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!
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.
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.
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*.
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.
I was once told: “One cat is good. Two cats is best”. This is so true it should be a rule, an ordinance, a law (the criminologist in me ain’t dead yet!). It should be illegal to only own one cat, since it is damaging to ones’ psychological wellbeing. The second cat should even be reimbursed by medical insurance companies.
Let me explain.
We had three Floofs. They were a lot of work, but they would play together and be cats. No need for much human interaction to pass time. Then we found them families, but Kodi came back to us. Kodi is now an only child. Or more exactly the youngest of the siblings, the “love child”, the one you hadn’t planned on, but ooops, here he is, and we love him dearly. Most of the time. Sometimes. Sometimes not!
He’s a horrible adorable little thing. He’s a pain playful. He’s so needy affectionate. He does under no circumstances respects his sisters’ boundaries and territory.
He gets into everything. He devoured 3 slices of bread straight out of the bag, mistakenly left on the kitchen counter at night. I bought catnip mice at Kroger and didn’t get a chance to give them to him, he scrambled his way into the bag and stole them. Later he was snooping in the bag I brought back from Hobby Lobby and got a sticker stuck on his nose. It didn’t bother him one bit. He pranced around with a sales tag on his face. And because I am a bad cat mom, instead of taking it off, I took a picture of him. He’s for sale, and he’s on sale, already tagged and ready to go! (just kidding!)
3 am. He’s pouncing on me. I grab the spray bottle and aim for his butt. I miss. I spray the books across the room instead. I am now wide awake, wiping water off the dust jackets while he jumps around clawing at the (brand new but now old looking) fluffy comforter. Thanks cat…
He won’t sleep next to me. He sleeps on me, preferably on my face. He does not just nestle on my shoulder like all the other kittens we have raised, or simply use my neck as a pillow. He plants his (smelly) behind on my face and tries to suck my eyeballs out while “making biscuits” on my cheeks. He tries to give me a hair cut by chewing on my hair when I am asleep. He has no concept of personal space at night. He needs to be exactly where I am. We have a king size bed. It’s huge. There is room for everybody on there. But no. His spot is on my face. Until I get up, and then:
A couple of nights ago, I grabbed my pillow and moved into the guest room, since the door can be locked. Kodi sat in front of that door and sang me the meow of his people. For 2 hours straight.
I am telling you, he’s one bad pussy cat!
I adore him!
We have names for The Floofs.
Let me introduce you to Tango de la Floof, Kodi de la Floof and M.C. de la Floof.
Kodi is the little black cat. He looked like a bear cub last week, all chubby and with claws that should be registered as dangerous weapons and would not be allowed on a plane! Bear, grizzly bear, Kodiak bear, Kodi. It suits him perfectly.
M.C. is the baby white kitten. She went from Madame LaFloof, to Mini Floof, to Floofito, Yoda, E.T., and finally M.C. It stands for Mini Cat, Mighty Cat, Martian Cat, MC Hammer, Mountain Cat (she’s climber). You pick. M.C. she is.
The orange one never really had a name until this morning when my husband suggested “Tango”. And for no apparent reason, that cat is a good “Tango”. It’s supposed to be derived from “tangerine”.
We had their second photo shoot last night. I thought it was time to introduce them to the world of books and the writings of Cleveland Amory on cats is a perfect choice.
We almost lost Madame LaFloof on Saturday. She had been a finicky eater for a day and then went limp. She had no muscle tone. She was breathing and opening her little mouth to cry but no sound came out. It was heartbreaking. Since it happened around midnight, I went online and diagnosed her (wrongly) as being a “failing kitten”. Prognostic: very bad. The Montgomery County Animal Shelter doesn’t have a 24-hour clinic, so I tried to locate a private facility where I could take her. Thanks to Hurricane Harvey, the Humble clinic is closed, they were flooded. The closest is in the Woodlands, 45 minutes away. That was very bad news, because, in all honesty, I was so tired, so dang tired, and in a panic, that I was not capable of driving there. I wasn’t going to put everybody in jeopardy. Minimize the risks. The next best option is to wait, give her a reiki massage, and go to the shelter the next morning at 9.
Wouldn’t you know, that little Floof proved me wrong, and I love her for that. We brought her to the shelter in a shoe box and she was lifting her head. The vet listened to me and figured out it was hypoglycemia. Little Floof got a shot of something or other, a prescription for Karo syrup (not a paper prescription though!) and off we went. But not before showing the staff that we are capable of raising healthy kittens, by showing off the other two Floofs we had brought along in the carrier (they came because I wasn’t sure how long the visit would take and didn’t want them to miss a feeding).
Yeah for White Floof!
I know I am only her caregiver, not her mommy, not her forever family. She’s not mine to keep. She will go to a good home in a few weeks. But for a few hours, I was heartbroken. I was acting half on crisis mode (what are the immediate needs and solutions) and half on emotions. I was planning her little burial, deciding what to wrap her in. My husband and I agreed that if the worse happened at the vet, we were bringing her home.
Two days later, she’s adorable, a feisty little bundle of wiggles, who already has lost one of her nine lives!
I have lost track of time. I am so tired. So so tired. Yet there is a feeling of accomplishing something nice. Waking up every 2 hours to feed the Floofs, without a night break is exhausting. Hubby is helping a lot. He takes over some feedings and is the cuddler in chief. He’s awesome.
All The Floofs are alive. The little white one was very much underweight but has shot up yesterday, putting on a full 14 grams in a day. She has been named Madame LaFloof. I had a dream that she had died due to constipation, so now we check them all very carefully for poop. And seeing poop is a victory, even if you have to manually extract it. Yuck, yet Yeah…
The other two kittens are still nameless. Wendy didn’t stick.
Yesterday, after weighing, cleaning and feeding, we had their first photo shoot. I think I heard one whispering “I am ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille”.
1pm. I get a text: “just in” with a picture of a kitten.
Run to the car I go. Drive off. Come back to the house I must because I forgot the cat carrier.
Get to the animal shelter. And I meet three “rats” in a box. Tiny rats. Much smaller than I expected.
Boom. My soul is happy. I am going to be a kitty mommy.
I started feeding them while the paperwork was being filled out. Honestly, I have no idea what I signed. I may very well have given my house away! Who reads those things anyway? Damned lawyers 😉
For now they are “The Floofs”. No reason why. A white one, an orange one, and a black one. Don’t ask if they are male or female. I checked. No clue!
I named the orange one Wendy, because I went to Wendy’s on the way back and stacked up on burgers since I will be house bound for a while. The black one has become “Goulu” which means “one who eats a lot” in French. The white one doesn’t have a name yet. I have decided she’s a girl. And she’s the smallest of the litter, at 65 grams, which is about the weight of 2 fun size Snickers. I will have to monitor her carefully since she didn’t eat well. But she’s got a set of lungs on her!
Bye bye sleep!