Lost peanuts and a hug

Henry lost his little peanuts yesterday (aka his testicles).  He got microchipped also.  He’s ready to go.  Both kittens are ready for adoption.  We, however, are not ready to let him go.  But we cannot have another foster fail

Rockie is a very affectionate cat.  She’s difficult to photograph because she pouts when I get the camera out.  And Henry moves too fast for my portrait lens!  Except when he’s asleep.

So here is Henry de la Floof (Second Generation) and his foster brother, Sir Kodi of the Stinky Butt!

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Kodi got a manicure

And it was of the best decision ever. 

I sleep with cats.  I didn’t used to, I even thought it was gross.  But people evolve, for better and for worse and in this case, it is for better!

For 6 years now I have fallen asleep with our little girl at my feet, and woken up with our big girl on my head (literally).  But since Kodi became a forever resident, the dynamics have changed.

Kodi is adorable, but stubborn.  I hear it’s a common characteristics of bottle babies.  Whatever the cause, he won’t take no for an answer.  He wants your pillow?  He gets it.  He wants your spot on the couch?  He gets it.   He wants the crust of your pizza?  He steals it.  He wants to fall asleep while clawing your neck to death?  He does it.  And you bleed.  In your sleep.

He had become a little clawing vampire, a purring excavator: the deeper the claws dug into the flesh, and the more blood he extracted, the calmer he became.  No. No more.

The simple solution is to keep the cat out of the bedroom.  Easy enough.  Except that the old-time residents would have none of this “pick your room for the entire night” gig.  They like to come and go as they please.  And they did.  For several months, they tore the (brand new) carpet apart around the bedroom door when they wanted in, and tore the (brand new) carpet apart around the bedroom door when they wanted out.  This has resulted in a big hole in the twice above-mentioned carpet, and the lady of the house quite frustrated with her interrupted sleep, and the situation as a whole. 

Declawing is not an option.  But I still have quite a problem on my hands. My big girl doesn’t like me anymore since she’s lost most of her cuddle time, and I can’t sleep. 

Soft Paws to the rescue.  They are little plastic sheets that you glue over the cat’s nails.  The cat can still do whatever it is that cats do, but they won’t pierce your skin (or destroy furniture, but in our house, furniture is much lower on the priority scale than cats – much lower) with their spiky daggers of death.  Soft Paws come in all kinds of colors and if you do an internet search, you’ll find that people are becoming quite creative with their cats’ look.  We chose black. Sleek and elegant. You can glue them on yourself, but for the first time, I wanted it done correctly and took our house panther to the groomer. They last about 4 weeks, then they fall off when the cat’s claw naturally sheds its layers.

Two days later and he’s already broken the tip off of one of them!

Meet Henry

Rocky needed a playmate.  He loves playing with Kodi but I, a human who is fairly new to orphan kitten behavior, decided he could benefit from having a buddy his age to wrestle with.  Kittens are aplenty in the shelters, and after a few days of placing the request, I got a photo of a tuxedo cat.  And off to the shelter I go.  But not without first asking my big guy if he agrees.  He does of course.

They handed me a wild little thing!  It screeched all the way back home, trying to claw its way out of the carrier.  Not a happy camper! 

I let him roam around a bit in the bathroom before giving it a bath.  Have you ever given a cat a bath?  That in itself should be its own reality show.  Cats do NOT like water.  And cats have claws, which explains why I now sport all kinds of injuries on my wrists!  But I think I got 90% of the fleas out. 

It’s a rather big kitten, bigger than Rocky, yet its teeth are less developed.  It’s a boy. And he hisses and screams like a feral cat when he’s not happy.  But over the course of one evening, he became a very loving, happy, free kitten.  

His name is Henry, to be pronounced with a stiff upper lip.  He’s black and white.   My relative Henry was colorblind.  Hence Henry.  More specifically, Henry Of the Poisonous Claws.  Yes, we think that’s funny!

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Losing Duchess

How do you call the foster coordinator to tell her you’ve lost the nursing Momma?

I imagined the conversation would go something like this: “Don’t worry, it happens, she probably had an infection, or a heart attack due to all the stress. No, we lost her.  I know. No, lost.  She’s not dead, we cannot find her.  You let her outside? No.  We let her loose in the house to stretch her paws and she’s been missing for 8 hours.  Do you live in Buckingham Palace? No, Fort Knox.  We have cameras everywhere and alarms on all doors and still cannot find a trace of her.  Not a shadow, not a sniff, not a meow.  She has never meowed once anyway.  She’s like a ghost.

That was yesterday.  We looked in every nook and cranny of our house.  Under beds, inside pantry and cabinets, behind bookcases and appliances.  Inside the armchairs and suitcases. Panic sets in.  We have to feed the kittens.  Oh no, we have to bottle-feed the kittens again.  Will they take to a bottle now that they’ve had Momma for so long?  Look, they like wet cat food!  So we slowly fed them wet food by hand.

Around 2 am, Kodi started pawing at the drapes, and there was Duchess.  Starving.  Not a hint of guilt or remorse!  We have no idea where she had been hiding all day.  She’d been cooped up in that playpen for 3 weeks now and she’s a very dedicated mom.  But she has to be going crazy so we decided to let her roam around.  I am not sure we’ll do that again!

And she’s getting a collar, of a fluorescent color, with a bell, and a Tile™ on it!

Up to 9

The foster coordinator from MCAS called me this morning.  “How are you? Exhausted of course!  I have a solution.  We found the Momma.  Can you take her?”.

We drove to the shelter with the 5 kittens in a carrier.  The staff brought in Momma and we watched all excited to see if she would take to them.  Bingo! Lots of Oooohs and Aaaahs and she curled up next to her kittens.

She’s a beautiful cat.  White and tan and so sweet.  One would think that she could be upset at humans after her kittens being kidnapped, but she’s so chill, so calm.  She got her basic shots, was checked by a vet (she has an infection due to birth), but is ok.

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We have had to rearrange quite a bit in the guest room.  I want her separated from our two big girls, since they already feel left out because of Kodi.  We set up the big playpen (60 inches wide) with food, water and a litter box, lowered the carrier with the full family in it and closed the door.  Three hours later (after a wonderful uninterrupted nap for me!), she hadn’t moved an inch.  I think she is afraid that if she steps even a foot away, she runs the risk of her kids being stolen again. We slowly took the kittens out one by one, and gently grabbed her out. (I had read last week a book by Jackson Galaxy about the blinking technique for establishing trust, and she blinked right back at me several times). We fed her her medicine which she took like a big girl. We placed her in the playpen, showed her the food bowl and let her take over. She curled up in the back of the box and the babies wiggled back next to her. All good.

So, we are now up to 9 cats in the house. 180 paws!

P.S.:. Obviously Momma wasn’t killed as I had thought. 1- I will not spread rumors anymore; 2- my previous statement about animal laws still stands.

160 claws

My niece pointed out last night that we now have 8 cats in the house.

8 cats x 4 paws x 5 claws = 160 claws!!!

Because we have acquired 5 bottle babies yesterday evening.  Plus our two girls, and Kodi.

As can be expected, they are super cute.  They look like hamsters.  They are about twice the size of the Floofs when we got them, and not much older but way more fluffy. Their eyes are closed, the umbilical cord still attached.  Their mom was killed*.

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The feeding schedule is very unpleasant of course, but I knew what I was getting myself into (did I?).

So, meet the … 

We don’t really have a name for them yet.  The Moops?  The Moopits?  The Moonpies?  None of them sticks yet.  And they don’t have individual name either, we refer them by color: light one, dark one, orange one, grey one and calico. 

Once again: bye bye sleep!

* There really should be enforceable laws against people who voluntarily kill an animal without “good” reason.