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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Rocky on the road

Travelling with kids is no picnic.  Traveling with a 5-week old kitten is worse.  Why you ask?  Because children are welcome in hotels.  Kittens are not.  You either have to find a hotel that claims to be animal friendly (“Sorry, only dogs are allowed”), or sneak the kitty in.  We are good people and opted for the first, not wanting to transform into kitty smugglers!

Rocky came with us on a road trip last week.  We had to go to Austin and then San Antonio.  Our big cats can stay home alone for a night without problems, but the little one still needs constant care.  Should we sleep in Austin the first night or drive to San Antonio after his meeting?  We pondered that question for a few hours until, duh, I am not staying with the kitten in a hot car for several hours while Daddy is in a business meeting!  While Daddy was closing business deals, I had a photoshoot with the little one. 

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The next day, Rocky got his first public outing.  We took him inside the restaurant with us, snug into his carrier.  He didn’t meow a word and drank a bit of water out of a bowl, and had his first taste of meat: fajita beef.  He likes it!

He’s a wonderful traveler.  And we didn’t realize how much he would eat so we ran out of food.  I know, I know…  So we stopped at Petco, brought the carrier inside and fed him paté right there.  There was a huge enclosed area inside the store where they have the training sessions for dogs and we asked if we could let our kitten loose in there.  Rocky loved it.  He went running around, sniffing all those new smells and ran away from us when it was time to get back on the road. That little one runs so fast now!

All in all, he spent about 10 hours in his carrier over 2 days.  We love him so much!

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 annoys 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…

Bye Bye Boo

Boo died today, at 12:35pm.  He spent the morning on my chest while I was reading, making little noises, crawling back towards my neck before falling asleep.  At noon, I got out of bed (don’t judge me until you feed bottle kittens around the clock) to get ready to take the whole crew to the vet.  When I picked him up, he died in my hands, just like that.  

Boo is the only one we had really named.  He came with nasty flea bites on his tail.  He had booboos on his tail, hence Boo.

He was the biggest of the three, strong and always hungry, the first to learn to latch on the nipple.  Yesterday, he started being finicky, and had diarrhea.  At midnight, my husband woke me up because Boo was refusing food.  We got some Pedialyte to rehydrate him.  We planned on being at the clinic when they opened at 1:00pm.  Boo didn’t make it.

It was none of the common parasites.  Kittens are fragile creatures and can take a turn for the worse in a matter of hours.  I don’t even have a picture of him with his eyes open.

We are naming the other ones The Boos.  You are gone Baby Boo, but you will not be forgotten.

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Bye Bye Fuzzies

Duchess and her kittens have found a new foster home.  We will be traveling too much in the next few weeks to be able to care for them correctly.  They have been “handed over” to a rescue organization, and now have a full room to themselves, that they share with two black feline siblings.

It’s all quiet in here.  And it no longer smells of poo!  I miss getting up in the morning, checking on them, and being welcomed by five balls of fuzz.  But my job is to get them out of the danger zone (ta ta tammmmm!) and onto their new life.

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Bye bye Duchess, Leia, Gracie, Gino, Cali and MiniDee.  Have a great life.

 

A feeding tube

Duchess is a feeding tube.  Her entire life is about feeding her 5 kittens.  She eats, poops and nurses.  That’s it!

We have had her now for 11 days, and she has lived exclusively in the playpen since.  It has to be boring.  She hardly ever leaves her babies.  She does pee and poop away from them, but she gets no exercise, no entertainment, nothing.

I was starting to worry about her muscle tone, since she lays down about 98% of her time (and remember we have a camera in there to check on the family).  So tonight I took her into the bathroom, on her own, and let her roam around.  There was at first no roaming, no walking.  She snuggled next to me and let me comb her.  I lifted her next to the sink and she started exploring, knocking stuff down off of the counter.  That lasted a few minutes, and then she sat in front of the door and looked at me with a pathetic look on her face.  

I brought her back “home”, and she laid down next to her kittens again. 

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She’s the most beautiful momma cat ever. 

Our Duchess

Not much to say here.  All is good with Momma and her kittens.  I want to brag and show you the most precious 12 day-old kittens in the whole wide world.  

Momma cat has a new name, temporary since we are only fostering her.  She is Duchess, named after the protective mother cat in The Aristocats.  She is the sweetest, most devoted mother ever.   

She came to us so traumatized.  For days she would only eat if I fed her.  The camera confirmed that she didn’t get out of her cardboard box.  Now she sometimes sleeps away from the box, in the playpen, on a towel, sometimes even letting all the munchkins away from her.  

She likes me a lot!  She doesn’t know what a hug is, but she’s a lap cat.  I comb her everyday, to get the filth off of her and as a trust-building activity.  I now get kissed and headbutts from our Duchess.  

She has no problem letting us her handle her kittens.  Feeding is pretty much all she does all day.  She has to be bored!  She likes when she sees me walk into the room and climb into the playpen with her.  I keep promising that I will grab a book and spend time with her in there, but I haven’t been good at that.

The only unpleasant thing about her, is that she has to idea what a litter box is for.  I don’t know how to litter train an adult cat.  I followed the advice found on the internet (place poop in there, placing her in the box and showing her how to scratch) but she doesn’t understand.  

It can get smelly in there…

 

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.