A120323(Mickey, Pantera, Piggy)

March 16, 2008

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Pantera (that’s “Panther” in Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian) is an amazing cat, quite beside having the most stunning markings of any kitten that we’ve ever seen. He’s incredibly good-natured, and will happily sit on your lap when he’s, looking up occasionally and saying “Squawk” (that’s “Hi” in Kitten). We haven’t yet found a cat toy that he doesn’t like.

He follows you around, too, which is adorable. Not just a little. Like a little puppy. We think he can be trained to come when called. (He already responds to “come here!” in a high-pitched voice.)

He gets along well with our two adult cats, guests, and the big golden retriever who lives down the hall (well, they bumped noses before we caught him), but he absolutely adores his sister. He’ll probably be lonely for a little while once the two of them are separated, but he’s a pretty resilient guy.

He’s also very picky. So far, he doesn’t really like to eat dry food. If you put some water in it, he’ll pick at it, but he likes to sing and beg for wet food whenever you’re near the kitchen. He’ll eat just about any wet food, though. And he’ll apparently never stop. (If it’s been a week since you last cut his nails, he also likes to climb your pant-leg to get at the wet food before you put it down for him.)

(An aside: we call him “Piggy” since that’s what he sounds like when he’s snuffling in his wet food bowl.)

Also, he doesn’t like dirty litter. Or possibly sandy litter. We had wet spots on our bathroom floor for a few days until we put out a separate litter box for Senor Pantera with “Yesterday’s News” as litter, and cleaned both litter boxes at least twice a day.

He’s well trained on scratching posts, though. No issue there. Overall, little “пантера” (Russian) is a demanding little cat at times, but if you can provide him with the right service, he’s also pretty awesome.

Batch #6: The true meaning of love

February 25, 2008

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After what seemed like forever, we finally got new foster kittens from the THS. We were able to pick Micky and Minnie up the day after Valentine’s day. They have been with us a week now and have pretty much bonded to us, following us where ever we go. One of their favorite activities at the moment is going for runs with “Mom”, where they would sprint as fast as their little legs would allow them down the hall way towards me, skidding to a stop and following me as I “jog” back. I’m hoping they will be ready for adoption in a week or two. Of course, you can bet that I will be crying a the way back to the THS.


Knitting for kittens

January 13, 2008

Okay, okay, I admit it: I am addicted to fostering kittens. Now that the winter is here and no more kittens are to be found, I have resorted to knitting to get my fix. Although I learned how to “knit” a while ago, I never really picked it up as a hobby. I mean, how would you like to get a lumpy scarf as a present? I needed to practice in order to get better, but I didn’t want to make presents that no one will use or wear. I had my Eureka moment when I knitted my first kitten blanket with a pattern from the “Snuggles Project“. The blankets are simple enough for me to make and it’s okay if some of them are a bit lumpy. Plus, the Toronto Humane Society will supply the wool if I will knit the blankets!!! What more can a newbie ask for?

I went and picked up a HUGE bag of wool from the volunteer office this week and got started knitting, right now I am on my 4th blanket. It’s given me something to do while I am on the subway to and from work, and it allows me to daydream about kittens all wrapped up in them. The shelters have to use steel cages for the cats, so having something colorful and soft for them to rest on makes a huge difference. It’s also adds a human touch for such a sterile environment, letting their potential new parents know they are being cared for.

My plan is to practice knitting the blankets for now and then move on to other more complicated projects like knitting a cat bed or a mouse toy. 🙂

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My yarn stash, presents from the Toronto Humane Society.

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One of my first lumpy attempt at a kitten blanket.
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Smudge posing for the camera while testing out the new “scraps” blanket.

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My current blanket, I love the pattern in the yarn.

The Winter Blues

January 7, 2008

We brought our last foster kitten back for adoption on Sunday. With kitten season at an end, we will likely have to wait until spring for more foster kittens. The last 24 hours has been really hard for everyone in the household. All together 17 bundles of fur have come through our doors and made our home a happy, lively one since July 2007, this is the first time in months that we haven’t had little ones running around our apartment. Our two cats, used to being the REAL foster parents, have been searching and calling for the kittens and crying disapprovingly at us. It was heartbreaking for me to put away the toys, towels, beds, little box and returning our master bathroom to “normal”. Who knew that fostering can be such an addictive and enjoyable experience?

For the next few months, we are going to try and see if we can foster adult cats, this of course, will depend on the reaction of our cats. I will be busy knitting kitten blankets, it’s my goal to donate as many kitten blankets to the nursery as the number of kittens we foster. (Best get started now if I want to hit the target!) I will also try and post as much updates and I can on the fosters that we have information on.

I want to thank all of the volunteers that have helped our foster kittens to find forever happy homes. From the kind citizens that have brought in the strays, to the vets, technicians, kitten feeders, to the foster coordinators, and the adoption agents. It took a whole team of dedicated people to make sure these little ones are well taken care of and that they have found a home to call their own. Thank you everyone!

(A118682) Snuggle

December 15, 2007

Snuggle

Snuggle wants to be a model when he grows up – that’s why he’s practicing his sexy wink in this photo. We think that before he can be a model, he needs to stop liking things. He likes people, he likes cats, he likes being petted, he likes lying on his back in your hands, staring at you and purring, he likes pouncing on cat toys… models need to be more aloof.

But, try as we might, we just can’t dissuade him from being so nice. We’ve had one minor success with him: when he runs around a corner, he expects someone (or some other cat) to be there to play with him. And when there isn’t someone (or somecat) there to play with him, he announces his displeasure: meow-WOW mow wow-meOW-wow wow. mrow.

He very well-trained with the litter box, with scratching posts, and with other cats. He loves our two housecats, and they love him back (although he does get a bit nervous when his 11-pound ‘big brother’ decides to pounce on him).

Update! Little Snuggle has been adopted by a friend of ours. His new name is Oliver and we will be updating new pictures of him soon!

(A118681) Cuddle

December 15, 2007

Cuddle
Cuddle has the smoothest, sleekest fur out of all the 17 cats we’ve fostered this year. He also has the athletic build of an Olympic gymnast (or, perhaps more appropriately, an Egyptian Mau). Because of this, he’s decided to to choose a career that suits his natural abilities, and become a ninja pirate.

He’s very adept at slinking around quietly, hiding behind walls and anything else that will give him cover, and leaping out without warning to pounce on his brothers (they are mostly good-natured about his job training activities). That’s the ninja part.

He also burrows into anything he can: under pillows, blankets, other cats, the crook of your arm, your neck, etc. There’s only one explanation for this activity, when you think about it. Buried treasure. That’s the pirate part.

And when he gets tired from all the sneaking and leaping and digging, he likes to spend time with people. Cuddle (now you understand the name for our ninja-pirate) happily spends hours curled up on or near any available lap, neck, or arm. (He’s not very happy being held off the ground, and would prefer to hug close to your body. Heights make him nervous.)

Finally, he’s well trained: he uses the litter box, his scratching post, and doesn’t mind having his nails clipped (grab his scruff to keep him calm). And he’s well-socialized. Our two big cats (a boy and a girl) like to play with… I mean help him with his ninja pirate training.

(A118680) Fuzzle/Grapenut

December 15, 2007

Ewok
Grapenut has two important sides to his personality: on one hand he’s a very cheerful, easy-going cat who is perfectly at ease playing with toys, playing with people, playing with other kittens, playing with older cats, or playing by himself (he can improvise toys from bottle caps, pens, pieces of paper, etc.) He loves to run around and attack shadows. He purrs when you flip him on his back and rub his belly. And he’ll happily sleep on your lap or the foot of your bed for hours. (Speaking of feet, he likes to chase them.)

But he’s also a little bit shy, and doesn’t like leaving the house very much. He gets scared when he has to go to the vet (actually, he gets scared whenever he has to leave the apartment), and it took him quite a while to get comfortable in our apartment at all. It will probably take him a day or two to get comfortable with new people – you can expect him to run away from you whenever you approach, but calm down and purr contentedly when you catch him, pick him up and hold him. Since he doesn’t like loud noises or movement, make sure he stays inside! If he heard a loud noise outside, he could bolt.

One little thing to watch out for: he’s a bit clumsy. He can’t jump very high, and has a tendency to fall off things that many cats wouldn’t.

Grapenut is (of course) litter trained and scratching-post trained. And he eats a lot – he’s more than doubled in size in the last 2.5 weeks, and shows no signs of slowing down. He inhales his wet food every morning and evening, and snacks on dry kibble throughout the day. (That’s how he got his name – he used to eat so much as a little kitten that he looked like a little grape. And he’s a nut.)

But with a little bit of patience, he’ll be an absolute doll of a kitty – and he’s not too demanding of attention. If you’re gentle with him and patient for the first few days, this little guy will be a great friend for the next decade or two.

Batch #5, just in time for X-mas

December 15, 2007

Batch #4

Our last batch of the year, all boys, all grey tabbies, and all of them will melt hearts this x-mas. They are one of the healthiest, and happiest batch we have so far. Already they have a fan base with our friends and gets lots of kisses and hugs. We hope too that this winter, they will find a forever home with you.

A117744 (Velcro)

October 22, 2007

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Velcro is the only boy in the litter, but still manages to occasionally get bossed around by his big sister, Tux. He is an inquisitive, playful little guy, who likes to explore every area of the apartment (after Tux has made sure it’s safe), play-fight with all of his sisters, and climb up pant-legs to see what’s going on higher up in the world – which is how he gets his name, and why we trained him to have his little kitten claws clipped.

He is litter-trained, scratching-post trained, loves being petted and held by people, and purrs almost all the time. He likes playing with pretty much every cat toy he’s ever seen, and also likes playing with big cats – he spent a fair bit of time trying to goad our adult cats into chasing him around, without much success. But he kept on trying!

Velcro also loves food, and will happily eat (well, it’s more like inhaling) more wet food than his little tummy can handle, so be careful how much you feed him until he learns his own limits. Other than that, he’s a perfect cat!

A117742 (Laces)

October 22, 2007

Laces

We have to admit that we don’t call Laces by her real name. We call her Blackbeard, since she has a little black beard (with a matching – and surprising -black lip under the fur), but since that’s not a very ladylike name, we left Laces on her sheet.

She’s a happy, playful, friendly little cat who loves people only a little less than her cat toy du jour. Other than growling (loudly for a cat this small) angry warning at anyone who comes to take her cat toys away while she’s playing with them, she’s the happiest, most playful cat in the litter. Things she likes to chase: her sisters, her brother, our other two cats, shadows, her tail, dust, and imaginary kittens.

She’s litter-trained, scratching-post-trained, and doesn’t mind (too much) having her claws clipped. Best to do that last one while she’s a little bit sleepy.

Laces is a prototypical kitten – she spends about 40% of her time sleeping, 40% of her time trying to look cute, and 20% of her time eating. She likes being petted, doesn’t mind being held (even flipped onto her back), and will make a very sweet pet for a good home.

But please change her name to something more dignified!