Jump to comments

In case you missed it over the weekend, I posted on Saturday to announce our new foster, who is still not named. More about her later in the post.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Last week, I was thrilled to get an email from someone who adopted kittens who were our fosters five years ago. They were with us in January 2007, a mother and her three kittens. We named them Fantine (the mother, a calico), Javert, Eponine, and Cosette.

Yes, they were entirely too old to be nursing, but you know how kittens are. They’d nurse their entire lives if their mothers let them!

Eileen emailed to let me know that she had adopted Javert and Eponine.



Mama Fantine (I love this picture).

Javert is now Gus, and Eponine is now Belle and Eileen had this to say:

I came across your blog, Love and Hisses, today. It’s funny because I’ve come across your blog before in the past, likely because you mention Challenger’s House (I don’t remember what I was searching for at the time, but your blog popped up in the results). But today I was looking at another person’s site that showed pictures of cats that they helped adopt out through Challenger’s House and I started thinking, wouldn’t it be great if I could find some pictures of my babies (cats) that I adopted? So I typed in their former names, added in Challenger’s house, and presto! Your blog popped up. I was extremely excited to see pictures of my 2 cats, Gus and Belle, formerly known as Javert and Eponine, who were fostered by you. And I was especially excited to see those fantastic pictures on your Flickr stream!! I don’t know that I ever got to see their mom, but wow was I amazed to see she is a beautiful Calico! I remember seeing Cosette at Petsmart, the day I adopted them (Jan 2007) and I felt awful that I wasn’t able to take her too. I just wanted to say thanks for taking those pictures 5 years ago, they are absolutely precious and a joy to look at. I felt like I got a little glimpse into their past.

Gus and Belle are doing fantastic. Gus is still very much a talker but I love that about him (most of the time haha). In fact I said ok then, let’s teach you to use your words if you insist on talking so much, so I kind of taught him how to say “ma-ma” haha. It’s basically his talking sound but he has learned how to say the two “words” together quickly so it sounds like mama. He is so clever because he knows that if he really wants to get my attention (usually right before I walk out the door) he just has to let that out and I’m butter in his hands. Belle is still shy but I can get her inner tigress to come out with the right cat toy. She is quite a good cat toy hunter, as is Gus. Both of them are super sweet kitties, and tolerate me when I smother them with kisses. They both indulge me when I want to rub their bellies and both love to be combed, especially Belle. It’s the one way I can always lure her from wherever she’s at.

Anyhow, I also wanted to say thanks to you for being kind enough to offer your home, time, and energy to Gus, Belle, Cosette, and their mom, Fantine, and for all the litters before them and after them. I am so glad that they had a wonderful place to stay and wonderful person to take care of them. I always thought that Gus and Belle had a great foster family since they were so well behaved. I think it’s a tremendously generous thing that you do, fostering these cats. I and Gus and Belle sincerely appreciate it!

Sorry for the long email, I was just ecstatic to come across their photos, and wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed seeing photos of my little darlings, Gus and Belle.

Here are the pictures Eileen sent – I think it’s safe to say that Gus and Belle got even more gorgeous as they grew up!










I cannot help it, that tiny tie is just absolutely killing me DEAD.

Eileen, thank you so much for the update! I love to hear how our former fosters are doing, and seeing your great pictures of them was awesome.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We are making teeny tiny inroads with little mama, progress that is pretty much invisible to the naked eye, but we know they’re there. She’s still scared, but Fred is taking the lead on this (he tends to take the lead with the scaredy cats, because he has a pretty good feel for these things – whereas I would prefer to stand back and let the progress happen on its own, he rushes in, and somehow it works.) So far, he’s been able to pet her (first with a leather glove on, and then once she stopped objecting to being petted he petted her with his bare hand), and she’ll “talk” to him occasionally. She doesn’t seem to much enjoy the petting, but she tolerates it, and that’s something she wasn’t putting up with when we first brought her home.

She spends most of her time either in the basket on the wall or in the kennel (which is covered with a towel). Occasionally she’ll push her way behind the kennel, but comes out when we pull the kennel away from the wall.

Saturday night, after making us worry, she ate the bowl of chicken baby food and deli turkey that we left for her, as well as some of the kitten kibble. She also used the litter box more than once, which I was glad to see. There were other signs that she’d been exploring the rest of the room – not that there’s much to explore, but she knocked over the pillow by the door, and possibly batted a toy across the room (though it’s also possible that Fred or I kicked the toy across the room without realizing it).

She’s still unnamed, but I’m leaning toward naming her Emmy. I like good, solid, simple names for our mama cats – Kara and Maggie were names that came to me pretty quickly and I consider Emmy to be in that same line. Nothing’s written in stone yet, though, I’ll keep y’all informed!

2012-02-20 (3)
This is the kennel – it might look familiar to you if you were following along when we had Maggie last year.

2012-02-20 (4)
“I not love you, lady.”

2012-02-20 (2)
“This guy who gives the ear scritches, though, he’s kind of okay.”

2012-02-20 (1)
“You go ‘way and leave me alone with the ear scritcher, mm’kay?”

Why do I suspect that after Kara and Maggie were kind enough to give birth to their kittens during daytime hours (well, Kara had hers in the evening) so we could witness the blessed event, this mama is planning to birth hers in the middle of the night?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This evening, I’ll be taking Sally and Lucy to Petsmart. Ordinarily I’d wait and take them tomorrow morning (adoption hours are held Tuesday evening), but I’m honestly not confident that I’ll be able to get both girls into carriers without help from Fred. They are wily and slinky and good at hiding, so I’ll need him to grab one while I grab the other, and we’ll stick them into carriers at the same time so we don’t end up putting one in a carrier and then have to hunt the other one down.

Y’all keep your fingers crossed that they’re adopted quickly, won’t you? For the past week or so, both girls have taken to jumping up onto the bed the instant they hear me turn over in the morning. They lay on me and purr, roll around, knead, and peep at me. They are just the sweetest girls! I’m going to miss them – and yet, I hope I get to miss them and that they don’t end up having to come back here for another break.

2012-02-20 (5)
Every Pepper loves that catnip banana.

2012-02-20 (6)
Miz Poo critiques Everett’s form: “Not high enough.”

2012-02-20 (7)
Corbie jumps in and grabs da bird.

2012-02-20 (8)
Everett supervises.

2012-02-20 (9)
Crazy Corbs.

2012-02-20 (11)
Got it!

2012-02-20 (12)
Not ever going to let it go.

2012-02-20 (13)
No, seriously. She’s not letting go.

2012-02-20 (14)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2012-02-20 (15)
Miss Maxi keeps an eye on her property.

2012-02-20 (16)
I don’t know what I was doing here, but it was clearly causing the Ears of Annoyance.

2012-02-20 (17)
One of the compost heaps. Or, as Maxi sees it, a warm place to hang out (that’s bedding that came from the chicken coop last Fall. I’m sure it’s nice and warm as it composts.)


2011: No entry.
2010: Do you remember Hoyt?
2009: No entry.
2008: More glaring.
2007: Maxi through the front door.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



2-20-12 — 16 Comments

  1. Wonderful pictures today and what a wonderful email from Eileen! It is alway soooo good to see how their lives turned out.

    YAY for Fred!!! It does take fearlessness and Fred’s got it! I hope she can relax and learn to love humans so she can get a wonderful and loving home!

    Best wishes to the Peppers at PetSmart! Hugs to all!!!

  2. I didn’t have time to post on Saturday, but Yay! Babies! I’m sure you and Fred will be able to tame her before her babies are born.

  3. Wow! It must be great to see two of your fosters in such a great home and so beautifully healthy, too! And that business cat meme is really catching on!

    I was glad to read that the mama kitty is eating and letting Fred skritch her. That’s very good progress for a scared-to-death kitty!! I’m going to predict that Fred will have her in his lap in about 3 days (unless, of course, she really is pregnant and has her kittens by then)!! I’m sure she’ll love you, too. If she doesn’t, rest assured that the rest of us do!!

    As for Maxi, smart girl! Compost heaps are often warm and stinky in a good way!

  4. WOW!!! I loved reading Eileen’s email so much, and what GREAT pictures she sent!! It sounds like Gus and Belle grew up to be really wonderful cats! And it’s clear they’re so well loved… yay!! (And would that cake be to celebrate their 5 years with Eileen…?? Too cute!)

    Now, since I hadn’t yet been introduced to this blog back in 2007, I’m gonna go back and look at Gus and Belle’s baby pics too, whee…!!

  5. We have two cats that live in the bathroom, one is our elderly former King of the Barnyard (who is now deaf and walks on his elbows) and his friend a former young outdoor kitty who was terrified all the time and turns out to be partly sighted. Together they are TEAM TABBY and live in TABBY LAND! I am delighted to see that your new Momma is another Tabby, Team Tabbies rocks! (and yes I’m looking into t-shirts).

  6. Slightly off topic – yet the bird feeders are shown – found this recipe for “Birdy Corn Bread” on a USGS site about bird bill deformities. Take out the spaces in the URL below.

    Thought you’d find the contents interesting… just where does one find frozen cubes of mosquito larvae? LOL

    http:// alaska.usgs.gov/ science/biology/ landbirds/beak_deformity/ index.html

  7. Poor frightened pregnant girl may never entirely get comfortable with you; it sounds like she has had a pretty rough life up to this point. I have had one of my cats for 2 1/2 years and I consider it a big accomplishment that I can now pet her while I am standing, if she is lying on my bed. The first six months I had her she never came out of her cubby if I was anywhere around and even now if I move too quickly she will run from me. I don’t know all of her history, but somehow it makes it even more endearing when she jumps on the bed in the middle of the night to cuddle with me for a while. Kudos to you and Fred for taking her in.

  8. Aw, poor scared soon-to-be mama… I wish it’d work to have her and Kara meet, so Kara could tell her in kitty language ‘OK, the humans are a bit odd (they are humans…) but they’re good people and you and those babies are gonna have it *good* here’.

    Still, does sound like you and Fred are making some progress.

  9. Excellent kitten adoption update – how beautiful are Gus and Bella, such cute grown ups. and they get cake, too…aaww….
    Mama cat will take time but if any folks can win her over, it’ll be you and Fred. there’s a technique called Tellington T-Touch and they have all kinds of contact techniques that can really help an animal relax. check out this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eiyQJldFXc&feature=related (did it work?)
    Ok, so “mama” cat may not allow you to get that close but there are lots of tips there about helping an animal trust you.
    I, too, hope Lucy and Sally get snapped up pronto. and that Corbie! he looks like a munchkin cat in that ‘crazy corbs’ photo.

  10. Isn’t it the best when you hear from an adopter? And from five years ago with great photos, to boot! How fun! I know how much it made your day.
    Good luck with mama–maybe she’ll mellow a bit when the kits come.