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. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

All Those Kittens in the Room

Mr. Darcy
Rhett Butler
So for this group, I had planned on posting weekly articles about them... but that did not happen at all. And not only have I not bragged about how wonderful these guys are, I haven't formally introduced the new ones or announced adoptions. Part of the reason is because I have been a little busier than previously. I was "promoted" the Feline Rescue Foster Program Director! I run the Foster program now.

These amazingly kissy kittens have been such a joy to foster. From the moment they popped out of their carriers after the ride home, they have been so incredibly friendly.

Dorian Gray
Don Juan
Dorian Gray, at one time one of the smallest kittens, is what I refer to as Patient Zero. He developed a cold within 24 hours of arriving and by day 2, was absolutely miserable. I chose not to separate him from the rest as I didn't want to have him alone... plus, all the other kittens had probably already been exposed to his germs. One by one, every kitten got that cold. We're going on four weeks now. Some had it fairly mildly. Some had it pretty bad. They've been without antibiotics for more than 24 hours. There's some sneezing and a bit of runny noses but I'm hoping that will work itself out soon.

Barney Stinson
Lord Byron
Now for the adoptions. The very first to get adopted were Warren Beatty and Don Draper, two panther brothers. They've already left and have been at their adopted home for almost 2 weeks now. They're doing so well! The next two were Don Juan and Barney Stinson. Don Juan (DJ) goes up to everybody and kisses them and then curls up on their lap. He's quite the lovebug and would probably be adopted a half dozen times over. The next two to get adopted were Rhett Butler and Dorian Gray. They're going to a home with a 7 year old and an 11 year old girl and boy. Rhett was quite fine being lugged around by the little girl while she was visiting.

After a lull in adoptions, Casanova and Lord Byron finally got adopted. They're going to a home with quite the energetic three year old boy. After his visit, both kittens slept for a long time. Since both kittens are normally very active, this was a refreshing surprise. Mr. Darcy is the last and has an interview on Sunday evening.

William Blake
The new ones. Several weeks ago, within a day of each other, I brought home a litter of three and a single. The single is William Blake. He is the botfly boy. I pulled him from the room a few days after arriving since he lost a lot of weight. He stopped eating and was vomiting up a storm. I had to give him sub-q fluids and force feed him formula. Since both of these tasks have to be done quite frequently, I brought him to work so that I didn't have to travel home to feed him. Another caregiver lives close to where I work and offered to take him after she found out he was with me at work. She is the one that noticed the oozing hole and sore on his chest. I had noticed a sore a few days ago. The oozing hole was new. Turns out, he had a botfly. Over the next few days, he would develop sores and then within 24 hours, a hole in the sore would emerge. This was the botfly making a hole to breath. He had seven removed from him total (although he actually had 9 in him - 2 were dead and the extraction of those 2 would be surgery. No sense in making him go through that). He had a record number of botflies in him. One of them did have to be surgically removed but he came out of it like nothing happened. After the first botfly was removed, William felt so much better and began eating on his own. Within a month, William went from 1 pound 1 ounce to 4 pounds. He's quite the chunk.

Elizabeth Taylor
Katherine Hepburn
Percy B. Shelley
The litter of three kittens are incredibly shy. Two sisters - the black one is Elizabeth Taylor and the tuxy is Katherine Hepburn. The brown tabby is Percy B. Shelley. Percy developed Dorian's cold and had it even worse than Dorian. Percy suddenly realized that the medicine I was forcing upon him made him feel better so this undersocialized kitten actually started seeking me out so that I could give him medicine to make him feel even better. It was quite interesting to watch him overcome his shyness. Elizabeth was the smallest kitten in the room and lacked confidence. She was easily bullied from the food and as a result, was not gaining weight. I removed her from the room for a few days (and let her bunk with William Blake upstairs) to give her a chance at food. It was this one on one time that helped her start to like me. Katherine is absolutely not fond of me. IF I can grab her, I can get her to purr. But that's IF. It doesn't happen very often.

Ron Howard
About a week after William Blake started feeling better, I got a new little kitten. He had coccidia and couldn't mix with the downstairs kittens (coccidia causes diarrhea and if the other kittens stepped in it, they'd get coccidia, too). The new guy is a little orange and white tabby with orange dots on his face like freckles. I named him Ron Howard. Unfortunately, his diarrhea was quite bad and he very quickly became dehydrated. He stopped eating and dropped a lot of weight. Again, I had to do sub-q fluids and 3am feedings. After four days, the medicine finally kicked in and Ron Howard started eating on his own. A week later, Ron Howard had gained a whole pound (kittens typically gain 4 ounces a week). Once the diarrhea subsided, he was introduced to William Blake and the two became best friends instantly. They're now inseparable. They've made friends with my own cats and are quite responsible little kittens so they get to stay upstairs and have pretty much free roaming time.

Ingrid Bergman
Another new little orphan made her way into the foster room. She looks almost identical to Dorian Gray. I had to clip a piece of her fur so that I could tell them apart. She came from a tree farm in Plato, MN. She was NOT fond of super friendly, in-your-face kissy kittens and growled up a storm any time a kitten approached her. I had to kennel her for a few days until she calmed down. She now really likes some of the other kittens. Casanova has a crush on her. I named this brown tabby Ingrid Bergman. She is a cuddler and a purrer and has invented several games that the other kittens now play.
Herman Munster

And the newest addition to the room - Herman Munster. He looks a lot like Ron Howard. He's an orange and white tabby. He was found under someone's porch... who then left him there overnight. He was brought to our shelter as the shelter intake person was under the assumption that this kitten was a good 4-5 months old (she got that impression because his rescuer told her that he was 10 inches long). He's about 7 weeks old and 1 pound 5 ounces. He ain't even close to 10 inches, tip of his nose to the tip of his tail. He's a wee little thing. I was going to name him Jimmy Stewart but changed my mind after I saw him in action. This little guy is a spitfire! He backed Mr. Darcy into a corner, jumped onto Casanova's back (the biggest kitten in the room) and rode him around the room, made every kitten freeze and stop eating their dinner, and has greeted every single kitten with a flying crab walk and hiss. Oooooh! He's a tough little monster. But he's also loveable. He fell asleep in the crook of my arm last night... after he stopped gnawing on my arm.
William Blake and Ron Howard

The seven Kissy Kittens will be neutered on Tuesday. Dorian, Rhett, DJ, Barney, Cas, and Byron all leave by the end of next week. Fingers crossed that Mr. Darcy will also be going to his adoptive home!

So by next week the room will not as chaotic... until I find more kittens who need rescue.

Monday, July 20, 2015


Pretty much everyone has been adopted.

Master Tigress
Master Tigress and Shira were the first to get adopted. They were adopted by a lovely family with two teenage girls. Each girl got a kitten. The kittens' personalities matched the girls' personalities... until the kittens switched. Tigress was always the wild one while Shira was always the cuddly one. And then shortly after spay surgery, Tigress became the cuddly one and Shira became a rascal. Her favorite game was to leap on the back of my leg and hang on while I walked around the room. And chomp on my feet. Their new names are Lena (for Shira) and Cleo (for Tigress).

Billy the Kid
Next to be adopted was Billy the Kid (no surprise there) with Richard Parker. They were adopted by a couple who had been married just a few days. Their laps will never be cold and they will always feel loved. Both kittens are incredibly loving and crave attention. When Billy is feeling well, he can be quite the rascal. Richard Parker has two speeds - rascal and extreme cuddler. Billy's new name is Koopa and Richard Parker will be known as Yoshi. They're names from Super Mario.

Richard Parker
Billy went in to get neutered on July 13th along with 8 other kittens but was rejected because his lymph nodes were very swollen. He has been seen by three different vets now. We're hoping that this swelling is just lingering from Billy's horrible cold. He will continue his anti-viral and antibiotics for two more weeks. If you're watching in the evenings, you'll see me try to give him medicine. He cowers when I approach with syringes. It breaks my heart. He absolutely is fed up with all the medicine. And to top it off, he had ear mites when he came to me. They've since been eradicated but the debris lingers. You'll see me nightly cleaning his ears. He hates that more than medicine and will tear around the room after I clean his ears. The poor guy is going to be so happy to go to his forever home where no one will mess with him and they'll just love him.

Ragna was the next to get adopted. She's going home to a couple with a one year old little boy and two other cats. The little boy was absolutely amazing with the kittens, petting them so softly and nicely.

Duma landed the next adoption, paired with another Feline Rescue kitten named CiCi. For those of you diligently watching the camera, the extra kitten in the room for a few days was CiCi. Duma was not amused with the addition. She growled. The other kittens were fine with the newbie. CiCi was already spayed and recovered so she went home a week before Duma did.

Lucy is going home to a young college student with a young male cat. Lucy has been charming everyone who came to meet other kittens. She loves to ask for kisses and purrs away as soon as people enter the room.

Next on the list of adoptions was Belle Starr. The couple was debating between Belle and Winifred but Winifred was very standoffish while Belle was in their faces. They liked that Belle was a bit of a spitfire. Belle will be going home with the couple who has an adult male cat in desperate need of a playmate.

Belle Starr
Batman and Harper Row got adopted by a young teacher living alone. She will never be lonely as both Batman and Harper are purr machines. Batman is an attention hound, constantly demanding to be petted, held, and kissed. Their human fell in love with Harper after Harper fell asleep on her lap, purring away.

Winifred was the last of the posted kittens to be adopted. At first, I was sad because she was a black kitten - and black cats are the last to get adopted. But for Winifred, her color wasn't the biggest factor. Winifred is quite the independent kitten. While all the other kittens are climbing all over new people, Winifred is always off on the other side of the room, playing by herself. She's not very cuddly, although she does ask occasionally to be petted. Right after her spay surgery, she was demanding kisses. I was quite stunned. Winifred is going to a home with another young male cat who needs a playmate.

Annie and Clyde were posted last night (Sunday the 19th). I'm hoping to get them adopted by the end of the week. They both are incredibly loving and friendly and zany (Annie has the biggest personality I've seen), not to mention astoundingly cute. They should go quickly. Fingers crossed.

Annie Oakley
Most of the kittens were adopted prior to being spayed/neutered. We call this pre-adoption. Our kittens can't go home until they've had their surgery and been tested for FeLV/FIV. On Saturday, five kittens that were pre-adopted went to their forever homes - Shira, Tigress, Duma, Batman, and Harper Row. The foster room seemed so empty with only eight. The next day, Ragna went home and Winifred got adopted and went home the same day. Two more kittens gone. Six left in the room. I put out way too much food. It was a hard adjustment to go from 13 to 6 in 24 hours. Woo.

Tomorrow (Tuesday), the remaining kittens go to be spayed/neutered - Clyde, Annie, Lucy, and Belle. They all had to wait for Annie to reach 3 pounds. By Saturday, Lucy and Belle, and hopefully Annie and Clyde, will all go home. Richard Parker and Billy the Kid will be with me for a few more weeks, until Billy is well enough to go through his surgery. So there will only be two kittens in the room for awhile.

Clyde Barrow
On August 2nd, I am most likely getting 9 new kittens. They'll be about 10 weeks old at that time so they won't be with me for very long (at most a month, depending on health). They're coming from Iowa. No one is adopting kittens in Iowa, it seems, so a rescue is sending them up to us.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Superheroes Join the Furious 11

Harper Row
As some of you have noticed, there are two more added to the mix. These two were found in a blind woman's garage. Judging by how much growling and hissing these guys did the first couple of days, I'm pretty sure I know how she found them. Her adult son called Feline Rescue and that day, I picked them up.

Batman and Harper Row are brother and sister. They're about 10-11 weeks old. They were quite dirty when I got them. Harper had pebbles stuck to her fur. Batman has tar or asphalt on his feet. Their whites also weren't too white and they felt pretty gritty.

Upon arrival, the other kittens immediately introduced themselves. I love these guys. It doesn't matter who or what I put in their room. They're all very hospitable and accommodating. Unfortunately, Batman and Harper were a little overwhelmed with all the changes in their environment. They were not receptive to making new friends. The old crew didn't let it faze them and went on their merry way. I liken this scene of old kittens meeting the new kittens to Toy Story 3, where the toys first find themselves at the day care center and the old toys run towards them with the welcome "New toys!"

Batman and Harper were quite hissy and growly the first couple of days. They liked me and being petted but heaven help another kitten who approached them. And, oh boy, did a ruckus ensue when another kitten smashed into them while tearing about the room. Lucy did not take kindly to being yelled at by Harper. It's the tortie in her. We then had a screaming calico and a slappy tortie. It quickly died down. There was nothing really to be concerned about. It was funny with slightly scary undertones. Neither Harper nor Batman hid. They walked around the room growling and hissing. They would eat right next to another kitten without issue. They just did not want another kitten touching them.

Two days later, I rounded up everyone, including Ike from upstairs, for a photo shoot with KrisKreativ at Feline Rescue. The new kittens Batman and Harper Row had to endure a car ride with the other kittens. I drive a Mini Cooper and could only fit three carriers in the car. I couldn't segregate the new ones from the old ones. Due to the forced time together in the carrier, Batman and Harper finally got over being scared of the other kittens. They now play and snuggle with the others. Once at the photo studio, Ike was in heaven playing with all the kittens.

In other news, Clyde was removed from the room and placed in quarantine with his sister Annie. He is quite upset about his lack of space. Annie, on the other paw, is quite estatic about having  playmate. Clyde's cold is getting progressively worse and I can't have him infecting the other kittens. Since Annie, too, has a cold, it seemed best to combine the two sickies.

Billy the Kid is getting over his cold finally. He still has a runny nose and cough. But for the first time since arriving, he has been mixing it up with the other kittens and became Wrestling Champion of the Room in a matter of an hour (he successfully pinned pretty much every kitten in the room). Winifred, the ex-champion, was not pleased about being dethroned. Billy loves, loves, loves to be petted. He's not keen on sitting on my lap and can often be seen sitting right next to me.

A couple of the kittens were sneezing the other night so they've been getting an antibiotic. I want to nip this cold in the bud so that it doesn't spread to the others. You'll probably see me grab a couple of them to give them medicine.

So order has returned to the room. Batman and Harper have settled in quite nicely. All of the kittens love to play with everyone else, blurring litter lines. They do tend to have a favorite playmate but I love how they don't care whom they're playing with. Everybody mixes it up.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Furious 11

Minneapolis Animal Control sent out an urgent message to rescue groups - they were close to full and would have to start euthanizing those in the feral ward and the sick ward. Since it's kitten season, most rescues are full with kittens. Animal controls are having to put down even kittens due to overcrowding.

I went to animal control and tagged as many kittens as were there, paying attention to the sick ones and feral ones. Often times, those who are deemed feral really aren't. They're scared and affected by people in uniform. They often suffer from kennel shock.

Little Old Lady - Lucy
Little Old Lady - Winifred
Little Old Lady - Ragna 
The first three I pulled were in the sick ward and had been there for 10 days. They were next on the euth list. Three sisters about 2 months old; two dilute torties and one black. I had three old ladies in my life who are no longer here. I named this bunch after those wonderful ladies - my grandmother Lucy, my other grandmother Winifred (Winnie, for short), and Ragna, my elderly neighbor that I took care of for years. She was the happiest and nicest person I've ever met. Never said an unkind word. Always positive about everything. Interestingly enough, the kitten Ragna would be well named as she is the happiest kitten, always purring and clamoring to be on my lap.

Outlaw - Clyde Barrow
Outlaw - Belle Starr
Outlaw - Annie Oakley
The next four were in feral. Three of them were on bite hold (which means they did bite someone), and one of those three did not look like she was going to get out of animal control because they thought she was too dangerous. They called her vicious. She's six weeks old and not even two pounds... but she's dangerous. Those three on bite hold were siblings; the fourth in feral was a lonely only, by himself. I named this group after outlaws (although my husband was quick to point out that one wasn't an outlaw, just a gunslinger). Billy the Kid is an orphan who is about 9-10 weeks old.
Billy the Kid - Crusty face
Outlaw - Billy the Kid
When I pulled him from animal control, he had the worst crusted over eyes/face I've seen in awhile. He was miserably sick and lethargic. I had to give him sub-Q fluids when he arrived and started him on antibiotics. The other three sibling ferals are Belle Starr, Clyde Barrow, and Annie Oakley. I took one look at Annie Oakley and knew something was wrong with her front leg. An X-Ray showed that the leg was broken and had been for quite some time as it was healing on its own now. She spent 11 days in animal control without anyone - even the vet - noticing that her leg was broken. No wonder she bit someone.

The final group is a litter of four who are 2 months old. They were neither sick nor feral. I figured if I had 7 already, I might as well have 11 total. What's four more, right? These guys are hysterical. They're friendly and cuddly to me but growl and hiss at everyone - including their own siblings. I have decided that this is just who they are. They're not mad. They're not scared. They just like to growl and hiss. I've named them after fictional wild cats. They are indeed the Wildcat bunch. Richard Parker (from the book Life of Pi) is the only boy of that litter. He is a tiger! He races around like a mad man and then jumps on my lap to cuddle... and then begins biting my legs HARD just because he's all wound up. Duma (a cheetah from the movie Duma) his sister sounds just like a cheetah. Holy cow! She growls and yowls all the time. Master Tigress (from Kung Fu Panda) is a tough little girl but it also very sweet. And finally, Shira (a saber tooth tiger from Ice Age) is, again, tough and sweet together.
Wildcat - Richard Parker
Wildcat - Shira
Wildcat - Duma

Wildcat - Master Tigress
So, we have three groups (from four litters) in one room - the Little Old Ladies, the Outlaws, and the Wildcats. All of them were at animal control for almost two weeks. They've done nothing but run since I brought them home. They were cooped up too long! For the most part, they're getting along. Billy the Kid is having a hard time mixing. He's the oldest - and by himself - and he has a lingering little cold. He's not feeling the greatest and I'm not quite certain he understands how to play and make friends yet. He's a bit awkward and I'm really having a hard time not giggling as I watch him approach the other kittens. The Little Old Ladies and the Outlaws seem to have found playmates within the other group. Richard Parker seems to have charmed the Little Old Ladies. The three female Wildcats need to settle down a bit before they bond. They've only known each other for a day so I suspect in a week they'll all be friends.

Annie Oakley enjoying cuddling
Unfortunately Annie Oakley, the kitten with the healing broken leg, is in confinement. She's not allowed to run on that leg. She's in another room, in a large kennel, bored to tears. She also has a horrible cold so I can't even put a sibling in with her to keep her company. She's sneezing, coughing, runny eyes, and snoring like a lumberjack (I actually thought it was one of my big cats making all that ruckus because it was so loud but it turns out, it was she). She's just plain miserable. She can't run. She's back in jail. And she has a nasty, nasty cold. She's so grateful for the few minutes a day she's allowed out of her kennel. She's an absolute sweetheart and purrs up a storm (amplified by her stuffed up nose). She'll see the vet again in a few days but it could be as much as three weeks before she's allowed to mix with the others. I am a little fearful how that re-introduction will go after she's been gone so long.

As a side note, in addition to these 11 kittens, I pulled one more - an older male black kitten. He is absolutely gorgeous and the sweetest thing in the world. He's so confident and loving. Nothing scares him, nothing fazes him. He loves to hug - he will actually stand up on his hind legs to hug you. He's so happy to be out. He was slated to be euthanized the day after I picked him up. And he knows it. And he's grateful. I look at him and think what a shame it would have been if he had been put down. He was brought in to be a playmate for another foster I have (upstairs). She's in desperate need of someone to play with. She doesn't quite like him yet and that's okay. All the other cats in the house adore him. He's Ike. My other foster is named Mica and we call her Mike for short. That makes this pair... Mike and Ike. Yup. I did it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Within the Feline Rescue organization, after kittens reach two months old AND weigh two pounds, they receive their first distemper shot. Since they have to weigh at least two pounds, sometimes it takes a few weeks past their 2nd month mark before they're eligible for their first vaccination. Within Pippa's litter, Piper, of all kittens, refused to gain much weight. She held steady at one pound, twelve ounces for more than a week and then, pretty much overnight, she hit a solid two pounds. Stinker.

All eight kittens received their first distemper shot last Saturday (May 2nd). They didn't do too poorly. Only Phineas howled. No one else made a peep. They then met Kris the photographer from KrisKreativ and had a photo shoot for their website postings. By the end of the day, three kittens were limping severely, a side effect of the distemper vaccination. I've never seen it happen so quickly. Peter was in so much pain that he was shaking. It was quite sad. They received pain medications in order to make sure they didn't succumb to pain and stop eating. Within an hour, they were fine and barely limping. 

They were all posted as available for pre-adoption on Sunday late morning. Pre-adoption? Since they haven't been spayed/neutered and tested for FeLV/FIV, they can't go home with their adopters. They can meet people who are interested in adopting them, though. It will be a few weeks before they can go home. Feline Rescue standards state that the kittens need to be three months, three pounds before they can be fixed. Piper is holding out again, stubbornly stuck at two pounds, four ounces. Since kittens gain about four ounces a week, it will be SEVERAL weeks before she's ready. The rest of the crew thank her for the delay. 

Within two hours of being posted, Phineas and Parrot had a call. I knew it would be those two to go first. They have a ton of personality. Two days later, everyone would have someone lined up to meet them. I am insisting that Norman and Peter go together and have paired up Pierce with Pickle, Pirate with Piper. Even Pippa has someone interested in her. Momma cats are usually the last to go. She may go with Pierce and Pickle. 

Pirate with Pickle in the background
If anyone was watching the camera last night, you saw Phineas and Parrot's adopters. I told Phineas t be on his best behavior and the stinker took that to mean sit perfectly still (on MY lap, I might add). Sigh. Phineas. I kept explaining to his people that Phineas is rarely still, that his behavior was unusual. They understood. They had been watching the camera for a few days so they've seen his zany side. 

Unfortunately, neither Pippa nor Pickle were anywhere to be seen. Sigh. Pippa has truly come out of her shell the past few weeks. She adores attention. I guess she's just learned to trust me. It's a start. Pickle is so mellow; her hiding shocked me. Even Norman and Peter eventually came out to play with the new people.

At this time, I think all of the website postings have been taken down. All of the kittens and Pippa have calls so there's no point in having them on the site. Hopefully everyone who is set to meet them actually falls in love with them. I would love for them to all get pre-adopted so that I don't have to worry about how long it will take to get them adopted. I always rest so much easier knowing they have homes (and that a new crew can be saved next).