Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kind of a Throwback Thursday... The Alumni Edition

Remember this girl?

Well, I guess it would be hard not to recognize her since she looks exactly the same...


If you can't remember all the way back to the winter of 2013 (and it's been awhile), Mama Clarice Madison moved into Teeny Tiny Tabby Town with her four bouncing babies. 




and Misty

Mama was diagnosed as FIV+, so she and her kits extended their stay while the munchkins awaited their second rounds of testing. If the anxiety of their unknown status wasn't enough, we also fought a round with the dreaded ringworm with these kittens. Well actually, it was only one kitten but they all experienced the joy of the treatment.  (Go ahead and click that link. It might have been my favorite post EVER. And if you like wet kitten posts, there are plenty around that date.)

Mama Clarice stayed with us for another few months while we waited patiently (and sometimes impatiently) for her forever family to arrive. When we heard from Heidi, we knew the perfect match had been made. Clarice packed her bags, changed her name to Clara, and moved off to the Windy City for her happily ever after.

We received an amazing update from mom Heidi for her Clara-versary (the anniversary of her adoption). If you remember, she was adopted last year on the 5th of July. Heidi might have been just a teeny tiny late in sending the e-mail update, but I am WAY late in passing along the glad tidings to all of you. Instead of paraphrasing, I'm just going to take the lazy way out and copy and paste her message for you:

As you know, July 5 was actually a VERY IMPORTANT milestone... because of course it was on July 5 ONE YEAR ago that I brought Clara home!!!

Well, Clara is doing really great!! She's healthy, very energetic, gorgeous, fluffy, sweet, affectionate and... what other adjectives can I use to describe her wonderful self?! :) She has brought me so much joy!!! She is SUCH a snugglebug, and such a gentle, loving girl (and I know you know!) :)

Health-wise, we've had a few developments (nothing bad). In October of last year the vet pulled out that cracked lower canine tooth -- and apparently it didn't want to be there anyway, because the vet said it popped right out. The gum healed over nicely and Clara doesn't seem to miss that rotten old tooth one bit. Then in November at the vet's suggestion I switched her over to a limited-ingredient diet, and did THAT ever seem to make her feel great. Things started looking like they should in the litter box, and I think her energy quadrupled. It was really amazing! She hasn't had any respiratory or other issues, and so far, if I didn't know she was FIV+, I wouldn't know!!

By several months in, she had noticeably relaxed too... she was always sweet and affectionate, but it wasn't until she'd been home for a while that she really started running around all crazy-like and playing with her toys with serious abandon. Of course it was a gradual process, but at some point I realized that she was visibly less tense and just had a relaxed air about her, which of course made me so very happy!!

Most nights when I come home, she's on her perch looking out of a large bedroom window, and as I'm walking from the garage, I stop and look up at her sweet face peering down at me (I live in a condo on the 2nd floor), and then once she sees that it's me, all I see is a white-ish flash of color--- which is the cream-colored underside of her tail as she "high tails" it to the unit's door to meet me :)

She's overall still quite a quiet cat, but once in a while she gets in the mood to talk, and then she'll tell me all about it!

One funny thing is that she does NOT like it when I'm on the phone-- which really isn't all that often, but every not and then it must be done. She'll make this funny high-pitched chirp that she doesn't make at any other time, and if she's been on my lap, she'll jump off-- the better to express her disapproval. The first time it happened, I thought that something was actually wrong, and I got all worried-- not yet having become aware of her dislike of this particular activity :)

I've attached a few pictures! (One might be a repeat?) And at some point I need to get some video too when we're playing with her Neko Flies toys... her leaps are truly astounding! :) (Kelly's note... YES, you do!)

Honestly, every single day I think about how blessed I am to have her here with me!!! Thank you so much for entrusting her to me. 

PS... She still has her "toe-hawks"!! :)

(It's me again...) No, Heidi... Thank YOU for making room in your home and your heart for our very special girl. Thank you for keeping us updated and sending the pictures. And thank you for only giving me a teeny tiny bit of crap for not updating the blog in months. I might do it again if someone sends me updates ;)

Wait, what? I have two Teeny Tiny Tabby Town alumnae living here that I could blog about? Yeah, yeah, yeah...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunny Sunday

"Hellooooooooo. What's new?"

"Max is just laying here... looking at the big warm light bulb thingy in the sky..."

"And waiting for the Mama Lady to finish watching basketball..."

"Sigh... Max is bored with basketball."

"Let's destroy something while discussing the awesomeness of Max's whiskers."

Monday, March 24, 2014

So We've Been a Little Busy...

It hasn't escaped our notice that an entire month has passed since our last update. To be fair, it was February. That month is shorter than any other. So it really hasn't been that long, has it?

To be very honest, Mae's adoption and flight to Texas came at the very best time for me. I'm not sure that I could foster right now if I tried. Basically I blinked in February and now it's nearly April.

My business took off at a level that I had never expected. I never dreamed that a job that I completely made up in order to call myself employed would have the kind of short-term return that it has. It's doing so well that I'm either going to have to hire help, turn away clients, or give up sleeping. I've already given up eating a true mid-day meal (and sometimes dinner too). On various days, I've worked 15+ hours or walked 15+ miles or both between breakfast and bedtime. And in a wonderful number synchronicity, I've lost 15+ pounds in the past 9 months.

As if that weren't enough, I've been taking classes at night which means homework, studying, and test taking. The end result is that I now have two jobs (AGAIN!). In addition to my wonderfully satisfying pet business, I am now one of the newest licensed realtors in the state of Michigan. Why would I want to work two jobs and add busyness to busyness? Well, to be honest, I'm not exactly certain why I'm doing it ALL right now. But each of these businesses that I dream to build have several things in common... I work for myself. I work on my own schedule (give or take). I work with helping people with some of the most important things in their lives. I work in businesses which are seasonal and cyclical, so having a back-up (at least in the beginning) is an excellent idea. I have three children who will all be leaving for college within the next 5 years (sigh.............................) so the double paychecks will definitely come in handy.

And speaking of the kids...

Did I mention that child number one was in the school musical at the beginning of the month? That she's taking driver's training and will get her driver's license (Lord help me) during the first week of April? That she has a part time job and has needed a ride to work 3 or 4 days per week for the past several months (Thank God THAT's almost coming to an end... the ride, not the job). That she's starting the process of arranging college visits? Did you hear me scream at any of that?

Have I mentioned that child number two is a project away from attaining Eagle Scout and he hasn't even reached his 15th birthday yet? That he's an aspiring drummer in the marching band? That he attends a special honors high school and needs a ride daily because the regular bus won't get him there? (Are you seeing a connection between child number one's activities and child number two's needs? I AM TOOOOOOOOOOOOO!) Did you know that he is old enough to take driver's training now too? Did you know that I'm THAT old????

Did I tell you that child number three is 12 going on 22? That she is a lovely young lady who has discovered snark? That she is the reason for every single gray hair on my head? That she's a brilliant young lady who is taking 8th and 9th grade classes while her body remains parked in 7th grade? That I cannot help her in math because she has passed me by? That she and her sister have cooked more dinners than I have in the past month? That she is my social butterfly who requires rides to meet her friends whenever they are not on the phone with one another? (AGAIN with the rides!!)

Have I told you that their father, my husband, lives in Washington DC?

I'm tired. And I'm car shopping. Did I mention that I get the new car and will be passing down my old one to the kids? Life is about to get a little bit easier.

None of this has anything to do with cats or fostering. But then again, neither has my life in the past month or so. I'm not ignoring you. It's just that I've not had much of interest to say (at least on anything having to do with the topic of this blog), Fostering isn't over forever, but I am taking a much needed break. I wouldn't be much good at it at the present time anyway. I have definite ideas for the next residents of that front room. I don't know exactly WHO it will be yet. But I do know the direction in which I will travel... and I'll have something to say on that soon. Just not yet.

In the meantime, I will do my best to check in from time to time with stories from the permanent residents. I cannot promise an exact timetable. Well, I can but I'd have a hard time sticking to it. When I do show up here, I want to make it worth your while to read. I don't want to throw something out there for the sake of putting out content. I don't like "phoning it in". I'd rather give you one fantastic Les Mis parody post than 50 random posts that I threw together without much thought or effort. It's who I am and I hope you can understand that.

For those of you who have checked in on me... who have worried about me during my disappearance, who expressed missing me (or Ruby or Max or all of us), who have encouraged me reappearance here... I thank you and I bring you a gift. Max consented to a Glamour Shots session for you.

Behold, the first photos that I took during the month of March:

Max would like you to know that Ruby-the-Feather-Queen refused to pose for you. She was too busy trying to steal Max's feathers to care.

I'll be back as soon as I can. I'm not done telling my story. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ruby Tuesday

Meet my constant bathroom companion. 

Who needs an ugly metal towel warmer in their bathroom when they have a Ruby Roo?

"Lady, you know you're showing your bathroom clutter to the entire world. Don't you?"

"Do these stripes make Ruby look fat?"

"Well, DO they?"

Monday, February 24, 2014

Update Central

For those of you who are not on Facebook, we have been receiving Emmy (Mae) updates throughout the weekend.

From Saturday:

"I'm just hanging out with my Mom, making biscuits, watching The West Wing on Netflix."

And in the comments under the photo: "Shortly after this photo, she moved over to the cat tree in front of the window, took a bath, stood on her hind legs to get a closer look at some bug friends on the other side of the window and kept watch on the goings on out front."

From Sunday:

"This ribbon is really fun!!"

And again from the comments: "Girlfriend was chilling on the cat perch in the window when I came home from the market. She's definitely feeling comfortable in her room. I think she knows she's home."

Gee.... Ya think? Love love love love love :-)

Additional updates from an alumnus not named Emmy:

It seems that someone has discovered the top of the kitchen cabinets at his house.

Get a load of that tail!

"WHAT? I should not be up here?"

I guess it's only fitting that our boy Grizzly found his way up to the highest place in the kitchen.

His mama was pretty fond of the view from on top of my cabinets too.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Happy Tails to You

Mae's Friday began like any other Friday. She woke up, stretched, and washed herself a bit. She moseyed over to the foster room door and watched patiently through the glass as I let Chuckles out the back door, greeted all the kitties, and served up breakfast. She chatted with me over her own breakfast, rubbed up against my legs, and supervised the scooping of Ye Olde Litter Boxe. In short, nothing spectacular.

"Yawn... Just another random wintry day. I'll just tuck in here and wait it out."

And nothing could have been further from the truth.

You see, there were weeks of planning that went into making Friday an extra-special, over-the-top, fantabulously super day of days for our sweet Mae.

By 8:15 am, she realized change was in the air. The carrier had come out and I had come in to grab a fleece blanket out of her room. By 8:20 am, she had parked herself under the sofa in her room just in case transportation had been arranged in her honor. By 8:30 am, I had unceremoniously dragged her out and plopped her complaining self inside. By 8:35 am, we were pulling out of the driveway and heading towards the interstate.

I imagine she thought we were heading back to the vet. That's the only place I ever took her before. While the vet isn't exactly enjoyable, it hasn't been a bad experience for her so she just sat in the carrier and chatted amiably with me as I drove... and then I drove for much longer than necessary to reach the vet. Mae kept chatting politely to pass the time, but I could tell she was wondering what was up. Especially when I pulled into the parking lot at a large suburban mall and a friend hopped in the backseat.

The Kitten Catcher had climbed inside the car to give Mae kisses and hugs. She brought a new carrier for Mae to test. Our sweet Mama Kitty spent several minutes inside of it, watching cars drive by in the parking lot while she purred and hugged and snuggled up close.

I bored her by doing nothing new... calling her name while snapping photos of her. I surprised her with the words "Goodbye" and "Be Good" and "Happy Life". And then she was unceremoniously stuffed down into the new carrier and zipped up tight for the next leg of her journey (or at least we thought she was zipped up tight).

Before I pulled away, I looked over into the Kitten Catcher's car to see Mae climbing all over her. Apparently a couple of fingers stuck through the zipper to pet her was just the leverage she needed. Maisy Mae had the strength to push her way through the opening and out to freedom. Thankfully, I had my box-o-supplies for my business along for the ride, which includes a box of temporary keychains. The wire loops for two of these were engaged as zipper locks and off they went on the next leg of the adventure.

"Seriously... Mae is having no fun in here, guys!"

Mae's complaints went unheeded and eventually subsided as she traveled up the interstate to Flint, where she met our very own Teughcats in the parking lot of a local McDonald's restaurant, changed cars (AGAIN!), and continued her course north to the airport. This is probably the place where I should get into the idea of why Mae was travelling north to go south. You see, Mae wasn't taking just any old transportation route. THOSE routes, which might include cars, trains, and commercial planes flying out of DTW (Detroit airport, for the uninitiated), are okay for most of us. But definitely not for the internet sensation that Mae had become. Mae, our very special Mae, had snagged herself a ride on a company shuttle jet flying out of Midland (the mid-Michigan airport that serves Bay City, Saginaw, and Midland also has a special hangar reserved for one of Michigan's largest companies... a company that employs our very special Teughcats).

This is also probably the place where I mention that most of yesterday's events came about specifically because Teughcats (Pat) leapt into action when I first posted about getting Mae to Houston. She began networking to get permission for Mae to ride that shuttle flight that travels round trip between Michigan and Lake Jackson, Texas five days per week. Once permission was obtained, she found co-workers willing to escort a sweet mama cat on board. She found not one, but three people willing to take her just in case weather or other issues hampered our ability to send her out yesterday. She was the intermediary between us and the airport, AND she drove Mama Mae to the airport to see her off. While Mae would have gotten to Houston one way or another, Pat's hard work got her there simply, quickly, and pretty much free for us. When she told me later that being part of the transport made her day, I can't help but think that all of her help made my YEAR. We've got lots of live up to now, and it's only February! :)

After arriving at the airport, Mae met Chelsea... the lady who would accompany her on board for her 2 hour flight home. I have yet to hear a report of her behavior while the plane was in flight. I only hope she didn't split anyone's eardrums with her howling. Although knowing Mae the way I do, I imagine she only had complimentary things to say in her quiet and usual way... or not.

Michigan was in the tail end of the storm that I have been since told is called (no lie) a Texas Hooker. Well, Mama Mae (or All-the-Way Mae) found herself waiting out the winds of this Texas Hooker in a short delay before takeoff. Once in Texas, she found herself packed into ANOTHER car heading north from Lake Jackson towards Houston.

It was in Alvin, Texas that she finally met her forever mom. Sounds as if she was thrilled to do so, considering she had to be scruffed and pulled out from under the backseat of a rental car to meet her. Stuffed back into the confines of her carrier, she made the rest of the journey home. HOME! 6 travel legs, five cars, four honorary aunties and a mom came together to bring Mae home and give her a new name, Emmy. The next set of text messages sealed the deal...

"I'm home!"


"Why yes, I'll purr for you while you hold me, Mom."

I knew from the beginning that Mae, now Emmy, was going to the right place, but this was the moment when my eyes started leaking for the sheer joy of it. And if that wasn't enough? This update came in on Saturday morning:

"I checked on Emmy when I got up. She had eaten, used her litter box and toys were in different places. She was under the bed. I laid on the floor, talking softly to her and she said a few meeps back. Then she started walking towards me.

When she first peeked her head out from under the bed, I reached out to pet her and she cowered and backed away back under the bed. I can't blame her since just yesterday I was petting her under the back seat of a car and then pulled her out by the scruff of her neck. But then she couldn't help herself and came right back out, softly purring, sniffed my entire head then spent the next 5 minutes rubbing her entire face all over my face. Then she pushed her way under my head to get to the food dish on the other side of me. She is just too sweet!

She'll have another bit of disruption later this morning when the shutters get installed in that room but then I plan on taking a nap with her this afternoon."

Could this get any better? Emmy the wayward mama cat has a new home with a mama that loves her. She has an older sister named Coco, who is showing interest in meeting her underneath the bedroom door. But most importantly, the sweetest feral cat ever (who was born on the streets of St. Clair Shores Michigan, gave birth to a litter of kittens sometime around the age of six months old, and seemingly had every odd stacked against her) found forever.

There's too much for which to be grateful. I'm thankful that the Kitten Catcher grabbed her off the streets. I'm thankful we were able to give her a home. I'm thankful that she bequeathed me with the terror that is her daughter Max (I jokingly threatened to substitute daughter for mother on flight day, but I digress). I'm thankful for our internet friends... BethAnn who gave her a forever home and Pat who worked her magic to get her there. I'm thankful for a complete stranger who offered to babysit a cat on a flight. And I'm thankful for all of you for sharing this with us. 

We'll just have to wait and see if the next chapter can top this one ;)

And BethAnn? I'll say it so 14 people won't have to in the comment section... UPDATES, PLEASE!! :)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Three's Company

Come and knock on Mae's door.

She's been waiting for you.

She's got a loveable space that needs Max face.

Three is company too.

Max and Ruby are very jealous that Mae has a special spot all to herself. They spend the day knocking on the door, trying to play with her through the glass, and shooting between my legs every time I try to go in or out. So... Mae gets company every day for a few hours, which seems to make everyone happy.

Kind of.

"What is that small one doing up here with Mae?"

Get used to it, Mae. You have a sister waiting at your new house.