Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cinder and Trouble Play Together

Trouble has had a wonderful morning playing in the kitchen and the best part for him was having a playmate - Cinder.  Guess she has decided that Trouble doesn't have cooties anymore.

I'm so glad Cinder wants to play with Trouble.  As a kitten he has much to learn and he'll get some instruction from Cinder, although I still think Cinder still has much to learn too.  I just hope she doesn't teach him some of her naughtier antics.
Annie Sparkles, Trouble and Cinder

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Trouble, The Baby Cat

Little Trouble is doing well.   Cinder is still not sure about him.  She will sit and watch him but if he goes right up to her she seems to think he has cooties so will leap away.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The baby cat is growing up

Trouble is now 24 days old  and he is growing up quickly, thank goodness.  I am so looking forward to the night I can go to bed and sleep right through without having to get up.

This morning after feeding him, I put him on the floor in the kitchen for a little exercise.  After a few minutes I introduced him to a litter box, which is a small aluminium foil roasting pan.  He sat there for a minute or so then climbed out.  I turned my back on him to tidy up the counter area that is Trouble's feeding station and to get it ready for the next feeding.

Trouble started making different meowing sounds and when I turned around I found him standing in a puddle of pee.  So much for litter box training.

After an early afternoon feeding today, I tried him again in the litter box.  Holy moly but it worked.  He pooped.  First he did a little dig dig dig in the clay litter then turned around to position his cute wee butt somewhat in the area of the small hole and did his thing.  Success.  My wee boy is growing up.

Right now Trouble and my husband Mike are stretched out in front of the tv to watch the Buffalo Bills football game, if it isn't rained out! 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

...... and then I gave an elephant some treats

Well, yesterday was not one of those days I would want to live through too often.  Helping an older cat cross the Rainbow Bridge is one thing, but a wee kitten......

I didn't have time to grieve because Trouble needed lots of attention, plus Boomer really wanted some outside time, which has to be supervised.  This gave me an opportunity to do a bit of clean up in the backyard.  Then it was time to feed Trouble again.  My ferals needed to be fed before the rain started.  I don't mind feeding them in the rain but not all my ferals will eat inside the feeding shelters and now that it's getting cooler outside, I don't want them to become chilled because their fur is wet.  I even managed a two hour snooze in the late afternoon after being up for about 30 hours straight.

When Mike got home from work about 8:30 we decided to try a new restaurant. On the way to dinner we passed the area Lexus dealership.  It was lit up and there were lots of people in the show room enjoying beverages and hors'd'oeuvres (I think that is spelled incorrectly and spell check has no clue either).  But what really caught my eye was the elephant out front! It was a real live elephant so we pulled over.  There were also two young lions, a male and a female, about 14 months old.  These animals were attracting lots of attention from people passing by on foot and by car as well as the guests at the reception.

I got to pet the elephant, her skin is very leathery.  Then was given the opportunity to offer her some special elephant treats, which she took from my outstretched hand leaving me with a very wet hand covered in elephant slobber.  That was a first for me.

At the restaurant I ran to the ladies room to wash my hand before we sat down for a yummy dinner and glass of wine.

When we got home Boomer, Annie Sparkles and Cinder had dinner with Trouble watching.

 At least my day ended on a more upbeat note.

Friday, October 26, 2012

RIP My Wee Tiny Treasure Gingerbum

Wednesday morning when I got the kittens up for their 7 a.m. feeding, Gingerbum was having problems with his back legs.  He was unable to walk.  We dashed off to the vet.  He got progressively worse over the next 36 hours and last night just before midnight I knew he was not getting better.  He had lost the use of his back legs completely and was unable to use his bowels.  Gingey and I spent a long sleepless night together.  He cried and so did I.  Gingey was only 22 days old. 
When Gingey crossed the Rainbow Bridge this morning he was gently cradled in my hands and I kissed his wee head repeatedly. 
All of these photos were taken yesterday (October 25). 



I may have only known you for 8 days baby Gingerbum but those 8 days I loved you with all my heart.  You are now pain free sweet baby boy. I miss you so much.  Hug hug hug

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Wee Tiny Treasures Have a Bath

Boomer Cinder & Annie Sparkles checking out
the boys in the box
Gingerbum and Trouble are thriving, which is more than I can say for myself. 

The boys started their morning today with breakfast followed shortly after with their second bath.  The vet can't give them a flea treatment at this tender age so recommended giving them a bath using Dawn dish detergent.  It was then that I recalled seeing commercials on TV for Dawn where ducks and other victims of oil spills are being bathed in Dawn detergent.

Full tummies now snooze time
I warmed dry towels in the dryer and left them there while a kitten was washed in warm water and just a tiny drop of Dawn.  Quick but thorough rinse then grab a warm towel from the dryer and begin the vigorous but gentle rub down.  Next the hair dryer which has a barely warm setting and then another dry warm towel.  All this is done in 5 minutes or less for each kitten.  My biggest concern was that they would become chilled but they didn't.  It seems to be helping get rid of the fleas.  No flea dirt spotted since but another bath will take place, probably on Thursday.

Little Trouble and Gingerbum went to the vet on Saturday morning because they both have issues with their digestive systems and it's messy.  Today the results of their stool sample came back negative for parasites, which is great but they still have issues.

This afternoon Steve, the vet called.  He wants to try them on a probiotic first to see how they respond and I agree.  They are only about 19 days old and putting them on medication could be tricky.  So this afternoon instead of my nap I dashed off to pick up the probiotic that I mix in with their kitten formula.   Now I am keeping my fingers crossed that we see some solid results in the next few days.

In the meantime the boys are growing daily and they are feisty which are encouraging signs that I am doing this right.  I have only hand reared one kitten before and that was Teika, 12 years ago. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Wonderful News for Chloe

I got word this afternoon that Chloe, the little cat someone dumped because his girlfriend is allegic to cats, has just found a faboo forever home.

Chloe has been living in a foster home, which could have become her forever home, but it seems Chloe is not all that friendly with the other cats and dog in the house.  Heather, her foster mom, said Chloe could stay for as long as it took. 

In her new home, Chloe will be an only child, and maybe that is exactly what she needs.  Chloe met her new mom yesterday and it went really well.

Here's a quote from Heather's email about yesterday's meet and greet:

"It's love!! Melissa said Chloe was "everything she was looking for in a cat". Chloe really responded well to Melissa."

I was so happy I shed tears of joy.

Thank you Heather and Ben for loving Chloe and a huge thank you for finding her the perfect forever home.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

OMG She is sooooooo naughty

Cinder is just six months old.  She is by far the naughtiest little cat I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  Nothing but nothing is safe in this house.  I thought Boomer was a naughty boy.  I thought Annie Sparkles was a naughty girl but even combining their naughtiness they are still out naughtied by Cinder!

Even before Cinder arrived, we have had a piece of cardboard behind the fireplace screen to keep all our previous foster kittens out of the fireplace - seems this is just too inviting.  It is sooty and dirty and we have light carpet on the floor so I don't really want sooty paw prints all over it.  Cinder did manage to get into the fireplace during the summer when I thought I was safe to remove the cardboard.  She can push the mesh screen at the bottom and scoot under it. Annie did this too last year when she was a wee girl.

Tonight we decided to have our first fire of the season but I was concerned about Cinder and as it turns out, rightly so.  It wasn't a blazing fire because we have only a few logs left from last year but it was a cozy fire.  I kept an eye on Cinder to see her reaction.  Well, she did try to push the fire screen out of the way so she could get in and if I hadn't been there who knows what would have happened.  I shudder to think.

Normally when we have a fire, we wait until it is dying down before leaving the living room for the evening but I was concerned about doing this with Cinder.  I thought I might have to close her in a bedroom for the night, which I prefer not to do.  What could we put behind the fireplace screen that wouldn't burn but would prevent Cinder from getting in?  Bricks!  We have some loose bricks in the garage.  We started off with two bricks but then I saw Cinder trying to get into the fireplace with the burning embers and added a third brick just behind the screen. 

Earlier in the evening when the fire was really burning Boomer was enjoying the warmth and had no interest or intention of getting any closer.  Wonder if Cinder will ever reach that stage.

Maybe her name has more meaning to it than anyone thought.  When she came to us as a 14 week old foster kitten named Cinder I didn't change it.  Then when we decided to keep her I just couldn't change her name.  Wonder if we should have come up with a different name.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Busy 24 Hours

It has been a very busy 36 hours or so since the kittens arrived.  At this age they need constant care, so sleep for me is brief.

I did manage to get a few household chores done today, including caring for our four cats.  Then another feeding after which I dashed off to feed my feral cats.  Poor guys are not getting fed until well after noon the past couple of days and I don`t see that changing much in the near future.

When I was walking towards the spot I feed my ferals I came across a young raccoon sitting on the path.  He did not look well and my first thought was this young fellow (or girl) had been poisoned because the lumberyard next door puts out poison for the rats. (my ferals don't touch the rats)

This dear little critter just looked at me but hardly moved.  I had to walk through all the tall overgrowth which is on both sides of the path to get around him.  I fed my ferals then did a quick dash to the grocery store before heading home. 

When I got home the kittens needed to be fed again and I even had a couple of fried eggs.  Hmmmmm....breakfast at 2:30 in the afternoon. 

That done I called animal services to report this little raccoon.  I gave all the information needed, then drove back to were my ferals are to sit and wait for the officer from animal services to arrive.  Wish I had known I was going to have to wait three hours sitting in my car. 

When time started to march on and it was getting dark I called animal services again.  The woman suggested I give her a description of the location of the raccoon.  No way would the animal services officer find the raccoon because now he was hiding in the overgrowth just off the path.  Of course I had not anticipated waiting that long so didn't have a flashlight either.

It was just after 7:00 p.m. when the officer arrived and I took him to the raccoon.  He said he would never have found this little guy on his own if I had left.  The officer said he thinks this little guy has distemper and this was his 5th raccoon today.  I cried all the way home for this little guy.

I flew home because it had now been over 4 hours since the kittens had eaten.  And my fried egg wasn't enough to sustain me for long so dinner was in order.  The kittens were fed but neither ate very well.  Did they feel my stress?  My husband fixed dinner for us and then right after I fed the kittens again.  This time they both ate well and then immediately fell asleep in their laundry basket home.

Trouble (left) and Gingerbum

Time to feed then again, then I am off to bed for a couple hours of shut eye.

Two Wee Tiny Treasures

I got a phone call early this morning from Robin.  She had heard about two wee kittens that were found alone last night in a shed.  A series of phone calls and off I went to pick them up from the kind woman, Wendy, who brought them into her home for the night. 

Wendy had been unsuccessful in getting either of them to eat so my biggest concern was getting some kitten formula into them as quickly as possible because it had been over 12 hours, and probably longer since they had last eaten. 



Gingerbum and Trouble are are about 2/2.5 weeks old and doing quite well.  Trouble just over 300 g and Gingerbum is about 254 g. 
Off to bed so I can get up for the 3 a.m. feeding.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Inspector Doodle

Yesterday was day two of the fixing up of winter shelters. I had to remove enough leaves, branches, boards and assorted other items to see how things looked on the inside of the shelters.

I was pleased to see how dry everything is.  I also noticed that one of the kitties has been sleeping in the "hallway" because the straw was flattened.  I don't know for sure but suspect it is Doodle.  I added more fresh straw to the spot.

hallway leading to individual shelters

Here is a shot of the interior of one of sleeping shelters made from Rubbermaid containers, lined with insultating styrofoam which I wrapped in mylar sheets so the cat's body heat is reflected back onto the cat (at least that is my reasoning). 

interior of shelter with woodchip bedding
hallway view with roof removed

Doodle was a huge help while I was trying to check on the shelters.  He was inspecting everything to make sure all five kitties will be cozy and warm when the winds whip the snow around.

Doodle looking down at the extra straw
bedding that has been added to his
hallway sleeping spot

Doodle says it is ok to put everything back together
now and add more straw to the top
As the leaves fall from the trees in my front yard I will take bags full to dump on top of the shelters for added warmth.

I just wish I had a power source so that I could provide a bit of heat for the kitties.  Their fur coats get thicker but there are still days when I can see them shivering and it breaks my heart.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend means repairing ferals shelters for winter

My family had a lovely Thanksgiving celebration yesterday at the cottage.

The East Side Gang
Today I took advantage of the good weather to work on the winter sleeping shelters for my dear ferals.  They are getting older and I am more concerned about them than ever.  F.J. and Doodle are the youngest at 9 years old while Jag, Spirit and Ollie are at least 11 or more.
that wee black speck at the end of the sidewalk in
the centre of this picture is Spirit waiting for me
to arrive with food

The winter sleeping shelters are in good condition and dry inside even after spending a full year outside.  I used large Rubbermaid containers which I lined with sheets of pink insulating styrofoam then buried them under bales of straw and leaves last fall.  I needed to do a little repair work where a couple of holes developed in the straw and the winter winds could blow right into the shelters

wind could blow into the shelters so these holes were
blocked off to help keep the cats warm during the
 worse winter

Doodle is probably my biggest concern this year.  For some reason this dear little cat seems to feel the cold more than the others.  He has been using the sleeping shelters for about three weeks now while the other 4 kitties find other warm spots to sleep.  When I arrive Doodle always comes out of the shelters, which is good.   There are four individual Rubbermaid containers under all the straw and leaves with a central hallway and two exits.  There is a 5th shelter which is buried under the straw in the foreground of the picture below.

Doodle coming out of shelter for food
I'm not sure what to expect this winter.  There was an old shed right beside the sleeping shelters that was ripped down over the summer. This shed blocked most of the sunshine during the winter months, but maybe now the cats will have more sun to warm themselves.  I have my fingers crossed for them.

Spirit (left) and F.J.



Ollie on straw bale, Doodle in foreground
The Logan Gang
Tess is the oldest in this colony.  She is at least 11, while brothers Jazz and Que turned 10 this past summer.

I did an inspection of the Logan Gang's sleeping shelters and there was very little to fix. These shelters are in an open field but the nice thing for them is that it is fenced with very little activity. Right now Tess and Jazz seem to be using the recycling plant across the street for shelter but I expect they will start using their winter sleeping shelters once the really cold weather arrives. I have no idea if Que is using the third shelter with separate entrance.  Tess and Jazz are the best of buddies but Que doesn't get along with either of them.




Logan Gang's shelter with entrance into
 Que's shelter

Tess and Jazz use this shelter during the
 winter months
Last year our winter was amazingly warm and we had very little snow but the long range forecast is not as promising for this year.  I can always hope........