A123505 (Zipper2)

June 19, 2008

Hello everyone,

After spending 4 days fighting for her life, Zipper2 joined her sister this morning. The loss of two kittens in one week has been hard for us. We are still going to foster Darth until he’s ready to be adopted, so please check back on an update for him.

I will write more about Zipper2 later.

A123504 (Stubs)

June 17, 2008

The toughest thing about fostering other than parting from them when you drop them off for adoption is knowing that eventually, you will lose one. I knew this when I started fostering, and I know this as I am typing right now, but still my heart is breaking into a million pieces.

On Sunday, a little over 48 hours ago, Stubs came down with the same cold as her sister and she stopped eating. We were more worried about her sister at the time and quickly booked an appointment for Monday afternoon. From what we could tell, Stubs seemed okay.

When we got to the vet, we were told that both her and her Sister Zipper2 have a fever and secondary bacterial infection from URI. It was recommend that we leave them both at the clinic over night, we brought Darth home with us and waited to see if Zipper2 would recover.

The vet called this morning to let us know that Stubs didn’t make it, she was surprised too since Zipper2 was the sicker one. I don’t really remember what else she said over the phone, I just remember the absolute shattering pain in my heart.

When you foster, you are there to take care of the little ones, to provide them with the best care possible so that they would have a higher chance of survival, so that they can be healthy and find loving forever homes. The foster kittens do not belong to us, and so there’s a sense of added responsibility when you take care of them. We were entrusted with caring for them. We are the parents until they are ready to go out on their own. So when you lose a foster kitten, there’s always doubt, guilt, and a sense that you have failed some how at parenting. My brain knows we tried the best we could and eventually something like this will happen. However, my heart still questions what would have happened if I had just taken her into the vet 24 hours earlier, would she still be alive? Someone else out there would have had the opportunity to enjoy her company as much as I did.

I have only had three short days with her and already I was head over heels in love with the little girl. It was obvious she had a rough start but you really couldn’t tell by the way she behaved. She loved to be around people and from the first day tried to follow me every where I went. She purred at the sight of me and was always trying to sit next to me whenever I am in the nursery. I knew when I got her it would be difficult to drop her off for adoption, but nothing prepared me for this.

When you own a pet, often you know when the time comes and you get to say goodbye, I never got to say goodbye to her. When I left her at the vet’s office, she was purring on the counter, looking at me with her big eyes. The thought of her dying alone in a cage is breaking my heart, the thought of not getting the chance to say goodbye, to let her know how much I loved her company, to let her know that she’s one of the best kitties I have ever known, is one of the hardest things of being a foster parent.

Batch Eight

June 12, 2008

It’s just a few days before my birthday and what better way to celebrate than to pick up more kittens? In keeping with our grey scale theme we got black and white kittens again this time. Yay!

The one in the picture by her self is Zipper2. We are naming her Zipper2 because she reminded us of our other foster kitten/some time resident cat Zipper.

The other one that looks like her is Stubs. We named her that because she has no tail. We don’t know why she has no tail, but we love her anyways. In fact, she practically chose me as her object of affection upon arriving at our condo. She would purr at the sight of me and follows me around the “kitten nursery”. I will admit I have been letting her nap on my knee while I am working, and letting her nap on my arm while I am napping… okay okay, so it’s love at first sight, but how can you not love her?

Their long haired brother is Darth. Darth, despite his name, is not evil. Far from it, he’s a soft cuddly bundle of fur that will hiss at you not because he doesn’t like you, but because he forget you are around sometimes. We will be updating they progress here over the next few weeks, stay tuned!

McFluffy

April 19, 2008

McFluffy (aka McScruffy, aka McStinky, aka Luciano) is the boy. Also the fluffy one. And while he may look like the biggest, the tale of the tape reveals that his sister outweighs him by a couple hundred grams.

McLongfur’s, um, long fur requires occasional grooming to prevent him from getting scruffy (see second name above). It also presents a bit of a challenge to, um, the elimination of food waste after digestion. Without proper trimming around a particular area, bits of digested food waste can get stuck to his long fur, making him a bit stinky (see the third name above).

But none of that is really a problem, since this cat is just so happy (McHappy?) He’s got a voice with an incredible range – from little chirps and trills when he’s playing with toys or his siblings, to plaintive meows when he thinks he’s being ignored, to deeply-felt vocal solos when you’re not feeding him fast enough for his liking. He can hold a note for over ten seconds (see the fourth name above).

He loves other cats and people, and getting attention, but (unlike all his sisters) isn’t all that fond of being held. Especially on his back. He’ll complain about that. Loudly.

McFluffy is litter trained, but may take a little encouragement to learn where the litter box is. And he hasn’t quite figured out dry food yet. (What’s this? I’m huunnnnnngryyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!) He’ll get there, though.

Ocelot

April 19, 2008

Ocelot is the one with the stripes. She is named after a small wild cat that Salvador Dali kept as a pet. Please find her a better name – we’re running out of creativity after fostering 23 kittens. We named her sister’s “Righty” and “Lefty” for goodness’ sake.

When we first met Ocelot, we were surprised to discover that she loves to be held. On her back, cradled in your hands. She gets a dreamy look on her face, relaxes completely, and is perfectly content to fall asleep like that, in fact. It’s strange.

She generally loves being with people, too. She’s happy to run around chasing (or more likely being chased by) her siblings, but she seems happiest when she’s around people (*purr purr purr*).

Ocelot doesn’t know what dry food is for (ooh! toys!), but has at least stopped being picky about the wet food she eats. And there’s a flavour of wet food that she loves more than anything. She actually snarled at her litter-mates when they tried to steal some of it from her. We’ll let you try to discover what type of fish it is.

Righty

April 19, 2008

Righty got her name since she has a patch of white fur on the right side of her face, as opposed to the left side like her formerly-identical-but-now-twice-as-big-sister. All attempts to come up with a more descriptive rhyming nickname failed. We thought of “Bitey,” but she doesn’t, so that’s that.

Righty is the bravest of her siblings, and enjoys sprinting around new spaces as fast as possible. That puts her underfoot more often than not, so be aware (beware?) of small grey furry things while you’re walking around the kitchen.

She very much likes having her head stroked, and remembers how much she likes it whenever her sister Ocelot (the striped one) is getting any attention. Then she’ll come over and shove sister out of the way to take her place.

She’s also extremely talkative. She likes to remind you when to feed her. She likes to give you advice on how to prepare the food, and let you know you’re not doing it fast enough. (These two are pretty normal.) But she also likes to wander around after you telling you about her day. It’s all monosyllabic so far, but we expect her to be quite the eloquent orator when she grows up. Perhaps she’ll even be a scriptwriter?

She’s the most litter-trained of her litter, and is one of the few kittens we’ve had (out of 23) that never had an “accident” anywhere. And she likes both wet and dry food, which is also good.

Hefty

April 19, 2008

HeftyHefty (originally named Lefty, since she has a patch of white fur on the left side of her face, as opposed to the right side) got her new nick name by gaining 500 grams in less than 3 weeks. We also briefly considered “Hungry Hungry Hippo” as a name, but stopped. After realizing that she was now approximately twice the size of her litter-mates, she put her bulk to good work by pinning her smallest siblings to the ground while playing. In response, they all adopted a strategy that we like to call “squeak, then run away.”

Other than that minor quirk, she is extremely good-natured. Hefty likes to play with her siblings, people, other cats, and small rocks. She also has an adorable habit of flopping her ears down (like a bunny) when she’s happy. Like after trying unsuccessfully to pin your knee to the ground.

When you bring her home, it will probably take a while for her to adjust to the new space – despite her size and friendliness, she’s a little shy and wary of big spaces. She waits for her much smaller but braver sisters to forge the way for her. (When she’s nervous, she often flops her ears down. Please try not to laugh at her trepidation.)

Finally, she’s litter-trained, sleeps anywhere, and likes being picked up and held, and very rarely makes any sound other than a purr. She’ll eat pretty much everything (could you guess?), but actually doesn’t try to steal food from her siblings. She just snacks a lot on dry food while they’re staring at it suspiciously.

Batch Seven!

March 28, 2008

My goodness, it’s definitely Kitten season again! We just got these lovely four fluff balls of joy today and are looking forward to another year of fostering.

They are all grey, cute, soft and purring!

A117743 Zipper comes to visit!

March 27, 2008

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Remember Zipper? She was the little runt that refused to grow. My how things change! Zipper is now 6lbs and has been staying with us for a few days while her normal staff is away. She has been spending her days exploring her old stomping grounds, chirping her approval at the level of serve we are providing her and playing with her old cat pals. It’s amazing how much more personality this little girl has now! We are learning something new about her each day. For example, she still like to perch on our shoulders like the way she did when she was 800 grams. She also loves to play chase with people, cats, dust, ghosts…

Our friend is scheduled to come and pick her up tomorrow. HUMPH… that’s what he thinks…

A120324 (Minnie, Whitesnake)

March 16, 2008

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Whitesnake (named to match her brother-in-80’s-hair-metal-bands, “Pantera”), is essentially a perfect cat. She’s affectionate, semi-independent, happy around people and other cats, happy playing with just about anything (including, among other things, dust motes), happy sitting in laps, and well, just generally happy.

She’s also a bit of a gymnast, and very happy to climb from the floor to waist height in about two bounds when you haven’t clipped her nails in a week or two. And she burrows like a little groundhog. I found her deep at the bottom of my pillow case once, purring away.

Also, she follows you around like a puppy, right on your footsteps. And she comes when called. If you ever wanted a puppy in kitten form, you’ve found her.

She’s litter- and scratching-post-trained, too. One thing she’s still working on learning is “chewing.” Consuming dry food is a skill that’s quite beyond her so far. We’ve tried, and if you add water to the bowl of wet food, she’ll eat some, but she generally just waits to be fed wet food, then vacuums it in as fast as she can.

She’s gotten more independent with age, but she’s still completely attached to her brother, so she’ll want some love and attention when you get her home so she’s not too lonely. But other than that, she’s not very demanding. She seems happiest when she’s dozing on your lap in the afternoon.


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