notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (scared kitty)
My sixth litter of foster kittens is here! They're three months old, a bit younger than Skinny was but older than I usually get them. They're not teeny, but they sure are cute. There is one brown tabby, female, and two gray tabbies, both male. I've never had two of the same sex AND coloring before, so I have no idea which foster form I'm supposed to fill out for whom. Like Skinny, they all have colds that they need to recover from before being adopted. Poor guys are very sneezy.

I don't know their story, but so far they are quite skittish and wary of humans. The bigger boy runs and hides whenever I move in his direction. The little boy is probably the most curious, so he overcomes his fear first and comes over to play with the latest toy or see what I'm up to on the machine that makes clicky noises. The girl is cautious. She will come near me, but then she'll just crouch and stare. She will tolerate being petted, but doesn't seem to like it, so I don't push it.

But I know from my flickr friends who foster feral and stray cats, especially Jimmy Legs (whose flickr stream is fascinating if you're a cat fan), that it can take a while for a cat to come around, and you just have to be patient and show them that people are nice and petting feels good. They're still young enough that I bet they can turn into affectionate kitties by the end of their stay.

So far the little guy is the only one who's shown much of an interest in the wet food I put out for them. He was like NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM. Big guy was like "nom nom OH SHIT A HUMAN RUN AWAY." Girl has not eaten so far. They have however all used the litter box correctly, yay! That's the advantage to having older kitties, I suppose.

They do need names. We're doing The Hobbit over on Mark Reads so I was thinking of trying to give them Tolkien names, but it'd probably look pretty weird to someone walking into the humane society to adopt them if their names were Luthien Tinuviel or whatever. Then again maybe they'd get adopted by Tolkien fans...

Hypatia would like everyone to know that she does not approve of these kitten shenanigans.

last days with Skinny

  • Sep. 9th, 2011 at 10:22 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
I took Skinny to the vet last Saturday because although his cold seemed to be gone, he still had that awful hacking cough. She gave me another round of the usual antibiotics, but also a dewormer, because there's apparently a type of worm that can get into the LUNGS and cause coughing. I looked this up, and it's called "verminous cough" and happens when roundworm larvae burrow themselves into the lungs, are coughed up, and are then swallowed, only to mature in the cat's digestive system and start the life cycle again. HORRIFYING, right? *shudder*

Anyway, I think that's what Skinny must have had because a couple of days into the five-day dewormer course, he stopped coughing completely and now seems to be a very healthy kitty. Which is good, but also means I have to give him back soon. :(

I've become pretty attached to him and I think Kate has too, because he's so sweet and purrs and makes little meepy noises and wants attention and loves to play. I won't miss the deep scratches on my legs and arms from his overenthusiastic playing, or his tendency to pounce on my head when I'm trying to sleep, but other than that I'll be sad to see him go. He's such a sweetheart and has so much kitty energy.

My attempts to integrate Skinny with Hypatia have been a failure. Hypatia just hisses at him, and he runs and hides under the couch. She never did like the boy-kittens.

I've been feeling guilty for disrupting her world so much with this fostering project. I think she'd be happier if I stopped, and she could have full run of the house and the attention of both of her humans. But on the other hand, every kitten I take in means one more empty cage at the Humane Society, which means one more cat that can be rescued from Animal Control and given a second chance.

Plus, I love discovering all the different cat personalities, as well as fascinating medical things like lung-worms. (What? I like the parasite chapters in Peeps, too.) And there are few things better than a sleepy, affectionate kitten.

(Also this is the only thing I do in my life right now that has actual Purpose and Meaning, so maybe I should keep doing it so as not to devolve into existential despair any more often than I actually do.)

Skinny, day 2

  • Aug. 3rd, 2011 at 8:17 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (ravenclaw)
Poor Skinny. He's just lonely, I think. He wants a littermate, or his mama, or both. Last night he slept on me or next to me, and if I moved, he would move to be closer. This morning I took a nap and he slept back-to-back with me. He purrs up a storm and kneads the air when you pet him. I wish he had a companion, but obviously the HS wouldn't want to let another kitten catch his cold.

He still walks around meowing a lot, like he just can't settle down or be satisfied with anything. The only time he was truly calm was last night, sleeping on my bed. He's been eating a little, but not much, and not drinking too much either, which is bad, especially in this heat. He probably doesn't have much of an appetite because of his cold, but I'm used to kittens being like YES GIVE ME THE FOOD, GIVE ME ALL OF IT so this is unusual for me.

I was worried that he hadn't used the litter box much, but I can hear him digging around in there as I type this. Good kitty. It's kind of nice to have an older kitten who (probably) won't have an accident on my bed. Less laundry, for one thing.

Speaking of laundry, I was carrying a full laundry basket and so had to keep my bedroom door open for a longer amount of time than usual. Skinny escaped briefly, and in his haste to explore he almost walked into Hypatia, without giving her the proper respect/caution she deserves as Queen Of The House. He got a hiss for that.

I have a feeling he'll be trying to escape a lot, because he's not like the tiny ones I usually get who are satisfied with just my room for a couple of weeks before they want to see what's in the rest of the house. He's already too big for this room! But he has to stay in here to keep from getting Hypatia sick.

Also, he just leapt up enthusiastically to chase a bug that's crawling up my wall, landed on a pile of library books, and promptly slid off the nightstand and onto the floor with the books. And then jumped back up again, ready for hunting. Silly kitty.

(It's fun to try and translate his constant meows. Right now he's looking up at the bug going "THERE'S A BUG ON THE WALL! A BUG! DO YOU SEE IT! IT'S A BUG! A BUG!! IT'S RIGHT THERE!!")


  • Aug. 3rd, 2011 at 12:41 AM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
So, Skinny (not Kimi) is a black adolescent kitty (four months old or so) with a couple of white splotches on his belly. He's got a cold and keeps sneezing, he's very active and energetic, he rubs up on you to be petted, and he is TALKATIVE. Mao! Mao! Mao!

It's getting kind of distressing actually. It's like when a baby is crying and you're like "I have fed you and changed your diaper and sang you a song, WHAT DO YOU WANT??" I played with him and gave him food and water and petted him, and he's still going MAO! MAO! MAO! all the time. I wonder if maybe he's teething, since he's about the age when adult teeth start to come in. But I would think then he'd be biting everything in sight, and he's not. He's just… stressed out for some reason.

I think what he really needs is a littermate to play and wrestle with, but I can't give him that. I've been giving him toys to bite and wrestle instead, but he loses interest in them fairly quickly.

If I didn't know he was a (neutered) male, I'd think he was in heat. He's got the same insistent meow, constant need for petting, and aura of dissatisfaction.

I don't know his story--maybe he was with his littermates, but they got adopted already or something, and now he's alone and he doesn't know where they went and he's calling for them? Or for his mama? They usually don't come to me with names, not to mention already fixed, so I have to wonder if he was a surrender, or what. Maybe the humane society fixed and named him, and THEN realized he had a cold? I dunno. He also doesn't have one of those paper collars they put on their kitties. He is a mystery.

I'm hoping his distress will lessen as he gets used to his new environment, and that it's not something more serious like he's in pain or something. I was going to have him sleep in the cage while I slept out on the couch with Hypatia tonight, but that's not going to happen. He HATES being in the cage, and has already knocked his food bowl over once, so I don't want to leave him in there all night. (What if he knocks his water bowl over and then has nothing to drink?) I'll have to sleep in here so I can keep an eye on him. Silly cat.

Hypatia is mad at me, but she didn't hiss when she caught sight of Skinny, which I consider a vast improvement on her previous reactions, especially since she usually hates males. Maybe his being neutered makes him less offensive to her. Skinny is sick, so I can't properly introduce them and probably won't be able to, since he just needs to get better and doesn't need to make weight or anything. Once he gets better, he's gone.

A bit later:

Okay, apparently what Skinny needs is… lots of cuddling? Maybe he just wanted some comfort. He's calmed down a bit now, although he still MAOs at me when I stop petting him for too long. However, now Hypatia is standing outside my door crying because I won't let her in. I CAN'T WIN WITH YOU PEOPLE.

I do feel bad about disrupting Hypatia's life every couple of months, especially since she's been settling in so well to our new apartment, but on the other hand I don't want to quit fostering. Sigh.

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.


sleepin' Charlie
Snoozing Charlie.

Tiny Amelia.


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!
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!"
Barnaby: "Yeah, I can totally jump that high. I got this."

[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. ♥
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
The Four have arrived!

There is one black boy with white paws and a white splotch on his face, one gray tabby girl, and two lynx-point (that's like Siamese but with tabby accents instead of dark brown) buff-colored kits, one boy and one girl. I let them out to play for a little bit and they are already showing distinct signs of personality.

They are apparently from a feral mother, or so the foster people said, and they are VERY small for their age. They're seven weeks old according to the paperwork, but to me they look small enough to be five or six weeks. They have their grown-up eyes already, but they're tiny and scrawny, especially the lynx-points.

The black kitty is obviously the most advanced. He has way more energy than the other three, romping around constantly, and he had no problem eating solid food. The other three seemed to be more comfortable with wet food. I even saw one of the lynx-points pick up a piece of dry food and drop it again, and then bat at it, like "What is this thing?"

The black kitty is also kind of feisty and doesn't like being picked up or petted. He did purr a bit after I fed him, though. He reminds me of Ramona.

The gray girl is a sweetie. She's smaller than the black boy but bigger than the other two. She has the most classically "fluffy kitten" look. She alternates between exploring with her brother and purring at me. She likes to complain in her little meepy voice.

The lynx-point boy is a hider. He ran into my closet and wouldn't come out, and when he did he was kind of cautious and shy. He plays with his brother, but I get the feeling the black one kind of beats up on him, because he's so tiny.

The lynx-point girl, on the other hand--I thought she was the shyest one at first, because she didn't want to come out of the carrier, but she seems to just want love. She purrs constantly, including while eating, and loves to be petted.

Wikipedia says that most Siamese-type cats are very sociable, and usually "extroverts," but sometimes they can be sensitive and nervous types. The sensitive ones still need a lot of human (and cat) companionship, though. Both of the lynx-points seem shy and nervous at this point, so I wonder if they'll end up being extroverts later.

The lynx-points are both tiny, TINY cats. They're pretty much the same size, so I'm reluctant to take off their collars because then I won't be able to tell them apart! You know, without checking to see which one has the boy bits.

I'm a little worried about the purry lynx-point girl because she has a round pink lump on her belly. It's soft and doesn't seem to hurt, but it's pretty big (about the size of the tip of my index finger) for such a tiny kitty. I'm pretty sure Hypatia had a hernia on her belly once that felt the same, and it went away on its own (my memory is fuzzy on this), but I called the foster people just in case it's something more serious. We'll see what they say.

Also, the lynx-point boy is significantly warmer to the touch than all the other kitties. I hope he doesn't have a fever. :/

Stuff like that makes me think of how fragile these tiny kits are. I know if I keep fostering I'm going to eventually lose a kitten, because that's part of the deal, but that doesn't make the thought of it any less awful.

The Humane Society sent me a pamphlet today asking me to donate. There was a story in there about a kitten they had rescued... from being USED AS A GOLF BALL by some kids. THANKS HUMANE SOCIETY I REALLY NEEDED THAT IMAGE IN MY HEAD. The kitten didn't make it. :(

Hypatia does seem a little less freaked out this time around, but she still whines at the door constantly. There were a funny few minutes when the black kitten and the gray kitten were just STARING at the door, and every so often Hypatia would poke her paw under it and they'd jump. Hee.

I have a feeling they are very quickly going to get too big for the cage. And then too big for my room. THERE ARE FOUR OF THEM AAAAH



  • Sep. 13th, 2010 at 1:22 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)

FOUR BRAND-NEW TINYCATS (well not brand-new since they are not newborns otherwise they would still be with their mom prolly BUT STILL THEY ARE NEW TO ME)

AND THEY'RE NOT SICK THIS TIME! They just need to grow up a bit! So I don't have to worry QUITE as much about getting Hypatia sick again. I will still quarantine them in case they have any MYSTERIOUS DISEASES (parvo :( :( :( :( ) that haven't shown up yet.


My poor cat has NO IDEA what she is in for.

:D :D

heppy ket

  • Sep. 4th, 2010 at 11:05 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
Back home! Ahhh, closed-captioned TV and a kitty. She's so happy to see me, I feel like I should go away for a week more often--she snoozed contentedly in my lap for half an hour while I stroked her. Usually she's a bit more aloof.

Speaking of Hypatia, I recently uploaded this photo to my flickr:

Why you do this?
[Image description: A black-and-white cat sits on a carpeted floor, looking up at the viewer with bright green eyes.]

I love this. It was taken while the kittens were still here, romping around her territory and annoying her to no end. She's looking at me like "Why? Why must you subject me to these... kittens?"

It's funny, one of the reasons I got foster kittens was because I thought Hypatia was lonely. She seems kind of bored sometimes, and she gets really interested whenever I have a cat video playing on YouTube. But she hated having the kittens trying to pounce on her all the time and disturbing her peace. I was hoping she'd try to mother them, or that they'd get her to be more playful, but to no avail. I think they did learn some grown-up cat tricks from her though--the growling, for one. They never growled until they heard her do it. They were fascinated with her, and I imagined them as the annoying younger kids wanting to be super-cool like their older sister, tagging along everywhere she went. (Why yes, I do have personal experience with this situation, why do you ask?)

I do think they provided her with something to break up the monotony of being an only cat, though. She certainly wasn't bored while they were here. I wonder how she'd do with an older cat who doesn't have a kitten's energy. I wonder if there are any cats she'd be able to relax with, or if she'll always be suspicious and tense around them.

She's still my beautiful girl, and I will love her no matter how many kittens pass through here.

Uh. Do I ever write about anything besides cats anymore? No? Well, there's not much else to talk about. Except that I joined Dreamwidth because LiveJournal is screwing up yet again. I'm not leaving LJ, yet, but I figured it'd be good to set up a DW anyway.

I think I'm magnetized or electrified or something, like Jack Black in Be Kind Rewind. In the past week or two, the remote control for the TV and my garage door opener have both stopped working, EVEN WHEN I REPLACE THE BATTERIES. They're just like "nope." And I am like BUT I AM PRESSING THE BUTTON! And they're like "Button? I do not know this button of which you speak." ("Cannot access printer." "It's here!") It had better be just a coincidence, or else I might have to recreate all the movies I own with my friends as actors and no budget my computer will die too, and then I will cry because I've always been too broke to buy a backup drive.

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:


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.

Another week of kittens!

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

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.

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 [ 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.


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

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.

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