Monday, October 1, 2012

Mega Monday

Hi Everyone!  When we last left off, I was in a tizzy of stress and cleaning up after three rooms of foster kittens.  While I've been gone, I've had both a breakdown and a breakthrough.  Along the way, I've come to the conclusion that I am allowed to be human (i.e. less than superhuman).  Instead of focusing on the stress around here, it's my new mission to bring you nothing but the cuteness... and boy oh boy, do we ever have a lot of that to go around.  But first, the updates...

The Adams Family

I bid so long, but not farewell, to the Adams kittens on Saturday.  As seems to be the case, they did not leave in the way that I expected (and under less than ideal circumstances).

On Friday, I started to notice a problem.  By Saturday, I was back at the vet.  Our girl Mally is sick.  Before you worry, it's nothing life-threatening and she will be fine and completely back to normal within a couple of weeks.  She is, however, exceptionally contagious and that necessitated her separation from her brothers and sister.  As luck (?) would have it, another of our foster homes has a similar condition in residence so Mally packed her little bags and moved there for the time being.  As I was expecting her departure under happy circumstances, to say I was devastated would be an absolute understatement.

Because Mally's condition was so contagious, we could not be certain that her brothers and sister were completely in the clear.  The vet advised waiting and watching for a week before proceeding with their move to the adoption center.  Since my house was already overcrowded and overstressed, we made the heartbreaking decision to move our Adams foster babies to another foster home.  They went to a great foster mother who was bringing her current litter to Petco on Saturday when I was supposed to be dropping mine off.  As long as the rest of the Adams are symptom-free next Saturday, they will make the trek to Petco then.

Bye Bye, my sweet boy.  I'll see you very soon.

The kittens were at Petco for a short time Saturday afternoon while we made the moving arrangements.  They drew considerable attention from three separate families who were interested in adoption.  Once these babies return to Petco, I have absolutely no doubt that they will be snatched up in a flash

**I'm being purposefully vague about the diagnosis because, truthfully, it doesn't really matter as long as it's treatable.  My new view on life includes not focusing on the drama of the "what" (i.e. the f-word or the r-word or whatever other word it might be).  Instead, we just need to do what we need to do to get through it.

Henry and the Girls

Henry, Abby, and Tika (known in shorthand around my house as HAT) continue to improve.  I can no longer hear Henry breathing from across the room.  They are playful, sweet, loving little beings who have absolutely no business being left unadopted for so long.  They're suffering from "Brown Tabby Syndrome".... people think they're a dime a dozen and forget to meet the personality behind the stripes.  And believe me, these guys have loads of personality to spare.

Upon entering the upstairs foster room (aka my family room), you are assured of three things:

***The first is that Henry will try to escape.  He will probably succeed which then necessitates running down and up the stairs to return him to the proper room.

"Henry has absolutely no idea what the Lady is talking about..."
He looks calm and sweet in this picture.  Looks can be deceiving.
Oh heck, he is still an exceptionally sweet boy... with an escape fetish.

***The second thing is that Abby will be rubbing herself on whichever body part of yours is easiest to reach.  She is the sweetest kitten I have ever met.  All she wants to do is love you (Are you listening, Universe??  Get this kitten someone to love!)

Our Miss Abby has those same big round bug eyes like Baz did.

***The third thing is that you will step in a large puddle of water and that the kittens' water bowl has usually been emptied courtesy of Tika.  No idea what makes the girl feel the need to splash and spill three-quarters of the water bowl on the walls and floor before she drinks, but she had this reputation at Petco and she's living up to it here.

"Does this face look like the face of trouble to you?"
Why, yes... Yes, it does.

A bonus video for you:

The Jeffersons

The Jeffersons would like to have moved on down to the deluxe foster room on the first floor, but we're in a period of sterilization before they can move in.  The current plan is to move them in on Wednesday.

While we were gone, the kittens acquired upright ears.  One day last week, I walked into their room after an absence of a couple of hours to find that their ears have boinged right to the tops of their heads.

Florence the intrepid explorer found her way out of the linen closet.  She was closely followed by Lionel.  Roxie, Clay, and Willie Rae stayed behind straining at the plastic crate in their way and mewing pitifully to join the adventure.  We've done a bit of rearranging to give our developing kittens more freedom.  Mama's not so sure she approves.

"Yeah, Florence found the escape hatch.  Did the Lady think we were going to live in a closet forever??"
Hanging out under the bathroom cabinet by the door to the hallway.  I guess Miss Flo is plotting another escape.
"No, Lady... really... Lionel wasn't going anywhere.  You can put him back down now."
Clay is developing darker flame points.  His eyes are clearing up, too.  And while he seems rough and tough and big and brave while exploring the bathroom... he looks a teeny bit scared of it all.
((Yes, those are my flannel pajama pants stuffed under the door.  I put them there when I was flea treating the carpet outside the bathroom and didn't want to affect Mother Jefferson and the babies.  Clay has decided they make an excellent place to sit... so I left them there.))
"Hey!  Clay is NOT skeered!  Clay is just amazed and horrified at the state of this bathroom!"
Yes, Clay... so am I.  Who knew how messy you were?
Oh yeah... and we've got trouble:
"Hey Roxie... you've got funny ears.  You know what that means, don't you?  Your mama dresses you funny!"
"Fight, fight, fight!!  Clay's got next!"

Your Saturday Story of Cute:  Clay followed Mama over to the kibble plate.  Mama scooted over so Clay could watch her eat.  Clay sniffed the kibble.  He looked at Mama.  Clay began pushing himself under Mama because he apparently prefers milk to kibble.  Mama scooted over so she could continue eating.  This could have continued all day... well, except for the point where Mama ran into the wall and had nowhere else to go.

Your Sunday Story of Awesomeness:  What a difference a few days make.  Our babies went from helpless little creatures, scared of everything but Mama, screaming every single time a human picked them up to curious little beings, tumbling out of every corner of the room to greet their visitors, demanding attention, and trying to climb into laps. Willie Rae was the first to accomplish the lap sit on her own Sunday morning.  


Just don't get me started about people who adopt kittens without thinking about what it means to have a kitten... let alone adopting two kittens without thinking it completely through.  Porter is back at Petco through no fault of his own.  The reasons don't really matter.  I'm bummed for my sweet boy, but this just means that he was meant to find another family.

How could anyone not want this sweet baby boy?  Seriously... I'm staying away from Petco for now.  First, it would break my heart to see him back there.  Second, I would have to fight myself from bringing him home too.

In a way, I'm glad that the Adams kids aren't at Petco at the moment.  They're so much smaller than him that they were bound to be unfair competition.  If you could send good luck vibes to our little Porkchop, I would very much appreciate it.


I nearly quit fostering on Saturday.  I cried.  I threatened to walk away.  Actually, I threatened to drop all of the foster cats currently in residence off at Petco and let someone else deal with it.  Letting go of the Adams babies was something I had to do.  It was best for their healing and it is best for my stress level.  I felt guilty, as if I had done something wrong.  Truth be told, there is still a part of me that does.  I blew off a major amount of steam laced with a considerable number of curse words.  And then it was time for me to get back to work.  But I've realized that I can only do whatever I can do.  Then it's "let go and let God".  I took the rest of the day off to enjoy my daughter's first high school dance (no, I didn't chaperone and horn in on her good time but I did enjoy the process and the picture taking).  I put my feet up and let things be for the night.  Tomorrow is always another day.

But if I'm not here with a new post tomorrow, just know that I'll be back sooner than later... and that we're all just fine.  I'm merely taking the time to enjoy my babies a little bit more (the furry and the human kind).

PPS--- I figure I'd better wrap up the things over which I have been specific in the past.  Charlie and Norman's r-word tests are now officially negative.  Their fur is growing back without treatment anyway.  We'll never know for sure what it was, but at least it's gone.  We f-bombed three rooms in the house on Saturday night... the front foster room, the basement, and the garage (Do the basement and garage count as rooms?)  I'm not certain if everything is gone from the main house, but I do know that with determined vacuuming, lots of laundry, and carpet/upholstery treatments there is definitely less to deal with.  The permanents can have another topical treatment on Friday... I'm told by several sources that you can do 21 days safely instead of 30.  I'm also hearing that Frontline is less effective this year, so gang will be getting Advantage II instead.  If those little f's are not gone already, we will diligently remove them over the next week.

Happy Fall!  Let's celebrate!
"Simba will help with the snacks."


  1. I am sorry to hear you were so stressed out. I can totally relate to the feeling bad about handing fosters over to someone else as I had to do that once. I was overwhelmed with life at the time and I couldn't do the kittens at the time justice (they weren't opening up to me at all) so I brought them back.

    I can respect your decision to not share the details. If you think it is because your readers don't want to know though, I'd like to share with you that I would like to know. I learn so much from finding out what other people are dealing with and how they dealt with it. But if you are choosing not to go there because that is how you are choosing to deal with it, I respect that.

    1. Thanks, Connie. Truth be told, I will probably not be able to help myself from oversharing the gory details from time to time. But this weekend, I learned that dwelling on it and focusing on what's wrong made things a million times worse. Keeping this to myself for now is just my present defense mechanism.

      Everyone knew I had too much on my plate, including me. I still have 8 fosters, but life is ever so much easier today. But I miss my little munchkins terribly! ((Although, in every conceivable plan they wouldn't be here today anyway))

  2. Awww, Porter (well, I mean, awwww everyone - but especially awww Porter! And awww Kelly!) You took on a LOT in a short period of time, I don't blame you for nearly quitting.

    Simba, you are so helpful! :)

    1. Thankfully, I was able to acknowledge that it was too much and ask (no, demand) help. That's not my usual M.O.

      I know you've had adopters return your fosters. Ever want to beat up a little old lady that you've never met? Because I wanted to this weekend. Oh well, Porkchop obviously deserved better.

    2. Poor Porter! I can't believe he was returned. Did the woman who adopted him return the other kitten too, or just Porter?

      I'm sure that he will find a more spectacular forever home!

    3. She returned both of them (sorry, I should have been clearer about that). Can you imagine how many nails I would be spitting if she only returned Porter? I know this will work for the best eventually, but of all the Washingtons to do this to.... He's the sensitive worrier. I'm sure he's having a tough adjustment back at Petco.

  3. It's easy to become burned out with fostering - there are so many cats out there who need help, and the rescue groups will give you as many cats as you are willing to take. I had to cut way back with my own fostering after getting completely overwhelmed this past summer. Just do what you can do.

    Frontline has been losing effectiveness for the past few years. I've been having much better luck with Advantage.

    And you would not BELIEVE some of the lame-a** excuses I get for why people are returning adopted cats. But I would absolutely rather get the cat back, to find it a home with someone who isn't a nutjob, than have it spend its life in a home where it isn't wanted.

    1. If only I didn't have to wait until Friday to hit 21 days for the Advantage application... I will say that I can tell there's a huge improvement. Don't know if they're all gone, but Advantage on Friday and then we will "bomb" every room in the house with a door and chemically treat the carpets/furniture in the others on Saturday.

      My thoughts exactly about the Porter return. I would rather he was with someone who wanted him enough to keep him out of love and not out of feeling "stuck" with him.

  4. ((hugs)) It can be so very hard sometimes. I have found that having this outlet is a great way to let it out....there are so many out there (Robyn, Connie, myself and others) who foster and rescue and can relate and let you know that YOU aren't crazy.

    I agree - returns make me nuts. I don't want to hear the excuses - just give me the animal back so I can find him/her a better home.

    And I can so relate to being up to your eyeballs and having weirdness. I went through it this summer - part of it while I was out of town. Thankfully a friend with the same rescue also fosters and managed to step up to help. But we had the same thing - both of us were on hold for a couple of weeks to make sure there was no disaster. It all turned out fine, but it made for a couple of long weeks.

    Just know we are here for you.....and love hearing about your adventures!

    1. Thank you for the hugs. I need them after this weekend. Having you all here is the reason I would never quit blogging while fostering. There will be times I will dump on you, but I'm dealing with it better this way for now instead of reliving it all again in the post. Perhaps when everyone clears for adoption, I will feel relieved enough to share. The guilt is getting to me, although I *know* there is no way that I could have prevented this... it's just been a freaky summer health-wise. Thankfully, the Jeffersons have always been healthy (something that was not the case with the Adams) and Henry/Abby/Tika are improving by the day. We'll get through this soon.

    2. well if you ever want to dump in private with someone who won't ever share it with anyone you know, my email addy is on my blog :)

      (and your right, the guilt is just guilt.. it has NOTHING to do with what ever it is you are feeling guilty about.. )

  5. Hugs Kelly! I'm sorry it got to be too much but I'm glad you and the kitties are finding your way through it. Tell us or don't that is your right/privilege but know that we will listen if you need us to and respect you if you don't. (Hopefully I am not wrong in placing a generic "we" in there but from the comments above me it does not appear so).

    We went and got Oreo a cat tree over the weekend. When we get some good pics I will add them to my Flickr page. I was so thankful last week when I heard she was quite well-no F's and all tests negative. Ear mites are no biggie and she got meds for worms but again no biggie.

    Hugs to Porter and Mally! I hope little Mally gets better and Porter finds his family quickly.

    1. And this is why I love you guys. Things are much improved here the past couple days. I think we were already over-run and the potential for the Adams epidemic kind of put me over the edge. I really am fine right now, just busy sanitizing and vacuuming. I'm enjoying fostering more with fewer numbers (which is not to say that I didn't love the Adams more than chocolate chip cookies, but enough was enough... and I know they are in the very best hands right now, so I'm not worried).

      I can't wait to see more pictures of your baby Oreo. Glad to hear all went well at the vet (and there's almost always ear mites and worms at the first visit, so she's delightfully normal!)

  6. Many thanks for the update, Kelly. Porter is such a dear fellow that I'm confident the right person/family will come along. And little old ladies and gentlemen need to be steered toward senior animals. Keep on keeping on!

    1. Thanks, Kerry. I know Porter will be fine... it's just the insult of "Why isn't he good enough?" He's so sensitive that I worry more about him than the others. I doubt Henry would have even noticed ;-)

  7. So sorry to hear about the stressful situations with these little guys. I fostered two kittens last summer and nearly lost it (especially when it looked for a little while like one might have had FeLV; she tested negative later on, fortunately) -- I can't imagine what it must be like to have multiple families of kittens to deal with...

    I think have the Adams be with another foster home is a great thing, actually! The more friendly humans they are exposed to early on, the friendlier they will be in turn. Not that it would take then more than 10 seconds to get themselves adopted, but every little bit helps!

    I have the most wonderful brown tabby in the world. Yes, she has the "default" cat coat (although she dresses it up with polydactyl paws), but I think tabbies are just gorgeous. I'm sure someone will see that in your HAT crew.

    1. "*having* the Adams" I hate typos.

    2. Thank you, Alexandra. I've heard from the Adams' new foster mother and they are doing well... up to all of their old tricks. I know giving them up was the right thing to do, but it's hard to convince my heart.

      Yes... brown tabbies rock! And very special people belong to them, too!

  8. Wow, you've been through the wringer! You should never feel bad about letting someone else take part of the burden and never feel bad about not posting ever day or whatever schedule you've decided in your head! You do what you can and let the rest go! Hugs! Love all the updates! Those kitten ears are too cute!

    1. Thanks, Andrea. All of this support is exactly what I needed to get past this bump in the road. I'll have more kitten ears for you soon!