You are here


Foster Cat Journal: A Very Fond Farewell Part 2 of 2

Nappy Time sm.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Remember when...the first foster kittens of Kitten Associates arrived in early August. From left to right: Sugar Pie, Cinnamon (front), Yodel (rear), Honey B.

Yodel got to me. I admit it. Being here for three months didn't make it any easier. She wasn't getting any applications-even bad ones. I started to wonder if I'd ever find her a home. As things go with adoptions, out of the blue, I got a promising application at last. A woman contacted me. She was, at first, interested in Honey B. Frankly, everyone has been. Her husband had eyes for Yodel. They decided they'd like to come over and see them both...see how it went. Their Vet reference was great. They let their cats outside, though. We talked about that and it was almost a deal-breaker, but after talking for awhile, the woman realized that one of her 3 cats did not like to go outside. Yodel or Honey B. could stay inside, too and keep her company. We talked further and gee, she's the Fire Marshall of a nearby town. I really felt like not only did I trust her, but I really liked her. She assured me if she adopted a kitten from me it would NOT go outdoors.

Yodel and the Kong.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Yodel loved the Kong Kickaroo.

We discussed everything else like what to feed the kitten, no declawing, etc. All worked out well. On Friday, she and her very-nice-fireman-of-the-Year-Husband came over. I had Honey and Yodel in my bedroom so they'd be more relaxed and not be bothered by the other cats.

It was mid-afternoon and both kittens were sleepy. They looked up at the couple, then basically nodded off! I could see it in their eyes they loved both kittens, but I knew they only could take one. It didn't take long for them to feel that Yodel was the kitten for them.

Yodie copy.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. My little sweetie.

We filled out the paperwork. I asked them about fire extinguishers and they told me lots of helpful information-like make sure you have an ABC rated extinguisher-which we have on each floor, but they have to be replaced every few years. So we need to do that. They were just really nice, salt-of-the-Earth people. I felt very comfortable letting them take Yodel and in fact, I didn't even cry as she left.

I felt the all too familiar big lump in my throat as I saw her face peek up over the vents in the cat carrier as she was being taken to the couple's car, but I pushed it back down. It was time for Yodel to move on. It had been for a long time. It was only selfish of me to keep her here and now she'd enjoy the company of a few other cats, as well as a Bichon. I was down a kitten, that left me with 15 cats. A start...

B is for Beautiful.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. The always lovely, Honey B.

On Saturday, as you know, The Halloween Express was adopted. An hour later, another couple came over. They had eyes for Honey B. and no other cat. Their Vet reference was glowing. They answered all the right questions. In person they were a bit odd. They both bickered, but when I asked if i needed to break it up, they said that's how they talk and they were just kidding. It's tough to feel people out. I think it's natural to be judgemental, but I reminded myself that I have to be more open-minded. These people had had cats their entire life. They adored their cats and put them as a top priority. They were VERY gentle and easy with Honey, who, a true calico, was a bit wary of the new people. She began to warm up to them and it was clear that they were smitten with this kitten.

A few zzzs copy.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Nap time.

After two other almost-adoptions fell through and countless rejected applications, Honey, who should have been adopted over two months ago, finally got her home. The couple drove over an hour to meet her and said they would drive to the ends of the Earth, if that's what it took. The rest is history...the last of my very first litter of Kitten Associates rescued kittens was gone...just THREE MONTHS after they arrived.

yodel and honey_sm.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Farewell baby-girls. I will miss you very much.

So now we are at just ten cats-from sixteen just hours ago. The unbelievable flood of urine from my own cats has been almost too much to endure. I've done so much to try to calm them down, clean it up, do things to help them cope, but the only thing I really could do, is get the extra cats out of the house. In all honesty, I have been so stressed by the fights and the peeing that I have begun to unravel. Between every day stresses, the cats, the lack of work, the finding work, the blah blah blah, I realized my temper has been whittled down to the quick and I admitted to Sam last night that I am to the point of being afraid of what I might do if things don't improve. I was thinking about going on meds for awhile. Me being upset isn't going to help things in the house, but me being out-of-control and losing my temper is very dangerous. I've never been an easy-going person, at least to the degree I'd like. Even with all the training I've had-learning meditation, taking refuge as a Buddhist-it's a wonderful's vital for helping me do as well as I have,'s been a long, stressful few months with barely a break of any sort. I'm not getting burned out, but I admit to feeling a great sense of defeat.

blitz.cow kits.honey.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. No room at the Inn.

This morning was the worst. At 6:45am, Bob yeowled. It usually means he wants to be fed NOW. I can't feed him or else I'm training him that his effort worked and he'll do it again. So I went back to bed. Then, he picked a fight with poor Petunia, so I got up. It wasn't enough, so he came upstairs and peed all over. I started cleaning, then Bob puked some foam. Okay...feed him. He wins. While I was cleaning up, I saw Blitzen sniff the wall where Bob had just been. He lifted his tail and was about to pee, too. I almost died. Not Blitzen. Not him, too. I stopped him before he could do anything, but I found pee in 4 places-which is 4 more than usual.

I went into the foster room. It stunk. One of the kittens vomited on the bed (this is after I had just replaced the sheets a few hours before). Then when I grabbed the bag to scoop the litter pan into, the bag was covered with pee, too and it got all over me. I honestly don't know how I didn't have a break down right then and there.

A few hours later, I went to take a shower. The bathroom really stank of pee. I looked all over. Couldn't find it. I found it when I got out of the shower. It was on the bathmat the whole time. I didn't even realize it and Sam had missed it after his shower.

You better know that I must LOVE cats a lot to put up with this and hey, the cats are all still alive (so far!).

I've lost the ability to find humor in this. There is none. This is plain tough, heartbreaking and difficult. Sam and I have some sort of unspoken pact. We get mad at the cats, but not at each other. At least we seem to do ok and Sam is quick to comfort me-even though I can't even relax when he hugs me any more.

Looking out the window.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Moonpie and Patty. Still waiting to find their forever home.

Today most of the load is off my shoulders. I MUST get Patty and Moonie a home. They are probably the main cause of problems, but hopefully, now that the others are in their new homes, I'll see some positive changes. Already I haven't heard any fighting. The cats are all napping and relaxed. I have to hope that now I can regroup, clean the rooms up and take a break.

mama and kits.jpg
©2010 Maria Sandoval. The next fosters. Sweet Mama and her three babies. We need some names for them! Just not “Santa's Team II”!

It's been a long road, but I'm here for the long haul. I've got more babies coming this way, but I have another month before they arrive. I've learned some things-maybe I need to learn about pharmaceuticals next? I really don't know, but I need to find a way. There are many more cats that need help. I can't give up for their sake.

I Squoosh Yer Flowerz & I Lyket It!

I satted in yer flowerz_sm.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Blitzen. Bad boy!

Apparently Blitzen decided there weren't enough cushions on the deck to rest upon, so he decided to flatten my Dianthus!

Profile in flower bed_sm.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson.

What you can't see here is that this flower box is hanging off the side of the deck. The deck is almost 17 FEET off the ground. Needless to say, although this was pretty funny upon first glance, as soon as I could snap a few quick photos, this boy was outta that box!

Bed of Flowers sm.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson.

I know he's mocking me! He dares me to disturb his super cuteness, but I will not be thwarted! (ooo! I never thought I'd use “thwart” in a blog post!)!

nappy time_sm.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson.

Although my flowers aren't in the best shape, at least Blitz is safely asleep on the cat bed next to my desk. Sweet dreams, you little _____!

Foster Cat Journal: Pissed

Things are unsettled here. My cats are literally pissed (as in pissed on the floor in four places in the past two days) that I have foster cats. I let Moonpie and Pattycake out of their small bathroom, to have a break and run around in my bedroom. The next morning, the peeing started. Luckily, it was not on the bed or the carpet-just on the hardwood or tile floor. I only stepped in ONE of the puddles (barefoot, of course).

I'm trying to make sure I spend time with my cats, but it's not as much as before. Add to that the “adults” in the house are not getting along, which creates even more reason for the cats to be off their food, not want to snuggle and generally be unhappy. Even Blitzen, who is not my little boy any more now that he weighs 8.5 lbs, has become withdrawn. He knows there are kittens in HIS old room. He sits outside the door when I'm with the kittens and some times he cries and other times he slips his paws under the door to coax the kittens to come play with him. I won't take the risk of mixing the kittens with my own cats, but that means there is less of me to go around.

cat bed near my desk_sm.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. If he can't sleep on my lap, Blitz sleeps right next to me while I write.

I'm sure anyone who has kids and anyone who does rescue faces this challenge-how DO you spend enough time with everyone so that they all get what they need and YOU still have time to give yourself what YOU need? I have to face it. Corners are getting cut. Everyone makes due with less. For me, it's not an 18 year commitment for the foster cats (I hope!), so, in time they will find their homes and things will go back to normal...until I do this again.

kiss for sugie_r.olson_sm.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. A kiss for Sugar Pie, (Cinnamon at front of photo)

It's not fair to quantify how much love and care a cat needs, but I seem to be doing that. I know my cats are already grown. They get clean water, fresh food, lots of toys and places to nap. The fosters need to be friendly and outgoing. I have to spend time with them so they'll become affectionate towards humans. If I don't do the time, it will hurt their future.

Cinnie Nap.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Cinnamon Naps. And yes, she IS getting bigger, believe it or not!

And really...can you say NO to these faces? If I could, I would probably spend ALL day with them! Each one has stolen my heart. What a special group of kittens. They all have the best litter box manners. They eat well. They like to play and are quick to purr.

sugie honey_sm.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Sugar Pie & Honey B.

As for the humans, we're pissed, too. We don't (want to?) spend time together, but at least we have more subtle ways of letting everyone know we're not happy. I'd hate to step in a puddle of anything Sam could dish out.

Author's Note: As I was finishing this post, Blitzen jumped into my lap. Instead of pouring him onto the floor, I gave him a super-good snuggle. He's draped over my shoulder right now, purring his little butt off.

on my lap_sm.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Blitzen gives me the look that reminds me to stop what I'm doing and give him some love, so off I go.

The Best Seat in the House is On Me, So to Speak.

robin and blitz.jpg

If anyone wants to know why my back hurts and I can't get my work done, here's one of my many excuses. (see above)

Yes, this is me, in my office and behind me is BLITZEN, where he's decided he would rather sit even though there are SIX cat beds and a big windowsill in my TINY OFFICE for him to enjoy! No. He needs to perch on the back of my chair and lean on me.

Make Yourself at Home. Really.

sleeping on pad of paper_Sm.jpg

©2010 Robin AF Olson. Blitzen cleverly finds a new place to nap. Right next to my office chair.

I had a pad of drawing paper sitting on a box near my desk. Of course this is Blitzen's new favorite place to nap. The problem I have with it is while I'm writing, he'll sneak his paw out and tap me on the arm or push against my leg, then next thing I know he's sitting on my lap!

sleeping on pad of paper2_sm.jpg
©2010 Robin AF Olson. Blitzen appears to be asleep, but he's a trickster. In a second he will reach out his paw and start to tap me while I'm trying to work.

I keep moving him back to the pad, but he won't sit still for too long. I finally broke down and got a cat bed to stack on to of the box and the pad of paper. This, of course, has encouraged him to start walking on my desk and keyboard qp5390uq345;la320$$@q40u9!

See what I mean?!

Silly Saturday

Silly Saturday_sm.jpg

©2010 Robin A.F. Olson

Before I found the big barf to clean up or even made it out of bed, this was the first thing I saw this morning; Nicky and Blitzen, snuggled together. Nicky weighs 19 lbs and is one of the biggest cats I have ever seen. At 8 months, little Blitzen looks like he's got a long way to go before he'll be as big as his new “brother.”

Looks like Blitzen has learned how to fit in quite well.

But really. We need a bigger bed. Sam's legs are behind Blitzen and Sam is almost hanging off the mattress! Oops.

Happy Caturday!

When The Bells Tolls For Thee

I'm not getting any younger. That's for sure. Every day new aches pop up and the type on cat food can labels looks like a secret code only a mouse could read. I don't have children (other than furry ones) and my family is sparse, mostly non-cat people (how that happened, I don't know) or I hate their guts (oops).

That leaves me with a predicament.

Who will care for my cats after I die? Sam and I are together so often that we could die together in an accident. What then? What if Sam dies first, then I die?

©2009 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob has already had two families that I know of. Will he have another one day?

I have a Will. In it, I dictated that the Director of the group I'm with should find homes for my cats. I have come to realize that that choice is not a good one any longer. I would rather know the homes my cats are going to now, if, at all possible. Just as people do with children, I would like to choose “Godparents” for my cats.

Am I being morbid? NO. I'm being realistic. Shit happens even when you're 18 or 32. I'm pushing the big 5-0. I've been lucky so far, but one day the luck will run out.

Cricket sleeping.jpg
©2008 Robin A.F. Olson. Cricket sleeps. My former feral is mostly too shy around anyone but us. What will become of him? He's a really sweet boy. He would not make it in a shelter.

I started to imagine putting just one person in charge of all the cats. They would get my house, most of my stuff, but would have to live here until all the cats pass away (naturally!), then they can do what they want with the stuff. But that's a lot to ask.

The other problem is that the people who would give my cats the best home, already HAVE, in most cases, quite a few cats, already. Asking them to take 8 more is too much. Perhaps, asking them to take one or two is possible?

I don't have to have it all sorted out in a day (I hope), but I dipped my toe into the water to see how it would feel. I asked someone to take Bob Dole, should he outlive me.

I asked, Super-Deb.

Mr Handful.jpg

©2009 Robin A.F. Olson. Spencer. The pouffy cat with his own fan club. Spencer is my beloved, but he wouldn't be an easy fit into just any home. He must have play time or he can be bossy with other cats. He's an alpha-boy, too and does not like belly rubs or to be picked up. That said, he loves to be near me at all times and he's “my boy.”

I love Super-Deb, but who wouldn't love someone who is super? Even though I've known SD for many years, I don't know her very well. She is a private person, with me, but I get the feeling she's shared things with me that maybe not many other people know. She may seem to be a bit guarded, but it doesn't take long for her to reveal a wicked dry sense of humor. Her devotion to her own animals and her loving care of them is a beautiful sight to behold. She really knows her stuff and has been a mentor to me during so many crises and a calming voice during the worst of it.

Sleepy Tunie.jpg
©2009 Robin A.F. Olson. Petunia or “'Tunie” as I call her. She should be called; “Princess.” She's clever, chats with me and can do tricks, but she is high strung-no wonder, she's one of the lowest cats and I know the boys pick on her some times. She would be great in a home with no other cats other than her mama, Gracie. I know she would blossom.

She's jokingly called “Aunt Debbie” when Bob goes to Dr. Larry's. Bob loves her and vice versa. He will let her brush him and he won't let me do as much. I only want Bob to visit Dr. Larry when Aunt Debbie is there to oversee his care. It's a perfect fit for SD to take Bob.

©2009 Robin A.F. Olson. I should re-name this cat, “Poor-Gracie.” for she is not in good shape. I'll write more about her, separately, but she's had a very long road with a skin ailment that's taken her beauty and her joy in life. She needs a kind hand and a knowledgeable person to keep her healthy.

Yesterday we were talking on the phone about my worries about Gracie. I didn't have the nuts to ask her about Bob, so I sent her an email, shyly asking her to ignore my being a loonie, and would she consider taking Bob (along with some money for his care) if something happens to me and Sam? She wrote back a resounding YES!

A few minutes later, my phone rang. SD blurted; “Can I have Blitzen, too?!”

da boyz.jpg

©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob and Blitz. Some days things are just perfect.

I didn't want to ask her for that, thinking it was too big of a request, but of course, YES. I would be happy for her to take him, too.

I've got four more cats to figure out homes for, unless Sam wants me to try to place his cats, too, and then it will be six. Once we have this worked out, I go to my lawyer. I want to protect my cats as much as I can after I die. They shouldn't have to face death row at a shelter because they might be older or sickly. It's not fair to them at all.

N and N.jpg

©2009 Robin A.F. Olson. I assume there will be a fist-fight over Nicky, but with Nicky, comes Nora. Maybe they can go back and live with their brothers; “Charles and Bailey,” but I haven't asked just yet.

I hope that all of you will think about this and how it effects your own life and cat-family. Yes, it's scary or creepy or “you just don't want to go there,” but if you don't “go there” it's selfish. What of your cats? Their future well-being? Your dogs? Some times you have to do things that are unpleasant, but knowing you have it worked out, for when your time comes? Well, hopefully, it's a great comfort to you and most assuredly, the least you can do for your pets.

New Product Idea. Stackable Cat Hotel.

So you can't get your cat into the cat carrier when it's time to go to the Vet, but maybe if you leave your cat carrier out with the door open, the cats will come up with another use for what was once their fear locker.

Two Story Cat House.jpg

Petunia, below and Blitzen obove, for once are in close proximity without any conflict.

Introducing, the Stackable Cat Hotel!

Reminds me of those Capsule hotels in Japan, sans the TVs and clean linens.


Subscribe to RSS - Blitzen