September 2010 Archives

8

Greetings, furriends, it’s Padre here. Yesterday morning, I overheard Mom calling the V-E-T about an appointment for me! When I could tell that Mom was in getting ready to leave the house mode, I tried a clever delay tactic by sitting on the clothes that she had placed on the bed to wear.

Alas, it did not stop her from picking me up against my will and forcibly placing me into the PTU! Immediately I voiced my complaints, which were ignored. As it turned out, Caramel was already in another PTU. Mom and Dad then took us to the grey room that moves, and then we left the safety of home!

As expected, we wound up at the V-E-T. Here we are in the waiting room on the bench.

Mom is upset that I have been horking up my foods lately. Doesn’t she know this is part of the Cat Code of Ethics to hork up one’s food on a regular basis? Methinks she worries too much.

Well, I tried the technique of trying to make myself as small as possible, maybe even invisible, as not to be seen, by facing the rear corner of the PTU.

No such luck. They found me and pulled me out.

My weight is the same as always, 13.0 pounds, a good weight for a medium sized mancat like myself. See, no cause for concern!

Dr. Amy decided I have some tooth problems, but those will be addressed at another time. (I hope that Mom forgets about that.) Dr. Amy took me to a back room where I was stabbed in the back! You just can’t trust these V-E-T’s! She said they gave me fluids because I was dehydrated. Hmpf! Why didn’t she just offer me a drink? Nooooo, they stab you in the back. And she gave me two shots!

I was returned to the PTU, and then Caramel was given the business. Just in case they had ideas of pulling me out again, I went back into hiding.

When we got home, I was quite relieved to be out of that PTU. However, we weren’t home long before Mom announced to Dad to “grab Padre”! Yikes! Dad held me while Mom shoved some vile tasting liquid down my throat!

To top things off, instead of giving me my favorite crunchies (Fancy Feast Royal Gold Turkey), Mom gave me some prescription crap instead. ::sigh::

Caramel had a horrible experience as well, but I will let her tell you about it herself in her own post.

10

Mom here. The Bambinos said I could use the blog to vent my frustrations. This is going to be long, and will be typed from atop my soap box. Please note that these are my opinions only, and not those of the animal rescue group for which I volunteer.

* * *

<RANT STARTS HERE>

As regular readers of the blog know, my husband and I (and The Bambinos) volunteer with a local animal rescue group. Our group is non-profit, dependent upon fundraisers and donations to fund “our rescue group’s activities”. Our time is not compensated. On average, we spend about two hours a day caring for our fosters. Then there are adoption events to attend, screenings I do to confirm that a potential adopter is appropriate for the pet, meds we administer, trips to and from veterinarians for medical care for the fosters, fundraising events, etc.

I would like to be clear, I am not complaining. I love getting to care for kitties while they are waiting for their forever homes. Sometimes it is stressful when the babies are sick, or won’t eat, but I love the animals. I treat them and love them like I do The Furry Bambinos.

* * *

Our rescue group’s activities are centered around the care of the animals (cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies) that we foster in our own homes. Our rescue group does not have a shelter, so space is limited by the number of animals our foster homes can safely hold. Unfortunately, our rescue group has to turn away many animals because our foster homes are full. (For example, my husband and I have six foster kittens in a 9′ by 10′ bedroom right now. Down from seven foster kittens, as one was adopted a few weeks ago.)

Our rescue group’s activities include feeding the animals in our care – and if you ever have had kittens, you know kittens grow quickly, and eat A LOT. We have coined the term “Hoover and Oreck Phase” to describe kittens between the ages of 4 months to a year. (Hoover and Oreck are brands of carpet vacuum cleaners.)

Imagine feeding six hungry kittens. They go through a lot of canned and dry food. I am a regular at PetSmart, which is where our rescue group is fortunate enough to have cage space in their adoption center. In addition, I can make tax exempt purchases at PetSmart for the pet food because our group is classified as a non-profit, and because we have filed the appropriate paperwork at a few local PetSmart stores.  The way our rescue group works is that I purchase the food, and then turn in the receipts for reimbursement.

So I make a point of patronizing PetSmart, for my own purchases, in addition to those I make for the animal rescue group. Say what you want about big box stores, and wanting to support local stores. I support local stores too. But I shop at PetSmart first, and then if they don’t have something I need, then I look elsewhere.

* * *

Our rescue group’s activities also include getting all animals spayed or neutered before being adopted. NO EXCEPTIONS. We do not want to contribute to the problem of adorable, lovable, adoptable animals for whom there are no homes.

Unfortunately, there is a bias toward people wanting to adopt YOUNG AND CUTE rather than OLDER AND BIGGER. So that is why we, and many other rescue groups, spay or neuter kittens once they hit 2 pounds. For a healthy kitten, that occurs at about 2 months of age. I am often asked “Why do you spay/neuter them so young?” Then I have to explain the whole YOUNG AND CUTE dilemma.

In the past, our rescue group would adopt out prior to being spayed or neutered, and provide a voucher for free spay/neuter.  People weren’t using the vouchers.  So our rescue stopped that practice, and now requires that all animals are spayed or neutered prior to adoption.

I just want to cry sometimes, because there are plenty of adorable 5 month, 6 month, etc. kittens who need homes. For full-grown cats, the situation is even worse. But people have asked me at adoption events (I kid you not) “Don’t you have any SMALLER ones?” And they are referring to 6 month old kittens as TOO BIG.

* * *

Our rescue group’s activities include providing all animals with age appropriate vaccinations prior to adoption.   Plus, they receive treatment for fleas, worms, and any other medical care they need while in our care.  All of these veterinary needs are not free.  This is where most of our rescue group’s expenses are.  If you have ever taken a pet to a veterinarian, you know that charges can add up quickly, even for routine well-visit care.

* * *

Our rescue group’s activities also include TNR – Trap, Neuter, Return.  This is for feral cats and kittens. Personally, I think the term feral has been overused – when we mean “feral”, we mean “absolutely not adoptable, too wild, and too unhappy to be around humans”.  Our group has received some grant support for these surgeries.

Presently, my husband and I have two feral kittens who will be returned to their colony.  They were simply past the point of socializing into a house cat.  We got them when they were about 12 weeks old, with the hopes of “socializing”.  From what I understand, kittens need to be held by humans by the time they are about 6 weeks old, or the socialization road is a long uphill battle.

We named one of the ferals “Hidey” because she has spent most of the time in the foster room hiding.  She has “that look” of total abject terror every time we make eye contact with her.  We cannot pet her at all.  She runs away when we get “too near” her, including when we place a food dish in front of her.  She is clearly unhappy here.

* * *

When I was at our rescue group’s annual adoption event in May, I had two sick kittens with me (Niecy and Trish).  Not so much to show for adoption, but to have with me because they were sick and needed constant care.  While I was sitting on the concrete floor of the cat pavilion, and trying to bottle feed one of the kittens, a woman walked up to me and asked some questions – the usual – how old (about 4 weeks), breed (moggie/mutt kitten), adoption fee ($75 for one, $100 for two).  And then:

“What’s so special about THAT kitten that it costs $75?”

I did not answer out loud.  But I thought to myself, “You aren’t special enough for this kitten”.

* * *

Once people know that you volunteer for an animal rescue group, you get asked all sorts of questions.  Like questions about their pet’s health.  I don’t mind commiserating with friends about our pets and their medical concerns.  What I do mind is questions from anyone who thinks that my advice can replace that of a veterinarian.  I always refer people to their own veterinarian.

I and others in the rescue group get all sorts of calls and emails from people who have / know of / found an animal that needs a home.  In addition, I get all kinds of requests from people who need help “rehoming” their pet.  (This is the euphemism used when people want to get rid of their pet.)  Some of the stories are truly heartbreaking.  One person I knew was getting divorced, and had to move herself and her young children in with a family member who is allergic to cats.  Unfortunately, our group was full at the time, and I had to refer her elsewhere.

* * *

So this long preamble brings me to my main point here.

A family we know came across a stray YOUNG AND TINY kitten several months ago. They originally did not want to keep him, but the kids and the parents had fun with him while he was YOUNG AND TINY, so they decided to make him a family pet.  I had originally offered to help with placement through our rescue group, but the family decided to keep him.

Now this kitten is about 6 months old, and needs medical attention, so the family PUT HIM IN THEIR GARAGE because they don’t want him to get fleas in their house. And because he had out of litter box experiences while the family was away for THREE WEEKS.  The kitten was cared for by a neighbor during their absence.

And then the family called us – to ask if there was some way we could get him into our animal rescue foster system. The problem is, our group is full. The waiting list is closed because it is so long. The family was already told this, that there is “no room at the inn”, but called us hoping that we could pull some strings, now that they have decided that they don’t want the kitten any more.

Mind you, this is not a financial issue. Their kids go to private schools, the family vacations in Europe. This is a “we are bored with our previously cute little kitten now that he is getting bigger and needs medical care” issue.

So my husband took a deep breath, and said he would call them back after speaking with me.

My advice was to take the kitten to a vet. This kitten has not been seen by a vet EVER. Needless to say, he has not been neutered. Or gotten any shots. Or given flea treatments, or worming medications.  Or anything else he might need.

My husband called the family back and relayed the advice about taking the kitten to a vet. The family is “considering” taking the kitten to a vet, or to the local cat surrender shelter.

The family asked if they could borrow a cat carrier from us.

My husband advised purchasing an inexpensive cardboard carrier from PetSmart.

* * *

By the way, we are taking OUR CAT TO THE VET THIS AFTERNOON because he had out of litter box episodes all yesterday afternoon.

Because he deserves to be diagnosed and treated when he is sick.

Because we have chosen to make Padre a part of our family.

Forever.

Suffice it to say, Padre is not in the garage.

</RANT ENDS HERE>

Back to your regularly scheduled blog.

3

Yo kittehs! We feel that as a multi-kitteh and multi-foster kitteh household, we are well qualified to write about Mo Cats Day! We have Derby and Ducky to thank for creating Mo Cats Day in response to the stoopid idea to have a day without cats proposed by some stoopid people last year.  If you are interested in reading about the origins of Mo Cats Day, here is a great summary on Nikita Cat’s Blog.

This great graphic was created by the lovely Ann from Zoolatry.

Today, we will show you photos of The Cats Who Came Before, The Current Furry Bambinos, and all the kittehs we have fostered.

Mohawk, One Who Came Before, would be THRILLED to hear that today is Mo Cats Day!!! Mohawk often went by his nickname “Mo”. Mom adopted Mohawk back in January 1991, when he was about 4 to 5 months old. Mohawk was all white, except for a black stripe on the top of his head. The stripe grew out by the time Mo was about a year old. This photo was taken when Mohawk still had his stripe.

This photo shows Mo’s beautiful green eyes. As you can tell, Mohawk enjoyed his pillows!

Clyde is also One Who Came Before. He was a ginormous grey tabby ManCat. At his largest, Clyde weighed 19 pounds! This photo shows Mom holding Clyde. You can get a sense as to how big he was!

This photo shows Clyde’s gentle face closeup.

Now, for the current Bambinos.  This next photo is a close up of Padre.  Note how similar Clyde and Padre look!

Next up is me, Panda Bear. Here is a wink for all the laydeez:

Meerkat, pausing during her inspection of the back yard to pose. Me and her are biological siblings.

Cookie likes to greet all visitors to Casa Furry Bambino, by sitting on this chair by the front door.  Notice how Meerkat and Cookie have such similar markings!

Caramel is the only floofy Furry Bambino. Here she is snuggling a pair of Mommy’s slippers. Check out that floofy tail and those toe hawks!

Now, for the Fosters. The first fosters we had were Cookie and Caramel, whom Mom and Dad adopted!

Our next fosters were Matthew (renamed Neo), Mark, Luke (renamed Shadow), and Joann (renamed Inky). They were here between late September and December 2009.

Joann is attacking the pink boa. Doesn’t she look like a cute little black bear cub?

Our next fosters were Daisy (renamed Bella), Bo (renamed Watson), and Luke, who were here between mid-April and late May of this year. Daisy is the dilute tortoiseshell, Luke is black and white, and Bo is the buff tabby.

While Daisy, Bo, and Luke were here, Niecy and Trish also joined us, bringing our TFC (Total Feline Count in the house) into the double digits at 10! You can tell how tiny Niecy and Trish were by comparing their size to Daisy. Daisy weighed about 2 pounds in this photo. Trish (white) weighed 12 ounces, and Niecy (black) weighed just 10 ounces at this time. They tried to nurse from Daisy, and looked to her as a surrogate mother.

After Daisy, Bo, and Luke got adopted, and while Niecy and Trish were here, Antoinette showed up at our back door one Sunday afternoon. We have a great adoption story for you about Antoinette, but we will save that for another post!

Niecy and Trish went to their furrever home on Friday, August 6, 2010. Our next fosters moved in the very next morning on Saturday, August 7! Beyonce, Kelly, and Michelle are three bootilicous tortoiseshell sisters! Beyonce has already been adopted, and has been renamed Angel. Kelly and Michelle are still here. Beyonce is the long-haired tortie on the top, and Kelly is the speckled faced tortie on the lower side. Doesn’t Beyonce look JUST LIKE Caramel? Beyonce’s nickname was Floofs Junior, and Kelly’s nickname is Miss Speckles.

Michelle has a face that is exactly half orange and half black! Her nickname is Miss Rainbow, because she is timid like our cousin Rainbow.

In addition, on Tuesday, August 10, our next fosters moved in: Winnie-the-Pooh, Kanga, Hidey, and Mr. BibsWinnie-the-Pooh is a male black and white tuxedo. I am pleased to report that he is full of cattitude!

Kanga is a female solid black kitten.

Hidey (yes, that is spelled that way for a reason) is a solid black female feral kitten.

Like Hidey, Mr. Bibs is also feral. He is solid black with a white bib and white belleh.

Yesterday, Hidey and Mr. Bibs went to their furrever home, but we will save that story for another post, too.

So that brings our Mo Cats Day blog post to a close, with a grand total of twenty-four (!) different kittehs featured! How’s that for Mo Cats?!