Tuesday, October 04, 2011


I haven't posted in a long time. We had several interesting and challenging foster cats this year, and our first foster dog, Gizmo the shih tzu, through Broken Tail Rescue.

I'm writing now because our second BTR foster dog, Buddy, was adopted over the weekend and it broke my heart unlike I remember my heart ever being by broken by our first foster cats. I miss him so much and worry about how he's adjusting and hope more than any other foster I can remember that he is okay.

Buddy is a one year old pit/shepard/boxer mix, who weighed 50 pounds. He was a stray in Springfield, who was going to be put to sleep by the Ludlow Animal Control until Joy, BTR president, rescued him. He had too much energy and she didn't have enough time for him with the other animals at her home, so I took him. I'm so glad I did, though I am so sad he is gone.

He is the sweetest dog and made life feel full, though we had him for just one week.






Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mousse and Creme Brulee

Brother and Sister, black fluffies.



He's such a light orange/cream that sometimes he looks pink. If we didn't kick off the dessert theme with Jon's "Cookie Dough" name then I would've suggested we name him Falcor.

Candycane and Eclair

Oscar the Grouch

After the little white kitten died from intestinal obstruction, I noticed Oscar (so named after the Sesame Street character because she was so skinny and bedraggled that it looked like she'd just been plucked from the trash) was scratching around the litter box but unable to go. A trip to the vet and an x-ray revealed masses in her intestines, so she got laxative for a while. Because she was blocked, she wasn't eating. She didn't start eating solid food for a long time after all of her siblings. I was giving her KMR every morning and night for a week or so, until I finally coaxed her into trying wet food.

She's a lot better now and after a couple of weeks of picking at wet food, she finally put on some weight and stopped looking like a little skeleton.

Yes, I classify this as looking healthy. She is still half the size of her siblings, but she's active and incredibly affectionate.

Cookie Dough

Jon said, "I don't care what you name these other mutts, but the little calico must be called Cookie Dough."

Thus it was so.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Greenhouse Kittens

There was an elderly couple in Millbury who had two unspayed female cats that they routinely let out. The two long-haired girls gave birth to kittens within a week of each other: 6 in one litter (first picture below) and 4 in the other.

Despite the fact that I still had Africa, the last momcat, and one of her kittens (Two Tone), I took in all 10 plus the two moms. The family of 12 lived in my newly-painted and sorted office for a month until the kittens were eating and the moms could go back to the family (now spayed, of course).

One kitten - the smallest - died the day after I took it in. I knew it wasn't looking right and by the time I brought it to Jocelyne to bring to the vet, it was too late. (The white one with black spot that is sitting on my knee in above picture.)

The kittens all needed Drontal (worms) and Albon (mucus-y diarrhea). The mom of the younger and smaller litter wasn't nursing or cleaning them, so the older mom was nursing and caring for all 9 kittens.


The next-smallest, a female tabby I named Oscar after Oscar The Grouch because she was the right colors and looked like she'd just come out of the trash, wasn't able to poop. She saw the vet and an x-ray showed that she had masses of poo stuck in her intestines. She got laxative and after a couple of weeks, things seem normal. She's still much smaller than all of the others though. Because she was blocked up, she didn't want to eat. She didn't start eating food until she was almost 6 weeks old.

I was syringe feeding her KMR for a long time to try to get her to eat and to supplement what she was getting from her mom. Because she was the smallest, she didn't get a lot of nursing time.

This litter has litter box issues. First they wouldn't poop in the box. Then they started doing that, and for a week stopped peeing in the box. I have plastic on the floor and sheets laid on top of the it. It was a ton of work - laundry every other day to wash and change the floor sheets and towels, etc. It was a hard 3 weeks but once they joined Gen Pop (second week in November) things got a lot easier. Now all the cats - including Africa and Two Tone who I still have - are eating in the same place in the kitchen and the kittens have learned to use the litter box in the closet downstairs, so I removed the one in the office this week.

Africa litter

I have been negligent in posting updates for the last several months. The litter of five that I took in during August have been healthy and happy.

One orange shorthaired boy was adopted, Mike's sister adopted Gorilla Face and the calico, who she named Bandita.

One of our foster homes adopted the fluffy orange girl.

I still have the other shorthaired orange boy, Two Tone.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Two Weeks Old

bookshelf: babies, level 1; Africa, level 3

darker-orange fluffy:

lighter-orange and calico:

two-tone orange:

They are all gaining weight and doing well. Africa wanted them in the carpet tower, I wanted them in the big dog crate. We compromised and ended up with the bookshelf. Glad I hadn't put anything on it yet.
Mike moved the AC into the room because it was sweltering in there. I bought a timer at Home Depot so it kicks on and off throughout the day. Constant air wouldn't be good for them.
Mike's favorite is the black and gray one, who he calls Gorilla and I'm pretty sure is a boy. There is a darker-orange, slightly fluffy one who is loud, a fat half dark/half light orange one who is mellow and a solid lighter-orange one, who is my favorite. The calico girl is the largest.
Africa is very protective of them. If I leave the door cracked open going back and forth scooping litter and bringing new food or water, and Fatty McGee stick so much as a whisker through the crack, she charges. But when she leaves the room, she greets them nicely and prances around like she owns the place (which got a very rare growl from Ralph on Wednesday).

Friday, August 06, 2010


Clip and Non-clip were adopted about two weeks ago, then we were away for a wedding. Yesterday I brought home our first litter of newborns since Fatty McGee's litter. It has been a year and half since we had newborn babies.

Their mom is named Africa and they are named after African countries, though Jocelyne hasn't told me which yet. Mike has already set to picking out his own Africa-inspired named like Mandela and names of various famous gorillas.

There are three orange ones, a calico and a black one that is half gray on the back half. Mike says he is like a silverback gorilla and wants to name him Virgil after some gorilla. I think I'm too young to get the reference.

Anyway, they are about a week old and all seem robust. Africa is a petite girl, talkative, decent with Ralph and Gee so far. She doesn't seem to mind spending an hour away from her kittens, which worries me a bit, but again, they look plump and healthy so I guess she's doing a good job.

3 orange ones! It's been 3 years since I've had orange newborns. Let the happiness ensue.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Clipper and Non-Clip

We've had these sisters for almsot 6 weeks. They tamed to a certain extent but will still mostly run from me when I approach them. Despite that, Non-Clips beautiful spots hooked an adopter who met them on Wednesday night and wants them both. They will be certed and adopted tomorrow.
Fatty McGee's heart will break. He loves Non-Clip.
In other news, we had Fatty McGee's mom for 2 weeks. She still has not been adopted despite how friendly and sweet she is. She moved from my house into another foster home because Ralph was fighting with her. He's never fought with any cat but something about her rubs him the wrong way.

She was at our place for about 5 days before the fights started. It was fun to see her again. Her foster mom returned from vacation and picked her up last night.
I will bring some new foster home this weekend, just sure which one(s) yet.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New House and Taming Ferals

We moved in April. Ralphie and Fatty McGee are used to the new place, and we're halfway settled in and halfway unpacked. (Here's Ralph looking out the third bedroom's window at me in the driveway, and then the first day allowed out of the room, he spends in the bathroom sink.)

So of course I agreed to take two kittens who were pulled from a feral colony for TNR and are young enough that it was worth trying to tame them. So that's what I've been doing.

One is much better than the other. The other still hisses when I reach for her and flattens her ears. But they will play while I'm in the room, and I even got each one to purr after holding them for an hour last night.

They love our cats. I think they want Ralph to be their mother. Of course he's not interested in the least. Fatty McGee is interested only because they are getting wet food and he wants some.

Bribing them to love me (people) with food hasn't been a success so far, so I'm just holding them as much as possible. In the evening, I give them wet food and if they want to eat it, they have to do so with me touching them. I pet them while they eat, hoping they'll associate me with food, or at least get used to being touched.

video video

If it doesn't work with one or both, they will go back to their feral colony. Someone feeds the group and keeps an eye on them.

In other news, Ralphie hasn't had an urinary tract issues in 6 weeks. Knock on wood. In the house, he and Gee are not closed out of the bathroom the way they were before. They both like to drink from the toilet (we always keep the lid down now) and they like to watch the faucet drip in the bathtub. Oh, and while we were away a few weeks ago, someone killed a mouse and left it by the door for us. (I'm guessing Ralphie.)

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Help

Me: It's ironic that Ralph hates me.
Jon: Why?
Me: Well, because I feed him and care for him and scoop his litter.
Jon: Pfft. You're just The Help.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Back in January, we had a mom kitty who had five gorgeous kittens and decided she didn't want to take care of them. They were at Helena's for about 48 hours before our bottle-feeder volunteer could pick them up. Helena learned to tube-feed them and I went to her house so she could teach me. It's intimidating to put a little tube down the throat of a kitten who weighs half a pound, tops, but it made it much easier to feed them than trying to bottlefeed. I'm grateful I got to learn it.