Wednesday, August 31, 2016

beer kitten update

It has been a weird late summer..... some of us who foster think we are being paid back for making comments about a late kitten season this spring. MOL

Within the last month, several kittens on the adoption floor at the rescue picked up an upper respiratory infection and fosters were asked to step up to take these kittens and medicate them at home. Which is how the patriot kittens came to the house.

The beer boys came as a foster was going out of town and need a place for them to go. At the time it was just Juniper (who was running around the house like she owned it) and the patriot girls. Barley and Hops came to the house at that point.

Now, each rescue/shelter has different policies for foster and each foster home has ways they take in kittens. No way is better or long as the kittens are well cared for and no one is overwhelmed. For our purposes, we try to make sure that everyone is tested and has at least one vaccine before introductions are made....

Which leads us to a new beer kitten:
Our rescue is lucky in that we have partnered with several pet stores across the city that allow us to have adoptable cats in their stores. The downside is that occasionally (though not as often as one would think), cats mysteriously appear in the store. That happened last of the volunteers for a store got a call from the manager that someone had left a kitten in the store in a box. (sigh....)

That volunteer currently has kittens that have ringworm and didn't want the new kitten exposed to that, so she sent a text asking the head of the rescue if they could make a deal and see if we would take the kitten and name her pair up with the beer kittens. (single kittens can turn into tyrants, so as long as everyone is tested, we try to find friends for singletons). Miss Wheat was tested and vaccinated last week and came to our house on Thursday evening.

The introductions went pretty well. Barley sniffed her and decided she was OK. Hops on the other hand donned his stranger danger suit and bounced around. Which Wheat found amusing. Once he determined she was not to be intimidated, Hops put his suit away and decided to play nice.

what is this strange toy?

no, like dis....

you smell weird and your momma dressed you funny

Wheat weighs less and is probably a little younger than the boys. She tries to keep up, but they play a little rough and she isn't so sure about them sometimes. She was COVERED in fleas when she came in and fortunately had time before we got her for the meds to kick in and kill them. However, she was still a mess and got a bath on Saturday just to clean her up some. We won't ever know her background, but she is super sweet and lovey with the other kittens and people. Her eyes are a little gunky but mom is putting meds in them and it shouldn't be an issue.

*fyi, if you are trying to do kitten math, don' is trying not to think too much about how many kittens are currently in the house  MOL

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

take a deep breath

*a post from the mom
Some of my friends know part of this story, but here is the whole thing.

Just over a couple of weeks ago, a friend I volunteer with mentioned that she had seen some kittens on a construction site (she works for the city water department). We talked about options and I offered her my trap to catch the family. I figured a rescue that focuses on TNR would be a good fit and that under the circumstances I would be ok getting permission after the fact. And I got the go ahead a couple of days later.
Unfortunately the mom cat moved the kittens, but after several attempts (and keeping in mind my friend isn't on site every day so that slowed everything down), the kittens were found last Tuesday (a week ago now) and the mom cat was caught later that day.

Mom is tiny, black, fuzzy and feral. No doubt about the feral thing either.... the hope was maybe she was scared and had been abandoned, but she has been calling me names from the start.

The mom cat got flea meds on the way to the house and the kittens got a bath once we were all home. They are SO tiny....their teeth are coming in and based on the timeline, they have to be at least a month old. I know this is going to be a battle. 3 black kittens, 1 gray one. There was a fifth one, but a driver had seen the mom cat drop it as she was presumably moving kittens over a week before we caught the rest of the family and took it home with him - their family has had bottle babies before and I got an update last Thursday that the kitten is doing well and they are going to keep him (or her).

Tuesday night was a long one. The gray kitten started going downhill and I pulled him out. I sat with him and tried to warm him up and get him to eat with no luck. I finally took him into the bathroom where I had moved Marilyn and her kittens when I put the feral mom in the large crate. Marilyn took to the baby right away, but I knew his chances were slim. I kept checking on everyone during the night. It is hard to get a feel for the other kittens since I can't really see them if they are curled up with each other or with mom - it is just one black blob.

Unfortunately, the gray kitten passed away Tuesday night. Considering his condition, I wasn't surprised, but it still hurts to know that I couldn't save him.

Wednesday was a long day. I tried to move the web cam so I could see in the crate, but managed to actually disconnect the camera somehow, so that was a bust. (it is back online now [more or less] and I am NOT moving it ever again - haha) I work about 20 minutes from home (if traffic is moving) so running home at lunch isn't an option. 

I finally made it home after work. I went into the foster room and the kittens were quiet. Knowing I wanted to check on them, I still hesitated. It was the ultimate moment we face as fosters: if you don't check, you don't know; but if you don't check, you can't get bad news. 

I pulled up the sheet covering the crate and 3 little black kittens were walking around and started meeping when they saw the light.

I put my head down on the crate and took the first deep breath of the day.

They still may not make it. I know that. They are so tiny and fragile. They are older than Marilyn's kittens but about about half their size. I will have an update later in the week as decisions are made about how to keep them going. The issue for the moment is that I can't reliably get my hands on them since their momma is very freaked out.

Oh - and as for mom....there is another city site that actually built a shelter for their ferals (YAY). Mom cat will be spayed and ear tipped and moved down there. Ideally she would be taken back to her original location, but this other site is much safer and she will be watched over there as well.
black cat with 3 black kittens
the name Fiona has been running around in my head, 
so that is the name mom will have from now on
No names for the kittens yet....

Monday, August 29, 2016

Happy Birthday Daiquiri

brown tabby and white kitten

Can you believe this trouble maker is 2 years old??? You can read about her arrival at our house as a foster by clicking here.

Obviously we had NO intention of keeping her....but she was here so long while we sorted out her test results (she initially tested positive for FeLV and then sort of positive and then finally negative) that she made herself at home.

She loves to play fetch (and if mom isn't quick enough to respond she has been known to throw the ball back down the stairs herself). She adores Junior (thank heavens). She seems to like the kittens....though not as much as mom was hoping for after several attempts.

As mom said after making the final decision to adopt Daiquiri, sometimes you get what you need and not what you thought you wanted. And we like that.....

Friday, August 26, 2016

random Fridays

If you didn't see it on our facebook or instagram feed, Birch was ADOPTED Tuesday night!!
orange kitten in blue cat bed

Ivy wishes you a peaceful and cooler weekend. We like having our windows open...but it is August in the mid west, so it will be hit and miss for a while.
torbie cat asleep

Now on to the changes around here. Juniper went to the adoption center yesterday to be spayed.
tortie kitten
Juniper is SUPER sweet and outgoing and will be available for adoption. We hope her family shows up soon and that people don't get hung up on the tortie coloring and can see the sweet kitten we have seen around here for the last few weeks.

Liberty was supposed to go, but there is a lot going on at the adoption center, and the head of the rescue asked if she could stay with us for a few more days. Since mom doesn't think it will make much difference one way or the other, Liberty will be hanging around for a while.
brown tabby kitten on a box
Liberty is a tough nut. Despite mom's efforts, Liberty never adjusted to liking people. Or at least liking mom. And mom has tried just holding her (she never relaxes at all) and bribery. Nothing seems to work. She was a little bit older when mom got her and Freedom and Liberty made it clear from the start that she wasn't all that interesting in being a "people" cat. When mom approaches her, Liberty cowers and hisses and struggles to be put down. It is certainly heart breaking for mom to see Liberty so frightened....and mom feels a little like she has failed Liberty. However, at least Liberty is getting much more of a chance with the rescue than other places....a lot of shelters would see her attitude and euthanize her rather than try to place her somewhere. Colony Cats says - ok, so if she doesn't want to live with people, let's see if we can do what is best for HER.

Fortunately Freedom is becoming more accepting of mom. It is hard since she is sick and mom has to catch her to clean her nose and medicate her twice per day. But, while she acts like she doesn't want to be caught, she doesn't fight, doesn't hiss and will allow herself to be snuggled and eventually relaxes. So, while she isn't bomb proof, she is adoptable but the right understanding family. Once she stops sneezing on everyone....

Thursday, August 25, 2016

litter review

Every month as a #ChewyInfluencer, we get a free item to review. The free stuff does not influence our thoughts and the review below is our own honest opinion.

This month one of the options was cat litter. Heaven knows we go through a lot....and with the kitten foster room now right near the living room, mom thought this might be an interesting item to try. Mom was going to put it in the foster room, but with added kittens, decided to try it in the tower instead.
Admittedly, it is a little pricey for us at $17.99 for a 16 pound bag. (keep in mind that shipping over $49 is free per order and you can also set up an auto-ship account that will give you a discount as well - we use this feature for our food orders). The information on the website states it is vet recommended, 99% dust free, clumps instantly and scoops easy while eliminating odors and lasting longer.

looks like cat litter to us

We are going to say right up front - this is NOT dust free. Not even close. Mom says she had never found a clay litter that actually IS dust free. She used most of the bag into an empty container and dust went everywhere. Granted....pour out a small amount or pour it out slower and it may throw up less dust. But dump it out and you are on your own. However, it is pretty dust free when being kicked around by active kittens.

However, it works like a charm. Everything clumps up hard and once the kittens cover up, the smell is gone pretty quickly as well. For a house with smaller spaces (and less cats), this would be something to really think about using. Mom liked the effectiveness....but it is a bit out of our price range for every day usage.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

newbies....and a plan

We are headed into some kitten turnover, so when mom took Freedom on Saturday morning to get a check on her cold (and get nebulized and some fluids), mom saw a mom cat and little kittens and said she would take them. Little kittens need out of the shelter environment pretty quickly since they can't be vaccinated.

gray and white kitten
Mom set up a large crate in the foster room and then put one of the pens (secured to the wall so it won't flip over) to have sort of a no mans land zone next to the crate. Barley and Hops are fascinated....and can't get in. Mom has checked the camera a few times and one of them is usually sleeping next to the pen.

Here was the first reason mom got the crate back from her friend. A couple of weeks ago she was talking to a friend of hers that works for the city water department. At one of their construction sites, a mom cat and kittens had been spotted. Mom talked to them about trapping the mom cat and raising the kittens. A plan was put in place and mom loaned them her trap and a carrier. And the mom cat promptly moved the kittens and they haven't been found yet. There are some other things going on at this site, and mom and her friend are afraid that the kittens may not be alive and the mom cat may not be caught.

Since mom already had the crate set up, she put this new mom cat in there. She was found with the kittens and was named Marilyn. As far as mom can tell, the kittens are both boys.
adult dilute calico cat

calico cat and two kittens

calico cat and kittens

brown tabby kitten and orange tabby kitten
the boys

Marilyn is a good mom, though not overly so. This may be her first (and thankfully last) litter. She cleans them and feeds them, but doesn't hover over them much. The boys are both in good shape and have GREAT lungs.

This does however give mom a couple of alternatives if the feral mom cat and kittens at the construction site are found. We can see if Marilyn will take the kittens (they are about the same size based on pictures) and then spay and release the other mom. Or...if Marilyn won't take the kittens, we can move Marilyn and her kittens and put the feral mom in the crate with her kittens until they are weaned and the mom cat can be released (FYI - there is another site that has built a shelter for their ferals and she would be released over isn't ideal to move them if you don't have too, but she will be MUCH safer at this other spot).

Monday, August 22, 2016

weekend report

Mom ran errands on Saturday morning and then left for a few hours in the afternoon.

bloodhound transport picture in the VW Beetle
This is Pearl. She had previously been adopted and was a "victim" of divorce and a new girlfriend. A couple stepped up to take her as a foster to adopt and mom got to meet them as the final hand off. Pearl is a sweet 6 year old girl and after talking for a few minutes, mom bets this is going to be her new family.

brown and white tabby kitten in a cat tower
Freedom is in the tower by herself now. She is pretty snotty and mom didn't want Liberty getting sick too. Also, mom was hoping that separating the girls would help with their socialization. Freedom, despite being caught several times per day to have her nose cleaned and be medicated is doing better.

Liberty is now living in the foster space. This is her hanging with Barley. The boys are smaller, but they hold their own and find Liberty pretty fascinating. However, Liberty is still pretty skittish around mom.

Barley and Hops are doing well. Healthy and very social. Mom weighed them and they are just under 2 pounds, so another couple of weeks and they should be ready to go. Which means, based on the clinic schedule the last time mom called, she should schedule these two soon.

Freedom discovered the hammock in the cat tower. She spends most of her time sleeping in it, but will also hang her head over the side. Not sure if it is just comfortable or helps her breathe better.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Random Fridays

Nothing really planned for this weekend. Mom said something about a hound....we will let you know more about that next week.

In the meantime, keep cool, stay dry, check on your neighbors and their pets, and lend a helping hand to those in need.
black foster kitten

Thursday, August 18, 2016

foster room fix

As some of you know, our foster room would be considered a work in progress. Mom set it up and has moved some things around and what not as it is being used and she discovers things that aren't working or might work better. The major issue has always been sight lines....which is why she put up the material on the doors. We take momma cats and kittens and while some momma cats are OK seeing other cats, some are (really) not and it is better if they can't see each other.
However, as you can see, the material on the doors has taken a beating. It is adorable and mom loves it, but it wasn't attached very well (again - work in progress) and has been coming off in places.

checking out the foster room from the outside 
(once the material came down)
Daiquiri, Tommy and Mo

A lady that mom works with made a suggestion. This lady's husband makes signs for companies and events. He had a material that might work. Mom had been trying to come up with something and thought this would be great. L (the lady from work) said it was a vinyl that should stick to the door. Mom was thinking that material that makes up signs you see at fairs and booths and things. Imagine her surprise when she discovered the material that L's husband had in mind was actually more of a flexible but sturdy wall type material. They did one sheet as a trial run and mom put it up on Tuesday night.

It is actually taller than where mom stopped with the material. It is attached to the wood part of the door using double sided tape. There was a little trial and error getting it attached but it went smoother than mom anticipated. They are going to get her two more sheets to put on the other doors now that they all know it works. Mom does think she may cut them down about 3-4 inches since the sliding door is in the foster room and that is our main source of any natural light into the main space of our condo (due to other buildings and the way we face).

BIG thanks to L and her husband for thinking of this and letting mom try it out.

One other is very plain and VERY white. Mom has seen cat decals online before....she swears one of our friends posted pictures of paw prints and other things on a stair well. If you know of anything, please leave us a comment and a link. Mom wants to decorate them a little bit to give it some character.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Black Cat Appreciation Day

Mo's Favorite Time of Year

We still don't (and may never) understand why so many people have preconceived notions about black cats. In so many other countries they are considered GOOD luck. Mom can attest that they are hard to photograph, but when people come into shelters they still tend to get overlooked. We say BAH HUMBUG! (mom says something else, but we can't repeat it here)

black cat close up

tortie kitten, tabby cat
Juniper and Daiquiri

Allie, our feral cat

We don't know the actual statistics, but we hear torties are a close second for least adopted, so we are featuring Juniper too....

Here are some of our numbers: out of 260 total cats and kittens to date, we have had 35 black cats - 9 female and 26 male. Of those, only 1 black momma cat (which we find pretty interesting....any guess? yep, our feral girl Allie). In addition, we have had 8 tortie kittens.

We think every house needs a house panther. Check your local rescue and pick out one of your very own.

the headless house panther
(you can't have this one, get your own)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Barley and Hops

The same foster that had the tree kittens had taken these two. Her family went on vacation and since they really only need 2-3 weeks to get big enough for surgery, we took them and will have them until they are big enough to be adopted. Mom picked them up Friday after work. They spent a couple of days in the tower until mom decided to switch them with the patriot kittens.
foster kittens, carrier, new kittens
Juniper seemed interested in the carrier 
and the kittens were checking her out too

foster kittens, Barley, Hops, black kitten, gray and white kitten
Mom wrote on Instagram that we had one boy and one girl.
She was wrong.
Both boys - the black is Barley, the gray/white Hops.
Meet the beer kittens.
(really not sure what was up with those expressions)

Junpier, Barley, foster kittens, black kitten, tortie kitten
Juniper was pretty fascinated by the kittens playing (or wanted their toy).
However, she would also get closer and then hiss at them.

foster kitten, gray and white kitten

foster kitten, black kitten

Both of them are super sweet. Probably 7 weeks old. They are quickly learning to come up to mom for attention and love. They did get a bath Friday night for fleas, and between that and advantage, they are now ready for play time. They spend part of the time curled up with each other (once they discovered the bed) or bouncing around with the toys.

Monday, August 15, 2016

weekend report

The weekend started out hot and humid and moved on to hot and humid and rainy. Mom spent most of the weekend in the house with us. She met a friend Saturday morning for breakfast (and said it was very nommy...gonna eat there again), took Melbourne up to the adoption center (he is healthy and can go to the adoption floor once he is neutered), got come groceries and came home. She watched the Olympics on Saturday....snoozing sometimes with Juniper.

patriot kittens, foster kittens,
Melbourne, Freedom and Liberty

Melbourne and Liberty

patriot kittens, foster kittens, tabby kittens
On Sunday mom moved the patriot kittens into the tower. Freedom is pretty snotty and on new meds. The tower makes it easier to catch them both to medicate them. Plus mom hopes a smaller space will help change Liberty's mind about people....she is pretty jumpy and puts up a fight when grabbed. Which won't help her adoptability.

Friday, August 12, 2016

random Fridays

A little more about our TNR boy from yesterday. Mom emailed the other lady who lives near us and it seems she sees this boy. Either way, he is now neutered. The vet at the clinic did check his eye and this it may be a defect or an old injury. Either way nothing really to do for it. Someone asked if he can see out of it, and there really is no way to tell, but looking at him in the trap, it doesn't seem to bother him.

When mom traveled to Maine, she realized she left her necklace and rings. Miss Connie sent them back to her and included that green toy. Not sure if it is 'nip or 'vine, but it is pretty popular around here.

Still have the hot and humids....yuck!!

foster kittens, tuxedo kitten
mystery solved - his name is Sherlock

We have been having an issue with escaping kittens from the foster room. They are climbing the screen doors and jumping over. Not something mom is a big fan of....for several reasons. She is working on a potential solution, so we shall see what happens.

However, she got home from work on Wednesday - after picking up the TNR boy and releasing him - and discovered that Sherlock had escaped....and knocked over a plant and spread the dirt EVERYWHERE! Especially all over mom's chair in our living room. Oh.....she was ticked off. She knows it wasn't malicious, but oh she was mad....  We have ONE plant in the house and he managed to knock it over. Mom spent a while picking up and using the evil dyson to clean up.

Then she sent a text to the head of the rescue - could mom possibly take the boy back to the adoption center? He is healthy and ready to go....and needs to get out of the house. She was told to take him up there and mom ran to get him there before they closed.

Mom and another volunteer scanned his chip to find his information and then get him set up in a condo that is used for kittens. As they were doing this, there was a woman who had come in looking to adopt. She had adopted from us this spring and the kitten developed FIP and passed away. The family waited, but knew they wanted another kitten. The lady asked to hold Sherlock and bless him he rolled over and purred like a lunatic.

Long story short - mom got the kitten out of the house....and without even getting him back in a cage, he got adopted and went home. Bwahahaha.....  When she got home, mom sent a text to the head of the rescue and got a response "oh that's funny. too perfect"

We could agree more. Congrats on getting adopted Sherlock!!!

foster kitten, tortie
Juniper is ready to go - just needs to be spayed. Mom called the clinic the other day and they are WAY backed up so the rescue is going to see if they can fit her into another appointment before the end of the month. She can't be adopted until she is spayed. But.....if you know anyone looking for an outgoing super sweet tortie, send them our way....

Thursday, August 11, 2016


As some of you who have been with us a while know, we are doing TNR in our neighborhood. It started up the street with mom and another neighbor lady when there were kittens found (that would be when mom found Bug). Then Junior was trapped. Then more kittens....and they managed to get 2 girls and a couple of boys. Mom then trapped Allie at our end of the neighborhood. And things have been very stable for years.

More recently there have been sporadic sightings by mom and the other lady of two big males tabbies (OK - we can't be SURE they are boys, but mom says based on the size of their heads, she is 90% sure). And those boys are elusive....both mom and the other lady have set the trap a few times and got nothing. (that's not got Allie once - MOL).

Anyhow, as mom was coming home from her volunteer shift at the shelter last night, the goldish tabby guy was laying on a nearby sidewalk. Mom was all "I swear I am gonna get him" so she put some Fancy Feast broths in a bowl (she had a sample package) and set the trap later that night.

She got up early this morning and YAY the trap was sprung.....

Except this guy was in the trap:
Well huh - we've never seen THAT guy before.

He does appear to have an issue with one eye - but mom says it looks more like a defect rather than an injury. The vet at the clinic checked him out and said he is in good shape. The eye could be an injury but an old injury. Either way they don't think it bothers him.

Either way - he was neutered, ear tipped, checked over, given a rabies shot, and then released. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Wow - we have been blogging for 7 years now.....pretty amazing. We have seen lots of animal friends come and go....lots of happy and some sad along the way. But we LOVE being a part of this blogging community and we are so happy you are our friends!!

Some quick stats for those of you that find that interesting: this is post 1,781. We have had over 450,000 page views. Most of our traffic comes from facebook and our friends at Love and Hisses.(thanks Miz Robyn) Our audience is mainly from the US and then from Germany. And we have fostered 252 kittens to date.

Thanks for helping us celebrate this milestone and for coming along on our journey!!!



Mozart and Ivy

Tommy and foster kitten Bug

Junior (as a little guy)

Angel Maestro

Tommy (poor guy)

Daiquiri (and foster kitten Nashville)

Daiquiri and Angel Tim