Click photos to enlarge them.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tracie is Adopted

My previously-adopted cat, Tracie, that was dumped at the Maryland Heights branch of the Humane Society last Saturday (and I picked up Sunday) was adopted this Sunday afternoon.  A couple, Barb and Mark, called and wanted to see Ebony, my sweet, precious smaller black cat.  I allow prospective adopters to come to my house and see the cats in a home setting, just walking around and being themselves.  I know Ebony thinks this is her permanent home and there's absolutely no reason she needs to be friendly or nice to anyone else.  She was being a little devil and didn't want anything to do with them or me, scratched my neck and ran away.  Barb asked if I had anyone else.  My "she really is a sweet, loving cat" speech didn't work, even though she really is the sweetest cat I have.  I took her downstairs to Tracie's room and they fell in love with her.  Tracie just layed in their arms and let them pet her.  They have a cocker spaniel and wanted a dog-friendly cat.  I hadn't introduced her to Lucy, yet, so when I brought Lucy in the room, there was one little hiss and then nothing.  They also have a 24 lb. male Maine Coon cat, but in just a week, Tracie had only met one other cat.  One night I went in her room and was shocked to find Trish, a large brown tabby, in Tracie's room.  I was last in there that morning, and she must have slipped in when I went out, so they'd been together all day and I didn't hear a thing and there was no blood or tufts of hair in the room.  

Barb called me at 8:30 this morning to say Tracie was fitting into their family perfectly.  She and the male cat are licking each other and the dog is just fine, too.  The two sons also love her.  I think Tracie has finally found her forever home.  Barb and Mark seemed like the perfect couple.  Don't you love happy endings?  

This is the same picture as her earlier post, but I went back and found the picture of her with four of her five litter mates back in Aug or Sept of '09, when they were about 3 months old.  One kitten, Tori, had already been adopted.

From left to right they are Taylor, Trevor, Thomas, Trina, and Tracie, on the end.  The whole litter had the softest, silkiest fur I've ever felt.  And I have no idea how I got five kittens to sit all in a row like this. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fun Flower 9-Patch Quilts

I saw this in McCall's Quilting magazine, Jan-Feb '11 issue, HAD to have it and ordered the kit that day.  The fabric is the Fun Flower collection by Lakehouse Dry Goods.  The 57" sq. quilt was designed by Holly Holderman.   I love it!  It's like the fabric and quilt were designed just for me.  It's not quilted yet. I recently got a stitch regulator put on my Handiquilter longarm and will now be able to do some custom quilting on it instead of my usual all-over free motion. 
 Here's a close up of a corner so you can see the blocks.  The 9-patches were pieced, but the flowers are printed and cut from yardage.  The stripes and dots weren't printed straight at all, and I really had to work to cut the pieces crooked enough so the stripes and dots were straight.

With the beautiful leftover fabric, I designed and made a table runner.  I only had three of the large-printed flowers. I love how this turned out and wish I could use it on the table, but it would only be a cat bed. It just has basic stitch-in-the-ditch quilting done on my Bernina.  The thin pink border and the last black border were my own fabrics.   16"x37"

I still had fabric left over.  
The kit came with yardage for the borders, large flowers, and binding, but with 10" squares of the nine-patch fabrics.  I cut all the 10"squares into 2" squares and had lots of little squares left over.  I was tired of making 9-patches, so I made 4-patches and framed them in black. I found a multi-colored fabric that went very well as the alternate block, and a stripe that rocked.  I set it off with a half inch black border and 6 inches of hot pink.  It's an optical illusion that the black-framed blocks don't appear to be touching at the corners and are smaller than the solid alternate blocks.  Trust me, they're all the same 5" finished size.

This will be a little girl's baby quilt for the next one born into the family.  I've never had a baby quilt done ahead of time, before.  I like it.   47" x 57"  I'd like to get a little boy quilt made up next for my nephew.

This quilt took 32 black-framed blocks. I still have 22 black-framed blocks left, and am planning to use a white with multi-colored dots in it for the alternate block for a very graphic look.  Just to change it up a little.  It'll have a smaller center and will need an extra border or two.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tracie, the Returned Cat

What a weekend I had.  Friday I took Mom to a doctor's appointment and cleaned and cooked for a quilt group meeting at my house Saturday morning, and for a family birthday party for my mom at 2pm on Sunday.

Saturday evening I got a call that one of the cats that I raised from 5 weeks of age and adopted out 1.5 years ago was dumped at a humane society branch in the next county.  The idiot adopters think we won't find out when they do that, but don't remember that all of our cats are microchipped, registered to Heartland, and we get notified.  Duh!  This is my third return, and all were dumped in the next county by people living in this county. 

Tracie was returned for supposedly peeing outside the box, eating furniture, and destroying the house.  I called the adopter.  Her mom said her daughter gave Tracie to a coworker last fall to rehabilitate.  It was the coworker that dumped her 4 months later.  The only room I had available was one vacated a couple weeks ago by 6 cats I'd kept for 4 months for a friend who was told by animal control she had 24 hours to get rid of all but 2 of her animals in the apartment.  She had 7 cats, a rabbit and a dog. I spent two hours cleaning the room Sunday morning since it was such a mess, I just couldn't deal with it before I had to.  More hair in a month than you could imagine, stuffing pulled out of the recliner, and they somehow figured out how to open the cabinet doors from the top platform of the cat tree, shred two rolls of paper towels and then close the door behind them.  All the cats were so good, though, it was fun to have them.  They're now in their mom and dad's new house.

I left the house at noon.  When I got to the humane society and told the lady why I was there, there were whispers and strange looks exchanged among the employees.  The lady even came around and sat by me in the waiting area.  Now, I was really worried.  Seems "Diamond," as Tracie was renamed, was not a happy camper and was letting everyone know.  Nobody wanted to get her out of the cage and into my carrier!  I went back with the lady to the cages.  The girls couldn't find a net, but they did bring elbow-length leather gloves and a fake hand on a stick.  I had put my finger up to the cage while they were getting their props and Tracie seemed fine and sniffed and licked me.  She was okay when they touched her with the fake hand, so glove girl reached in, grabbed her and put her in the carrier without any problems.  Not quite the banshee I was expecting.  She was fine all the way home.  When I opened the carrier door to her pristine and quiet room, I didn't know if she'd attack me or what, but she just stayed in the carrier.  I opened a can of food, and heard my company arrive for Mom's 82nd birthday party.  I'd picked her up on my way home.  Never did get my shower or hair washed, but, hey, it was just my family.  Got down there once mid-party to check on her and she gave me a little sassy meow and went behind the chair. After everybody left, I went down and Tracie was laying on the recliner (which I had covered with a sheet).  I gave her the other half can of food and scooped a pee ball out of the litter box.  No smell of urine anywhere else.  She seemed perfectly fine, but I didn't try to pet her, just talked to her.  At 10pm I took my Kindle in and read in the recliner for 45 minutes while she layed on the cat tree. 

She's just beautiful.  A medium-haired, mostly white, diluted calico.  It's possible she was just stressed out from the dogs at both houses, and who-knows-what-else. She goes in for a vet checkup tomorrow.  Monday I picked her up and held her when she came over and rubbed on my hand, and she was perfectly fine when I clipped four matted balls of fur from her neck.  She's only gone in the litter box and hasn't eaten a single piece of furniture.  Here is my "wild, destructive, misbehaving" cat.
Isn't she gorgeous?  Beautifully marked and a full plume of a tail.  And so sweet, too.  She layed on the recliner with me last night while I read.  I don't think I'll have her very long at all. She's had all four paws declawed, is spayed AND MICROCHIPPED.  Added Thurs:  Tracie tested negative for feline leukemia and aids today.  Ears, heart, lungs are good.  Not enough urine to test for an infection, so I've been squirting water in her mouth tonight and will continue in the morning before her test.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Brooke, Cooper, and Kittens

Sunday my sister, Karen, and extended family came over for Mom's birthday.  Brooke, her daughter, and Cooper, her grandson, couldn't get enough of the kittens.  Her son's wife has already picked one out, but only in her dreams.  Their life is full with jobs and two kids.  Maybe one day, Emma.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sprinkles' Babies at 3 Weeks

I cut the door in the birthing box all the way to the floor yesterday so everybody can get out, walk around and build their muscles.  Litter box training also started.  That's their little box on the right.  I found them at Walmart for a few dollars and bought four.  They're perfect for the babies.

The babies are getting bigger and drinking more milk, and Sprinkles has been spending more and more time outside the birthing box lately.  She'll go in the box to nurse, then come out and lay on the floor.  She's been a very quiet cat, but I swear that when I was cutting the door open yesterday she was squawking at me.  I really think she was wondering what the hell I was doing.  Why was I letting her babies out and how was she going to have any peace and quiet, now?!  Her expression was something like this one.  In order to give her some breathing space, I used a box to block off the doorway so she can easily jump over it and be in the bedroom.  She likes to lay on the bed and look out the window.

 This is a pile of gray kittens.  Five are in the bed.  All have different colored Velcro collars so I can tell them apart when I weight them every morning.  It's also good to know who's the friendly one, who's using the litter box, who's more playful, stuff like that.  That's hard to do with 6 gray kittens.  Sprinkles has been the best mom.  Her babies are all at or above average weight for their age, and all have nice, full bellies.

There is now officially more kitten weight than mama weight.  The kittens are all a pound or slightly more, and mama weighs about 5.5 pounds.  She's so small, but she obviously is producing enough milk for all six babies.  I do give her at least 4 small cans of Fancy Feast a day, plus 1/3 c of formula and as much dry food as she wants.  And she's not getting fat. 

Mom was laying on the bed, so I got two kittens and tried to get some good photo ops.  Not everyone cooperated, but little Orange got a hug, and Blue managed to not fall off the bed.

The Kitten Nursery

Last December I knew it was time for a designated kitten nursery.  I needed to take up the carpet in one of the bedroom closets, and put down vinyl for obvious reasons.  The first picture is after the carpet was taken up exposing the plywood flooring.  When I laid the vinyl over the plywood, I could see the grain and depressions of the wood showing in the vinyl.  Not acceptable, even in a kitten closet.  I needed just a little something to fill in the depressions.  Something like batting.  I ran downstairs and cut a length of thin Hobbs 80/20 batting (only quilters will know what this is), laid it down, smoothed and trimmed to size, then laid the vinyl over that.  No glue for the babies, but it worked perfectly.  Just a little cushion and probably a little warmth.

The second picture is with the vinyl down and quarter round along the baseboard.  It was the lightest and smoothest that Lowes had.  The closet looks much narrower in the picture than it really is.
 This is the current room.  Two sets of shelves hold almost all of my foster supplies like towels, sheets, food, dishes, meds, collars, cleaning supplies and paperwork.  The shelves are blocked off at the bottom with cardboard so the babies can't get stuck anywhere.  The cardboard box and green towel on the right is the birthing box.  Sprinkles and babies are in the green cat bed on the left.  Food and litter boxes round out the necessities.  I love it.  Messes can be cleaned up easily.  There's a broom and dustpan just inside the door so litter can be swept up quickly.