the return of fostering kittens!

  • Aug. 1st, 2011 at 6:10 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (dude watchin' with the brontes)
So now that I'm all settled (mostly) in my new apartment, I've called the Humane Society and told them I'm ready for more kitties. I requested smaller litters this time around, since last time was a bit overwhelming with six felines in one room. So I'm actually getting a single kitten tomorrow! He's got a cold so he needs a few weeks of TLC before he can be adopted, and I think he's a little older than I usually get them. A single kitten is more of a challenge than you might think because without other kittens to wrestle with, they can get bored and destructive. But since he's a few months old already, that might not be as much of a problem as it is for, say, a six-week-old.

Unlike the babies I usually get, this one has a name. I think the lady said his name was "Kimi"? Or something? We'll see when I pick him up tomorrow afternoon. I am excite! Kitten!!

cheez-its christ, livejournal

  • Jul. 14th, 2011 at 7:05 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (bsg - it's in the frakkin' ship)
Okay so I'm getting like five spam comments a day on my LJ. I'm thinking of abandoning ship. I want to have a true actualfax foster kitten blog, so I don't want to just make everything friends-only here, but I really don't spend much time on LJ anymoar (sorry guise). I have email alerts for when people update their journals so I don't have to check my friends page too much. I spend all my time on tumblr lately, but tumblr isn't the best venue for a real blog.

I do have a Wordpress account. I could just make yet another blog there. Anyone have any ideas? Anyone care? Is this thing on? *tap tap*

eta: but if I abandon LiveJournal what will I do with my MASSIVE FOLDER OF LIVEJOURNAL ICONS. Clearly my priorities are in order

Hannah!

  • May. 26th, 2011 at 11:19 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
Sleeping on an air mattress in Madison, at Julie and Matt's apartment. Would love to spend all day tomorrow in HAPPY BABY LAND where everything is adorable and nothing hurts, but I just remembered I have a shrink appointment tomorrow morning at 10am, so my dad and I will be getting up super early to head back to Milwaukee. Maybe I can come back and see her in a few days because BABY.

My brand-new niece Hannah Grace was born at about 12:45 a.m. on May 26, 2011. She is teensy and has big eyes and keeps making little meepy noises like my kittens. I can't believe she's not even a day old yet! There's something magical about that time when a creature is so young that all it does is eat and sleep and snuggle. Its needs are so simple. Just a little ball of life.

Julie has the swankiest hospital room I've ever seen. In the swankiest hospital I've ever seen. It has, like, MULTIPLE waterfalls.

BABY:



Me & Hannah:

wibbly wobbly kitty witty

  • May. 13th, 2011 at 1:50 AM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
I took the Spice kittens back to the Humane Society today to begin their new lives. I hope they are doing OK without me. I always feel bad leaving them to their uncertain futures. Cinnamon whined all the way there, which was sad but also hilarious because she sounds exactly like a little kid. "WAAAH! WHERE ARE YOU TAKING MEEEE!" She's quite a character. (The vet was like "oh, well, she's a calico," like that explains her feistiness. Stereotype, or TRUTH??)

The vet said that I could keep Mama by herself for a few days to let her milk dry up, but I was worried that she'd freak out without her kittens around. Kittens can comfort each other without a mama, but I didn't want Mama to be wandering around the house calling for her kittens and have them be nowhere to be found. :( So the vet said it'd be fine to keep her with the kittens, and that way the separation can be gradual, and also the nursing comforts the kitties after they have their surgery. Aw.

I'm also sekritly hoping that she gets adopted with a kitten. The vet said that the kittens will be adopted in about thirty seconds, and for Mama it might take a little longer--two minutes. Heh. I know older cats take longer to be adopted, but Mama is a sweetie and she's so pretty and talkative. I hope someone sees her and falls in love. They're all going up for adoption on Saturday if all goes well with the surgery and recovery, which is great because I'm sure Saturday is a super busy day at the Humane Society. I'll be checking the website every half hour like usual.

I miss the little kittyfaces, but it's something of a relief to have my room to myself again so I can get started on MOVING. I'm sure Hypatia is relieved as well. She's currently celebrating their absence by eating what was left in their food bowl.

Right now, I really miss Clove. He was sweet but not needy, he was always going off by himself and finding weird hiding places, and he had the cutest little face.

Clove
Clove, an almost-black kitten.

I have many more photos of these kitties to upload to my flickr, plus some pics from my sister's baby(!!) shower. She's due(!!) in a couple of weeks(!!) and I can't wait to meet my niece. She already has a onesie that says "I [heart] my auntie"! :D
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
So [twitter.com profile] amminest and I just found a stray cat? It was hanging around her window meowing like whoa, so she called me over to come see. At first we couldn't find it, but when it heard Monica's voice it came running right over. He (we later found out it was a he) was pretty affectionate, rubbing against our hands, but also bit us a couple of times (not hard). He had a weird bald patch, like someone had shaved his butt and a few inches of tail. I'm not sure why someone would do that. Unless he had an injury on his tail, but he seemed ok with me petting the area. Weird.

So we didn't know what to do with a random cat without a collar in the middle of the night. I called the 24-hour emergency vet place in Glendale, and they said we could take him there and they'd give him a place to sleep and take him to MADACC in the morning. When we got there we found out he was neutered, so SOMEONE must have taken care of him in the past, but who knows what his story is now. They said they'd check for a microchip. I feel kind of bad if it's someone's pet that we just turned in as a stray, but seriously, put a collar on your cat, especially if it's an outdoor one...

So that was my adventure/good samaritan deed for the night. Don't worry, I washed my hands before petting the kittens. Who are adorable as ever. I keep expecting them to stop getting cuter, and it never happens.

Tags:

Buy My Stuff: Books!

  • Apr. 16th, 2011 at 5:05 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
Ok, here's how it works.
  1. Each box contains 5 NAMED books and 4-5 MYSTERY books. The mystery books might be vintage paperbacks, ARCs, or just random books I have lying around.
  2. Each box is $15.
  3. If you want a box, leave a comment saying which one, and give me your email address. I will email you a link to pay me with PayPal. You don't need a PayPal account to pay, but if you want to pay a different way, let me know and we can work something out.

BOX NUMBER ONE - SOLD! - contains:
BOX NUMBER TWO - SOLD! - contains:
BOX NUMBER THREE - SOLD! contains:
Any takers? You'd be helping me move!

a diversion!

  • Apr. 14th, 2011 at 10:13 AM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (me)
KITTEN PHOTO!

:D

Okay, now that I have your attention:

BUY MY STUFF!

I've never really sold things before, but I need money for this move and I'm trying to downsize, so I thought I might offer my stuff to YOU, the people who read my journal. The problem is I have no idea what's a reasonable asking price for anything, so I'm asking YOU for advice as well. Here's what I have:

- LOTS OF BOOKS, including a bunch of YA ARCs from ALA 2009
- Clothing in several sizes (from my weight fluctuations when I was sick) including some purty dresses (a few are vintage!), in the size 6-12 range
- A 300-disc CD collection which is in seven or eight binders, ranging from the mid-90s to the mid-00s
- If you're nearby, furniture: a desk-with-hutch from Target, a black bookcase from Target, a six-drawer dresser from Craigslist, a very old TV that still works great and a TV stand that fits it perfectly, a large Ikea LACK coffee table, a loveseat, a kitchen/dining table with four chairs. We might not sell most of this stuff until after we move, but this is the stuff I want to replace eventually.

With the books and CDs, I was thinking about sending people X amount of things for Y dollars, like a box of 10 books or a binder full of CDs. It could even be a ~mystery box~, like "tell me your musical/reading taste and I will SURPRISE YOU."

So: Is anyone interested in buying my stuff? How much at a time? How much would you pay? Any help with pricing would be appreciated, even if you don't want to buy anything yourself--I'd love to know how much I should charge for this stuff if I end up putting it on eBay or Craigslist.

And yes, we did apply for the apartment on the first floor of the building we liked. So unless he rejects us on the credit check or whatever, we should be moving in on June 1st. I am EXCITE. And also kind of STRESSED OUT. Because MOVING.

apartment hunting, plus a small kitty update

  • Apr. 10th, 2011 at 12:42 AM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
a lot has been going on in my life lately, so I feel like I should update. mainly what has been going on is: moving.

Kate and I moved into this apartment in 2007 because Nathan and Bridget lived here and we thought it would be cool to live right next to them. (it was!) we also wanted to move back to the east side. living in riverwest was OK but it just doesn't have as much in walking distance as over here, and the bus lines are really inconvenient if you work on the east side of the river. (on the other hand the rents are WAY cheaper.)

this year we decided we are sick of this apartment and want to move out, especially since Nathan and Bridget moved and are now in a mythical place called Married Land where we never see them. :P I'm really sick of the carpet (especially when I have kittens) and the general ugliness of the place, and Kate was kind of miffed that our oven was broken for a really long time and she couldn't bake anything. (it's fixed now and she bakes ALL THE TIME. mmm banana bread.) so I started looking online for apartments.

let me tell you internets, once I saw how high the average east side apartment goes for in terms of rent, I started to wonder if maybe we had been too hasty in turning in our notice of non-renewal of the lease. almost every apartment I found in our price range lacked something that I have here that I wouldn't want to lose--heat included, parking, laundry, garbage disposal in the sink, allowance of cats, etc. and there are a couple more things that we have in this apartment that are really convenient--namely, cable included with the rent and the air conditioner mounted on the wall in the living room. we can get cable ourselves and/or install a window AC, but that means spending more money.

I did find some apartments comparable to ours, but once we visited them, we realized they were basically our apartment in a different building. some of them had nice touches, like a dishwasher or a breakfast bar or a walk-in closet, but most of them were carpeted and boring and very similar to our current place. they didn't seem like an upgrade so much as a side-grade. (what else have I said that about recently? oh yeah--my phone.) I crave hardwood floors, but the ones we saw with those were really old and lacked modern updates like a garbage disposal or grounded outlets. pretty small, too.

we visited one apartment that was kind of horrible, like something out of my apartment nightmares. the ceiling was barely above our heads, the "living room" was basically a place where the hallway widened a little more, and everything was wood-paneled and carpeted like we had stepped into the 70s. the price they were asking was ridiculously high for such a crappy apartment, and when I went online I saw that the company had been given awful reviews on uwm's off-campus housing site, so I'm kind of glad we didn't like either of the apartments they showed us.

I bookmarked practically everything on craigslist that remotely fit our criteria and looked at a few more sites like forrent.com, and many apartment management companies have their own websites where they list apartments available, so I looked at plenty of those. one company that seemed really promising was Eastmore--they seem to own half of the buildings on the east side and all of them look really nice. I even scheduled a showing for one, and was all excited about it, but then I read the fine print on their website and found out that they have a STRICT NO-PET POLICY. I had assumed they'd allow cats, because some of the buildings say "small dogs allowed," and who would allow small dogs but not cats? I DUNNO BUT APPARENTLY THEM. so I canceled that showing and was really frustrated for a while, because that meant I had to cross off several of the nicest-seeming apartments on my list.

but then the other day during one of my obsessive craigslist trawls, I found a listing for an apartment right around the corner from where I grew up--the heart of the east side, a couple of blocks from uwm and right down the street from one of my favorite local coffee shops. it fit all our basic criteria--price range, cats allowed, heat included, etc. and it had JUST been posted, so I was like MUST MAKE APPOINTMENT BEFORE SOMEONE ELSE TAKES IT. I was kind of nervous that it would be horrible, though, because I really like the idea of living right around here and it's really hard to find a nice place that's cheap enough.

so we saw that one today, and we were both immediately charmed by it. all of the rooms were painted different colors (the manager said we can paint the walls any color we want), and there's a small built-in bookshelf, and the bedrooms both have windows on two sides (advantage to living in a small building) so there was lots of light. and it has HARDWOOD FLOORS, which is basically the main reason why I wanted to move. (it's either that or buy a 300-dollar vacuum.) the kitchen was small but not TOO small, and it had a gas stove (Kate's preference) and a garbage disposal (mine). also, the free storage lockers are HUGE.

the building also seemed kind of... home-y. there was a lot of stuff in the hallway, people's shoes and such, so apparently everyone trusts everyone else not to steal things, which is nice. the smallness of the building and the friendliness of the people we saw made it seem like people actually interact there, rather than ignoring each other in the halls like we do here. it wasn't a huge impersonal building with few distinguishing characteristics, like many of the apartments we'd visited.

there are a few drawbacks. it's basically the same price we're paying now (I was hoping to pay a bit less, as we're basically too poor for this neighborhood but we love it anyway), and cable's not included in the rent like it is here. there's no air conditioner, although we could put in a window unit. it's right on Locust, a really busy street, and it would never be really quiet even at night. there's laundry in the basement, but only one washer and one dryer.

those are all relatively little things though. what's really making me hesitate about this apartment is the lack of off-street parking. the manager said he hasn't heard any complaints, but parking on the east side can be really difficult when UWM is in session, especially if you want to park during the day. (like I said, my parents live just around the corner, and I've often had trouble finding a place to park when visiting them on a weekday.) you can buy a night parking permit from the city (cheap), but a lot of the streets around there are two-hour parking during the day, and I'd rather just have a place to leave my car where I don't have to worry about moving it. plus, the super-busy street makes me feel kind of vulnerable, especially after coming from the locked garage we have here. not to mention I don't relish the idea of digging my car out of the snow every winter.

but the apartment IS really neat. we have a showing and a couple of open houses to go to tomorrow, but I think both of us are already mentally moving our furniture around to see how it would best fit in that place. unless we REALLY love something we see tomorrow, we've probably found our apartment.

the manager emailed us the application (INTERNET AGE HOW I LOVES YOU), and he said the one we looked at today had been rented, but there was another one available on the first floor (easier move-in) that had the same layout. I told him we'd have to take a look at that one before signing anything. I'm hoping we can do that tomorrow and get things finalized as soon as possible.

I'm pretty anxious about moving, since I'm kind of a weakling and can't do a lot by myself so I either have to ask people to help (and I don't know a lot of people, plus my dad's getting kind of old for it), or hire movers (which I don't think we really have the money for). Kate says she can get some family members to help. I also want to use the moving opportunity to take a bunch of furniture I don't particularly like to Goodwill and get new stuff from Craigslist or rummage sales. especially if we end up getting a uhaul truck like we did last time, since my car is tiny and I don't know anyone with a truck, so moving large furniture items is hard (which is pretty much the only thing that keeps me from entirely redecorating my apartment with Craigslist finds every year or two).

I want to pare down my possessions a LOT for this move, since every fewer box means that much less stressful of a moving experience. I'm going to give away a lot of books through paperbackswap and a lot of clothing to Goodwill, and my never-used desk is not coming with us either. I always end up moving somewhere and then having a lot of boxes that never get unpacked because they're filled with things I never use. there's still going to be some stuff I don't use, like keepsakes and my old writing notebooks, but I can keep them in the storage locker of the new place. (in a plastic bin. I love plastic bins.)

OKAY END BORING MOVING STUFF HERE, ON TO KITTENS!!

The kittens are doing pretty well! They've all learned to walk and use the box and eat solid food, although they do still nurse often. The mama and at least a couple of kittens have diarrhea, which my Special Kitten Food Cocktail (with slippery elm, extra fiber, and probiotics mixed in) is doing nothing to cure, although it might be keeping it from getting worse. I take them to the vet on Wednesday for their first checkup, so I can ask about it then. In the meantime I am cleaning out the box VERY often because otherwise my room constantly smells like poop. WHY DO I DO THIS KITTEN THING AGAIN.

sad kitten?

Oh right.

Basil is becoming a real sweetheart. (For some reason I keep wanting to call him Rufus.) He curls up next to me and goes to sleep and I go awwww. I'm kind of flattered that even with his mama and four siblings available, he still wants to sleep on me. I love sweet kittens.

Cinnamon, who was initially the sleepiest cat, is growing into a little monster. She attacks the other kittens mercilessly and has recently learned to growl. Maybe there's some truth to what they say about the fiery calico spirit. cffgc d ddddddddddddddddddrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr aHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH11111111DYYYYYYYYYYYY HYYYYYYYYYADDR

I went to go get my laundry and that's what I came back to. I think I will end my entry on that note. because KITTENS.

They keep giving me more kittens!

  • Mar. 23rd, 2011 at 9:02 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
Seriously. My first litter was two, my second was four and then three, my third was four, and now I have FIVE tinycats plus their mama. I guess it's a good sign that they keep trusting me with more and more kitties?

This batch doesn't have names yet or even definite sexes, except for the mama who was unofficially named "Pepper" by the Humane Society people. They were strays rescued from MADACC (animal control), and the foster people said the kittens were "about a month" old, but there's a world of difference between these guys and the Sparrows who were also supposedly a month old.

These kittens are still nursing, for one thing, and their ears are still tiny. Their eyes are open, but they're not really walking a lot yet, just kind of wobble-crawling around. They go "meep" all the time which is adorable. I haven't heard the mama talk, she mostly purrs and a couple of times she's made the annoyed "mrrt" sound, I assume when a kitten is nomming on her too hard.

She's very friendly and will rub up on your hand, but she was pretty freaked out when she first got here. I let her out to explore while I put the kittens in their bed, and she immediately found the darkest corner, which is the back of my closet. I put a blanket over the cage so that she'd have a dark corner in there too, and she seems fine with the arrangement.

The mama is a beautiful speckled tortoiseshell, mostly black with sprinkles of orange. The kittens are one calico, one tortie, one black or possibly very dark gray, and two medium gray. I think one of the grays is female and one is male, but I can't be sure. Haven't gotten a good look at the black one yet.

The mama is eating and eating, which I guess she has to do because her kittens are also eating and eating. She's pretty skinny and has a patch of fur on her head that's matted or stuck together somehow. Hopefully after a few days she will put on some weight and be able to groom herself thoroughly. Right now I'm just giving her as much wet kitten food as she will eat, with dry food for snacking on when I'm away.

And yes, they are still at the stage where she eats their waste. It's kind of gross, but also kind of cool that cat mamas do everything themselves. No diapers necessary. Mama hasn't used the litter box herself yet though. I think the kittens are nursing so much that she doesn't have anything left!

The grey ones keep coming out and wobbling around, especially the one I think is a girl. The others are content to nurse and sleep for now. I'll take pictures tomorrow, since it's hard to photograph dark-colored cats at any time, let alone at night in a cage with a blanket over it.

I think the mama deserves a more dignified name than Pepper. Although, I was thinking I could go with a "spice" theme for naming the kittens. You know, Anise, Coriander, Nutmeg, etc. Ha. But I still want to give the mama a proper name.

Name suggestions welcome as always!

PENNSYLVANIA PART ONE

  • Mar. 20th, 2011 at 5:38 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
So I went to Pennsylvania! And there were many photos taken. Click to embiggen.

CUT! )


Anyway, there will be pictures of ~actual dancing~ in the next post! This one seems long enough.
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
ugh. well I got sick today, I threw up for the first time in 5 years and 3 months. yeah I remember every time I got sick. that's one of the perks of emetophobia. woo

I don't really know what's wrong with me. all morning I was super tired and then I started to have horrible stomach cramps and feeling nauseated and having diarrhea and stuff. I thought I was just like super anxious but my anxiety attacks don't usually last that long. neither does the IBS usually. all I had for breakfast was tea and luna bars and some oatmeal which is what I have all the time so I don't know why I felt so sick.

after I threw up I felt a little better but still icky. I haven't thrown up again but I still feel blah. I have a fever and my back aches, although thankfully the extreme abdominal pain is over. I just feel sick now in that undefined way. generally sick. blarg. I have the blarg.

my mom thinks it's a stomach virus and that makes sense because I was just on a train with people from who knows where and I could have picked up anything. but alan says since I haven't thrown up again that it's probably not a virus because he had one recently and he was throwing up like every hour. and it's true stomach viruses usually get worse before they get better. we'll see how the night goes and how I feel tomorrow. I just feel feverish and ughy and like I don't want to eat anything.

I'm at alan's house in pennsylvania and he has been taking good care of me. he and trish went out and got me a hot water bottle and some ginger ale and stuff. and then he watched avatar the last airbender with me which was good for distracting me from feeling bad.

another theory is that it's something in the tap water here. they got me a bunch of mini bottles of dasani so maybe that will help. it's possible I'm just not used to the bacteria in the water here or whatever. stupid traveling. stupid getting sick on vacation.

I don't really know what to do about my meds. if I take pills I'm afraid they will make me feel sicker or they'll just come back up and then what is the point. and I'm not supposed to take them on an empty stomach. but if I don't take them I know I'll feel like utter crap tomorrow and probably get a migraine which won't be good for my stomach issues.

it's hard to be away from my familiar surroundings while I'm sick but alan is being super nice and it's good to have him here.

vacation has not been all disaster though. yesterday we went to a rally in support of wisconsin workers. in erie, pennsylvania! I didn't know they cared. I felt all loved. we didn't have time to make a sign so nobody knew I was from wisconsin but whatever. so many people were wearing steelers jackets that at first I thought they were all part of the same union. heh. steelers' union.

but we had to run to get to the rally and today when I woke up my legs were like WHAT THE FFFFFUUUUUUUU- and then I got sick. my body hates me. blarg.

not yours

  • Feb. 20th, 2011 at 4:55 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (dude watchin' with the brontes)
So yesterday I was at work. My employers had left out badges for us to wear that said things like "Stop the attack on Wisconsin workers," which is the one I ended up wearing, clipped to my name tag. (If you've never read my journal before, I work at a public library in Wisconsin, which is a state currently going through major turmoil because of our new governor's desire to keep public-sector workers from being able to negotiate their own benefits. Also, if you've never read my journal before, I fucking hate Scott Walker.)

The majority of the comments I got were positive ones, and Shorewood is a pretty liberal suburb (that loves its library!) so I expected as much. I got one negative comment. That in itself doesn't bother me, but the way the interaction went down did.

The man looked at my badge and leaned across the desk. "Stop the attack on Wisconsin workers? What does that mean, does that mean I'm supposed to attack you?" He then proceeded to POKE ME IN THE HAND AND ARM. Repeatedly. I jerked my arm away. After that he went into some argument about how it's better to have more jobs with no benefits than fewer jobs, but I wasn't really listening because he had just POKED ME and I was busy seething silently behind the desk.

Dear public: DON'T fucking do that. Just because the person behind the counter is supposed to be nice to you doesn't mean you can touch her whenever you want. No, not even if it's "friendly" or "a joke." It's still NOT okay. You DO NOT have the right.

Sometimes I am really grateful for that huge marble desk between me and The Public.

goodbye Sparrows

  • Jan. 22nd, 2011 at 3:25 AM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
Well, Charlie and Amelia left on Wednesday, and went up for adoption on Friday morning. I didn't even get a chance to see them on the website--when I called around noon, the woman who answered the phone said they had been the first ones to go that day! (Not surprised, since they're such cuties and it's not kitten season.)

She said they didn't go together, but that they went to two "wonderful" families, so that was heartening. I appreciated that she seemed to understand how important it was to me to hear about what happened to them. (Sometimes I feel like the Humane Society treats me as just a house to keep kittens in, rather than a person who really cares about these little babies and wants to make sure they have the best lives possible, so it's good to hear a friendly voice.)

I wasn't too sad this time around--I made sure to have lots of snuggle time with the kitties before I took them to the vet, since I knew it would likely be my last morning with them. I think it's getting easier to give them back. And Hypatia is super glad, because Kate is on vacation this week so she hasn't had anyone else to get affection from while I'm petting kittens. I keep telling her she is welcome to hang out with me AND the kittens, but she's still kind of tense around them.

I did make progress with her and Amelia, though. She didn't seem to mind Amelia too much and would even run around after her like they were playing a chasing game. She still hissed at Charlie, though. I'm glad she didn't completely hate Amelia, because it bodes well for future fosters. Maybe I'll make a kitten-lover out of her yet. Or at least a kitten-friend. Kitten-tolerator?

Charlie had had some poop issues the last week I had them. The vet gave me a medication for it, which Charlie absolutely REFUSED to take--it's liquid, and he would just foam at the mouth and start drooling everywhere, trying to spit it out. Gross kitty. I hope some of it got into his system, though. I also mixed some FiberSure in with their food, since the vet recommended a high-fiber kitten food to help with poop. Those two things seemed to help and he was almost pooping normally at the end of his time with me.

I was still a little worried since he had such a big belleh, though. It seemed overly swollen, not just plump kitten-belly, so I was worried he had some kind of worm issue even though they'd been dewormed already. I took in a stool sample, but honestly I wasn't sure if it was his or Amelia's, since they both bury their poop right after they go (which I am usually very grateful for). It came back negative. The vet wasn't concerned, and there's nothing I can do about it now. He seemed OK otherwise, but, you know. I worry.

Those are two lucky families who got these kittens. Amelia became my constant shoulder-kitty in the last couple of weeks, burrowing into my neck and rubbing her face against mine and generally being irresistible. Charlie liked to sleep next to me, and if I shifted around on the bed, he would move too, so that he was right next to me again. Aw.

I'm not sure how long it will be before I get more kittens, since I might be going on vacation in March to visit Alan. I don't know if I have time to foster another litter before then, since there's no way to tell at the outset how long I'll have them. I'll talk to the HS about it if/when they call me, and see what they think.

Meanwhile Hypatia is being extra sweet and wanting pettings and even purring, which she doesn't do too often. She has taken up nighttime residence on the heated cat bed that I bought for the kittens but which they didn't seem too interested in. Ah well, at least someone is using it! Right now, though, she's mad at me because I ran out of her regular food and gave her some CLEARLY INFERIOR food of a different brand, how dare I.

Pix:

sleepin' Charlie
Snoozing Charlie.

Amelia
Tiny Amelia.

sleepycats
Sleepin'.

2 kittens gone :(

  • Jan. 7th, 2011 at 3:34 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
They took two of my kitties away! I went to get them all a checkup today, and since two of them were over two pounds and healthy, they said those two could get surgery and go up for adoption together. I thought they'd want to keep the litter together for socialization purposes, but I guess they just don't want to have ONE kitten by itself, and two for adoption and two to stay with me is fine.

I was kinda surprised and didn't really get a proper goodbye with Wilbur and Ivy May. I felt bad because I spent the morning just sitting on the couch, while I could have been snuggling with them one last time. Ah well. Maybe I'll drive over there on Sunday and check them out. I hope they get adopted together! They were the highest-energy ones of the bunch, so I think they're a good pair.

I miss them already. Ivy May had a great squealy voice and a funny personality, and she was Kate's favorite. Wilbur was a rascal, causing a lot of mischief and escaping every time I opened the door, but he was also a little sweetie and would always want to mash his face into mine affectionately. (Weirdo.) Ivy May had a loud purr and she liked to sleep on me.

I think Charlie and Amelia are kind of sad too. They curled up on each other for the ride home and they looked so small without their bigger siblings. I'm glad I get more time with them. Another week or so at least. I wonder how much they understand about their siblings being gone. I know mama cats will go crazy searching for a lost kitten, but I don't know how much of a bond kittens have to their littermates.

Plus side: Amelia and Charlie will have more space in the cage, and there will be half as much poop for me to clean out of the litter box.

I haven't posted too much about these kittens, and I think it's because they're so healthy--they just run around being adorable all the time, so there's not much to talk about. The last litter had too much to talk about with all their health problems. Sometimes I'm still sad about Zippy, the little girl that didn't make it. She would have made a great cat.

But for now I have two healthy, affectionate kittens to take care of, one of whom is purring on me and the other of whom is trying to eat my arm. Oh kitties.

Ivy May watches the fight
Ivy May watching her siblings fight

upside-down Wilbur
Wilbur bein' cute

Kittenmas

  • Dec. 25th, 2010 at 2:33 AM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
Merry Christmas from:



Mr. Charlie Sparrow...




Mr. Wilbur Sparrow...




Miss Amelia Sparrow (with bonus Charlie)...




and last, but never least, Miss Ivy May Sparrow.


Love and purrs to all. ♥

new kittens!

  • Dec. 17th, 2010 at 12:59 AM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
So on Tuesday night, on a whim, I called the Humane Society and left a message asking if they had any kittens for me to foster, since they hadn't called me in a while. They called me the next day--I'm not sure if that was because of my message, or if it was just a coincidence? I dunno. The woman on the phone seemed really jazzed that I wanted more kittens, so maybe they did get the message.

Anyway! Four new little ones! In the back of my head I remembered how when I had my house inspected for fostering, the woman told me I should get only one or two at a time because my room was so small. But I can't TURN DOWN kittens, and besides I had three last time and they did fine. I think four will be OK. Just more litter box cleaning and such.

These are the youngest I've had at one month old(!). (Oliver and Ramona were six weeks, and the last batch was seven, although then they went away for two weeks and came back older.) And they are TINY! I bought a kitchen scale and weighed them all today, and they are all between 1 pound and 1 pound 4 ounces. LITTLE!!

I think four weeks is when the maximum kitten cuteness starts happening. Before that, their ears are still too small and they look kind of alien and weird. Still cute, but weird.

Because they are so young, I was a little afraid that they wouldn't be fully weaned yet and I'd have to bottle feed them or something. The Humane Society people just said to mix wet food with dry food and if they couldn't handle that, to mix some water in. I didn't have to worry--I put down the food and they all dug in ravenously. It's kind of funny to watch because four kitten heads can't fit in the bowl at one time, so one kitten is always fighting for a spot.

There are two brown tabbies, a girl and a boy. The girl is darker and the boy is slightly floofier. Then there's an orange tabby boy, and a SUPER FLOOFY dilute torbie* girl. They all have white on their bellies and paws. They're HEALTHY, which is a relief. (Although I know they could catch a cold or something in the next couple of weeks, it's nice to not have to medicate them and worry about their health.) Because they're healthy and also because they're weaned so young, I have the feeling they were probably born indoors, to a pet cat, instead of outdoors to a feral. I don't know this for sure though--they didn't tell me any backstory when I went to pick them up, and I forgot to ask.

* For those of you who are not cat geeks like I am--a "torbie" is a tortoiseshell (black/orange) with some tabby (striped) markings, and "dilute" means instead of black and orange, you get "blue" (gray) and cream. So, like this. But mine is floofier.

I kept them in the cage for most of today and yesterday, just letting one or two out at a time to sit on my or Kate's lap. They were crying to get out, but I wanted to clean my room and put all the crap at the bottom of my closet into plastic bins. They're so small--I didn't want one of them to get lost in a shoe or something. Plus, plastic bins means I can more thoroughly sanitize things between litters of kittens. So, I got a bunch of those from Target today and put everything in them, and then let the kittens out to roam around. Max was here and he loved playing with them.


[Image description: Four kittens sleeping in a cat bed.]

This is the kittens all conked out. They sleep a LOT and it's very cute. Sometimes they get so thoroughly piled up that I only see two kittens and wonder where the other two are, and then I realize they're at the bottom of the pile.

(This isn't a real polaroid--it was taken with the polaroid camera app on my phone. I'll upload some from my actual camera soon. They're very squirmy and hard to photograph.)

They're all having various degrees of diarrhea/loose stool, which I hope is just from the location change, stress, new food, etc. They tend to cry when they're in the box. :( Poor kittenz, they must be uncomfortable. They're not very good at cleaning themselves yet so the poop gets tracked all over the place. I see much laundry in my future.

So they need names! I am taking suggestions. Here's what I know:

Orange boy (left) - Kinda nervous, cautious, easily spooked. Alert but wary. Will attack everything including other kittens and your hand. Clings TIGHTLY to you if you pick him up, and won't let go (has velcro claws). First one to figure out how to climb to the "second floor" in the cage. Last out of the cage, doesn't mind being in there.

Tabby boy (sprawled across middle of bed) - Adventurous, friendly, mellow. Good pouncing skills. Likes to curl up on your lap and fall asleep. Has a lot of "cat" noises already as opposed to "kitten" noises. (Makes the same "mrrt" sound that Hypatia does when she's annoyed.) Likes to be near people. Sneezes a lot (uh-oh...).

Tabby girl (top left) - Fearless, a climber, talkative. Small but can hold her own in a fight. Has a very loud SCREAM when she's not happy. The smallest and fastest. Her coloring reminds me of vanilla ice cream with dark chocolate sauce on top.

Torbie girl (right) - A real character. Lots of energy, bouncy, pounce-y, feisty. Has short legs and falls over a lot. Sweet too, likes to purr on you. Loves the sparkle ball. Enthusiastic about everything. First out of the cage, hates to be locked in. SO MUCH FLOOF. Has a round cream spot on the top of her gray head.

Kittens!! :D
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (ravenclaw)
So I appear to be sick? Hmm. I have the head-fuzz and the chills and the sore throat and the sneeze. What's weird is I'm not as worried about being sick as I am about the psychological ramifications. I am trying to not let anyone make me feel guilty for staying home or resting, because I am SICK. Not only do I think my health is important, but I also think it's irresponsible of me to go to work when I could make other people sick. Not everyone is healthy enough that they can afford to get a cold or flu virus, and I have paid sick days, so damn it, I am going to USE them if I am sick.

(This is a sore point for me, because my workplace has doubted that I'm REALLY sick before when I've called in. I always want to tell them that (a) I am already sick, please don't make me feel guilty for being sick, and (b) there are ways to be sick that don't involve deathly illness--like being too depressed to go to work or having a really bad chronic pain day. It is not up to you whether or not I am too sick to work.) (I know there's this tendency among Our Society to be like, "it's just a cold, tough it out, go to work." I WORK WITH THE PUBLIC. If it were an office job where I just worked by myself all day, things might be different. But what's "just a cold" to me might be a huge deal to someone with a compromised immune system.)

ANYWAY.

I have no Christmas CHEER this year. (Sorry Maureen Johnson!) I just don't care. Lights, tree, whatever. Maybe I'll get some enthusiasm later but right now I am decidedly "meh." I feel like this is maybe connected to my disillusionment with other things I used to find enchanting, like romantic relationships, earlier this year. I broke something in my mind that was connected to those things. Like, the feeling of fairy tales being true, or something. I no longer believe in the fairy tale of romance or the fairy tale of Christmas? I DON'T KNOW I AM AN UNFEELING ROBOT.

When was the last time I updated? I did end up trading in my kinda crappy new phone for a spiffy Android phone. I feel kind of guilty and first-worldy about it, because now I have this fancy expensive toy, basically, when I'm broke as hell and shouldn't really be buying fancy toys. But, I kinda love it. So.

I had narrowed it down to the MyTouch 3G Slide or the G2, based on recommendations from you guys and CNet reviews (and my need for a KEYBOARD). (There were cheaper keyboard phones, but they didn't get great reviews.) After reading every review ever, I decided I'd be equally happy with either, so price was the deciding factor. The MyTouch was cheaper, so it won. I got it in SHINY RED.

It's not the best phone or even one of the top-five Android phones out there, but it is pretty awesome. It has Android 2.1 and an update to 2.2 has been promised for months & months, but nobody knows whether that will actually happen. At the moment I do not care because it is SHINY. The only big downside is it doesn't have much storage space, so you can only download a certain number of apps before you run out of space, and it doesn't let you transfer apps to an external memory card.

It's got a few little bugs and such but nothing huge yet. I'm hoping it'll last me the two years before the next upgrade. I don't care if it's behind the technological times by then (hell, it's behind them NOW), as long as it still works.

I didn't realize when I got it how actually useful and un-toylike it would end up being. It syncs with Google Calendar, so now I have my schedule with me everywhere, which is wonderful especially for my ADHD, forgetful self. There's a Mint.com app so I can keep track of how much money I have WHILE I am out buying things. There's a to-do list app (several actually) and weather apps and Google Maps. TECHNOLOGY~~~

So, yeah. I am generally grumpy with the world right now. Go away. Bah humbug, haters to the left, ease up you're killing me, etc.

(Not you, internets. You can stay.)

a boring post about phones

  • Nov. 28th, 2010 at 5:06 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (dude watchin' with the brontes)
So I got a new phone, and I'm not sure whether I should keep it or send it back.
first world problems )
In other news, I really love oatmeal. Like, more than you know.

a Deathly Hallows review with much capslock

  • Nov. 20th, 2010 at 12:02 AM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (ravenclaw)
First of all, that movie is WAY too dark. That's not a metaphor--I felt like I could barely discern what was going on. I saw it on an UltraScreen, which I don't usually do, so maybe that's why? I dunno, I just kept wanting to turn the brightness knob up. Having a dark, gray tone for your movie is fine, but make it so people can still actually SEE what's happening.

here be spoilers for Deathly Hallows Part 1 )


[Image description: Me and my roommate, Kate, in the lobby of a movie theater. Kate is wearing Ravenclaw robes and I am wearing a dark red shirt (bought at evietees on etsy) that says "Moony & Wormtail & Padfoot & Prongs" in gold. I am holding a large tub of popcorn.]

bye-bye kittens

  • Nov. 1st, 2010 at 11:42 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
I took the kittens back today. Sigh. It was easier this time. I knew what to expect, and I was able to mentally prepare myself a little bit beforehand. I wish I'd spent more time with them this morning, though, because I felt so crappy that I ended up taking a too-long nap on the couch and then it was almost time to take them to the vet.

I also forgot my camera so I couldn't take One Last Photo of them, but I do have plenty of photos on flickr already and even more that I haven't uploaded yet.

I am, honestly, so proud of these kitties. After weeks of mewling piteously all the way to the vet's office, today they barely made a peep. They just sat quietly in their carrier. I don't know if they knew today was different, or if they just trust me now, not to take them anywhere horrible. I've taken them to my parents' house to meet the doggy, and to a friend's house to meet her kitty, and both times I think they had fun, the latter time especially. So I think they know now that a ride in the car doesn't necessarily mean something awful is going to happen.

In general I think they are well-adjusted kitties and will be great in their new families. Barnaby is the most self-assured and he'll do fine in whatever situation he's placed in--dogs, kids, babies, ferrets, whatever. Simon needs a little more watching, because he still thinks the world is his to chew on, but he's a sweetie and someone is going to enjoy giving him belly rubs. Albus is shy at first, but friendly and affectionate once he gets to know you, and I feel like he's really come out of his shell in the time I've had him.

The vet (one I hadn't seen before) even said she remembered those kittens from when they were really sick, and was glad to see them looking so healthy and happy. Yay for happy kitties.

I had fun filling out their personality profiles. I'm going to miss Simon's chirps and trills, and Albus's big eyes and soft fur, and Barnaby's quiet companionship. But I'm not devastated like I was when I gave Ramona and Oliver back. Either I'm getting used to the experience and Growing As A Person, or the meds are turning me into a soulless robot.

And Hypatia is happy they're gone of course. She walked around my room very tentatively at first, as if expecting a kitten to jump out at her at any moment. Poor bb, scared of those little tiny cats.

In other news I signed up for NaNoWriMo. With the help of some Twitter encouragement (thanks @baileykelsey), I got several hundred words out last night, by the simple philosophy of "it doesn't have to have a plot or be about anything in particular, just don't stop writing for fifteen minutes." So I ended up with some stream-of-consciousness stuff that may become thoughts in the head of a character. It doesn't resemble anything like a novel yet, but I'm starting with VERY low expectations for myself, because if I try to make it make sense or have a recognizable plot, I'm going to get paralyzed and stop writing. The point of NaNo is to silence the inner editor, so fuck you, inner editor.

Anyway, I'm notemily (as usual) on there so add me if you're NaNoing too!

Kitten photo time:

EXTRA kitten photos today, click to see! )

The kittens will be neutered tomorrow and then up on the Humane Society website the following day, so watch for them! And don't forget to vote tomorrow! Especially if you're in Wisconsin and hate that asshole Scott Walker as much as I do!

kittens, dogs, and "customer service"

  • Oct. 25th, 2010 at 10:36 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (dude watchin' with the brontes)
So, the rest of the weekend with kittens and doggy worked out well. After they had adjusted to the new surroundings, I opened the door and let them sniff the doggy through the baby-gate, and vice versa. They were very curious, and so was he, and eventually they learned that they could climb over the baby gate and actually hang out with him.

They had varying reactions to actually being near the dog. Tanner would try to get up close and sniff at them curiously, but he was kind of excited and not always too polite about it. Simon hissed at him whenever he got too close, but didn't mind being in the same room. Albus just ran away when he got nosey, and Barnaby would just be like "Um, what exactly are you trying to do here? Can you not sniff my butt?" Barnaby was the most tolerant, so of course he had to endure the most butt-sniffing, poor guy.

Eventually they explored the whole house and had a ton of fun sliding all around the hardwood floors and chasing each other across rooms way larger than the one they live in at my apartment. They were a little too interested in chewing on/knocking over the plants, and Simon of course found the cords to the kitchen blinds ENDLESSLY FASCINATING, but there were no major mishaps. I did discover that they like to scratch on wicker furniture, which would be a problem if they actually lived there for any length of time.

Honestly I think Tanner was more nervous about the whole thing than they were, in the end. He didn't know quite what to make of them. He's at least ten times their size, but at one point he actually jumped into my lap Scooby-Doo style, like "PROTECT ME FROM THESE VICIOUS FELINES!" He would also try to hide behind me, which was funny because the kittens would ALSO try to hide behind me to protect them from HIM, so it was a weird game of musical animals where I was the only chair.

By the time my parents got home, all the kitties were sitting on me while I watched TV and Tanner was on the couch next to us. I think he was still a little jealous that he couldn't sit in my lap, though.

The kittens have now happily settled back in at my apartment. I let them out to roam around for a while today, but it was upsetting Hypatia so Kate made me put them back in my room. Hypatia is so weird about them. She'll poke her head into my room, encounter a kitten, hiss at it and back out. She KNOWS they're in here, but she tries to come in anyway. I wish I could explain to her that it's just temporary, that she's still my #1 kitty, but she's in defense-mode all the time with hissing and low growls. They're obviously curious about her, but they respect her space and back off if she growls at them. I wish everyone could get along!

Simon has been throwing up today, and he doesn't seem too hungry for dinner, but then again the other two took like five bites of dinner and then went to sleep, so either they're all just sleepy and full from munching on dry food, or they're all coming down with some kind of sickness. NO MOAR SICKNESSES! I COMMAND IT!

Barnaby's eye is still runny, even though I've re-started the eye drops, which is worrying. It's a good thing he's so docile and tolerant of me putting liquid in his eyes. He doesn't like it, but he doesn't try to fight his way out of my arms.

I myself have been feeling like crap. Lots of headaches and general brain-no-worky. I know I'd feel better if I did my mindfulness practice, but for some reason once I've stopped doing it regularly, it's really hard to start again. Like flossing.

At work there was this inane survey that was supposed to teach us to be better at customer service, but it was just a bunch of those trick questions like "Is it legal for a man to marry his widow's sister?" and "If a plane crashes on the border between US and Canada, where do you bury the survivors?" (Answers, of course, are that widows have dead husbands and you don't bury survivors.) I guess it was supposed to teach us to look beyond the obvious and REALLY LISTEN to customers, but I could think of way better ways to do that than with something out of a much-forwarded email from the 90s.

I was really incensed by this; it just seemed like such Office Space corporate management pieces of flair bullshit. So I wrote down a bunch of sarcastic answers, including some that referred to internet memes ("How many birthdays does the average woman have in her lifetime?" "OVER 9000"), and some that were actually serious ("How many animals did Moses take on the Ark?" "This question assumes a Judeo-Christian upbringing and is therefore biased.") and signed it Hermione Granger. I... hope I don't get fired.

The thing is, and probably the reason why I was so angry, is that I ACTUALLY CARE about customer service. REAL customer service. Things like: Looking at my job from the library patron's perspective. Not using library jargon when talking to patrons. Working to consciously overcome my subconscious racist, sexist, ableist, ageist, anti-homeless, and other kyriarchical attitudes while talking to patrons. Thinking about how to make the library more accessible to people with disabilities. (Actually training clerks on things like how to deal with patrons who are blind and can't type in their own PIN number, to use one of many examples, would be helpful too.) Not blaming customers for bad design (if most patrons can't figure out how to use our self check-out machine, it's not because they're stupid, it's because the interface isn't very well-designed). Making the wording on signs as clear as possible. Not having rules that don't make sense or that have giant loopholes in them. Etc.

I won't claim to be the perfect library clerk by any means, but I know that customer service is NOT just about having a Positive Attitude and Making Eye Contact*, and it's certainly not about answering trick questions. So don't give me some bullshit survey and tell me it's supposed to make me better at customer service. Or I WILL go Hermione Granger on your ass. (I'm still spending most of my internet time over at Mark Reads Harry Potter. Because it is awesome.)

*Speaking of which, some training in common developmental disabilities and neuroatypicality and how those patrons' needs may be different than other patrons' needs would be nice.

AND NOW, for your amusement, Albus will attempt to eat my computer.

OM NOM NOM
[Image description: a Siamese kitten lying under the base of a laptop computer, trying to gnaw on it.]

And Simon will look pretty.


[Image description: a gray tabby kitten lying on a peach-toned blanket.]

Pictures of kittens meeting Tanner coming soon.
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
Whew! Today has been long and it's taken a toll on the kittens.

I'm dog-sitting for my parents this weekend, starting this morning, but the kittens had an appointment to get checked out this afternoon, and I didn't want to move them over to my parents' house until I knew they were going to be staying with me for another week. So I left them at my place, hung out with the dog for a bit, and then came back to take them to the Humane Society.

I saw a new vet this time, one I hadn't seen before. She was really nice and you could tell she really liked working with the kittens. She weighed them and checked them out. Albus is three pounds now (go, Albus!) and Barnaby is FOUR POUNDS! Simon is, as usual, in the middle. Everyone seems to be steadily gaining about half a pound a week.

The kittens have mostly recovered from their cold except for some occasional sneezing, but Barnaby has a runny eye. It was relieved temporarily by eye drops but as soon as I stopped the eye drops, the runniness came back. So the vet gave me more eye drops and said we'll see if that happens again.

Normally when I go there, the vet just weighs them and then gives me their meds and food and I take them home. But today they were due for all kinds of treatments. They got de-wormed, de-flead (probably don't need it but just in case), and they got a distemper vaccination. The vet warned me that they might be kind of sore in the shoulder where they got the shot, and to watch for any signs that showed they were having a reaction to the vaccine, like hives or vomiting.

So they were already kind of worn out by the time I brought them home, and THEN I had to move them, their litter box, their bed, their scratching post, their food and meds, a huge bag of kitty litter, and several cat toys over to my parents' house. This took a few trips and the kittens were nervous and confused.

When I got here, Tanner was SUPER curious about what was inside the cat carrier and followed me upstairs, sniffing it. I told him to stay out and put the kittens in the room where Hypatia stayed when she was here, and then went to work setting up all their stuff. They hid under the bed at first, but they would venture out curiously every once in a while to look around until they got spooked and hid again. Michelle, the girl who walks Tanner every day, came up to look at them and was especially enchanted by Albus. Everyone is, he's so cute. He was kind of scared though (OMG NEW PEOPLE) and didn't want to come out from under the bed.

All this I expected. But after Michelle left, the kittens started to behave strangely. They all lay down as if they were tired, but Albus and Barnaby were shivering. At first I thought it was out of fear, which would make sense for shy Albus, but Barnaby is always curious and doesn't usually get so scared that he would shiver. (Simon seemed fine, he was purry as usual. Nothing slows him down, I suppose, not even tapeworms.)

Albus went to sleep in the bed with Simon. Barnaby curled up and went to sleep on my arm, but he didn't purr when I petted him, and he was really hard to wake up. I would pick him up and he would half-open his eyes and look dazed. He stopped shivering after a few minutes, but he just kept sleeping and hardly opened his eyes. Plus, his breathing was shallow and rapid. I started to feel dread in the pit of my stomach. To look at Barnaby's face and not see his curious, alert eyes looking back--well, I was pretty scared.

I started googling vaccination side effects and shock and everything else I could think of. The websites all said that some lethargy was a mild side effect of the distemper vaccine, but they also said IF YOUR CAT SHOWS ANY SIDE EFFECTS CALL YOUR VET. So I put in a call to the foster people, on the answering machine. I wasn't sure if this was enough of an emergency to call the main line and go HELP at them. They haven't called me back, which either means it's not an emergency or they didn't check their messages.

I was afraid the shivering meant he was cold, so I put him under the blankets and against my chest. But then I read that shivering could mean fever so I wasn't sure what to do. His gums were pale, which is a sign of poor circulation, but I checked the other kittens and their gums were equally pale, so I didn't know what to think. I was like BARNABY STAY WITH ME and rubbing his limbs to try to keep his circulation up. It frightened me that he barely responded to me rubbing him all over. (Incidentally, Max and I are going to watch One Hundred and One Dalmatians tonight. I felt like Roger in the scene where he tries to revive the stillborn puppy. Rub rub rub)

Eventually I just let him sleep, but I watched his breathing and kept one hand under his chest to monitor his heart. I think I fell asleep for a little while, too. I woke up to feed the dog, and when I came back upstairs he seemed a little more alert and Barnaby-like. (The other kittens kept hiding under the bed when I opened the door, so I knew they were ok and moving around.) He was still sleepy, and I thought he was shivering again, but it turned out he was just purring, yay!

Simon was exploring the room, so I pulled out a toy mouse and threw it for him. I didn't really expect him to play if he was still nervous, but he played with it right away and then Albus got in on the action. After a few minutes, Barnaby got up from the bed and joined in the play--and then he ate some food! He was all right!

I was SO relieved. I was afraid that by getting him vaccinated and then stressing him out with the move, I had made him really sick. STOP ALMOST DYING AND GETTING RANDOM SCARY SYMPTOMS, KITTENS. I COMMAND YOU.

Once they are more comfortable with the room, I will open the door a crack (I have the baby gate up) and let them sniff the dog. If they aren't terrified, then I can leave the door open and let them jump over the baby gate to explore the rest of the house. I'm hoping the temptation of OMG A WHOLE HOUSE will override their misgivings about the dog, but we'll see. If they're still scared of him, there's no problem with keeping them in the room for the few days I'm here.

Let's have a Barnaby party for the pictures today:

superkitten
[Image description: My roommate, Kate, lying on a bed, holding a tuxedo kitten up in the air over her head.]

autumn kitty
[Image description: A tuxedo kitten crouched on a sunny windowsill, looking to the left.]

ohai barnaby
[Image description: A tuxedo kitten sitting on a sunny windowsill, looking up at the camera with large amber eyes.]

Glad to have you back, Barney.

Little cats

  • Oct. 19th, 2010 at 10:51 AM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
I'm really enjoying the stage the kittens are at right now. I think of it as the settling-down phase, and it happened around the same age (11-12 weeks) with Oliver and Ramona. There's much less of me having to run around after them cleaning up poo and disentangling them from the curtain cord. They've learned to groom themselves by now, for one thing, and are getting as fastidious as all cats are about it. They're still very playful, but they don't play ALL THE TIME now--they sleep more, and they can sleep for most of the night, which is nice for me.

They're just generally more relaxed, I think. Instead of fighting all the time, they now have a pretty good cuddle/fight ratio going on. They'll get into little purr-piles and groom each other or just sleep on each other adorably. They trust me and the routine of their days that I've made for them.

Of course all this peace is going to be turned upside-down soon, when they go off to get adopted, but I feel like having this time to be calm and stress-free helps them deal with it later. I have no idea if that's actually true, of course, but I feel like they will be more well-adjusted kitties than if they had been adopted earlier. (Not that it's bad to be adopted early--it just means their adoptive families will have to deal with their more difficult young-kitten stage instead of their foster families, heh.) I can't guarantee that they will be happy in their future lives (I wish I could), but I can say that they're happy right now, and have been well cared-for during these weeks that are so important to their development as kitties. It's good to know that.

It looks like I might be bringing them to my parents' house while I dog-sit, because Barnaby's eye is still watering a lot and I'm guessing the vet won't want him to be neutered until that problem is cleared up. Not sure about that, of course, but I'll see her on Wednesday or Thursday to talk about it. My parents are leaving on Thursday morning.

Barnaby is my little quiet guy. Sometimes I'll look up from whatever I'm doing to see that he has curled up beside me and gone to sleep while I wasn't looking. He's got a great calmness and focus about him, and he hardly ever bites. I think of him as the more "mature" kitten, the "big brother," because of his personality and because he was so much farther advanced than the others from the start. (They all look the same size to me now, which is pretty astonishing. No more runts in this litter; Albus grew like a weed.)

Did I show you guys Barnaby's secret yet?

Barnaby's secret
[Image description: A tuxedo kitten and a gray tabby kitten, lying in the sun next to a cage.]

Look closely. Barnaby has stripes! He's a secret tabby!

They're only visible under certain lights or if you're looking for them, but after close inspection I have determined that his black fur is not, indeed, all black. It's striped with very dark brown. I like that, not only because it makes him special, but because the other two kitties have tabby markings, too. It's something that marks them as siblings even though they look so different.

Albus says hi.

Albus (and Simon)
[Image description: A Siamese kitten looking at the camera with big round eyes.]
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
So far in this one litter of kittens, we have had:

- A very bad coccidia infection, resulting in Zippy's death :(
- Three URIs
- One mysterious case of bloody urine (Albus)
- Several recurring bouts of diarrhea
- One erroneously-sexed kitten (Simon, a.k.a. Matilda)
- One eye (Barnaby's right) that won't stop watering
- At least one tapeworm

Whew! Again, I am so glad this wasn't my first litter. They are all doing well now. There are still a few sneezes and mild poop issues, and Barnaby's eye is still watering occasionally, but I'm happy to report they are free of both serious illnesses and mysterious symptoms. (FOR NOW.) And we're pretty sure everyone is a boy. (The Humane Society is still confused on this point, asking me which one had the tapeworm--"Was it the girl?" "Uh, there's no girl.")

In other feline news, a friend from work came over to see the kittens and brought catnip-filled toys. The kittens were just like "meh," but Hypatia loved the catnip. She rolled around on the floor, meowing and rubbing up against everything, quite unlike her usual aloof self. Hee, silly kitty.

It's getting to the point where I have to start thinking about what to put on the forms, in terms of their personalities and such. It's difficult because they all love to play and they all love to purr while you pet them, pretty much in equal amounts. They seem so different in my mind, but the differences are hard to describe. "Albus is just so... so Albus, you know?"

Simon plays kind of rough and will attack anything even vaguely stringlike (or anything moving), but he also purrs the loudest and comes over for petting the most often. Barnaby has turned out to be the nicest, hardly ever biting or scratching (humans anyway), just curling up quietly beside you. If you pet him he will purr appreciatively, but if you don't that's cool too. He looooves his crinkly fish toy. Albus prefers a furry mouse, and while he will romp and play with the best of them, when he wants pets he WILL let you know.

But in my head they are:

Barnaby: "Oh, this petting is most delightful."
Albus: "Petting! Yaaay petting! Moar petting! HEY I SAID MOAR PETTING."
Simon: "Is someone else getting pettings? I must also get pettings! GIVE ME ALL THE PETTINGS. YOU WILL NEVER SATISFY MY HUNGER FOR PETTINGS."

Albus: "What's that over there? Oh hey, what's that over THERE? Hey, this thing is cool too! Rawr, mousie!"
Simon: "MUST DESTROY THE STRING MUST DESTROY THE STRING MUST DESTROY THE STRING" *falls over*
Barnaby: "Yeah, I can totally jump that high. I got this."

whiskers
[Image description: a tuxedo kitten shot from a low angle, his white whiskers standing out prominently against the black fur of his face.]

shade and sun
[Image description: two kittens lying on a bed facing each other, their front paws entwined. The tuxedo kitten is in shadow, while the gray tabby lies in the sun.]

sitting quietly
[Image description: two kittens sitting on a bed. The Siamese is looking at the camera while the gray tabby is looking at something slightly to the viewer's right.]

Simon always looks like he has black eyeliner on. Cheer up, emo kitten! (He's really a happy kitten. Especially when he gets belly-rubs.)

random kitten-related things

  • Oct. 12th, 2010 at 12:08 AM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
I noticed today when Max came over to play with the kitties that Barnaby and Albus are MUCH closer in size than they used to be. Yay for Albus putting on weight!

Their health is kind of complicated right now. They're all still sneezing but they're getting better in that respect, and nobody is having runny eyes anymore. However, they all seem to have gotten diarrhea from the antibiotics. I ran out of probiotics to mix in with their food, so I'll get more when I can. I think they were doing better before I ran out.

Poor Barnaby threw up today, twice. TMI: the first time was food and the second was just... bile, I guess. That kind of worried me, especially since he was mewing and crying beforehand like he was in pain. I was scared for a while like OH NO WHAT IF HE ATE SOMETHING THAT IS POISON! But he seems fine now, he's been eating and playing and everything.

Barnaby is really growing on me. I know I shouldn't play favorites and all, and they're all lovable, but I've been growing especially attached to him lately. He's such a chill kitty. Simon and Albus will DEMAND attention, which is cute but can get annoying (especially when you're trying to type something *cough*). Barnaby will just come curl up next to you and chill out. He's a good companion. A Sidekick, maybe.

I tried letting the kittens sleep outside of the cage last night, which worked for a while, but I woke up around 6 a.m., first with kittens sitting on my face and purring--I appreciate the thought, guys, really--and then with them wrestling each other all over my bed. I was like "OK, you're going in the cage and I am getting some sleep."

Barnaby has made two successful escape attempts so far! He hasn't gotten very far, mostly because he's been awed at how much STUFF there is in the rest of the apartment. He just stops and looks all around, and then I catch him. Hypatia is not happy when she sees him. I still can't let them out, because they're still coughing and sneezing sometimes. Maybe in a week or so if they're better.

Hypatia also did a reverse-escape-attempt today: I had the kittens in the cage with the door to the Kitten Room open a crack to air it out (smelly cats), and she snuck into the room and jumped onto the windowsill (her usual perch). I grabbed her and carried her back out, and the WHOLE TIME, she complained EXTREMELY LOUDLY. It sounded like this: RAEOOWWRAOWOOOWRAAAAOOOOW! I translated that as BUT IT'S MY ROOM WHY CAN'T I BE IN IT STUPID KITTENS IT'S MY ROOM MINE MINE MINE, etc.

After I kicked her out, I turned around, and the kittens were staring at me like O____O WHAT WAS THAT. That was your grumpy foster-sister. Hee.

OH, and I am happy to report that for the past few days I have not seen ANY blood in Albus's pee. YAY HEALTHY KITTEN!! They have a checkup tomorrow so I'll be glad to report that to the vet.

My parents are going out of town in a week and a half and they need me to dog-sit. I hope the kittens are healthy enough to be adopted by then. Not that I want to give them back of course, but if I still have them, I'll have to take them to my parents' house, which would be an ordeal. It'd be interesting to see them interact with the dog, though.

Picture time!

This is my favorite picture of Albus ever. o_O

Belleh rubs?
[Image description: A Siamese kitten exposing his belly with one eye half closed as if to say, "How YOU doin'?"]

Barnaby says "O hai, I was just attacking this pillow here."

?
[Image description: A tuxedo (black-and-white) kitten lying upside-down on a bed, looking at the viewer with his paws on a pillow.]

Simon explores the books.


[Image description: A tabby kitten standing on a row of books in a windowsill.]

I cleaned out my camera today and there are MANY MORE awesome kitten photos to come in the next few days. You can find everything at the kittens' flickr set.

Now I have three kittens purring on me. Aww. They are such sweeties. ♥

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