She needs a better name…

I don’t think calling her Castaway is doing her any favors and blame it on my over-exhausted mentality of late. I am thinking of calling her Jedi. I want her to have a strong name one she can live up to and hopefully grow old with.

We finally had poop yesterday but it wasn’t easy. On the advice of my feline specialist- and I love…love…love Dr. Vicki Thayer! I gave Jedi a small enema (2 cc’s of warm water twice daily) After that she produced poo for me but it didn’t look or smell normal. But fingers are still crossed and prayers being said that Jedi will make it through to her first birthday.

She has finally gotten the hang of the feeding procedure. The bottles- they do not make nipples that are newborn kitty friendly at all- so I was using the small feeding syringes. She is now eagerly taking the food from me.

Petco contacted me the other day and I am now in their database! They have a wonderful program where they collect donated items from the customers and divvy them up between the non-profit groups in the area. I get to go in every Tuesday and collect cat food! Along with every can of food is a cat toy and I am so relieved. Sometimes I wonder what in the world I am doing here? Especially during kitten season when everyone gets hits so bad with abandoned kittens, mismanaged litters, stray cats, toms, increasing the load on the resident cats, the finances, the mental stability of the rescuers. Who would even choose to do this? But this is my path and this new contribution of food will help so much on some of that load. I understand now why when you shop at Petco or Petsmart and they ask you if you want to “round up” or donate a can of food to an organization where it all goes.

Here was the first donation. The box is quite deep and I am smiling at the amount of cat food and other goodies hidden in the depth

God Bless Petco!

pcI also want to thank those of you who voted for me in the shelter contest. I know sometimes it was a bit of a struggle because the website seemed to be having issues, but thanks for hanging in there and doing your part. I will let you know if I actually win anything at all.

Also wish to express my thanks to those of you who contribute in other ways to my cats. The private emails when I am at my wits end, the dollars donated when the “Kitty” is going broke. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for all of you in so many different parts of this nation helping me out.

Glory Bee was adopted over the weekend and there are a few hits of interest on Google who jumped off the kitten train yesterday and got spayed. It is always interesting that some cats respond so differently to the drugs they are given. She was supposed to stay quiet, not jump, run around- but no one told her. I put her in the cage when she got home and she pitched such a fit! She was even gnawing the bars of the cage to get out! So, I let her out otherwise she would have broken her teeth and she ran around this house like a miniture hurricane for hours! Dr. Vicki said that sometimes the drugs effect kitties this way. But now that they use lasers to open the skin and dissolving sutures the spay area is less likely to be infected. She is fine this morning. Seems to bear no ill will towards me for doing that to her, and she is still running amok a bit. I’d rather have her that way then lethargic and immobile which would have meant they missed a bleeder or something more ominous.

Jedi gets to go traveling today. Mike has doctor appointments the first in many months and I can’t leave Jedi behind as I have no idea how long we will be. Brandy is her new best friend so they can snuggle up in the kennel in the truck.

Be kind to each other and if you see a cat in need- please find a way to help it. Especially this time of year, there are so many of them hitting the ground that should have never been born-

Overnight Development

Early this morning when I had Ava in the bathroom doing the poopy thing, Ava just started screaming when the first stool appeared. It was fairly hard because unfortunately kitty formula does contain cow’s milk which leads to constipation issues in kittens.

Then I heard Marlow at the foot of the stairs answering her! I leaned out and could see Marlow and thought- “well let’s see what happens.”

I brought Ava to the screen door and set her down- grabbed a nearby towel (in case of attack of either me or Ava) and opened the door. Marlow darted down the stairs, roughly grabbed up her baby and raised up the stairs with baby in tow.

I followed and watched and Marlow brought Ava into the rest of the family and set about licking the scrud out of that kitten- probably to get rid of all the alien smells on her.

I then fetched Castaway and stood in front of the screen where Marlow was tending to the kittens. Castaway started to scream and Marlow didn’t even look up. I set the kitten on the stairs- brought my hand up to block so kitty wouldn’t tumble down and Marlow stayed put.
Well, I tried and when I woke up this morning, I checked on the family and Ava was fine nursing along with her brothers.

Not sure why this black kitty has been rejected- there has still been on poop appearing on the horizon even after using all my tricks. I will just keep going and pray for the best.

Google gets spayed today- then hopefully I can find her a loving home to go to.

Ava has also been left behind

I just went upstairs to check on the family and feed mom and noticed in the corner of the room- Ava! I picked her up and she was so cold. I tucked her into my blouse and brought her downstairs. She wasn’t moving much- I hadn’t been upstairs since 8:00- I gave her a bit of my coffee and some KARO and she is moving around now. I just fed her and put her in with Castaway. It is very telling to me that even when I put the two kittens together, they move apart rather than snuggling with each other. Either one of them is ill or they both are. I have them in a very small, heated cage now in the living room. Feeding them a mixture of baby food (turkey) and KMR. We will see how it goes.

I went to check on Marlow and she seems quite content with her 3 remaining kittens. They were all nursing and when I peeked my head into the cupboard, Mother hissed and swatted at me- but they look fine and healthy. Time will tell I guess as to what happens next.

I miss my Prowler girl. She was my orange polydactyl and she would accept any orphaned kitten or comfort the sick ones. I lost her over 7 years ago and miss her every day. :(

*Later note- I put pure vanilla extract on both kittens and now they are snuggling together. In my opinion, Ava looks quite sad in this photo-

a

The Rejection

Early this morning I woke up to a horrible screaming. It took me a minute to sort myself out but it was coming from upstairs. It sounded like Mom was hurting the kittens. I flew upstairs barefeet and all and went into the kitten room. Mom and the other kittens were gone and the only kitten left was the little black girl. Mom had moved in the middle of the night and left this one behind. I scooped her up and she was cold and trembling. I wasn’t even worried about mom at the moment. She had bit me earlier on my foot when I went upstairs without my sneakers on. I just brought the little one down and set her up in the living room with heat pad, and stuffies. Thankfully, I had the KMR on hand and I fed her and stimulated her and put her down. She cried herself to sleep.

I suspected this might happen. I was watching the family nurse yesterday and it looks like Mom only has 4 viable nipples left. This little one she left is the runt of the litter and she made a conscious choice on how to save the rest of her family sacrificing one in return.

She was located inside the large cupboard that leads upstairs- the rest of the kittens are fine.

Facelift for Cyclone’s Pad

Because Cyclone didn’t like to climb- his enclosure was pretty bare except for the couch and his warming shed- a large-insulated wooden box with baseboard heater. Yesterday, Mike and I went in and redid the room and now 4 cats are living there in style. We also gave them a catdoor to the outside world as well as their enclosed patio as all are semi-feral and to put them into one space for too long would cause conflict.

cp

A hiss and a head-bump

Marlow has changed things up now. I went up this morning to see how the family was doing and the minute she saw me in the room, she leaped over the barrier- head-bumped my ankles- hissed at me and jumped back with the family. At least she didn’t bite my ankles! LOL She devours the wet food- so the kittens have to be really sapping her. I will start feeding her early in the a.m. as well. Her last feeding at night has been 8:00 p.m. but apparently, she needs more early morning feedings. She has dry out all the time.

Here is her one girl Ava (short for Avalanche). In watching this wee one, when everyone (except her) has lined up to feed on mom, Ava climbs up on mom’s back, lays down and rolls down mom’s side dislodging her brothers and sisters from their nipples. Then she grabs the first available one she can. It’s hysterical to watch and well-planned. I have seen her do it several times now. If I had the right camera, I would put it on Youtube! LOL She may be the runt of the litter, but she is one smart cookie!

ava

The Gas Chamber Initiative-

Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia needs your help. He is about to bring about a bill banning the use of gas chambers in animal shelters nationwide. Please let your local shelters and rescue groups know about this bill-

The stats are staggering about how many dogs and cats and bunnies are gassed on a monthly basis, and for those with strong constitutions, you can find plenty of graphic photos about the disposal of the bodies on the web. But the atrocity of this standard practice is it isn’t an instant death by any means. It can take up to 5 minutes to 30 minutes for the animals to die, depending on how many animals are chosen that day.

Having worked at a dog pound years and years ago, it remains indelibly in my mind how those “chosen” cowered before the door that someone had painted a fire-engine red and others working there called the kill room. The animals knew what happened behind that door and not one went willingly. It was heartbreaking. So much so that I quit in the first two weeks of employment.

The needle is quicker, it is cheaper and it lends dignity to the animal who never had a choice about being born in the first place. Please send your emails and ask your pet-loving friends to spread the word to their local shelters and rescue groups to write about supporting this initiative to: d m marson (at) hotmail (dot) com

Please hurry- they need the support before Tuesday the 23rd!

Thank you- facebook it, tweet it- get more information about it on a friend’s blog here

Dusty’s blog

Sing Hallelujah! Our First Breakthrough

This morning, when I went upstairs to check on Marlow and her kittens, I decided to be sneaky and disarm her first with a neko fly toy. She played quite vigourously inside the closet with the toy, then I took the wonderful black sheet and picked her up in it. I carried her over to the couch and sat down with her in my lap. She allowed me to pet her for just a few minutes, and we had a bit of a talk.

I told her I understood that she was a very good protective mom, but that I was there to help her and not hurt her. I wanted to be a part of her life and not have her drive me away at every turn. I was no longer restraining her at that point, but I could feel her essence and she wanted to be with her babies, so I let her go. She went immediately to their side.

I took a can of cat food (need to go shopping later for cat food) I took a deep breath, made sure not to meet eye contact with kitty and put my hand down into her sacred place. I could sense she was watching me closely- but there was no hissing-spitting or swearing at me this time. I placed the food on the plate and backed away and she went to eat. YAY! Of course this will have to be done repeatedly before she will even allow me to come in and spend time with her and the kittens, but it is a big step because it tells me, she is not feral or she would have attacked me as I entered the room. She just wants to protect her babies and perhaps she had more of them in the past and something happened to them. One thing I have learned all these years working with strays. Cats hardly remember the good things we do to them, but then NEVER forget the bad.

mk

Never underestimate a protective mom!

She nailed me this morning, went right through the covering over her (as I was removing her food dish) and bit me right near the base of my thumb. I gathered her up in a soft blanket and deposited her into a nearby carrier so I could tend to my bite. Man she is quick, but I am grateful that she is with me and not the two elderly women who first found her.

I was able to examine the kittens and hold them a bit. The mackeral tabby has a stubby tail that I hope won’t be an issue for him as he gets older. It looks like (and it is way to early to tell) but we have 2 males and 3 females. The white kitties are both females (“I think!”) LOL I have been wrong before.

Changed out the bedding and put fresh food and water down inside new litterpan so the kitties can’t get into it and accidentally drown. Then I let mom back out of the carrier and she scrambled over the barrier to be back with her kittens while shooting me daggers with her eyes and watching me closely.

I will be using Mike’s grabber today to take anything out of that closet and let my hand have a chance to heal- can I just say OUCH? LOL And yes, I treated the wounds immediately and the right way.