Eenie Meenie Mineymoe

We are up to 8 cats in the house. That’s a lot of cats. Three residents, two fosters and now three temporarily Buckaroos.

Three mini cats were brought to the shelter today. I don’t know their story. They are about a month old though I have not looked at their teeth carefully. All are black. Their eyes are still blue. If we were to keep them, we would learn to differentiate them by we only are fosters until Sunday. One has white fuzz on its tummy, one is a shade more brown, and one is very tiny. For now, for us, they are indistinguishably Eenie, Meenie, and Mineymoe. Gender unknown!

I was told they can feed themselves. Big lie! That’s a bait and switch! I was promised carefree kittens but was given little piggies who step in their saucer of milk and leave little sticky paw prints all over my bathroom floor. They’re adorable!!! They will spend the next two days in my bathroom, with a heating pad, a stuffed bear with a beating heart, a saucer of kitten milk and one of wet food, and a litter box. I doubt they will know what to do with the latter, and expect to find litter everywhere tomorrow, as well as poo everywhere except in that box. I feed them with a bottle. Since I have no clue who’s who, once they’re fed, hop, I toss them in the bathtub.

Who’s not getting much sleep tonight?!!

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Rocky the Rock Star

Meet Rocky, our little RockaPoo, RockaDoddle, RockaRama and many others.

As can be expected, we love our new baby.  He’s been through a lot (and so have we).  He’s a fighter, a mighty cat, a survivor.  Hence his name: Rocky.  Because you know, the Survivor song, theme of the movie Rocky.

He’s a bit small for 5 weeks old, but has a ton of oomph in him.  He has never learned to suck on a bottle, preferring instead to chew on the nipple to get the milk to come.  Lately, he’s simply chewed the nipples off.  So, he’s pretty much off the bottle now.  It’s a bit early but he’s lapping the milk out of a bowl, which, in turn, is a bit early for a kitten to do.  He also uses his litter box and eats wet food out of the can.  He’s a big boy. He rocks.

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He doesn’t have a litter mate obviously, but Kodi is a great big brother.  Whenever we take Rocky out of the playpen, Kodi comes running, and proceeds to annoy him.  He knocks him down, paws at him, bites him, wrestles with him, and then gives him a tongue bath…  We were a tad concerned when we heard some pitiful meows, but then saw the tiny one attacking his brother’s tail, so it can’t be too bad!  We now let Rocky loose in the house for an hour or so, and if we lose sight of him (he’s so fast and tiny and climbs into crevices), all we have to do is look for Kodi, who, inevitably will be staring at that mini fur ball.

He’s the best.  He’s simply the best.  Better than all the rest…

Losing Linus

Little Linus died on Saturday, a day after his brother, Boo.  We took him to the vet again, even though he had seen one on Friday and got some treatment then.  But his life was to be short.  An hour after leaving the clinic, he too died in my hands.  

No one really knows what happened, what killed my kittens.  It was comforting to look at the vet going through a mental list of, not only what could be making the kitten sick, but more importantly, which of these diseases or conditions could be cured.  It could be a bacteria, a virus, something they got from their Mom.  We won’t know.  She mentioned something about an IV in the baby’s bones.  We said no.

We did everything we could.  I swear, we did everything we could.  

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.

 

 

Kittens need kittens

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!)

Kodi sticker

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: 

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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!

The naming game

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.

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