1-1-14 – 2013 In Review

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Last year I stole Kelly’s “year in review” idea, and y’all liked it so much that I decided to make it an annual thing!

Please note that it took me about two weeks to get this written, and it involved going back through all of the posts for 2013 – there are a LOT of them. If there are any typos (I read through it a couple of times, I swear I did) or any links don’t work, please let me know. I’m hoping to be more organized about this year in review thing for next year, but I’m not sure who I think I’m foolin’.

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2013 In Review

We began 2013 with the Beans in residence.


Bitsy Beans.


Barney Beans.


And Baby Beans. (Bitsy and Barney are brother and sister, but Baby Beans wasn’t related at all – just added in with the other two because he was an only, and needed to be around other kittens.)

At the same time, Mr. Stripey and Sungold were in residence, waiting to go home.


Mr. Stripey.


Sungold.

Mr. Stripey and Sungold went home with Lynn in mid-January. For months, it seemed that things were going great, but unfortunately as they got older their attitude changed and they began bullying the older cats in residence. Lynn tried different things, but unfortunately in November she needed to return them to Challenger’s House. They’re currently there, at the shelter, and have adjusted well. They’re available for adoption now, and will no doubt eventually make their way to Petsmart.

On January 22, the Beans all three went to Petsmart. Bitsy and Barney were adopted (separately) on January 26th, leaving Baby Beans in a cage by himself and not terribly happy about it.

A few days later, we were revisited by a foster and his sister, who’d been returned to Challenger’s House.


The devastatingly gorgeous Kennebec (who quickly earned himself the nickname “Lunk”.)


And the impossibly beautiful Mercury.

They were only intended to be here with us for a couple of days, but Mercury acted like she didn’t feel well (does this sound like a familiar story??), so they ended up staying for about a week and a half. On February 3rd they went to Petsmart, and I brought home a couple of gorgeous brothers who needed a break from the cage at Petsmart.


Batman.


And Robin.

Batman and Robin were 9 months old, and sweet boys whose forever families hadn’t wandered along just yet. They’d been at Petsmart for a while, and needed some time in a space where they could stretch their legs.

It was a wild time ’round here, because we ALSO brought home one silly girl.


Remember Lilybet?

We were so excited to have a “pregnant” tortie with us, but – spoiler! – Lilybet was not pregnant. SIGH.

On February 7th, Mercury, Kennebec, and Baby Beans came home with me for just a day and a half, because they were painting the cat room at Petsmart. I threw them in the room with Batman and Robin, and it went okay.


Kennebec, sniffin’ ’round.


Baby Beans and Mercury getting to know each other.

They went back to Petsmart, and Mercury was adopted that very night.

February happens to be the first time we spotted Stefan, which means we’re coming up on a year that he’s been in our life. Time flies!

In mid-February we got a bunch of baby Jumbo Cornish Rock X chicks from the hatchery. They’re hybrids who are designed to reach their Freezer Camp weight in 7 – 8 weeks. They’re the kind of chicken sitting in packages at most grocery stores. I can assure you that we’re never going to do that again – the majority of them died, and the rest of them grew so fast that it was painful to watch them trying to walk across the yard. But they certainly were adorable when they first arrived.

We also got a “rare breed” chick, who I named Arnold. Arnold lived longer than the Cornish crosses, but he died in the Fall. We really haven’t had much luck with hatchery chicks, unfortunately.


RIP, Arnold.

On February 18th, Kennebec (aka “Lunk”, aka “Boomerang”) came back for a while. He’d done something to his eye.

When I was taking Kennebec to the vet for his eye, I took Lilybet along with me, too. The vet and vet tech both examined her and declared that she was NOT pregnant. That little faker! (And I am such a sucker, aren’t I?)

Lilybet was vaccinated on February 21st, and then went to another Challenger’s House foster family, since my parents were coming to visit and we needed to use the guest bedroom as, y’know, a GUEST bedroom (humans in the guest bedroom? What a novel idea!) She was adopted on March 22nd. Then she was returned a day later (SIGH). Finally, after a long wait, she was adopted again on May 3rd, and it seems to have taken!

But, wait. We had an empty foster room, didn’t we? Well, no. We did NOT have an empty foster room because someone moved into it!


On February 26th, Katherine (Kate) moved in. She was very definitely pregnant, and we waited impatiently for her to hand over those babies.

The next day Kennebec, Batman, and Robin all went back to Petsmart.

Kennebec was adopted on February 28th!

And Baby Beans was adopted on March 1st!

Annnnnd Batman and Robin were adopted on March 23rd – together!

My parents came to visit in March, and brought their dog Molly with them.

All the cats behaved themselves, pretty much, and Molly is adorable.

On March 19th, Kate finally birthed those babies. FINALLY. She had five of them!

And on March 25th, I introduced you to Leia, Jareth, Aslan, Buttercup and Charming.

Also, I love this picture so much.

The kittens grew and became mobile (I was going to share pictures of this stage, but I have to be honest – if I start sharing my favorite pictures of them at this age, I’ll have to share them ALL, because they were one photogenic bunch!)

In mid-April, we went ahead and filled our second foster room with another pregnant mama cat. Remember Khaleesi?

That sweet, silly girl was clearly pregnant, and just as clearly not in any hurry to hand those babies over.

The Royals turned 6 weeks old, and I managed to get a picture of all of them, which was a rare occurrence.

Since the Royals were born on March 19th, which is my sister’s birthday, I thought it would be neat if Khaleesi’s kittens would be born on my mother’s birthday, April 29th. Alas, Khaleesi had her own ideas about that – I guess I didn’t get a vote! – and so it wasn’t until May 1st that those kittens finally made their appearance.

It was a drama-filled event, the birthing of those babies – you can read the details here – but long story short Khaleesi gave birth to four kittens of her own. While she was IN THE PROCESS of giving birth, we got a call from another local cat rescue who had a single newborn kitten whose mother and siblings had been killed in a terrible accident. He needed a mother, were we willing to give it a try? We were, and between babies number three and four, we slipped that little black and white tuxie into the nest. Khaleesi was puzzled and confused, but she gave up trying to figure out what was going on, and raised that little orphan as her own. It still gives me chills, thinking about it!

On May 6th, I officially introduced you to all the Dragons: Ruth, Ember, Puff, Norbert, and Scorch.

Khaleesi was doing a great job of feeding them and keeping them clean, although every once in a while she’d count them and think real hard, trying to figure out how she only remembered birthing four babies, but actually had five.

In the meantime, the Royals learned to eat off a plate.

Time flew by, the Dragons’ eyes opened, and Puff escaped the crate, leading all his siblings to escape the crate as well.

The Royals continued to nurse, despite the fact that they were practically as big as their mother.

On June 4th, Kate headed off to Petsmart. She was adopted on the 15th!

Also on June 4th, Nance and Rick, who adopted my very first bottle baby, Maddy, said goodbye to her.

She was such a gorgeous girl, and though her life was short, I’m so glad that she got to live it with a family that spoiled her rotten every single day.

Throughout June, the Dragons continued growing up (WHY does that have to happen?!)

The Royals went for their spaying and neutering, and then went to Petsmart on June 21st.

On June 25th, I gave you a sneak peek of the bottle babies who’d been living in my tub.

Despite the blur, I love that picture so much I can’t stand it.

The next day, I officially introduced you to House Stark: Jon Snow, Brandon, Arya and Hodor.

They were about 10 days old, and were being brought into the vet’s office just as I happened to be there. I took one look and said “MINE.”

On June 27th, Charming was adopted! (He was subsequently renamed Toby.) And then on July 10th, Jareth was adopted – by the same family! Jareth was renamed Sooty, and the boys are doing great. I love it when siblings are adopted together. Of the remaining Royals, Aslan was adopted on July 12th.

One of my favorite Stark pics, Arya and Hodor.

Stefan cemented his status as a permanent resident rather than a fly-by-night visitor by starting to come inside.

Khaleesi went off to be spayed, although the Dragons nursed right down to the last possible moment. Look how huge Scorch (buff) and Puff (gray and white) were!

Also, the Dragons’ eyes were changing color, making for some gorgeous eyes.

Jon Snow got the Golden Toilet award for being the first Stark to use the litter box, at just over three weeks of age.

Khaleesi went off to Petsmart on July 9th.

The Starks insisted on growing up ALL OF A SUDDEN.

The Dragons went off for their spaying and neutering, except for Scorch who was under the weather and stayed home with me for some love and one-on-one attention. Although he clearly didn’t feel well, that boy didn’t stop purring for one solitary moment.


Taking over Uncle Suggie’s Ham-mick for recovering.

Scorch recovered after a couple of days (still not sure what that was about – but it was apparently not communicable, THANK GOD, because no one else came down with it) and went off for his neutering.

On August 10th, Puff went home! He was adopted by Selena, who had adopted Kohle (now Flynn) late in 2012. Puff was the Dragon who had the most interest from potential adopters, but in the end he went to the perfect home. He and Flynn bonded really quickly, and Puff was renamed Hook. It took all of one week for the boys to become snuggly brudders.

I managed to get one last picture of all five Dragons before Puff/Hook left us.

Also, I adore this picture of Puff and Ember.

On the very same day (August 10th), Khaleesi was adopted! Unfortunately, she was returned 10 days later.

I introduced a couple of the Dragons to the Starks, and there was plenty of floofy kittens floofing around, being all terrifying and such.

Then I threw the door open and let the Starks have the run of the house alongside the Dragons. It went pretty well – there’s always some hissing and smacking when that happens, of course.

Finally – FINALLY – on August 16th Leia and Buttercup were adopted TOGETHER! That meant that all the Dragons had been adopted, and we could breathe a sigh of relief.

I babysat the most adorable little sweet babies for a couple of days while their foster mom was out of town. They were the SWEETEST. The orange tabby boy was named Butter (because he looked like a stick of butter!) and the girls were (I think) Lela and Leta.

On August 20th, the remaining Dragons went off to Petsmart. Well – Ruth, Scorch, and Ember did, in any case. Norbert stayed here with us because he’d been spoken for, and it was going to be a little while before his new mom could come and get him.

A few days later, the Starks went for their spaying (Arya) and neutering. I announced that Arya had ALSO been spoken for, and she would be going home (with a Love & Hisses reader, but NOT the same reader who was adopting Norbert) in a few weeks!

Scorch was adopted on August 24th, and his name was changed to “Scotch.” Which was kind of funny, because I’d called him that by accident several times before he went to Petsmart.

While waiting to go home, Norbert became buddies with the Starks, and had a lot of fun with them. I’m sure he appreciated being the big guy for once, since he was always the smallest Dragon.

On September 3rd, Ember and Ruth were adopted TOGETHER, and Khaleesi was adopted again!

On September 9th, Arya went home to Charleston, SC. Her mom (Kathy) and Dad (Mike) drove here all the way from Charleston because they fell in love with her sweet little face! Her name is Daisy now, and I think it suits her quite well.

On September 13th, Hodor and Brandon went to Petsmart. The next day, Jon Snow went to join them – originally, only a medium cage was available, and I didn’t want to put all three in that size cage. But a large cage opened up, so we put all three boys together. But not for long – an HOUR AND A HALF later, Jon Snow was snatched up. He went home and met his big brothers – Baby Beans (now known as Beans) and Ashford. And a few hours later, Brandon and Hodor were adopted TOGETHER.

(Is it just me, or were there a lot of sibling adoptions this year?)

I scrubbed down the foster room and made it ready for new residents, then refused to tell you anything about them! Until the next day, that is, when I gave you a sneak peek.

And then the day after THAT, I officially introduced you to Livia, Adriana, Carmela, (Dr.) Melfi, Meadow, Tony, Silvio, and Paulie Walnuts.

Norbie was still with us while he waited to go home, and enjoyed having the run of the house 24/7.

On September 20th, Norbie packed up his bag and went home to Chicago with Kirsten!

The Sopranos’ eyes popped open pretty quickly after they came here, and we settled down to having just one foster room. Fred got a job that allows him to work from home, and we converted the second foster room into his office. I floated the idea of keeping kittens in there from time to time, but with all the equipment Fred’s got in there, I really wouldn’t feel comfortable with it doubling as a foster room. So we’ll only have one foster room from here on out, but hopefully we’re going to keep it filled with LOTS of kittens!

At the end of September, I made a helpful compatibility chart so y’all could see who, of the permanent residents, gets along with whom.

At the beginning of October the Sopranos kittens figured out how to escape the crate, and started the process of figuring out how to use the litter boxes. Paulie got the Golden Toilet award for being the first one to figure it out!

This picture of Meadow snuggled up to Paulie and smiling killed me dead back then, and continues to do so. Seriously, that FACE.

We had a visitor in the form of Kintaro, who belongs to Fred’s sister. She and her husband went to France for three weeks, and asked if we’d keep Kintaro while they were gone.

Though a sweet and friendly boy, Kintaro was overwhelmed by the horrifyingly large number of cats in this house, and had to be kept separate from them. Though – as mentioned – he was a sweet boy, I was ever so glad when Kintaro went home.

The Sopranos kittens got the hang of using the litter box (only a few accidents, which was pretty good!), and began eating canned food and kibble. Then they started climbing – and they never really stopped!


Tony was saving that piece of litter for later.

The kittens grew and grew, and nursed and nursed.

And they got the hang of Snack Time.

On Halloween, Livia went off to the North Alabama Spay Neuter Clinic to be spayed. She was a little nervous about that, probably remembering that the LAST time she’d been there, she’d left with 7 kittens. This time, all went off without a hitch, and she came home the next morning. No more litters for Miss Livia!

While Livia was gone, we let Stefan visit with her kittens. It was a flooftastic good time!

I managed to get a blurry picture with all 7 kittens in attendance (though not necessarily looking at the camera).

We managed to track down the rare Loonicorn in mid-November.

Sometime in October or November, a new orange tabby showed up at Crooked Acres. I was pretty sure that he belonged to someone in the area, because he was in great shape and not in any hurry to be friends with us. I called him Potsie.

We eventually befriended Potsie enough to shove him into a carrier. We took him to our vet to be vetted, neutered, and vaccinated. He took off when we brought him home, came around a few more times, but hasn’t been back in several weeks. I highly suspect that his owners decided to keep him inside.

We began letting the Sopranos kittens have the run of the house in mid November, and this happened almost immediately.


Stefan and Silvio.

On November 21st, the Sopranos kittens went off for their spaying and neutering. It went just fine, and they were back here with us the next morning.

On November 29th, Livia went to Petsmart. A month and a few days later, she still hasn’t been adopted, which surprises me. I thought for sure she’d be snapped up in no time flat!

The Sopranos kittens turned three months old, and I posted progression pictures of each of them. They hit their long-and-lanky stage, right on schedule.

On December 17th, the Sopranos kittens went to Petsmart. Well, MOST of them did. Carmela acted as though she wasn’t feeling well, so I kept her here for an extra day, though I think she was just faking it. The next day, I took her to Petsmart to join her siblings. MOST of her siblings, anyway – I dropped the Sopranos off at 4 in the afternoon, and at 7:20 that very evening, I got word that Adriana had been adopted!

The same day the Sopranos went to Petsmart, I brought home four older kittens who’d been at Petsmart for quite a while and needed to have a break from the cage. I introduced you to Bunnie, Toto, John Smith, and Tricki.

Toto and Tricki are brother and sister, and Bunnie and John Smith are brother and sister. They’re all about 7 months old, though Bunnie and John Smith are much larger than Toto and Tricki. They were all very nervous when I first got them home, but now – almost two weeks later – they’re much calmer and all love to be petted and kissed. Tricki still doesn’t want to be picked up, but some cats just don’t.

TWO days after he went to Petsmart, Paulie Walnuts came back here. He’d been favoring his leg and ended up needing a trip to the vet, a shot, and meds. I was happy to have him back here for a little while, because I love that boy.

ONE DAY LATER, he got a companion. Meadow was clearly not feeling well, so I went to Petsmart, grabbed her up, and brought her home. Almost immediately, she started acting as though she felt just fine.

Since Paulie needed to stay and finish his course of medication, I opted to keep Meadow here with him, as well. Y’all predicted we’d keep one or both of them, but on December 27th, I dropped both Paulie and Meadow off at Petsmart.

As of now, there are 6 Sopranos kittens – Carmela, Melfi, Meadow, Tony, Paulie and Silvio – at Petsmart, not yet adopted. Livia is still there, as well. Hopefully all of their forever homes will come along soon!

In previous-foster news, as mentioned at the beginning of this 348 page extravaganza, Mr. Stripey and Sungold are back at the shelter. They’re in the cat room and doing fine, and available for adoption.

In other previous-foster news, back in 2007 we had a litter named after people on the podcast Keith and the Girl – Chemda, Keith, Patrice, Khalili, and Brolo. Brolo was a beautiful classic tabby boy who was adopted fairly quickly.


Brolo, 2007.

Last month, due to allergies, he was returned. He’s at the shelter, in the cat room, and though he was nervous at first, he now gets along fine with the other cats. He’s also available for adoption!

Altogether, if you include the kittens we started the year with (Bitsy, Barney, and Baby Beans, and Mr. Stripey and Sungold), and the ones we’re ending the year with (Bunnie, John Smith, Tricki and Toto), we had 38 fosters move through here. There are 13 currently unadopted (6 Soprano kittens & Livia; Mr. Stripey and Sungold; John Smith, Bunnie, Tricki, and Toto), and one return after 6 years (Brolo). We have now fostered a total of 230 cats and kittens!

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The state of the permanent residents in 2013.

We began the year with 12 cats, briefly went down to 11, and we’re ending the year with 12. We said goodbye to Spanky in mid-April.


Sweet boy.

And at some point after that, we opened the door and added Stefan to the permanent residents.

As we end 2013, all the permanent residents are healthy with no issues to speak of. I don’t anticipate saying goodbye to any of them in 2014, and it is my dearest and fervent wish that we greet the end of 2014 with the same permanent residents we’re starting it with, and NO MORE THAN THAT.

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I’m repeating this from last year, because I don’t think I could possibly improve upon it.

As we begin this new year, I’d like to take a moment to thank you all for reading. I know that a lot of you say that you like to start (or end) your day at Love & Hisses, reading about the kittens and the permanent residents. You give me (and each other) advice, ask and answer questions, fall in love with the kittens we foster and our permanent residents, and grieve with us as we’ve lost permanent residents. I started this site because I can’t shut my face about cats and kittens, and to have y’all enjoy the pictures and stories I post means more than I could ever begin to express. I appreciate each and every one of you, whether you’re here every day or just come by every now and then. We’ve built an amazing community here, and I certainly could never have done it alone.

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you all so very very much!

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Previously
2013: 2012 in review.
2012: No entry.
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: This is going to be hard – it always is – but I have to trust that they’ll end up in fantastic homes with people who spoil them as rotten as we do.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.

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