Click photos to enlarge them.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Minnie and Kittens, Disappearing Act

Minnie's kittens are 8 weeks old now and are just the most adorable, sweetest, cutest kittens ever.  They're also pretty smart for their age.  I went in their room a few nights ago and only counted three kittens out of five.  I looked in the closet and in the room.  There's not too many places to hide since the furniture and the bed are boarded up at the bottom.  I was completely stumped.  Then I heard scratching from under the bed.  Impossible!  Although they're kittens, they're big for their age at 2.5 pounds, and mom and I keep them quite well fed.  So, I thought there's no way anyone could be under the bed.  I moved the night stand away, got a flashlight, and saw a kitten in the gap by the headboard. 
I thought I had the night stand pushed up close enough to the bed.  Obviously not.
 When I called, one squeezed out next to the box springs - which is neither a box with solid corners nor has springs.  It may look a little strange because I have a fitted sheet over it for added protection from kittens.

 After the second one came out, I moved the night stand back, took another head count and came up with four. 

Moved the night stand away, and two more kittens came out!  Wait a minute.  Had four, got two more, that's six. 
  The little devils were coming out on the right side, running around the bottom of the bed and going back in on the other side.  It was like clowns coming out of the little car at the circus. 
 Using what I had at hand, I plugged the hole on the left with an extra pillow.  So far, so good. Max got in a couple times, but not the third time.
 On the right side, I used a rolled up towel for the corner, and slid a plastic tub lid down the side of the night stand to fill in the 1.5" of space that's evidently enough for a kitten to squeeze through.

It's been several days now and the head count has always totaled five.  I've always said it's hard to be smarter than a kitten.

These are the culprits. Max and Scotty are the only males.






Jules and Fiona

The kittens were so tired from all the running.  From the top are Max, Fiona, Mila, Jules, and Scotty.  Nobody was posed.  They did this all on their own.


Beautiful mom, Minnie, was watching her babies play.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Minnie and Kittens

A couple weeks ago, Tami, Minnie's finder, rescuer and eventual foster mom, came to visit Minnie and her five 5-week-old kittens.  She had a ball playing with them, and they with her. Tami wore a long knit dress that made a wonderful bed when she sat on the floor.  Fiona slept there for a long time.  Current pictures coming soon.
Tami with Fiona

Fiona, Mila, Scotty, and Max with Mom.

Mila and Scotty on Minnie.
 Scotty and Jules were fascinated by Tami's purse.

 Mila had to see what all the interest was about.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cats Just Hangin' on the Deck

A few weeks ago when we had that day and a half of spring, the cats and I spent a lot of time on the deck.  I was reading, and they were doing even less than that. In no particular order are:

Lilly and Amy
 Lilly and Amy are doing what Lilly and Amy do best.

Ebony and Lilly

Lucy has several of my daughter's stuffed animals that she has adopted as her own.  She carries them around all over the house and greets people at the door with them - after she has charged at the glass door barking in attack mode and jumped on said glass door, still barking.  It's no wonder the delivery men practically throw my packages onto the porch.  But, once you're inside the house, you're her best friend and are only there to play with her.  Even the good dogs have their issues.

Buster and Daisy

I went in to get the camera and lost my lounge chair in two seconds.  Ebony is my very favorite foster.  She is just the sweetest cat EVER. She would love it if I just held her all day long.  Lilly is in the background.

Xena certainly lives up to her name.  She's fearless, will try anything, and will be the first to do it.  I can't believe she hasn't tried to see how long it would take her to fall to the ground - and be faster than anyone else trying it.

Buster isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he's a sweetie.  And he loves me, but not as much as he loves Lucy.  You should see him rubbing on her.  It's so embarrassing for Lucy, she gets up and moves.   Daisy is Lilly's sister, but is a little shy.  She has the same gorgeous orange and gray tortie coat.

Amy is a sweetie, too.  She always comes over to give us rubs. She's always in the kitchen if I'm in there.  Well, everyone's in the kitchen if I'm in there.  They're all hoping for drops, spills, and handouts.  Lilly has learned she can grab four or five bites of my granola in the morning before I get the blueberries and milk on it.

Part of Amy's bottom lip is missing, so all her pictures look like she's smiling. She's a gorgeous cat, too.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Silly Lilly

Xena and Buster
Besides all the foster cats, I have three of my own.  I adopted brother and sister kittens a few years ago from Heartland and named them Buster and Xena.  Buster was named after my favorite rabbit I had years ago.  A friendly, adorable Himalayan dwarf that was a house rabbit.  Xena was named after Xena, Warrior Princess.  Even as a kitten, she would walk around the house looking up at a shelf or counter, and you could hear her thinking, "How can I make it up there?"  She would spend hours figuring out how to get in places our other cat never thought about. I told her if she didn't quit that, her neck was going stay in that position.  I made it about two and a half years without adopting any of my fosters myself before I succumbed and became a failed foster mom. 

All because of this super-sweet orange and gray tortie that lived only to be held in my arms 24/7.  No way could I allow anyone else to adopt this little girl.  Lilly greets everybody and has never met a stranger.  Anyone sitting at the kitchen table will have Lilly sprawled in front of them, on her back, demanding to be petted.  When I do a home adoption, Lilly will lay down on top of the adoption papers they're trying to fill out.  I tell them they'll have to excuse Lilly, she's a little shy.

The other day I was talking to John on the phone, looked up and saw Lilly lounging on the top of the canopy covering the deck.  OMG!  I told him he wouldn't believe where Lilly was.  He said he probably would.  He said take pictures, which I did, and emailed them to him at work.

We have a walk-out lower level, so the deck off the kitchen is 12 feet off the ground.  The cats love to go out on the deck.  They walk around on top of the railing, but nobody has ever gone over.  Kittens have to be 3 months old to get on the deck.  It's their favorite place to be.  It's also my favorite place to be - when it's below 75 and above 55 degrees.  Me, my lounge chair, my Kindle, my cats, and a chocolate martini.  Life really doesn't get any better.  Everybody rushes out when I ask, "Anybody want to go outside?"  Of course, getting them back in requires lots of cat treat tossed on the floor with me shouting Cookies! cookies! They're really hating the heat wave we have now.  Nobody gets out there when it's in the 90's. 


I don't know how Lilly got up there, but I didn't want her to try to get down by herself.  She was quite comfortable and had no desire to be anywhere else.  I stood on a kitchen chair and pushed her fat butt up from the underneath of the canopy to get it over the frame.  Like lifting a 10-pound plastic bag of jello.  We've had the frame and canopy about 8 years, and this is the first time a cat has gotten on top of it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Brooke, Callie, Zach and Cody

My niece, Brooke, who has been featured several times before, has always loved coming to my house so she can hold and cuddle kittens - and see her aunt, of course.  She's longed for a kitten of her own for years, but her father has said no.  This spring a stray cat had kittens under their wood pile.  A couple weeks ago, they managed to trap all five kittens, and her father said she could keep one.  She picked out the calico and named her Callie.  They found homes for two others, and I picked up the last two for Heartland a couple weeks ago. My sister sent me these photos tonight.  The family has recently gotten back from a vacation to Gulf Shores and Brooke is catching up on her sleep.  Callie didn't go with them, but she looks pretty tired, too.  I'm so happy for Brooke that she finally has a kitten of her own to love.  The first photo may have been taken before their vacation.  Callie looks a lot bigger in the second one.  I could start a side bar page of pictures of Brooke and Callie sleeping together.

These are Callie's brothers, Zach and Cody.  My nephew wanted one named after him and picked out the lighter one.  These are feral kittens, but are warming up to me nicely.  They don't lay on me like Callie does with Brooke, but I can't spend hours every day with them, either.  They get their neuter/testing/shots package Friday and will be let out of their room if everything is okay.  They'll also go to adoptions on Saturday.  Adoptions have been very slow lately, but how can you resist these little guys?  If they come back home with me, they'll be let out into the house and can play with everyone, and Lucy can play with them.  The top two are of Zach.  The bottom two are of Cody.

Swimmer Kittens from Warrenton

The two kittens in my last post have turned out to be what is called "swimmer" kittens.  Their muscles aren't working very well and their legs are straight out from their body when they walked and it looks like they're swimming.  They walk more like turtles than kittens.  I was pretty upset when I took them to the vet and expected the worse.  Marcy, our great vet, said to wait a couple weeks and see if there was an improvement before we made any decision.  I'm very happy to report that after two weeks, now at 4 weeks old, they have improved a lot.  They've gone from scooting on their bellies to holding themselves off the floor and getting their feet under their body about a third or fourth of their steps.  Their room is carpeted, and I haven't clipped their nails so they can get a little more traction.  And they're just so darn cute!

I've named the mom Meg, and John has named the orange male Todd and the gray female Winnie.

NO KITTEN WAS HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS PICTURE.  I brought the kittens out into the family room to show John how much progress they'd made, and Lucy had to get in the middle of things.  She does love kittens and is a herding dog, so she wanted to take them to another part of the room and keep them in a pile. At the same time I snapped the picture, I calmly told her "no" and she never got the kitten off the floor.  She's very good, and wouldn't have hurt him.
When I'm bottle feeding orphan kittens, I'll put them in a plastic storage tub to take them into the kitchen to feed them at the kitchen table and be able to keep them all together.  I mark them on a checklist as I take them out of the tub on the floor to feed them and have come up one short at the end several times.  I'll look up and see Lucy slowly walking into the living room with her head down.  I'll gently say, "Lucy, put it down," and can almost hear her say dammit.  A couple times she made it all the way into the living room and was curled up licking the kitten. Her kitten.  Even the cats and kittens who hiss and spit at her in the beginning, are friends in a couple days.