Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

New spots

Today was cleaning day, which meant that lots of things had to be moved in order to clean around and under them. Bedding was collected, washed, and replaced, but often not in its original place. Both groups of kittens thought the process was pretty fascinating, and it's fun seeing where their "new favorite places" are now.

"Whaaat? It must be a good place. Boo and Skeeter are there already."

That striped blanket had formerly been Spud's favorite spot, wadded up in a corner.

Spud is now hanging out on the fancy donut, with his new best buddy, Cruiser.

And obviously, it's nap time. I had better go practice.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Friday night happy hour

A most unusual Happy Hour.

We gave
* 10 distemper shots
* 2 Drontal tablets
* 5 Cestex pills
* 5 Strongid doses
and also
* weighed 20 kittens
* clipped 378 toenails.
More or less.

Here's how much fun we were having. And try as hard as I might, I think I missed two: Delilah and Boo Johnson. I wonder where they were?

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Yesterday took a definite turn for the worse a couple hours after this shot. Here is Skeeter on top of the world, or at least the scratching post (thank you Stacy - the kittens love it!). Very shortly afterward he started vomiting, and rapidly became dehydrated and lethargic. It's scary how fast kittens can go bad, especially these little runts.

Fortunately, he responded to a couple of boluses of SQ fluid, and didn't have signs or tests that suggested an infectious process. I think the most likely culprit is that the food and formula he was getting to try to put some meat on those skinny bones was too rich for him, and once he started vomiting he just got too behind on his fluid status and went belly up, as it were.

Can you imagine what might have happened if he was really sick? I think one of the first important lessons folks who foster kittens, especially orphans, learn is to trust that gut instinct that when a kitten looks bad, don't wait. Get help. Bad things can happen unexpectedly rapidly.

Today the littlest Johnsons are eating well and playing up a storm, just like yesterday morning. Maybe yesterday efternoon and evening were just a bad dream.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


OK, I admit it. I'm a sucker. When a third notice requesting foster care comes around from the local large shelter, I worry. I've never seen more than a third notice, and I don't know what that means. When the notice is for a group of seven orphan kittens estimated to be 7 weeks old but with the runt weighing in at 9 oz, and all sick with URI, I really worry.

No matter that I'm planning to run off on a DC trip the next day. Well, it matters, but it's not a show stopper. I got together with my friend D-, and even though we are both already full with fosters, we plotted a way to get this group cared for. I brought them home to my house, installed them in the hall bathroom, and fed and medicated them until I left. She was cat-sitting for me while I was gone, anyway, so she left them in place until DH was due home, then moved them to a kennel at her house.

When I got home yesterday, I went to her house and kitnapped the three littlest. They were doing much, much better, but we thought they would benefit from getting more frequent meals, so we split the group.

We've had a lot of changes in the house this week. Molly was adopted last weekend, and while everyone was moping around missing her I let the Vanalikalikes out of the office. Nothing like a houseful of strange kittens to stir things up. And they are strange. My bigs look at those little white cat-shaped bodies like they are ghosts.

But the "Boo" in the title actually refers to the black torti in my new littlest group. She has light-colored markings rimming both eyes, giving her a spooky startled look. And it's convenient to have a short name because I've had to call her so often on frequent escapes from the bathroom. As in, "DH, have you seen Boo?". I'm calling the littlest gray runt Skeeter, and the black formerly female/now male kitten Cruiser, as I usually find him cruising around the countertop when I open the door.

To round off the rest of the family, we have Skipper, the biggest gray male, more than twice as big as Skeeter. Frick and Frack are the indistinguishable gray male twins, and we'll call the very pretty, demure, mischievous dilute torti Delilah. And we thought they needed a family name, so of course they must be Johnsons, one of the most common family names around here. Finally, we'll add little Daisy Mae, our previous sick runty orphan rescue, to this group, and we'll have one big happy family, at least when we recombine them to take them back to the shelter in a couple of weeks.

This morning I had the brilliant idea of blocking the hallway outside of the bathroom so I could open the door, give the Johnsons some room to play, and decrease the number of escape episodes. That's Seri watching the fun, with a brief appearance of Puddin Vanalikalike in the corner. The kittens are obviously no longer sick. Never a dull moment in this house.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why one should not enter the office in running shoes

The ties are irresistible. I could break my neck trying to leave.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Two miles

Labor Day was still summer, muggy and low 90's. Yesterday the storms came through, but it stayed hot and humid until mid-afternoon, when the temperature dropped precipitously. Today was our first perfect Fall day, low 60's, crisp and clear, not a cloud in the sky.

A day like today always makes me want to run, even if I haven't in awhile. And it's not that I haven't tried, but I haven't really been able to run since my ACL reconstruction surgery last year. At my first annual eval we seriously considered a second procedure to remove the hardware and clean up some adhesions because I was still having so much discomfort at the site, with bending, and, especially, after running.

The exercise regimen I described in my last news post has paid off, though. I have visible muscle surrounding my knee cap, and I've made great progress with my walk/run program. I had stopped "jogging" because of my tendency to do that without really engaging my quadriceps. But today I really, really wanted to run the whole block, a distance of two miles, and I can't "run" that far yet.

In my previous life I remember running with our head nurse, who desperately needed to pass an upcoming PT test, as a source of support and low-key drill sergeant-type motivation. She was slow but determined, and we ran a four mile loop at a speed that felt like standing still at the time. I still remember the surprise I felt at how easy it seemed. I decided today was a good day to try to recapture that ease.

So I did. I ran, but v e r y s l o w l y. No, I jogged. But I remembered to contract the necessary muscles to stabilize my knee on each step, and I completed the two miles, still jogging. It was a glorious day.

Woo hoo!