notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (gossip girl - natepalm)
At my parents' house, taking care of the doggy. Staying here is always weird--it feels like half vacation, half work. It's work because I have to take care of the dog, obviously, and long walks in 80-degree heat (no small thing for my physiology) and such, but it's also kind of like a vacation because they have DVR and a dishwasher and 124073485949 cable channels and a regular cleaning person. And hardwood floors and central air and a porch. You know, things I might have if I could afford them. But then I also have to go to my job, and there's no Kate and no kitty, so.

I still miss my kits, but I'm not as heartbroken anymore. I hope wherever Oliver and Ramona ended up, they are getting lots of love, and I know they're charming the pants off whomever adopted them with purrs and silly kitten antics. And maybe someday I'll find another kitty with Oliver's affectionate nature who can really be mine.

In other news, I am basically apoplectic with rage over this Feministe post. Seriously, Feministe? Fat-shaming and concern-trolling from a guest blogger? I expect better of you. I AM DISAPPOINT.

Seriously what IS this fuckery. Actual quote from one of the commenters: "by the fact that you’re eating more calories than you’re using, you’re defacto taking food from people that are going to starve to death." WHAT. Who even ARE you and what world have you been living in I CAN'T EVEN.

Fortunately there are a lot of commenters who are providing excellent rebuttals and links to stuff about HAES and FA. If you're unfamiliar with why this post is so appalling to me, I'd suggest starting with Kate Harding's excellent post "Don't you realize fat is unhealthy?"

Here, let's have some kitten pictures to cleanse the palate.



Beautiful Ramona...



And lovable Oliver...

Oliver macro-style

kittybooks

Oliver invites belly rubs

As always, far more at the set. I've created a best-of set as well, which contains the most popular Oliver & Ramona photos. I even created my first collection! Woo!

self-indulgent kitten post

  • Aug. 25th, 2010 at 1:07 AM
notemily: A black-and-white kitten looking at the camera (misc - tinycat)
Nicknames for Oliver:
  • Ollie
  • Ollie Bear
  • Mr. Bear
  • Honey Bear
  • Honey Baby
  • Baby Bear
  • Little Bear
  • Bug
  • Purry
Ramona was a little to nickname. She was just "Mona," "Miss Mona" and "Mony-girl." (And occasionally "Devil-cat.") Oh, and she was "Little Cat" more often than Oliver was, because she was so elegant and graceful and grew up so fast. Like one of those little kids who already look like they're 35.

Hypatia is "Kitty," "Miss Kitty," "Miss Kittypants," "Kitty-face," "Kitty-girl," "Girl," etc. I started calling her "Hypatia" a lot more once there were other kitties around, because "Kitty" was not specific enough, obviously. She also gained the nickname "Big-cat," as opposed to the kittens, who were tiny-cats, but it's kind of ironic because she's pretty small for a full-grown cat. She just looks HUGE next to the little ones. I've lost all sense of perspective--I need to see her with other grown cats before I can remember how small she is.

I don't know, maybe if I didn't give Oliver so many nicknames I wouldn't think of him as "mine." I get kind of sad thinking that nobody will ever call him Ollie Bear again.

I got really sad today when I was driving home from work and I realized I wouldn't be coming home to his purrs and snuggles. Dammit. Stupid kittens getting me all attached. I like to think Ollie misses me too, but he'll probably forget all about me and latch on to his new family and give them just as many purrs, which is as it should be.

I'm really disappointed that I won't be able to keep in touch with their adoptive families. Most of the foster-kitten blogs I read, the foster people can keep in touch with the adoptive people and get pictures of the kitties all grown up sometimes. I don't want to force myself on them--I just want the option for them to get in touch with me if they want to, but even that is Not Allowed. Blarg.

Oliver and Ramona aren't up at the HS website yet (still recovering from surgery probably), but I'm reloading it like every two hours. I want to go see them when they're available, but I'm afraid (a) the HS people will think I'm creepy or (b) I will end up sobbing when I have to leave.

I sound kind of pathetic, don't I. KITTENZ I WANT MY KITTENZ

I have been spending a lot of quality time with Hypatia, who is happy to have me all to herself again. When I came back without the kittens, I saw her make a few circuits around the apartment to make sure they were really gone, and then she came and sat on my lap. Aww, at least someone is happy they left. She is enjoying not having kittens try to pounce on her all the time, and being able to just sit with me while I watch crime shows late at night. Enabler.

Man, while the kittens were here I was like this is so much work why do they make such a mess I hate cleaning out litter boxes and not having my room to myself and now I'm like "I wonder when the Humane Society will call me again? I want more kittens!" I can see how this foster thing could get addictive, because the only way to fill the hole left by the previous kittens is... MOAR KITTENS.

I'm pretty sure my parents want me to dog-sit sometime this month, though. I should find out when, so I can tell the HS not to call me until after that. My life is run by animals

Obligatory kitten photos:



watchin

These are from July 31, when they were still only 8 weeks old. I'm really behind on the uploading, so even though the kittens are gone, expect lots more photos to come.

:( :( :(

  • Aug. 23rd, 2010 at 4:28 PM
notemily: A black-and-white kitten looking at the camera (misc - tinycat)
I miss my Ollie bear :(

The people at the HS said I can't even keep in touch with the families who adopt them... they said it's a liability thing or something. Stupid closed adoptions. That's the hardest part for me... not just giving them back, but knowing I'll never know how they turn out... :(

I even offered to send the new families pictures of them when they were tiny, but they said I have to email them to the HS and they'll pass them along. Sigh.

I want Oliver back :(

Another week of kittens!

  • Aug. 16th, 2010 at 8:55 PM
notemily: (misc - 5 kitties need homes)
play?

Oliver is STILL a little sneezy, and the vet said sometimes these upper respiratory things can actually get into the bone(!) and set up shop there and take a long time to go away. She said if he's not better by next week, she'd consider taking Ramona and leaving Oliver with me, so Ramona can go to a new home. She prefers to keep them together for as long as possible, though.

I am torn between "yay, I get to keep them for longer!" and "yay, I get to clean out their litter box for another week."

There was a Maine Coon cat at the Humane Society. I don't think I'd ever seen a Maine Coon in person before, and HE WAS HUGE. The girl behind the counter said he weighs 16 pounds, which is TWICE as much as Hypatia. This cat is TWO HYPATIAS BIG. He filled up ALL the cat carrier.

The kitties seem happy enough to stay. They both wanted extra pettings today and were very purr-y. Yes, even Ramona! She made biscuits for a little while on my bed. She even meowed at me because I wasn't petting her enough!

I noticed today how different their complaint meows are. Ramona's is a high-pitched squeak that sounds like she is in MAJOR DISTRESS even when she's just mildly annoyed. Oliver sounds more like a grumpy duck. "Maah!"

The counter at the vet's office was purple, and I was like "Look how pretty Ramona looks against the purple! She should have a purple collar! WAIT NO I CAN'T GIVE THEM COLLARS THEY ARE NOT MINE." I feel like the longer they stay, the harder it will be to give them up. And the longer they stay, I feel like the harder the transition will be for them.

Kate did not kill me for getting Hypatia sick, but she told Oliver she didn't love him anymore. (This is lies. She came in to snuggle him for a little bit after we got back from the vet.) Hypatia, meanwhile, keeps trying to sneak bites of the kitten food. Silly cat, you have your own food! At least her appetite is healthy.

Would you like some random kitties?

  • Aug. 15th, 2010 at 11:45 AM
notemily: A black-and-white kitten looking at the camera (misc - tinycat)
chillin

nightstand kitten

Ramona + books

Oliver sleeps a lot.

I'm a horrible cat owner

  • Aug. 9th, 2010 at 7:59 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (misc - kitty with milk)
It's so lonely here without Kate around! I keep waiting for her to come home and then remembering that she's dog/house-sitting at her sister's place all week. So then I just sit here with it slowly getting dark. /emo

I got Hypatia sick. :( :( :( Well, Oliver did, but it was my fault. I should have kept a way stricter quarantine on the kittens. I have plenty of excuses: she really hates being kept out of my room and I can't stand to hear her crying and destroying the carpet outside of it, and the kittens escape all the time, and keeping my door closed constantly drives me kind of batty, and it's hard to disinfect EVERYTHING that they come in contact with, especially since the kitten room is my bedroom so I'm probably covered in kitten germs all the time. But really it's my fault. I've been sick with guilt and worry. I hope Kate doesn't kill me.

Fortunately, though, she's not EXTREMELY sick. I knew what was happening as soon as I heard her start to sneeze and cough, so I took her to the vet right away and got her some medicine. She's just kind of lethargic and not eating much, plus she sounds like she has something in her lungs when she coughs--so basically, like a human would be with a cold. But I think cats with colds are harder to deal with because WE, as humans, know that we have to keep hydrated and fed even if we don't feel like it, but cats don't. (Also, cats can't tell us if they suddenly start feeling worse.) I've been giving her lots of treats because she will eat those, and I fed her some water with one of the kittens' extra medication syringes, just in case she was dehydrated. She hated being force-fed, but she seemed to perk up a little after that.

I'm also giving her lots of extra pettings and love. Apparently you can clear cats' sinuses by putting them in the bathroom while or after showering, so the steam can clear out their breathing. I might try that.

I guess I've learned my lesson about kitten quarantine. Next time, if Kate lets me do it another time, I will be more careful. Maybe have a "kitten smock" that I can wear over my clothes and take off before I go out to pet Hypatia. And put all my shoes and stuff into a plastic bin, so I can just disinfect the bin and not have to worry about each individual shoe. (They live at the bottom of my closet, where the kittens like to rampage around and sneeze on things.)

Ironically, poor Ollie Bear is finally showing signs of improvement. I still have him for another week because he's not 100% better, but he's not the snot-covered kitten he was a couple of weeks ago. Also, he has PASSED RAMONA in weight! Not by much--he's 3 pounds 1 ounce, and she's 2 pounds 15 ounces--BUT STILL. He was like half her size when he got here.

I kind of suspect that part of the reason he's grown bigger than his sister is because he hogs food. Sometimes I'll see him trying to push her out of the way because he wants ALL the foods, so I have to hold him for a minute to let Ramona get her fair share, but I can't watch them all the time. I'll have to make a note of that on his return sheet so his future family can be warned, if they have another cat.

I thought Hypatia had been gaining weight, but the vet weighed her at 8 pounds and some number of ounces I can't remember, which is slightly less than on her last vet visit, so I'm probably just thinking she looks huge because I spend so much time with tinycats. When you're used to picking up a two-pound kitten with one hand, eight pounds feels like a lot of cat, I guess.

I caught Ramona using poop as a toy again today. DELIGHTFUL. Sometimes I think she's protesting that her litter box isn't clean enough. Either that or she's saying I don't give her enough toys, which is CLEARLY UNTRUE.

IN NON-KITTEN NEWS, I went to the annual book sale at the Church of All Saints the other day with my mom. I always have fun hunting for YA books there. They have quite a few in the children's book section, but the rest are randomly mixed in with the adult fiction, either because they don't know they're YA or they just don't care. So it's a treasure hunt. It takes more than one visit to take everything in--I'm going back on Tuesday, when they have the box-and-bag sale. Everything you can fit in a box or bag for $3, I think. I highly recommend it.

Anyway, I found a bunch of Sweet Valley High books with the old-school painted covers, and that made me think of [livejournal.com profile] 1bruce1 , the community that recaps everything Sweet Valley. And then, my mom has been reorganizing the basement and found a bunch of my old Katherine Applegate romance novels, which I ***LOVED*** when I was younger. (You may know her as K.A. Applegate.) So I started wondering if anyone had done recaps of those, and I did find these recaps of the first book, which are quite funny. Apparently the author has read EVERY Sweet Valley High book(!).

Still, there's not much out there in terms of Applegate recaps (I know, wide field), so I was thinking I might do some myself. I'm not sure if there's enough interest for a community (Kate could do Animorphs recaps!), but I can always just post them here, and annoy entertain all of you.

(I also found this blog dedicated to CHRISTOPHER PIKE RECAPS, so if anyone needs me for the next six hours...)

pertaining to felines

  • Aug. 5th, 2010 at 10:20 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (misc - kitty with milk)
OK so I'm kind of out of it for some reason, meds or food or just random body chemistry stuff, but I'm writing an entry anyway. So.

This is the first Thursday in three weeks I haven't gone to the Humane Society to get my kittens checked out. I've called them twice in the past two days, but they haven't returned my call. I don't know if I'm supposed to keep giving Ollie his meds--the vet said seven days, but I think she assumed I'd be back for a checkup after seven days. He's still sneezing and snotty, so I don't really think they're working, but on the other hand they're not hurting. He hates taking them though. Poor kitten.

I was hoping Oliver would be well enough to be adopted by now... but he won't stop having respiratory symptoms. I'm pretty sure I heard a bad cough/sneeze fit as I was falling asleep last night. :( Ramona, as usual, is fine--a little skinnier than Oliver still, but her poop is normalizing, THANK CEILING CAT. That stuff smelled AWFUL.

I'm a little worried about Hypatia. I've been feeding her some wet food because she's really jealous of the kittens' wet food, but apparently that's been making her throw up. I don't know what to do because it's even the good quality (Wellness) wet food, not the crappy kind, and you're supposed to feed cats wet food sometimes because it's closer to their natural diet. Apparently a diet of all dry food can give your cat diabetes. (DIABEETUS) I will ask the vet.



zzzz

Also, Judge Vaughn R. Walker is my new favorite person. That is all.

did the snows fall heavy in your house?

  • Aug. 3rd, 2010 at 11:38 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (leverage - p/h crazy)
I feel much better since my last post. The kittens are sleeping more, I've been taking care of myself more, and I'm no longer feeling anxious and overwhelmed all the time. I'm glad. I had an anxious couple of days, I got through it, and I was able to keep taking care of the kittens. A good thing to keep in mind next time I feel like that.

They're getting so big. I'm kind of sad that they'll probably be gone soon. Ramona is turning into such a beautiful cat, and the other day she slept next to me for a while, and woke up affectionate and wanting pets. I no longer feel like whoever gets her is going to have a hard time getting her to be nice. She'll still gnaw on you if you bother her, but she knows her limits now and she can be sweet. I think she'll probably always be a cat that needs her space, the way a lot of cats do, like my Hypatia.

Oliver, on the other hand, continues to demand pettings from whoever is around. He still likes to sleep in the crook of my neck. He bites my chin sometimes when he does that--I don't know what that's about. Maybe he's trying to nurse? He reminds me of a little kid sometimes, the way he's always restless before a nap, and the way he resists being put in the cage for the night by holding on to the bars--"I don't want to! YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!!"--and then whines for a while afterward. "BUT MOOOM!"

I love watching them grow up, but I feel like they should be adopted before they get too attached to me. I don't want them to be all traumatized when they have to go back to the Humane Society. Well, Ramona will probably be fine. And Oliver will have new people to nuzzle and purr at soon.



Mostly-kitten update, now with bonus rant

  • Jul. 29th, 2010 at 11:12 PM
notemily: (misc - 5 kitties need homes)
I took the kits to the vet today for their second checkup. The verdict: I get them for another week, and then if they're completely better at that point, they'll go up for adoption. Ramona needs to stop with the diarrhea, so we're stopping her antibiotics and the vet gave me some other medicine for her. Oliver is still sneezing and having a snotty nose, so the vet switched his antibiotic to one that will hopefully work better.

The biggest change from last week is how BIG they are. Oliver gained ANOTHER NINE OUNCES!! Go Oliver! Ramona only gained a couple of ounces, because of her stomach troubles, but at least she didn't lose weight. The kittens are almost exactly the same weight now! That boggles my mind. Oliver was such a scrawny thing when I got them!

While I was at the vet, I saw two women, a mother and daughter I think, surrender a kitten. (The place where you go for foster kitties is the same room for surrendering animals.) Apparently their cat had kittens (spay and neuter your pets, people!), and all the others got adopted, but this one got really sick and nobody would take her. She was sneezy and her eyes were puffy and she had stains from nose and eye discharge. They said she was twelve weeks old, but she was smaller than my eight-week-old kits. :( :( She had beautiful long hair and looked super soft, but I didn't touch her because I didn't want to infect my own kitties. She looked soooo sad and scared that they were giving her up. She kept mewing in fear. :(

I guess they didn't have enough money for the vet bills for her, plus the daughter was moving away and couldn't keep the kitten. They even balked at the $35 dollar fee the Humane Society asks when you surrender an animal, so the guy behind the counter said they don't make you pay if you can't afford it, but he gave them a whole speech about how it will probably take hundreds of dollars in vet bills to get this kitten better, and they're a non-profit, so the fee is for a purpose.

Ranting time: When you get a pet, you take on a responsibility. You can't just give up the pet when it's not convenient for you. If you think you might have to do that later, don't get a pet. And FFS, spay your cat if kittens are going to be a problem for you. Kittens get sick. They get sick EASILY. They're not just fluffy little purrballs, they take a lot of work (I know exactly how much now!) and just as much responsibility as having an adult cat. As much as I would have loved to see Hypatia with little tiny versions of herself, I knew I couldn't take care of like SIX MORE CATS if that happened.

I know there are circumstances where people have to give up their pets and it can't be helped, but there are a lot of times where it's preventable, too. When you get a pet or are thinking of getting a pet, think ahead to the animal's future. If you don't think you will want a pet in five or ten years (e.g. if you're planning on having kids and won't want a pet around the baby), you can always adopt an older pet instead of a tiny kitten or puppy. They need homes too, and often have a hard time finding them.

I learned while I was there that while the Humane Society does not offer vet services, they DO offer spaying and neutering services, on a sliding scale based on income. SO if you have a pet that's not altered, and you can't afford the vet bills, get thee to the Humane Society and fill out the forms!

Okay, rant over.

I wonder what will happen to that little kit. I hope she goes to a good foster home with people who can take care of her while she recovers from her illness. I hope she's not too sick to cure. :( I think I would have offered to take her home for fostering on the spot, if I didn't have Oliver and Ramona. Sick animals bring out my protective instinct.

In other kitten news, Hypatia taught Ramona how to growl! Or rather, Ramona learned it from watching Hypatia. ("I learned it from you, dad! I learned it from watching you!!") Hypatia tends to hiss and growl when she sees a kitten, which happens more often now that they have learned that they can slip out the door pretty easily when I open it to go in or out. And after the latest Hypatia encounter, Ramona started playing with the string on one of my drawstring skirts hanging in the closet, and she growled at it! It was kind of adorable in an "at least it's a string and not a person" kind of way.

Ramona has also been a little sweeter lately. Today, she even came up to me for purrs and petting, which boggled my mind. Maybe she learned it from watching Oliver? Anyway, I'm glad she's "socializing," as they say. The kittens even get to see a kid tomorrow--Kate's little cousin Rose is coming over to pet them. I'll be at work, but I'd love to see how they act around kids.

Oliver did something a little troubling the other day--I put down a bowl of food for them, he started eating, and then Ramona came over to eat some, and he actually batted her away with his paws. Possessive of food is not a good thing for a pet to be, so I said "no!" and pulled him away so Ramona could eat, and he hasn't shown any signs of that since. It's something to keep an eye on though.

IN NON-KITTEN NEWS (finally), I applied for the job in Amherst! I even wrote a cover letter and everything, with Rose's help. I feel all adult ("Go to the motherf*cking BANK like an ADULT") now. Even if I don't get the job, it was good practice for applying to future jobs. And I know how to do a cover letter now, because Rose is awesome.

I'm pretty exhausted and still not doing much other than kittens, but I'm not unhappy. Sometimes it's good to have something that keeps me busy, as long as it's something I care about.
notemily: A black-and-white kitten looking at the camera (misc - tinycat)
I'm working later in the day than usual today, so from my extra morning-time you get a brief kitten update.

The kittens are growing up! As much as I love the kitten-cuddles, I want them to get to their future homes soon, because they don't have too many tiny kitten weeks left. Oliver is so sweet and lovable, all I can think about is how happy someone will be to have an adorable playful kitten who purrs all the time and sleeps on their neck. And Ramona might be a prickly little cat, but I'm confident she can find someone whose personality is a match for hers. She's got a secret purr, too, that comes out when she's in the mood.

I feel sad for Ramona right now because her diarrhea is getting worse (and stinkier!) and I'm pretty sure it's because of the antibiotics she's on. I want to stop them so she can feel better, but of course I can't without the vet's approval. I'm taking them for their second checkup tomorrow. Oliver is still sneezing occasionally, but hasn't had an actual sneezing fit in a while, so I'm taking that as a good sign. Ramona seems fine health-wise except for the diarrhea, and I'm worried it's making her lose weight, which isn't good. She needs to grow bigger, not smaller.

I read that you can buy probiotics specially formulated for cats. That's what I use when I have to take antibiotics, so maybe it'd work for them too. Bacteria: they're good for you!
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (misc - kitty with milk)
Whew, I'm starting to get a little kittened out. That's probably common for foster mamas (and parents of actual babies as well). The kits are adorable and awesome, but they require constant supervision, and constant cleaning-up-after, and I often feel like I need a break.

Yesterday Ramona thought a piece of dried-up poo from the litter box would make a fabulous toy, so that was fun. And I have to vacuum out the cage and the floor around it at least once a day, because litter gets EVERYWHERE. Add this to twice-a-day antibiotics, making sure Hypatia is taken care of, and constantly having to teach the kittens not to claw/bite humans or cords, and it's kind of exhausting. I have to let them out every few hours to get their energy out, and I feel like I haven't had much time to take care of myself. Right now I don't have the energy for everyday stuff like doing the dishes, or cooking, laundry, or showering regularly. Let alone posting the 3247239734893489 kitten pictures I have in my iPhoto.

But I know it's only temporary, and I get like this whenever there's a break in my usual routine, so I'm not too worried. In the meantime I do like having the little monsters around. They're very sweet when they finally tire themselves out and come sleep on my bed. Oliver is still a little purr machine, and Ramona is getting to know what things will get her in trouble, so she's been slightly easier. I also figured out that the way to get her to use the scratcher was to lean it against the wall, and now she LOVES it. I might mount it on the wall permanently after they leave, for other kittens to use. (Although--how do you disinfect stuff like that?)

I do worry that she beats up on Oliver too much though. The vet says Oliver will catch up to her in size soon enough and she won't be able to bully him so much, but in the meantime he's always the one I hear crying for her to stop. They go after each other pretty evenly, but Ramona is more vicious and will never admit defeat, she just keeps fighting.

Last night they did something--not sure what--I heard a crash like something fell over, but I didn't see anything on the floor that wasn't already on the floor--and whatever it was, it spooked Oliver REALLY badly. He made himself into a big porcupiney puffball and hissed up a storm. Ramona, of course, still wanted to "play" (which means fight), so I put her in the cage to give Oliver some space to calm down. He walked around wide-eyed and was startled by everything that moved for a while, but eventually he was his usual purr-y self, and I gave him some extra pets to soothe him. I think he could use a break from his high-energy sis sometimes.

I've started to open the door a crack to let Hypatia see/smell the kittens, just to get her used to having tinycats around. She still hisses/growls at them every time, though. I can tell she really wants to come in my room, but not if THEY are there. The kittens themselves are super curious about Hypatia. Oliver puffs up a bit in reaction to her hissing, but Ramona is like "OH YAY A NEW CAT FOR ME TO PLAY-FIGHT," and she keeps trying to escape to pounce on Hypatia. She's pretty fearless. I realized today that she reminds me of Tanner when he was a puppy--he always had to be in charge, and could get pretty vicious if you tried to play with him, especially if it was a dominance game. He's much more mellow now, though, so maybe she'll calm down when she's older.

I read a site that said that in order to get older cats used to kittens, one of the things you can do is feed the cat treats when she's near the kitten room, so she associates kittens with good things. So I've started to do that. She doesn't like to eat when she's stressed, though, so I don't know how successful it'll be.

I'm a bit worried because both the kittens are still sneezing sometimes, and Oliver still has a constant runny/stuffy nose. I'm giving them their meds and food and water and such--not sure what else to do, honestly. If they're not better by the time I go in for their next checkup, I'll ask the vet if there's anything else I can do to speed up their healing process.

In non-kitten news... uh... there is no non-kitten news.

Oh, except someone on Tumblr posted a FULL TIME WITH BENEFITS library assistant job in Amherst, MA, and I am starting to have all these fantasies of moving back to the Berkshires and going contra dancing and seeing my New England friends more often and actually having a job that could support me. Even if I somehow got the job, though, I don't have any money to move, and I'd hate to leave Kate/Hypatia/my family behind, especially when I've just started this foster kitten gig. That's the dilemma of living here. I don't always like Milwaukee, and I sometimes dream of moving to a place I'd like better, but I have roots here, and the longer I stay, the harder it is to leave.

But supporting myself... that'd be so great. I could finally breathe that huge sigh of relief I've been holding in for seven years.

it's a big black sky over my town

  • Jul. 22nd, 2010 at 8:35 PM
notemily: A black-and-white kitten looking at the camera (misc - tinycat)
Took the kits to the Humane Society today for their check-up. The consensus: Oliver is still too sick and too small to be adopted, and while Ramona is over two pounds, the vet wants to make sure she's absolutely recovered from the URI before sending her out into the world. She did say that Oliver had gained 9 ounces, though. Go Oliver! All that eating paid off. He is now 1 pound, 12 ounces.

Oliver keeps being up-and-down, health-wise--one day he'll barely sneeze at all, then the next day he'll have several fits where he can't stop sneezing. He seems OK otherwise, just sneezy and full of kitten snot. So the vet upped his antibiotic dose and we're going to see where he's at next week.

As for Ramona's behavior problems, the vet said female cats and especially those with orange coloring (calicos and tortoiseshells) have a reputation for being temperamental. So... there's that. She said to keep working on socializing her. As far as the biting of me personally, I've found the best method is to say "ow!" in a high-pitched voice, like I'm another kitten and she's playing too rough with me. That worked almost right away and she's been gentler since I started doing that. She (and Oliver to a lesser extent) still tries to bite and claw things she shouldn't, like cords, and I'm not sure what to do about that, since the clapping method no longer seems to make her stop. Maybe I'll move to time-outs in the cage next, although I'm not sure if she'd consider it a punishment.

I bought her a scratching post to take out her scratching needs on, and a crinkly stuffed toy to bite and wrestle. She hasn't shown much interest in the scratching post yet. After getting over her initial "crinkly things are scary!" reaction (that I saw earlier with the metallic fish toy and the sparkly ball), she gave the toy a good thrashing.

In non-kitten news, Milwaukee is getting destroyed by weather. The interstate is flooded, there are tornado warnings everywhere, and there's a GIANT SINKHOLE at an intersection VERY CLOSE TO MY HOUSE. O_O Seriously, click that link. THERE IS A CAR IN IT.

kitten update!

  • Jul. 20th, 2010 at 12:26 AM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (hp - blue luna)
So Oliver is still having sneezing fits and I thought I heard some congested-lung noises today--but he has a REALLY loud purr, so I don't know if it was just that. He's still eating and growing like a champ (his legs are getting too long for his body), but I won't be un-worried about him until the sneezing goes away. Poor little cat, every sneeze makes his whole body jump, and he has like twenty of them in a row.

The kittens had their second (third if you count Kate) visitor today, in the form of Max. He loved seeing the kitties, and he played with them until they were WORN OUT, which for the record takes about two hours. I don't think they've ever been tired enough to fall asleep before I put them back in their crate, but they did today. Ramona fell asleep first, curled up on my bed, and then Oliver was like a kid who needs a nap but doesn't want one--he kept lying down, getting up, jumping off the bed, back on the bed... finally after Max left, he curled up on my neck and purred for a while before finally going to sleep. (So then of course I fell asleep, because who can disturb a sleeping kitten on their neck?) I had a moment of "wow, there are actually foster kittens sleeping on me, I had a goal and I made it happen, that's pretty awesome."

Oliver is turning into a very friendly cat. He went right up to Max to say hello. Ramona is still more reserved, but she let me pet her while she was sleepy, and she's taken to jumping up on me when she's in a playful mood (which is almost always). I still have yet to fully teach both of them that Fingers Are Not For Biting, And Neither Are Cords, but they're making progress. The method that seems to work best is clapping and saying "no!" when they do it. They don't like the clap noise, but it's not such a harsh punishment that they'll be traumatized for life or afraid of people or something.

Now Ramona is being a crazycat, tearing all around the room and biting everything, so I gave her some toys to bite on instead--and she's AFRAID of them. They're both shiny, so maybe they look unnatural to her. She keeps batting at them and then jumping away like they're going to bite her. Silly kit.

I hope I can get updates from their adoptive families once they're gone. I've grown attached to the little furballs. I know I'm not supposed to get TOO attached, and I don't think I am, because I still think of them as belonging to their future families, not to me. But I'm fascinated by watching their personalities develop. Oliver in particular is such a goofball, I'd love to hear what he's like when he's older.

I think Hypatia is getting used to my comings and goings, but she's still not happy about the situation. Oliver snuck halfway out the door today, and she hissed at him. Perhaps there will never be harmony in Felineland. I can't introduce them to her properly until they're all better and out of quarantine, and I don't even know if they'll still be here after Thursday.

the Lee siblings

  • Jul. 17th, 2010 at 9:51 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (twilight - smiles to herself)
The kittens are doing well! I'm still in the process of uploading my huge backlog of photos, but I'll get to the kitten ones as soon as I can. In the meantime there are these photos that my mom took on her iPhone. The calico girl is Ramona Lee, and the tabby-and-white boy is Oliver Lee. (I've decided to give them surnames a la the itty bitty kitty committee, even though I'm probably the only one who cares what they are.)

After sampling the kitty litter and then playing in it, they did eventually use the actual litter box for, uh, littering. There haven't been any accidents on that front. They are also eating and drinking regularly, which is GOOD because lack of appetite is one of the major warning signs listed in my fostering packet.

They hate taking their medicine (eye drops and this weird liquid antibiotic that smells like onions), but the good news is they are getting better. Ramona's URI was never too bad, but poor little Oliver came to me with audible congestion in his lungs, and his frequent sneezing fits sounded something like a duck quacking. Two days later, he's sneezing much less, there are no lung sounds anymore, and I'm pretty sure he's already less scrawny and more steady on his feet than he was when he arrived. He has a HUGE appetite, so hopefully he'll catch up to his sister in terms of size and hardiness soon enough. I wish I had a scale to weigh them. I'm so happy he's getting better.

I am a little worried about Ramona, though, because she's not very social with people. She's calm if you pick her up, but she never seems to seek out human affection, never purrs or wants to be petted. She's way more interested in chasing Oliver around. She seems to think my fingers are for eating, not for petting. Part of my job is to socialize them, but I'm not sure what to do if she just doesn't want to be social. I don't want to force petting on her, but they're six weeks old, and the first seven weeks are key for socialization. Then again, I have known kittens whose grown-up personalities were the exact opposite of their kitten personalities, so who knows.

The hardest part of all this is Hypatia. She HATES being shut out of the kitten room (my bedroom, where she likes to sleep), and she hates that I spend so much time in there. Kate has been giving her extra attention, but I don't know what to do tonight, because Kate is dog-sitting for her sister, so I have to decide whether to sleep in my own bed near the kittens or on the couch so Hypatia doesn't get lonely. The kittens would probably be fine without me, but I do like sleeping in my own bed.

Tomorrow is Nathan and Bridget's wedding! Yay! Mawwiage!

eta: Muskego? You fail, location detector.

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