goodbye for some, but not for all

  • Dec. 3rd, 2011 at 1:59 AM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (scared kitty)
I took the kittens in to the vet, and I told her I was worried that Pippin still wasn't over his cold, and also that the kittens were going to mature and start having kittens themselves. She agreed with both things, and said that Solomon and Cora seemed healthy so they would go out for adoption, and I could keep Pippin for another week and see how he's doing after that.

I was a bit worried about Solomon. He was crouched in a corner at the vet, like if he could just make himself small enough, nobody would be able to see him. I hope he finds a patient owner who will care for him and take the time for him to relax and come out of his shell, poor guy. I hated to say goodbye to him.

Cora, I am not worried about at all, very little fazes her and she'll make a great pet for someone. Kate accuses me of not liking her, but I just have a soft spot for the ones who need my help--whether because they're sickly like Pippin, or shy like Solomon, or something else. Cora didn't need any help, so I became less attached to her, even though she is super friendly and cute. I felt similarly about Simon from my second litter. Some kittens just tug at my heartstrings more than others.

Pippin started to cry in his carrier on the way home. He didn't understand where his siblings had gone, I suppose. I took him to the pet store (where everyone cooed over him), got him a teddy bear (it's really a dog toy) and a soft little blanket ("cuddle towel"), and put them in the carrier with him for the rest of the ride home. I don't know if they helped or if he just needed a bit of time, but he was quiet after that and even purred a little bit. Kate says I spoil him, but after getting the teddy-bear-as-comfort idea from a fellow fosterer, I thought this was a good time to try it out.

Ever since he got home, Pippin has been a total love bug. Even more than usual. He just sits curled up in the crook of my arm and purrs and purrs. I'm glad he's such a people-lover, maybe he won't miss his siblings TOO much. I'll have to put in some serious play-time with him though, because he was used to wrestling all the time with his littermates.

Here is Mr. Pitiful himself:

Pitiful Pippin

He has a grumpy expression here, but I think that's just because his eye was watering and it was bothering him.

The gorgeous, gigantic orange tabby cat is still at Pet Supplies Plus. He's been there on my last three visits and it pains me to see him sit in that small cage for weeks. Someone give this guy a home already! I'm pretty sure this is his petfinder page, if anyone wants more info or to pass him along to someone who is in need of a cat.

Some of my new glasses have arrived in the mail! I'm waiting on one more pair and then I'll post pictures and reviews. In the meantime it's great to be able to see clearly. I'm walking around like "FEAR ME, I HAVE THE POWER OF NORMAL VISION!"

kitty things

  • Dec. 1st, 2011 at 1:40 AM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
So the kittens are doing a lot better. I still hear a couple of coughs and sneezes from them every once in a while, but their eyes and noses have cleared up nicely. Pippin's breathing has improved a lot, although I did hear a mild coughing fit from him the other day and he's still the most sneezy. I'm a bit worried that he's not completely over the cold and it's going to get worse again, so we'll see. I'm taking them to the vet on Friday.

kittens hangin' out
From left to right: Pippin, Cora, Solomon

I think Pippin is just going to be a skinny little stringbean forever. He has put on weight since getting rid of the tapeworm, but I don't know where he put it! He's as skinny and lanky as ever. Such a cute contrast to his big, solid older brother Solomon. (It's probably good they're so different--otherwise I wouldn't be able to tell them apart!)

Solomon has continued to improve on the sociability front, and he even wakes me up with demands for pettings in the morning. He's a big sweetie really. Now that he's recovered from the URI and I'm not having to force medication down his throat anymore, he runs and hides a lot less. I'm worried that going to the Humane Society and then a new home will be a shock for him, but hopefully he'll get a patient owner who will give him time to come out of his shell again.

How YOU doin?
How YOU doin?

Cora is a burrower, I've found. She likes to crawl under my blankets and make a little hideout under there. Cutie. I did get her name from a list of Hobbit names, after all…

(Originally they were all going to be Hobbits, but Solomon's name doesn't really fit. Sometimes I call him Samwise the Brave ironically, though, because he's such a scaredy cat. Also he's big. Stupid fat hobbit!)

cutie Cora

Pippin is a little brat. He always wants to play, and he thinks I'm another sibling to pounce on and wrestle with, which I don't appreciate when I'm, say, trying to sleep. But he's still a sweetie, too. He is so loving and will purr at you forever. I've been reading up more on the Feline-alities, and I think he might be The Personal Assistant. He certainly does like to get all up in my business when I'm on the computer, or eating something, or doing anything at all really.

I think Cora might be a Sidekick, and Solomon is a Secret Admirer like Hypatia. Dear Humane Society, please hire me so I can personality-type cats all day!

Oddly, Solomon has turned out to be the most talkative kitty. He has little chirps and squeaks, and he also has a very, very quiet meow. It's amusing to me, because I'm used to kittens being as loud as they possibly can. Solomon sounds like he's coming from the next room and you can barely hear him. But the meow is there!

Solomon lounging
Solomon in the sun


  • Nov. 17th, 2011 at 9:51 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (scared kitty)
I wrote most of this entry last week, but wanted to wait until I had pictures uploaded in order to post it. That's why there are random ETAs with new information. Anyway, kittens! They have names!

Image description: A gray tabby kitten curled up on a bed in the sun

Pippin the Pitiful

Image description: A brown tabby kitten sitting on the floor, looking up at the viewer

Cora the Cute

Image description: A gray tabby kitten hiding in a corner next to a bookcase

Solomon the Solemn

Pippin AKA Pipsqueak is a scrawny but sweet little guy, in the vein of Oliver, Charlie, Albus, etc. Cora is a cute, petite, sharp-eyed kitten who reminds me a lot of little Amelia. Solomon AKA Shadow AKA Squeaker AKA Scaredy-cat is a big, shy gentle giant, who hides and shies away but never hisses or lashes out. I don't think I've had a cat like him before.

(Yes, I give my kittens too many names/nicknames. Blame T.S. Eliot or something.)

Poor Pipsqueak is the sickest. I can hear him wheezing and snuffling all the time, like he's constantly congested, and he has a runny eye as well. Sometimes he goes into awful coughing fits like Skinny did. :( He's such a scrawny little thing. He eats like a champ, but he's still got a skinny neck and wobbly little legs, and his fur is wiry and scraggly, not soft and smooth like Cora's. His belly is round, though. I wonder if he maybe has a parasite going on. I'll ask at the checkup whether they've been dewormed lately--I know it can take several courses of dewormer to get them all. (ETA: I did in fact find some tapeworm eggs hanging around, and they've all been treated now, so he should be looking a little healthier soon. His sniffles seem to be clearing up as well, finally!)

Solomon also has coughing fits sometimes, but other than that he seems okay--he's running around and playing and wrestling with Cora, and he seems to be mostly over his fear of humans, yay! He still tries to bolt when I come after him to give him his meds, but that's understandable. He no longer shies away from me when I try to pet him, and he even gets a good purr going. I think he might always have problems with being shy and scared, but with a patient owner he'll come out of his shell.

Pippin plays too, so I'm not too worried about him wasting away or whatever. I just wish I could do more to help him breathe. I wipe him down with a warm wet cloth when he gets too much gunk on his face, but he still has a whistle in his nose from the congestion. I can tell where he is in the room by where the wheezy noise is coming from. (ETA: Also I found a tiny bit of blood when I wiped off his nose today. I hope it's just that he's been sneezing so much that he burst a blood vessel or something, not anything more serious. ETA ETA: The vet didn't seem too worried about it.)

Solomon has the most adorable squeak. He chirps and squeaks when he wants something, attention or play or whatever, while the others are mostly silent (I think they actually might have laryngitis from the URI, because they TRY to talk, but no sound comes out). That's why I call him Squeaker. He's such a big hulking guy and he has this teeny little voice. (ETA: Cora has a sweet chirp as well!)

Cora is definitely the star kitten. She's incredibly soft, adorable, has beautiful brown tabby markings with golden-brown eyes to match, and comes right up to you (already purring) to be petted. She's also playful and curious, pretty much the Platonic Ideal of "kitten." I bet she'll get adopted in a second with no problems. She might need a playmate, though, to keep her from getting too rough with her humans.

I don't know their story, but I always try to guess the kittens' background based on how they behave, and these guys are almost definitely street kittens. The tapeworm (which is transmitted through fleas), the URI, and Solomon's extreme shyness all point to a life on the street. They also seem to have never seen a computer before and are fascinated by the lights and the clicky noise it makes when I type.

(Yes, you can technically get tapeworm from your cat or dog, but only if you ingest their fleas. The tapeworm egg can only mature to the infectious stage while inside of a flea. These kittens, like all my fosters, were de-flea'd before they got to me. Still, even though I know I can't get infected from it, it's really gross to find dried tapeworm segments in my bed. *shudder*)

It's so funny to watch them play. They really are a family. The little scrawny brother, the big burly brother, and the sister who could probably take both of them in a fight.

Three kittens. The two gray ones are intent on watching something in the air, while the brown one is looking down at the ground.

Three kittens. The big gray one is playing with a feather toy while the other two are crouched and ready to pounce.

Solomon is literally a full pound larger than the little ones. He's huge! I kinda love him.

See more photos at their set!

you guys! it's Albus!

  • Oct. 6th, 2011 at 11:07 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
Or as he is now called, Seeley:

seeley II

This is the only time I've ever been in touch with someone who adopted one of my foster kittens, so it's probably the only picture I'll ever get of one of them all grown up. Look at how pretty he is! His colorpoints have gotten a lot darker, too!

For reference, here he is as a kitten:

And as a REALLY little kitten, on the left:

Albus and Zippy

[Images are all of a lynx-point kitty with pale eyes, in various stages of his life.]

I'd know those eyes anywhere. ♥

In which Skinny shows off

  • Aug. 19th, 2011 at 11:51 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
Finally we have photos and video of Skinny! Click to embiggen.

Skinny shows off his ability to be round:

ball of Skinny

[Image description: A young black cat curled up in a ball-like formation.]

Skinny shows off his ability to get to high places:

[Video description: A young black cat sits on a windowsill and meows. He tries to jump up to the top of the window sash, scrambles for a moment trying to hold on (including trying to grab the blinds for leverage), before finally climbing all the way up. Then I tell him "good job, Skinny!"]

I hope that works; I've never tried to embed a flickr video on DW/LJ before.

What a goofy kitten. He continues to be ridiculously affectionate and always craves attention. He meows constantly when I leave the room, but he ALSO meows constantly when I'm IN the room and not paying enough attention to him. He LOVES the Cat Dancer, to the point that his other toys are now boring. At least I can tire him out with it when he's being a bottomless pit of energy.

I THINK his coughing fits are getting less frequent, but they come and go so it's hard to tell. He's definitely still coughing though. I've noticed that his nose is no longer always wet, which is a good sign, I think. And also nicer when he sticks it in my face.

Miscellaneous personality stuff: He likes to find new places to sleep when I'm not in the room, preferably sheltered places where I can't immediately see him. So far he's tried: in the basket where I keep my spare blankets (under the bed), in the kitten bed (which I shoved under my bed after he showed little interest in it), under my dresser, IN one of my dresser drawers, and at the back of my nightstand shelf. He blends in to the darkness so well it's hard to see him even if you know where he is. I don't know if he likes to be hidden because he's sick and wants to be protected from predators, or if it's just his way. He doesn't mind sleeping out in the open when I'm there, though, so long as he is near me.

It's harder to entertain just one kitty, but it's also easier to get attached to him, especially one as endearing as Skinny. He's one of the most trusting, least standoffish cats I've met.

More photos and video of Skinny can be found here at his flickr set. There's not much there yet, but I'll add more in the days to come.


  • 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.


Me & Hannah:

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)


Okay, now that I have your attention:


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.


  • 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.


  • 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. ♥

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.

[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:

[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!"
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. ♥

kitten update, with pictures!

  • Oct. 6th, 2010 at 10:04 AM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
I'm reading a blog right now about two cats raising thirteen kittens, and potential adopters are apparently picking out kittens without ever meeting them, just saying "I want a black one" or "I want the tuxedo girl." Now, I used to understand why people pick out cats and kittens purely based on coloring and markings. I wanted a calico when I was little. But after having foster kittens, I would never pick out a kitten based on coloring alone anymore. Their personalities are so different. You have to find one whose personality works for you--then they will seem beautiful, no matter what they look like.

I think all these kittens are gorgeous. Albus, of course, has the wonderful lynx-point markings and haunting ice-blue eyes. Barnaby is sleek and mostly black, with a teardrop-shaped patch of white on the left side of his face that gives him a great rakish look. And Simon, the grey tabby, might seem average-looking at first, but he has a couple of secrets. If you look at him from the back, you see he has a hidden white stripe running up the back of his tail. And my favorite thing is that he has both black and white whiskers. I've never seen that on a cat before, just white ones.

My point is you can find something beautiful in every cat, especially if you know and love them. Oliver was a pretty common tabby-and-white, but he was the sweetest thing ever and I would have kept him in a heartbeat no matter what he looked like.

I took the cats to the vet yesterday. We still don't know what's wrong with Albus that he's got blood in his urine. The vet gave me permission to cut his medication by half because I think it's what's causing his diarrhea, so we'll see how that goes. The other two are having runny eyes, so I got eye drops for them, which of course they hate. And they're all on a new antibiotic to see if it works better against their colds.

Barnaby cracks me up--every time I get out the medication, he runs over to see what's going on. Then I grab him and medicate him and he hates it, and I'm like "well you shouldn't have been so curious!" (Of course I love that he's so curious.) The kittens also got weighed yesterday, and Barnaby is nearly a FULL POUND heavier than Albus. He's an Albus and a half! Simon is somewhere in-between, which always makes me smile because gray is between black and white. They really do look like an illustration of HTML color values when they're all in a row.

I had a migraine (STILL HAVE IT) and I couldn't take sleeping on the couch last night, so I slept in my room with the kittens. They make little squeaky noises in their sleep! So adorable. Also, I didn't have to deal with the guilty feeling I get when I close the door on them for the night and they're all looking at me like Y U LEAVING??

These kittens are all so nice. They have minimal problems with biting and scratching, probably because they have each other to play with. They all want petting-and-purring time to various degrees, which leads to some dilemmas since there are three kittens and I only have two hands. But it's nice to have such sweet kitties.

Pictures for your enjoyment:

Barnaby and Albus, chilling on their first day back:

[Image description: a tuxedo (black-and-white) kitten and a Siamese kitten, lying down next to a pair of knees wearing jeans.]

Simon sleepin':

sleepy Simon
[Image description: a gray kitten sleeping on a jeans-clad leg. Sunlight is shining from the window in back of the kitten, giving him a glowy look.]

Albus's wonderful eyes:

ice-blue eyes
[Image description: closeup of a Siamese kitten's face, showing his pale blue eyes.]

As always, more at the flickr set.

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.
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


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!

It's a big world out there, Ollie Bear

  • Aug. 23rd, 2010 at 4:54 PM
notemily: (buffy - willow&tara sad)
Oliver watches the world

I hope you find a home.

Cutest. Kitten. Evar.

  • Aug. 23rd, 2010 at 1:46 PM
notemily: (misc - 5 kitties need homes)
Ollie bear:

sleeping Oliver

It's a near-certainty that they'll be going back to the Humane Society today. Oliver hasn't sneezed in a few days, so I think they are officially ready to be adopted.

*sniff* :(

I'll miss my little behbehs. And their big purr-motors.

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.

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)

nightstand kitten

Ramona + books

Oliver sleeps a lot.

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.

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.

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