Surro-Kitty Thoughts

The following comes from my foster mom Karen who is bottle feeding 9 at this time for us. I haven’t seen Surro-Kitty in action and it sounds like it needs to be beta tested on a more extensive basis to get the bugs out.

At any rate, here are Karen’s thoughts on the subject:

 

So… SURRO-KITTY!

 

This product is going to be a hit with larger rescues who take in a lot of teenie beenies. My four older ones had no interest at all – probably because they have lost the “rooting” stage. The four I have that are a week old show interest and have used it. However…

 

There are some procedural issues and some design flaws:

Procedural issues:

It is time consuming to set it up – fill the bottles, heat the bottles, pre-heat the pad. large surface to place it and be able to work with it (it needs a place big enough to set up permanently)

Then afterward: disassembling, cleaning bottles, cleaning fur (problematic), drying fur, etc.

By the time all the clean up is done it is almost time to start setting up for the next 2 to 2-1/2 hour feeding (no sleep allowed)

Design issues:

 

They put fake legs and tail on it but no head. Just leave the legs and tail off – not needed. It kind of freaks the older cats out when it is just laying on the table with no head.

The velcro on the bottles does not hold if you don’t get it attached just perfect.

The bottle nipples are all cut differently (ok really) but difficult if kittens are used to using the same nipple cut all the time. (a couple of the nipples are not cut)

Turning the Surro-Kitty on its side to feed (to get milk to flow through the nipple is problematic if the nipples leak a bit.  Messy. It also has to be propped up to keep it from rolling and disturbing the kittens as they find their way with it.

Constant supervision for the babies to keep them near and at the nipples to feed.  (takes at least 20 to 30 minutes to get them fully fed instead of the 10 to 15 by hand.

 

Suggestions:

 

Is it machine washable?  - possibly put a removable/replaceable cover over the base unit to save wear and tear on the complete unit.

Use vacuum bags (like platex baby bottles) for the milk so it can be sucked up at any angle.

Leave off the appendages – not useful and get in the way

Use snaps instead of velcro for the closing. No worries about keeping fur out of velcro, or making sure it is exactly placed (especially when you have screaming kittens)

Offer a selection of types of nipples – long, short, round, pointy, etc

add a feature to keep it from tipping/rolling

That’s pretty much what I have come up with so far.  I believe it is going to be a hit once it is thoroughly beta tested and openly marketed. Especially for facilities like PAWS in Sherwood.

 

Ebby’s Babies are Growing Rapidly

Ebby’s babies are too cute for school! I went and visited them today but we couldn’t test drive surro-kitty because of the storm and power outages. We were out 18 hours without power. Mike was stuck in his lift chair most of the day- poor man. He’s out now.

Enjoy Ebby’s babies:

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Also here is one of the construction kittens-

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Last one, picking up donations in 35 mph winds!

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Requesting Prayers for Hanna

Hanna, the sweet 11 year old mackerel tabby who survived one bout of skin cancer, is back at the vet this morning. When I was petting her earlier, I felt another mass growing off her shoulder on the same side as the other mass that was taken off. I ran her in as a drop-off because today is a mike appointment day and I will be gone with him as they start to carve on his legs and find some answers. Please pray for Hanna. She did nothing to deserve this other than being owned by someone who is a complete ass. Because he kept her unprotected from the elements in that cage- I fear her cancer has come back with a vengenance. I hope I am wrong and this is just swollen lymph nodes- but I don’t think it is.

Getting ready to head out with Mike and the vet has called. The news is not good. The mass is deeper than the initial mass before it. They put a needle into it and it is a sacroid  tumor. They aren’t sure about removing it because it is close to the jugular vein which means that they can’t compromise the blood vessels and possibly get it all.  My gut instinct is telling me to let her go to the Bridge, but they want to do one thing first and take a film and see if her lungs are involved.

I am not a hard-hearted rescuer but sometimes, you just have to make some tough choices and this is one of those times. If they try to remove it- and can’t get it all, when it comes back it will do so with a vengenance and then Hanna’s goose is cooked. I have seen it before in cats and it is heartbreaking. I don’t want her to deal with that type of pain and stress. I just authorized that she is to go to the Bridge- dammit all anyway!

Godspeed Hanna~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Catching Up, or Catching a Breath

We are now sitting at 9 bottle babies- all in one foster home. (Thank You God)

Ebby’s babies are so fat and sassy and healthy!  They look like little butterballs in the videos sent. I am meeting up with all of them on Friday, I will meet the other five- these are just a few weeks old- mom is still being trapped. There is a torbie, a tortie, a calico, a mack tabby or two. They were found in a construction site underground in some broken rock. They were sent immediately to my foster bottle feeder and I will do their intake on Friday when I go over there.

I am so blessed to have this blog and those of you who stay here and wade through the madness. When my day threatens to overwhelm me, I know I can come here and just get it off my shoulders and go forward. I know you care even my silent lurkers who let me know privately that this blog is required reading for them LOL It just touches me.

Because of one of you, I received a package yesterday in the mail. Surro Kitty has arrived! I spoke of this invention over a month ago and my desire to actually possess one and I was going to once again ask for funds to buy one as they are not cheap. when one of you stepped up and offered to buy the whole kit! Thank you so many kittens will be saved, provided this works as promised.

It is made of fake fur, wood, and ingenuity. If it performs as promised it has the capability of simultaneously nursing, warming and stimulating 10 kittens! Imagine that, you unroll the surro kitty, you lay the kittens in their pre-designated rows tuck them down with the velco seat belts. Turn the unit on for warmth for the kittens as well as warming up the bottles that you have already filled and put in their spots. Then you carefully roll the “tummy” towards the waiting kittens until they latch on to the nipples. I amnot sure, because one thing it did not come with are the instructions- but I think, it also vibrates gently to help the kittens eliminate after eating. The one thing it does not do (that I know of) is purr! But maybe it does, I will let you know after Friday when 9 bottle babies test drive it.

Nine more kittens, means 9 more soon to be teenagers and so I really need to concentrate and find homes for Hanna, Delilah, Quinn, Poe, Twist and Ebby. Because once these kittens are spayed/neutered they are past the “adorable kitten stage” at least according to the mass majority of people who call here wanting kittens. If they are 3 months old- dontcha know, they aren’t considered kittens. So as they get older it is harder to find them homes. Everybody wants one when they can put that kitten into the palm of their hand- but they don’t leave her until they are fixed no matter who asks.

Ebby will go into spayed on Thursday and then go to her hopefully forever home. The woman is a friend of mine and she has 10 cats on her farm. But I know her and although she said she will temporarily foster Ebby until I can rehome her- I think she will quickly fall in love. When I took Ebby into the house for the first time two days ago, she was running up to every cat here eagerly wanting to be friends. But my core kitties who are in the house, they weren’t impressed and I had to put Ebby back into the enclosure by herself. Her and Hanna were going to tango big time.

The three toms will not go into a trap- so I will have to pull out my drop trap and try that. Let you know if it works. One day at a time, one breath at a time that’s how we get through it.

On the Mike Front, he is still plagued with reoccurring leg ulcers. He goes to advanced wound care once a week, except this week, he will go twice as they are trying new things with him in the hopes of getting his leg healthier. His leg was in so much pain last week and he was out of pain pills- they work on his leg every week an average of 2-3hours. He couldn’t even function, so I went into one of the Growing Green Pharmacies and bought some recreational weed in the form of an ointment with 21% THC. Without telling him what the ointment was, I slathered it all over his leg. In under an hour, the stinging, burning pain was gone for him as were the nerve twitches which lately have been non-stop throughout the day hitting him whenever a wave of pain came over him. he slept for 14 hours after that application. It’s legal here, but while in that store, I felt like I was breaking the law. Hard to move out of the 70′s I guess. I told the woman when I was buying it, why I was buying it and how I felt like I was doing something wrong. I told her I was stuck in the 70′s so what did she do? She went over the sound system and played Tower of Power! LOL  Then she came over to where I was and asked me if I felt better. :)

I told the doctor today that I was using it on Mike and he was all for it which surprised me. But he said, he knows first hand that it works because he has patients that have kicked some pretty heavy duty narcotic pain pills by going to pot to ease their pain. Mike refuses to smoke any which would ease his pain faster. but his dad died from lung cancer and Mike was at his side through it all. Mike’s dad was the first commercial pilot for Alaska Airlines back in the day and he would be so stressed he smoked like a chimney. Before he died, he had Mike promise never to smoke anything or chew tobacco and Mike is going to keep that promise- so the ointment is how we are proceeding. he told his sons that I’m getting his leg stoned. I will say, I wish I had brought some to his appointment. They worked on his leg and they put lidocaine on it but it didn’t help. They really hurt him and the salve would have really helped him out. So right now he is asleep (I baked him some sugarless brownies don’t ya know) and he finally drifted off to sleep to be away from the pain.

It’s Probably Just a Coincidence!

Yesterday, I was collecting monies from my donation boxes around town. At one market, this woman (she looked like a church lady) dressed nicely in dress and heels, asked if she could talk to me for a minute. Turns out, she has 3 tomcats that are fighting with her 4 females (all spayed) she wanted me to come out immediately and get the toms and take them away. I told her I can’t do that. I can trap them for her, get them neutered but there are no homes for these cats- and these are all mackerel tabbies, very hard to rehome.

Then she started talking to me about the way that stray cats are treated- she bought me a cup of coffee and we sat down and we chatted. During this campaign she asked where I lived. I normally don’t tell people right where I live, but she disarmed me and I told her. She gave me $40.00 for the CATS and told me I was a true angel to strays. I should of known-

Lo and behold, this morning, I go outside and discover large piles of white fur by the shop. I look for signs of blood, broken claws teeth- anything nothing just top fur not even undercoat.

So I just start feeding and I hear growling underneath the shop so I grab a flashlight look underneath and see what are the odds? Three mackerel tabby toms glaring at me. I know they are toms because they are chubby cheeked and it smells like cat pee under there in the worst way!

Mike said, I should have told her when she asked me where I lived: “You know where the narrows are? Well in those hills, there’s a road. You turn on that road, and you go out through the pucker brush, around the blackberries, watch out for the trains at the railroad crossing, but you just keep going until you come to the river. Then you cross the river if you can- follow the road until it doesn’t go anywhere. Our farm is right there! LOL  I wish I was quick-thinking like he is, but I happen to trust people and that gets me into so much trouble.

I do have news for her though. Because our vet debt is now at $534.00 the $40.00 is not going to touch the testing, neutering and caring for the three tomcats. At best, it pays for one test on one male and that’s it. Next time, I will take Mike’s idea and run with it, being careful to get them on a road I know that dead-ends at the river and you CAN’T go any farther.

 

God gave me a Gift this morning…

A little over 8 years ago, in the midst of a thunderstorm here at the house, I opened the back door to let the dog in and a kitten screamed through! He was soaking wet- Mike called him a hissing sponge! LOL  He was in the house for 9 days before I was able to put my hands on him and take him and get him neutered. We called him MK for Mystery Kitty. He lived in a semi-feral state in the house until about 5 years ago when during the delivery of medical equipment he got outside. he is beautiful, he is striking, he is a long-hair tuxedo boy with white chest, white belly and a white stripe down his back leg. I have NEVER been able to touch him since he went outside. I see him in the patio enclosure but he bolts out the exit the first thing when I come in to feed. I never pushed contact with him. My husband was falling ill and my time was taken up with all of that.

This morning, he was in the patio enclosure, but this time, he didn’t bolt. He meowed at me, which concerned me. I had never heard him meow before. He was right in front of me and fearing he had been in a fight (there’s a new dumped tomcat on the property) I reached down to pet him and he let me! I pet him all over, then steadied my breath and PICKED HIM UP! You have no idea what that felt like. He is in good weight, he let me hold him and explore for anything amiss for a good 5 minutes then he wanted down. I thought “Wow, Thank You God, I really needed this right now, the confirmation that I am doing the right thing for these cats.” So I thought, let me go in and grab some Revolution and see if I can for the first time put flea stuff on him. I came back, uncapped the medicine and he fled! But what a glorious 5 minutes of bonding time with him I had.

With all this craziness recently and two deaths right on top of each other my life was kind of spinning off center. For 5 minutes God reached down and made it all right again.

Update on Ebby- turns out it was not mastitis, but she has lost the inability to produce milk even though she has so much of it. The vet said that recently someone must have taken her away from the babies for a few days, or taken the babies away from her causing this painful condition. Then they brought the kittens back to her, but it was to late. Or she just left them for whatever reason as she was a barn cat. Who knows what happened to her. She is on 7 days of antibiotics, 4 days of pain relief and anti-inflammatories (I spelled that wrong sorry). I am to give her warm compresses twice a day which she loves. I got a video of the babies yesterday. They are so adorable. Mom tested negative, so the babies are good to go and hopefully will go on to lead long, healthy lives. I’ll get them back at 2 months and get them spayed and into homes. Karen the foster mom has named them Eeenie, Meenie, Minie, and Mo. LOL  They are bringing her great delight and I am proud to say she is known in this county as being the number one bottle baby feeder. usually she is full up but I caught her at a good time. She loves bottle babies. I do too, but right now, I can’t give them the time they need to thrive.

I just opened up my emails. Two waiting there from that boyfriend- I sent him a reply and asked him to please just leave me alone from here on in. I told him I just need to move past this whole weird mess. I didn’t say this to him in the email but if I do hear from him again, I will consider pressing charges for harassment.

Requesting Prayers for Ebby

Ebby which is the name I have given the kittens mom is in a bad way. Initially when she came here and she was inside the carrier with her babies, she was screaming and swatting and we were afraid the kittens were going to be harmed so we let her out hoping it was the carrier upsetting this barn cat. We tried four different times to introduce her to her family and she went into full feral state each time including once when she ran out of hiding grabbed the black kitty and flung it! Thankfully she landed in straw and she is fine.

So kittens went immediately into foster care and I kept mom. I gave her 24 hours to decompress and when I came back to check on her she appeared calm but once I tried to initiate contact- full feralness returned. It was only yesterday, that she finally allowed me to pet her and I was so alarmed to see she has mastitis! No wonder she was trying to kill her babies and anyone else who wanted to handle her.

She was non-stop crying (still is) initially I thought it was because she was in heat from being put into mourning for not having her babies, but now I am convinced that she is in great pain. The reason I think this- is I put her immediately on Baytril and started warm compresses on her belly. Because of her volatile nature, I took large hand towels, soaked them in warm water and nuked the towels for about a minute. By the time I would get the enclosure where she is, the towels were just the right temperature. I wrapped the towel underneath her belly and kind of engulfed all of her into the towel and just held her. That is the only time, she doesn’t cry. :( I am waiting for the vet to open so I can rush her in. She didn’t have a fever so I didn’t take her to the emergency vet- she is subnormal though hanging about 99.8 pretty consistently. I hope they can help her- when I was able to express her breast- congealed nasty stringy milk came out. Looks like only one breast is not hardened and sore- :( She is just a little black kitty owned by someone who could give a rip how many kittens she produced. I hope they spay her today. I hope they save her life.

Regarding my “Stiff Drink Post”

This morning I went into town and I saw a squad car at the coffee booth so I parked and went up the officer and asked him that when he was through could I talk to him about something?

When he came over, I started telling him about the phone call of the lost cat and then the cat being found dead in Foster Lake. The officer turned out to be the arresting officer the night of the fight. He kind of held up his hands and said- whoa, the cat was found in Foster Lake! I said, “that’s what the guy told me and he sent me a picture of a cat that drowned, only the cat hadn’t drowned.” The officer said, no, the cat was not a drowning victim, the night of the call with all the noise, sirens, lights the cat did out and ran across the highway and got hit by a car. The man is a psychotic liar and he is trying to get his girlfriend arrested by claiming she killed the cat, when everyone there saw what happened. Matter of fact the man went ballistic when the cat got hit. The cat died instantly!

I told the cop about the 32 emails, 17 text messages and phone calls and he said if the guy contacts me again, I am to call the police immediately and they will arrest him for harassment! He told me to make a file and save everything just in case, but right now the guy is in jail because he hit his girlfriend. The officer said they know him well and he likes to play mind games…well, I guess he played me!

New Arrivals Amid the Madness!

These babies came yesterday. The queen was trying to kill them because she had been a barn cat for a LOT of years without being spayed and I think she’s just HAD IT! So  these kittens are now required to depend on humans to keep their lives going.

Here they are, and right now, they are in foster care 3 girls 1 boy

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You Might Need a Stiff Drink for this One

I am not sure about putting this on the blog, because I doubt people would believe me. I’m having a hard time believing it myself. But I just need to get it out and get it done with, out of my head and move on and the best way for me to do that is to just write about it. So here goes. Please know before I dump this load that I can\t still see replies here-working on the why of that- but this is for me. This unbelievable story is for me to be able to move past and move on. I will warn you at the end, it will get a bit graphic in description- sigh…okay here we go-

Two days ago, the phone rings a man is upset. He told me he lost his cat. An 8 year old tuxedo which he called a bit obese. I started asking the obvious questions- how did the cat get lost- how long has the cat been gone- has the cat ever gotten out before and then he started sobbing and told me that he had had a huge fight with his girlfriend of 6 years. The fight centered around her jealousy of the cat (right there my red flag is up) claiming he loved the cat more than her. The fight escalated, the police were called, he was told to leave or be arrested, so he left- he walked into town to cool his jets.

When he came back, he found his car packed with all his stuff- plus the litter box, kitty litter, food, bed, scratching post but no cat (another flag raises) he asks where the cat is- was told “the cat got out.” He wanted to know if I had his cat. Said he figured his girlfriend would turn her into a shelter. I told him I am not a shelter and that if the fight centered around the cat, I would bet she wouldn’t turn into the shelter, because you have to pay the shelter to take it. I told him that I suspected she harmed the cat. He hung up on me and called back later and apologized and said I upset him.

We talked, I asked him to send me a photo which he did and holy cow this cat had to weigh 30 pounds easy. No way would a cat that fat be able to run anywhere! At his request as he didn’t have his computer, I posted on lost pets. He was offering a $150.00 reward. I posted the cross streets and there are people in our town that are so wonderful they sit on this page and go look for the missing pets. So I started getting private messages asking for the exact address which I gave privately.

One woman went there immediately and started looking in the woods behind the apartments for the cat. It was getting dark and starting to rain and she left to run an errand and pick up her granddaughter. And her granddaughter said when she heard the story Grandma let’s go back and look for kitty it’s getting dark and kitty is probably scared. So they went back.

When they drove down the half road that led to the woods, someone had dumped a huge pile of cat food in the road. Not on the side, or by the curb or in the grass but on the road, so they kicked it off to the grass and laid out food in the woods.

As they were leaving this woman came out of the apartment and she was wearing a hoody and she was lugging a wagon full of boulders- not rocks big boulders. Now it’s around 6:30 at night, the trail (which I was on this morning) is muddy and deep with flooded puddles, not an easy task to lug anything anywhere) but I am getting  ahead of myself. In the pouring rain this woman was lugging these huge boulders down the muddy trail. As she passed the car, my friend rolled down the window and said “Excuse Me?” She said the woman turned but didn’t say a word, just glared at here, so then she said “Have you seen a overweight tuxedo kitty with a white belly?”

The woman snarled “Who sent you?” Taken aback, she explained she’d seen the post on FB and was just trying to help.

Then she said the woman just growled and said “I can’t help  you!” and continued off into the woods with the boulders.

I knew right then that the cat didn’t get out. You do what I do and see what I see and you get a sense you wish you never had and you know. I told my friend to leave immediately. She wanted to go back in the morning, and I told her no. She wouldn’t let up, so I told her I would go in the morning, and I look for these boulders. :(

So 6:00 in the morning, I am on the trail with Cooper and a friend who met me there and we were just going to pretend to take the dogs for a run. I knew if there was a cat on the trail or off rain or not Cooper would find it. We searched for 2 hours no cat, no boulders just a raging creek we couldn’t get through or see up or down to look if there were boulders. We were soaked to the skin and cold and we just wanted to go home.

When we got to our vehicles, we noticed this woman watching us from the apartment the fight had been. She had a big dog with her and she was reading, but she was watching. So I wave my arms shout “Good morning!” Dead Silence. My friend tries “I like your dog!” Dead silence just a glared glared. We got out of there. I told Chris we aren’t doing this- there are some people you stay away from, Promise me you won’t come back. She promised.While all this is going on the boyfriend is flooding my in box with emails, he’s calling 27 friggin emails. I told him I thought she had killed the cat. I’m pretty direct and at that point tired of all the emails.

I had to go out and pick up some kittens today and when I

got home there were about 15 more emails from the guy. The last one- said he had found the cat drowned at the local lake. But for pity’s sake, he had put in the main email a picture of this cat dead. I just lost it- I already had Turner in my head and now I have this cat that had been terribly I don’t want to even go into that in my head. I told the guy he is a sick man and I hope he gets help soon. Who does that? God-

Then I went on FB and posted he had found the cat the cat was deceased and thanked those who went to look. And that blew up to people accusing me of perpetuating a hoax? So I blew up and I told them a few things, but I also told that he was going to the police and filing a report- but it won’t go anywhere. He’d already buried the cat and you have to keep them on ice in order to do a necropsy plus he has to prove she did it. I told them it was his fight and NO I was not going to release his, name her name, their address of send the photo of the dead cat (that so many people wanted!) to anyone unless a police officer told me otherwise. Then I turned off my computer and just broke down and sobbed for that poor kitty who deserved so much better than she got.

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