8-12-15 Wednesday

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Shecky update! Sheckdate! Well, except that his name is Gir now, so it’s a Girdate! Girpdate?

John said: So it has almost been a month since we brought Gir/Shecky home and I thought it was time to give everyone an update. Gir is most definitely one of a kind! He is the most curious and random little guy. He still has a fascination with the bathtub. He has even surprised me a time or two by getting in the shower…while I was in the shower. He is a great help when it comes to doing laundry and daily household chores…or at least he thinks he is being helpful.

And two weeks ago he became a big brother! We adopted Kes and the two are inseparable! We were hoping that Gir would teach Kes how to behave but it has been the reverse, lol. Gir is just simply the sweetest little guy! He loves to cuddle, loves to give kisses, has never met a stranger and loves to test the limits of what he can or can’t do.

Thank you so much for the update, John! I love seeing Gir in his role as big brother. πŸ™‚


Look who it is!

“You think you will get any work done on your music?–Ha Ha, foolish human!”

Yes, that IS the cat formerly known as Mama Lucy! Pam posted on Facebook last week to say:

I knew that Gilly (aka Mama Lucy) was getting plump, so weighed her and compared to the last weight you had posted–up more than 2# to 9.6oz! So I guess that girlish figure is gone. She is the sweetest, funniest little thing! Follows us around and “helps” me with everything, always meets us when we come in, gallops madly around the house at playtime.

You had commented in your notes about her that her estimated dob was 3/19/2012. Do you know where she was prior to coming to you as a pregnant stray?

Her name has gone back and forth from “Tiggah” to “Gilly” depending on which grandchild is here. The girls in the family (including me) like Gilly. Bill will call her kitty no matter what her name turns out to be, and as long as she gets some lovin’ she doesn’t care.

I told Pam that the age we gave Lucy was just a guesstimation – the vet thought she was between 2 and 3 years old, so I subtracted 3 years from the date I got her. Aging cats isn’t that easy once they’re past about a year old, so it’s entirely possible that she’s younger than we thought. Or maybe she just feels so free from her previous life of caring for kittens that she’s feeling her oats!

(Thanks for letting me steal that pic, Pam. I just love that look on her face!)


So, a few people have asked how I get all those kittens fed several times a day, and I thought it would be fun to do a “Day in the life” post. And then I realized, when I reached noon, that I had about 30 pictures, and the day was only half over.

I combined pictures into collages and stopped taking pictures of every single thing I did, in hopes of making this a little more interesting and a little less image-intensive.

These pictures were all taken yesterday, with my cell phone (and edited and collaged using PicMonkey).

Yes, that’s early and makes my inner slacker/night owl cry.

Snack time for the permanent residents (not all of whom are in this picture, obviously. Tommy gets his snack in the dining room, Maxi, Newt, and Stefan on the side stoop, and I think Joe Bob was partaking of his morning meal in the computer room. Stinkerbelle was atop the pantry, because she doesn’t mingle with the peasants).

Bottles filled with pre-made formula, and set in mugs of water to warm up slowly. The mug on the left (“Everything tastes better with cat hair in it!”) is for the Swimmers; the one on the right (the big bottle) is for the Squash Bugs.

Dennis snoopervises from atop the fridge.

The Swimmers get their bottles first, for no reason in particular, that’s just the routine I’ve gotten into. After they’re full, I snuggle with them until they get sleepy, then put clean blankets in the tub, and head out for round two.

The Squash Bugs get their turn (not shown in these pictures: the syringes of canned food mixed with formula. Calabash initially showed interest in eating off the plate, but after that wouldn’t even think of it. No one else is interested in eating off the plate either, so I syringe-feed them canned food mixed with formula and then top them off with formula from the bottle.) After they’re full and have run around the room a while, I bring Pattypan downstairs where we remove her bandage, put a warm compress on her leg, and put a clean bandage on. Then she gets a little more of the bottle and goes back into the cage with her siblings.

Alice to the vet for a dental cleaning. Then to the grocery store for a few groceries, and then to Dollar General, because it’s the only place I can find plain non-clumping clay litter. I bought two 20 pound bags for $7.

Home again, greeted by Stefan on the side stoop and Archie in Fred’s chair.

Rescue operation wherein a cricket (on the bathroom floor) was scooped up into an empty Rolaids container, and released outdoors.

Dishes, laundry, put chicken on to boil, breakfast made.

Keeping an eye on Archie and Stefan, because it kinda looked like they wanted to be startin’ something.

Bottles on to warm for 11:00 feeding.

While bottles were warming, 5 minutes to answer email and check Facebook.

Feeding the Swimmers.

Feeding the Squash Bugs (those faces are killing me dead. Such DRAMA).

No pictures of: lunch, vacuuming, editing pictures for today’s post. Hands-on time with the permanent residents (I make a point of literally getting my hands on all the permanent residents (except Stinkerbelle) at least once a day so I can see how they’re doing, get a little love, and just generally check in). This took the better part of the early afternoon. Ordinarily there would have been a nap in there, but I didn’t have time for a nap because I had an appointment:

Pattypan had her follow up appointment at the vet. The appointment was at 4, but I managed to show up half an hour early because I spaced on the time (it was at 4, I needed to leave by 3:30, and then somehow I started thinking the appointment was at 3:30. Duh.) Zuke, Ambercup and Calabash got roped into being travel buddies, and they were WILD. They raced around the carrier, they screamed their little heads off, they peed in the carrier. I guess they’re over this “travel buddy” nonsense!

The good news is that Pattypan’s leg is looking really good. It’s healing well – she’s to stay on the antibiotics for another week, just to be safe, but it doesn’t look like there’s going to be any more problems (fingers crossed)!

Was almost 5 when I got home, which is an hour later than I usually feed them. They seemed none the worse for wear, though.

Feeding the Swimmers. And yes, that IS a litter box in the tub with them, and they DO use it. Not all of them, and I usually have to replace the pad in the tub once or twice a day because someone peed on it, but they’re already hitting the litter box more than I’d expect at this age, so it’s all good.

Feeding the Squash Bugs. Yes, I did take more pictures of the Squash Bugs today than the Swimmers; my only excuse is that the light in the bathroom is awful.

TV time with Fred (and Dennis, who didn’t show up in the picture I took). We’re working our way through Mr. Robot, and I really like it.

Last feeding for the Swimmers at 8. Fred helps out with this feeding, and we do it at the dining room table (and have to move cat beds to make room). We’re both of the opinion that the Swimmers are ready to give canned food a try. They are some super fat and healthy little kittens, and though they’re at least a week younger than the Squash Bugs, they’re all bigger than Pattypan, and are probably going to be bigger than all the Squash Bugs before long. I’m starting to think that they’re going to be really big cats when all is said and done.

Last feeding for the Squash Bugs.

After the last feeding for the night, and a whole lot of kitten-kissing and snuggling, I had a ton of dishes to do, more laundry to fold (I swear I do more laundry when I have kittens than I did when I had a newborn human in my house almost 27 years ago!), and more pictures to go through, edit, collage, watermark, and upload.

Things I needed to get to today, and didn’t get a chance:

*Responding to blog comments – I try to check in at least once a day; I read them all via email, but don’t always get a chance to respond, unfortunately.
*Work in the garden (the tomatoes desperately need some serious pruning, the squash plants need to have their boundaries enforced, I need to decide what to do about my raised beds, I need to beat back the wisteria), there’s a lot of pruning that needs to be done in the front flower bed and in the greenery around the cat houses in the back yard.
*Paint the cat shelves that have been sitting in the garage for months. I slap a coat of paint on here and there, but I need to just get it DONE.
*Blog housekeeping: pages for the Swimmers and the Squash Bugs, and… well, a whole list of stuff. I have it all written down here somewhere!
*And a million other things.

The babies will grow up and require less time out of my day (but never less snuggling; it’s a rough job, but someone’s gotta do it). I’ll eventually get all the important stuff done, and let the less important stuff slide. It all works out in the end.

(This was a particularly busy day for me; I’m not sure that I thought my cunning plan through. If this post seems slapped together pretty quickly, well, it was!)

And now it’s 11:00 and I am really really tired, so I’m going to schedule this to post at 5 am, then I’ll pop out my contacts, wash my face, brush my teeth, and go to bed. I’ll read for about 10 minutes before I turn out the light. The morning always comes too soon!

PS: I only glanced through this post and have likely missed egregious typos or other mistakes. If you spot any, please let me know so I can fix them. Otherwise, 2016 Robyn will see them and be horrified when she’s linking back to this year’s post.


2014: Orlando gives me the face of β€œWhat you doin’, weird lady?”
2013: Puff (now Hook) goes home.
2012: No entry.
2011: The way you’re asking the question makes me think that there might be people out there who don’t decorate the house to flatter their cats, is that what you’re telling me?
2010: Here at Crooked Acres, it’s business as usual.
2009: Oh, he’s so spoiled but he is SO sweet.
2008: These kittens are KILLING ME.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Good thing he’s so cute!



8-12-15 Wednesday — 38 Comments

  1. What a great post! πŸ™‚ However, I got you beat as I am a 4:30 am riser.
    I noticed the little pee marks in the Swimmers litter box and I was quite pleased with them! LOL The pic you posted on FB last night was the BEST! It really really must be a banner!!! I am very happy for Pattypan and her little arm being all better! I hope your day is a bit less hectic today. πŸ™‚

    By the way, Dennis is just beautiful!!

        • I’ve got y’all beat. 2:30. Or earlier…and no, I have no evening social life. πŸ™‚

          • Y’all are nuts! Sometimes I’m just going to bed at 2:30 because I can’t get it all done in a day. Of course, I DEFINITELY have to nap if I do that! Generally speaking it’s 11:30pm or 12 to bed and then rising with the kids for school between 5:30 and 6am. Not enough but it NEVER is enough.

    • Ha – Fred is up around 4:30 most mornings, too. He considers me a slacker if I sleep later than 6. SOMEtimes I sleep as late as 7 (but not when there are babies to be fed!)

      So far, today’s almost as hectic as yesterday, but I didn’t have to leave the house, and I did get some work in the garden done, so I’m happy! πŸ™‚ (I agree, Dennis is one gorgeous boy!)

  2. I am wondering if the little Swimmers maybe slightly older than originally thought? I know with feral born kittens, sometimes their growth is delayed because Mom may not always have enough milk and other issues; when this happens when they suddenly get enough food they can bust in an grow, develop really fast.

    We think this was the case with “The Wombles” who were so tiny they could barely walk and vet thought were maybe 5 weeks – but they didn’t need a bottle, used a littler box within two days and grew like weeds – reaching the size and shape of older kittens in one month rather than two.

    We will never be sure, they are all happy small to mid-sized barn cats here now (Siamese slinky body kitties in black and tuxie suits) and since they were found without a Momma cat, well we don’t really know their ages exactly.

    • It’s possible they are, but the people who rescued them have been feeding the mother, and so they saw the babies soon after they were born. If they’re older than we think, it can’t be by more than a few days, I’d think.

      I wish cats could just tell us how old they are! Not that it matters that much, I guess, but it’d be nice to know.

  3. That picture of the Squash Bugs howling while in their crate with their arms in the air makes me think they’re behind a crowd barrier trying to catch a glimpse of their favourite Beatle. All they need are little “I love Paul!” or “I love Ringo!” t-shirts.

    Getting to watch TV with Dennis would be so cool.

  4. Wow, I give you a lot of credit. Two sets of bottle feeders. If I was living close by I would offer to help a feeding. I have done one set of bottle feeders & know how much work it is and exhausting. Don’t try to be super woman. Anyone offers to help, take it. You are an amazing lady.

    • I’m always ready to get through the bottle stage, but then I miss it when they’re done, so I’m trying to enjoy it. I’m just grateful that they’re all latching on so well!

  5. Heroic time management — and you didn’t even mention your delightful Facebook updates! Hope today will include a great big nap, though.

    Thanks for the excellent news re Pattypan’s leg! (Top marks, too, for the MJ allusion and that adorable picture of Dennis, among others.)

    • Oh, yes indeed, there’s a nap coming right at me today! Dennis is already skulking around giving me the “Isn’t it about that time?” eyes.

  6. Aww… Gir is so sweet! I mean, there’s never any doubt that Crooked Acres kitties are a certain kind of special because of all the love and care they get, but it’s always wonderful to see it continue in their new environments and it makes me happy when their new families can’t stop gushing about how full of personality they are.

    LOVE seeing Gilly (cute name & it suits her, I think!) relaxing at home! So very glad she’s in a good place now. That girl is really adorable! πŸ™‚

    Excellent post describing your day! It’s amazing to me that you get anything done with all those cats to cuddle (permies & fosters)!

    You truly are an amazing woman (with an equally great husband) and I think my life is a little bit better knowing the two of you are out there in the world. When society has me down, coming here & hanging out with you & your commenters always restores a wee bit of my faith in humanity. So, if I could raise a glass of bubbly this early in the morning, which I can’t so it’s going to be my coffee mug, CHEERS TO YOU! <3

  7. Oh those Squash Bugs! That 3-pic collage made me literally laugh out loud. I can just imagine them with tin cups, banging them against the bars of their “prison,” and singing “How dry I am, how dry I am, nobody knows…” etc. Love those dramatic faces so much!

  8. Yay great news on Pattypan’s leg!

    OMG woman your industriousness slays me. Crazy day right there — and I thought I had a pile of crazy having to take Kira to the emergency vet last night! (She’s okay, got herself tangled in a toy and the farbic was cutting off circulation to one foot. Got her loose and the foot swelling is going down. She’s due for a recheck tomorrow or Friday.)

    • Oh, poor Kira! I bet that was scary for you!

      The days when I have to leave the house always seem much more rushed to me, even if it’s just a 20 minute round-trip drive to drop off a cat!

      • Indeed — but she’s okay and running around like a little lunatic, the foot looks close to normal and doesn’t appear to be bothering her at all. We’ll see what the vet thinks Saturday but I don’t see any issues.

  9. TWO former foster updates! I love that Gil has a little buddy to race around and raise alittle heck. And he’s a shower buddy? Who knew?

    And now Lucy, with her many alias, is getting plump and happy. Doted on by grandchildren and galloping around the place. So fun.

    Wow, all that before 11, exhausting. Love that put your hands literally, on everybody to check in with them.

    And yes, the drama of the squash bugs. Such high histrionics! Looks like the swimmers are starting to use the litter pan. Good.

  10. Wow!! Love updates, so nice to see how they are doing so well!
    And “a day in the life of” posts are amazing! Thanks for sharing and even more, thanks for all the love and work you are putting into these little kittens. Sooner than we could imagine we’ll be getting Squash bug and Swimmer updates!!
    Don’t know what I would do without my love-and-hisses daily fix…. Thank you.

  11. Fantastic post, no typos that I saw. I was exhausted just reading it, though. Fostering is WORK. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Not slapped together! Amazing. You made me tired just reading it. πŸ™‚ You are Wonder Woman! And the babies are so fortunate to have you (and Fred!)

  13. May I nominate this for the favorite posts page? It really is a day in the life…and with the two wonderful updates from adopters tells so much about what you are all about!

    Such a great post…but I am exhausted just reading it…will sleep on the plane this afternoon for sure!

  14. next time you do a garden post, can you you share your wisteria? I have one and it has chewed through two of my attempts to post it upright so now it is laying on the ground eyeing my husband’s favorite tree suspiciously..

  15. You’re like the Energizer Bunny. I was exhausted after the first feeding. And The Swimmers are without doubt, adorable!

  16. Ok, don’t kill me for not knowing which kitten it is in the bottom picture of the first Squashbugs get their turn, but it looks like someone has a heart and a Mickey Mouse (with one slightly detached ear) on their back! Or am I seeing things that aren’t there?

  17. I am giving Zuke an unofficial middle name of Parmesan. Zuke Parmesan. I amuse myself easily…

  18. the squashbugs looks so dramatic in the cage!! it’s on one hand hilarious, on the other hand scary?? like 3 escapees in a horror film… erm.. i think too much

    Alice doesn’t look very happy with you in that cage.. haha..how did you even get her in there