Click photos to enlarge them.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Micky and Davy Put on a Show

Barb and Stewart
A couple weeks ago, Barb and her neighbor, Betsy (who both rescued Delcy), and Betsy's kids, Laney and Jack, all came over to see Delcy and her kittens.  We had such a good time, they stayed and played with a couple rooms of cats.  I didn't think to grab the camera until we were in the second room playing with Micky and Davy, two gray tabby kittens, and Stewart and Colin.

This is Barb holding Stewart.  She had wanted to adopt one of Delcy's kittens, but when she saw Stewart, she fell in love and will adopt him this weekend.  He is a very special little guy going to a very special family.
Barb, Stewart, Davy, and Micky

Davy showing off

Davy, Betsy, Laney and Jack

Davy got adopted today by a lovely couple, Jean and Robert.  They originally wanted Daisy, my very shy but sweet and beautiful tortie.  Jean had seen her picture on the internet, loved her eyes and wanted to adopt her.  As much as I wanted Daisy to go to their perfect and quiet home, after hearing Jean say she wanted a lap cat, I knew Daisy wasn't the right cat for her.  I took her to the downstairs bedroom where Micky and Davy happen to have spent the night with Jilly, Josie, Zach and Cody.  As soon as I put Davy in her arms, he seemed to melt and she fell in love.  When it happens, it happens.  Right now, I have a houseful of the best, sweetest cats and kittens I've ever had.  Finding a cuddly lap cat for someone is easy.  I called their house tonight to check on Davy and Robert said Davy was laying on his lap at that very moment.  Warms my heart.


Betsy and her family are going to be adopting Pierce, one of Delcy's kittens.  He has to grow a little and won't be ready for his new wonderful home for a couple more weeks.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shadowbox Quilt

Shadowbox I by Coleen
A friend, Coleen, made her second Shadowbox quilt and asked me if I would quilt this one, too.  I was honored she asked.  The first one was in gorgeous shades of coral.  The second one, last week, was Christmas reds and greens and was a little bigger than the first one. Both are beautiful.  It's a pleasure to quilt Coleen's tops.  They're always flat and squared.  Nice job, Coleen. 

I have this pattern and hope to make one someday.  Easy quilts with large pieces appeal to me now, and I have quite a collection of patterns I'm sure I'm going to make one day. I just need about 15 people to adopt a cat.

Shadowbox II by Coleen

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Strip-Pieced Quilts

I need to use my fabric stash, and I need to use lots of it.  I have lots of strips pre-cut.  I didn't want to spend time deciding on a pattern and cutting out small pieces and sewing them back together. Using some strips I had cut and cutting a few more, I just sewed strips together until I had enough for a good-sized couch throw.  Put a few borders around it and viola, I had a quilt top. Loaded it on the frame, did free-motion quilting, sewed the binding onto the back, and topstitched it to the front. 

I never thought I could learn anything from a redneck in a plaid flannel shirt with the sleeves torn out, but Larry, the Cable Guy, taught me that there are some things in life that fall into the category of GRD - Git-R-Done.  These are my GRD quilts. I enjoy making them a lot and most of the quilt I make from now on will be GRD utility quilts for people to use.  I've made more than my share of "show" quilts and wallhangings that took weeks or months to do.  No more.  Life is too short and I've got way too much fabric.

Several friends of mine are active in a local Quilts of Valor group that makes quilts for service men and women.  The man who mows our lawn has a daughter who served in Iraq.  I made a scrap rail fence quilt for her and wanted to give it to the group to give to her.  I found out that the group ONLY does hand-quilted quilts and won't accept anything else.  Well, I haven't hand quilted since 1991 and don't intend to.  This is part of that life's-too-short thing.  I quilted this in a day on my longarm machine.  Last month I gave the quilt to Randy to give to his daughter.  He said they'd see her at Christmas.  Christmas!  This was August!  Seems Lauren had moved from Missouri to Maryland and Randy and his wife will be making the trip. 

I love this quilt and will be making another one or two.  The fabrics and colors just sparkle next to each other.  Scrap quilts are my favorite type to make and have been for years.  It was fast, fun, easy, and I have tons of strips already cut.  For those non-quilters, scrap quilts aren't necessarily made with scraps left over from other projects.  It just means that a lot of different fabrics were used.  This quilt probably has between 75 and 100 different fabrics.  Some were really strips left over from previous quilts, but many were cut specifically for the quilt (heavy on the red and pink to girlie it up a little), with many extra strips cut and put in my strip drawers for future quilts.  It may sound crazy, but that's just how we are.  Nobody needs to comment on that "crazy" part. We prefer creative and inspired.

Bridgette and Kittens

This is Bridgette in a bed with 3 of Delcy's 4 babies.  Cary, the gray tux in front, Pierce, the black tux on the left, and Nita, the tortie in back.  And look at that smile.  She really does smile. This has to be one of my all-time favorite photos, especially when you know they aren't her kittens. Delcy doesn't mind sharing the kittens.  She's at the stage where she's getting tired of them and spends a lot more time on the other side of the barricade across the closet door.

Two months ago Bridgette was a feral cat in a colony, eating out of a dumpster in back of Straubs grocery store in west county St. Louis. Nita Savage is rescuing the colony and brought the first two she was able to trap to my house. The tortie laying on Bridgette's back is named after her.  Bridgette was pretty thin and is filling out a lot. The other cat, Mia, was adopted by my sister.

Bridgette rubs on my leg and lets me pet her, but I can't pick her up yet.  That's okay.  These things take a while with feral cats.  I'm happy she jumps on the bed and lays next to my legs.  She's really fond of Delcy's kittens and almost treats them like her own.

The black and white tuxedo will be adopted by one of the ladies, Betsy, who was feeding Delcy when she was a stray.  The other lady, Barb, is adopting little Stewart.  Both ladies are awesome, and I feel so lucky that they're adopting two of my kittens.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Update on Delcy's Kittens

Delcy's kittens are 4 weeks old today.  They're running around the nursery playing with the other cats and kittens.  Stewart, Colin, Micky and Davy are like older brother and are showing them the ropes.  The little ones have a shallow litter box, and they watch the older kittens use it.  In just a couple days, they're scratching and squatting.  It's so cute.  I hope that doesn't sound like I don't have a life of any kind.  I don't.  I just don't want to sound like it.  I sit around all day and watch my kittens pee in a box.

The nursery is getting pretty crowded with the babies out and getting bigger.

 This is 8 of the 10 residents of the bedroom and closet. Eating at the top plate is mama Delcy, Davy, and the black baby.  In the litter box are the gray tuxedo and the black tuxedo.  At the lower plate is Micky at the top, Colin on the left and Stewart on the right. Missing are Bridgette and the tortie baby. 

The tortie was out of camera range trying to climb over the barricade to keep the babies in.  Even turning the box on its side so it's a little taller, isn't enough any more.  The kids are growing up.  The tortie got her toenails over the top of the box and that's all she needed to pull herself up and over.  So, no more box.  They are free to roam and play in the bedroom during the day, but everyone is confined to the closet at night so I can sleep.  I'm still in "my" bedroom, as we haven't found a new bed for the master bedroom.  I'm sure our lack of interest in shopping for one has nothing to do with me coming to bed at 2am, waking him up in the process, then snoring 5 minutes later before he gets back to sleep. Or the fact that he's a bed and cover hog.  That's okay, we see plenty of each other during the day and evening. And I get to read in bed before I go to sleep on my new latex foam bed.

Cary, Pierce and Ember
KITTENS:  The gray tux is in the bed is Cary, the black tux is Pierce,, and the all black one is Ember.


The gray tuxedo is Cary (Grant).  I'm showing my age, again, but NOBODY looked better in a tux than Cary Grant.  Except maybe.......


Pierce Brosnan, with his shiny dark hair.


This would be Miss Ember. She's solid black.

And this is Nita, in honor of the lady rescuing a colony of cats behind Straub's grocery store in west county.  She brought me Bridgette, who's still here, and Mia, who my sister adopted.  The kitten, Nita, is a black and tan tortie.

All four generations of cats and kittens are having a ball running around the rooms playing with toys and wrestling with each other.

Micky, Nita, Stewart, Pierce, and Bridgette

From the left we have Micky, Nita, Stewart, Pierce, and Bridgette, who's watching over everyone.  All the kittens have two moms with Delcy (the only real mom) and Bridgette.  Both the adults have 8 kittens (four are two pair of orphans), and each kitten has 7 siblings.  And we couldn't be happier.

Aw, it looks like they're cuddling, doesn't it? Actually, Stewart is getting ready to chomp on Pierce's neck and show him who's the older brother.  It's all part of the little ones learning how to be a cat.

There's no getting around it.  Kittens are pigs.  I clean the eating area up every morning, and every night it looks like this.  The mats under the food bowls seem like a good idea, but I don't know why I bother.  It would be easier to sweep without them.

The nice, clean plate on the floor had canned food on it.  No mess there.  I use two plates and put a small can of food on each plate for two adults and 8 kittens.  There's not a speck left on either plate.  I've found I have to be careful and not give too much Fancy Feast - it causes loose stool in most of my fosters.  Everybody gets a little bit, then they have to eat their no-grain dry food.  The little kittens are still nursing, too.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Meg Misses Her Kittens

I know cats grieve.  I've seen it when a litter mate, parent, or kitten is adopted and is just gone in one day.  The one or ones left behind really do miss them.  Meg is the mom of Todd and Winnie who were adopted yesterday.  They were her only kittens.

Meg's always been a talker, just meowing and meowing like she's really got something important to say.  Wish I knew what it was.  But, today she's been especially talkative.  Looking at me and talking away.  Rubbing on John (she likes John a lot) and talking away.  Today, I think I know what she's saying.  She wants to know where her babies are.  Very rarely is an entire litter adopted out at one time, leaving the mom all alone.  The mom usually has several kittens left, so she may not miss one so much.  Poor Meg.  I'm so happy her kittens got adopted to a good home, but she's walking around the house looking everywhere for them.  I know that time will heal her heart, and I hope, for her sake, it's sooner rather than later.  With any luck at all, Meg will get adopted soon and will have a new family to take the place of her kittens.

Meg, Winnie and Todd
Meg was a very good mom and took very good care of her two kids.  She's a beautiful cat, less than two years old, and is also very sweet and friendly - especially to my husband.  She and the two kittens had been in a bedroom by themselves since the day I got her when the kittens were two days old.  I was hesitant to let her of the room when the kittens were old enough. New moms can be overly protective, and I had quite a few cats loose in the house.  One day when I went in to scoop and feed them, Meg slipped out and it was a couple minutes before I realized it.  Not a problem.  She was walking around, meeting the others, and everybody was fine.  So, I opened the door and let Todd and Winnie out, too.  Boy, did they have fun running, exploring, and playing with the others.  It's not like Meg is totally alone.  She has lots of friends here, but they're still not the same as her kids.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Todd and Winnie are Adopted

It was a pretty good day at Petsmart today.  We adopted out four cats, and two of them were mine.  Siblings Todd and Winnie went to a very nice lady, Billie, who came to the store ready to adopt two siblings, but she didn't want them to look alike.  She had looked at some of the other cute kittens, but when she got to my crates, Todd and Winnie caught her eye immediately. They certainly met her wishes that they not look alike.  Todd is a short-haired orange tabby, and Winnie is a medium-haired gray tortie.  Since I've had them and their mom since they were 2 days old, I know they're really siblings.

I told Billie all about them being swimmer kittens, and she was fine with it.  When they were several weeks old, they weren't walking like they should and were scooting around on their bellies.  Their legs were straight out to the sides like they were swimming.  Their muscles were weaker and couldn't support their weight.  Over the next few weeks, with lots of exercise, they improved a lot.  At just under four months old, you can barely tell that anything was wrong.  There's a little wiggle to their walk, but you have to be looking carefully.  They run everywhere, climb up the cat trees, jump off the cat trees, and run up them again.  They wrestle like kids.  Todd is a little shyer than Winnie, so I'm very happy they could stay together.

This is Todd and Winnie before they had names and were just the orange one and the gray one. They were and are two adorable kittens.

Todd and Winnie

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Update of Delcy and Kittens

Delcy's kittens are two and a half weeks old now.  Hard to believe that in a week, I'll cut the door of their birthing box open and they'll be running around the nursery.  I'll have to put a piece of cardboard across the doorway to the room so the others can go in and out to eat and use the litter box, but the babies can't go out.  Litter box training will start next week, too, but they'll stay in the nursery on the vinyl for a couple more weeks until I'm sure I won't be cleaning up spots on the bedroom carpet.

I'm so overrun with fosters right now that Delcy had to go into the nursery/bedroom with a semi-feral adult cat, Bridgette, and four other kittens, Micky, Davy, Colin, and Stewart.  Delcy and four kittens doubled the population.  I know we're supposed to keep everybody separate and segregated to prevent the spread of disease, but sometimes that's just a nice concept.  We do have everyone tested for leukemia and aids before we mix them, and deworm and spray for fleas as soon as they get in the house - or car if we pick them up.

Bridgette, my semi-feral cat, got along very well with the other kittens, but I was worried about her getting along with another adult cat, especially a pregnant cat.  Turns out they get along great - even greater than great.

Delcy, her kittens, Stewart, and Bridgette
Which One of These Isn't Like the Other?  The white kitten amid the sea of black is Stewart. He and his brother, Colin, have been taking advantage of having a buffet whenever they want.  Delcy doesn't seem to mind a couple more kittens to feed.  Since Stewart and Colin are eating canned and dry food, they only nurse a little bit.  Bridgette and Delcy have become so close, neither one wants to be more than a few feet from the other.  It's a little strange.  Bridgette has also become much friendlier the past week.  She rubs on my legs, lets me pet her, and I can even pick her up, now. Even more strange.

Colin, Micky and Davy
This is the rest of the group.  Colin and Micky in the striped bed, and Davy in the pink bed.

Nursery with Colin, Micky, and Davy.
Colin is walking to the bed with Micky, while Davy is in the other bed.  Colin's brother, Stewart is in the birthing box with Delcy, her kittens, and Bridgette.  It really is a remarkable multi-generation cat colony.  Two unrelated adult females and three different litters of kittens. And everybody is very happy, healthy and content.  You can't ask for more than that - well, a dozen adoptions would be nice.

Colin and Stewart

My good foster friend Cheri called me on my cell phone shortly after I'd gotten home from adoptions at Petsmart a few weeks ago.  She asked if I was home (I was) and she'd be right over - and she hung up.  This didn't sound good.  She arrived a few minutes later with a carrier.  I said that better be empty.  She said something about me knowing better.  Inside were two kittens about 2-3 weeks old.  One was white and one was gray and white.  A lady brought them into the store just as Cheri was leaving and literally shoved the kittens into her hands and left.  Now, I've got a ton of fosters, but Cheri has more, and I am never competing for Most Fosters.  But, OMG, can they get any cuter?

Stewart and Colin
The white one is Stewart and the gray one is Colin.

I bottle fed them for a couple weeks, then introduced them to canned food mixed with formula and rice baby cereal.  Then added some  Royal Canin BabyCat dry with the formula, then put out a bowl of the dry food alone and gave them a bottle once a day, which got them over the yellow formula poop.

Since Bridgette, Micky, and Davy were already in the bedroom/nursery, two more kittens didn't seem like much more, but I'd been so spoiled by having moms for the last few litters of kittens that I'd forgotten how much work bottle feeding is.  But, we all three survived and Stewart and Colin are now the big brothers to Delcy's kittens.