8-11-15 Tuesday

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Ambercup, exploring the scratcher. She’s a climber!

Pattypan gets her smug on.

Rubbing her paws together as she makes her evil plans to take over the world…

Zuke has a think.

“I am but a wee babymuffin.”

In answer to the question about Calabash’s eyes: yes, her left eye is ever so slightly smaller than her right. But it’s not as glaringly obvious as it seems in pictures – the gray fur around her right eye makes it look much bigger than it actually is.

“Watchin’ you, lady.”

Hangin’ out in the litter box. As you do.

The update on Pattypan’s leg: Last Thursday evening, when we were changing the dressing on her leg, her leg looked really awful to me. I called immediately and made an appointment to have her seen by the vet the next day. Friday morning, it looked a lot better, but I decided to keep the appointment. At the vet, I took the dressing off her leg, and the vet checked her over.

“I just… where is the drain coming out?” she asked.

Which is when I looked down at the dressing I’d taken off Pattypan’s leg, and realized that the drain had come off, along with a piece of skin.

Inwardly I was screaming and running around in horrified circles, but outwardly I kept it together. The vet basically said to keep doing what I was doing – warm compresses twice a day, change the dressing twice a day, keep her on both antibiotics – and that it looked pretty good to her. I guess that having the drain (and that small piece of skin – GAHHHHH) fall out was all Pattypan needed, because it’s looking better every day. She’s been so good about us messing with her leg, and the bandaged leg doesn’t slow her down at ALL. She is just the sweetest little thing! She’s going back to the vet this afternoon for a recheck, I’ll try to remember to update y’all about that tomorrow.


If you’re on Facebook, you might have noticed over the weekend that Fred announced he’d just performed his very first kitten enemas. So here’s what got us to that point.

When bottle babies are first switched over from their mother’s milk to reconstituted formula (we use KMR), it can cause constipation. The first thing I did when I realized there was an issue, was to water down their formula and added a couple of drops of olive oil to the bottle. When that got us nowhere, I began giving them baths – running their back ends under warm water in hopes of stimulating a bowel movement. That worked once or twice, but not as well as I’d hoped. Finally, by Sunday I decided that it was time to give enemas a try.

This paragraph is gross – skip it if you have a weak stomach or are eating. (Not everyone knows this – kittens aren’t born knowing how to use the litter box. When they’re raised by their mother, she licks their back ends to stimulate them to go – and she eats the result. Now, I love kittens but I have my limits. So I use paper towels to stimulate them to poop and pee. You can use a soft cloth, or a baby wipe, some people stimulate the kittens over a trash can or a litter box. I like paper towels because they absorb the urine. I’ve gone through about three rolls of paper towels in the last week.)

Now, we’ve never done kitten enemas before, and I had honestly hoped to escape this life without having to. We searched the internet for help, we discussed it, we tried to think of ANY other thing we could do, and both came to the conclusion that we had no choice. I 100% DID NOT WANT TO DO THIS.

Fred pulled 2cc of water water into a needleless syringe, and I held the first kitten, waiting for screeching and flailing from the poor kitten. And? Nothing. That kitten didn’t notice a THING. (I… did you guys want details? Because it was a matter of inserting the end of the syringe into the… end of the kitten, and slowly depressing the plunger.) Like so very many things in life, the anticipation was so much worse than the actuality. All four kittens were done in no time flat, we waited about 10 minutes, I gave them a butt bath, and there was poop.

And now we know what to do next time there’s an issue!


As a note, I do know that Greg Louganis is a diver and not a swimmer. But… how does he get out of the pool after a dive? Hmm? Does he levitate? NO, he SWIMS. Ergo, a swimmer.

(Of course, by that definition, I myself am also a swimmer, since I occasionally paddle around in a pool. Where’s my medal?)

Louganis, lookin’ surprised.

Spitz, thinking about taking another run at the bottle.


Three of the four.


Quick video! The first part was taken before the Squash Bugs moved upstairs to the foster room. They – especially Zuke – are STARVIN’. In the second part, the Swimmers (Spitz and, I think, Louganis) are also starvin’.

YouTube link.


Sheriff Mama considers giving me a TOO MANY KITTENS ticket yet again. I’m a repeat offender!


2014: Gilbert, taunting Jake.
2013: No entry.
2012: No entry.
2011: The Many Faces of Lucy Peppers.
2010: Maddy, then and now.
2009: Now, kitten by kitten, meet them all.
2008: Harbl airing commences.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Rambo checks his fan mail.



8-11-15 Tuesday — 45 Comments

  1. I want to be part of Pattypan’s evil world.

    Hello Spitz, you wanna be part of that “evil” world, too?

  2. Kitten enemas-about what I expected! Kitten pictures-adorable as usual also! I would also think that you meant “professional” swimmers/divers/people who spend time in the water on a regular basis. These people would be doing this for a living and be in pools not on an occasional basis. So this would include/preclude others I’m sure but probably not you and Fred who in my mind are professional kitten raisers!

  3. I like the theme, but in my head I’m calling them Mike, Greg, Mark and Dara. I don’t think they’ll mind. πŸ˜‰

    • So am I!

      I think human names on kittens is hilarious for some reason (did I mention I work at a bank?!).

  4. I’m thinking your 8/11/11 list of things you like would make a handy reference if it was in the list of favorite posts. And thanks for the enema explanation – I saw the references in yesterdays comments and was hoping you’d explain. And I’ll just hope I never need the information πŸ™‚

    • Oh, you know – I think I need to just suck it up and do a “recommended” page, so I can go back and add things and edit as needed!

      I hope you never need the information, too. πŸ˜‰

  5. I would be sooooo afraid of kitten enema-ing! You & Fred are the best for always doing what you can for the babies (big & small) in your home and you have my deepest respect & admiration!

    The Swimmers are sweeties but these Squashbugs are my new addiction… I simply canNOT get enough of them!

  6. I could NOT stand the crying baybees… It would make me cry that I couldn’t feed them all at the same time and that any were crying! Breaks my heart even when I logically know they’re not dying!

    You and Fred are the definition of heroes in my world. Your willingness to take on the entire job of kitten wrangling (enemas, bottle feeding on a schedule, etc.) and not just the cute parts (oh! look at the wee babies!) make you stand out people to me! Thank you for sharing them with us!

    • You know what’s the worst? That there are SO MANY things that sound like baby kittens crying in the distance – birds, chickens, even our dryer occasionally squeaks and I think it’s kittens. Drives me nuts!

  7. I sure hope Louganis grows into his lips…cuz right now he has fish lips!

    Kitten enemas are not as bad as I envisioned. I feared that something would be inserted “further” than actually is…and there would be concern of perforating the bowels. Good job and thanks for educating us on that. I am sure someone will need to do the same thing, at some point, in the future. πŸ™‚

    Sending Pattypan boo-boo kisses for her weetle arm.

    [[*sneaking up and rubbing Kara’s belly*}}

  8. Poor starvin’ babies! My cats did NOT like the baby mewing. Two of them looked at me with horror in their eyes as if to say, “My god, woman! There are starving babies here somewhere! What have you done with them?! Why won’t you feed them?!?” The third just continued to doze on the windowsill.

  9. “When they’re raised by their mother, she licks their back ends to stimulate them to go – and she eats the result. Now, I love kittens but I have my limits.”

    Died laughing!

  10. 2cc’s doesn’t sound as bad as I thought. Like everyone else, I was concerned about potentially hurting them but it sounds like you and Fred were very gentle and did things slowly. They apparently didn’t notice a thing.

    I don’t blame you for freaking out. If my child’s skin fell off, I’d be close to hysterical.

    Ciara’s mole watch cracked me up.

  11. geez – don’t tell the Sheriff how many kittens are here – mom can’t afford the fine…..

    Poor Pattypan – giving the foster mom lady fits πŸ™‚

  12. See Robyn! You NEED a milk goat!!! Kittens do wonderful on goat’s milk.. there would be no enemas!

    • Would you believe that I actually have that page bookmarked? I always think that I’m going to give the homemade formula a try, and then I get bottle babies and I never even think about it!

  13. how is it that you didn’t take a video of said enema? πŸ™‚ (like you have six hands in that house)

    you should have a milking goat.. that would be cool. Raw milk or even pasteurized goat milk is good for kittens too, it is pretty much complete so you don’t need to do anything but heat it up.

    Goodness your kittens are all freakin adorable.

    • Good heavens. And we thought that people were squeamish about the spider pics!

      I’m imagining a lot of people saying, “I believed you without the video evidence.”

    • Ha – I was going to tell anyone who requested a video that they were out of luck because NO WAY. I thought there’d be a video on YouTube, but when I searched, there were so many videos of people giving themselves enemas that I may have cringed and refused to look any further. πŸ™‚

  14. I have had THE WORST WEEK EVER so far (Monday: $2000 surprise car repair, today:teeth cleaning from a lady old enough to be Methuselah’s mom and the shaky hands to prove it) and the brightest spot so far in this week was surfing in here this AM and getting Norbie’s banner. It gave me an idea. If you make calendars for us to buy this year, Robyn, you could make one with your most popular banners! If so, I’d like to nominate Sugarbutt’s, Norbie’s, and Rickles’ hug banners πŸ™‚
    Also: that is a gorgeous photo of Kara’s coat!

    • I second that! Sugarbutt’s in March. You know, since that’s my birthday month and he’s my favorite. She said sheepishly HEEHEE

      • I’m going to have to think about how to do that – the banners are wider and thinner than the calendar pics need to be, so I’d either have to Have a black bar at the top and bottom, or redo the banners so they’d be the right size… Hmmm..

      • Oh, I did. I called Mom and cried for 20 minutes last night! But, it (the blown head gasket) happened 2 miles from home, not hundreds, and I work for a company filled with people who know about cars, so I have lots of smart people to lean on. Also, Mom held her cat to the phone so I could hear his purring πŸ™‚ so now I just have to grit my teeth and move on.

        • So to speak. And if your teeth aren’t too sore. Let’s keep it in a positive light.

          On the other hand, there was no property or medical damage when your car died (I’m assuming). Except for the psychological.

          Also, the girl who sits next to me was having three teeth pulled this afternoon in addition to getting measures for a bridge and starting work on a couple of implants.

          Needless to say she’s met her deductible.

          • oh dear, that beats my collection of woes for sure…I hope you directed her to Love-and-Hisses for some kitten therapy!

            (speaking of which, now that I joined the 21st century and purchased a smartphone, my mornings go like this:

            (wakes up, notes it’s 4AM already (California time,) utters several cuss words because it’s time to get up)

            “Hmmm, I bet Robyn’s got her post up already for today, I could use some kitten therapy.”

            (picks up smartphone/surfs to webpage/stops thinking about work/enjoys kitten pix instead))

  15. Question for Robyn and the commentariat: any recommendations from personal experience for a comfortable, sturdy, and preferably budget-friendly cat carrier for long-distance travelling? We are moving from Ireland to the UK and will probably take our her with us on the ferry rather than plane–she would have to spend the entire journey in her carrier in the car, so I want her to feel as comfortable as possible. It’s ok if the carrier is only available in the US–I have people coming over soon who could bring it with them. Anybody have a great experience with one?

      • Thanks! Maybe when you quote it, you could correct my confusing ‘our her’ to ‘our cat’? πŸ˜‰

          • Thanks! Since I asked the question, my research has led me to my current favourite: the Pet Gear Car Seat/Carrier, which seems roomy, well-ventilated, sturdy, and has the loops in the back for securing with a seatbelt. And I think she’ll enjoy it just as a regular little hideaway cave at home when it’s not being used for transport. I dream about the Sleepypod, but it’s just out of our price range right now.
            I’m still open to other suggestions and commenters’ experiences, though!