Sunday, July 29, 2012


So many cats, so little time. Rose is the cat who was abandoned here in the cold this early spring. For awhile she tolerated being kept in one of the boarding rooms I have upstairs in my house, but soon she discovered if she howled, yes HOWLED, out her front window, I would come up to see her.

I had to let her loose into my house with my pet cats because I figured my neighbors would think I'd crossed the line to hoarder and the animals were screaming for freedom. There was a lot of hissing to start, but she seemed to fit in. I shut her up at night, but let her loose during the day.

However, Ivan, my own special friend-cat, is jealous, and today there was a genuine knock-down drag out fight when he felt Rose was spending too much time close to me. Luckily I was right there and I was able to yell an end to the fight and express my displeasure with both parties, vocally. Ivan has also pulled the hairy eyeball on Bear in the past, but they got over it, so I hope Ivan and Rose will work things out as well.

Rose is currently hanging out on the catio, while Ivan snoozes near me on the porch. Sweet Rose needs a home. She's quite talkative and affectionate, and very gentle with people. She is playful, and if you prefer not to have her sitting on her, she will relocate nicely to the chair beside you. I cannot help but wonder who loved her once, and what louse dropped her out here in the country.

The kittens did not make it.

The two little kittens did not survive.

They had more "ups" than "downs" so I thought they were out of the woods. They both had good appetites. The littlest one suddenly seemed uncoordinated and stopped eating. Sometimes you can just push a kitten through one of these low points by syringe feeding until they get their appetite back, but the little kitten began crying in pain when any attempt to syringe feed her was made. I took her to the veterinarian, where they tentatively diagnosed distemper, and we chose to put her down. The second kitten happily ate a big breakfast from his bottle. He was a loud boy, and I saw no problems with him. When I came back from the vet, he was sound asleep, so I let him sleep a bit more. When I woke him up, he started bashing around the box, without making a sound. I thought at first I had startled him, but it continued, and it was clear he was suffering neurologically. So it was back to the vet, where heads were shaken sadly, and he was put down as well. The veterinary staff felt they should be tested for rabies, even though their mom was acting normally, since there isn't much research on how rabies is passed in utero. Perhaps mom had rabies but was not clinical yet, and the kittens contracted it before they were born, and is progressed more quickly in them than in the mom. It was unlikely, but couldn't be ruled out without pulling a lot of books off the shelves, so I went ahead and called the health department. They were extremely helpful (this was 4:30 pm on July 3rd, right before the holiday), and by Friday morning the results were back: Negative.

It's always sad to lose kittens, and even sadder to tell the people who rescued them, and even though I knew Valarie and Craig would be understanding, I put it off almost a week. And failed to blog as well. I finally called to let them know, and then I was off for travel for work, and the blog was neglected.

Mom cat is doing great and will go off to be spayed this week. She still looks like a kitten herself. She is no longer emaciated. She doesn't much like to be picked up, and I plan to work on that once she's upstairs with the other cats.

Raven goes home

Little Raven is spay/neutered, microchipped, and treated for her problem with lice. She probably could have gone back for her soft-release in her home barn before now, but I had to travel for work so the timeline didn't mesh very well.

She now has glossy black fur now that the lice are gone, and is a wee tiny spitfire without a friendly hair on her. See her originally shabby, skinny, lice ridden photo here. She'll stay in her cage in Donna and Tim's barn to get used to "home" before the door is quietly opened early one evening. Hopefully she will stay, since she was hanging around here for quite awhile before she was caught.

The cage is a ferret cage (around $225 at Petsmart) with the floor hole cut larger (hacksaw required) and I really like it. All four doors open individually, and the extra shelf is sturdy enough for a cat. I got this one at a church sale for $100, but would gladly pay full price down the road to replace some of my other cages. My only complaint would be that the wheels are cheap and will break.

Send good vibes for Raven that she "sticks" when she is released. She will have a good home here with Donna and Tim.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

"Oh, the places you will go..."

I travel for work. This sometimes mean kittens, or Molly, sometimes go with me. This weekend I was off to an event in NJ at St. Huberts Animal Welfare Center to celebrate 20 Million Petfinder adoptions...with the Cake Boss. Yes, I know I don't have TV and that I've never seen Cake Boss, however my mother likes it, so I was optimistic about the experience.

Molly's kennel was overbooked, and I had the two bottle babies. While dogs were welcome at the event, I was supposed to be helping set it up, so towing Molly around wasn't really an option. At the eleventh hour, Nancy and Steve said they would pup-sit her. Whew!

The kittens came along, because they have been having issues, and I don't like leaving kittens with issues in a foster home. Not because the fosterer can't handle it, but because sometimes all the stay-in-touch phone calls take up more time than actually bringing the kittens along.

I have a regular travel set-up for kittens. It's a medium Rubbermaid tote with a largish hole cut in the top so air can get in, but the kittens can't crawl out (which will happen if you leave the top off). I have two Snuggle Safes, a small cooler for KMR, and a LL Bean bag for towels, etc.

The hotel I found was pet-friendly, with only a $25 pet fee, which is incredibly low. The room was only about $100, (which is pretty low in Jersey), and it was very nearly an apartment, with a full refrigerator, sink, microwave, and even dishes, complete with coffee mugs and wine glasses. If you ever need a hotel in Morristown, NJ, you need look no further than the Hyatt House.

The kittens found the mirror in the bathroom fascinating. I realize it is probably wrong to laugh when a tiny kitten bonks into a mirror to visit that other mirror-kitten, but I'm afraid I could not help it. They still look shabby, primary because they get the eye ointment on their fur. I could give them more full-body baths, but kittens do not find the Blow-Dryer Monster very reassuring.

I can not say enough nice things about the Cake Boss production staff. Seriously. That's one "reality" show you can watch and feel certain they really are trying to help out the organizations for whom they build and reveal a cake. You'll have to stayed tuned this fall for the actual episode (I'll be sure to give some warning here when it gets close), however I would assume they take all of their cake-adventures with the same seriousness, realizing that most celebrations have a message behind it, and trying hard to get that message across to their viewers...not just reveal the cake. I was impressed. And I am very hard to impress.

The St. Hubert's office staff babysat my kittens while I went out to lunch with my co-workers, whom I normally only see in Internet Land. This is where the tote comes in handy, because my kittens wouldn't be spreading their eye germies to another shelter, like they might in an open-door crate. Obviously, leaving them in the car on a 95 degree day was not an option. My co-workers were absolutely willing to fry on a patio so I could bring the kittens along, but thankfully St. Huberts watched over them so we could commune in the blessed comfort of an air-conditioned restaurant. Then I said goodbye, fetched my kittens, and headed on back to rural NY, where it was in the 80s, thank goodness.

I shall do a blog post on my travel set-up later. Maybe others will find it useful, or can share their own kitten-carrying devices.

I'm off to go fetch Molly from Nancy and Steve's place, where she is likely having much more fun that she will have back here!