Comparisons! On the left, January 10th. On the right, 3 weeks later: January 31st. She’s gone from 8 pounds, 3 ounces to 10 pounds, 3 ounces (yes, she’s gained two pounds in three weeks. We feed ’em well here at Love & Hisses Headquarters.) My predictions: no idea when she’s gonna have them (any time between right now and Christmas ), and 6 kittens. I would PREFER no more than 4 kittens (just since it would mean less stress for Canasta), but I know I don’t get a vote.
Canasta has discovered that Charlie’s tail makes a fun toy. And Charlie puts up with it pretty well! (Don’t miss the swaying of the belly at the end, as she walks across the room!)
So a few people have asked how many nipples Canasta has. She’s got 9: 4 in the top row (her right side), 5 in the bottom (left) row. The 5th nipple in that bottom row is up nearly to her armpit, you have to really look to see it. It’s higher than I’m used to seeing nipples (how many times do I get to say “nipple” before Instagram decides I’m sharing porn, do you suppose?)(“porn” might catch their attention too), but it appears to be a true nipple – that is, it’s getting bigger and darker just like the other nipples, so I don’t think it’s a nonfunctioning nubbin or anything.
This is not to say that I think she’ll have 9 kittens (and I hope she doesn’t – oh please Canasta, don’t have 9 kittens. I don’t think my nerves could take that, and we know it’s all about me, right?), but that’s the most nipples I’ve ever seen on a cat up until now.
(Fun fact for the newer readers: in 2018 I fostered Ryder and her 9 kittens (who were about 5 weeks old when I got them), so that size litter does actually happen, just hopefully not for Canasta.)
Foster cat Canasta might be hugely pregnant (due any time; I don’t know how many kittens – I’m predicting 6), but she’s still super playful. She loves it when I toss toys for her, and she loves that scratcher/track toy.
I took/posted these pictures in 2010, when we got our very first ham-micks. 11 years later, they’re still popular with fosters and with Charlie, so as you can guess I highly recommend them! (Get them from Forty Paws Hammicks.) All three of these cats – permanent residents Tom Cullen in the top, his brother Sugarbutt in the lower left, and my beloved Miz Poo in the lower right – are now gone, leaving us within months of each other, the summer of 2015. We miss them so much, but seeing pictures of them happy and in their prime makes me smile.
A few months ago – around Thanksgiving – we kittensat for fellow foster mom Lexi, who was going out of town for the holiday. At the time they were known as Orange and Tan, and this is what they look like now! Does it get any cuter? I don’t think it does.
Orange is now Athena and Tan is Artemis (they’re both girls). They’re a bonded pair – they’ve been spayed and vaccinated, and are ready for adoption now. If you think you might need these cutie pies in your home, email Forgotten Felines of Huntsville at info (at) ffhsv.org to inquire. They’re located in Huntsville, Alabama.
Since we’ve hit the point where it feels like Canasta is NEVER going to have her kittens, and since we have some newer followers, I think it’s time to reintroduce the permanent residents! I’ll do 3 today and 4 tomorrow, in the order that they joined the family.
This is Newt, who is now 15 years old (date of birth estimated January 2006). In 2007 he showed up on the doorstep of Crooked Acres, the house we had just bought and were in the middle of renovating, along with Maxi (who’s been gone nearly 3 years now) and Maxi’s 4 kittens. At first we thought he might be the father of her kittens, but the vet suggested that he was probably her kitten from a previous litter. Once they were spayed and neutered (and Maxi’s kittens were adopted out), Newt and Maxi were going to belong to a lady who lived a few doors down the road. But as it turned out, our house was more to their liking, and they became (and remained) ours.
Newt pretty much does his own thing – he doesn’t play with the other cats, but he’s happy to allow Jake and Charlie to rub heads with him, especially if they all know that there’s food coming. His favorite thing on earth is to lick the goop out of cat food cans, and so when we have a lot of fosters and he gets a LOT of cans is when he’s happiest. He has a lot of favorite places to sleep, including on Fred’s bed, on the guest bedroom bed, and on the heated doll bed in the computer room. He used to be terrified of strangers, but – like a lot of cats when they hit a certain age – now he just ignores them and will actually allow people he doesn’t know to pet him. He’s got the loudest purr (I can hear him from two rooms away) and takes the slurpiest baths ever.
Jake will be 12 years old in June (date of birth: June 2009). He and his brother Elwood (who looked JUST like Jake, only bigger and grumpier) were dumped on our doorstep at Crooked Acres one day while we were out running errands. We got home to find two gray kittens roaming around our side yard. Our initial plan was to foster them, but we got attached pretty quick, and about a day later we decided they needed to belong to us.
Elwood passed away in late 2012 from FIP. Jake has never had any health issues, thankfully. He earned the nickname “Loony Jake” because – well, look at his face. Look at those twirly eyes. He looks like a loon! Jake loves other cats, and when he gets excited, he wants to rub against the nearest cat; they almost always tolerate him, though if he gets too pushy they’ll swat him away and he doesn’t hold a grudge. Jake has a guilty conscience and if I look at him while he’s doing something he thinks he shouldn’t be doing (this includes pretty much everything), he slinks away guiltily. He loves it if I sit on the floor and will come over for vigorous petting. He likes high-strung girl cats (he LOVED Maxi) and will sit and stare at them loonily. He used to really like foster kittens, but now he’s more of the “I’ve got enough friends, THANKS.” mindset, though he does like to watch them play.
Alice Mo the Calico (who has her very own theme song) will be 11 in June (date of birth: June 2010). She showed up on our doorstep when we lived in Crooked Acres (yes, cats showing up our doorstep WAS a thing that happened often!) She was taking refuge in the heated cat house on our front porch, but ran and hid from us. It was a freezing December night, so after a little while of trying to coax her to come to us, we set a trap on the front porch and left the house to run a quick errand. When we got back, she was in the trap. At first she wanted nothing – NOTH.ING. – to do with us, but within a few days she started warming up to us, especially Fred. She was so small that I thought she was about 2 months old. As it turned out she was six MONTHS old. At a later examination, the vet said she didn’t think Alice would get to be much more than 7 pounds. (HA.)
We were fostering the Brady Bunch kittens at that time, so we named her Alice Nelson. She actually DID go to Petsmart to be available for adoption, but Fred missed her so much that less than 24 hours later we went and adopted her.
She did not remain small – she’s a Rubenesque 11 pounds now. She adores Fred, thinks I’m okay, and is mostly annoyed by her brothers (Archie scares her, Jake annoys her – but every once in a great while she can be spotted playing with one of them.) Her favorite place to snooze is in the heated house on the screened in porch, and on warm days she enjoys hanging out in the back yard watching the birds.
Archie (date of birth: January 2013) is 8 years old. He showed up on our doorstep when we lived at Crooked Acres (did I mention that happened a lot?) in November 2014. He was super skittish at first, but Fred worked his magic and soon enough Archie was letting us pet him. It was our intention at that time to have him as an outdoor cat (I don’t know where he came from, but he’d clearly been inside a house before – he was very comfortable being inside), but one weekend he climbed over the fence around the back yard and came inside, and he’s been ours ever since.
Archie has a very low tolerance for just about anything and can go from zero to 60 in an instant. He loves to be petted, and then he doesn’t, so he walks away hissing. He doesn’t mind fosters approaching him until he does, and then he hisses. He haaated Stefan (who we lost in the summer of 2018). Stefan would just be sitting there minding his own business and Archie would be like “Look at THIS idiot, sitting there acting like he owns the place. GOD I hate him.” He’d hiss and growl at Stefan, and Stefan would just be like “Whatever, dude.” He and Charlie play together until Archie reaches his limit, and then Archie stomps away in annoyance.
(Fred and I are in total agreement that Archie is me in cat form.)
Dewey (date of birth: March 2016) is almost 5 years old. He came to us in December of 2016. He’d been at Challenger’s House (the rescue I was fostering for at the time) for a little while, but was such a scaredy cat that Susan asked if Fred would work with him and maybe help make him a more confident cat. His name was Dustin.
Before he ended up at Challenger’s House, he was discovered living in an industrial park alongside three other cats; it was assumed that they were dumped there. He was a VERY timid boy at first, but Fred worked with him, and he started to come out of his shell a bit. He got along well with the other permanent residents and after he’d been with us for about a month, we decided he should stay permanently and we renamed him Dewey.
These days, Dewey is kind of the invisible cat of the house. He spends his days hanging out in the back yard or in one of the houses on the screened porch, and his nights curled up asleep in some warm out-of-the-way place. He gets along fine with the other permanent residents, will sometimes be spotted playing with Jake or Khal, likes being petted (and adores the occasional bite of baby food), but mostly he just goes his own way. Every now and then I’ll wake up with him sleeping on the bed with me, but those times are few and far between. He’s not scared of us, doesn’t mind attention from us, but he has deep thoughts to think and cat things to do, and so he does his own thing.
Khal Drogo, aka The Magnificent Khal, (date of birth: May 2014) is almost 7 years old. He showed up on our property at Crooked Acres toward the end of 2015. He was extremely shy and skittish, and the moment he spotted one of us, he’d be GONE. He came around for a little while, and then completely disappeared. He started showing up again almost exactly a year later, and this time he stuck around. It took Fred a couple of months to get Khal to trust him. We finally got him to the vet, and it turned out that he was FIV positive. (It is safe for FIV positive cats to be around other cats; it’s not that easy to spread FIV, and at the time we had Frankie, who was also FIV positive. I would never hesitate to have an FIV+ cat around my other cats.) We knew we were planning to move in the next few years, and there was no way we were leaving him behind, so Fred started convincing him to come inside for longer and longer periods of time.
When we moved to this house at the end of 2017, I had still only petted Khal a handful of times. He didn’t trust me, and you know what? FINE. I HAD PLENTY OF FRIENDS, I DIDN’T NEED MORE. WHATEVER, KHAL. Then one day I happened to sit in the recliner where Fred sits in the evening when we’re watching TV. Khal jumped up into my lap, and apparently decided that I’m okay. He goes through periods where he’ll sleep with me, he likes to join me on the couch in the evenings when we’re watching TV, and these days I can walk right over to him and pet him and he doesn’t cringe.
Personality-wise, Khal is laid-back, sweet, and loves to be petted. None of the other cats have ANY problems with him at all. He’s buddies with Jake and Charlie and even Newt has been spotted rubbing heads with him. He takes a little while to warm up to foster kittens, but once he’s gotten to know them, he’ll play with them. (A lot of people are sure he’s a Maine Coon, but to me he looks very much like a Norwegian Forest Cat. Whatever he is, he’s GORGEOUS.)
We first met Charlie way back in July (2020) – he came to us as part of the group of kittens we called The Mewsketeers, along with mama Alexandra. At the time his name was Aramis. He wasn’t one of Alexandra’s kittens, but he’d been left behind by a feral mother, and since Alexandra had space at the milk bar, he joined her kittens.
Aramis was, from the very beginning, a sweet, laid-back boy. He got along well with all his foster siblings, was happy to play with them, or by himself. We weren’t looking to add another permanent resident to the household, but when the kittens were allowed to intermingle with the permanent residents, he immediately got along so well with them that it became a possibility. One day he started walking toward Alice – who finds kittens somewhat terrifying – and reacted to her hissing at him by changing direction and avoiding her (to this day
he does not harass her). Soon after, I woke up and knew that he needed to be ours. He has been a good uncle to the fosters we’ve had since then, and nearly every cat who comes into contact with him likes him pretty quickly. (Current foster Canasta has proven to be a harder nut to crack, but she’s coming around!)
He purrs so hard sometimes that it sounds like a cricket singing. His name was nearly “Jiminy” because of that cricket purr, but the day I was in the foster room and he sat outside the door and wailed and wailed to come in, I decided his name should be “Charles, Prince of Wails” – Charlie for short.
He continues to be a laid-back sweetheart. Some nights he sleeps up against me, some nights he disappears and sleeps elsewhere. He’s buddies with Jake and Archie and Khal, and at night they thunder through the house, playing like wild things. Nearly every day, Fred and I tell each other that he was SUCH a good choice as permanent resident. And so he is.
Charlie and Canasta and the feather. Who knew a plain ol’ feather could be so much fun? (Charlie knew!)
In his description yesterday, I forgot to mention that his name is Khal Drogo, but we nearly always call him “Floomp.” Also, please note the drop of drool on the right side of the picture. He is very drooly when he’s being petted.
Canasta catching toys (kinda.) That belly really doesn’t hold her back at all… except when she’s on her back and needs to get up!
2019: I finally got around to making a table comparing the mamas
2019: “I don’t know what’s going on here, but that’s okay.”
2018: I bet that fur would soak up half a gallon of paint in no time flat.
2017: “Woof! I’m a giraffe!” says Dennis.
2016: No entry.
2015: “Hello, sunshine, my old friend; I’ve come to warm my furs again.”
2014: “I just like to snuggle rather than roll around like brutes. Is that so wrong?”
2013: Obviously the cats can’t stay in their cages while the painting is going on, so Mercury, Kennebec, and Baby Beans are back here until Friday morning.
2012: Everett takes a break from jumping to show the correct waltzing form.
2011: Alice and Rhyme were both adopted on Saturday!
2010: Ouiser ultimately got the upper hand, and Drum ran for his life!
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: She became entirely liquid somehow, and flowed through my fingers and across the room, ending up under the bed.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.