Thursday, December 3, 2015

Snolly and Panjy

With the last article about Snollygoster and Panjandrum, they were kenneled and scared. On the same day, both Snolly and Panjy decided they had had enough of confinement and busted out of their kennels. I decided to leave them out.

They both ran whenever I walked in the room. After a few days, Snolly would come out to eat while I was in the room but once finished, he would run to his hiding spot. Panjy originally came out to eat but then once she realized food was always out, she opted to eat when I left. I never saw her after the first few days.

Eventually, Snolly started shortening his circle that he drew around me. That scary bubble started shrinking. Every time he walked by me, he got closer and closer. I made sure to grab him when I could so that I could pet him and kiss him to remind him that he did like me. He really likes to be petted.

After several weeks, Snolly showed great improvement. His sister Panjy got worse. I was never allowed to touch her. I never saw her. On the day everyone went in for spay/neuter surgery, I saved capturing Panjy for last. It took me well over 20 minutes of chasing her around the room. Her favorite place to hide was under the couch. After about 10 minutes of chasing her from side to side under the couch, I finally took the futon mattress off the frame and laid that on the floor. Now she had no place to hide. After darting from me once, she realized it was game over and just slunk down and let me grab her. After her surgery, Panjy was kenneled upstairs.

It seemed like overnight that Snolly made a huge step in socialization. He started greeting me at the door with the other kittens. Why? Because I bring food when I enter the room. It is important to note that Snolly LOVES his food. The boy has gained two and a half pounds in 6 weeks. He's a pudge. After about a week of greeting me at the door, Snolly would then hang back while the other kittens shoved their way to the food. Why was Snolly avoiding food? Because Snolly learned that while the other kittens ate, my lap was completely open. He could have me (and my lap) all to himself for a few minutes. Pet, pet, pet, pet, pet. Purr, purr, purr, purr, purr. And as soon as the other kittens finished eating and started climbing on my lap (and stepping all over him), he'd run to the plate and devour what was remaining.

Upstairs in her kennel, Panjy was very slowly coming around. I would take her out twice a day to eat. She'd get to eat while sitting on my lap. She learned she loved to be petted. She absolutely adores having her head scratched and ears rubbed. And after about week, she really started nuzzling into the kisses I planted onto her head. Unfortunately, any time I let her off my lap, she'd head for the nearest bookshelf or dresser and crawl underneath, out of reach. Being in a house still terrified her. People, she was starting the learn, brought her food and kissed her head. She liked that. She likes people. But houses are scary. But at least she wasn't climbing the walls.

She got more and more non-kennel time... but that was always spent under something. She would let me pick her up from under whatever (which was a far improvement over having to chase her). As little as that is, it was still an improvement. Every night, I'd find her hiding spot and put her back in her kennel. Just a few days ago, I came into Panjy's room to find her sitting on TOP of the bookshelf. She didn't cower or flinch when I approached her. She was quite proud of herself. I decided that Panjy had earned the right to stay out overnight in her room. No kennel. The next morning, she was walking around without fear. She earned the right to stay out in her room during the day. She is indeed improving. The next step is for her to approach me to be petted.

And the award for most improvement goes to Snollygoster. The other day, Tiramisu and Anisette had an interview. After about a half hour, Snollygoster came out of hiding and WALKED AROUND THE ROOM. With a complete stranger present! Of course, when she approached him, he ran into a corner and shook with fear but up until then he was fine. Someone else got to see him. He's becoming more comfortable with people.

My two challenges are slowly coming around. They're such sweet kittens. One day, they'll be fabulous lap cats who aren't afraid of anything. I'm hoping that one day will be very, very soon.

Updated Words

It's been awhile since I last posted about the kittens. You may have noticed that the room is a lot emptier. And soon it will be very empty.

Katherine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor were adopted together by a woman who likes shy kitties. Katherine was really warming up to me around the time of her adoption and more and more would let me approach her and pet her. Elizabeth had turned love bug/lap cat months prior. Now in their adoptive home, the girls are doing well. Their adoptive momma is quite smitten with having a loving kitten like Elizabeth. And Katherine is doing well in her new home.

Mugwumps had several interviews with other people prior to finding her people. She had always been polite with the other people and would greet them for about a minute before retreating across the room and refusing to have anything to do with the people who came to meet her. That all changed for the right people. Mugwumps jumped up on their shoulders and gave them kisses. She picked her people and they fell in love with her right away. Mugwumps went home to another cat and they're getting along well.

Taradiddle stole an adoption from Ingrid. Ingrid thought she had it in the bag and after about 10 minutes of being fairly social, stopped interacting with the people. Tara swooped in and stole the adoption out from under Ingrid.

But Ingrid's people soon came. Although Ingrid was quite shy with them, she still won them over. Ingrid needed a buddy so the mom and son chose a kitten from another litter. Since Ingrid could be quite difficult with other cats, that kitten (Espresso) came to stay with us for a bit to make sure that Ingrid could get along with that kitten. Lo' and behold, it was Espresso who had issues coming into the foster room! He was a pistol for several days, whacking anyone who dared to get close to him. All the kittens took it in stride, even though they desperately wanted to play with the new guy. Ingrid developed a crush on Espresso. He finally settled down and the two of them went home together.

Firkin was also paired with another kitten in foster care. He is doing well.

Herman was paired with an adult cat in foster care. Herman is doing well; the adult cat is adjusting to sweet Herman.

Tiramisu and Anisette were adopted together. Their new momma is excited to have friendly, sweet cats as her last several had been standoffish and skittish.

The last two to be adopted are Gazump and Jackanapes. I'm absolutely shocked about that. They are gorgeous AND friendly. My shy ones were adopted before my friendly ones. So odd. The boys have an interview on Saturday. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

One In, One Out

Mugwumps was adopted last week! She truly picked her people. Several people have been interested in her. She is quite gorgeous. But each time people met her, she hung around for a minute or two and then would walk across the room, refusing to return. For these people, she hopped right up on their shoulders. She gave them kisses and patted their faces. They thought they chose her but she actually chose them.

Interestingly enough, Mugwumps was a silent kitty in the foster room. She rarely spoke and when she did, she simply opened her mouth and nothing came out. Once adopted, she has become a big ol' chatter bug.

A few days after Mugsie was adopted, another kitten came in. This in Panjandrum, Snollygoster's sister. The person who captured Snollygoster, finally caught his sister. She looks like a cross between a lynx and a rabbit. She is quite vocal and definitely wants out of her kennel. She's a little more wild than her brother. She vibrates when she eats, just like her brother.

Snollygoster is still confined to a kennel (so is Panjandrum). They're in separate kennels that face each other so they can see each other. They both get to come out when they eat. I place the bowl right on my lap and pet them while they eat (I take them out separately). They're both still super scared and confining them to a kennel ensures that they won't burrow into a hiding spot where I'll never see them again. They only get to eat when I'm in the room as it helps to reinforce that people are good, they bring food. They both are no longer flat against the back of the kennel; they sit towards the front and observe the chaos of the foster room. Snollygoster even snagged some toys into his kennel and will play quietly. As soon as I open the kennel door, they both retreat to the back of the kennel. The day they stop fearing me, moving away from me, they will get free room privileges. I was hoping Snolly would have graduated by now but a week was a little too ambitious. He's gaining weight and seems to be content. Panjie would like to get out; she's a little more high strung than he brother. She may take even longer than her brother to come around fully, though.

So that's the story. One got adopted and made room for another to join the foster room (albeit in a kennel).

Monday, October 19, 2015

And another one....

And another one has entered the room. It might be awhile before you see Snollygoster wandering about. He was found up north wandering around by himself. The person who captured him said it took four people to get him. I'm assuming it took so many because he was completely scared out of his mind. He's a bit scared now. He lets me hold him and will even start purring but once released, he's completely wild. He is currently kenneled in the room until he learns to trust me.

Snollygoster definition: an unprincipled but shrewd person.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Expanding Your Vocabulary

Gazump, mid lick
Two more kittens have entered the room and I've continued with the unusual words naming theme. Introducing Jackanapes (definition: an impertinent, presumptuous person, especially a young man) and Gazump (definition: a swindler or cheat, particularly when selling a house and then raising the price or accepting another offer from a different buyer).

Jackanapes and Gazump were found in Frogtown (a section of St. Paul, MN). They were being harassed by several boys who were tossing them around like balls. Understandably, Jack and Gaz are a little leery of being handled right now. They purr when petted but do not like to be picked up. They are not fans of the other kittens in the room and growl up a scary storm when approached. The other kittens are quite stumped by this. It's actually quite funny to see a kitten who is three times their size freeze and then back away from Jack or Gaz. Oh, the power of a might roar.

Gaz is quite fond of sitting behind me, just out of reach. He likes to continually poke me in the back. He really wants attention and interaction. He's just a little out of sorts from his ordeal. His brother Jack likes to sit on the couch behind me, just at my shoulder but not touching me. Jack purrs a little more readily than his brother.

Both boys are quite sweet. Neither hide. They stand their ground with the other kittens. They are not skittish. They're just a little apprehensive. They'll get over it soon enough.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Dessert Menu

Some of you eagle eye cam watchers may have noticed some teenies running around the past week and a half. They were transferred from another Feline Rescue caregiver, who had too many fosters (her remaining all have medical issues).

Tiramisu and Anisette
Originally there were three new ones - Anisette, Tiramisu, and Cannoli. Unfortunately, Cannoli suddenly passed away. He was coughing and losing weight. He saw the vet a day later who diagnosed him with giardia (he had severe diarrhea). A day later, as I watched the camera, I noticed that Cannoli was exhibiting signs of distress - pacing, twitching, and gasping for breath. I immediately left work and took him to the vet. He was placed on oxygen and an X-Ray showed that his abdomen was filled with fluid. The vet recommended euthanasia. The three things that had the symptoms he was showing were all terminal. A necropsy was conducted; the results will come back in a couple of weeks.

The other two kittens Anisette and Tiramisu are sweet little tortie girls that are incredibly bonded. They are about 8-9 weeks old although they look to be about 6 weeks old. They're stunted (so was Cannoli). They came from Animal Control when they were about 4 weeks old without a mother. They are good little eaters and happy little girls. One of these days they'll get big. They absolutely love to sit on my lap.

Rest in peace, little Cannoli.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The New Kids - the Wordy Kittens

Mr. Darcy was adopted on Saturday and went to his new home. He was the last of the official Kissy Kittens.

On Sunday, five new kittens entered the room. They are fairly friendly and are all ages. Since it makes it much easier to track kittens in our database that have unique names, I came up with never before used names. I call this group the Wordy Kittens. Their names are unusual words.

First off the bat is Kerfuffle. He's the oldest kitten at about 4 months old. He's a tuxy with 'tude. He has done nothing but growl and hiss. Constantly. He growls and hisses at other kittens. He growls and hisses when he's eating. He growls and hisses when he's playing with toys BY HIMSELF. Kerfuffle means "commotion" or "fuss." Yup. That's Kerfuffle.

Mugwumps is probably Kerfuffle's sister. She's a tortie that seems to be the same age as they're about the same weight (plus, Keruffle doesn't seem to hiss at her as much as the other kittens). Mugwumps is an independent person who is neutral (relating to politics).

Widdershins is the next oldest at about three and a half months. She's a Siamese mix who is very un-Siamese. She is friendly! She's bursting with energy. Widdershins means counterclockwise and yes, she is always moving in the opposite direction.

Taradiddle is one of the smaller kittens. She's an 8 week old tabby. Very sweet. Likes to lick. Taradiddle means "pretentious nonsense."

And finally, my favorite (yes, I do have favorites) - Firkin. I'm in love with Firkin. He's a 7 week old black and white (not quite a tux). He's all fluff. He's a tiny guy that loves to sit on my lap. I can't help but put him there. He's not going to be good at walking because I keep scooping him up. Firkin is a quarter barrel (relating to beer).

So there you have it. Five new kittens.