Bottle Babies

The first night with bottle babies can be nerve-wracking. The kittens are trying to adjust to their new world-sans their mom, and you are trying to adjust to having to get up every three hours round-the-clock to feed them.

On their first night, the kittens will cry sometimes unceasingly. They will cry if they are hungry (usually a shrill, piercing “FEED ME NOW!” type of cry.) They will cry if they are getting stopped up and need a bathroom break- this cry is lower than the hunger cry, a sort of moaning meow as if the kitty has a tummy ache. The kittens often cry for their mother. This cry is louder than their food cry and you can hear it throughout your home.

They learn early on that mom leaves the nest for food periodically. They know, because she has taught them, that they have to be silent while she is gone (or predators may munch on them.) It is usually after the third day, when the kittens will become frantic and start screaming for mom.

It usually takes me about 24 hours to identify each kittens’ voice. As I lay there in the dark with the kitten box close-by, Their voices surround me. I can hear each meow distinctive in its own way. The boys are generally quieter than the girls (just like in our society.) But unlike a human baby, you can’t let newborn kittens cry themselves to sleep. If they don’t stop crying, their immune system bottoms out and you risk losing them to an illness.

Here is Dusky- sucking on his bottle-

If anyone reading this would like to sponsor one of these kittens till adoption- that would be wonderful. For $25.00 you will get photos and stories about the kitten you sponsor until it is adopted out. I will send these 3 times a month.

There is a donation button on my kitten-rescue site should you be interested. No, the $25.00 won’t even pay for the spay/neuter but it will help greatly to defray costs on this current crop of kittens.

Never-Ending Kitten Season

New arrivals here. They have been without mom for 2 days and they seem to be endlessly hungry. There are four of them, 3 boys 1 female. A tortie, a mackeral tabby, a dark grey kitty and an orange one. This is the first year we have had SO many orange kittens. Just makes me miss Prowler, Bailey and Franklin all the more- These cuties are a week old-

Morning reflection

The sun is barely peeking over the mountain when the dogs and I head for our walk. The Cascade lumber trail has long been a favorite path for us. Baron heads the pack, his black German Shepherd tail pointing straight up as if to say “It’s this way folks! Follow me!” I let him lead. I know that dogs are pack animals and some people insist that the human needs to be in front. I know differently. I have gained respect with these formerly abused creatures. Even if I lag behind them, should I suddenly change direction and head the other way, they would soon join me.

The alders, mountain ash and pine trees loom overhead. The trail is shaded and peaceful…the only sounds; the chirping of the birds and the panting of dogs…ok, this human is also panting as parts of the trail are steep! We round the bend and are confronted with a fallen cottonwood tree. It stretches across the path barring the way. The dogs quickly duck under the highest point and look back at me as if say “Where are you? It’s easy, just try it!”

I look at their entry point and decide that although the limbo was a favorite game for me back in grade-school, my fifty year old back couldn’t go that low these days. Instead, I grab an exisitng branch and laboriously hoist myself over the tree grateful that no one with a video camera is recording the event. I’d hate to see THAT on YouTube! The dogs still excited at their prospective walk gather around me. Kodie licks my hand as if to offer me sympathy that I am not limber enough to follow their lead in this case. Baron, in his two-year old wisdom just leans on me offering his support as we continue to trudge up the mountain.

Baron is such a puppy! Although at two years old, most German Shepherds are settling in and the brain has kicked into gear in regards to behavior, Baron retains all the traits of puppyhood, having been denied his own. He was created for breeding purposes only in a puppy mill. His testicles never descended, leaving him in danger of being euthanized because he was of no use to the breeder. Instead, he now lives with us, still fully intact although he shows no stud tendencies. No aggression to females, even ones he meets when they are in heat. He is a joy to watch as he romps through the grasses and crashes into the underbush following scents.

I wish I shared these dogs joyful abandon. They greet each day with such pleasure and don’t get caught up in their past. All that matters to them is that they now have two humans in their lives who love them. They are never beaten or scared or intimidated. Their food bowls are always full- their water bowls filled daily and their presence brings us as much joy as they are now finding in this morning walk in the woods.

In the belly of the whale

The scratching pad I received has claimed all the cats attention since it was first placed on the floor. Charlie likes to ride on the whale and push all the other cats off. Who knew this kitty that almost died would be so dominant with the group. I wish now I had gone with the larger-sized orca as Sinclair is having problems fitting into the belly of the smaller whale. Though he does try!

Effective poster

A gal that I only know off the Internet has designed a wonderful adoption poster for me. My hope was to bring the enchantment that these cats and kittens create daily alive on paper, and Carol certainly delivered! Twila went to a new home today, and there have been calls about three other cats here. I have posted them about town and in some of the surrounding areas as well.

Took Everest to the vet tonight. He was limping severely. I was afraid he might have broken his leg, but they found instead he tore his muscle. It is pretty bad. They put him on torbutrol and they want him secluded but confining him just tends to stress him out. So he is sleeping right now on Mike’s shoulder.

He was so unhappy at the vet’s office. He was hiding in their sink for most of the visit. He weighed in at 13 pounds and he also has the start of stomatitis which is why he has been drooling so badly.

The demise of the pet fountain

I have never had the pleasure of dealing with such a mischievous cat as my Matuse. I have to give Drinkwell Pet Fountains props though- their latest fountain has lasted four years before falling to the evildoings of Matuse. He jumped on the fountain this morning and it toppled over killing the motor. He is such a twit-nose!

Burlap Babies

This morning on the way to town as I was driving though the Narrows, I noticed a burlap bag tied up and laying by the roadside. A movement in the bag caught my attention so I pulled over to investigate. When I opened up the bag, I almost cried. Two mackeral tabby babies just days old were inside! They were flea-ridden and hot to the touch with bad dehydration. I rushed them to the vet where the vet did the best he could and then told me to just take them home, feed every 1/2 hour and hope for the best.

Mite died first and then her brother Bug followed soon after. I will keep to myself what I wish I could do to the asshole who dumped these kittens. They were only a few miles from my home, I just wish I had found them sooner-

I have to go back to the vet tomorrow with my Panic kitty. She is exhibiting some puzzling symptoms and I am unsure what is going on with her- if she has been poisoned with something or if she swallowed a foreign object- I hope they find out what is wrong with her. She stopped eating yesterday and has taken to camping out at the water bucket and drinking massive amounts of water-

Cats are having a whale of a time

Thanks to the creativity of Imperial Cat my group has been introduced to Free Willy-the Orca scratching pad. They love it! They have been riding on the back of this Orca, playing in the belly of the whale and sleeping/scratching and playing King of the Killer Whales trying to stay on top of this fun item.

I am amazed at how many shapes this company can manufacture! Check out their website and add one of these scratching pads to your collection. They are the cat’s meow!

A Letter to Jeremy

Hello Son,

In a few day’s time, you would have turned 32 years old. You know what, my heart? I sit here sometimes at night and wonder what life would have been like had you survived. What would it feel like to have your arms around me hugging me tight as you whisper into my ear “I love you Mom.” To have you lightly kiss my cheek before evening prayer is said. What both of us have missed can never be measured I am afraid.

I wonder how you would have matured? What goals would you reach for, what goals would you have achieved. Would you have inherited your Father’s tall stature, his off-the-wall humor? Would you bear any of my tendencies- would you have been a rebel, or would you have grown into a sensitive, loving soul?

In high school would you have been on the football team, or known as the life of the party? So many questions plague me this time of year, but truth be told there is rarely a day that goes by that I don’t think about you my son.

When I think about the chaos of your birth, and the brief second I was allowed to hold you before you were whisked away and I was put back under, I feel so cheated. I know that God had a purpose for your being if only for a moment- but I don’t know what that purpose was then, nor do I now. I suppose one day, it will be revealed to me but for now it eludes me.

We couldn’t survive your passing my son, although we tried. But death back then at such a young age was something neither your father or I could ever comprehend and we swallowed our grief with chemicals and drink and the chasm between us grew ever wider until we both shattered.

I hope in the final moments of your life, God closed his loving arms around you and held you tight. I pray you weren’t scared as you moved toward the light and away from us. That someone, a nurse or an intern or a kindly doctor held you as well when you made that final journey.

I’m sorry I wasn’t there Jeremy in your final moments to kiss your forehead and tell you, my red-haired boy how much I love you-

The cats are in a stir

We have been fighting a bad leak in our roof all winter. The crew arrived this morning to fix it finally! The cats are running around the house like crazy trying to find a place where they can escape the noise. Almost a dozen cats are crammed into the two tunnels leading to the house. There is an epidemic of panic spraying in the living room and they are clearly upset.

The upswing is the work is only supposed to last the day before the roof is replaced. But, there are 11 strangers stomping around the roof and the cats are clearly not happy- not me though, I am thrilled!