Friday, March 29, 2013


"Charlie is so very tired. He needs a break in the WORST way.
Is it time to leave on vacation YET???"

Almost, Chuckles.... It's almost time.

"The Lady can take the dog, but she can't take the bed... Okay?
You're leaving the dog bed here with Ruby, right???"

Sure, Ruby. If you say so.


Norman Update

Old man Norman visited the vet on Thursday morning. Hundreds of dollars and a senior blood panel, subcutaneous fluids, a steroid shot, and a prescription later, he was sent on his merry way (only to get his revenge on the way home... revenge of the most explosive kind... inside the carrier... yuck).

While we wait for the test results, we're switching Norman to a grain-free diet to see if that (along with the medication) helps things moving in the right direction.

The good news is that he has gained weight since our last go-round with this same business... and he doesn't have ringworm. Yes, I made them check. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fun With Feathers

First, a gigantic thank you for all of the input yesterday on diet ideas for Norman. If you didn't catch yesterday's post and have ideas on feeding an old man with a delicate system, please read and contribute your wonderful thoughts here. Norman had his own thoughts on the matter...

He did have a few more feet raised in the air at the time, though.


Fun With Feathers

Dear Scholastic Book Fairs,

The purple feather pens are absolutely lovely. I question the need for yet another $4 cat toy, though.

"Pen? What pen? BIRDIE. Ruby found a BIRDIE. And it's not yours. It's Ruby's."

"Where did Ruby's birdie go? Darn that Lady for distracting the Ruby."

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Advice Needed

First, my apologies for the lateness of today's post. Between the daily presence of the bathroom contractor (and a week worth of experiments to figure out the source of the "rain" in the laundry room), spring break plans which have been planned and re-planned twice, needing to find a new pet sitter so I could actually leave on spring break, internet connectivity issues, a school band concert, a sick kitty, and an inconvenient stomach bug... well, I'm exhausted. Vacation cannot come soon enough.

Ruby offers you a hug to make up for our punctuality problems.

Ruby hugs make everything better.

Well... almost everything is better. We have identified the source of the leak in the upstairs bathroom. Although we are waiting for the repair, at least we know what NOT to do to avoid puddles downstairs. Our vacation plans are finalized and our back-up pet sitter (who is now our new primary pet sitter) has been engaged to wrangle the cats while we are gone. I can finally keep down a meal and comment on Facebook again. We're getting there.


Someone (ahem) is still having health issues. Old man Norman has lost weight and become a bit bony again. He's stinky, gassy, and having daily bouts of diarrhea (my apologies for the TMI, but it's necessary in order to get the advice I desperately need to solve this problem). We're heading back to the vet in the morning to head off the intestinal drama of a couple months ago when he was hooked up to an IV and suffered the indignities of being held down to have the tremendous bubbles of gas in his intestines permanently captured on x-ray.

He's a bit of a mess.

While not being officially diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Norm seems to respond better to the treatment for IBS than anything else. His appetite returns, the gas releases, and the litter box situation improves. I imagine that tomorrow we will be back on meds (more apologies to the pet sitter, but at least I'm seeking to improve her scooping experience).

My question is one of diet. Do any of you have experience with special diets for gassy kitties? Is there a certain type of food that I should be looking to use (or looking to avoid)? I'm learning that turkey (or at least the turkey filet cut in the canned food) produces exceptionally explosive results, of the negative variety. He does better with liver or chicken, but it's still not ideal. I could also use some help identifying food which can help him gain and maintain an ideal weight.

I believe that we have previously established that Norman will eat anything. So my problem isn't going to be picky eating. I am willing to make all sorts of radical changes to help Norm feel better. However, one thing that we need to have as part of the diet is dry kibble. I'm not "stuck" on it as a dietary staple, but it's turning into a psychological thing for Norman.

You see... He spent so much time scavenging on the street to provide his own meals that he's constantly worried about where his next meal is coming from (even after 14 months in a residence where he has never missed a meal). We have learned that he is calmer and easier to manage food-wise if there is always a bowl of cat kibble full and available to him. He's not so worried about stealing his next meal off my plate because he knows there is food that he can access. 

So, while the type and brand of dry kibble is negotiable, it's presence isn't.

Any help and advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. I'll keep you updated after our vet visit tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Miss Me?

"Of course you did."

When I promised you an update of the former foster with a special and distinctive trait, Holly very rightly pointed out that all of my fosters were special. They most certainly ALL excelled in "special", but my Zelda...

My Zelda aced the "special" part of the kitty exams. That pink tongue, those round green eyes, her gentle heart of gold... this girl makes my heart flutter, ache, and sing all at the same time.

"Darn straight... The Lady LOVES herself some Zelda!"

I received an email from Kevin, Zelda's new dad, the other day. Our girl is settling in nicely with her two new kitty brothers. The younger one is a sometimes playmate and a sometimes annoyance (as all little brothers are wont to be... just ask my older daughter). Zelda and her older brother are happy to ignore each other most of the time, although I do hear there are a few hissing and cranky "get off my lawn" moments from time to time.

"Zelda didn't see the lawn, but she DID see a cranky dude in her way. So she hissed. SOOOOOO not a big deal."

Zelda is playful and friendly, although the playful part is difficult to photograph because she's more interested in the camera and the person taking the photos than she is in the toy. She comes out to greet company but still seems scared of moving things above her head. Her kitty brother is nervous about ceiling fans and their dad is betting that Zelda will be too. But he does say that, for the most part, our Zelda is relaxed and happy in her new home. 

From the looks of the tongue, I'd say "relaxed and happy" are the right words to describe our Zelda in her new home. I couldn't be happier to know she's there.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Whiskers In The Window

Weekend Update: Still available and looking for a good home...

Thank you SO very much for hopping aboard Operation-Share-The-Mama. From the numbers that I was able to track (which only show me the first share, not the share from the share from the share), Mama's photo and link were shared on Facebook more than 30 times on Friday. Her Facebook post was viewed by over 3000 people. My blog post was read more than 500 times. She's still here with us, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time.

If you should happen to feel the need to continue sharing, here is the link.


Whiskers In The Window

A Retrospective

September 2011

Tommy the frequent flyer was the first to find his way to the second level of windowsills.

July 2012

Penelope Jean, the Calico Queen

Not-the-Mama had Not-A-Problem walking the tightrope on the high window sill.

March 2013

Guess Who?

It's Ruby Ruby Roo...

That's who.

Our little peanut Roo has entered the awkward teenage phase... long, gangly legs, big ears, and her teeny tiny face is becoming more angular to resemble the Siamese that came from her Mama's genetics. If she stays still long enough, I'll try to get some pictures to show you tomorrow along with a very special update of a very special former foster with a very special (and distinctive) trait. 

Guess Who?

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Home For Mama

WANTED: A loving forever home for the sweetest, most gentle, patient and kind mama cat that has ever walked the earth where she will be loved, cherished, spoiled, and treasured for the rest of her life.

Did I mention that she's drop-dead gorgeous too?

Mama Madison came to our southeast Michigan rescue in January along with her 4 bouncing baby kittens. After raising some of the most fantastically friendly, outgoing, brave, loving, and brilliant kittens that I have ever met, Mama said goodbye to her babies as they all left for their forever homes over the past week. Her work done, it is now Mama's turn to find a spectacular home of her very own.

Mama Clarice is an incredibly beautiful long-haired silver tabby. Her tabby markings are more pronounced on her face, where she has white tabby stripes that frame her eyes. 

Her tremendous tail plume and fluffy pants are a gorgeous addition to her muted stripes on her body and legs.

Mama's extra-long white whiskers are wild, crazy, and curly... a distinctive accessory for this special lady cat.

Mama Clarice is immensely beautiful and intensely kissable from the tip of her nose to...

The bottom of her tippy toes :)

And just in case you missed those amazing toes the first time...

Don't you want to reach out and touch that toe fluff through your computer screen? If Mama Clarice lived in YOUR house, she'd let you touch them almost any time you want.

Beyond her obvious beauty, Mama Clarice has an amazing personality and beautifully gentle soul.

Three-year-old Mama is quiet and patient. She lived in my house for more than two weeks before I ever heard her voice. The only time she uses it is to express a gentle reminder that her bowl might be empty. I have never seen or felt one of her claws. She has yet to hiss, growl, or spit... even with a menagerie of permanent residents outside the glass French doors to her room watching her every move with her four precious babies. She shows mild interest in playtime and adventuring outside her foster room door, but truthfully... she really only wants you for your love.

Good photos of Mama are somewhat difficult to get because she is truly only concerned with two things... getting enough to eat and loving you (but mostly the second one). She greets me immediately at the door looking for love and affection. Mama performs the most complicated of figure 8 maneuvers by rubbing my legs as  I walk. She purrs unreservedly and showers every visitor with attention. 

It doesn't take much more than a chin rub to make our Mama as happy as can be. 

She is quite simply...


"Why did you stop?"

She loves you already and is waiting for you to bring her home.


A Special Home for Our Mama Cat

Our Mama has tested positive for FIV antibodies and will require a special home, one that takes the time to understand her diagnosis and is willing to provide the proper environment for her.

Because of these test results, some vets might recommend that Mama's ideal forever home may be one where she would be the only cat. They say that for her safety it would probably best if she was a singleton or even placed into a home with another FIV+ cat as a companion. This is NOT because of a danger to other cats. On the contrary, this is simply to protect the health of our Mama Clarice who might not be able to fight off common infections as easily as other cats. FIV+ cats, because of the suppression of their natural immune systems, are more susceptible to the germs and illnesses of other cats... meaning they catch colds and other diseases more easily than others and, once caught, they have a much more difficult time fighting off the infection and returning to health. 

However, if you have other cats and are still considering Mama Clarice... You should know that FIV is not easily spread from one cat to another. It is usually spread either through biting, some other violent act, or through birth. There is much anecdotal evidence that FIV+ cats can live for years with other cats without spreading the virus. 

Our mama has already successfully, and rather easily and quickly, fought off an upper respiratory infection while in our care. She is exceptionally healthy and strong. FIV+ cats, when living in their own little protected bubble, can conceivably live a normal lifespan... well over ten years. The key is protection, a clean environment, and good nutrition. There is no reason to believe that she cannot live happily and without health crises for many years to come.

It should be noted that cats who have been vaccinated for FIV will test positive for the FIV antibodies afterward. Given the fact that we know nothing about her history prior to being dumped at the shelter with her babies, it is entirely possible that Mama is simply a vaccinated kitty. But we must be careful in her placement regardless.

For more information about FIV in cats, please consult the following resources:

Crash's Landing & Big Sid's Sanctuary, a rescue in Grand Rapids, Michigan dedicated to rescuing and placing FIV and Feline Leukemia cats

Veterinary Partner, an online pet health library

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine


So here's the part where I call you ALL into action...

Option #1:

**If you have room for a deserving Mama cat in your life, if you can provide the kind of home we're looking for, if you are willing to give our girl the life of pampered luxury that she so richly deserves, please contact me for more information. You can reach me through several avenues... 

1. Stop by the Whiskers in the Window Facebook page and leave me a private message (using the button directly below the cover photo). 

2. Send me an e-mail to teenytinytabbies (at) gmail (dot) com.

3. Leave me a message in the comments below and let me know how to contact you.

Option #2:

**If you do not have the appropriate home for Mama, if you're too far away, if you have too many cats, if it's just not the right time, you can STILL HELP!!!!

1. Comment below if you have any additional information about FIV... personal experience, recommendations for research and resources other than what I've listed above, encouragement for anyone who is considering bringing Mama or any other FIV+ cat into their homes.

2. Share, share, SHARE, SHARE our blog post. Share it on Facebook. Share it on your blog. Share it with your neighbors. Share it with your friends and family. Share it today, tomorrow, and the day after because you never ever know when the right eyes may be reading. 

I nearly said "Share it until the cows come home" but that would just be ridiculous. How about "Share it until Mama goes home"? Yes... Share it until Mama goes home. Pretty, pretty please.


Mama Clarice currently lives in southeast Michigan (suburban Detroit, to be more exact). While I would love to see her end up close by, I also realize that the realities of Mama's situation make it a bit more difficult in finding that perfect home. If you are out of the area but in love with Mama anyway, we might be able to arrange something.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

We Love Updates!

Grizzly just loves his new big sister.

Big sister Abby isn't quite certain that she feels the same way about him.
"That BOY is in the bed. I'm out of here."

"Sheesh. It's not as if Grizzly was jumping on her head or biting her butt.... This time."

It's always the angelic looking ones that you need to look out for.

Abby is adjusting to life with a baby brother. She likes him... sort of. Where her baby sister Chanel was tiny, quite ladylike, and (mostly) deferential to her big sister, Grizzly has decided to show his love for Abby in the form of tackles and butt-bites. She's a bit wary of him when he's awake, choosing to join the evening snuggle pile after the crazy kitten is already asleep.

She's working on training him correctly. I hear she's got the bath time routine under control. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before she works out the rest.

And if there was any doubt, they are BOTH making their new family very, very happy.


Tomorrow will be the Mama-Centric Adoption Campaign Kick-Off. Let's get our girl a home of her very own.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Where Do We Go From Here?

When little Levi left the building Sunday night, we here at Teeny Tiny Tabby Town were left in a somewhat unusual position (for us). There are currently no teeny tiny tabbies in Teeny Tiny Tabby Town... at least not of the foster variety.

"Ruby isn't exactly chopped liver you know, Lady.
Ruby is Teeny. Ruby is Tiny. Ruby is a Tabby."

Yeah... But Ruby is all MINE :)

Teeny Tiny Tabby Town has been the home of overlapping litters of foster kittens for the past ten months. We've never been without babies to replace the babies who were being adopted. And the question has already been asked in the comments: "When are the new guys moving in?"

Well, we've reached a lull in the action right on the cusp on kitten season. It certainly won't be long until we're looking at teeny tiny adorable little tabby faces again. But the Madisons found their way to their forever homes at the exact right time for me to conveniently take a teeny tiny break from the kitten action. It won't be long. It won't be boring. But there are a few things that desperately need my attention before the kitten room can re-open for business:

1. Mama Madison: Her babies are all in their new homes and Mama deserves a special home of her very own. When kittens are present, it can be all too easy to let her remain in limbo. Between the ringworm and the kittens and the FIV, she's gotten the short end of the stick and now it's time to give her the entire brush pile. She needs more love, playtime, attention, and publicity than she has been getting .

"That's right, Lady. Pet the Mama."

2. Norman: My old man is having intestinal troubles again and isn't quite himself. We need a bit of time to address his health, and his diet, and his gas (oh boy, does he have gasssssssssssssssssss). He's an old man at 12 years old, but he shouldn't be as "old" as he is right now. He lived a rough life before he came here and deserves nothing less than full quality, grade A treatment now. 

"That's right. The Lady needs time to make Norman comfortable in the office cubby of his choice before any more kittens move in."

3. Home Improvement: Over the next couple weeks, my home will be "Contractor Central". My leaking upstairs bathroom needs to be pulled apart and sealed back up. My laundry room ceiling needs to be replaced because of the leak. And while I'm at it, they're going to pull apart a section of my kitchen counter and replace my stove. Considering the last foster let himself out to visit with the contractor, we're probably better off without babies underfoot. The babies probably appreciate being in a quieter home for the time-being too.

4. Spring Break: For the first time in a long time (I'm talking years here), I'm going to take a vacation. My new-found ability to leave town coincides nicely with my kids' Spring Break. Since I am certain that Michigan will still have snow on the ground in a few weeks, I'm currently counting down to my escape.

5. My Sanity (aka Oh dear Lord, I need a Break): When it comes down to it, the overlapping litters with upper respiratory and ringworm have just plain worn me out. I had taken on enormous load with the rescue... all of the Petfinder listings, all of the photography, a second blog, managing their facebook page, attending several hours of adoption clinics every weekend, taking in all of the emergencies and extra vet trips.  It takes a toll, physically and emotionally. It's time to let some of these things rest for a while. I'm not "burned out". I'm just tired and needing to shed some of these things from my schedule. While the kittens are away, the Lysol will play. We'll make sure that everything is tidied up, germ free, and ready for the new midgets when they arrive. We'll be up to Monroe when we re-open for business (which coincidentally is my maiden name and will confuse the heck out of me when they're here!).

So Enough About Me... Where Does This Leave YOU?

Exactly where you were before.
Look what I'll have for you here...

No shortage of stories around here. Just a shortage of kittens.

The blog will still be here and so will I. Besides the current residents here, I will be opening the floor to other friends of mine who are in rescue. I'll introduce you to cats and kittens who aren't on the premises, who need help and a good home. There are four cats currently waiting in the wings to meet you. If you have someone else that you would like to share here, let me know that too. I'll also have some updates. There's one already waiting for tomorrow (and if you have one of my former fosters and haven't sent an update to us recently... What are you waiting for?)

Oh yeah... and I'll eventually get around to finding the time and space for something like this:

Or maybe this...

These photos have been around forever and it's difficult to find the source of things that have been shared a million and one times. I would, of course, love to give credit where credit is due. If you know the source (or are the source) please let me know so I can put your name on your fabulous photos.

I'll be back tomorrow with a very special update about a very special kitten.