9-4-17 Monday

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I am starting off another post with sad news, I’m sorry to say.

This was Sigma:

(The lighting in that picture is bad – she was gray and white, not black and white.) She was around the same age as Mercury’s kittens, maybe a little older, and had been with Brittany for a week or so. She was an orphan and had a broken leg the vet thought they’d end up amputating. After she spent the day at the vet last week, Sigma started going downhill and wouldn’t eat. Friday morning, Brittany asked if I’d consider taking her. I told her I would, and that I’d try introducing her to Mercury – but that if Mercury wouldn’t take her on, I have bottle-feeding supplies and would feed her myself with an eye toward integrating her into Mercury’s litter at some point.

When I took her into the foster room, Mercury took one polite sniff, said “I don’t believe so, but thanks for the offer” and walked away. Her kittens gathered around, sniffed Sigma all over (NO hissing!), and then wandered off to play.

Those pictures don’t really do justice to how much bigger Mercury’s kittens were compared to Sigma. They also don’t do justice to just how pretty Sigma was.

Since Mercury wasn’t interested in mothering her, I got out my supplies and fed her. I was willing to tube-feed if necessary, but she willingly swallowed the food I syringed into her mouth. She ate two more times over the course of the afternoon, and I thought for sure we were on our way to a fat and sassy kitten who would be playing with the other kittens in a few days.

Unfortunately, in the late afternoon she went downhill fast, and passed away while I was holding her.

She’s buried next to Kepler and Skylab, under the pecan tree near the garden.


How about some happy news now, in the form of an update? If you’re following Challenger’s House on Facebook, you’ve already seen these – but you can appreciate them again!

First off, we have Belle’s kitten Lumiere.

Hannah said: Thought I’d send a picture of Smurf and Buck (we decided Poseidon was too severe a name for this happy go lucky kitten, previously known as Lumiere). He’s quite the jealous little boy when we pay any attention to Smurf, but we love them both!

His FACE cracks me up!

Smurf was with us last fall as one of the Carolinas kittens, Charlotte. Isn’t she gorgeous?


And the second update! Remember Ressler, from Belle’s litter (I mean, not one of her kittens, but we threw Ressler and Agnes in with them, and made one big litter).

Dana said: I wanted to send an update on how Ressler (now Arlo) is doing. It took only 2 1/2 days for he and Zoomer to become best buddies. He has brought Zoomer out of his shell some even. The kids absolutely love him and even fight over who feeds he and Zoomer, and even who gets to scoop poop from the litter box! Arlo loves chewing on the blanket on my bed, and is quite the adventurer around the house. Thank you so much for the newest addition to our family!

I mean, come on – how SWEET is that! Don’t you love it when two unrelated kittens become BFFs? If you go over to Facebook, you can see the video of Ressler/Arlo tusslin’ with his big brother. It’s a good thing he had Stefan to train him while he was here!


Such a serious little face, Phoenix.

And Stardust!

“Watching you, lady.” Not only does Mercury have fabulous eyeliner and gorgeous eyes, she also has the most adorable little brown beauty mark to the right of her nose, have you noticed?

Aurora on the left, Stardust on the right with that tongue hanging out.

Telstar. Isn’t he a gorgeous boy?

“Hi, lady. I can have a chin scratch?”

Telstar sitting around with his back leg way up in the air, showing off his bits. Why not?

Aurora, sinking her tiny claws into my slipper.

“Yeah, yeah, he’s cute enough, I suppose.” Telstar loves his mama.

“HI Mama!”
“Hey, kid. Why don’t you go play and let Mama take a rest?”

Stardust, Hubble, and Telstar at the milk bar.

Hubble’s got his paws up, y’all, but he’s not sure how long he needs to hold this position.

“Watching you, lady.” Fred and I are in agreement that Telstar is probably what Dennis looked like as a kitten.

Over the weekend I witnessed first Phoenix and then Hubble peeing in the litter box. Not bad for kittens who aren’t 4 weeks old yet! None of them have shown the slightest interest in food other than the milk bar yet – but at their age I wouldn’t really expect them to find food interesting. They look like miniature cats now, instead of unformed blobs, and they just keep getting cuter. They’re all pretty calm about being kissed, which is certainly a good thing!


Video! Bath time for the babies. This was a whole lot easier when they were too small to fight the bathing!

YouTube link


It’s a Newtles.


2016: “Feels like a kitten is chewing on and bunny-kicking my heart, Doc.”
2015: “Lady, get your hand away, I’m tryin’ to sleep!”
2014: Throw Back Thursday: Logie
2013: Tandem Paws of Doom.
2012: I don’t know how you could ever determine a prettiest Pickle, because they’re ALL so pretty.
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: And now I’m about to leave to take Lafayette to the vet for his new eyelips.
2008: Kara, Zoe & Kaylee.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



9-4-17 Monday — 15 Comments

  1. Sleep tight, sweet little Sigma.

    Stardust looks like he’d just been punk’d and is not.impressed. (2nd picture of the babies)

  2. I so adore updates. Love seeing them all smug and happy. Buck, between those legs with those crossed paws and adventurer Arlo! Love how he’s ‘guarding’ his big brother.

    And if those kids need to scoop a litter box, they’re more than welcome to mine!

    So sorry about little sigma, poor wee thing. Thank you for caring for her and giving her a chance, but as you said, she was so small for her age!

  3. I’m so sorry, Brittany and Robyn. Sweet Sigma, rest in peace.

    Oh! The updates!!! Thank you for sharing!! Love & Hisses is the best foundation – kittengarden – for growing the bestest kittens – and the updates of them happy and well adjusted make me so happy!

    These kittens are getting more adorable every day – – possibly by the hour!!! The bath time video… squee!!! Although the dismount off momma at 0:48 and subsequent ‘wtheck?!’ look did cause some coffee to be misdirected… Before I go – to clean this up – I will rewatch and also take a moment to wish y’all a Happy Labor Day!!!!

  4. Thank you for the updates and the up-to-the-moment pictures of your adorable fosters. RIP Sigma, who at least had some serious love and care in her last days.

  5. Poor Sigma- such a beautiful & sweet kitty! Heaven bound little Angel.all the rest of the kittens & cat are adorable!

  6. Aww, sweet baby SIgma. RIP little one. This summer has sure reminded us how fragile life can be for these little ones, try as we might to save them. Thank you Robyn and Brittany.
    Love the updates!

  7. Poor little Sigma. I’m sorry Robyn. We know you and Fred do the very best for all the little kittehs. Once again, I hope my girl Rootie met her at the Rainbow Bridge and is taking care of her.

  8. So sorry to hear about little Sigma. I’m glad you tried.

    Glad to see that the other missions are having a great time getting on with their explorations!

  9. I may have missed something. I don’t remember a kitten named Skylab. Would you mind refreshing, Robyn?

    So sorry about little Sigma.