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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Southeastern Wisconsin
Home country: USA
Current location: Waukesha County/Greater Milwaukee area
Member since: Fri Nov 19, 2004, 07:59 PM
Number of posts: 14,391

About Me

A Democrat living in a Republican stronghold.

Journal Archives

fosters almost four weeks old

Update: they still are on the bottle, but I'm introducing wet food mixed with a little formula a few times a day. A couple of them will lick the food off a spoon. Meanwhile, feeding has gotten downright dangerous! While I am feeding one on my lap, the other ones will climb up my pants leg and start fighting with the eating one--tooth and nail, literally, with my hand in the middle of the fight. Even though I've worn a cotton glove for these feedings, this will not do! I've started removing each kitten to another room to feed them alone. Hopefully soon they will be eating out of a dish exclusively.

Litter box training is complete! That saves a lot of time! With kittens it is so simple: put out a tray with litter in it and they will use it. Prime it with a used urine soaked cotton ball and that's all they need!

Getting very cute! But hard to take their pictures because they move so fast!

It's kitten season!

Kittens are being born now, starting at the beginning of April here in Wisconsin. My new fosters were born maybe around the 3rd or 6th of this month. Were taken from their feral mom by a lady who was concerned that her dogs would kill them like they had another litter. Anyway, I'm fostering them for my shelter. They are three weeks old and still on the bottle five times in every 24 hours. In a few days I'll start to introduce some wet food. I noticed that they've got their baby teeth in, now!

All are females: one is a tuxedo and the rest are black, some with little white belly patches and white throat stars. Some have white hairs on their back legs. This will be the only way to tell them apart!

what I learned about "kitty-colds"

My foster kittens had sore eyes (red and crusty, with the third eyelid showing) and sneezy noses, and the shelter had me treat them with antibiotic ointments and oral medications. I understand that it helps kittens get over these things, even though they are viral and an antibiotic doesn't treat viruses. It may lessen the illness or shorten it in a kitten. They were still sick for five weeks, though, so maybe it didn't shorten anything, just prevented it from being more serious. The last eyedrop we finally tried was an anti-viral and that seems to be what cleared it up.

A few weeks into this, my adult cat caught it and he, too developed sore eyes, and later a little sneezing and coughing. I treated him with some of the same antibiotic ointments and he still had the sore eyes after two weeks. So we paid a visit to the vet today. He has been lower in energy than usual, sleeping on my lap more and playing less, but still eating and otherwise normal.

Well, the vet said that since it is a virus we just need to wait it out. It can take several weeks, unlike one of our human colds that usually lasts ten days or so. So not to worry, his temperature was normal and no secondary infection. If he does get worse and stops eating, then that would be time to try an antibiotic because then it would be very likely that there was a secondary infection.

So now I know that if a healthy young adult cat gets one of these things, but still is eating and acting more or less normal, that you really don't need to do anything but wait it out. It's different than for a young kitten, and different from a human cold which doesn't last that long. I asked her how long it should last and she said, "As long as it takes."

She also said there is little you can do to prevent the germs going everywhere, and that it is "in the air". Maybe a strict quarantine in one room would have prevented it. But my kitty loves kittens and plays with them like he is one of their brothers, wrestling and napping with them-- it's easy to see how he got sick! I didn't know eye infections were that contagious.

I'm hoping this information will save some of you a needless trip to the vet! Next time I will know to do differently.

Here's Eddie with one of "his" kittens:

August Fosters

This is the third litter I've fostered this season: I got them just over a week ago, and they are about six weeks old now, and are on their own with no mom. These guys are living in my laundry room and half of the kitchen; when I have younger kittens, I like to have them close at hand, not upstairs in the guest room. There are two black and two tabbies:

Front left is Ladybug, front right is Rosa. Bindi is in the back. She's the most vocal--looks at me and gives a silent meow.

Ross, the only male.

Bindi. I can tell them apart because Ladybug's got a smaller face with little bug eyes, and lots more spots on her belly.

Needless to say, lots of fun and games with four! They are all super friendly and sweet, not shy like the last litter. Makes such a difference.

June fosters, 3rd week: saying bye-bye

My four formerly-semi-feral foster kittens are going back to the shelter tomorrow to get ready to find their new homes. In 15 days they have learned to be much more comfortable with humans. But they still startle easily and are happier to be around us if we are sitting down: hey don't like to be picked up and carried to who-knows-where!

When I sit on the floor, three out of the four will happily climb into my lap and the other one will stay when put there, as long as I pet him until he relaxes and purrs (this is Ziggy I'm talking about, the black one) . Then the other three will hear the purring and climb up too and make a purring heap of kitten love.

They will make good pets as long as their new people are patient and make friends slowly and carefully. Once more, here are Tabitha, Ziggy, Dickens and Jordie.

One more picture

I thought Tabitha's belly spots were really something to see--

June fosters, 2nd week

(I name my foster groups according to the month I got them.)

Yesterday I took them in for their distemper boosters, routine de-worming, weigh-in and fecal analysis. All clear! Which means I can start letting them roam around the house for part of the day. They are all at weight for surgery, so we have them scheduled to go back to the shelter on July 8th, and surgery the next morning. Just one more week to socialize these guys!

Following that breakthrough day (see my journal) they have been happy to climb on me and play with me and purr whenever I get down on the floor with them. I sit there and they climb up my back or onto my lap. Very good progress! The only thing I'd still like to accomplish is to have them not be so skittish when I am walking around the room. They also need to get used to other humans...but knowing one is a very good start. At least they are docile when picked up by strangers at the shelter. Just have to get in a few hisses first.

Here are today's pictures of Dickens (grey), Ziggy (black), Jordie (orange) and Tabitha (brown tabby): they are on an old IKEA sheepskin that they absolutely love! It's machine-washable and I've used it for lots of fosters.

a breakthrough this afternoon!

I have been feeding and caring for these guys for almost a week now. Today I laid down on the floor in their room, and started talking to and petting Ziggy, the black one. He had been the most fearful, hissy and hiding one.

Well he started to purr!! Pretty soon he was snuggling up to me and purring, sniffing my hair, trying to get close. This is the first time any of them have approached me--best I had done before is that they allowed me to pet them at arm's length, or let me pet them on my lap once I had picked them up.

Soon all four were on me as though I were a mama cat--snuggling, purring, climbing on me,playing with me! I could hardly believe it. I think what was key is that I was lying down and they were able to get right near my face and alongside my body. They started rooting around on each other's fur looking to nurse, while purring, and then I knew I was in--I had become Mama cat.

They may forget and be afraid again, but I know this is a big step forward. The first time they wanted to come close to me and enjoy being petted, scratched and loved. The look of contentment on their faces was just priceless. That's why I do this.

New fosters!

I picked up four kittens on Monday. They are eight weeks old but are "under-social", meaning that they need to get more used to people. They were also underfed and spent a week at the shelter just being fed and monitored. From this I surmise that they were born to a feral mom and got abandoned at six weeks or so when she could not feed them anything other than her milk. There was a fifth sib who died two days after being rescued.

To make it worse they all came down with colds on the day I picked them up, so they have been sneezy and stuffy. I had to spoon feed one yesterday (they won't eat what they can't smell on their own) but today he ate from the dish. I have a humidifier going in the room and they are on an antibiotic.

They will run and hide and hiss at me when I want to pick them up, but once I do, they are calm in my lap. So I have hope that they will come around in a few more days. They are okay with me sitting in the room while they play--just don't approach me or want me to pick them up.

Every batch of fosters seems to give me new challenges to learn to handle! I suppose that keeps it from being boring...

They are very cute, an assorted 4-pack of an orange, gray, tabby and black. In these pictures, you can see sore eyes and noses from their colds, but they are on the mend! The brown tabby is a female and the rest are male.



Jordie (orange) and Dickens (grey)


Lacey's kittens: "Graduation Day"!

On Wednesday the kittens and their mom went back to the shelter, where I assume they had their surgery on Thursday. Soon they will be made available on the adoption floor if all goes well. Lacey had started to go into heat for the second time, and that was no fun for us or for her, so I felt it would not be good to delay her return. And the kittens "made weight", that is to say, weighed in at over two pounds which qualified them for surgery. Maui was 2 lb., 1 oz., and Kona was 2 lb., 10 oz. and they were almost nine weeks old. They are nine weeks old today, in fact, and are getting ready to begin their new lives. The kittens will be housed in the same cage, but separated from their mom.

Kittens have been coming in at the shelter by twos and threes and getting adopted quickly, so it looks good for these two. They are little sweeties. It seems a little quiet and empty around our house, but my cats are happier. Soon enough we'll probably get an offer to foster some more. If you want to try to see the listings for these two you can go to http://www.ebhs.org/index.php/adopt-2/cats, and look for them. But sometimes kittens barely make it onto the website before being adopted (okay black ones might take a few days longer). I'll update you if they are. They might be available by tomorrow or Sunday. Adult cats are often ready by the next day after their spay/neuter surgery, which would be today.

Here are some "graduation" portraits:

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