Pets that Blog: Meet Random Felines

Author’s Note: I met the wonderful woman (Jeanne Kudich) behind Random Felines at Barkworld last month and below is the email interview I did with her. What a pleasure to catch up with her again and pester her with questions about her blog, fostering and adopting. Thank you so much Jeanne! Pictures were used with permission. 


 

randomfline9daquiri
How did you get inspired to blog?
I wanted a “journal” of sorts to keep track of the cats. I was fostering as well and it made for a good way to keep memories of the kittens.

What has been your favorite post(s) so far?
There have been so many….I think for me it is about having an impact on others. I posted about how hard fostering can be, how applications work for rescues, and probably announcing when my special needs foster Bourbon was adopted.

 

randomfline8jr

What have you learned since you started your blog?
About blogging? That I know just enough to keep from blowing up my computer. 🙂 Seriously though, becoming part of a community has been a wonderful thing. I kind of stumbled into it and then discovered there are so many more bloggers out there. The opportunity to share things back and forth and support each other is the best thing.

What advice do you have to other pet bloggers?
Find a voice and go with it. I started out talking as “myself” and eventually changed over to a group cat voice. I didn’t want to pick one cat to be the voice of the blog – what happens when that cat passes away? Though there are times when one cat will take over for a day. And I will post as myself if it is something that the cats wouldn’t talk about or is personal. Skip the “cat speak” – it is just too hard to read and I think it turns people off. And talk about something you love. You don’t have to post every day, but be consistent.

randomfelines2

How many pictures do you take on average to get a “perfect” picture for your blog?
I don’t know if I have ever gotten the perfect picture. 🙂 That would be the one thing I would like to improve but I think it would require an upgrade to a much better camera and that isn’t in the budget right now. I will say that like most bloggers, I take WAY more than I actually use. For me it is about catching the cats and kittens doing natural things. And sometimes I get lucky and get a really great shot (or video).

randomflines4mozart
How did you get started fostering?
It was totally by accident. A pair of adult male cats came into the humane society where I was volunteering at the time. It’s a long complicated story (http://www.random-felines.com/2009/11/tim-tom.html ) but the short version is they needed a foster home and I suggested our special adoptables program. I showed up to a meeting and my friend in charge of the program said “sign here you can pick them up Saturday”. It went smoothly and that spring I got an email asking for kitten fosters since they needed help. I took my first litter of kittens, it worked out well with my cats and that was it.

What has been the most reward thing about fostering?
Seeing sick kittens get better and seeing some special needs kittens get homes. (http://www.random-felines.com/2013/01/bourbon-and-moonshine.html) And of course getting kittens and their moms adopted.

randomfelines5ivy

What is the hardest thing about fostering?
Some people say sending them back to the rescue to be adopted out. And while that can be harder with some kittens than others, for me it is taking kittens into my home and then having them get sick and die. That loss is heartbreaking every time. And it never gets easier….I know that it happens but after putting so much love and work into these kittens, it is just so hard.

What should people know about fostering that they may not think about?
You can’t keep them all. Know your limits. Ask questions. Know what the rescue expects of you when it comes supplies, time commitment, adoption events, and emergency contacts. Keep in mind too that you don’t need a huge space. A separate bedroom or bathroom is fine. I like using my bathroom since the floor is tile and easy to clean (and I can joke that I haven’t showered alone in several years).

randomfelines1

What supplies do you recommend people to have to get them started fostering?
Most rescues will have food and litter available. Since our rescue is small, I just buy my own (keep track of your expenses – if you volunteer for a 501(c)3, your expenses may be tax deductible). You will need a separate space for kittens and cats to adjust (if your rescue allows your to co-mingle your fosters with your resident animals – some do, some don’t). Bowls, litter box, toys, and towels/blankets. Especially with kittens – you are going to be doing laundry. I also have a couple of pens I can set up for restricted play time and finally bought a cat tower.

randomflines7spud

Do you have any tips to share about fostering that my help others?
Start slow (small litter of kittens that only need a couple of weeks to gain weight). Again – ask questions. See what system the rescue you are with has in place. Talk to other fosters with the rescue and other fosters online – we are all happy to answer questions. Be aware that while it is fun to have kittens, it IS work and requires a time commitment. And it isn’t all fun and games all of the time. It can be hard…but it is rewarding no matter what.

Who was your first foster?
Technically it was Tim and Tom who are now permanent residents. My first litter of foster kittens was a group of 3 that I took in that needed a couple of weeks to get big enough for surgery.

randomflines3permtimtom

Is there anything else you would like to add that I may have missed?
Be prepared to fall in love. But again, know your limits. I tell people that most of my fosters aren’t screwed up enough to stay. 🙂 Know that there are no dumb questions – we have all been there from time to time. Have a good resource that you can go to….I’m lucky that several friends within the rescue also foster plus I have met some great online friends who foster as well.


 

To follow the adventures of the permanent and temporary felines, visit: Random Felines or check them out on Facebook they are also on Instagram & Twitter and most importantly they are on YouTube because cat videos the best way to waste time. 🙂

 

This article is a part of the Pets that Blog Theme. Please click on the badge below for more articles on pets that blog.

 

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Pets that Blog: Tails from the Foster Kittens

Author’s Note: I can’t say how thrilled I am to have gotten a chance to interview Miss Connie from Tails from the Foster Kittens. It’s not a “pet blog” per say, but it’s about pets, cats.. foster kittens and such so I’m letting this squeak by into the Pets that Blog category because it’s not a guest post.. so many many thanks to Miss Connie for letting me interview her and ask a million questions. Please check out her blog – there are some wonderful tips and pictures and misadventures there! For more Pets that Blog interviews, please see the bottom of the interview for the badge. Thank you again Miss Connie and readers. =^..^=


How did you start with fostering?

I actually read something about fostering a few years before the shelter I volunteer with had a fostering program.  I asked about it and they said they wouldn’t do anything like that, I think they were worried about safety.  When the staff turned over and new management came in a fostering program was set up, and I was one of the first people to sign up to bring home kittens.

What are some fostering tips you would like to share?

Know what is expected of you.  If you are working with a shelter or rescue, find out what is covered by them and what you will be expected to provide.  Make sure you know what the emergency contact is for after-hours issues.  I also think it is very important to keep your foster and your resident cats separated. Not everyone does this, and I cringe when they don’t because you cannot protect against everything, and there is no point in putting your own cats at risk

What has been your most rewarding foster?

That is a difficult question.  There was a kitten born at my house that wasn’t even two ounces when he was born, and everyone expected him to die (he didn’t, 12 years later he’s still doing wonderfully) or the kitten that became so anemic that she had to spend a night in an oxygen chamber who also survived.  Finding homes for a few diabetic kitties, finding a home for Odilia the blind kitty, and finding a home for Issac Arnold and Smedly..   just to name a few..

Foster kitten on happy bear
Foster kitten on happy bear

When did you start the blog?

in 2002 a few months after I started fostering.  I ran a blog that was simply a day to day journal of my life, back when blogs were just starting out.  I had ended up swamping it with kitten stuff, so I figured I’d start a separate blog for the kittens..

What has been your favorite post on the blog?

I don’t have one. With nearly 3000 posts, it is kind of hard to pick out one as a favorite.

Has anyone fostered because they read your blog?

My friend Wendy is currently fostering some feral kittens.  I don’t know if it is a direct result of my blog, or if it just added to something she has already wanted to do.

 

If people can’t foster what are other ways to get involved?

Support your local shelter.  If you don’t feel financially stable enough to give money, then donate old towels and blankets.  Go yard sailing for items that are appropriate for shelters to use or to give to pets.  Bake some cookies for the staff or bring them popsicles in the heat of summer.  http://www.kittyblog.net/2013/07/blog-change-july-edition-something.html I just recently read yet another article on the importance of photos to get pets adopted. If you think you can take some nice photos, I am sure the shelter would love for you to stop in and take a few.

The current foster, Miss Charlotte she's working on being more social
The current foster, Miss Charlotte she’s working on being more social

Do you have any foster fails?

Yes.  Yes I do. There were eight in total. All seven of my current crew were once fosters.  I also adopted an eighth that unfortunately did not survive to see his first birthday.  Kodi died of FIP http://www.kittyblog.net/2010/03/crew-history-fip.html

Do the fosters have a special room they are in?

In the beginning I used the spare bedroom to foster in.  When we moved to the house we are in now I continued to use the spare bedroom, but they were very close to our bedroom and sometimes the noise of kittens playing would keep us up.  We had a corner of our basement that just called out to be closed up and made into our foster room.  Since I’ve been doing it for so long it was an investment that has paid off for us. I wish it was a little nicer, not as basement looking, but kittens do not care if they look at rafters, as long as they have a sun puddle to sleep in and a few dozen toys to play with.

Happy Bear is awaiting more kittens
Happy Bear is awaiting more kittens

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself or your fosters?

People often say to me that they could never foster, because they could never give them up.  Yes, giving them up can be hard (not as hard as you might think if you have four or five kittens at that rambunctious age of getting into EVERYTHING) but to me it is harder to sit back and not do anything, knowing that the need is there, that it is so great, and often without foster homes animals die. The shelter I volunteer with used to put neonatal kittens down upon arrival to the shelter knowing their chances of survival were almost none and that the death awaiting them due to illness was not worth the risk.  I do this not only because I love kittens, but I cannot face a world where I do not try to save them.

Also, I had followed the progress on Gigi, I’m glad she’s better, do you have any tips for people who have a newly diagnosed diabetic cat?

First off, the learning curve for FD is very steep, but it is very short. If you are willing to jump in with both feet, in almost no time you’ll be wondering why you were so afraid of the diagnosis.  There are a lot of resources out there for people with a newly diagnosed kitty.  I remember how overwhelmed I felt when I first got the diagnosis for Emerald. She was nine years old, and I feared her life was over.  Today’s protocols are so dramatically different from what I was told back when she was first diagnosed.  Feeding a low carb food is paramount.  If your vet does not stress that, then you need to look outside your vet for additional help.  You can also test your kitty’s blood sugar levels at home with a $10 glucometer available at your local megamart. You can google home testing of feline diabetes for websites and videos on how to do it. You can stop over at felinediabetes.com for lots of information and check out their message boards for nearly instant help for any question you have, as there are people on there very regularly

Do you have any tips for helping a shy cat?

It is one of my favorite things to do.  My motto is impose, but do not force.  And never let the kitty escape from you when you are holding it.  Do not let it go until all four feet are on the ground.  It may take a few tries for the kitty to stop squirming as you  put it down, but eventually they will catch on, and that is your first step in building trust. http://www.kittyblog.net/2012/11/what-i-know-taming-of-kittens.html

How many cats live with you?

At least seven.  The Crew is made up of seven former fosters. At the moment there are eight cats in my house as I only have one foster Charlotte.  I’ve had up to 23 before.

Can you tell me about them?

Jack
Jack

Jack came to me from my third set of foster kittens.  When I started fostering I promised my husband I wouldn’t keep any of the kittens, but Jack found a way into my heart and soul, that I sobbed when I returned him for adoption. My husband couldn’t stand to see me so upset, that he told me to go adopt him.  I RAN to the shelter the next morning and grabbed him up and brought him home.

Muffin
Muffin

Muffin and Eli came next with their brother Kodi.  Muffin was so full of attitude she floored us both, and Eli was so damaged from round after round of URI we feared that no one would give him a home.

Eli
Eli
Twee
Twee

Twee had a very bad reaction to the sedation when she went to be neutered that she died while on the table. We kept her for a few more weeks while she recovered from that and brought her in again and she again had a reaction, but they were waiting for it and very quickly spayed her and revived her, but as a result she needed a few more weeks recovery, at which point my husband had fallen for her and he went off to the shelter and adopted her.

Kit
Kit

Kit came from a set of fosters born to the house from a mother and daughter set of cats that were pregnant at the same time.  There were ten cats in that one room and it was getting a bit overwhelming as the kittens were ready to go back for adoption.  Unfortunately Kit wasn’t at weight, so we ended up keeping her for a few additional weeks.  She was a very petite little kitten and it took a very long time, at which point she had my husband wrapped around her little paw and once again he went off to the shelter to adopt.

Fleurp
Fleurp

Fleurp.. Another one of those forces to be reckoned with. She called to me from across the room when I stopped by the shelter to pick up some food for the foster kittens I had.  She just sat there, looking miserable because of her bad eye, but yet I still was drawn to her. I needed another foster like I needed a hole in my head, but still I said I needed her.  I needed another cat in my house like I needed two more holes in my head, but I could not refuse.  She is pure happiness and joy and hope.. and I can not refuse her anything.

Skippy
Skippy

Skippy came to me as an abuse case.  Once again he was an only kitten (seeing a trend here?) and he needed a little extra care.  He was a super cuddly even as a kitten, wanting to be cuddled the minute you walked in the room to see him above food and above play.  I got him well and brought him back to the shelter to be adopted, and he was. I warned the couple that he might have health issues, and they were kind of dismissive to what I was saying.  Well he came down with a cold and the couple nearly immediately returned him.  I brought him home to foster him and when he was well I brought him back to be adopted again.  He was at the shelter for a couple of days before he came down with the cold again.  Home again for a few more weeks and back to the shelter we went. He was then at that odd teen age stage that is harder to adopt out, and so he sat there for almost two weeks, when the shelter staff said they would waive the adoption fee if I would just take him home.  So I did.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

The more I have gotten into the health care side of pet ownership, the more I’ve learned that what we have told is standard health care is anything but.  It is sad that when I talk about proper food for a cat I am considered fringe or ‘one of those weirdo’s  I question everything from the food we feed, to the vaccines we give.   I also believe fully that we each have to make decisions for our pets that we can live with.  If you choose something I don’t think is ‘right’ I will fully support your decision as long as you made it with some knowledge of both sides of the conversation.


Pictures were used with permission, please visit her blog Tails from the Foster Kittens or visit the Facebook page of the same name – Tails from the Foster Kittens

This post is a part of the Pets that Blog theme. Please click the below badge for more articles.
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Extra Love Needed: Meet Toot & family

Toot, just a little shy about being interviewed
How old is everyone?
Miss Molly Ma'am

Molly – 11 years

Shadow is Molly's brother
Shadow is Molly’s brother

Shadow – 11 years

Trooder
Trooder

Trooder – 8 years

Mooch
Mooch

Mooch – is apx 13 years old

Stashy
Stashy

Stashy – 2 years old

Toot – will be 2 years in Feb

Toot & Oreo sharing secrets
Toot & Oreo sharing secrets

Oreo – will be 1 in Feb

TJ kitty
TJ kitty

TJ – will be 1 in Feb

Miss CoCo
Miss CoCo

CoCo (the outside stray that is ours) is apx 6 to 8 years old

I is Jake is a bit shy too
Jake is a bit shy too

I is Jake!! (woofie) is 5 3/4 years old

Shana
Shana

Shana (woofie) is apx 9 to 10 years old

Molly and Shadow were found as kittens, outside a pub in Connecticut, in snowy freezing weather.  Shadow was on the verge of death when he was brought to me – I nursed him back to health and went to rescue his sister Molly and tried to get their mom cat – sadly she was unable to be caught and was hit by a car.  Shadow was named by my son and Molly was named by my middle daughter when the cats arrived with us.

Trooder is a rescue adoption.  He was found in Kentucky in a feral cat community who happened to be overly friendly.  The caretakers took him to Grayson Animal shelter to be helped.  He has a limp and always will and they think it is due to an improper break in both front paws that was never fixed.  He is not in any pain but does have issue with walking – he cant extend his front paws flat.  Trooder (once called No Where Man) was brought to rescue here in Massachusetts where I adopted him at a adoption event at a pet store, 3 months after TT Girl died. Trooder got his name because everything I called him he didnt respond to.  A blogger Pefectly Parker, suggested he was an InTrooder and so his name became Trooder which he responds to!

Mooch was a stray that wandered into our yard 3 years ago, on a cold wintery day.   It was bad out one day so I opened the basement door for her to seek shelter and there she stayed for a year – not wanting outside.  I tried to get her to go out, I even picked her up and brought her out the door but she ran right back in.  I finally brought her to our apartment to help socialize her.  She became my first foster failure!  Mooch got her name because she would sneek over and mooch off the plate of food we’d leave out for the stray cats.

Stashy was one of three kittens that were found in someones yard that I volunteered to foster.  Stashy and his 2 sisters need socialization before being brought to our shelter for transfer to another rescue.  Stashy failed that rescues idea of a adoptable cat, so I took him back home to work on his socialization.  I realized he would never be that lap cat most rescues want out of a kitten, he was still scared of people.  I kept him because I didn’t feel he needed to be a “barn” cat or in a shelter for all his life. He became my 2nd foster failure.  Stashy/ Mustashio came with that name because of his black stash under his nose.

Toot was brought to a vet’s office with badly infected eyes at the age of 4 months old.  The guy wanted free care for her but the vet could not provide her with the free care, so the owner gave her up to the vet for rescue.  Toot had 3 siblings which were later brought to our shelter for adoption.  I was to foster Toot until we could raise funds for surgery on her eyes –  I was totally convinced she could see.  I took it upon myself to do a small fund raiser on Facebook for her, to bring her to the vet so that her eyes would not be removed.  The first vet that saw her just said that was the easiest and the most inexpensive for the shelter to do.  She has glaucoma in her left eye and her right eye is smaller due to birth defects.  She is not in any pain, we give her medicine to help the glaucoma and her smaller eye is washed and ointment put in. Toot became part of our family because her Dad just couldn’t see her being adopted easily – truth be known, he fell in love with her.  lol  He wasn’t much of a cat person prior to Toot’s addition to the family.  She totally won him over with her ways.  Toot was first named Little Timmy the Toot – we found out the first vet was wrong and he was a SHE, they tried to give her the name Tammy but I didnt see it as her name.  She responded to Toot when her Dad called her and that’s how it stuck.

Baby Oreo
Baby Oreo
Baby TJ
Baby TJ

Oreo and TJ are brother and sister who were brought to me in a shoe box at the wee age of 1 week old.  They were found in a garbage site and the owner of the lot was scared that they would die if they stayed outside.  The mother cat was seen but never found after he brought the kittens to rescue.  I took them in knowing that they would have to be bottle fed every 2 to 3 hours.  With the help of my SO, we bottle fed and raised them.  It was a hard choice but less so for him but they became our foster failure 4 and 5.  Once again my SO named the kittens, Oreo because of her colors and TJ because when he was bottle fed he would eat and eat and get a big belly like Trooder has. TJ was short for Trooder Jr, now that he is almost grown its short for Total Jerk because he causes so much trouble!  Not nice but fitting for him when he knocks everything off the table and counters. lol

I is Jake!! or Jake, is a Boston Terrier that was not rescued (he’s the only one here that was bought from a good breeder).  He almost died.  His is a long story – http://tt-themisadventuresofme.blogspot.com/2008_05_01_archive.html   He has seizures now and will for the rest of his life.  He is a welcome addition to our house of slightly dysfunctional furry kids.  Jake got his name because when I was pregnant the baby if a boy was to be named that – well we had a girl and Jake got the name instead of her. 😀

Shana is a Boston Terrier/ Rat Terrier mix called a Brat.  She is adopted from a rescue at the age of 6 years.  She was returned several times and the former owners remarked she was “retarded” and un-trainable.  She came to us only eating cat food and didnt know how to play.  It took us a week to get her to like dog food, but she still will not eat meat and prefers potato chips to that. lol   I think her behavior is more of an autistic type and I think she was also part of some sort of hoarding situation because she will take a mouthful of food, walk away and spit it out to eat it.  We’ve come to accept her for her odd behavior and love her just the same as the rest.  Im not sure how Shana got her name but she responds to it and I felt a change would confuse her and she is already confused at times.

CoCo is a cat that was thrown outside by the next door neighbor in the middle of cold weather.  He denies throwing her out but his children have said otherwise to me.  She is a lovely cat that only wants to live outside, we’ve tried to get her to come in but I think she is claustrophobic of closed in spaces, due in fact that the neighbor kept her in one room the entire time they had her.  She lives here now, we feed her and keep her sheltered, outside, in a insulated, heated shelter.  She is spoiled as much as the indoor cats and gets warmed up canned cat food in the mornings along with her dry food.  She is very affectionate and loving to us but will not get near other people.  CoCo got her name because she reminded me of CoCo Channel, who came from nothing and took matters into her own hands to make it somewhere.

We had 5 cats and 2 dogs when Toot came here.  Toot is our first and only blind cat we have.   All cats need to be accepted for who they are, just as we would want people to accept us for who we are.  We can’t make cats be the object we want – playful, talkative, lap cats or show cats, etc.  I’ve come to accept each pet as they are, and let them show me their ways so that we all can live together.  I wouldn’t want them to change because of what I want or would I have an expectations of them, Id want them to be just as they are – there are a lot of folks that perceive an animal is suppose to be what they want them to be like and that’s just not the case.

Time for noms!
Time for noms!

Dedication:

This article is dedicated to the loving memory of TT who left the family too soon. Fly free little one, you will always be in our hearts.

TT
TT

Author’s Note: Many many thanks to Toot & family’s wonderful mom for all the information. 🙂 Pictures were used with permission. Please paw over to Toot’s page to say hi to the furry family.
This interview is a part of the Extra Love Needed Theme, for more interviews on pets that need extra love please click the badge below.

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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 The Purrtectors of the Dragonhold

Meet the Purrtectors of the Dragonhold

How many purrtectors of DragonHold are there?

There are presently 13 Purrtectors of DragonHold.

1. Bunny- A greybie who was born with a leg twisted backwards and an autoimmune disease. The leg was amputated and she has lost almost all her teeth from the disease.
2. Tiki- Was wild when found. I trapped and tamed her and she is a love. She is a bobtail.
3. Rowen- She was in a petting zoo at a Ren Fair on a really hot day. I begged the owner to give her to me cause she was dehydrated. I finally paid him $40.00 to get her, rushed her to the vet and they managed to save her. She is also a bobtail.
4. Moaning Myrtle- Myrt was about 2 weeks old when I got her as a foster. She was a bottle baby. My room mate fell in love with her so she became his Christmas present.
5. Gunnery Sgt. Pepper- Gunny was also wild. I trapped him and tamed him. We think he is related to Tiki but from a later litter.
6. Sassafras- Sassy was found under a cafe at about 6 weeks old. She was another foster that we couldn’t part with.
7. Bandit-  She was found in the middle of the road covered in fleas and starving. The vet thinks she has some genetic issues. She is a year old now and the 5 month old kittens are bigger then her.
8. Beavis- He and his brother were dumped up the road. Unfortunately his brother didn’t make it but he is thriving. He is a bobtail.
9. Big Boy- He was a feral cat living behind the pizza hut. It took me 6 months to get him tame enough to throw him in my car and bring him home. He is a barn cat and follows me all over the farm. He is the only outside cat and the only one not neutered.
10 & 11- Willie Wonka and Billy Bad Azz – Brothers found on the road. They were fosters but I don’t think we can let them go. Billy is a bobtail.
12 & 13- Hannible and Garfield – There were 3 of them but I placed 1 in Ohio. They are supposed to be fosters too but I don’t think they are leaving either. They are siamese bobtails.

How did they come to live at DragonHold?

All of them are rescues. Some were fosters that never left.

How did you come to start rescuing animals?

I have been rescuing animals all my life. I own a horse rescue and volunteer with a cat rescue.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to do more to help animals in need?

If you can’t donate money, donate time with your local shelter.

Do the purrtectors receive any fan mail/presents, if so where?

Our address is  1346 Garner Hollow Rd. Pulaski, TN 38478

Are you currently fostering any kittens? If so what do the others think of the visitors?

I was fostering 5 kittens. One has been placed in Ohio. The other 4 will probably stay here. Some of the other cats like them and some don’t but nobody hurts anyone.

And how you ended up with 13?

I never planned on 13 lol. It just happened.

When did you get started with the first purrtector?

Bunny is the first. 2005

Where did the name Purrtectors of the Dragonhold come from?

DragonHold is the name of my farm. I raise English Shire Draft horses and also own and run a horse rescue.

Are there any fights that break out?

Yes, we do have squabbles but no one ever gets hurt.

Are there any that are inside/outside or does everyone stay inside?

All except Big Boy are inside cats. Big Boy stays outside since he is still very feral.

Do they all eat kibble or do they get some human food?

The kittens are on kitten food and the others eat dry food. Bunny gets a special diet of canned food blended with water ( like soup ) since she only has 1 tooth left. They all love people food but we don’t give them much. They do get treats every morning when I get coffee.

Are there any stand out leaders of the group?

Bunny, Tiki and Rowan are the leaders.

Do they have a special place where they like to hang out?

My bed is the favorite spot.
sorry for all the questions, but I like to get a glimpse into how things run in the house with that many cats.. 🙂 Things run well with the 8. The kittens are starting to learn where they fit in. They still sleep in a big double cage since they haven’t started using the big cats litter boxes. Once they all do that they will no longer be caged at night.

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/ThePurrtectorsOfDragonHold
 
Author’s Note:
I wanted to thank the guardian to all the purrtectors of the Dragonhold for sharing a bit about them and herself. Good luck on the fosters.