15 May 2008

On Monday, my little wards went off to the Vet to be spayed/neutered. It surprised me that I didn't cry about them leaving. When the time came, they easily went into their carrier together, seemingly excited about the adventure they were about to take. They were curious about being confined, but no worse for wear.

Jelly and Elmo

The drop off, was like a drug deal. I meet our Founder at the parking lot of a deserted (sorry for the pun!) ice cream shop in town and she quickly transfers the carrier to her car and sped off. No time for an emotional farewell. Just time to wave and wish them a wonderful life and safe surgery.

Days later, the kittens are doing great at our main headquarters. They got through their vetting with flying colors and their appetite is great. Jelly finally started to eat regularly and without help the day before he was to leave me. It seemed so easy and natural when it finally happened. If I had faith he would come around, I would have been a lot calmer about the entire situation. Now I know better. Little Elmo gained more weight and on the last day he was heavier than his big strapping brother, Jelly.

Eating Big Boy Food at Last!

I still haven't shed a tear, but I sure do miss them a lot. They were ready to go. I saw every indication of that and it just wasn't fair to keep them here any longer. Besides that, our group was overloaded with more kittens needing fostering. All worthy reasons for things to change. I also realized that fostering is painful when the time together ends. Yet, I would rather feel the pain of separation, than the pain of knowing they died because no one stepped up to care for them when they were at their most vulnerable.

She's Happy...

14 May 2008

I think I have some news!


Time to Go Bye Bye

Don't go!

Jelly doesn't want me to go. I don't want to go, either! Waaaahhhhhhhh!

13 May 2008

Much has transpired over the past few days. It's taken me some time to put my thoughts together about what I want to say. Part of the struggle is my life-long battle with depression. I find I get bogged down and feel run-down, then I just slip into doing as little as possible. I want to be functioning at a higher rate and really get a lot done, but I look around and I just can't work up the energy.

Part of this down-cycle may have to do with the natural flow of hormones, those "wonderful" things that make us all feel crazy or lazy from time to time and make me want to pop Ding Dongs into my mouth to stuff down bad feelings. Smart, right? The other facets have to do with having to part with the kittens and another Mother's Day passing without my Mother here.

My Mother died in August of 2006 and the pain is still fresh. Mother's Day is tough for me. I think back on how we spent one of our last Mother's Days. I so wanted to please her. To show her a good time, but she was tricky to hit the right combination of fun with a short drive and not-too-expensive dining. I was determined to get it right.

Me and Mum

As often was the case, we didn't celebrate Mother's Day on the day. It's too nuts trying to get into a restaurant. All those anxious families, screaming babies dressed up in overstartched clothes and new, tight shoes. Paying top dollar for a holiday that was planned by a greeting card company. No. That wasn't for us. My mother's idea of dressing up was wearing a button-down shirt, instead of a t-shirt. Comfort was key and that was just fine with all of us, too.

And no flowers. None. Flowers die. Mother didn't like that, but she didn't mind stealing lilacs from the neighbors yard.

What we'd do is pick the weekend before or after to celebrate the big day. Then we'd go on a day trip somewhere new, avoid the crowds and not feel ripped off.

This particular year, I decided it was time to have lunch with Sam's Mother and my Mother, together at a wonderful place in Woodbury called, The Good News Cafe. I did some research and found out about a rather large nursery, not too far away, where we could go for a stroll after our lunch. I'd never been there before, but they had a nice website and we all enjoy looking at flowers and trinkets.

I never plan too much to do, since Sam's mother had to travel a long way from uptown Manhattan and I didn't want to overtire her. Just a nice, simple day, with us together enjoying each other's company.

And it was great. For once. The restaurant served everyone delicious food. My mother's entree had some sort of red sauce on it. It wasn't a pasta sauce. It was too thin for that. My mother wondered aloud what this sauce was. It was so tasty! We all began to guess what it might be. Sitting next to her I said; "Maybe it's paprika. Let me have a taste."

So I taste the sauce. It's very good.

"Well? Is it paprika?"

"I don't know."

"What do you mean, you don't know?"

"I've never tasted paprika before, but the color looked about right!"

I got "The Look" (this was what we got as kids—not a spanking, just "The Look." We knew we were in deep shit if we got it. Somehow, though, being in my 40's, "The Look" wasn't so bad). Then my mother couldn't help but burst out laughing and we all quickly followed her lead.

8 May 2008

A new day dawns. The second day the kittens have been without their Mama. I've noticed some changes in them. Whether it's due to their continuing maturity or their life-change, I cannot say. What I've noticed is that the kittens do seem to rely more on me, not for the obvious food, but for the comfort of a warm body and reassuring physical contact.

Oooo...can I have some?

Their play cycles are a lot more intense and now that I've taken down their big dog crate to open up the space in the room, they can fly around with ease. Elmo is starting to get to the point of being able to climb beyond the confines of just climbing up on the bed. This is always the point where I start to be glad they're due to leave in a few more days. When they can really climb, they can get into dangerous situations. The foster room has a bed and two bookcases, but it also has stacks of boxes of books and the flattened dog crate leaning against the wall. If they knock any of those over, it could be very bad, indeed.

Ha ha ha Bad boy!!!

Jelly continues to slowly improve on his ability to eat "Big Boy" food. He still wants his warmed KMR, but today, instead of offering him the syringe, I just put the food in a bowl on the floor. He lapped at it right away and seemed to be okay that I also added a spoonful of the same canned food his siblings were easily eating. As a whole, I don't think they eat quite enough. The pick a bit here and there and I throw more food away then I believe they eat. I'm assuming this will change as their nutrition needs grow and they realize it's their only source for food now.

I've also turned into a cat bed.

Nap Time

I have an old down comforter I cover myself with, when I visit the kittens each evening. It partially protects me from getting scratched and it gives them a fun surface to play on and under (which gets me scratched for certain!). We hang out for an hour or two, playing or just socializing. They like the warmth and softness of the comforter and easily fall asleep on it. Some times they fall asleep on me—locking me into a weird, contorted position for fear of disturbing them. Last night Elmo and Happy each fell asleep on one of my shoulders, while I sat frozen in a sort of lounging, sort of hunched position—which is why I feel creaky this morning.

7 May 2008


Mama is gone.

Things went surprisingly well with the transfer. I did a lot of prep work, getting the room cleared out and moving the kittens to another room, all the while, keeping the "mood" in the room, peaceful.

Monica came by to collect Mama with a trap, cat carrier, net and a sheet. She was very impressive in her feral cat capture-technique and had Mama in the trap within a minute or two. Mama put up a bit of a fight, but it was out of fear. She wasn't aggressive at all. I still wish I could have given her a kiss good-bye without fearing I'd lose my face by doing so.

Last Lunch

I did my best for her before she left. Gave her lots of yummy food and time to spend with her babies uninterrupted. I wish her a happy, long life.

6 May 2008

What the...?

All things come to an end and today marks one of those times. After six weeks of caring and nursing her offspring, Mama-cat will have one last afternoon with her babies, then be placed (probably more like herded or wrangled) into a Have-a-Heart trap and removed. From there, I'm guessing, she'll spend the night in the trap, in the garage at the ANC. She's so feral, I doubt it's going to be possible to let her out of the trap unless she's either being released or being anesthetized.

Tomorrow she'll be spayed and given her rabies shot and have her ear tipped. I know it's not supposed to hurt, but we don't really know that. Again, I think she'll be forced to live in a trap until she recovers from her surgery and by Sunday, she'll be released to her new home—which I was glad to know was going to be a real home, but now I've found out Mama is going to be a barn-cat. I truly hope she'll make the transition to her new environment and not simply run off, never to be seen.

I find myself feeling sick to my stomach. I know. I've heard it a million times before. This is better for her than being placed in a cage at a shelter where she'd end up being terrified and freaked out, then, most likely, be euthanized because she's too wild. Her life will be hers to live. She can come and go as she pleases and spend the days enjoying the sunshine and still get a meal (I hope!) and still have someone looking out for her well being.

In the time she's been here, I've seen no sign of her softening towards me, though she does eat in front of me and her posture is more relaxed now. I find myself wishing, as always, that I could tell her what's going to be happening, so she could find a way to prepare herself and know, too, that it's time to say good-bye to her babies.

4:28 PM EST

I hate locking Jelly-Belly up. I'm basically starving him until he submits to eating food out of a bowl. I don't cage him at night because it's too long to go without food and I have to draw the line at getting up in the middle of the night to feed him.
Let me out!

Today I had Jelly locked up for about 6 hours, then freed him from captivity so he could play with his siblings and stretch his little legs. While he was out, I weighed him. There is no way his weight went up from 1.5 to 2.25lbs in TWO days. I must have done something wrong. I know I wasn't feeding him enough...so that makes me wonder what is going on. I really don't think he's eating other than midnight snack from Mom or a dribbled mess of KMR from me.

The single syringe I have is getting to a point where it jams while I'm trying to SLOWLY release the KMR into Jelly's mouth. Before I can move it out of the way, it unloads all over me and Jelly's chest. I think that out of the 4-syringe goal I had, Jelly and I wore one and he might have gotten bits of the remaining three.

This afternoon, a breakthrough. Jelly mid-play, hopped over to the water bowl and began to lap water out of it! Finally, a sign of improvement! Here is the moment, captured for all to see

4 May 2008

He still won't eat! I'm going insane!


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