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Foster Cat Journal: The Last of Santa's Team

Little Blitzen is the last of Santa's Team to be in foster care. The rest are off to their forever homes. Blitzen would have been long gone had he not needed treatment for Ringworm. His last dose of meds will be on Saturday. He's had no sign of any ringworm for a few weeks. Other than an occasional sneeze, his health seems good.

I also let him out of his room a few weeks ago, too. Once the others were gone, it was too unkind to leave a little guy alone for so long. I knew it put my cats at risk of getting ringworm, but since the stuff is airborne, I had to figure they've all had a snoot-ful of it by now.

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Blitzen loves the cat mat that Aunt Clare made him!

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I think he's wear it if he could.

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Bob's not too sure he wants to share the cat mat, even though there's one behind him...yes, it IS considerably smaller and Bob wants what Bob wants. Blitz is happy to have someone to roughouse with. Spencer is staying out of it this time.

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Open the door to the deck and all fighting ends. The boys love the fresh air.

Blitz has been trying to find his place among the other cats. Petunia is very angry about him being here and Spencer has ramped up attacking her. It's a complex situation having eight cats. Spencer wants to bully Petunia and so does Bob. I can't understand why, though I do believe that Petunia might want to be the alpha cat OR she is so fearful that she needs a nicer alpha cat, instead of a bossy guy like Bob or Spencer. Having Blitzen here doesn't help her, but it does give the big boys someone to play with and chase around, so maybe they'll leave her alone a bit more often?

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Someone's tail is growing faster than their body. I'm not sayin' who, though.

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And don't think for a minute that Blitzen is in any danger. In fact, the little squirt instigates many of the clashes. He's not aggressive. he just wants to play. I've seen Spencer race up and down the stairs with Blitzen hot on his tail! It's great to see the cats running around more. Even Bob and Nicky, who have been slow to warm to Blitz, have begun to show signs of accepting him.

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Blitzen and Nicky. Looks like the little guy has a long way to go yet before he's as big as Nicky-if that is even possible!

I feel bad for Blitzen. He's doing his best to fit in where there isn't a whole lot of room. He was sleeping between Sam and I most nights, but now he is under the bed. I think ”the girls,” Gracie and Petunia, had a talk with him and asked him to get lost. He won't even hang out on the bed and they rarely leave it. Something is up.

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I know you want to come outside on the deck, but you're too young! Talk about guilt!

I really want Blitzen to be happy here. Sam is ready to adopt him. I see some definite benefit, but I also see the problems. He might not get as much time and attention from us as he would from a family with only one other cat, but he will have other cats to interact with here in addition to his human family. The problem is that this sweet little guy has had a few cats hiss at him, so now he's confused about being friends with other cats. I really hope he can find one or two of my guys to be closer to. I'm sure he misses the closeness he shared with Cupid and his sisters and it's not fair for him to go without cat companionship.

Blitzen has done very well adapting to a much bigger space, lots more cats and challenges. He remains a sweet tempered kitty and he always makes me smile.

I have to ask myself if I can be happy letting him go and knowing he's in a great home, that's not mine; or decide that although we weren't looking for another cat, that one found us.

It's time to adopt him or put Blitz on Petfinder.

Spring Fever!

It's been waaaay too nice outside for the past few days. We've been seeing temps well into the 60's with sparkling blue skies. I'm taking the day off and am headed to hike with my nephew and to see the effect all the recent rains have had on our local waterfall in Kent, CT.

In honor of Spring, here is a photo of some daffodils from my own yard, taken last year. It's still too early in the year for them to bloom, but I'm anxious to get spring started!

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And on a cat-note, I am going to visit Donner & Dancer. Hopefully my anxiety of their placement will fade once I see how they're doing-even if they are being fed crappy grained food. Okay, I know it's not about the food, it's about the loving care, right? But that includes the food, if you ask me. All I go. More in a bit...

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Bob Dole's Story Featured on

While I wallow in self-loathing and despair over parting with many of my foster kittens, I thought I'd mention that my latest article just went live on Feline-Nutrition's web site.

It's a story about how I got started feeding Bob (Dole)(my cat, not the dude), a raw diet. Just after I wrote the article, I made my first batch of “homemade” raw for the clutter. Since it was too late to go to press, I'm including some extra photos, here.


For my crew, this is what it takes to feed my cats for a little over TWO days. Yes, it's a lot. It's kind of a pain in the ass, actually, but I'm still trying to find my pace and getting used to not opening a can and dumping it onto a plate. At least now I know for sure what my cats are getting in their food.

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For anyone who fears this is gross, it's not. It smells nice and fresh. The trick is getting it warmed up without cooking it. If it's still icy cold the cats won't eat it.

If you want to know why I bother, look at the before and after photos of Spencer, below. He was a blimp a few years ago. It was hysterical to look at him, but I was doing him an injustice and I knew it. Spencer also has a chronic breathing problem, which left him wheezing all the time. These days I can barely hear him. I'm sure the diet helped keep any swelling down in his sinuses

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Here's Bob on day one of the new raw diet. He ate as though he had never eaten before. Most of the cats cleaned their plates, which I have NEVER seen them do in almost a decade. This might sound weird, but they also seemed relaxed and content. Most of them passed out after they ate and washed their faces. It's not like that every day. I'm still working out the kinks, but it's nice to see them be interested in their food.

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The article is on the front page, so if you care to read it, just look for Bob's cute face and you've found the right place.

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Dear Clare

Dear Clare,

Thank you for the homemade cat mats. I know I'm supposed to give them to the foster cats-and I will, but I had to “test drive” one on my cats first.

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Dear Clare,

What did you put in the cat mat? Spencer's sense of smell is poor. Normally he isn't interested in catnip. Is there something you want to tell me? Spencer is bunny-kicking the shit out of this mat. His eyes are glazed over. What is going on?


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Dear Clare,

My cats won't share. They want their own mat. If they don't get one, they'll spat.

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Dear Clare,

There is more square feet of cat, than there is square foot of cat mat. Can you make me a bedspread sized one?

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Dear Clare,

Do you know if there's a catnip rehab facility in Connecticut? I'm thinking Bob might need to go there. He looks like he's had a bit too much and Nicky can't stop rolling around and yeowling incoherently. I'm afraid the neighbors are going to call the cops.

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Dear Clare,

Nora would like to know if you can rub her belly to maximize her user experience (since she can no longer reach her own belly).

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Dear Clare,

Nicky also asked if you could rub something, but I had to edit out what he said. I blame the drugs for his ungentlemanly, he had a surgery a few years ago and that sort of limited his options in that department, anyway.


Dear Clare & All My Dear CiCH Readers,

It's friends like you that are like a big mat of catnip for me. I can wrap myself up in your comforting words and breathe deep, feeling suddenly quite invigorated and alive when only moments before I was too busy licking my wounds to do much else.

With Love,


Foster Cat Journal: I'm in Big Trouble

People often ask me; ”How can you let foster cats go? Don't you miss them? Doesn't it make you sad? Cry?”

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I energetically answer that if I don't adopt them out, I can't rescue more. I already have seven cats, which is more than plenty. It's not wise to add on to the “family” for a variety of reasons. Sure, it hurts when the cats leave, but usually they're only here from just a few days to a few weeks. If that's the case, hey, anyone can do this. Just keep them moving in, then leaving promptly. It's doable.

What happens when it's NOT the case? What happens not only when you've had foster cats for a few MONTHS, but what if they were all sick? They all needed you? Some were so sick you didn't know if they would survive? How can you not become deeply attached?

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How do you let THOSE foster cats go?

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Jennifer has been caring for Rudy & Comet for months. They are no longer in their foster room, but have the full run of the house. They frolic and play and love life. Jennifer's been crying, thinking about them leaving. I've been reminding her that we'll find them a great home and we'll keep them together if we can. That she can't adopt more cats. Jennifer not only has plenty of cats, too, but she has seniors and special needs kitties. Adding two spunky kittens to that mix would not be good in the long term.

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I'm not telling her anything she hasn't told herself. She's steeling herself for the day, which may come VERY soon, for when she has to say goodbye to them and I feel really bad about that. I never wanted her to have a bad experience fostering, but I can't protect her from this.

I, too, am faced with the same thing.

Today was the big day. After MONTHS of struggle, I was able to put all but Blitzen on Petfinder. The cats are ready to go, at last!


The problem looking over my photos and selecting the ones that are the cutest and will garner lots of interested adopters, I found myself awash in tears. I could barely type out a description or upload a photo. I'm still crying now.


I just kept looking at their faces. I missed them and they are still here. I never want any of them to leave. They've all captured my heart and I honestly don't know if I can be here when they get adopted.

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And if this wasn't painful enough, Sam and I are done after 17 years. I am flat out heartbroken. The person I used to be able to go to when I was sad and needed a hug is lost to me, probably forever.

I have lost so much in my life. I don't know how to go on.

I suppose this is what they call burnout or just a big, bad bump in the road? Whatever it's called, I don't recommend it.

Foster Cat Journal: Creeping Crud

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At almost four months of age, Blitzen is looking like a proper kitty now.

After a long, miserable night, spent mostly with food poisoning and an empty bed, I managed to get up another day and begin the usual rounds of caring for the cats. Tomorrow Blitzen is slated to be neutered. I called the Vet to double check that it was still all right to bring him, bearing in mind he has something on his head that is...I'm not supposed to make a diagnosis to this Vet,'s RINGWORM, OK?

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It's hard to hold a wiggly kitten still long enough to look and my close-up vision ain't what it used to be. It wasn't until I looked at the photos that I could see just how bad things were looking.

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You tell me that's not ringworm!

There's the telltale crust. It's gotta be ringworm. I've been treating it topically, but I wonder if I should do more? I guess I can wait until the Vet sees him tomorrow. Of the 4 kittens, he was the sickest, the longest, so it's not a complete surprise, what? What about his siblings? He's going to have to be with me another few weeks. There is no where to quarantine him too. Everyone has been exposed. I'm in full “fuck-it” mode about this ringworm nightmare.

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Sick or not, I've really fallen for this little guy. I'm not sure I can part with him. Maybe I'm willing him to stay here and he's responding by getting sick again? Sure. I have super powers. Why can't I have the super power that wins me a huge lottery payout?

I'd settle for super powers that make Blitzen be the last cat (or PERSON) I EVER see with RINGWORM!

Grayson Update

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A very nice couple in their 50's were looking to add to their family. Their three previous Maine Coons had all passed away from old age, so they were looking for a new kitty companion. Grayson is on his way to his new home already or might even be there by now!

Thank you to everyone for putting out the word for this sweet boy!

And no...we're not done yet. Grayson was being fostered with a sweet, but shy black kitty. This little baby had a nightmarish, Hellish life. Someone took a SCISSORS to her EARS and cut them off. While she is not a super beauty, she deserves a great home to call her own, where she will be SAFE from further abuse and discover that humans can give love and not just pain.

I'll have photos and more info shortly and then we'll start this whole process again!

Adoption Alert: Help a Fluffy Fella Find a Forever Family!

This is Grayson (aka, Mr. Gray). His 92 year old mama passed away, leaving no one to care for him. He was lucky to find a temporary placement at a cat clinic, but now his time has run out there, too. He faces being put down in a few more days. There's just no space and no place to call home.

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Grayson is just 3 years old. A good boy. Loves people and LOVES to be brushed! He also will follow you around like a little shadow. This is one lovey-dovey cat. He likes to be held and sit on your lap. What more would anyone want? He's a beauty, too!

Grayson's fully vetted and healthy. He's up to date on shots and neutered. He was combo tested for FIV+/Feline Leukemia and is NEGATIVE for both. He's been treated with Revolution, so he won't bring fleas into your home.

Grayson is fine with other cats, but don't know about dogs or small children.

Grayson is located in GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA, where our Will was from. Transportation FROM Greenville, to your state CAN easily be arranged. Contact Carole Henderson at (864) 630-2872 for more information or to adopt Grayson.

2/24 UPDATE: You can also email Carole at: and if you can't reach her, you can also contact: Jenna Gutierrez or call her at (864) 801-3177. Isilwath has offered to help with transportation from Greenville TO points in the Northeast if you can adopt the cat March 5-7.


Foster Cat Journal: Week Three-Cupid Confined

It's tough on Cupid being confined and it's tough on me because I've got to spend time with her every day to keep her from going crazy. I know she's lonely and bored. The hour or more we spend together-spread out across the day in short play-periods, is something, but not enough. I can't wait for this to be over. I'm sure she would agree.


Still waiting for that darn ringworm to GO AWAY! Looking pretty as ever, during the process, of course.

The ringworm hasn't spread, KNOOCK WOOD, to any other part of her body, nor has is spread, KNOCOK WOOD AGAIN, to ANY of the kittens, myself, Sam or our cats. So far, so good.

Next week ends four weeks confined. At that time, I'm going to beg Dr. Larry to give me the go-ahead to free her from the bathroom. I wonder how she'll be with her kittens after such a long separation? Her mammary glands are finally flat and normal again and her spay surgery wound is healed and barely visible. Cupid's put on a few POUNDS and looks terrific. I just wonder if she'll remember her offspring or look at them as strangers?

On March 6th, we're having an Adoption Event. I had to cancel the last two because WE HAD NO CATS. With any luck, ALL the fosters will be READY to be ADOPTED-at LAST!!!!

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Cupid enjoys batting at toys with her paws. She's very expressive with them. I can get her to give me a “high five” or she'll reach out to get me to pet her. She's a very sweet cat.

By the Adoption Event, the cats will have been here almost THREE MONTHS. Compared to the last group I took in from GA, those 9 were here for only 10 days before they all went to great homes. You think this will be tough-saying goodbye to this pile o' cats?

Tough doesn't even come close.

File Under: “My Cat is Insane”

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Spencer flailing around in the hopes that the string toy will accidently fall into his waiting arms. Getting up to chase after it seems like just too much work.


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