Foster Kitty Adventures: One End and Three Beginnings

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Yes, I said three beginnings.

The Glitter who first stole my heart refused to love our dog or even to acknowledge his right to coexist in our home. She hissed, spit and charged at him even when he was cowering three floors away from her kittens and quaking in his doggie boots.

Yesterday, I scrunched down to pet her goodbye in her cage at the shelter. She purred and pushed her face into my hand while my eyes hurt from holding in tears. She seemed to enjoy the moment of peace away from her rowdy babies.

It may take a few weeks to get her a home, the staff told me, but they are confident she will find a place to finally call her own.

We had originally thought to keep Ash and Sissy and let Jack get adopted by another family along with (or separate from) his mom. It was agonizing to choose, but Jack had never seemed much attached to us so I hoped it would be easiest to let him find new people.

Ash

Ash

Then the shelter lady said a snide ‘of course’ when I told her that we would bring back the black cat.

I knew black cats lingered in shelters, and her words sat with me until I had to call her back to ask for more information.

She said they have over ten black kittens. People too often adopt those little ones last and our Jack might sit at the shelter for two months before getting a home.

His slight grey highlights really come out here.

Jack’s slight grey highlights really come out here.

None of the humans in our house could handle that.

This is the color he normally looks.

This is the color our black cat normally looks.

This is how I came to have three kittens racing at my feet when I originally intended to keep the mama cat and Ash.

As soon as we got home, Jack snuggled into my lap for the first time and purred the best purr I’ve heard in a good long while.

Sissy

I knitted the fuzzy blanket years ago for our last cat. She says it still works.

I knitted the fuzzy blanket years ago for our last cat. Sissy says it still works.

Life is indeed what happens to me when I am making other plans. 

May you have the courage to face your own life as it comes at you-

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Note: This officially ends the foster series since we’ve adopted the three amigos. You may, however, still see cat tales here now and again. They are still running around my writing office every morning.

Foster Kitty Adventures: Driving Me Around the Yowling Bend

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Caution: This story involves poop. I have found that poop is always involved when working with little people and animals, so maybe you won’t be surprised. But I thought I should warn you.

My friend LeAnna, a horse lady from way back, said: “Fostering kittens is like having a tiny herd of horses in your house that also climb your curtains.”

She is so right, and I’m so glad the critters are healthy enough to wreak havoc again.

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Glitter uses the bird perch to escape her babies now and then. We haven’t told the bird.

Glitter’s stomach has been bothering her. Last Saturday night it was bothering her so much that her poop looked like a cow patty and smelled like something that could be a biological weapon.Then the black kitten started to have diarrhea.

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The best picture of the black cat yet. Can you see the eyes in the bookshelf cubby? (Photo credit goes to Kieran.)

I did the usual foster cat mom thing. I freaked and tried to pretend that I was not imagining all sorts of deadly diseases I once saw in kennels full of cats.

I ended up going the the Blue Pearl Veterinary Clinic in Tacoma (If you ever need a place to go late at night when your own animal is scaring the sleep out of you, this is the one. It’s clean, open 24 hours a day, has friendly staff, and the prices were not in the slightest bit ridiculous.)

We have them sorted now and the poop situation is back to normal. No horrible nightmare viruses wiped out the whole family.

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Mom and her mini-me again. Kieran is calling her Bacon. I’m not sure about naming pets after food.

Two weeks ago, the mom gave me heart failure when she moved a baby without asking for a permit. Here’s what I wrote on Facebook about that adventure:

Mama cat has been agitated and bawling at us for the last day or so. I kept thinking she wanted out of the kitten room to stretch so I let her roam and put the dog outside.
Then Kieran says: “Uh, Mom. There are only two kittens in the basket now.”
Ack! We could not find her or the kitten for a few VERY long minutes. (You probably know how this ends and I guessed at the time but was still quasi panicked.)
Finally, she reappeared and lead us to where she had hid the baby deep under the couch. Kieran had to use a flashlight to find and retrieve him.
I thought I might croak. 
And I took the hint. We consulted with shelter experts and got a kennel I covered with a blanket and moved up into my office to make her feel more secure.
Now they are quiet and she is resting sprawled out on my office floor. Not bawling or pacing. Totally content.
My keyboard may now have a cat fur lining.

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Lap is not big enough for the three any longer.

From all this I learned (for the millionth trillionth time) that loving comes with such a high worry price tag. The zen masters would tell me to use it as a practice in letting go and for the most part I do. My skill falls a bit short late at night when the vet says words like cat forms of parvo and distemper. Then I get to dig a little deeper and practice with a fierce intensity through a sleepless night.

I am sleeping once more and they are really beginning to gallop around.

May you know great love and find the strength to live through it at the same time. 

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P.S. Here is a video of a cat raising ducklings I saw a while back. It struck me more today after watching the herd that has taken over my office. As an added bonus, the farmers have an Irish accent they use to describe the fostering mama cat. Life can be full of surprising goodness.

Foster Kitty Adventures: Double Syrup Whammy

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The only thing slightly more syrupy than kitten stories has to be a story with kids and kittens.

Brace yourself for syrup.

This week Quinton started helping me to change the blanket in the kittens’ basket by holding the tiny ones in his lap on a blanket.

We had thought Glitter might want to roam a bit to get some time to herself but when she saw the kitties on Q’s lap she curled up in his lap to nurse them there.

My five year old was born with dimples. His indented smile was so deep when he looked at the cat family in his lap that I thought his cheeks might not recover.

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Meanwhile, the babies are growing and starting to look at our faces like they know we exist even as they begin to scootch around on their bellies.

Life in this house is grand.

May you know great small joys in your own place.

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Foster Kitty Adventures: Part One

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My friend Lynn won with the most original way of saying it: “You are taking in a teenaged mom!”

I am.

Here is Glitter.

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I fell in love with this very young mama cat at a local animal shelter but couldn’t take her home because she had just had kittens who needed to grow up before they could find homes of their own.

It occurred to me that I once fostered kittens back in the day when I worked for an animal shelter. Why not foster this mom and baby crew and have the added joy of watching her little ones get big?

That’s how we came have them with us for now, and I foresee more cat-related posts in my future. I suppose if you don’t care for felines you can consider yourself warned. Cat pictures like these will be here often.

If you do like tiny ones, though, then by all means stay tuned.

They have all gained about an ounce in the past 3 days which is more than 10 percent of their body weight. The big guy tips the scale at 10.5 ounces today.

May you know the joy of squeaking kittens and dimpled kids like my Q giggling over miniature claws as they tickle his legs.

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