! What a goofy little cutie. She's a sweetie, too.

I started to relax. Eating is a good sign. Little Yodel's back legs were a bit wobbly, which gave me some concern. I figured he was sitting a lot in transport, plus his blood sugar was probably down. In time he should be fine.

I ended up putting down extra food because the kitties were so hungry. I was glad to see them eat so well and hoped that trend would continue.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Sugar Pie. Ryan and I call her “Mini-Spencer.” I'm already madly in love with her. Uh oh! She's a real love-muffin.

Then I remembered I needed to do something for myself, so I welcomed the kitties to Connecticut and left the them to their kitten food. At last, we were all getting what we needed.

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©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Yodel is sweet ,too and what a goofy face!

I didn't want to do to much with the cats last night, so I had a few short visits. Ryan came over and met them-he approved-and I gave each kitten some loving and pets before leaving them to rest up.

So far, so good. They made it here-all of them. Now I wait and see how this will play out. My very first Kitten Associates fosters! I hope to, one day, remember them as my first, not the first batch of sick cats that broke the bank!

Not on My Watch: The Calm Before the...Too Late!

Quarantine is over (even had an extra week). Little Cinnamon got her Health Certificate today! She's safe to travel with Izzy and Mark and the gang! I'm so excited, of course, nervous, too. It's been a very long time since I've had fosters and my first time finding homes for them on my own.

It was touch and go on whether Cin could make the transport. There was also concern that Pattycake was shy a kidney, which would effect her ability to be adopted. Happily for her, Pattycake got a CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH after her ultrasound. She has two normal sized kidneys and her bladder is fine-everything looks good.

These were the last two hurdles. I wasn't sure we would make it, but we did. Now we just have to wait. Tomorrow morning, Izzy & Mark will pick up the gang, then make their way back north. I'm VERY glad the weather here is cool and dry. It will certainly make the traveling easier once they get out of the South.

©2010 Maria S. Cinnamon waits for her Vet appointment.

Of course my next concern is if the kitties will stay healthy once they arrive. Please no URIs! I've asked before. I will ask again! Since Izzy and Mark are super cat people, I know they'll be keeping a close eye on the cats. It's like playing a game of “hot potato.” Move the cats as fast and safely as possible before they get sick, then get them into a nice quiet room to rest and recover.

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©2010 Maria S.----Honey B. No, they don't get any cuter than this!

It wasn't all smooth sailing. There was some troubling news today, too. I got a call this afternoon from Sam's daughter, who lives in NYC. She got a message from Medic Alert that Sam's Mother had put in a call for help. I can't go into specifics, but she is in the hospital now. Sam and his daughter are with her. I stayed behind to take care of our cats since we don't know how long she'll be in the hospital. We hope that after all the tests are done, his Mama can go home. If not, Sam will stay there until we can work things out. I'm trying not to think about the arriving cats, during such a stressful time, but I still have to finish preparing for their arrival.

Also, on top of barely any sleep for either of us, we were up at 6AM trying to trap one of our feral cats-Buddy. Buddy has been around for years, but lately he's been seen limping. We're very concerned for his safety and need to get him trapped and to the Vet. Of course he's a smart cat, so we didn't trap him today. Now we have to wait to try again on Monday.

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©2010 Maria S.----Yodel. Yes, they CAN get any cuter!

Our dear friend and new foster, Connie, may have lost her kitty: Lion King. He looks a lot like my boy, Bob. Lion King has to be an outdoor cat, even though Connie wishes she could lock him down inside. I just met him two days ago. Connie hasn't seen him in over a day and it's not like him to be absent. I hope my good luck finding cats hasn't turned into making cats get lost!

I'm still struggling with an outbreak of Feline Acne. Nora and Nicky are eh, okay, but Spencer is getting worse even though I've been treating him every day. I'm going to run him to visit Dr. Larry and Super Deb tomorrow. He will be an unhappy cat, but I gotta get him some help. I know he must be uncomfortable.

There's lots to do to get the kittens adopted, too. I got my Petfinder account approved, which is a huge milestone for me. I know you can look for coincidences anywhere if you try hard enough, but I have to admit that my shelter code is also my birthday. It feels like a cosmic sign of good luck some how! Every shelter gets a state code and a number. Mine is CT 431. My birthday is 4/3 ___1 Hee hee! The page has to be filled out and I have to get my web site up and running so I can have adoption forms available and it all has to happen quickly! Even though many of the kittens are too small to be adopted, I want to post them on PF so I can begin screening potential adopters.

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©2010 Maria S.---Sugar Pie. Too much cute to look at!

In some ways, this is the calm before the storm. If all I have to do is find homes and keep the kittens socialized and fed, I'm golden.

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©2010 Maria S.----Cinnamon and Moonpie get ready to go on their big trip.

Of course things never go as planned. I'm just wondering what I'll think when I look back on these first days. For now, I'll try to be positive. Sam's Mother will be all right (knock wood), we will trap Buddy and get him to the Vet (knocking again), the kittens and Bobbi will arrive safely and in good health and stay that way (knock, knock, knock), poor Connie will find her dear cat, Lion King! (super knock wood) and Spencer will get some medicine for his hard-to-get-rid-of feline acne (kkkkknock!).

And oh yeah, I need a cookie. Maybe one with vodka flavored chocolate chips.


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