Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sorry I left you hanging....

There has been lots of kitten drama these past few days. Sick kitten #1 turned out to be constipated. I probably caused some of that with the pedialyte. Once that was cleared out (primarily via butt-soaks, gently keeping him moving, and some very gentle body massage), his appetite returned. Then the healthy kitten started in with these spasms in her midsection...something I had never seen before. They grew worse and I was beginning to wonder if I might lose her. I searched and searched on the internet, and finally found one statement that kittens who were too cold could suffer neurological issues that could cause muscle spasms. The kittens were on a fuzzy towel on a heating pad, but they were in the open air of the bathroom during the day, so I moved them into a small box with a cover (and a thermometer inside, to make sure I didn't bake them), and by morning, I had a happy, hungry, spasm-free kitten. Which just goes to show, you can have bottle-raised a hundred kittens, and still do something stupid. They are now in a clear plastic bin, with a towel over the top, on the heating pad.

Anyway, they are filling out. They still have that pinched look of a starved kitten about them, but they are strong and eating well.



Fern, their mom, has gone into heat in the cat facility. At least she's a "phiiiirrrrp!" cat, and not a howler!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

1:30 am . Very sick kitten.

5:30 am update: The kitten is feeling well enough to climb out of his box and be trundling around the bathroom when I came in. He had some more water, then some KMR, although he still doesn't want to suck the bottle again. Water and amoxicillin can be a wonderful thing. I'll pick up some pedialyte to make their KMR up with for a few days and I will bring in the scale and weigh them, then do some real math on what their amoxi dosage should be until I can reach the veterinarian Monday. He's currently on the floor in the bathroom rolling around with his sister. I'll feed then again in an hour and box them back up. Let's hope he's on the mend.


1:30 am The fuzzy kitten is the same or worse. He blew some more green snot out his nose while I attempted to feed him, and I now worry that perhaps his lungs are infected and he has pneumonia. I switched to water from KMR and separated him from his buddy, because she kept wanting to suck on his fur. I'm not sure what I'll find in the morning. He seems to have some strength, so I'll get up in a few hours to get more fluids into him, and pick up some more pedialyte in the morning if he's still with us.

Then I had to wash well and change my clothing before crawling back in bed because my senior cats insist on sleeping right up against me.

Poor kitten...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fern's kittens

I finally took a photo of the kittens:



Their eyes were closed when they arrived, however they were big enough that they should have been opened, so I gently soaked them open. Pus. Yick. Lots of it. I cannot begin to tell you how disgusting it is to finally crack open an eyelid and have pus start rolling out. They've been getting eye ointment. The first day was pretty nasty. They would keep sealing closed and every time I soaked them open, there was more pus. Within 24 hours they had pretty much cleared up. You can see there are still issues, but they look so much better.

They were both eating very well, but one kitten has a stuffed up nose that doesn't seem to be getting better. He started to get a tiny bit snotty and couldn't breathe while sucking on the bottle, so I've started them both on a teeny bit of antibiotic (because of course, it's Saturday, and the veterinarians are all closed) in their milk, and the stuffed up kitten just chews the KMR milk out of the nipple with his mouth open. I expect there will be quite a bit of improvement by the end of tomorrow and he'll be back to sucking normally

I did take them into Fern. However she only wanted to nurse them, not wash them, so I took them back again. She has no milk to feed them. She also kept rolling over on them in her enthusiasm to cuddle.

I was in the closet and found a clean Hammermill Paper box, which made me laugh. I have no idea where it came from. They are almost too big for it, but they'll stay it in tonight.

Typical: It's more fun to sleep where I can drive you batty with how uncomfortable I look...

Please note the nice chair all padded up as comfortable cat-sleeping space.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cats who say "thanks"

This is a very dark video, but I'm adding in just for the glimpse at the end of a very relieved cat who is clearly glad to be warm and dry and fed for the first time in her very short life.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

It's the season for kitten dumping

The night before last, my neighbors Craig and Valarie called, with the sound of kittens mewing in the background. Someone had dumped a cat--little more than a kitten herself--and two tiny kittens.

Craig came down and picked up a trap the next morning, and they had the mother cat captured the next day. The kittens are in pretty rough shape---skinny, with infected eyes and runny noses, but with plenty of energy left. Poor little Fern, the mom cat, was initially terrified but was quickly won over by food once she was here in a cage.

After she had her second meal of the day, she rolled around and around in her bed---probably happy to not be hungry for the first time since she stopped nursing on her own mother. She's absolutely emaciated. She has enlarged nipples, so she definitely is the mom, but there is no milk to speak of for the kittens, so I have been feeding them pedialyte and KMR.

Pictures of the kittens soon!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Today is Discover Your Impact Day at Discovery Communication (my Mothership), and bless my boss for assigning us the task of helping shelters and rescue groups promote their pets, which means one of the things I'll be doing today is getting all new photos of The Owl House adoptables.

It's a beautiful sunny day, so hopefully that will help me some good shots!

Too bad they all look so grumpy. They just want to nap!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Garbage: The Continuing Saga

The above photo will probably only mean something to Donna and Tim, and maybe Valarie and Craig, who drive by frequently.

I have a few very unpleasant tasks that I've been putting off for awhile. I've discovered the best way to make myself accomplish these is to put myself in a position where I have no choice.

After the flood of fall 2011, I got a dumpster to deal with my lack of a trash transfer station. Previously, I had used three large black professional garbage "cans" which were parked right by the road in front of my barn. They were OK looking as far as garbage goes. On the outside, that is.

Despite being by the road, raccoons would visit them, and the smartest and strongest learned to get the tops off. Or the wind would blow the tops off, and the raccoons would visit. They found nothing worth eating, but would rip open the bags. Litter would spill into the bottom of the can, and of course the bag could not be lifted, because it would tear.

You can guess what I did about it. Nothing.

So over the course of time, two of the cans had the bottom third filled with ripped trash bags of old cat litter. As far as nasty trash goes, you would be surprised to learn that old cat litter isn't so bad....as long as it stays dry, which this did.

However, tipping these huge cans, removing the lovely waste, and rebagging it, was not high on my list of fun things to do. So there they sat.

Well, a friend of mine is getting married, and is having an outdoor wedding, and they needed garbage cans. Here were these very professional looking cans. So what did I do? I offered them up for use at the wedding.

This meant last weekend I rolled up my sleeves, broke out the leather gloves, and went to work. A few old sheets to dump the cans out on, and a couple of primal yells in order to muster strength enough to tip the cans on end, and a lot of sweat (it was hot last weekend) was all it took.

And a weedeater to clean up the area afterward. And a lot of soap and water and disinfectant for the cans. As well as a few days of sun to bake the cans.

The front of the barn looks much better without the line of trash cans. And that's one more nasty task out of my life. From now on, the trash company deals with my cat trash.

No one talks about how to throw stuff out when you think about getting involved in animal rescue. But it's a big issue.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Kitties in-house

The Owego/Lisle farm is getting finished up, and we are working on the house cats, now. "Little Bit" is one of those cats who is a tiny ginger streak to strangers. She only loves the man of the house, and spends her time on his lap in his wheelchair. However in the cage at my place, she gets over her hissy fit pretty quick and turns into a tiny lovebug. She's squinting at the flash in this shot.

The veterinarian reported she had pyometra(infection of the uterus) when I picked her up after her spay, so Little Bit is on antibiotics for 10 days. She's a lucky kitty. If she had been left as she was, she could well have fallen very ill and died.

Then this scared little girl (?) showed up at Donna and Tim's barn (who adopted Wings). Of course...if you adopt a cat, it's certain a stray will show up on your porch. Donna trapped her and we caged her up, hoping she would show signs of being tamed, but it appears she is feral. She also has a skin condition. Ringworm? Lice? I can't get close enough to tell. I'm going to pick up some Frontline for her today in case it is lice (Revolution, which I normally use because it kills roundworms and earmites in addition to fleas, doesn't necessarily kill lice, I understand). It is ringworm, it will resolve on its own in a few months, and it's not like I can give her lime sulfer baths.

Little Bit goes home today, and I think I'll talk to Donna about moving this cage back to her barn. It might make sense to have her back at the barn she's going to live in, during the two weeks we are waiting for her spay appointment. Otherwise she'll be sitting her two weeks, then another week recovering from her spay, then two more weeks being reintroduced to her barn home.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Baby bears!

Molly was just barking on the porch. At a woodchuck, I assumed, at this hour. I took a deep breath so I would not yell at her (because I do want her to bark at bears) and went outside with a treat. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something big and black, and realized the bear was only thirty feet away in the side yard. I grabbed Molly and ran in the house for my camera, but ended up with the flipvideo camera.

I tried to get some video through the great room window when I saw the first cub come down the tree, so like a typical fool I sprinted for the door and managed to get a little video of mom bear in the grass by the middle three, just a paw on Cub Two, and Cub Three climbing down.

So here you go, so everyone knows I'm not making up my bear tales...

Yes, 2:30 in the afternoon. Bummer.