First, a quick note: Cicero tested negative! Yay!
I think you should start a company that sends sympathy kittens. You would show up – holding a floofy kitten – at the door of the person receiving the sympathy, hand it to them and say “Here, hold this for a few minutes”. All better. Then you could take the kitten back and head to your next stop. How awesome would that be? That would definitely have made me happy this past week.
I’m pretty sure that would be the BEST job EVER.
What happened to your good camera; kitty related?
NOT kitty related, thank god, no one peed on it! (I learned my lesson last Fall; if I’m not using the camera, I put it in my desk drawer so none of the cats can get near it.) There was a black spot that kept showing up in my pictures. Changing the lens didn’t help, and reading online told me that it was dirt on my sensor. Now, I know I COULD have tried to clean the camera myself, but that thing was so expensive I didn’t want to take a chance, so I sent it off to Sony. It’s still under warranty, so I don’t know if they’ll charge me for cleaning it, but even if they do it’s worth it. I don’t trust my klutzy ways when it comes to stuff like that!
Seriously woman, what do you DO with all the food you are growing??? Can you freeze squash? At least Fred gets out there to pick it before they become baseball bats! Miss one day at the squash plants… and they’re arms and legs… that’s why we’re not growing any this year. I grew more goat food (we have 14) last summer than you can imagine… anyway…
I preserve a ton of squash to eat during Fall, Winter, and Spring, of course! My favorite way to save it is to oven-fry it (edited to add, I use this recipe and have for years), then flash freeze it and put it in a big bag. I also cook and mash it, then drain it. We eat the mashed squash with onions and sometimes a bit of cheese on top. I read recently about the idea of using mashed squash in place of broth as a soup base. We don’t eat much soup, but we may need to start!
I also shred zucchini and seal it up in Foodsaver bags, then toss shredded zucchini in spaghetti sauces and of course zucchini breads and cakes.
We eat a lot of fresh squash and zucchini this time of year – last night we had stuffed pattypan squash with a side of zucchini tots. The night before, stuffed pattypan squash with a side of roasted yellow squash.
The occasional zucchini that Fred misses and grows to be the size of a Buick, we split in half and give to the chickens. Chickens LOVE fresh produce from the garden – the only thing they love more than squash is tomatoes.
If you have a favorite squash/ zucchini recipe, I’d love to hear it!
Any word about the Noms?
No adoptions yet – Tuesday was a very slow night in the store. Adoptions take place again tonight and over the weekend, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. The shelter manager – who was doing adoptions Tuesday night – said that they didn’t want to come out of the cage and play, but they also weren’t acting scared. At least they weren’t hiding in the litter box! I hate it when they do that.
Regarding having to say goodbye to fosters, Connie and Kelly are absolutely right:
Connie said: Sometimes it is achingly hard, but what helps me is that with my house ‘full’ of cats now, I know adding new ones will not be good for them nor The Crew. I fought long and hard with myself before adopting Skippy (the youngest), even posting an apology to him on my blog about it. You remember why you own the number of cats that you do, and that by changing that the chances of you being able to foster change.
That and the next batch always helps ease the pain of losing the last batch.
(and generally by the time they are ready to go back for adoption they are very much like three year old humans at the end of a very long birthday party filled with too much candy and excitement.. you are often so ready for them to go so you can go back to the sedate and easier younger kittens)
And Kelly said: Granted, my first two fosters are still in residence here but as far as letting them go…. I think it’s different for me because I knew from the very first moment that I thought about bringing them into my house that they are NOT mine. I love my fosters to death and would spend all day snuggling and kissing them if they would allow it, but they occupy a different place in my heart than the permanent residents do. It’s kind of like being a teacher (which I was before my own kids were born). You love your students and would do anything in the world to help them succeed while they are in your care, but you know they are not yours forever. Our job is to help them to the next level… permanent loving homes in the cases of our fosters.
That being said, check back with me the first time that I have to let one go. It won’t be easy, but I’ll bet it’s easier knowing that they will make someone else so very happy. My son has already asked to keep Penny, but I’ve explained that we can’t help the “next Penny” if we keep the first.
I haz a question. Wouldn’t those Noms get adopted faster if they were younger? Do you stress out as they get older and look more like teenage kittens and worry that shallow people will choose littler kittens over them? Sincerely, Jane
Without a doubt, they’d get adopted faster if they were younger and smaller, but Challenger’s House (and most shelters around here, I think – I HOPE, anyway) won’t adopt out kittens until after they’ve been spayed and neutered, which happens at 2 months/ 2 lbs. The Noms could have gone to Petsmart earlier if I’d had them fixed at 2 months (and once they’d had all their shots), but I opted to wait ’til they could also get their rabies shots at the same time (3 months). They’re actually the only kittens at Petsmart right now – the rest of the cages have adults in them – so I’m hopeful that they go quickly.
The only kittens that I got seriously concerned about because they were getting so “big” were the Bookworms. They were, what, 6 or 7 months before they were ready? Of course, that ended up working out just fine, and I don’t actually have any fosters who weren’t adopted (I mean long-term), though I’ve often thought that was going to happen. Sooner or later the right people seem to come along.
And I should add that Fred usually thinks that kittens younger than 2 months are “boring” and “have no personality.” Which means we make a good team – I love and adore and kiss to death the little ones, and then when they get a little older he teaches them to fly through the air in pursuit of toys!
I’ve always said that if I won the lottery, the first thing I would do is buy an old horse farm (without horses because I’m deathly allergic and would spend my life in the emergency room if they lived within a mile of me). Anyway, after it had been sanitized, I would refurbish the stalls into living quarters for senior cats and dogs with furniture from the thrift store. They would each have their individual (or paired, if they’d like a roommate) apartment to retire to in the evenings and I would hire a vet to work out of the barn. So I guess that’s like having a cat farm. Excuse me while I go buy a lottery ticket… haven’t done that recently and I need to make this happen.
I absolutely LOVE this idea – I think a lot of us plan to do something similar if we win the lottery (and I’m remembering that UGH, I forgot to get my lottery tickets when I was in TN yesterday!!!)
I have mulled over getting into fostering once my two oldsters are gone, but I just don’t think I could let go.
Do you have any techniques for coping, Robyn? Is it just crying and swearing (I do those pretty well)? Do you focus on the remaining fosters and Permanent Residents? Are there many sleepless nights of misery?
I sure hope that the Noms get snatched up ASAP. And I hope Logie is the first to get adopted so I don’t have to think about her as just another black cat in a cage. She’s so much more than that.
I’ll go weep quietly in a hanky now.
Truly, it sucks to let them go, and it hurts – but it is so, so worth it. It helps to have new fosters to focus on, and knowing that I helped to give them a good start always helps, too.
Doodle Bean has a few questions – I don’t have a hyperthyroid kitty (I’m sure somewhere in the house a permanent resident just perked up and said “Oh, reallllllllly. Let me see what I can do about that!”), but I’m sure someone out there does!
Hi All, I need some advice.
My Sweetpea, the Bengal, has hyperthyroidism and is responding well to medication… but my vet told me yesterday that Hill’s Scientific now has a food out for hyperthyroid kittehs.
I have two sets of questions:
1.) Has anyone tried the food on hyperthyroid cats who also have the beginnings of CRF? What have been your experience? Do the cats like it? Any results yet?
2.) Has anyone successfully fed a food-aggressive cat a different diet to another cat in the house? I understand that Sweetpea can ONLY eat the hyperthyroid food. I mention that she is a Bengal so you know she is insanely bossy and is food aggressive. Right now, the only way I can make sure she lets Fuzz eat is to have 2 free-feeding stations. She has claimed both, but only defends one so Fuzz can eat at the other.
Anyone out there have any advice for me? I haven’t made up my mind yet because a.) I don’t know if it will be possible to keep her out of Fuzz’s food (which she sees as *her* food!) b.) I’m disabled and don’t know if I could handle the extra work (free feeding works well for me since I use automatic feeders. I only have to bend down once a week or so).
Thanks for any advice you can give me!
I swear I’m not a skimmer, I heart you and read you religiously, but – have you not done Lord of the Rings names yet??! As an uber-geeky cat lady I must say that the possibilities are endless – Aragorn for the handsome rogue kitteh of any color (mad crush on Viggo here), Frodo for the intrepid and adventurous runt of the litter, Sauron for the devilish one. Oh! And Galadriel if you have an imperious white female, and just picture Samwise as a fat and affable orange tabby – C’mon, folks, amirite?? Love you Robyn, keep up the great work! 8o)
I haven’t done Lord of the Rings yet – and a quick check of the names that have been used by Challenger’s House in the past show that there’s been a Frodo, but the other names haven’t been used. So I’m adding them to my list of potential future foster names!
Floofy kittens just kill me with the cute. Vladimir was about the same size Russet and Norland are when I got him last year (he was stuck up a tree in the park and so skinny you could feel all his ribs). He’s 9 months old now, about 11 pounds and still growing (!) and is hilariously and magnificently floofy. (All I have handy is a crappy instagram photo, but I feel compelled to show him off – he has even more crazy white belly floof now than in the picture.)
What a CUTIE!!
When I rescued Maufry from a freeway underpass, we got her home and got all the oil and gunk and blood (!) cleaned off of her, fed her some formula because I thought she was only about 3-4 weeks old, showed her where the litter box was, then shut the door to let her explore the room and calm down. I came back in an hour or two later, and she was sprawled (in a doesn’t-look-like-sleeping-at-all pose) next to the litter box.
I called, “Kitty kitty” a few times from the doorway, not wanting to scare her, and made the kissy-noises trying to get her attention. Then I called, at normal volume, for my son to come, because I thought if she was dead there was no way I was going to be able to pick her up. I made my way slowly to where she was lying, calling and stomping and making the “tch-tch-tch-tch” noises all the way. Nothing. There were actually tears in my eyes as I reached down to touch her, expecting to find her cold and stiff.
When I finally touched her, she flew two feet straight up in the air, floofed herself up to 18 times her normal size, and made noises that she must have learned from watching B-level horror movies. She dang near took my eyeballs out, and then I had to go change my pants. I felt sorry for scaring her at first, but then I felt MORE sorry for how badly SHE had scared ME!
I have read this three times so far, and every time I giggle like crazy!
Rupert is a cutie! Is that a dirty tail or a fur color?
We’re pretty sure that Rupert’s tail has just the very faintest tinge of beige to it. It never gets darker or lighter, so I’m assuming that it’s color rather than dirt.
This year, finally, success with tomatoes! I’ve got 2 hugely producing Sweet 100 cherry tomato plants that, even with the neighbor’s help, we can’t keep up with. Made a huge pot of roasted cherry tomato sauce for the freezer tonight but am looking for other recipes that use large quantities of small tomatoes. Any suggestions?
The only thing that comes to mind at the moment is roasting them with garlic and onions and then eating them over angel hair pasta. For some reason my mind is blank for other suggestions, but I’d love to hear suggestions from anyone out there. Our tomatoes have juuuuust started coming in, but we’ll be getting tons of them soon enough!
So, our little man was an absolute angel all the way to the clinic yesterday morning. He just sat in his carrier and occasionally looked up at me. I put his stuffed kitty in the carrier to keep him company, and he snuggled up to it. As I mentioned at the top of the post, he tested negative, and so yesterday we started introducing him to his new siblings.
I didn’t get any pictures – I was kind of scattered yesterday because after I got back from the clinic, I realized I was down to crumbs in the Babycat food he’s been eating, so I had to run to Petsmart to get some more. I’ll have pictures, and hopefully videos, on Monday, I promise.
Cicero acted like he’d known those kittens his entire life, and they acted like he was a pesky little brother. He especially liked jumping on Fianna, who so very much did NOT appreciate that. All the Taters are now living with Cicero in the guest bedroom. I let him out every so often to play, and then put him back in his cage when I decided he was getting too overexcited. I’m lucky that he doesn’t much mind going into his cage, thank goodness. The rest of the Taters get the rest of the room to hang out in, and they really like having a bed to jump up on, and a tall cat tree to climb.
Did I mention that he doubled his weight in a week? He was half a pound when we got him, and is now just under a pound.
I asked the shelter manager to tell me how old she thought he was, and she said five to six weeks, closer to six than five. That’s about what I thought, so I’m calling him 5 1/2 weeks, which gives him a birth date of…oh, let’s say May 5th. Cinco de Mayo!
2011: Complaints? She haz them.
2010: Rough life, boys.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: Which reminds me, last time I had a sit-down with The Lord, The Lord informed me that doing what might lead to business on Sunday is FORBIDDEN, but abandoning as many of His Creatures to fend for themselves and be hit by cars and lay dying on the side of the road is A-OK with Him! It’s in the Bible!
2006: No entry.
2005: Poop Watch v. 2.0, currently in progress.