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!
2018 in review.
We began 2018 with NO fosters in residence, because we had just moved from Crooked Acres to Shady Cove and we were waiting a little while to be sure the permanent residents were acclimated. (Also, we needed to have the carpet in the foster room closet replaced with hardwood flooring.)
We had one unadopted foster kitten left from the Missions litter, Hubble:
And we had one former foster – Paul Simon – who had been returned to Challenger’s House in mid-2017 and was still there at the shelter.
The big news in January was that we had a screened porch added on to the back of the house, with cat doors leading out on either side of the bay window. Naturally, the minute the porch was done, it turned cold, and so it took a couple of weeks before the cats started going out and spending any time out there. Due to the cold and because he preferred to spend his time hiking, Fred didn’t get much work done on the cat fence he was putting in around the back yard, so the cats were confined to the house and to the screened porch.
I told y’all that it would be a while before we’d have kittens in the kitten room because we needed to have the closet hardwooded, and I needed to paint the closet walls, AND finish straightening out the kitten room. Also, I wanted to get a loveseat for the room, but couldn’t find what I wanted (and actually wasn’t entirely sure WHAT I wanted.)
We marveled over how well the cats had adjusted (although there were still occasional dustups, which we’d expected).
Once the screened porch was done, I had to move the cat beds out of the bay window because Archie was making a point of sleeping there, which cowed Stefan, who is a little scared of Archie.
On January 25th, I posted a throw back post about the time our hen Flappy McGee laid a “monster egg” (an egg with another complete egg, shell and all, inside) and our small local newspaper did an entire article about it. ON THE FRONT PAGE. Fred and I put on our most Southern voices and read the article.
On January 31st, I discussed the cats’ favorite places to sleep.
At the beginning of February, I posted side-by-side pictures of Khal Drogo and our former foster Privet, saying that I’m sure he’s her father.
On February 5th, I announced that our former foster, Paul Simon, who’d been returned in the summer of 2017, was adoption pending and would be going home soon. He went home on February 19th!
We had a Throw Back Thursday post about The Box, and I complained about painting the foster room closet (I really really REALLY hate painting.)
February 12th, Fred asked me to sit in his recliner for reasons I don’t remember, and without hesitating Khal stomped across the room and climbed up into my lap and we all rejoiced.
On February 13th, this happened, and we rejoiced.
And a few days later, I got the foster closet painted FINALLY, and it didn’t look bad.
Stardust was unfortunately returned on February 19th. Also on February 19th, I posted pictures of the cat-fenced back yard and how the cats reacted (they were pretty happy to be able to go outside again!)
Finally, on February 21st, after months and months of foster-free livin’, we got a pregnant feral cat, who you’ll remember as Kristi.
And then we got her SUPER feral daughter, also pregnant, gorgeous (and scared and really not having my nonsense) Katia.
In the February 22nd post, I explained their names (they were named after Olympic figure skaters) and the story of where they came from. Also, I completely forgot about this until just now, but Kristi had some SERIOUS lungs on her. That girl talked a LOT, and her voice carried. That was a fun time, is what that was. Here, listen for yourself:
It became clear pretty quickly that Katia adored her mother.
Despite the fact that Kristi was hugely pregnant and Katia was much less so, Katia surprised us by giving birth on February 25th, and had four perfect little kittens.
On February 28th, I posted the first good pictures of the kittens (a process that required help from Fred – we had to shoo Katia out of the crate so I could change out the (surprisingly clean) bedding, and I took the opportunity to see exactly what we had, kitten-wise.)
On March 6th, I introduced Katia’s kittens by name!
We waited for Kristi to have her kittens. And waited. And waited. And waaaaaaaited. Meanwhile, Katia’s kittens grew fatter and sassier. She let me touch them, but let me know when I was pushing it.
I predicted, every single day, that Kristi was about to give birth, and I was wrong.
On March 14th, I announced that Stardust – who had been returned a few weeks prior – went to her REAL forever home. Where she joined her sister Phoenix!
On March 15th, I told y’all that we’d realized that Jayne Torvill was actually a boy. So we switched from Christopher Dean and Jayne Torvill as their names, to simply Torvill and Dean.
We were literally ON THE VERGE of taking Kristi to the vet to be checked over and to make sure she was okay – seriously, the VERY morning I planned to have her seen – and finally she gave birth. In the course of a few hours, she birthed SIX kittens with Katia acting as midwife and Katia’s kittens right in and among it all.
I posted Kristi’s birth story in the March 20th entry.
This picture of one of Kristi’s kittens next to Dean kills me dead.
On March 26th, I shared pictures of each kitten along with their weights. Kristi’s kittens were SO much smaller than Katia’s (I mean, that makes sense given the age difference, of course.)
The whole darned family:
Katia’s kittens started wandering outside the crate, and Katia started spending time in a second crate to get some time alone (until her kittens discovered what she was doing and joined her!)
On April 2nd, I announced that Kristi’s kittens were named! (And at that point I was under the impression that Brian Boitano only had one extra thumb. I was SO WRONG, and I admitted that on April 3rd.)
At 6 weeks old, Katia’s kittens were using the litter box – not 100% on it yet, but pretty close – and at 3 weeks old Kristi’s kittens started leaving the crate.
Seriously, my very most favorite part of having two mama kitties co-mothering is that the kittens nursed from both mothers. They didn’t care who the milk bar was attached to!
The other thing I really loved was how much the little kittens loved hanging out with the big kittens – and how sweet the big kittens were about it!
On May 1st, I announced that not only had Katarina and Dean been adopted together and would be headed home soon, but Tessa and Ohno had ALSO had an adoption pending and would be headed home after they were spayed in 6 weeks. I also listed the kittens still available and urged anyone seriously interested in adopting any of them to contact Forgotten Felines.
On May 4th, I posted pictures of kittens in the tiny bathtub and it was unbearably cute. I also got a shot of all 4 of Katia’s kittens together, and we said goodbye to Katarina and Dean(zilla). But don’t forget – you can still see them on Instagram!
On May 11th I got a shot of Kristi and all 8 remaining kittens.
On May 15th, Kristi, Katia, Torvill and Oksana went to be spayed and neutered. I had been SERIOUSLY worried about getting Katia into a carrier, but it went much more smoothly than I’d expected, and those girls will never birth another kitten.
I got a shot of Katia and all 8 kittens.
On May 22nd, I posted pictures of how the upstairs is set up so that the kittens could have more space to run around in. (I’m still trying to convince Fred that we should have the doorway to the stairs framed in so we can mount a (removable) screen door there. He’s not going for it, but if past experience is anything to go by, I’ll wear him down in 2 – 3 years and then he’ll wonder why we didn’t do that sooner.)
On May 25th, we discussed Brian Boitano’s many toes in detail, with close up pictures of each paw.
Kristi’s kittens turned 10 weeks old (which means Torvill and Oksana were 13 weeks old) and I got a picture of all 8 kittens.
I went on vacation to Maine and opted not to post while I was gone. When I got back, the kittens had the nerve to have kept growing (and didn’t miss me at all) while I was gone.
On June 25th, I did a “state of the foster room” post wherein I mentioned that Oksana and Torvill were at Petsmart and…
On June 26th, I introduced the new kittens – the Mainers – by name.
On June 27th, we tossed Arundel into the litter. What’s one more?
Those kittens were adorable and they looked great, and then they came down with awful diarrhea and awful upper respiratory infections, and they were doing horribly bad, and on July 4th I ended up taking Buxton and Moop (I swear I don’t even remember Moop’s real name. Uh.. Kennebunk!) to the emergency vet. They got fluids and a new antibiotic and Buxton got eye drops. I wrote about it on July 5th. (On a side note, I got a lot of grief from people for letting kittens who were suffering from diarrhea climb all over me, and I’m curious whether those people have any idea about the fact that humans and their hair and their clothing are washable? Showers and washing machines: look into them.)(I clearly have a chip on my shoulder about this.)
The kittens all suffered from that upper respiratory infection – it went through every darn one of them – and juuust as they were doing better and I thought I could relax, HA HA HA WE GOT US SOME RINGWORM. Thus began an endless cycle of bathing kittens, and if I never have to deal with that again, I will be so very happy.
(Side note: I got two small spots of ringworm, one on my arm, one on my hand. Fred got one spot on his calf. The spots didn’t spread and they went away with topical medication. None of the permanent residents got any ringworm spots at all, thankfully. And those kittens climbed ALL over both of us. The only precautions we took were to wash our hands upon leaving the foster room – though I steam-cleaned and mopped the hallway nearly every day while the ringworm was going on. Also, I did SO. MUCH. LAUNDRY.)
There are some great post-bath pictures in the July 22nd post.
A picture of 8 of the 9 kittens, bellied up to the plate at breakfast time.
On July 25th, I posted some good news:
Scott and Debi went home together!
By the beginning of August, the Mainer kittens – while still undergoing regular baths – were looking and feeling better, and playing like real kittens. Also, they were adorable.
I got my first 9-kitten picture!
There are some more great post-bath kitten pics in the August 13th post.
I got some more pictures that included all 9 kittens, and also linked to the video on just how I get all those kittens to line up so nicely in the August 20th post.
The kittens went off for their spays and neuters on August 22nd, and I announced that it was time for anyone who was interested to step up and let us know.
Since they’d been spayed and neutered and the ringworm was pretty much gone, I started letting the kittens have the run of the upstairs, which they very much enjoyed (especially the big cat tree in my room.) On September 3, I posted pictures of the kittens’ brief visit with Uncle Archie.
On September 4th…
Moop and Calais were adopted together!
And I got one last shot of the 9 kittens together.
On September 7th, I posted that although the kittens had been scheduled to go to Petsmart, I decided to keep them one more week because there’d been a lot of interest in them. If given a choice, I very very much prefer to have kittens go straight from here to their new homes without a stay at Petsmart.
On September 10th…
Buxton went home!
On September 12th..
Little marshmallow Otis went home!
In the weekly roundup post for September 16th, there was my first round of pictures of kittens with the cute signs, which I was posting on Instagram/Facebook in hopes of drumming up interest in the kittens.
In the September 17th post, I shared that the kittens went to Petsmart EXCEPT for Bethel, who stayed with me, because…
She went home!
And in that same post I shared that…
Dexter and Millinocket were adopted TOGETHER – their people came all the way from Kentucky. (I was more than a little relieved, because Millinocket was the shy one of that litter, and I worried that she’d end up sitting in the cage at Petsmart for a long time.)
With the Mainer kittens all either adopted or at Petsmart, I spent several days deep cleaning the foster room and the rest of the upstairs, and then on September 19th I introduced y’all to our new fosters, Ryder and her Fleet.
On September 20th, I introduced all the kittens by name, and those pictures of their little faces KILL. ME. DEAD. Also, there are some hissy pictures in that post.
I got a picture of all 9 kittens stuffed into the toe of the Croc bed.
On September 27th, we learned that Ryder is a big ol’ ‘nip-head.
On October 1st, I announced…
Arundel and Eliot had been adopted TOGETHER by Lisa, who formerly volunteered for Challenger’s House AND had adopted our former foster Paul Simon (now Batman) last year. Lisa and Ray showed up to adopt Eliot, thinking she was the last one there, and when they realized Arundel was there also, they adopted her too!
BUT WAIT. Also in the same post…
After months of waiting (some of that time at Petsmart, some of that time at Michelle’s house), Oksana and Torvill were adopted TOGETHER!
I had carpal tunnel surgery and had to wear an AWFUL, HUGE splint for two weeks (and I’m fairly sure that I deserve some sort of award for posting every day during that time because it made typing and mouse-ing REALLY difficult), and when it came off, I rejoiced.
And then in that same post I mourned that the kittens’ gorgeous blue eyes had started changing. Why they gotta grow so fast?
They were still nursing, though, even though they’d started eating solid food. Poor Ryder.
I did a lot of BOOPing with these kittens and once with Ryder.
I went to Myrtle Beach and only took a handful of pictures – then made you look at them because that’s just how I am.
I got my first picture of all 9 of Ryder’s Fleet.
On October 29th, y’all got to meet LoJack. We’d had him for about 5 days (he was spending his nights in my room and his days in Fred’s office).
On October 30th I shared the pictures wherein I introduced LoJack to his new siblings and there was very little drama (though Ryder wanted NOTHING to do with him – my favorite caption from that post was when LoJack asked Ryder if she was his new mama. “NO!!!!!!!” said Ryder with a million exclamation points in her voice, and then she stomped off. I crack myself up sometimes, can you tell?)
Our Halloween post had Ryder and her kittens wearing their finest finery. And then Ryder left us. She was dropped off to be spayed, and then she went to Steve’s house for a few weeks to heal up and relax before going to Petsmart.
I took the best picture ever, and I’m still not completely sure how I managed it.
And then I took another best picture ever.
I began the all-important nap time training with the kittens. They were naturals.
Before Tank joined us, I got a shot of all 10 kittens.
The Forgotten Felines of Huntsville auction began, and that was one crazy awesome week.
The kittens played in the tub.
Aunt Alice met the kittens, and she was not thrilled.
The auction ended and Teresa and Leslie came over, and we had a packing party. The kittens joined us.
I got a picture of all 11 kittens.
On December 3rd…
Cruise and Gauge were adopted (separately) and went home!
On December 5th Tank and LoJack went for their neuters and all went well.
I started posting pictures of the kittens with signs, in hopes of drumming up interest in them and getting them adopted.
Uncle Archie met the kittens, and there was floofing (and Uncle Archie was quickly overwhelmed.)
Then we had a series of pictures of the kittens posed next to little houses to indicate that they were looking for their forever homes (and were available!)
On December 17th…
Tank had been adopted, and I posted the story and some pictures of him in his new home.
On December 19th…
LoJack was adopted and went home!
On December 20th, the kittens met Uncle Newt, who wasn’t a fan of the kittens.
In the Christmas Eve post I announced that the adoption event at Petsmart went amazingly well, and…
Solenoid and Axle were adopted (not together) and went home the same day.
BUT WAIT! THAT WASN’T ALL!
Dynamo went home the very next day!
Also in that same post were the kittens’ Christmas pictures.
On Christmas Day I thanked y’all for reading and showed you who the featured Shady Cove kitty was (Dewey) and shared previous years’ holiday card pictures.
On December 26th we had the Christmas picture outtakes.
On December 27th the kitten intermingled with the permanent residents.
On December 28th…
Fender was adopted, and Cam, Clutch and Pulley went to Petsmart, this house became kittenless, and I announced that we’re taking a break from fostering for the time being.
We had a total of 33 cats and kittens move through our foster room this year, 27 of whom have been adopted (Krist and Katia are still at Kitty Boot Camp and Ryder, Pulley, Cam, and Clutch are at Jones Valley Petsmart). The one unadopted foster we started 2018 with (Hubble) was adopted, Stardust was returned and then adopted, and two of our Challenger’s House former fosters – Charlotte and Wellington – were returned this past summer and are still at the Challenger’s House shelter; hopefully this will be the year they find a home.
We have fostered a total of 372 cats and kittens.
Want to see all of this year’s fosters in one place? You know you do. Here they are in completely random order. Click on the picture below to see a larger version over at Flickr.
Former Foster Updates we received this year.
(Arranged, roughly, in the order in which we fostered them.)
Amber (formerly Ambercup) and Phoenix and Stardust – January 4th, January 15th, February 6th, February 20th, February 27th, March 5th, March 19th, March 21st, March 23rd, April 2nd, April 5th, April 17th, April 23rd, May 8th, June 19th, July 12th, July 18th, July 24th, July 31st, August 10th, August 13th, August 20th, September 18th, November 5th, November 27th, December 31st.
Scott and Debi – August 9th
The state of the permanent residents in 2018.
We began 2018 with Alice, Archie, Dewey, Frankie, Jake, Kara, Khal Drogo, Maxi, Newt and Stefan: ten cats who were still a little confused about the move from Crooked Acres to Shady Cove, and who desperately wanted outside. The screened back porch was finished and then the cat fence was finished, and they’re now allowed access to the back yard during the day, and to the screened porch (in addition to the house) at night.
On July 24th, we unexpectedly said goodbye to Maxi. I’d dropped her off at the vet that morning, assuming that she needed to have her teeth cleaned because we’d seen her digging at her mouth. The vet called to tell us that he’d found a large mass in the roof of her mouth, and after hearing all the options, we opted to let her go while still under anesthesia. I wrote about that on the 25th.
We were completely taken by surprise at losing Maxi because we’d been directing our concern in another direction. Stefan had lost weight and was lethargic and not eating – Fred wrote about that and I posted it at the bottom of in this post.
On August 13th, we said goodbye to Stefan. I posted my tribute to him on August 14th. We still miss that boy something fierce.
So we finish 2018 with 8 cats: Alice, Archie, Dewey, Frankie, Jake, Kara, Khal Drogo, and Newt. They’re an aging population, which makes me nervous (5 of them are 7 years old or older), but they’re all in good health. I’m hoping that we end 2019 with the exact cats we’re starting 2019 with. That’s not so much to ask, is it?
I’m just going to go ahead and repeat 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: 2017 in review.
2017: No entry.
2016: 2015 in review.
2015: 2014 in review.
2014: 2013 in review.
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.