Thankful Thursday

So today I’m thankful for Buttercup… the newest additional to the household, she’s the most timid, quiet member and I believe that she was abused as she flinched when I went to touch her. Mind you, I always let her sniff me before I touch her.

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She came up to me last week while I was sitting on the couch in the den, I invited her up and she hopped up in my lap and let me just pet her. She was purring but very very softly. I had to leave my hand on her back just to tell.

She left for a bit and came back about twenty minutes later and stayed for a bit longer.

 

I was so very worried/concerned/nervous after the vet visit she was panting and drooling after picking her up from her vet/grooming.  13346800_10154238354603252_8997404894449407459_n

Poor sweetie had mats in her fur and I wanted a professional to take care of it.

But she was put in the master bathroom for a few hours and checked on repeatedly and was fine.

 

So I’m thankful for her coming around to me.

I’m going to still work with her, she’s letting me pet her and comes up when she wants attention and it’s just an awesome feeling.

🙂

 

What are you thankful for?

 

Meet City the Kitty

Author’s Note: I discovered City the Kitty on Instagram and found his facebook page.. not only is an outdoor cat turned indoor but he is a spokescat for the anti-declaw movement. Please follow him and spread the word that declawing is inhumane. Please visit him on his facebook page – City the Kitty , read his bio on his page – City the Kitty (Official) 
Many thanks to his mom Lori for letting me bug her with questions and letting me use pictures with permission. =^..^=
 

City takes his interviews very seriously.
How old are you City?
6 yrs old
Was it hard adjusting to the indoor life?
Yes, but my mom takes me out on daily walks. I get to chase grasshoppers and lizards, stalk birds and just enjoy the outdoors.
Since you’re a polydactyl, do you find it easier to grip things?
I don’t even notice my thumbs since it’s how I was born. They sometimes get in the way when I try to reach in things but mostly they come in handy cleaning myself and catching my feather toys.
City keeps a tight grip on his human’s heart and inspires people to rethink declawing cats
I read you like to model, do you have any tips for other cats or humans trying to take great pictures of their cats?
Well, it takes a lot of patience since I know kitties don’t like to sit still for very long unless we are napping. Get in close and use a high shutter speed to stop the action. Light is important so look for your kitty in good light.
City says never loose your sense of wonder.. or need for mischief
How long did it take for your to adjust to being on a leash when you go outside?
It took me about a day. I realized that when the leash came out, it meant I got to go out. So I embraced it and started my new adventure.
What is the best position to drink from the sink?
The best is when my mom cups her hands, lets the water from the faucet fall into them and then I drink away. She says I’m spoiled. Sometimes if she’s in a hurry she turns the faucet on low and I tilt my head to the side and drink. I also have 3  bowls of water in the house in case I want to drink from those too. Drinking water is very important for a cat especially one like me who is so very active.
Are you able to balance just as well as cats with long tails?
I think I can balance better since my thumbs make up for my tail.
City wants to know if a cat without thumbs look so dramatic?
When did you get involved with the Paw Project and helping spread the word that declawing is cruel?
It started a little less than a year ago when I started hearing about the Paw Project on social media and also from some of my followers like Cassandra.
What suggestions to you have in lieu of declawing?
Lots of different kinds of scratchers and trimming a cat’s nails are the best things. Cat owners can simply take the time to train their kittens and cats to use the scratchers. There are many other options as well, such as clear, sticky strips to apply to the furniture, and other deterrents, as well as a multitude of climbing trees, mats, and other distractions that will protect your possessions. Adequate exercise, especially interactive play sessions, will also help channel the cat’s energy. For aggressive scratching, conscientious nail-trimming or soft vinyl caps for the claws, soft paws, are a good beginning.
City says Love your cat’s claws.. all of them..
What types of complications can cats have due to declawing?
Many cats who have been declawed stop using their litter boxes because of the pain and tend to bite more often because they have lost their primary defense. Pain is a huge factor both short and long term. Many cats are relinquished to shelters because of these issues.
Declawing is considered one of the most painful, routinely-performed surgeries in all of veterinary medicine and yet 30% or more of veterinarians don’t provide any pain medication whatsoever to their declaw patients. Another study showed that declawed cats were still in pain from the surgery at the end of the study, which was 12 days after the operation! Declawed cats can have joint pain, arthritis, lameness, abscesses, and paw pad atrophy which can occur after surgery. In some cases where the veterinarian left part of the bone in the toe, the claw can begin to grow again. However, the claw grows abnormally under the skin and might eventually bust through the skin on top of the paw. In one report that studied cats for only five months after surgery, about 25% of cats developed complications from both declaw and tenectomy surgeries.
 Is there anything your or your girl would like to share? Education is the key in ending declawing. What I’ve found is that many cat owners who declawed their kitties didn’t know that it involved amputating the cat’s toe bones along with the claws. Their veterinarians didn’t tell them how bad it was for the cat. My cause is to help the Paw Project to end declawing in North America like it is in 28 other countries. Anyone interested in joining this important cause, can go to the PawProject.org website and follow me and the Paw Project on our social media sites. It’s such an important part of feline history, so join us and be a part of it! 🙂
City invites everyone to help join the fight to stop declawing

5 Things to Consider before getting a pet

I wanted to try to put a list together of the things that people should consider before committing to a pet. This covers canines/felines/birds/fish & pocket pets (guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, mice, etc).

I broke it down to  6 catergories:  Type, Bug, Room, Funds, Time & Commitment

Type: First and foremost think of the type of pet you want… canine, feline, bird, fish, guinea pig, hamster, mouse, rat, sugar glider, rabbit, ferret, gerbil, lizard, snake, spider, etc. There are many different breeds/species of the above listed pets so you may want to do some research on that.

boo
Boo our resident white cat was adopted and flown from OH to FL

Bug: Bug the heck out of  friends and family – they are going to be the most honest with you about the pros and cons of being a pet parent.  Ask about the amount of time they spend with him/her – grooming, feeding, exercise, vet care, training, etc. Obviously some pets don’t need training, but if they do ask how long it took.

Room: Make sure to consider if you have enough room for them, such that kitten/puppy is cute now, but will they have enough room when they get bigger? There are of course pets that don’t get bigger such as guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rats, rabbits & ferrets will you have a big enough cage for them to be able to get around? What about taking them outside in a run?  If you rent, what is the pet policy? A lot of apartment complexs/houses have management companies that have restrictions on the type of pet, limit to how many, require pet rent and/or a deposit.

Funds: Next is funds, do you have the money to buy their supplies such as the initial set up for a cage for a small pet, food/water dishes, toys, collar/leash, etc? What about getting food on a regular basis? Training (if needed)?

trixie
Trixie has a severe allergy to fleas she had hot spots that took months to heal

Time: Time do you honestly have the time to commit to a pet? Are you often working long hours? Going on trips? Or are you a homebody?

Commitment: The final thing to consider is are you able to make the commitment to a pet. If your living situation changed are you honestly going to take them with you? Because having a pet is like having a child, you’re their protection, provider of food/shelter & love.

trixbug
Trixie with all her hair grown back and Buggy who is still wary of her. Buggy was adopted a year after Bubby from the human society

A few other things worth mentioning:

Please, please adopt. There are many shelters that are overflowing with pets.. so if you adopt one you are making a difference for that pet.

Black cats are least likely to be adopted because of superstition, they are really wonderful cats so if you are looking please consider taking a black cat.

bubby
Bubby the eldest at 8, solid black was adopted from the Humane Society

Consider taking a blind, deaf, three legged, FIV+, or otherwise “different” pet. They may seem like extra work (and sometimes they are) but they have so much love to give.

Elderly pets need homes too!

And that’s it! Let me know what you think in the comments! 🙂

bitty
Miss Bitty, adopted from the humane society had an auto immune disease and passed away before she turned 4.

Thanks!

 

Meet the Royal Ruskies

Today’s interview is with the Royal Ruskies, Jake and Elwood.

It is so nice to meet you Miss Christina. Thank you so much for asking us to be in your Peace Love and Whiskers! We brought you two of our homemade specialties Catnip cornbread and a jug of cold catnip iced tea. We hope you enjoy them.

Oh thank you, *sips tea* I’m really curious to know where your names came from.. since you are both Russian blues, I’m surprised you have English names.. was that your mommy who picked it? 26374_100275180010688_100000846186814_4765_3376595_n

ELWOOD: Jake do you mind if I tell this story?
JAKE: Go right ahead. (giggles)
ELWOOD: Well Daddy named us. When Mommy and Daddy first adopted us from our Auntie Karen and Auntie Margaret we were only 9 weeks old. I was very long and thin and very serious about my discoveries and Jake was short and very round and loved to act silly for a laugh. Daddy said to Mommy, I just figured out the perfect name for these two boys! Playing off the word Blue from our breed and the fact that our builds and personalities were like the Blues Brothers Daddy said Jake and Elwood! From that day forward we were Jake and Elwood. Mommy came up with our facebook page names. Royal Ruskies. It is a fun way to show our heritage.

How did you come to live in Florida?

JAKE: Well I guess you would have to ask our biological Mother this question (giggle) We just opened our little eyes and here we were in sunny Florida starring up and palm trees and feeling fun sand in our tootsies. We were born outside to a feral Mom and we are not sure or our biological Dads story. He is a full Russian Blue. He may have been put out or let go by a bad type of breeder we do not know. He is very afraid of humans and Auntie Margaret still feeds him and looks after him. Our biological Mom brought us one by one to Auntie Margarets door and dropped us off because she needed the help. Our Auntie Margaret now keeps our Mom inside and Auntie Karen kept our sister so we all are inside now except Dad. We don’t think he comes around much anymore but we are not sure. We know if he does he will have an inside home too! So here we are two tropical Southern boys!

After reading a bit about the history of Russian Blues, I am really amazed you have such a rich heritage, may I share the information from your about page?

Oh yes we would be honored for you to share our heritage from our page! We are so proud of the brave Blues before us that served in history!

Great thanks gentle cats. Here is the information from their about page:

Elwood really carries all the traits of the breed while Jake looks part Russian Blue and part white fuzzy bunny. LOL The Russian Blue cat first originated in Northern Russia. Then was transported to Great Britain during the 1860’s. They were shipped out of the port of Arkhangelsk and were originally known as the Archangel Blue cat. The have a double coat of fur because they came from a region so close to the Artic Circle. It is said that they were the favorite cats to the Czars. There are even stories of them riding into battle on the shoulders of the Cossack Militia. They most probably arrived in England with the Russian sailors from Archangel. It is said that Queen Victoria fell in love with the breed and had 2 as her pets and from there forward the breed became the most sought after breed among the Nobles. They have small litters usually only three kittens at a time which made them even more rare. My boys may only be part Russian Blue but the air of Royalty must be strong in their genes because I know the rule our house with a heavy paw!

Who got the idea of doing the Blues News?

ELWOOD: Well Jake and I came up with the idea together. I write the articles and edit and Mommy is my assistant editor and Jake does all the photo’s and layouts and runs the Cyber presses. Each week we seem to get more ideas and columns just from bouncing ideas off each other. We like to bring fun and giggles to the paper as well as awareness on serious and special topics regarding the health and safety of all types of fur children. It is also a way we can make our friends aware of what fundraiser we are having for a rescue group or shelter. For 2013 we are going to be focusing a lot on raising money for pet oxygen masks for Fire companies across the Untied States. We also like to give credit in our paper to those individuals or organizations that are doing pawsome things that inspire us all to help more.

Where did the name come from?

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JAKE: The name Blues News came from the word play on us being Russian Blues and being the Blues brothers and it was our newspaper so it became the Blues News.

What was your first article?

We had two articles in our very first paper and we love both so much so you choose for us. We gave the first Inspiration Friend Award to Fatboy for all his wonderful work helping others and we gave our first Angels on Earth Award to Scouts Therapy Group and they are just amazing as well. We are so honored you want to share this thank you!

To view their first article click here

What will readers be seeing from Blue News in 2013?

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ELWOOD: Well that is a very good question. Since I am the article writer I can tell you some things but we must leave some things for fun surprises for our readers. For Spring we are going to have a new gardening column. It will be safe Gardening for you and your fur children and some really fun Summertime party and craft ideas that you can do with your fur children to stay cool and enjoy the Summer. Of course we will also still have all our tried and true columns that our readers enjoy, such as Elwood’s Did You Know Column.

Tell us something that you would like your fans to know about you.

Well This is a topic that we are very passionate about. So many people will not give feral cats a chance. Many view us as wild cats and just think we could never get close to humans so they just leave them outside. But the truth is we can be wonderful loving cuddly fur children. Yes our biological Mom was older and used to living outside. But now she is happy to be inside and loves to give snuggles and cuddles. Our friends see us in PJ’s and play clothes and Tuxedos and riding in strollers and they do not realize we were outside ferals and look at us now!

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Feral kids should never be viewed as being better off outside and alone to fend for ourselves. We are not better off, we just need extra love to get us to that snuggle point. We just need to know we can trust you and that you will always be there for us. Once we know that we are your best friend and child for life! Please give those born outside a chance at a wonderful safe life and please always remember ADOPT DON”T SHOP. There are just to many of us already born that need homes.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

JAKE: Well, we are two little small town Southern boys just learning some life lessons and learning how to be proper little Gentlemen and never did we ever dream we would have so many friends and people who care about us. We feel so humbled by it all. Our wish every day and every week is to bring smiles and giggles to all our friends! Laughter is the best gift shared between friends.

Well thank you both very much for dropping by sharing your story, previews of what's coming up on Blues News and talking a bit about feral kitties. For those out there would want to check out Blues News and keep up their adventures you can find them on their facebook page.

Meet Jelly and da Dozer

Meet Jelly

How old are you Miss Jelly?

Sure I am not vain about me age, I am the three years young!

How did you get the name Jelly?

When I was a baby i didnt have a name it was number 67 or 68 it was long time ago so i dont remembers which one anyways da Lady named me Isabella, Bella for short dat means beautiful by da way then went to Belly and den da Jelly belly……Jelly just stuck and mez thinks it suits me dont you?

When I was a baby, I didn’t have a name, it was number 67 or 68. It was a long time ago so I don’t remember which one it was, anyway the Lady named me Isabella, Bell for short that means beautiful by the way. Then it went to Belly and then to Jelly Belly. Jelly just struck and I think it suits me, don’t you? 

I heard you had a dance studio before you did your advice column, why did it shut down and why did you decided to do an advice column?

Me dream of being a dance teacher went south when me realized my talents were in helping out people. My dance studio neber really made it off the ground…lets just say the cost to rent a space in dis state is like da ridiculous and they no would take me down payment in cat nip….. So me thought hey I love to answer questions and be helpful, I am da Ladys lil helper around da house anyways so I thought why not have a column…we had a family meeting and everyone agreed great idea so here I am advice Jelly I lubs doing it!
helping people and making dem smile is wonderful for me its a win win you know. They get answers and a few laughs along da way and I get that warm feeling of bringing some joy into peoples lives. Im not saying I am not serious when I answer sometimes dey have hard questions for da Jelly and me haz to think hard to give a good answer I try my best and peoples seem to like my sigment on my page.

My dreams of being a dance teacher went south when I realized my talents were in helping out people. My dance studio never really made it off the ground. Let’s just say the cost to rent a space in this state is ridiculous and they would not take my down payment in cat nip. So I thought “hey I love to answer questions and be helpful, I am the Lady’s lil helper around the house anyway, why not have a column?” We had a family meeting and everyone agreed it was a great idea so here I am and I love doing it!Helping people and making them smile is wonderful for me, it’s win-win you know. They get answers and a few laughs along the way and I get that warm feeling of bringing some joy into people’s lives. I’m not saying I am not serious when I answer, sometimes they have hard questions for me and I have to think hard to give a good answer and I try my best and people seem to like my segment on my page. 

Does Dozer give any input too?

Sure he does when the questions are hard or they are in his area of expertise mez let him help and I always share da credit wif him after all he is my
big bruffer. He is goofy but pretty darn smart!

What about Miss Brooklyn?

Sure she helps she is our resident behavioral issues expert because she had da issues when she came here. So she knows alot more about those things then me and Doze. I gives her da credit too when she helps wif the column.

May I ask where Dozer and Brooklyn got their names from?

Of course you can well Brooklyn is named that because she came from the streets of Brooklyn someone lost her we think…well we like too think that cause we hate to think someone toss her out in da street. Her nickname is Boo it suits her. Dozers real name is Bulldozer because all his life he has bulldozed thru it even when he was a lil whisker he would have to jump right in and see whats going on and be center of the action!

Since you and Dozer are siblings, do you have any fights are do you get along?

Yup we are for reals bruffer and sisfur never ever ever in our whole lives have we ever had a fights with each other. Not once maybe when we get older and a lil cranky in the pants but as of now no we have not. We lub eachother very much and we are like two peas in a pod!

What did you think with Miss Brooklyn came into the family?

Well at first it was like phewww she smelled funny like da hospital and she was sick. And because of that we were like wtc (what the cat) who is dis and are you staying.We were not happy and neither was she. Alot of hissing going on in the beginning. But over time we have grown to lub her she is like da annoying lil sisfur we never had MOL

Well, at first it was like “phewww” she smelled funny, like the hospitial and she was sick. And because of that we were like wtc (what the cat) who is this and are you staying? We were not happy and neither was she. There was a lot of hissing going on in the beginning. But over time we have grown to love her, she is like the annoying lil  sisfur we never had. MOL

Do you have any advice to give for people thinking about taking in a rescued cat from a hoarding situation like you and your brother were?

Well this is a tough question cause we not all the same. Some will come from dat type of situation like Dozer and not be scarred in anyway emotionally or physically and be great healthy cats to have. Some will be like me and have health issues mine are with my ears and eyes. Upper repetory issues are not uncommon in hoarding situations given the conditions we come from. And of course emotional issues vary as well..only advice me has is each situation
is different and kindness and patience must always be first and the willingness to give us our space as we adapt to our new homes. Just like any other cat we are adoptable and we make great pets.

Well this is a tough question because we are not all the same. Some will come from that type of situation like Dozer and not be scarred in anyway, emotionally or physical and be great healthy cats to have. Some will be like me and have health issues, mine were with my ears and eyes. Upper respiratory  issues are not uncommon in hoarding situations given the conditions we came from. And of course emotional issues vary as well.. only advice I have is that each situation is different. Kindness and patience must always be first and the willingness to give us our space as we adapt to our new homes. Just like any other cat we are adoptable and make great pets. 

Do you (or Miss Brooklyn) have advice about preparing a house for a three legged cat?

Yes well mez will let Boo answer dis question…..I can only speak about rear leg amputation but making it easy to get up on things is important. make them stairs up to da bed and so on so they are able to get up easily. And do not let things be around that they could get tangled up in. Some may need higher feeding stations. Self heating beds are great too for joint aches, they make the kind that do not plug in I have one and its great we all love it. As they age as with any other pet she may need joint care. We havent had to do much here for me to be honest Tripods are really not that different from other cats save they can not do some things….but they can do most things. Tripods Rock!
Oh and remember a recent amputee is learning all over again how to do things depending on their age it may take longer time to get use to being without a limb no different than a human learning again. The hard part is watching them try to do something and they cant ALLOW them the time to learn how to do it all over again like jumping on their own…it might take time for them to get the hang of it and it might be hard to watch you are going to want to help but its important they learn on their own…. believe me I still gets frustrated sometimes but I am adapting well like with anything else it takes practice to be good at something. Did I say Tripods rock? *smiles*

Any advice for dealing with traumatized cats?

Boy you know how to ask the tough questions 🙂 Well mez hate repeating myself but patience is key
Mez will use Boo as example. She came recently amputated with a major upper resp. infection. She had alot of issues losing the leg was the main one. However she also lived on da tough streets of Brooklyn people probably threw things at her or worst yet hit her wif stuff to get her to go away…she didnt like hands over her at all in the beginning and still sometimes she gets a bit nervous and she knows da Lady would never hurt her. She would flip out for no reason…like turning on a light switch. Took time to figure out what traumatizes her and caused her to go into a frenzy. It was hard for all of us to watch she would be so unstable still learning to move on three legs and panick and flop over then freak out. If you can just imagine losing a limb and getting very ill and then within
a week you are in a new place with a human and two cats you dont even know…Holy Cow thats alot to deal with. So along with patience empathy is key NOT pity. As hard as it is to watch them freak out all you can do is find the trigger and try to work with them to desensitize them. Hearing car noises dont set her off anymore. But the
Lady had to work very hard wif her and reassured her hey Boo you ok now this is your home too she did things like heres a treat or soothing words or petting helps reassuring that we are safe is key. Will Boo ever sit in a window who knows not if she can see cars she wont at least not now. But will she peak out the window yes now she will from a distance look out. Thats a milestone for her only achieved within the last week.
Do not force anything it takes time for people to get over trauma and it does for animals as well. I can not say it enough there is no instant fix..have the patience to work with the cat find the trigger and make them see they are safe…over time that stress will disepate totally hopefully if not there are herbal remedies that help as well in soothing their stress. Learn your animals body language Boo will start moving her head a bit ears as
well right before she has an issue…now if our Lady sees it start she can react in a positive manner quickly and help her see she is safe. Above all else do not be afraid to ask others to help you. Our vet is wonderful and helped us alot with all her issues.

Anything else you would like to add or share with the readers?

Yes we would like to say we try to show the so called unadoptable pets are very much so adoptable and special needs does not mean we are less than..we are just different and we hope we show that on our page. And we are grateful for this interview and for all our pals on Facebook who have not only been supportive of us and pawesome pals to have, but have been helpful to all of us when we intergrated Boo into our family. Oh and Ask Jelly, the advice kitty will be back on either the first or last Sunday of every month in 2013.

Author’s Note: Miss Jelly had her advice column featured on the blog a few weeks ago and I couldn’t let her go without doing a full-fledged interview. So many thanks to her, Dozer, Miss Brooklyn and their Lady for letting me interview them. Photos were used with permission.  You can find them on facebook here

Meet Bug

Meet Bug

How old is Bug?

bug was born in the middle of march of 2012.

How did he get the name Bug?

To tell you the truth, I honestly don’t know where it came from! Originally his name at the shelter was Michael, and that just did not fit him at all. I was trying to think of some name that just *fit* and even called him Bodie for a day (that’s a ghost town in california that I love). Then, somehow BUG just leapt into my brain and I knew he had to be bug.

Can you explain a bit about Bug’s condition?

It is called Radial Hypoplasia and that means that his radius bones in his front legs failed to grow properly from a genetic mutation. the radius is one of the 2 long bones in the cat’s front legs and in cats like bug, the bone is extremely short or non-existent. this results in bug’s front legs being bent inward and originally he walked on his elbows. remarkably, bug’s left front leg somehow straightened itself out as he grew, i guess because of his determination to use it. it was less severe that his right leg. he seems to have developed muscles to compensate somehow and he now basically moves like a 3-legged cat. bug’s vet was very surprised by this unexpected adaption he made, and so was i. it just proves that when a cat is a kitten, you never really know how they will adapt and make the best use of what they have. by the way, cats like bug are nicknamed “Twisty Cats” or Kangaroo Cats because of the way they tend to develop more powerful hind legs and sit up like a kangaroo or meerkats, if you’ve ever seen the show Meerkat Manor. bug also has a very well-developed tail now because he uses it to aid himself in balancing. it is usually curved over his back like a question mark and has grown so muscular it reminds me of the tail of a mountain lion.

What were the preparations you made to accommodate Bug into the house?

No. I was going to see what accommodations he needed for instance, perhaps a baby gate at the top of the stairs or closing the door at the bottom of the stairs. I thought he might need a rug on the living room floor all the time, but he does OK on wooden floors. when he was a little kitten (I got him at 10 weeks of age), I put a pillow on the floor below the couch so he had something soft to land on when he jumped off. Eventually he didn’t need it anymore as he grew. Also, my bed is high, but it has a blanket chest at the foot of it. i put some soft things on that and bug knew enough all on his own to use the chest as something to jump up on to get up onto the bed. he is a very smart kitten. and then one day he simply leaped from the floor right up onto the bed and never uses the blanket chest anymore. He also jumps *off* the bed right down to the rug, and i confess that it makes me cringe a little because he makes quite a bang. but i have to believe that if it truly hurt him, he’s smart enough that he wouldn’t do it. He figured out how to use the cat door that goes out onto the enclosed back porch very quickly and also learned to use the second cat door that goes out to the cattery – something we built out of 2×4’s and heavy deer fencing so that the cats can sit out in the fresh air and sunshine when they want to. as for the stairs – bug climbed them the 2nd day he was here. I couldn’t believe my eyes – this little guy climbing on his elbows. I figured OK, he can get up the stairs… but can he get down? the answer was yes. it’s a little more difficult for him, but he does it. Nowadays he gallops up the stairs. You should see how fast he is when I shake the Greenies bag!

What would you like to say to people who are worried about adopting a special needs cat?

I would say let the cat show you what it can do. Let the cat explore and try things out. Your immediate reaction when it climbs on something might be ‘oh no!’ and you might want to go take them down, but I let bug do whatever he wanted to do under my watchful eye. if he got distressed, he would let me know by meowing and only then would I help him. One day I went out onto the back porch and he was climbing a 5 foot tall cat tree my father had built – it was just a tall, carpet covered pole with a hole to a platform at the very top. I thought OK, he got UP….how is he going to get DOWN? but when he got tired of playing up top, he just came down hind-end first. basically, depending on how fearless the cat is (bug is pretty fearless), they will experiment and teach themselves to handle things. I knew cats could be capable of AMAZING things because I’d worked for many years with special needs cats. One was named Baby and she had criss-crossed hind legs she could not use. She would pull herself along with her front legs everywhere. then one day she clearly got tired of that and just lifted her butt off the floor and walked across the room on her 2 front legs!

How is bug doing today?

bug is terrific. He is as rambunctious as you’d expect a kitten of 9 months to be.  He is lightning fast and makes me laugh every single day with his antics. He has no health problems whatsoever. He seems to get around better at a run than a walk. His right front leg kind of hangs there as if he needs a sling, but although it looks useless, he uses it a lot when he plays. When he was a baby he boxed with his elbows. 🙂 He has gained a pound a month, just as kittens should, but I want to keep him on the slimmer side as an adult so he won’t put too much excess pressure on his joints because that could give him arthritis.

Does Bug do any therapy or take medications? Or will he have surgery?

No, no therapy or medications. He makes up his own therapy and is apparently successful! Originally I got him some crocheted leggings from Leggings For Life, but he did not like to keep them on. They were to help him get around and to keep him from developing sores, but he hasn’t ever gotten any sores, so I gave up trying to keep them on him. As for surgery, I never had any intention of having any performed on him. I already knew from years of working with paralyzed cats, CH cats, etc, that they adapt and that humans can learn a lot from the way they accept the way they are and learn to develop and use their determination and skills. They have inspired me for years. if surgery failed or if he got an infection, he could have lost a leg and then he would only have ONE bad leg in front to get around with. No way was I taking that chance.

How did you get involved with special needs cats?

Many years ago I had a yellow cat named mattie who used to just about be velcroed to me. One morning he came downstairs and into the kitchen and he was leaning against the wall to walk, his legs sliding all over the place. I thought he’d had a stroke. he spent a few days in an emergency hospital as they tried to figure out the problem and it turned out that he had toxoplasmosis, which had caused a lesion in his brain, which in turn affected his ability to use his limbs on one side or feel if his paws were touching the floor.Aafter a HUGE vet bill, it turned out that some $5 antibiotics treated the problem. He never walked totally “right” again and we moved furniture around in the living room to make it ‘handicat accessible’. after that,Ii began going to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah and working in the special needs building Kitty Motel during my vacations, which is where I met the amazing cat Baby.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Animals can teach us a lot if we stop to observe and learn and even teach us things we never knew about ourselves, or what we too can achieve.

Dedication

In loving memory of sweet Mattie who left us too soon.

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Author’s Note:
Thank you and Bug and his mom for answering the questions.. you can find Bug on his facebook page.. 
 
PS – I, the author do have a cat named Bug (aka Buggy) but this is not my cat. Just in case you were wondering. =^..^= 

Meet Whisper

Meet Whisper

How old are you?

I am 7 months old which puts my birthday sometime around May

How did you come into your mommy’s life?

I came from the Berkeley County Humane Society in Martinsburg West Virginia. I was in a cage with 5 other of sisters whom all looked like me…I saw Mommy walk into the cage room with my human sister Desi…They picked up so many kitties and I watched from the back of my cage so many of them were put back into the cages…The Humane society was getting ready to close and all my sisters in the cage started beating me up….Desi looked into the cage with us and saw me and she picked me up…She brought me over to Mommy saying look at this ones eye’s she needs us…Mommy picked me up and took one look into my eyes and That was the day I learned what LOVE meant…I was very sick and had horrible fleas but she picked me out of 30 some kittens that were healthier than me…She said she needed me and I needed her…
When I was brought into my new house I was given a bath right away because I didn’t smell too good…After a bath I was given a flea treatment and shown my litter box…That whole night I didn’t make a sound not one meow just purrs…I still didn’t have a name…The next day I got very sick and had problems breathing and was put into the car again…i was very scared I was being taken back because I was sick but Mommy took me to place called a vet and was given medicine for my cold…That night at home Mommy gave me a heating pad to sleep on and I opened my mouth to thank her but no meow came out…only a very tiny breathy meow…Thats when Mommy named me Whisper because my meow was no louder than a whisper!

Do you get to go outside or does your mommy keep you inside?

Oh no I am not allowed outside only with Mommy on a leash and harness…We live on a private road but people drive very fast past the house…My big sister Buttons was allowed outside and she got hit by a car so no more kitties allowed outside here…I like the harness and leash and I like to go on walks with mommy…well of course no one can really ever walk a cat Mommy kinda follows and let me lead her…So I guess you could say I walk Mommy MOL

Do you have any other kitties or doggies you live with? If so how many and how do you all get along?

We have a mini zoo here lets see…oldest to youngest pets that live in the house…Okies here we go Spicey Bird is a cockatiel he’s 23 years old..I love to watch him in his cage! We have Aunt Smudgie kitty she’s 17 and very grumpy so I don’t play with her…My big brother Salem kitty he’s 4 and I love him he’s so sweet to me!
My baby brother Sebastian he’s 3 months old and also came from the Humane Society he’s my partner in crime!
Then Jazzy doggie I don’t like doggies at all she’s like a Aunt she is 5 months old…a nephew who is a mouse named Sparky we have no idea how old the mouse is…I would sure love to get a closer look…and the newest addition is a hermit crab named Stormy not sure of his age either or if he is a he or she… so that makes 4 cats, 1 bird, 1 dog, 1 mouse and 1 hermit crab!! All the kitties and doggie in our house came from the Humane Society we don’t shop we adopt!!

Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions that you would like to share?

This will be my first new year but I think my resolution would be to maybe lose alittle weight…I am pear shaped and getting alittle pudgie Mommy said it’s cause i just gotta taste everything kitty food or Human food I love food!!!

Do you think you would want to be a therapy cat when you grow up?

I would love to be therapy cat but sadly…I just have a tiny problem with my ears…I don’t like them touched and if someone does it I claw faces…I am getting better at it…Mommy said maybe one day but not anytime soon at least until I get over the ears being touched…Mommy works with me every day and I am getting use to it  so keeping my paws crossed!!

Did your mommy always love animals?

My Mommy Tamara Watson has always been a cat lady….She has always fed stray cats and kept kitties since before she can remember…She just has a way with us like she understands us…She always seems to know what I want before I ask…I won’t tell her age but she was a teenager when she got Spicey bird so you do the math *winks*

Are there any shelters/rescues that you support?

We fully support the ASPCA as well as the Berkeley County Humane Society! We support (KIN) Kittens in need and Spay Today! Also trap and release programs although West Virginia needs to have some of them set up *hint hint*

Where can your fans send mail to you (if you have an address)?

our mailing address is 187 Davis Drive Martinsburg West Virginia 25404

Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers?

I get so excited when I see I have new furiends…Mommy and I never thought we would have close to 1,500 friends on facebook…When Mommy made the page for me we were expecting maybe 50 friends…It’s truely amazing the love and support we get from my page we are blessed.
Author’s Note: Many many thanks go to Miss Whisper and her mommy for helping with the interview. Please visit her facebook to say hello and follow her adventures. Photos were used with permission. 
Update: I’ve linked it on the word “facebook” and here, sorry about that everyone!  – https://www.facebook.com/Whisperskitty

Meet Sunny Papoochie

Author’s Note: Many Many thanks to Sunny Papoochie for taking time from playing his harp, being a life coach and working with Fatboy on new projects to do the interview. Please visit him on his brother’s page and friend him on his page. Photos were used with permission and are a registered trademark.

BIG%20BOY%20aka%20INKY%202

(Inky, the naughty kitty Fatboy met at Camp Meow)

PHONE: *** Brrrrrring ***

SUNNY: MOMMMMY! The phone is ringing. *** Brrrrrrring ***** Mommy! Phone …. *** Brrrring *** Oh, I better answer it. Hello?

INKY: Hello Sunny! It’s Inky. Is my old pal Fatboy around?

SUNNY: Oh, hello Inky. No, he is outside playing with the squirrels.

INKY: Oh, well, I was just calling to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Slap-Happy New Year. What’s up Sunny?

SUNNY: Well, I’m working on some questions for an interview I was asked to give.

INKY: That’s great little man! What kind of questions are they going to ask you?

SUNNY: Oh, things like where I was born and …

INKY: Well, I hope you make up something good.

SUNNY: What do you mean? Don’t I just say where I was born?

INKY: No! You want to make it interesting … you know … make up something like ….tell them you were born in a chalet in France or something like that; you know …. fib a little.

SUNNY: I’m not supposed to fib.

INKY: Well, celebrities do it all the time when they are giving interviews -that’s why everybody thinks they’re so great. Besides, the truth is like an elastic – it’s meant to be stretched.

SUNNY: I didn’t know that. Oh, here’s my Mommy, do you want to speak to her?

INKY: uh oh … I just remembered, I have to do something. Gotta go, Sunny; Bye!

SUNNY: Oh, okay. Thanks Inky. Bye! Now, where are those questions for my interview? I know I put them somewhere … oh here they are. Let’s see.

First question: “How old are you?”

SUNNY: Oh, that’s easy. I’m 5 years old – oh wait, I better say I’m 21. That sounds better – like I’m a big boy. Okay.

Next question: “Where were you born?”

SUNNY: Another easy question. I was born on a farm and hmm … wait a minute … I’ll just erase that …. I was born in a little shallot in the South of France. My mother was a beautiful yellow tiger …. no … scratch that …. my mother was a pure-bred show cat and …

SMOKY: Sunny what are you doing?

SUNNY: I can’t play with you now Smoky, I’m writing my biography for an Interview I am giving.

SMOKY: What interview? Who is interviewing you?

SUNNY: A very important person – now please run along. I have to concentrate. Now where was I? Oh, yes … I was born in a little shallot in a tiny village in the South of France. My mother was ….

SMOKY: MOL. You weren’t born in an onion, Sunny. And you weren’t born in a chalet either. You were born in a barn in California. Rebel told me. You and she were born in a barn on a farm in …

SUNNY: I was not! I was NOT born in a barn. You take that back Smoky!

SMOKY: Okay, I take it back but that’s what Rebel said. She said it was a lovely barn on a farm in California and the lady who owned the farm had over 100 cats and you and Rebel were rescued by the lady who lives in the Green house behind our house.

SUNNY: Well, that’s her story. That’s not mine. Now, please run along … I’ve got work to do. Now, where was I .. oh yes …. My mother was a pure-bred show cat and my father was an prize-winning Owl.

smokyplaying

SMOKY: MOL!

FATBOY: What’s so funny Smoky?

SMOKY: Sunny is making up stories about where he came from. Sunny, no one is going to believe any of it.

SUNNY: Oh, hello Fatboy. You got a phone call from Inky a little while ago. He gave me some advice for my interview.

SMOKY: Sunny, Inky is very naughty. You shouldn’t listen to him. Fatboy said Inky was always getting into trouble at Camp last summer.

FATBOY: That’s true, Sunny. You better let me help you with the interview. I was interviewed once myself you know … not to brag or anything … just sayin’.

SUNNY: Okay, but I want to make it interesting, Fatboy. So everyone will read about me and think I am important.

FATBOY: You ARE important, Sunny. You don’t have to fib. Now, what’s the next question.

SUNNY: They want to know where did my name come from?

FATBOY: Well, that’s easy – do you remember what Mommy told us?

SUNNY: Mommy said that Babushka and Papoochie were words she remembered when she was a little girl. They are Slovak, right Fatboy? And you were named after a scarf (Babushka) and I was named after slippers (Papoochies).

FATBOY: That’s right Sunny. And we love our names, don’t we?

SUNNY: Yes, I wouldn’t trade my name for anything, Fatboy. Okay, I think I can handle this interview now. I’ll just tell the truth. Thanks Fatboy.

FATBOY: Anytime, Sunny, anytime.

SUNNY: Next question: “How did you come into your Mommy’s life?” Well, I didn’t always belong to my Mommy. Me and my sisters Smoky and Rebel, used to live with a lady who lives in the Green house. Smoky was the first one to leave. She didn’t like the barking dogs that the lady came home with one day so she ran away. Me and Rebel went looking for Smoky and found her at Mommy’s house. Mommy had turned her sun porch into a beautiful home for Smoky. She had her own furniture and she got to see all the birds and squirrels and she was treated like a Princess. We tried to get her to come home with us but she said she wasn’t leaving. Mommy saw me and Rebel and started to feed us. Then one day I saw Fatboy. He was the biggest kitty I ever saw. He started going to Mommy’s house to eat too. He was all covered in wounds because he was always getting beaten up. I felt sorry for him. He lived with a possum in a tree house behind our home. Everyone was afraid of Fatboy, but not me. We loved each other from the very beginning. So, when I saw that Mommy had bought a playhouse for Fatboy and he had a new home, I decided to move in with him. Mommy put a heated bed in his house and he would always let me sleep in it. He made me feel very welcome and I will always love Fatboy as long as I live. He is my best friend.

Next question: “Does Fatboy get you into trouble with his adventures?”

SUNNY: Let me think … oh, well there was the time last Christmas when Fatboy sneaked on the computer and bought all his friends Christmas gifts and charged them to Pay pal. Oh… that was so much fun. But, Fatboy never tattles on me so I didn’t get in trouble. Oh… MOL … and then there was the time we were playing pranks with Mommy’s phone … MOL … and we called Daddy by mistake and asked him if he had Prince Albert in a can … MOL. But I never get into trouble because Smoky says I have an innocent face. Also, Fatboy never tattles on me. Smoky is a little tattletale, though.

Next question: “Have you ever won any awards? ( I think you are very handsome and should)”

SUNNY: I have never won any awards or contests but if there was a contest for the Longest Tail I would surely win because I have a very long tail and Fatboy even wrote a poem about it. Would you like to hear it?

sunnyyard

SUNNY PAPOOCHIE
by Fatboy Babushka

I used to be a scaredy-cat but now I’m brave and strong.
The thing I like about me most?
My tail … it’s very long.

There was a time it frightened me.
I thought it was a mouse,
Because it chased me everywhere,
all around the house.

Then one day I caught it
and I felt a little proud.
Until I sunk my teeth in it
and bit it very hard.

Now I know it’s part of me
and I’m afraid no more,
I love my tail and it loves me
although it still is sore.

THE END

Next question: “Where did you learn to play the harp and will we get to see it more often this year?”

SUNNY: I taught myself how to play the harp. It’s easy. You just swat at the strings and music comes out. I must be a natural or something. I’ve performed a few times and once Prince Pan Pan accompanied me on the piano. I’m not sure if I have any engagements coming up in 2013 – but I might play my harp for Joyce Parmelee. She has her own radio show you know. It’s called Karma Kitty Hour and it is on  www.w4wn.com.  It’s an Internet Radio Station and she talks about Healing, and Fairies and Positive Energy and we Meditate and everything.  Her show is on every Wednesday evening.

Next question: “In your pictures it looks like you have a nick in your ear .. is that from an accident? (it’s okay if you don’t want to talk about it, I just noticed it in looking at your pictures).”

sunny copy 69

*Sunny thinks for awhile … *

SUNNY: A few years ago, I was on a safari and a giant ryenos .. rinosor … a big dinosaur attacked me and …

SMOKY: **Enters the room ** are you still making up stories?

SUNNY: Smoky, are you still snooping? This is my interview, Smoky. I can answer these questions however I want; besides I’m only stretching the truth – like an elastic.

SMOKY: Well, I think you finally snapped, Sunny. MOL … a dinosaur? No one is going to believe that. Why don’t you just say that you were playing with Daddy’s shaver and accidentally snipped your ear?

SUNNY: Because that’s not true. You know the real story. When I was a kitten the Doctor snipped my ear while I was sleeping. I’m still a little mad about that too. But that’s not very interesting, Smoky.

SMOKY: At least it’s believable.

Next Question: “Where can your fans send you fan mail?”

SUNNY: What fans? Oh, yes … ahem … all my fans. Well, I have an email address it’s sunnypapoochie@aol.com. They can write me there and I will try to answer every letter. I don’t visit my facebook page too often because I’m usually sleeping or playing with Fatboy and Smoky.

Next Question: “Do you have any resolutions for this year?”

SUNNY: Yes. I have a very good solution. I think everybody should visit Fatboy’s Boutique and Hair Salon page and get “wigged” and donate $1.00 to KIN (Kitties In Need). That would be a good solution and it would help our friends too.

Next Question: ” Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you?”

SUNNY: Yes. I can yodel and I also love secrets. And I am very good at keeping a secret too. If you have a secret you can tell me because I won’t tell anyone. Your secret is safe with me.

Next question: “Will there be any adventures that feature you? I would love to see one where you get to save the day.”

SUNNY: Oh, I’m very glad you asked that. Well, no one is supposed to know about this. So don’t tell anyone because the kitty who told me, who shall remain nameless, but his initials are F.B. … F.B. with a TM after his name – he told me this in confidence. But, anyways, I’m very excited because Fatboy, I mean the nameless kitty is working on a new script and I may save the day. I think it’s going to be a mystery or a ballet – or maybe a mystery ballet. I was in Fatboy’s first ballet you know. Maybe you heard about it. It was called “Lucky Charms” a Ballet by Fatboy Babushka. But anyways, we’re in rehearsals now for his next ballet and I will be the star. But don’t tell anyone because it’s a secret.

THE END

balletclass

(Fatboy, Sunny and Smoky practicing ballet) 

sunnyballet

(Sunny got to play Mother Ginger in the Nutcracker last month)

sunny2ndhouse

(Sunny in his little house)

sunnyrebuilding

(Sunny repairing the foundation of his house)
 
sunnyvdaybag
 
(Sunny’s bag is available at Fatboy’s Boutique on zazzle.com for Valentine’s Day 2013)
 
 

Meet Dash Allen

Meet Dash Allen

How old are you Dash?

 I am 2 1/2 years old.

Where did your name come from?

When mommy got my name cause mommy warmed me up on the dashboard heater of her car

How did you come into your mom’s life?

 My mommy was a stay cat. She gave birth to me and my brother on May 8th. 2010. It was very cold outside and my mommy kitty was not staying with us or feeding us. My human mommy got a rescue call to come and save use. When mommy got there my brother had already passed on to rainbow bridge. I was limp and cold. Mommy tried warming me up in a towel. If was not working and the people had no heating pad. Mommy went and started her car and put me on the dashboard heater of her car with the towel over me. In a couple of minutes, I started lifting my head. Mommy was so excited. When I was stable, mommy headed home with me. She brought my mommy cat home with us too. My mommy & boy bottle fed me for two days until my mommy cat was settled down enough to feed me.

I heard you have 13 siblings… is that true?

 Yes, I have 13 sisters and my mommy cat that live with me.
->Ginger is 10 yrs. old. She was rescued as a very sick kitten. She is a beautiful ragdoll.
->Next is Sugar, she is 9 years old. She was rescue from a free kitten sign.She is all white.
->Then KitKat. She is nice years old. Someone gave away in kittens in front of a store and left her behind. She is a tuxedo.
(Norma Jean and Mouse (l, r)
->Then Norma Jean & Mouse. They are 7 years old. They were mommy’s first to fosters. She fell in love with them and adopted them herself. Norma Jean is a gray & white tabby. Mouse is a tuxedo.
->Next is Foxy Lou. She is 7 years old. She was being fostered by another person that did not like Foxy and was going to have her put down. The lady a head of the rescued asked mommy if she would foster foxy. Mommy did. Foxy got adopted out is a bad foster home and came back. She was so scarred when she came back that mommy adopted her.
->Next is Callie & Gracie. They are sisters and they are 6 years old. Callie is a calico & Gracie a gray & white tabby (both are long haired. Mommy want to keep Gracie and adopt Callie out. Every time some one looked at Callie, she went to the back of the cage and hissed at them. Callie was determined she was staying and she did. She only likes my mommy.
->Next is my mommy kitty. Her name is Ralphina. She is 3 1/2 years old. She stayed in the litter box in her cage for almost 2 years. She has just started coming around.
->Then Princess .She is 3 1/2. She was put in a foster home that was using the kitties as target practice. She as put into our home so mommy and my boy could work with her. After two years she is still semi feral. She has her own bedroom and she is very happy in there as long as no one bothers her. Princess is a Russian Blue.
->Then there is Angel, she is 1 1/2 yrs old. She was rescued from death row. * days after her rescue she came down very ill. The rescue that we were with at that time wanted to have her put down, Mommy said no and raised the money to treat her. Angel is now doing well and shares a bedroom with Princess. She is a gray tiger.
->Sabrina is 2 1/2 yrs. She was rescued from a feral colony at about 10 weeks old. One of her hind legs was broken in 4 places. She limps, but can run fast. One night Sabrina had a medical problem and almost died. Mommy was trained in how to save her. After that mommy felt Sabrina was safer her with us. Sabrina has long black furs.
->And then there is Skylar. Skylar is 1 1/2 years old. All 5 of her brothers got adopted and Skylar didn’t. Skylar was a bottle fed baby and loved people. Skylar is now a therapy cat
–> Missy May is 8 years old. She was found as a stray. We had he up for adoption, but she was so mean that do one wanted her. We kept her and after 5 years she is now getting a long with the other cats well enough to be trusted alone with them.

You and your furfamily have been in a lot of contests, was there any training involved ?

Yes, us kitties enter lots of contest to help win food, litter, toys and money to help out with the foster home. No training for the contests. Just lots of sharing. We have been bad talked by some because we win a lot of contests. Contests are open for all to enter.

Is there any contest that your or your furfamily is the most proud of?

 The contest I am most proud of is the year supply of kitty litter that I won to help supply the foster home. Sabrina was won a contest for “Bright Animal” and won Most Popular pet of 2012.

Do you think you’re going to follow in Skylar’s pawsteps and be a therapy cat?

 No, I will not follow in Skylar’s paw steps as a therapy cat. I don’t like going to strange place and I don’t know how Skylar does it. She can go into nursing homes and be right at home. I guess that is why mommy made her be the therapy cat. Skylar was born to be a therapy cat I think. She is just so good at it and the people in the nursing homes just love her.

I see your mommy does fostering what do you think about all the strange kittens/cats in the house?

 The foster babies are okay. Most at bottle babies. I don’t do much with them until they are running around the house. Then I follow them around to make sure they are okay. Mommy has been a foster mom for over 9 years and has fostered over 350 kitties in that time.

ostering Information:

(taken from: http://www.foundanimals.org/pet-adoption/kitten-foster-faq)

What Does it Mean to Foster an Animal?

Fostering means that you will be volunteering to take an animal (or animals) into your home and take care of them until there is room for them in the shelter or rescue you are fostering for, or until the animals are old enough to be spayed or neutered and put up for adoption.

What Kind of Animals Can I Foster?

Many animal shelters and rescue groups have a foster program and they are structured differently according to the individual organization. If you are interested in animal fostering, you can choose the group that is a perfect fit for you. You can foster dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, rabbits, guinea pigs and even horses.

How Long Do I Have to Keep the Fosters?

The length of time you will have your foster depends on the animal and the situation. Let your foster contact know how much time you feel comfortable committing to fostering, whether it is 2 weeks, 6 weeks or open ended. They will work to match you with the right animal within your time range.

Do I Have to Pay for Supplies Myself?

When you foster, you are not expected to pay for basic supplies like food, litter, medicine or vet care out of your own pocket. Supplies are usually provided by the animal shelter or rescue. Most likely you will just need to go pick up the supplies. Discuss these specifics before you foster with a certain group or rescue.

What do I Have to Provide?

You should provide care and a safe space for the animal. You should provide playtime, socialization, a soft bed, love and fresh water.

Is it ok if I Have Other Pets?

Let your foster contact know what other pets you have. In many cases having other pets is a plus. Orphaned kittens with no siblings are missing out on important lessons learned during playtime, like bite inhibition. Socialization when they are babies helps them become a better pet and more likely to be adopted. Kittens familiar with dogs and vice versa will be easier to adopt into a multi-pet home.

What if I Have a Problem or Emergency?

Your foster program contact should be available via cellphone to help you whenever you need it. Discuss this before you foster with a certain group or rescue.

What if it’s Not Working Out?

Your foster program leader will do their best to match you with the right foster depending on your home situation. Whether you have children, other pets, etc. By fostering an animal you are not locked into a situation if it’s stressful for you and the animals. Fostering should be a great experience for everyone! Discuss this before you foster with a certain group or rescue. They should be willing to take the animal back immediately if needed.

What are the Benefits of Fostering?
You are saving a life.
You are volunteering (which is good for the soul) without having to leave your home and other pets.
Fostering allows you to “test the waters” if you plan on adopting a pet yourself.
Fostering helps socialize your own pets.
Fostering is a way for your children to “experience the miracle of life” without adding to the pet overpopulation problem.
By fostering you are supporting your community and making new friends and positive changes within your community.
Fostering helps you learn about animals, animal behavior, animal care and different animal personalities.

(taken from : http://www.maddiesfund.org/Maddies_Institute/Articles/Fostering_Kittens.html)

What Fostering Involves

As a foster parent, you will be responsible for feeding, cleaning, socializing, and cuddling your kittens. In some cases, you may need to bottle feed, give medications or take the kittens to the veterinarian. Some groups provide you with cat food and litter, while others require foster parents to provide these necessities.

In terms of space, you don’t need much. A laundry room, bathroom, or extra bedroom is helpful, but a cage set up in the corner of your bedroom or den can work just fine. Depending on how old the kittens are, you’ll be caring for them for one to eight weeks.

Finally, unless you adopt them, you must be prepared to let your foster kittens go. It can be sad to say goodbye, but remember, you have given them a great start on life. Thanks to you, they will have a loving, permanent home with some very lucky adopters.

Fostering Options

A mom cat with kittens. This is actually one of the easiest fostering situations since mom does most of the work. You’ll need a room or large cage along with a nesting area-part of the cage, a closet, large dog carrier, or a box on its side with a blanket draped over the front. Mom will need a litterbox.
The mother cat will feed, clean, and socialize the kittens. You will feed mom, clean her litterbox and bedding, handle the kittens, and monitor everyone’s health.
Bottle feeders (or bottle babies). These are kittens under four weeks old who need to be bottle fed every 2-6 hours depending on how old they are. Since these kittens don’t have a mom, you will also have to help them go to the bathroom, keep them clean, wean them, and train them to use a litterbox.
You’ll need a warm, safe area in which to confine bottle babies, preferably a cage or large carrier. Some foster parents even convert an extra bathtub into a kitten area. Because warmth is so important, kittens should have access to a towel-covered heating pad, set on low. They must have enough space to be able to crawl off the heating pad if it gets too warm. If you are fostering a single kitten, provide a stuffed animal or something fuzzy for the kitten to cuddle.
Self-feeding kittens. Kittens 4-8 weeks old can already eat on their own and use the litterbox, but need TLC until they are old enough to be adopted. You’ll feed them, clean them, play with them, monitor their health, and clean their litterbox. It is best to keep them in a confined area such as a small, kitten-proofed room, or a large cage.
Feral kittens. These are kittens, usually 4-8 weeks old, who have grown up with little or no human contact. In addition to the care described above, they also need more intensive socialization to help them become comfortable around people.
Setting Up

To kitten-proof a room, remove anything that might fall on a kitten – even a book can cause serious injury. Remember that kittens can climb into tiny holes and crevices and get stuck. Bathrooms seem to be especially easy to kitten-proof, and they are easy to clean.
Regular litterboxes are too big for young kittens. Start out with small Tupperware-type containers or shoebox lids. As the kittens grow, so can the litterbox.
Some foster parents get permission to bring very young bottle babies to work with them. Kittens sleep much of the time and can stay in a small carrier under your desk.
Health and Safety Basics

Monitoring your charges’ health is extremely important – sick kittens must be treated quickly. Keep tabs on the following:

Kittens should be alert and warm to the touch. Chilling is a risk mainly during the first four weeks of life. If the kittens are cold and listless, they must be warmed up immediately. Do not attempt to feed chilled kittens. Place the kittens in a box or pet carrier with a heating pad (placed in a pillowcase then wrapped in a towel) set on low inside the box. Be sure the heating pad covers only half of the bottom of the box–the kittens must be able to move off the heating pad if it becomes too warm.
If you notice fleas, you should flea comb the kitten as soon as possible. Do not use insecticides or any other flea products. Kittens can also be bathed with warm water and a very gentle soap. Do not wet the head. Dry the kitten immediately with a towel, then with a blow dryer set on low/warm (not hot, not cold).
Diarrhea and upper respiratory infection (watery eyes, stuffy nose, sneezing – similar to a human cold) are serious and should be immediately treated by a veterinarian.
Keeping the kittens clean helps to maintain their health. Wash bedding and food and water dishes daily. After they eat or use the litterbox, clean dirty kittens with warm, damp towels and dry them well. Wash your hands before and after feeding and handling kittens.
Don’t wear shoes around the kittens, and be especially careful when walking around. They move quickly and it’s all too easy to step on them.
Never give cow’s milk to kittens. Since they cannot digest it properly, it can make them sick.
Don’t let bottle babies nurse on their siblings – this can cause serious injury.
Keep foster animals separate from your own pets.
Kitten Timeline

Newborn (or neonatal): Eyes are closed, ears are flat to the head, fur is thin and skin looks pink.
Ten days old: Eyes begin to open.
Three weeks old: Ears stand up, teeth are visible, and kittens begin to walk – wobbly at first!
Four weeks old: Kittens begin eating regular cat food and using the litterbox. They also begin to pounce and leap.
Eight weeks old: Healthy kittens will weigh approximately two pounds, and are ready for spay/neuter and adoption.

(Taken from http://cats.about.com/od/kittencare/a/beforeyoufosterkittens.htm)

Factors to Consider Before Taking on Kitten Fostering

The decision to foster kittens is a serious one which will affect your entire household, and should not be undertaken unless you can answer the following questions to your satisfaction. You will likely be asked similar questions if you volunteer for a cat rescue group, so it will be a good rehearsal.

Can I afford the costs involved in fostering kittens?


Unless you work with a cat rescue organization which supplies the necessities, you’ll likely have the cost of all the accoutrements which go along with kittens: bottles & formula, kitten food, litter boxes, a bed and/or a containing pen, scratching post, and toys. You may also have to pay for their “kitten shots” and spay/neutering.

Am I prepared physically and emotionally?
First, you should have enough room in your home for an active litter of kittens to be comfortable, yet safe. You need to have the physical stamina to tend to their physical needs, which may include bottle-feeding newborns around the clock.
Finally, although kittens can provide fun and joy, they also bring with them hard work and sometimes sorrow. Kittens do die sometimes, through no fault of your own. Also, the time will come when the kittens will be ready for new homes, and you’ll have to say goodbye.

Are there other pets in your home?

Only you know how well your pets accept new animals to your household. For that reason, it is always a good practice to keep the litter of kittens, along with the mother cat (if she came with the package) in a safe room until the time comes for integration. Your own common sense should guide you, particularly with big dogs who are unaccustomed to kittens, and may consider them “toys” or prey. If you have any doubts at all about your current pets, it may be better to consider volunteering at a shelter or rescue group’s “adoption day” events.

Is my family on-board with my Fostering Kittens?


Taking care of a litter of cats will consume much of your at-home time. It could cause a conflict with your partner unless he or she is as enthusiastic about the prospect as you are. Most children are pretty happy at the idea of having kittens in the house, and older children can help with their care and socialization. However, unless your child is exceptionally mature, young kittens should not be exposed to children under the age of three.
If you have passed these self-directed questions, you can start preparing yourself for a rewarding new venture in making a difference in the lives of cats.

Links:

This is the Amazon wishlist to help the foster cats- http://www.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/35H2ME458B5B1/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_ws_5yOYqb1C181JS

Dash Allen’s Page-https://www.facebook.com/mydash10

Miss Sabrina’s Page – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina/

Dash’s Disco (his facebook party page) –https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dashs-Disco/

Skylar’s Page- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Skylar-the-therapy-cat/417168354971011

Author’s Note: I would like to thank Dash for taking the time to do the interview and letting me borrow pictures for the article and providing me with lots of information about the family, whew, what a huge family. =^..^=

Meet Tuxie the President of the CauliflowerEar Cat Club

Meet Tuxie

(The one, the only Sir Tuxie, looking dapper as always) 

Tuxie, how old are you?

No one knows my real birthday so Mom said it is the day my plane landed in Houston, November 1st and I just turned 7!

How did you come to live with your mom?

Mom had just discovered kitty pages on Facebook. She found my page the day after it was put up and began to follow me. When there where no posts for a couple of weeks she got all freaked out and was crying with worry about what could have happened. When I came back on she knew she had to have me! She was very afraid that she wouldn’t be able to adopt me because I was in Brooklyn, New York and she was in Houston area in Texas. But she filled out the paperwork and one day I called her Mom and it was a done deal! Mom works at a Halloween Express store and all her “HEX kids” pitched in money that season to help get me down here so I was headed to Texas!

May I ask what happened to your ears?

I had lived with some people who didn’t take care about the ear mites I got. I scratched and shook my head so much I burst all the blood vessels in my ears. That causes the ears to swell and that’s called hematoma. Usually the ears will crinkle up but mine didn’t. They stayed swollen at the base of the ear opening and that blocked any kind of good ear cleaning. Then I had bacterial infections on top of the mites! My ear canals were damaged from all of this and ear mite treatments and antibiotics weren’t helping me get better. I was hitting my head against the wall and crying so much! My foster mom was told I was in so much misery there were only 2 options…PTS or lose the ears. So I had 2 separate surgeries to remove the entire outer ear and part of my ear canals. I can still hear though! I still have the lower canal and ear drum and all the bones that conduct sound. I am sort of hard of hearing though and can never have ear infections or mites or I would be in big trouble. This is what makes me a “special needs” kitty. Mom also found out I have a heart murmur so we have to keep an eye on that too and make sure I don’t get too stressed out.

How many sisfurs/brofurs do you have?

5 of them! Anjelique is 16, SnowBelle and Chester are 12, Alex is 2, and my new little sister Eva is 7 months. Ancient Opie was my oldest brother but he went to the Bridge at 20 in November. I also have a d o g sister who is 9. Lula is a Siberian Husky and I’m pretty sure she was born with no brain!

I have 4 non-furs too.
They are Jerran 27, Jas 15, Lydia 13, and Jeric who we all call Boogie. He’s 6 and special needs too! Oh but he has ears! MOL

Does anyone treat you different?

Sometimes. Most people are curious about me and ask what happened to my ears. Some people have asked Mom, “What is that?!” I’m not a thing! I’m a cat! MEOW I have had a few people call me names they think are cute but it is hurtful. I can’t help that I look different and you wouldn’t make “funny” names about someone who lost a leg, right? Most people are super nice and kind though! Mom says I am even more handsome without my ears!

How did you become the head of the cauliflower ear cat club?

My foster mom, Eva, made my Facebook page and saw my potential to be a great leader so she gave me the title! I hope I have been a good leader and will continue to improve! Maybe one day I will be the president of the country! I’m pretty sure I can do better than any of the silly humans!

Are there any other members of your club?

Oh anyone can be in my club! If you are a cat with a missing ear or 2 or have crinkled, cauliflower ears you are in automatically! I even let d o g s in! MOL La Chat Noir, Dottie, Gentle Ben, and many others are members of my club but so are all my friends on my page! MEOW!

Your mom is such a talent woman, may I show off some of her work?

MOM! Can they show off your work? MOM! MOMMYYYYYYYYY!!!!!! Oh well, she’s sleeping. Go ahead and show her stuff! She’s very laid back about all that!

(“Time” photo album. Holds 100 3X5 photos. Lined inside with black velvet panne, padded outside with blue teal velvet panne, and embellished with steam punk style cogs, gears, and clock face. Clock hands move so it can be any time you want!
$25)

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

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What shelters/sanctuaries/groups do you and your mom support?

We don’t really have anyone specific but we always try to help Puffy Paws Haven in Florida because it’s just 2 wonderful humans that take care of 200 senior, special needs, and mostly unadoptable cats. Everyone should like them! Mom says they are human angels on earth blessed by Bast and doing Her work! MEOW

Does your mom ever sleep?

It seems like she is always busy doing something, auctions, making things, taking pictures, etc.
OMC, yes! Mom does sleep! A lot! But she sleeps during the day mostly and stays up at night to get things done. She’s very hyper in her brain and I get tired and bored watching her when she gets into one of her frenzies! Mom is also a Girl Scout leader for 10 years now!

I love my Mom too!  She shows me off and says she is so proud of me!  And she gives me all the love I never got before!

Dedication:

This article is dedicated to the loving memory of Sir Opie. Fly free little one, know that you were and will always be loved.

Author’s Note: Many thanks to the wonderfully talented Ms Carla (*hugs*) and the brilliant and handsome Tuxie (*gives extra treats*). Photos were used with permission and come by and visit Tuxie on facebook.