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Gail posted this in the comments over the weekend:

Ok, so after raising and finding homes for tons of kittens, I am looking for advice for the one I am adopting in 10 days. He is adorable, but very special.
–severe over bite
–malformed back legs
–14 oz at 9 weeks old
–2 of the four kittens had failure to thrive and passed in his litter. They were all bigger. His brother who is left is 39 ozs. And his brother was neutered yesterday and now having issues. No judging please, as these are not my rescues! There were 46 kittens and 25 momma cats in the rescue. All brown tabbies. So kittens may have been mixed up. However, he has been eating on his own for 4 weeks since rescuing. All are negative for leukemia and feline aids (all tested this week, mommas and kittens)
–Has been treated for parasites
–vet gave a clean bill of health
–sloppy eye being treated

he is just not growing πŸ™ His foster mom is leaving town for work, so I am taking over her two kittens and have applied to keep him. His brother has already been adopted, just waiting until 12 weeks. I am just trying to get ideas to help him, as the vets are trying vitamins and have a wait and see attitude.

He is bright eyed and very snuggly. He likes to play with toys and his brother. He greets you at he door when you open it. He is 100% in the litter box and gets around ok on flat surfaces. He isn’t jumb or climb well. He has runny poops right now due second round of deworming.




If you guys have suggestions, no matter what they might be, please share!

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Dropping Grumpy and the Floof off at Petsmart on Friday went just fine. I always hate doing it, but they were so unconcerned and laid-back about the whole thing that I didn’t feel too bad. Lisa reported Friday night that she’d stopped by to see them, and they were curled up together asleep. They purred like crazy when she held and petted them (which doesn’t surprise me at all ’cause they’re great big lovebugs), so that was good.

They weren’t adopted over the weekend, and unfortunately neither were any of the Noms. There was only one adoption over the weekend – a cute little black and white kitten named Nabisco – and that was the first one since Darwin was adopted on the 23rd.

I’m hoping adoptions will pick up soon!

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Da Grumps.

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Grumpy and da Floof.

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Basket full o’ Grumps.

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Sweet Cap’n Floof.

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Over the weekend, after having to fight the little Taters off every time I opened the door to the guest bedroom, I finally gave up and left the door open. They now have the run of the house during the day, and go back into the guest bedroom at night. It’s working well so far – they spend most of their day either in the guest bedroom or in the front room, and they occasionally floof up at any big cats who walk by. They think the big cat tree in the front room is AWESOME, and even Stompers climbed up it and took a look around (pictures of them out in the house will be up in a few days!).

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Kennebec’s trying to decide if he’s in the mood for a cardboard snack.

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Agata enjoys a belly rub.

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“Don’t stop ’til I tell you to, lady. You understand?”

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“I can haz a snuggle?”

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Fianna keeps an eye on the other kittens.

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Stompers is in charge of supervising all play with the track ball.

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Stompers investigates my shadow hand.

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So, because of this…

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And because Brandywine prefers NOT to take her snack on top of the dresser in the closet, which is the only place those little monsters can’t get to, she prefers instead to eat her snack while being harassed by her boys, who will crowd her away from the bowl and eat her entire snack, because of that we’ve gone back to moving her to Fred’s room during the day again. She’s still not sure what she thinks about that.

Yesterday, I put her in Fred’s room and shut the door, and then went back a while later to give her one of her many daily snacks, and when I opened the door, Newt came shooting out. Apparently he’d been in the room when I put her in there, and I didn’t see him. Neither of them seemed the worse for wear.

Fred thinks we could just let Brandywine have the run of the house – she’s pretty mild-mannered – but I’m not ready for that just yet.

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Caspian, eye on the toy.

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Dingwall Scotty is pretty sure that if he hangs out on the small cat tree, he can just jump on Brandywine’s back when she comes by. Hasn’t worked yet, but he’s not giving up!

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“I KNOW, right?”

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2012-07-09 (24)
Who is a very very naughty girl? Who repeatedly climbed over the fence even when her collar was zapping her, and ran over to the next door neighbor’s yard and got under the shed? Who is it that needed a stronger collar, turned all the way up, and required us to turn the electric fence on high, just so she’d STAY in the yard? Who is that, do you think? Could it be Sheriff Mama, who used to be on the side of good, but has apparently gone over to the dark side? Could it? WAS it you, Kara?
“Wasn’t me.”
(It totally WAS. Bad Mama.)


2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: β€œHey, guys! There are BIRDS out there!”
2008: Truly, he is SUCH a Momma’s boy.
2007: The worst part of the whole experience was finally getting hold of Tommy and starting to climb down the fence, and Tommy losing his mind, clawing at me, getting free, and leaping onto the ground from about ten feet up.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



7-9-12 — 48 Comments

  1. Oh Kara, don’t make it harder on yourself. Taking bribs and doing other criminal activities as an officer of the law…well that is just a bad road to go down.

    The pic of Fiona enjoying the belly rub is just toooo precious.

    Your watermark looks terrific now. Not too big, too small or intrusive. And the font is just lovely! πŸ™‚

    • Seconded – I honestly totally failed to notice they were even watermarked until I read this comment and went back and looked again.

  2. I don’t have enough experience on those things to advise Gail, but I wanted to say that I **LOVE** him! ((And I love that she’s adopting him, regardless of his issues))

    Can you stand offering a bit more foster advice? This time to me? My babies are dear, sweet, darling messes. One of them needs eye drops 3x per day, topical medication 2x per day, and a medicated bath every 2-3 days (which is a relief because the original prescription was for a bath EVERY day!!). He is such a sweet baby and wants me to love him, but he’s getting shy and skitterish when I reach for him because he’s afraid of what might be coming next. I don’t blame him for being cautious, but how do I convince him that I’m not trying to kill him??

    Oh that poor put-upon Brandywine… the photo of one baby in her food and the other hanging from the shelf where she is standing sums up motherhood perfectly πŸ˜‰

    Perhaps Sheriff Mama is working undercover and is just appearing to break the law in order to gain the bad guys’ trust?

    • bribery….works every time. just go spend time with treats and toys that have nothing to do with medications. then he won’t expect that you are up to something every time you appear. πŸ™‚

    • I concur with bribery. jarred meat baby food is usually the universal signal for “they aren’t trying to kill you”

      Rescue Remedy will help calm the nerves. Spirit Essences in feral cat should also help.

      • Oh my gracious… my kids were rejecting baby food consistency before they graduated to pureed meat, so I had almost forgotten it existed. Um, the kittens love it and Porter thanks you (and I got lots of love and kisses… although he may have been licking the chicken baby food off my arm instead)

        • There’s a reason Robyn referred to baby food chicken as “crack for kittens” in one of her posts. πŸ™‚

          • I agree with bribery too – and Gerber chicken baby food is totally crack for kittens. I keep stocked up on it, and it works amazingly well! πŸ™‚

  3. I see that Cap’n Floof’s whiskers still haven’t quite grown back from the nomming the Grumpster gave them. Not that it detracts in any way from his handsomeness πŸ˜‰

    Agata on the pink blankie reminds me that not all kittehs get over the sucking/nursing thing. My littlest, Pandora, is nearly 14, and even this morning she was sucking and licking on my arm. Sheesh. πŸ™‚

    The vet came on Saturday (house-call vets FTW) and she reckons Pandora has a UTI. (bloody urine, etc.) Also possibly hyperthyroid, but she took blood to check. Pandora’s on an antibiotic, and not very happy about it (but she’s not putting up too much fuss.)

    • So glad you’re getting answers. We had a vet that made house calls when we still lived up north and it was the only way that panicky Einstein ever saw a vet.

      • I’m glad for answers too, though I’m nervous about the bloodwork results, and whether or not Pandora is hyperthyroid. Hopefully not. She’s slightly peeved with me about the antibiotics, but it doesn’t stop her cuddling (mostly).

        My housecall vet is fantastic, really knowledgeable, and nice. It’s even more awesome to have one who does housecalls when it comes round to doing annual checkups. Three for one, and no hauling them all out to a vet’s office. She’s at vetstogo.com, btw, if there’s anyone in the area. πŸ™‚

    • P.S. I’ve contacted my man-in-the-know in DC and asked for leads on adopters for the three beautiful babies you mentioned at the top of the post.

  4. Hi, Robin! I’m wondering if you or any of your readers can help wih a problem I have. We have an older cat (14 yo) whom we call “The Bulimic” – he throws up on a way too frequent basis; this is an on-going issue that we’ve been dealing with for at least a year. Our vet said it might be that he over-produces stomach acid when his stomach is empty so we tried feeding him a little bit throughout the day. The only difference that this has made is that I don’t clean up a huge amount of vomit once a day but rather smaller amounts sometimes several times a day. The vet has no answers now and since Buster isn’t losing weight and doesn’t do well with vet visits, he is ok with the statis quo. I’m a bit less inclined to be ok with it since I have to actually deal with it.

    Have you ever had a cat with issues like this, or perhaps your readers have? Any suggestions would be very appreciated. I feed the cats Iams dry food and a spoonful of canned food a couple of times a day (we just use the regular cat rather than the old cat version of the dry food because Buster is rather thin) and our two cats are strictly indoor cats.

    Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions!

    • My 8 year old Dunkin does the same thing. I have had him checked out too, and the vet thinks he just eats too fast. Sometimes he doesn’t throw up, but most of the time he does. I will be interested to hear what everyone thinks. I feel so bad for him.

    • Have you tried giving him half a regular Pepcid tablet before you feed him? Pepcid is safe for cats (in that dose, no more than every twelve hours) and I have found that it helps my one cat who tends to regurgitate her food.

    • Becca – I don’t know what all your regular vet has done, but please think about taking your kitty to a specialist. Not to worry you, but that’s how my Baal started doing when he was around 14, but it wasn’t until he starting losing weight and having loose bowels that he was finally diagnosed with cancer. But it took an ultrasound to find it. He was also a major badass when he went to the vet, which sometimes makes vets reluctant to do everything that they would for a more docile cat. As my specialist said, you know your cat better than anyone else, so if you think/know there is a problem, then he needs to listen! I also think an in-depth exam would put you at ease. Good luck with Buster!

    • I’d try the pepcid first. But definitely if it keeps up, go get a second opinion from another vet. Also, maybe less dry food and more canned might help? Canned is gentler on the stomach, and easier to digest, particularly if it is grain-free (like Wellness brand).

    • what are you feeding? It is amazing how often people deal with digestive issues and the vet never has a serious discussion about food. If you haven’t tried a hypoallergenic diet or a limited ingredient diet I would suggest there. Being a huge proponent of raw food I’d also suggest there but people are often reluctant to do that with a vomiting cat πŸ™‚

      If it is stomach acid, it can be controlled with standard over the counter Pepcid, but run what ever you pick up by your vet to make sure it doesn’t have any extra ingredients you don’t want to give and they can advise you on the correct dose. Sometimes it is half a pill, sometimes a quarter.

      But often a change in food can go a long long way to helping the vomiting kitty.

    • My Fuzz got that way when he developed Chronic Renal Failure (CRF). Since I started giving him 2.5 mg of Pepcid (Famotidine), he’s been mostly vomit-free (just the usual hairballs)! He also gained back the weight he lost.

      Ask your vet about dosages for your cat. I just buy generic Famotidine at the supermarket and use a pill cutter to get the correct dosage. He used to take it in Pill Pockets, but only the duck flavor. Since Greenies discontinued the duck flavor, I have to wrap him in a towel and pill him. It’s a good thing he’s going senile — he pretty much forgets about the trauma of being pilled within a couple of minutes!

      • I wouldn’t give a cat any human meds without checking with the vets first.
        Two natural remedies without side effects that worked wonders on my cat who used to vomit all the time are:
        – Homeopet Digestive Upset drops
        – Slippery elm – one capsule diluted in a tiny bit of water, give 2 cc with a syringe in the mouth fifteen minutes before feeding him
        I would also stay with smaller meals.

    • My elderly kitty was a barfer until we started feeding her grain-free wet food. Newmans Organic is what she eats mostly, but Natural Balance is good, too. She throws up all dry food, and most brands of wet. She still throws up once in a while, once or twice a month. I never really noticed her looking or acting badly before, but the new food perked her up a LOT, her coat is *amazingly* silky, she’s much happier.

    • I have no suggestions but lend support as we are going through something similar (yet different?). My Norman (11-years-old) is the barfer in the family. If he loses his lunch, it seems to be because he eats too fast so we’re trying to slow him down. But every few days, he goes on a spree of what seems to be bile or stomach acid spit-up attacks… small puddles of clearish yellow-green liquid on the floor. I’m curious about the too much stomach acid. Anyone have ideas for what’s going on with Norm?

      Hey, Robyn…. look what we all did to the blog while you were away! Thank you for giving us a place to talk with others in the know about our kitties and their weird illnesses πŸ™‚

      • I love that everyone chimed in with such great suggestions! Thanks, all of you, you’re awesome! πŸ™‚

        I can say that I’ve used Pepcid in the past, as directed by the vet, to help a kitten who clearly wanted to eat, but the smell of cat food (of any food) was making her nauseous. We started giving her Pepcid, and it worked really well.

        Also, regarding Slippery Elm, you can buy the powdered stuff at some health stores (I buy mine online), and you can make a “syrup” out of it, as directed here.

        And Kelly, it kind of sounds like it could be a stomach acid issue – maybe talk to your vet and see if trying Norman on Pepcid would work for him?

    • Thank you, everyone!!! I will pass the Pepcid suggestion on to my vet and see what he says. I’m also going to see what grain-free food is available around here (we have Petco and Pet Supplies Plus here) and I’ll give that a whirl.

      Robyn, you have such wonderful readers and I love that they were so willing to give me suggestions. Thanks, y’all!!

  5. Sheriff Mama! What sort of nefarious activity are you tracking at the neighbors? But that is clearly out of your jurisdiction, so you need to hand the case over to the county authorities and stay put. After all, who knows what might happen at Crooked Acres without your vigilance?? πŸ™‚

  6. Oh, Gail, what a sweet baby! Does that last picture show him next to one of his littermates? His little face reminds me of Beulah. I don’t really have any suggestions; it sounds like you’re on the right track with vet care and vitamins. If he’s active and happy, that goes a long way toward getting better. I just wanted to say he’s adorable!

  7. to gail: have you tried a/d? it is a high calorie canned food from a vet, but works wonders. it is prescription but not medical based – just high calorie/high protein. it may start the little guy on the right track. πŸ™‚

    Love that the Taters are on the loose – and paws crossed for some adoptions.

  8. I know I am going to be yelled at so much for this recipe but it helped a small foster sweety-cuteypie-baby even out a bit and gain a little weight in the 2 wks I had him. He didn’t make it (horrendous internal genetic issues) but the vet was amazed that he put on a few ounces and poop solidified some.

    Get a can of organic and/or low sodium chicken broth (or save some juice from boiling chicken) and a small tub of chicken livers. Boil the chicken livers in enough broth to cover them. When they are done, let them cool and puree. It can be as thick or thin as you need/like using the broth. Give in small doses to that sweet baby. Can be made in small batches and can also be stored in the fridge. Ease him into it. It is very rich for a tummy not quite used to it.

    • why on earth would you be yelled at for a recipe that helped??

      I personally would just go straight to a raw diet for this kitty. My personal favorite (that I can’t get locally) is Feline’s Pride. Next is Bravo (because that is what I can get)

      I have “cured” a handful of chronic diarrhea cases of kittens (and few moms) with raw food. Slowing down the gut enough to form proper stools also gives the kitty time to absorb the nutrients and calories in the food. If you aren’t ready to invest in raw pet food, feeding pure ol raw meat will also help. It won’t be balanced and complete, but it will help soothe and nourish, and you’ll know if your little one is into eating raw meat (After many years of kittens loving raw food, I finally ran into one who didn’t)

      probiotics will also help. If you don’t have any in a capsule form in your home, plain full fat (organic if you can) yogurt will get some in your kitty. Since the nutrition in the food is taken in by the digestive lining of the gut by the good bacteria in there, probiotics are often helpful.

      A/D is also a good suggestion. Higher in fat and calories (and lower in plant based ingredients) it is a recovery diet for pets out of surgery because it gets calories in fast and is highly palatable. I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone refuse to eat it. Your vet should be happy to sell you a few cans of that or something similar by a different manufacturer if they don’t sell hills.

  9. I’m assuming the rescue kitten is eating canned food. I wonder if his stools will return to normal–she mentioned worming. I have an adult cat with food intolerances and abnormal soft stools. She can’t have any fowl or food with guar gum or carageenan. She is currently eating Nature’s Instinct venison and lamb. I add fish once in a while. Her favorite food is rabbit–impossible to get now due to supplier problems. She had a history of diarrhea and really foul smelling stools. She looked horrible when I first took her as a foster. The vet was furious with the rescue and he never seemed to bond with her. She has a different vet consequently. She is a thin cat but is holding her weight. She doesn’t vomit much and keeps herself clean now. She is a sweetheart but will probably always be a problem child.

    • Don’t overlook allergies as well. One of my cats was the runt of the litter, probably because the original owners never figured out she was allergic to wheat. She also seems to have an issue with other additives as well. I kept moving her to more wholesome dry food as I could afford. She’s doing well now. I think commercial canned cat food bothers her, too, but I can’t afford the good canned stuff.

  10. I love Agata’s blissful face when she’s getting her belly rubbed.

    I don’t know what to tell you about Gail’s kitten. Hate to be a broken record for steroids but if it’ll help him to grow, it maybe worth it. He just may not qualify for the Olympics next month but we can live with the disappointment. As long as he’s healthy, he just maybe a smaller kitty.

    Hate that the Noms aren’t being swooped up quickly. They’re such sweeties.

    • I prefer to think of it this way: the right home just hasn’t happened yet.

  11. Thanks everyone! I will try the AD and raw diet. Raw is no biggie as I used whole prey with my ferrets and mink when I ran the shelter. I will make up a batch of “gravy” and pull out the meat grinder.

    Yes, that last is a picture of him with his brother jack jack. There are over 36 more corbie look alikes to be adopted in nj!

    As for steroids, I will ask my vet.

  12. *sigh* and here I am down in Texas, with five cats, and having promised my husband that the feline population in our house will NOT expand.

    Have you thought of a name for your special little guy yet, Gail? Or are you waiting for him to tell it to you?

    • He is in NJ (i live in NJ across the hudson from NYC) but am visiting my mom and family in SA. so I will get him when I go back. He is called Micah right now

  13. Sorry to hear about all the problems others are having. I have no answers but lots of virtual hugs coming to all of you.

    If I lived closer, as I’ve said before, Newberry would be going to a good home. Hugs to them as well.

    And everyone needs a night on the town once in their lives (okay maybe more than once), Right Kara?

  14. ++++cross brought to you by paw of Doom Freya the Office Cat – now that her message is over I can take over the keyboard!

    For the little guy, just do your best, you may want to get some kitten replacement formula from the vet, mix it with cooked scrambled eggs or “cat slop” which is brown rice and boneless/skinless chicken put through a blender. The scrambled eggs was what a vet had us give a baby who had nearly died from dehydration and starvation (along with loose bowels). Mixed with formula, you can even give it in a bottle or syringe if needed.

    Also, remember that little guy may simply have serious, internal issues. From your description, he has won a bad genetic lottery card and your job is to love him to bits, make him comfortable and give him a chance to thrive. If his tiny little body just isn’t strong enough, you can love him and hold him as long as he is here; that may be two weeks and it may be twenty years…either way, you’ve given him a life he would never have had otherwise in that huge cat pack.

    Good luck…now time to check Mommy Rescue Cat (number 2, number 1 was spayed last week) as she looks like Robyn’s Video of “cat in labor.” Poor thing has been cussing out that tom cat for several hours now, but no kittens yet, though I expect them by tomorrow morning.

  15. Oh Kara.. Sheriff Momma… Who is that doppleganger that’s doing bad stuff and making sure you get the blame?? We KNOW it wasn’t you, you’re the Sheriff! You’d never break the law like that! I hope you catch that bad kitty and put her in kitty jail and prove your innocense!

    Good luck Grumpy and Da Floof! And the Noms! Need more adoptions!

  16. Gail, I adopted a feral kitten 8 years ago that was easily half the size of her siblings. She turned out to be wormy and we took care of that right away, but she’s never been bigger than 4 pounds. I fed her canned goat milk for a long time. It didn’t make her grow, but she was very healthy and happy. I finally had her spayed at 1 year, there was just no reason before that because she’s totally an inside cat and had never come into heat. The vet said he had a hard time finding her teeny-tiny ovaries. I hope your baby turns out as healthy as my little Gollum. P.S. She got her name because she’s a totally sneaky little witch. She’s been a housecat all these years but still acts like a feral.

  17. Gail, you might want to check with your vet about using Tylan with the kitten. It is an antibiotic that works specifically in the GI tract by simulating the immune system. It decrease gut inflammation, which allows better absorption of nutrients. If it is a case of agrocerosis, you can try Hills AD or nutrical.

  18. All the kitten pictures are so sweet, but the Stompers fuzzy, whiskery, eyelashy, eyebrowy and ear floofy ones are just slaying me dead. That boy has fuzz coming out of everywhere, which makes him all the more adorable. His new Mama must be beside herself, having to wait to be able to hug and kiss him all over, 24/7! I would be!

  19. To Gail, it’s later but you might still check this… I have a friend that is fostering a kitten that looks just like that, same shortened-looking face, who was also very tiny for a long time! We did deworm her with something called Ponazuril and it turned out she had a ton of tapes. I don’t know if that was all that contributed to her small size, I suspect something genetic or congenital as well. The good news is that after several weeks of barely getting bigger, she is now gaining weight and is very playful. A/D is good stuff to try, but just keep at it. She may pull out of it and start growing all of a sudden.

  20. I swear by forti-flora probiotics. And there is nothing wrong with feeding kittens KMR second step for a while. I am currently fostering some that are “behind” and they love to lap it out of a dish. Who cares if they are 6 weeks old–I’m letting them eat what they want, and the mama cat too, who was pitifully thin. Hope this helps.