Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kitten scare

First, I will tell you everyone is OK now.

But one of the difficult things about being a kitten foster mom is health scares.  I've had to put down two kittens in my care in the last year.  Both events were things I could not have prevented or foreseen.  Kittens are tiny.  And they have health problems sometimes.  And so, I do the best I can...and hope for the best as well.

Two days ago, Violet (our little Siamese/white kitten), started limping and favoring a front paw.  We weren't sure if she twisted an ankle, slept on it funny, or endured a bite from a little friend.  We decided to keep an eye on her until the morning.

Well, yesterday morning, she felt warm, and she was kind of groggy, but maybe putting more weight on her foot, and I just wasn't sure.  So, I went to work and told Graham to check on Violet throughout the day and give me updates.  

By two o'clock, he said she seemed really out of it, and I rushed home.  Graham and I took her to the vet who said she was a little dehydrated and constipated and running a fever.  And her leg joint was tender.  What she figured had happened to Violet was a not-uncommon joint infection (these can come in from the belly button at birth and hang out for a while...and then go for the joints.)  The infection made her run a little fever.  The fever made her dehydrated.  And the dehydration made it tough for her to go number two.

They gave that little girl a tiny kitten enema, some vitamins, some oral lubricant/laxative stuff, and an antibiotic.  And I am happy to report that today, she is doing much better, eating well, getting around better, and seeming more like her old self.

Life is precious!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ann Dale, finished and framed by Minnie!

The amazing Minnie has finished and framed the Ann Dale sampler reproduction -- what an amazing lady!  She said it took her four months, and she was surprised at how big it is.  The cute Cocker Spaniel you see there is Minnie's brother's dog -- Diggie.  You can get some idea of size.  And I like dogs...but I really like dogs who are into samplers.  Way to go, Minnie!  You rock!!!

And I finished the much smaller June's Angel pattern for Raise the Roof Designs.  I had fun working with a neutral palette of browns and yellow (with a touch of blue in those flowers she's holding.)  I'm working on getting the kits together.  A complete supplies list is on my Raise the Roof Designs blog.

Kathy is making good progress on the Quaker Ragamuffin sampler reproduction.  She said it's been a fun one to do so far, and just has the motifs at the bottom left (the border and alphabets are finished.)

In other news, the kitties at home are also making good progress.  The Easter bunch (Peep, Peter, Jelly Bean and Bunny) weigh between 1 1/4 and 1 3/4 pounds already and are very healthy and happy.  Violet twisted her foot yesterday and is limping around.  It's the saddest little sight, but she doesn't complain, and she's starting to put some weight on it.

Charlie is growing on me.  I love cats and kittens, but Charlie has been a bit of a pain in the butt-ooski.  He squawks at me all of the time, follows me relentlessly, climbs up my legs, and gets right up in my face to bite my nose.  This last item was especially bothersome (and painful).  Finally, I gave him a few finger bops on the nose and a cat-like hiss (like his mother would do.)  It's amazing how kittens understand that language!  Within a couple of (gentle) bops, he settled in, quieted down, and if he's up in my face at all, he's so very, very gentle and sweet.  He still follows me around, but since he's not biting me anymore, he can follow me all day long.  What a good little boy!

Sunday I picked up an old UFO from my stash -- La D Da's Roses are Red.  It's a pretty little sampler in just four colors of Sampler Threads.  I'm stitching it on 40 count.  Not sure how I'll finish it yet...probably in a little frame.  Of course I'll post a picture when it's done.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Very quick kitten post

Everyone is doing well and getting bigger.  My Easter bunch goes in Saturday for their first shots.  Isabelle is still nursing several of her babies, but I'm keeping the whole gang until the kids are ready for their surgery.  That way, mother and children can stay together, and maybe a few of them can be adopted together.

This is a new guy to our household in the last week.  His name is "Professor."  A shelter worker found him in a storm drain on campus (where my husband teaches.)  Amanda has got foster kittens right now who are sick, so she didn't want this little guy to get sick, too.  He's very shy, but a lot like a Dickens orphan -- a little wary, but so good all the way down to his core.  He just wants love, and is quick-to-purr when we pick him up.  He's about six weeks old, I'd guess, and it won't be long until he's big enough for surgery.  We're keeping him safe, warm and fed.

This is a picture I took of my friend Jennifer holding little Violet.  She's still very small (not quite this small.)  Lift up your hand, and then picture how big she is.  She's sweet, a little needy, and very, very cute.  She's my last one to be bottle feeding, and she finally let me sleep all night last night.

OK, so yesterday, Steve and I saved one more.  This lovely was in the temp. room, which is where a lot of the animals who have to be euthanized are held.  Right now, the shelter is over-run with kittens, and "Miss Priss" has ringworm.  It's not actually a worm ... it's just a flaky skin fungus that is treatable with shampoo (which we have two bottles of.)  Basically, she just needs a few baths.  But when the shelter is full, the staff has to make decisions, and she only had hours to live.  She's VERY smart, funny, sweet and is probably the most dignified kitten I've ever seen.  She PRANCES when she walks, and is very fussy about keeping her hands clean.  She's had one bath already.  We'll give her another one tonight, and then keep an eye on her.  She already looks a lot better.  Plus, she has a really cool ELIZABETHAN style white collar that goes all the way 'round her neck.  We're calling her "Your Majesty," and "The Queen."

I told Steve that I keep trying to build that mansion in the sky one brick at a time.  He asked if he could come over.  I told him he could, but he'd have to use the back entrance.  I have to watch what kind of riff-raff I hang out with! (wink!)

Tonight I'm hanging with my friends and we're having a 1970's party.  I'm taking Seven Layer Salad and Popcorn Cake.  And we're doing MACRAME!  How much fun is that?  I'll take some pictures and show-and-tell.  Later!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The crud

"The crud" is a term I've learned here in the south.  The doctors and nurses at our clinic use it to describe that kind of vague, yucky illness that sometimes grabs you from behind and drags you to the floor -- coughing, sneezing, fever, etc.

I've got the crud and will be closed today.  The cats are keeping me company.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Such an exciting day!

Grant from Crijo Pets arrived an hour and a half early this morning, having driven to Hattiesburg from Birmingham, Alabama.  I rushed down to the Cat Cottage at the shelter, and Grant and Anthony (our resident Crazy Cat Man) had already moved the equipment into the cottage and were setting it up.

This is the Crazy Cat Trio -- Grant from Crijo Pets, Anthony our soft-spoken cat caretaker at the shelter and me.  Which of us is the craziest?  Hey, it's not a competition.  This picture shows three very happy people doing what they can to help cats.

Grant is very proud of his cat furniture (  He explained how to make adjustments in the furniture, how to clean it, what parts might eventually need replacing (mainly the sisal pads), and the benefits of this type of furniture, especially the decrease in illness and the increase in adoptability (happy cats are adoptable cats.)  Fewer than TEN shelters have this furniture so far, so we are part of a very elite group to own this very high quality, long-lasting furniture.

Brontos was the first to check it out, and I know he was happy about the equipment...because when I picked him up, I received lots and lots of cat kisses and nibbles.

Anthony was pretty pleased, and the other shelter workers came in to see what the hub-bub was.  His animals will be living in the lap of luxury now.  And even though he's a man of few words, he LOVES those shelter cats ... and I got a big hug on my way out.  Awwww!

Our house is full of little feet right now, and I thought I'd post some updated pictures, so you can see how all of the babies are doing.

Willie is part of the litter I'm bottle feeding.  She's the quietest and most patient of the group.  Her hair always looks a little crazy.

Oh my goodness.  Will you look at that face? This is Violet, and she's still tiny; I took her to the vet and she was weighed on the LIZARD scale (she weighed 200 grams).  She's an amazing little cat -- lots of personality.  She's turning more grey as time goes on, and Steve LOVES her.

Charlie is giving a big yawn -- he is loud and wants everyone to know he is a BIG BOY and doesn't WANT to be in the kitten playpen.  He loves getting out and exploring.

OK, once more ... will you look at that face?

This is Fargo -- a former foster kitten who was returned by his adopter.  He's turning into a very handsome cat, and soon will be going with Zero to live in a cool bachelor pad with Harrison and his roommate.

Isabelle, remember, is only about eight months old, and has done a fabulous job with her batch of four babies.  She doesn't like picture time very much, but tolerates me ... I think mainly because I bring her food.  Lots and lots of food (she eats about four cans of food a day, and hasn't gained any weight.)

Remember, these babies were all born Easter weekend, so they have Easter names.  This is Bunny, and she is really quiet, sweet, laid-back and easy to please.  I love her white bib and her gentle attitude.

Peter was the last to open his eyes, and I worried about him for a while ... that there might be something wrong.  Turns out he was just taking his time.  I like this picture, because you can see his little family in the background.  He's timid, but will be a very handsome cat.

Peep is the bravest.  She has been the first to really explore the bedroom and likes to hang out by herself now (mainly under the edge of the bed.)  She's pretty muscular for a little girl, and I wonder what color her eyes will be?

Jelly Bean was the smallest but is now the longest and tallest.  I think she'll end up being a fairly large cat.  She's pretty spunky and strong.  I think she's pretty smart, too.

And this is Peep once again -- she was showing me at the start of the photography session that she is a TOUGH cat.

Isabelle's litter will soon be eating solid food -- in about a week, I suppose.  And then Isabelle will have to dry up and go for surgery and adoption.  The Easter Crew has got another six weeks or so until they can go for surgery.  In the meantime, they are all warm, fat and happy.  Life is good.