I got to take part in Connie’s Interview with a Fosterer series, she posted it yesterday. Go check it out!
If you haven’t been checking out the previous years’ entries (linked at the bottom of the post), you are missing out on some serious cute. Last year, we had Kate and the newborn Royals. Two years ago, we had Emmy and her 2 1/2 week old Noms. Three years ago we were waiting for Maggie to give up those babies (which she didn’t do ’til April 2nd). Four years ago, we were waiting for Maura to have her babies (which she never did, since she wasn’t pregnant), and were watching the Bookworms (AKA Corbie’s litter!) grow up.
Very cute video to get kittens adopted!
I love it!
Since we’re talking about gorgeous kitties, dear LORD, have you seen this?
I had not seen that – I love it!
Photo #8: we call that “resting b*tch face”. Some of the best of us unintentionally practice it 😀
I myself suffer from that particular affliction!
I have been considering a screen door for my foster situation as well. Updates please on how well that works.
Will do – so far, so good!
I know that when one of my guys gets a glimpse of my neighbour’s outdoor cat at my back screen door during the summer, there is much puffing up of chests and tests of manhood. How do you think the Players/Permanent Residents will react to each other (because kittens – so threatening!)?
And what’s that pink fuzzy thing around Tommy’s neck in the last picture?
So far, the kittens and the permanent residents have only looked at each other through the screen. None of the permanent residents have gotten too close (ewww, kittens!) as of yet.
That fuzzy thing around Tommy’s neck is his collar that works with the electric (invisible) fence around the back yard. It’s frayed and badly needs to be replaced. (The collar, that is, not the fence!)
So they make pet screening? Good to know since I have 13 pounds cats who think they needs to hang on the back screen door like they are 3 pound kittens! Plus Jinx tore a hole in the bottom screen going after a bug or leaf last fall… And even though I hope the snow and ice killed off a lot of the mosquitoes, any that are left will find that hole and come after me for dinner!
They do make pet screening – you can buy a roll of it at Amazon, and I’m sure they carry it at Lowe’s/Home Depot. You can also get doors that already have pet screening in it. The screened porch at the shelter has pet screen in the windows – they installed it in 2001, and I swear it looks brand new to me!
We have a roll of pet screen, and once all the Players have left us, we’re going to take the door down, polyurethane (or paint, we haven’t decided) it, and replace the screen in the top part of the door with pet screen.
You’ve probably been asked this before, but do you notice if you bond more with certain fosters/litters than others? If so, what do you think causes the difference? Just curious.
I do tend to bond more with the kittens who have issues. Remember Tony Rocky Horror Pickle? He was SUCH a mess when we got him, and we actually thought he had died/was dying at one point. As a result of spending so much time worrying about and hovering over him, I was IN LOVE with that boy. I’m still amazed I managed to let him go.
(I should probably confess that I had a plan when I took him to Petsmart. I was positive that all the other Pickles would be adopted and he’d be left alone, since black kittens are always the last to go. Then I was going to make a big fuss about how he was in that cage ALL ALONE and go pick him up and bring him home. But I was foiled, since he was adopted with his brother!)
I think it’s probably only natural to bond with the sickly kittens, since you do spend more time worrying about and fussing over them. Another confession for y’all: I always have a favorite from every litter, and I always feel so guilty about actually having a favorite that I bend over backwards to not let y’all know who my favorite is. I think I do a pretty good job of it!
Robyn – where did you get the soft cone Tommy was wearing as a ‘cape’ in one of the ‘previouslies’ from last week? My kitty Annie has glaucoma and has lost the vision in her left eye. Because her pressures are still high, and the eye is causing her discomfort, we’re going to have it removed. She’ll have to wear a cone of shame to protect the stitches and I’m thinking a soft cone will be more comfortable.
Also – do you know where I can get a kitty eye patch? I’m SURE she won’t wear it for long – but Pirate Annie must be immortalized at some point.
My poor kitties. Boo has only a stub of a tail, we had it amputated when we found her. I think a coyote had caught her by the tail at some point. Now Annie is losing her eye. We’re an odd looking bunch here.
That’s an ElizaSoft collar. I don’t remember whether we got it from Amazon or from our vet, but the one on Amazon is the same kind. Also, Kong makes a soft collar, which might be worth checking out.
I didn’t have any suggestions on where to find a kitty eye patch, but Roland chimed in:
I didn’t see commercially made patches for cats in a quick search, but there are designs out there to help make your own.
An adjustable velcro fastener at the back like this looks more practical than some of the elasticised ones on Etsy which looked to be fitting a bit too tight.
From the same web site – crocheted beanies, with ear holes!
Does Dennis ever play? Or does he just sit there looking cute?
He does play – I’ve seen him doing it on the webcam – but it tends to make him a little nervous if the other kittens are getting too rambunctious (and a human is present) so he’ll go sit on his bed, or hide on the cat tree. He’s just a somewhat nervous boy. I usually have to coax him into letting me pet him – though of course once I start petting him, he’s all “Hey, I like this!” and purrs like crazy.
I also think it’s time for Tricki or someone to come home for a visit. I don’t understand why they’re still there.
I’d bring Tricki, Livia, AND Khaleesi home for a break (Livia’s been there the longest), but have nowhere to put them. Once again, Fred stealing my second foster room has made life difficult. The nerve!
Seriously, we’ve talked about adding another room to the house (the simplest way would be to put a sunroom off the front room, I think), but it’s not in the cards for us just yet. Hopefully in the future that’ll happen, and we can keep it loaded down with fosters!
I have a question for you, and for anyone else with multiple cats. How do you know when one is sick? And I don’t mean obviously sick, I mean the kind of sick you’d only notice from the litter box. Like, when we had only two cats, I’d know what the box was supposed to look like when I cleaned it. I scooped every other day, so there’d usually be 4 pee clumps and 2 poos. If there was more or less than that, I could very easily narrow down which cat it was. And living in a small apartment, I could usually very easily see if one was having an issue while they were actually in the box.
Now, however, I have 7 cats and more litter boxes spread throughout a bigger house. One new cat, I followed him around the first few days, making sure he was eliminating ok, and discovered blood in his poo. Then I REALLY had to follow him around, trying to get a litter-free sample for the vet. But discovering urinary issues is harder, because they don’t usually do much digging first. I only noticed one cat having issues because I was home all day for once, at my desk most of the time, and a box is in the same room, and I noticed Loki in there quite a lot with not much to show for it. My husband cleaned the boxes once, and said the pee clumps looked bigger than usual to him, but the next time I cleaned, they were all normal-sized to me.
So how do you do it? If you think a cat is having an issue, do you follow them around all day, have a camera on the boxes, what? We’re more concerned than we used to be because we had a cat pass away from kidney failure last summer, so we try to watch the rest of the cats more closely, but it’s hard with so many.
I think I’m really lucky – I spend a lot of time in and out of the laundry room and the front room (where the litter boxes are), and if someone’s in the litter box more often than they should be, my subconscious tends to notice and alerts my conscious brain. Fred’s pretty good about noticing that sort of thing, too. But that said, I do have two webcams, and if someone was having litter box issues – or I suspected they might be – I would absolutely set up cameras on both sets of litter boxes to keep an eye on them. I have DropCams (one “Pro”, one not), and they’re great, but a little pricey. There are a ton of different webcams out there, you certainly don’t have to lay out that kind of money for them. Look around to find something less expensive that will work.
Connie suggested (in the comments yesterday) that you could also do a process of elimination – lock each cat up with a litter box and see what happens.
Anyone have other ideas? We’re all ears!
I have to tell you I finally did it. Just had to have one more “kitten” before I get too old (don’t want to leave any behind when I go, if I can help it. Most of my crew of 12 are aged 10 – 17). And I just had to name her Stinkerbelle – my now all time favorite name for a kitty. So I adopted her from a local shelter where a friend volunteers. She picked her out for me as I can never decide and I went in the cat room to get acquainted. Another volunteer handed her to me and were getting all bonded when my friend said I was holding the wrong kitty! Oh dear. So I adopted both of them, of course. Stinkerbelle (the 2nd) and Sugarbuns are both tabicos (tabbicos ?) six and seven months old respectively, and of course vaccinated, chipped, spayed, tested, etc.
Except that three weeks after adoption – and while the new girls were still in the transition room, Stinkerbelle came into heat! Oops. Some sort of mixup there, but she’s to be spayed by my vet as soon as she stops doing that slutty little dance thing. Stinkerbelle indeed! She is a sweety. And now I have (gulp) fourteen. That’s a lot of little bowl washing.
Awww, Patrice, good for you! Aren’t cats in heat the MOST fun (not!)?
Stinkerbelle and Sugarbuns: I LOVE it! (PS: One way to have an unending stream of kittens: fostering! Just sayin’. 😉 I know, I know, it’s not for everyone.)
Angelo, Mariette, and Ferdinand, playing with a packing strap. Kittens always love those things.
Angelo, letting Ferdinand suck on his toe.
And then suddenly Ferdinand was sucking on Angelo’s toe, and Angelo was sucking on Ferdinand’s toe. Then Ferdinand decided he didn’t like that, and stomped off. He’s all take, take, take, that one.
Mariette studiously (and brattily) not looking my way.
He’s all ears and legs, that one.
Maria and Ferdinand, hanging out on the landing. Maria’s looking up toward the window, where there are no curtains. I mean, there are SUPPOSED to be curtains, but there are not. A certain kitten (FERDINAND) thought that hanging from them was SUPER! FUN!, and down they came. After Fred hung them back up and they came down again, I made the executive decision not to put them back up ’til there are no kittens around to hang from them.
Dropping Ferdinand, Maria, and Orlando off at Petsmart was as fun as it usually is (ie, not at all.) They were freaked out and climbed into the litter box. I know it’ll take a while for them to calm down and get into the daily routine, but I sure do hate it when they immediately go into hiding. HAAAAATE IT. Fingers crossed for lots of adoptions this weekend!
Corbie, gorgeously dangerous (please note the claw he’s showing so that you don’t try to snorgle him while he’s snoozing.)
2013: “MAMA WHERE YOU IS I AM HUNGRY!”
2012: “Wait… there are TWO of them?!”
2011: No babies yet.
2010: We’re staying inside where it’s nice and warm.
2009: No entry.
2008: Fred thought it would be a good idea to pick up the pig.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
That could be a contest, guess Robyn’s secret favorite. The prize could be a kitten. Hee.
It was very interesting reading your bio. I, too, am an Air Force brat. I married a preacher, so I continued to move, but this July will be 18 years that we’ve lived in this community. It still boggles my mind that I’ve been in one place this long. We’ll be downsizing in the next few months, but one of my requirements is a house with a room we can set up as a kitty foster room!
I love the reader’s story about wanting one more kitten and ending up with two. I imagine her friend later, rocking in a chair with an evil voice and maniacal look on her face saying, “mwha ha ha, my plan worked, she fell for it!”.
I am sure it wasn’t like that. Congrats on those two new kittens! Great names too!
Yep – it was prolly a conspiracy! I just knew I couldn’t live with the guilt of leaving the first one behind. No regrets!!
I loved the interview, specially “If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gate? They’re waiting for you, first room on the left. I hope you brought Da Bird!”.
I’ve had a screen door on my front bedroom for years. I have 2 dogs and [now] 4 cats so initially I wanted a safe room for kitties so I put an wood-framed opening at the bottom of the screen door so they could come and go but keep dogs out. Currently it has a thin piece of wood screwed over the kitty door to close it since there are fosters inside. So YES, screen doors are great in a kitty-centric home! Other: My front burglar-bar door came with screen panels, but I put “hog wire” (?) on the bottom panel so the dogs wouldn’t ruin the screen. Its got quarter inch or more squares making it stronger than just screening. It has worked great and would be good to reinforce areas of a screen door subject to kitty attacks. I remember a lady around here once who was looking for her cat that had escaped through a torn screen. Yikes!
Great interview! Did not know you were a Maine girl too! Just started fostering and you and Connie (who lives near me) are my role models!
I enjoyed reading the interview even though the story of the 4 white kittens made me cry. On a happier note, I can’t believe it has been 3 years since I started reading your blog as Maggie’s pregnancy was when I first started. Time flies! I faithfully read it every day, often before I even roll out of bed. Thanks so much for all that you do, not only for the kittens and cats, but for entertaining us with your stories. If there is a heaven, there will surely be a special room to welcome you and da bird!
love the “I’m not looking at youuuuuu” 🙂
Ok, so now I have to know who some of your “favorites” have been! Because I always have a favorite from your litters too…
Also, reading your story about TRHP reminded me that I wanted to share something I learned a few weeks ago! When my foster, Momma/Freyja (whom you featured on L&H), was adopted, I was told by the adoption agency that I worked with that black cats are very easy to get adopted here in New York City since people wear a lot of black! Cats that have a lot of white on them are, on the other hand, very difficult to get adopted.
I’ve never seen kittens that old suck on each other’s toes like that. Not sure if that says something about Ferdinand or Angelo.
Both amaze me.
Hi everyone, I’m not sure if anyone is monitoring Facebook, but Fred let us know that Robyn is in the hospital right now. Just thought I’d post here because they surely have more important things on their minds right now.
Oh no! I’m friends with Robyn on Facebook but not Fred…please keep us posted!!
Here’s Fred’s note from 2 hours ago. I should note that it was posted with a picture of a smiling Robyn, so it looks like she’s in good spirits!
“Waiting patiently for the shock paddles, to jump start her heart. You only think I’m kidding.
(because SOMEONE decided it would be a hoot to wake up with atrial fibrillations)”
I’ll keep Fred’s page up and will let you know when he has more updates!
Here’s the girl herself from Facebook!
So, I woke up this morning at 5:30, and my heart felt like a fish flopping around in my chest. I asked Fred to listen to my heartbeat and tell me if it sounded okay to him. He said it very much did NOT, so we headed to the ER. They took blood and did an EKG, and the blood work was fine. My heartbeat was seriously erratic. They told me it was Atrial Fibrillation and gave me some medicine to get it under control, then consulted with a cardiologist in Huntsville.
They transferred me via ambulance to Huntsville Hospital, did more bloodwork, EKG, chest X-ray. The cardiologist came around and, long story short, they did a procedure where they knocked me out, stuck a tube down my throat to look at my heart and made sure I didn’t have a clot, then shocked me to reboot my heart. I woke up feeling much better. My heart looked fine on the ultrasound, they said.
I’ll be in the hospital overnight, they’ll do a stress test in the morning, and then let me go home. So I’m feeling fine, and I’ll be okay!
Thanks for the update Jen!
Hope you feel better Robyn and good luck to Fred tonight alone with all those kitties!
Robyn – take care of yourself! Warm thoughts for a speedy recovery. and, take it easy, k?
Oh my! So glad to hear your heart looked good on the ultrasound. My best healing thoughts are coming your way!
Oh good heavens. I hadn’t heard this. I hope that Robyn’s ok. Thankfully she has fred, he’s a total gem.
Get well soon, Robyn!
Robyn, I just almost got AF myself when I read about your emergency trip to hospital! I’m so gald and relieved that your heart got beck to its normal rhythm. Get well soon!
And Jen, thank you so much for keeping us the non-facebookers updated.
This is what I come back from being out of town to read!!!???? Get better fast and don’t be doing this again!
Bye Bye babies! I know you’ll find your forever homes in no time!
Gonna miss your little monkey faces.
Robyn – take care and get well soon! There are kittens in this world whose butts are going to catch on fire and they need you!!
Sorry, all! I’m late getting this to you. Robyn posted this yesterday:
Home again, home again!
Thanks, everyone, for your good wishes! After cooling my heels for a good part of the day, I took my stress test (FUN), and it came back completely normal. I’ll see the cardiologist in a month, and can contact the Heart Center at any time between now and then if I feel the need.
I feel perfectly fine right now – and have since they performed the Cardioversion yesterday afternoon. I was a little sleepy last night, and enjoyed snoozing with the TV on to trashy TV. I’ve had gallons of blood taken, hundreds of vital signs checked, several EKGs done, and I have more little sticky spots all over my chest and abdomen than you could shake a stick at.
I know that if you don’t live in Alabama, it’s easy to believe that the whole state is made of podunk towns and tiny country hospitals staffed by hicks, but Huntsville Hospital is a highly rated hospital and the doctors and staff there are excellent. I was under the best of care by specialists, and yes – they checked everything that could have caused the A-Fib, and found nothing out of whack.
I guess I’m just special!
I’m happy to be home, and now I’m going to go take a shower and watch a movie with Fred, hopefully with a lap full of cats!
Thank God you are okay. And you are right about Huntsville Hospital. You are in good hands. I hope this was just a transient thing. If not, you can always get an implant to keep the ole ticker beating in time. I bet it was scary and I am sorry you had to experience this. Looks like Fred did a great job of being “Husband in an Emergency”. It is good to know you have great support, although we all knew that already. Take care and get some rest.
Didn’t know about the emergency until I returned here to post this. Glad to hear that everything is mostly OK. My best wishes go out to you that this will prove to be nothing serious and easily treatable.
What I wanted to share was this vid. I can just imagine your kitties romping on and enjoying a similar hammock too.
Hi, I’m a pretty quiet follower but just came across this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLCOTpjBGcs and had to share. Love your blog and love the kitties. I think Orlando might be my favorite in this litter.