2-19-20 Wednesday

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Back in June of 2018, we had a cobbled-together litter of kittens named after Maine towns, including this little muffin…

That’s Buxton, nicknamed Buster, who was just the cutest little cutie pie.

If you weren’t reading Love & Hisses back then, you missed out on our first experience with ringworm wherein I bathed all nine (NINE! NINE! NIIIIIIIIINE!) of them every other day in the middle of the summer (which was fine, it’s not like it ever gets hot in Alabama in July), then I’d scrub down their room and wash everything washable every single day resulting in 7 trillion loads of laundry daily. I can’t believe I made it through that experience in one piece, but every one of those kittens was the SWEETEST.

Well here he is today, just as adorable as ever!

Heather reports: He is awesome! Except he likes to wake me up at 4:00 am by clawing underneath my bed, and will then paw at the blinds, and if that doesn’t work and I manage to close the door to my room, he’ll sit outside and meow 😂. He still has the sweetest tiniest voice! We really do love him so much. He’s a cuddle bug!

I love it! (Thanks, Heather!)


The kittens turned 1 week old yesterday, and here they are with their weights followed by their birth weights.

Alejandro: currently 8.8 oz, birth weight 5.1 oz.⁠
Javier: 8.1 oz/ 4.7 oz⁠
Diego: 8.1 oz/ 4.1 oz⁠
Pablo: 6.6 oz/ 3.8 oz⁠
Carmelita: 7.9 oz/ 4.8 oz⁠

Yeah, they’re chunky monkeys.


Diego sings the song of his people.

Also Diego, back there hissing.

And Alejandro dons his hissypants.

I caught Isabella in the middle of reclining. It cracks me up how mama cats will sit directly on top of their kittens, then the kittens start screaming “HEY! I’M NAPPING HERE!” and the mothers always look so puzzled and get up and look under them like “Where’d YOU come from?!”

Mama’s not only a milk bar, she’s a comfy couch.

Sleepy little muffins.

We have a wanderer.

One of Carmelita’s eyes is starting to open, not that you can tell from this picture. You’ll have to just trust me.

Pile o’ cute.


I know I’ve been remiss in sharing how Kara’s doing lately, and that’s because she was doing okay, but lately she’s… not. It’s become harder to get her to eat, even her old favorites aren’t working. Our time with her is nearing an end, and we have begun waffling every day whether it’s time. We waited too long to say goodbye to Spot and to Spanky, and we promised each other we’d never do that again. But every time we decide that maybe it’s time, she seems to rally. When she still manages to find pleasure in the day, it’s hard to make that decision. Connie says always that it’s better to make the decision a week too early than a minute too late and I agree completely with her. There’s not a cure in Kara’s future where we can keep her with us for another 10 years. I don’t know when we’ll make that decision for her, but I don’t think it will be much longer.

Which brings me to Frankie. Lately, Frankie has had the sniffles and sneezies. He responded well to antibiotics, was nearly completely back to himself, and then over the weekend he got suddenly much worse. Fred took him to the vet yesterday and, well, I’m going to just cut and paste what Fred said.

Frankie was diagnosed with “very likely” leukemia today (the cancer kind, not the viral kind). To get a more detailed prognosis would require the kind of testing we’re unwilling to put him through.

He’s being treated for a secondary infection to see if he responds to that, and we’ll take it from there. There are apparently two forms of leukemia, one fast and deadly and one slow and more chronic; hopefully if he DOES have it it’s the slower one.

This is exactly what Stefan had two years ago. I have hope that the results for Frankie will be different, but if I’m to be honest, I don’t expect they will be.

Frankie from last fall.


2019: So to answer the question that has been asked a trillion times, yes: Charles and Caroline will be adopted out as a bonded pair.
2018: Such a pretty Frankie.
2017: No entry.
2016: Joe Bob’s been spending a lot of time snoozing on the heated throw on the couch, because he is SPOILED
2015: No entry.
2014: He’s such a little flirty pants.
2012: No entry.
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: A moment later, Fred yelled “We have another cat!” and went running into the laundry room to get a bowl of cat food.
2007: Look how tiny Maxi and Newt are!
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



2-19-20 Wednesday — 42 Comments

  1. No words said can make this easier for you both. I am very sorry. It is so unfair and hard. Please give Kara and Frankie some gentle pets and skritches and love from me.

  2. Please please if you come bavk to Maine let me know. I would love to share my state with you. These kitties and narratives are fabulous

  3. So sorry to hear about Kara and Frankie. Your silver lining is the new life in your foster room, but it doesn’t dull the pain of your impending decisions. Know that your tribe is with you every difficult step.

  4. Tons of love, hugs, and positive vibrations sent in your direction, Robyn and Fred, and Kara and Frankie.

  5. I’m so sorry, Robyn. It feels like we seem to lose cats within short time frames and it is heartbreaking. Sending loving thoughts to Frankie and Kara from my feline contingent.

  6. The babies are beautiful! Sending positive vibes, prayers, and warm thoughts for comfort, strength, insight, and peace for you, Fred, Frankie, and Kara.

  7. As pleased as I am to hear about the Mewchachos and lovely Isabella, it breaks my heart tenfold to hear sad news about Kara and Frankie. Sheriff Mama and Franklin Beans have been among the best, loved hard and been loved just as much. I’ll carry you in my heart.

  8. Thank you Heather for the update, love seeing snug and a mug former fosters.

    My heart go scout tou and Fred. I know that. All the pennies, Frankie and Kara have special places in your heart. They’re special in our hearts too.

    • Auto correct needs to correct itself.

      My heart goes out to you and Fred and all the permies.

      Also, I meant that Buster looks snug and yeah, a little smug. Just the way I like to see former fosters.

  9. Oh, I’m so very sorry. One is hard enough, but two? What a gut punch. Thinking of you and glad you have the delight of Isabella and her gang to help you.

  10. Oh I’m sorry, such hard decisions to make. Sending love and strength.

    One of my friends has a cat who tends to hang out upstairs but once an hour or so she comes down, makes a circuit of the first floor checking to see what’s going on, break up any shenanigans and then heads back up. I’ve started calling her the Sheriff because of Kara. ❤️

  11. You’ve given Kara and Frankie their absolute best lives, and I know you will do for them whatever has to be done.

  12. I’m so so sorry to hear this. I know your hope in every end-of-year roundup is always to end the following year with exactly the same permanent residents you started with, and I’m sorry 2020 doesn’t seem to be working out for you or the sweet permies. Sending you all LOTS of love as you face tough news and tougher decisions.

  13. I’m so sorry to hear the sad news about Kara and Frankie. I have every faith in you and Fred that y’all will make the hard decision when the time comes. It doesn’t seem fair that we must take responsibility not only for their lives, but also for their deaths. However, this is what we do when we love our kitties so very much. I wish you and Fred peace and strength for the hard times ahead.

  14. It always seems to happen to you guys like this—in great huge bouts of loss. I will never understand why it happens to such lovely, kind, caring people. Sending you all the head bumps and gentle purrs as you navigate this. And all the love to sweet Sheriff Mama and Frankenbeans. Praying for a few more sunshiney days for all of you. ❤️❤️

  15. I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine losing both of these so close together. The only thing that ever helped when we were in a similar situation was knowing that if suddenly “today was the day” we could go to our vet right then. But nothing really makes it easier for you. Will be thinking of you and Fred, and of course Kara and Frankie.

  16. Damn! And I was hoping no news (on Kara) was good news — not bad news, and now double bad news. Sending all the love and support from me, and head butts and purrs and extra biscuits from my four girls, to all of you.

    And speaking of ringworm (what? we weren’t?) — I noticed some hair loss earlier this fall on one of my four girls (indoor only). She’s the most skittish and anxiety prone, and her sister is the most dominant — so I assumed nervous over-grooming. Until it got worse. Vet did a “packing tape scan” of her belly a couple of weeks ago and found ringworm spores. Ack!

    Prescription is a medicated mousse that I apply on the affected areas (belly, backs of front legs and ear tips) once a day for three weeks.

    There’s no evidence that any of the other three have a problem — so per the vet’s instructions, I am just treating Bess….and living in hope that this is enough (and denial about the possibility of having to treat, or worse BATHE, all of them).

  17. I’m so sorry about Frankie and Kara. I didn’t realize what Stefan had, but I still miss seeing him (and his fabulous hats).

    Thanks for sharing the update on Buxton (if that’s still his name). He was a favorite of mine from that litter. Nice to see how handsome he has grown up to be!

  18. Hugs and purrs your way. Seems like when one has a clowder too many seem to go in a short period of time–regardless of their ages.

  19. I am sorry Kara and Frankie are having a hard time – and you as well. 🙁 I have always loved Kara – the first impression is the judgie scowl but other pictures show what a beautiful Commander she is! My heart is with you and Fred.

  20. I’m also very very sorry that you face a hard decision about Kara soon, and that Frankie has received this bad diagnosis. Sending warm thoughts your way.

  21. It has all been said so very well here…Thank you for the love and care you have for all of the residents there. We’re all behind you here, thoughts, love and hugs over the miles. Sure sorry for a double whammy too. So grateful to see the little new lives just now, and an update. It helps somehow.

  22. I saw the news about Frankie on Fred’s Facebook page. So, so sorry but as I said there, here’s to hoping you have him longer than not.

    Also, so very sorry to hear that Kara isn’t feeling very well these days. I don’t know which would be better, to have them go closer together or further apart so you could “properly” grieve each of them.

    Sending all the good vibes your way.

  23. So sad about Kara and Frankie. I hope for the best outcome and I know that both you and the kitties are blessed to have each other. Hugs!

  24. I’ve been out of commission but I’ve just caught myself up on the new family, and are they cute! Tail light!! Love it!

    Poor dear Frankie, oh I hope for the best for him. And Kara, hoping she makes it clear to you when it’s time so you dont have to guess. Hugs and love and purrs to all of you!

  25. That sucks. I’m so sorry. Lots of love to all the feline and human members of your house.

  26. Sorry to hear about Kara and Frankie. We’ve had a lot of that to deal with lately, too. It doesn’t get easier. {{Hugs to you and yours.}}

    The kittens are growing up so quickly! Muy bien!!

  27. As I gaze at this months premmies calendar my heart breaks not only for both of you but also for Jake. I hope he handles the loss of his BFF OK. My love to sweet Sheriff Kara.

  28. Robyn, I have been thinking about you guys and Kara and Frankie all day long. I’m so sorry that it’s here right now for you guys – that hard part that we all dread. The constant monitoring of symptoms, the weighing of the good moments vs. the bad. I cry when I think of some of the decisions I’ve made – I think I have both not waited long enough and waited too long. It is so, so hard. Thinking of you, and hoping for the best. No matter what happens, I’m glad those two have you and Fred. Kara and Frankie will be surrounded by love right up until their very last heart beat – and that is a wonderful thing.

  29. I, too, was hoping that no news about Kara was good news and, oh no, Frankie, too, I just don’t believe it! Blessings to you and Fred and the wisdom to make the right decisions at the right time is wished for you.

  30. I always loved Kara. I´ll miss her. Who will be the next sheriff after her death? Hopefully, a miracle happens and Kara can live a longer, happier life with you. I am praying for you. Sending love from Germany.

  31. All this sad news….I am ever so sorry. Kara was the apple of many people’s eye! What a wonderful soul. Just so full of personality. Will be sending up many prayers for Frankie and much love to you and Fred!!!

  32. I’m really sorry to read about Kara and Frankie, Robyn and Fred. It’s just not [fill in the sweary, alliterative adjective] fair.

  33. So sorry for the sad news about Kara and Frankie. This is the hardest part of having pets. I hold you all in my heart.