Note: this is a very very long post, and as such there are probably typos and possibly inconsistencies in it. If you see anything egregious, please let me know!
2019 in review.
We began 2019 with no fosters in residence, because we were taking a break to let the permanent residents relax.
Kristi and Katia (our Olympian mother and daughter fosters from 2018) were still at Kitty Boot Camp (ie, Michelle’s house).
At Petsmart were mama kitty Ryder and (caged separately) her kittens Pulley, Cam, and Clutch, from the Fleet litter.
Left to right: Pulley, Cam & Clutch.
Two of our Challenger’s House former fosters – Charlotte and Wellington – were returned in May 2018 and were still at the Challenger’s House shelter.
Wellington (left) and Charlotte.
At the beginning of January, I cleaned at Petsmart and then shared pictures of the (perfectly happy-looking) kittens and Ryder and also shared a video of Ryder and her kittens when they were teeny.
After that, I started sharing pictures of the permanent residents in an attempt to clear out my “share these” folder. I started with Frankie, discussing that in the previous few months he and Jake have become really good friends. That friendship continues, they’re practically inseparable now, and though I may have mentioned this at some point in the blog, I wonder if it had anything to do with losing Stefan in the months prior.
On January 8th, I announced that…
Pulley was adopted!
Unfortunately, on January 10th I announced that Axle had been returned.
He’d been adopted 2 1/2 weeks prior, but a family member turned out to have allergies, and so back he came. He went to Petsmart to join Ryder, Pulley, Cam and Clutch.
On January 17 and January 18 I did How Well Did They Age? posts wherein I posted the very first picture of each permanent resident next to a recent picture of the same resident and also a random picture of each. (The verdict: they all aged very well, of COURSE.)
Also on January 18th, I introduced you to a tiny black and white tuxie girl, our new foster (so much for taking January off from fostering, huh?)
I mentioned her “beau” in passing. At that point, he wasn’t with us, but a day later, after he’d been neutered, he came to us, and you met him on the 21st.
Also on January 21st, I announced that…
Axle had been adopted!
Back to Charles and Caroline, I wasn’t sure that having both of them would work. For one, he still had testosterone in his system, and he would follow her around and try to, y’know, do the deed (even though she was already pregnant), and it was making her MAD. But Michelle told me to give him some time, and she was right. If they weren’t bonded when we got them, they certainly bonded during their time with us.
Caroline was pregnant, and although they said at the shelter that she probably would have her kittens within a week, she did not. One thing I know for sure: no one ever knows when a pregnant cat will have her kittens, and although many people spoke authoratatively about when she’d have her kittens, they were WRONG. She just hung out, became BFFs with Charles and got bigger and bigger.
On January 30th, I announced that…
Ryder was adopted!
February came, and we watched Charles and Caroline bond, and Caroline’s belly get bigger and bigger. People started predicting that she’d have her kittens on Valentine’s Day and that I should give them Valentine-y names, but um NO. Not when we had a perfectly good naming theme all lined up and ready to go. Also, I never mentioned to y’all that I formally requested that she NOT have her kittens on Valentines Day because BORING (just my opinion), and she told me she’d take my request under consideration.
We watched Caroline’s belly grow and grow.
And Charles and Caroline killed us with the cute.
On February 13th, I blithely posted the (written the night before) post about how Charles had been driving us nuts wanting out of the foster room, so we blocked the door to the downstairs and let Charles and Caroline have the run of the upstairs during the day. I wasn’t thrilled about it, but Charles has a very piercing voice when he wants to get his point across.
Naturally, I had to edit that post when I got up because Caroline went into labor. I had to leave the house to clean at Petsmart (I was covering for the usual cleaner), and by the time I got back home, she’d given birth to two kittens, and then had three more after I got home. I posted her birth story on Valentine’s Day.
On February 15th (it was an action-packed week, apparently)…
Cam and Clutch were adopted – together! – meaning that Ryder and all her Fleet had been adopted.
In February 19th’s post, I answered the question that had been asked a zillion times: yes, Charles and Caroline would only be adopted out together, as they were clearly a bonded pair.
In that same post, I shared a picture of our first kitten eyeball peeking through, which was a little earlier than usual, since they were only 5 days old.
In the post for February 21st, I announced the kittens’ names.
In the post for February 27th, I proved yet again that I just can’t leave well enough alone. Caroline was happy raising her kittens in the very small carrier where she’d birthed them, but could I just leave it at that? Nooooo, I had to move them to the bigger crate. Then ended up moving them back because it was making her nervous. An inability to leave well enough alone is a recurring theme with me. As is further evidenced in my post for March 11th.
March passed, April came, the kittens grew, my parents came to visit, and we dogsat Percy the daschund for friends for a few weeks while they were in France.
The kittens turned 8 weeks old!
Caroline showed us that she is NOT scared of the vacuum at ALL.
On April 17th we had some sad news about former foster Creed. We are so glad that in the last years of his life he was loved and adored very much, as he deserved.
On April 22nd I announced that we had an adoption pending on…
This family portrait on April 23rd cracks me up.
Failed family portrait – Caroline’s looking at the ceiling, some kittens are awake and looking around, some kittens are sound asleep. And Charles, over there on the table, staring at the door and waiting for it to open. Now that I say all that, I have to admit that this is a pretty good depiction of how this family is.
And I love this one.
Caroline, Willie, Almanzo, Albert, Laura, Mary and Charles.
Caroline was spayed on April 26th (yay!)
The Half Pint kittens turned 12 weeks old (how’d THAT happen?!) and posed for a family portrait without Caroline.
I posted collage pictures of the kittens at 1 day old and 4, 8, and 12 weeks old in the May 9th post.
I got one of my favorite Half Pints pictures, of Charles and his kittens, in mid-May (Caroline wanted nothing to do with that nonsense.)
In the May 22nd post, I announced that not only were Albert and Willie adoption pending, but that Mary and Laura (together) were also pending, which left Charles, Caroline and Almanzo still available.
The kittens went off for their spay/neuter surgeries, and then I announced that Charles and Caroline were ADOPTION PENDING, and we rejoiced.
In the course of two days, four kittens went home…
Laura & Mary together.
Albert & Willie together.
Before they left, I managed to get a shot of all 5 kittens together.
Left to right: Almanzo, Laura, Mary, Albert and Willie.
In the June 3rd post, I made mention that the guest bedroom door was closed and blocked off so that no one could investigate the room or sniff at the bottom of the door, and Charles was displeased with this occurrence.
In the June 4th post I mentioned that there was an application on Almanzo, and also explained the reason the guest bedroom door was closed and blocked off…
Margeaux, Amelie, Jacques and Esmee.
The kittens desperately needed fattening up.
Esmee did NOT think I was funny.
On June 7th, I announced…
Almanzo was adopted!
Charles and Caroline went home!
(The post about their journey home is here.)
After Charles and Caroline went home, I spent hours switching Fred’s office and the foster room so that what was Fred’s office – the big room – was now the foster room, and what was the foster room was now Fred’s office. And the kittens got baths.
Once we moved Margeaux and the kittens to the new foster room, we brought home Katriane and HER three kittens. (In that post we initially introduced Eloise, who turned out to be a boy and became Antoine.) Katriane would let all the kittens nurse, though not for as long as I’d have liked.
In the June 20th post, I wrote about how I’d taken Esmee and Amelie to the vet (I was taking a permanent resident to the vet and took them along in hopes that the vet would look them over too) and asked her to tell me they didn’t have ringworm. She told me that it did look like ringworm to her, and so I began treating all the kittens as though they had ringworm, but honestly – and in retrospect – I don’t think it was ringworm. I don’t know what it was, but it went away with minimal treatment.
Katriane took care of nursing duties…
On June 28th, in answer to a few queries as to why Margeaux was still with us and not spayed and at Petsmart available for adoption, I announced the news…
And Katriane went into heat at the beginning of July. We were trying to get her scheduled for her spay surgery, but then she went out of heat pretty quickly, then she went into heat again. (We did get her spayed eventually, obviously.)
An illustration of why we called Margeaux “Big Mama” and Katriane “Skinny Mama” for the rest of their stay here.
On July 10th, Margeaux had 6 kittens! I posted Margeaux’s birth story on July 11th.
I got a lined-up picture of Katriane and the older six kittens, finally.
Kittens, left to right: Esmee, Madeline, Jacques, Amelie, Antoine & Francois.
Katriane headed off for her spay surgery on July 17th, finally.
Margeaux’s kittens turned 1 week old.
In the July 22nd post, I confessed that pretty much since Margeaux’s kittens were born, the bigger kittens would go into the crate with them and hang out.
It was fine, until the little kittens started moving around more, and I found a big kitten bunny-kicking a little one none too gently. So I moved Margeaux and her kittens into the guest bedroom, and she did NOT like that. After some back-and-forth hijinks, what we ended up doing was putting Margeaux AND Katriane in the guest bedroom, and that worked well enough.
The older kittens met Uncle Archie and donned their floof suits on July 25th. The next day, they went off for their spay and neuter surgeries!
In the guest bedroom, the smaller kittens were learning how to walk, and were walking all over the place, because Margeaux had fought my attempts to keep them contained.
Francois made himself known as Da BAYbee.
Margeaux’s kittens turned 3 weeks old.
I took one of my most favorite pictures ever.
Left to right: Jacques, Madeline, Esmee, Amelie, Francois, Antoine.
We had adoptions!
Antoine and Madeline, together.
Jacques and Francois, together.
Amelie and Esmee together.
(Having them be adopted in pairs and go straight from here to their new homes really spoils a foster mom!)
With the big kittens gone, I moved Margeaux back into the foster room, along with her kittens.
Margeaux’s kittens turned 5 weeks old.
We started letting Katriane and Margeaux explore the rest of the house during the days.
I got this super sweet picture of Margeaux and Katriane.
In the August 19th post, I announced that we had an adoption pending on Margeaux and Katriane – together!
Margeaux’s kittens turned 6 weeks old.
In the August 27th post, I announced that Jacques and Francois had been returned. The little kittens REALLY liked having the big kittens around to snuggle with.
Francois was still Da BAYBee.
They weren’t here for long, though – they were adopted about a week after they came back to us!
In the September 3rd post, I announced that, unfortunately, former foster Darry (our foster in 2016, one of the Greasers litter), had been returned to Challenger’s House due to reasons that were not at all his fault.
Margeaux headed off for her spay surgery!
In the September 5th post, I did a roundup of our former fosters who had either been returned (Darry, Wellington, Charlotte) or hadn’t been adopted (Kristi, Katia).
The kittens turned 2 months old.
Left to right: Katriane, Fleur, Gabrielle, Henri, Beauregard, Josephine & Luc.
Then the kittens figured out how to get over the box blocking the doorway, and began running amok.
The kittens turned 3 months old. And they continued to nurse whenever Margeaux would let them.
(I’ve mentioned this a trillion times already, but I’ll repeat it: Katriane is the ONLY mama kitty we’ve fostered who decided she was done nursing and wouldn’t let the kittens nurse ever again. Every other mama kitty we’ve had will let the kittens nurse ’til they’re separated.)
On October 11th, I loaded up Margeaux and Katriane…
and we headed to Louisville, Kentucky to meet up with Mary, who adopted them. They spent the night in Louisville and the next morning headed home to Rochester, New York!
A few days later, the kittens went off for their spays and neuters (and came through them just fine.)
On October 17th, I posted that our former foster Darry, from 2016 (who’d been returned in September), had been adopted!
I got a picture of all six kittens on the cat tree…
We acquired Fred’s sisters cat Onyx for a few weeks while she was in France with her husband. Onyx didn’t really want anything to do with us, but she liked hanging out in front of the windows.
I got a fabulous picture of all the kittens, lined up.
Left to right: Fleur, Luc, Henri, Gabrielle, Josephine & Beauregard.
In the November 7th post, I announced that we had adoptions pending on Beauregard and Luc (not together.)
In the November 11th post, I had to share some very sad news: True Blood Terry, our foster in 2009, had passed away. I remain grateful that, after such a rough start in life, he ended up in a wonderful home where he was very well loved.
Fleur, Henri, Gabrielle and Josephine headed off to Petsmart on November 10th. Luc and Beauregard stayed here with us, as they had adoptions pending.
And then Beauregard went home!
With the November auction going on, Luc counted his dollars and placed his bids… but was sadly outbid. Better luck next time, Luc!
In the November 19th post, I told y’all that we were in the middle of readying auction packages for mailing, when the volunteer at Petsmart called to let me know there might be an issue with Fleur. I sent Fred to pick her up, and he ended up taking her straight to the vet. The vet knocked her out and did a biopsy of the lump she had under her chin. It was ultimately sent off for testing, and basically it turned out to be an infected salivary gland. After 10 days on antibiotics and a course of steroids, she was perfectly fine and we were all VERY relieved. When Fred picked up Fleur, he also picked up Gabrielle (who was sharing a cage with her) so she wouldn’t be left in a cage alone – which meant they both came back here and kept Luc company.
On November 24th, I drove Luc up to the Nashville airport where I met up with Beck (friend of Mary, who had adopted Margeaux and Katriane), who adopted Luc. Beck lives in Maryland, and Beck and Mary flew from Maryland to Nashville, picked up Luc, and flew back a few hours later. It’s been a very exciting year for our fosters, who are scattered all over the country from Michigan to New York to Maryland! I’m going to have to create a map so we can see how far people have come to adopt our fosters!
In the November 26th post, I announced that Henri and Josephine were back to join Fleur and Gabrielle for a break from Petsmart over the Thanksgiving holiday.
At the end of November, we got the WONDERFUL news that former fosters Charlotte and Wellington, who had been returned to Challenger’s House in May of 2018, were adopted… together!
At the beginning of December, Henri and Gabrielle went back to Petsmart. Fleur and Josephine stayed here while we waited to hear the results of Fleur’s biopsy. The result came back a few days later, and we found that it was an infection; we were very relieved. This was good news (not cancer!) and bad news (she and Josephine could go back to Petsmart!), and so they went back to Petsmart the next day.
With no kittens to post about for a little while, I turned to the permanent residents, and I did posts where I posted their backstory and shared lots of pictures of them. You can see them here if you missed them: Newt & Kara, Jake & Alice, Archie & Frankie, Dewey & Khal.
On December 23rd, I announced that…
Fleur was adopted!
In that same post (on Monday), I mentioned that Jake and Alice had gone for dentals (they came through them just fine), and that when they got home they’d find that Josephine, Gabrielle and Henri had returned from Petsmart for a few days over the holiday. (Alice was thrilled. NOT.)
We wished you a Merry Christmas.
On Friday the kittens returned to Petsmart.
In the post for December 30th, I let y’all know that Kristi – who we fostered in 2018 along with her daughter Katia and their kittens – would be going to Petsmart. She’s come a long way at Michelle’s house, and it’s time for her to find her forever home. (Katia remains at Michelle’s house. As long as there are other cats around, Katia is happy; it doesn’t have to be Kristi.)
We rounded out the year with posts on Monday and Tuesday with updates on former fosters (which we all love). I think that’s the best way to end a year, with those sweet, happy faces.
Oh wait. I guess there’s actually a BETTER way to end a year, isn’t there? How about an adoption?
Henri was adopted last night. Not only was Henri adopted last night, he went home to be a little brother to Cooper, who you’ll remember as former foster Almanzo!
Now THAT is how you end a year, am I right?
We had a total of 21 fosters move through this year. We have two unadopted foster kittens – Gabrielle and Josephine – at Jones Valley Petsmart, one unadopted foster (Kristi) at University Petsmart, and one foster (Kristi’s daughter Katia) still attending Kitty Boot Camp at Michelle’s house. I have zero former fosters at Challenger’s House (it’s been a while since I could say that!), and zero fosters here in our house for the moment.
We have fostered a total of 393 cats and kittens.
Here are the sweet faces of the fosters we had in 2019.
Top row: Caroline, Charles, Mary, Laura, Almanzo.
2nd row: Willie, Albert, Margeaux, Katriane, Amelie.
3rd row: Esmee, Jacques, Francois, Antoine, Madeline.
4th row: Beauregard, Henri, Luc, Josephine, Fleur.
5th row: Gabrielle.
Former Foster Updates we received this year.
(Arranged, roughly, in the order in which we fostered them.)
Hoyt – August 26th.
Reacher & Gladstone (formerly Mr. Stripey) – January 16.
Maggie – January 30.
Drum & Branwen (formerly Juniper) – December 9th.
Everett Peppers – December 20th.
Flynn (formerly Kohle) & Hook (formerly Puff) – February 5.
Artemis (formerly Lilybet) – January 31.
Toby (formerly Charming) and Sooty (formerly Jareth) – March 25th, November 5th.
Norbie – January 2, May 1st, September 20th.
Sherman (formerly Trader Joe) – May 8th.
Gilly (formerly Lucy) – April 2nd.
Gir Shecky (formerly Shecky) – April 2nd.
Skinny (formerly Skinny Pete) – April 15th.
Egsy (formerly Darry) – November 26th.
Stardust & Phoenix & Amber (formerly Ambercup) – January 15th, March 26th, June 12th, August 12th, November 6th, December 30th.
Ohno and Heygo (formerly Tessa) – June 24th, June 25th.
Dexter and Molly (formerly Millinocket) – April 29th, September 2nd, October 23rd.
Piper (formerly Dynamo) – January 14, August 8th.
Axle – January 21, August 8th, December 30th.
Dino (formerly LoJack) – May 6th.
RonRon (formerly Tank) – February 6th, April 9th.
Lily (formerly Cruise) – August 13th.
Kate (formerly Amelie) and Pippa (formerly Esmee) – August 20th.
Aiden (formerly Antoine) and Molly (formerly Madeline) – September 4th.
The state of the permanent residents in 2019.
We started 2019 with 8 permanent residents, and we ended it with the same: Alice, Archie, Dewey, Frankie, Jake, Kara, Khal Drogo, and Newt. They’re an aging population – 5 of them are 8 years old or older. Except for Kara, they’re all in good health. Kara has chronic renal failure (this was new news to many of you a few weeks ago when I wrote about it; it’s something we’ve been dealing with for a couple of years now, so what it is and how to treat it in a way that works best for Kara is what we’re doing.) 2019 was the first year in recent memory that we haven’t lost any cats, and it was pretty much the very best thing about 2019. I could happily have a few more years of that. (I would be happiest to never lose another cat but, well.) I’m hoping that we end 2020 with the exact cats we’re starting with. We may not, but we’re going to hope for the best.
(On a side note: I’ve been doing the yearly reviews since 2012, and this is the first time there’s been no change in the overall number of permanent residents (we didn’t lose any permanent residents in 2014, but added Dennis and Archie.) It’s the first time since 2014 we lost no permanent residents at all. I could use a few more years of zero losses.)
I’m just going to go ahead and cut and paste what I’ve said for the past several years in a row.
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!
2018 in review.
2017 in review.
2016 in review.
2015 in review.
2014 in review.
2013 in review.
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.