A line of tornadoes moved through our region at 5am this morning. It's 7pm and this is the first moment we have had internet service. (A tower went down just south of here. ) Just north and just south of us there were fatalities. We were VERY lucky.
A line of tornadoes moved through our region at 5am this morning. It's 7pm and this is the first moment we have had internet service. (A tower went down just south of here. ) Just north and just south of us there were fatalities. We were VERY lucky.
Percy and Golden are still the main pair in the cathouse. Other than those TWO, just about any other combination of TWO would work. All of the cathouse cats live TWOgether. If you need convincing about what a great idea it is to adopt TWO TWOgether, take another look at some pairs that have gone before (first TWOsday in February) Now here is a word or TWO about some kitties I haven’t talked about much this month.
Frosting (named because she reminded us of cupcake frosting when she was little bitty) is the cat you want if you’re looking for action. She plays; she demands attention. She bites chins and leaps from furniture onto your shoulder. It is ALL in love, there’s not an aggressive bone in Frosting’s body. In fact, she’s never even shown any aggression towards another cat - never a spat or hiss or smack. And she is absolutely not aggressive towards people. But you’ve got to be ready for WILD LOVE with this one. Kisses are bites. And being with you means at any cost - she will leap onto you. Is there a special somebody out there who would love to receive some WILD LOVE?
Mitts (left) and Wild Love Frosting.
Tulip. Well, you already know about Tulip. She probably needs a home without other cats. She isn’t really nice to the other cats in the cathouse. Of course, Sparkles had a problem with other cats, too, but Kat and the Teenage Ninja Horde adopted Sparkles anyway and she is now a beloved member of that family (other cats and all). So I know if the right family took Tulip, she maybe could become a kitty in a multi-cat group. She adores people. She still plays with toys. She’s a doll except for this attitude with other cats - catitude.
Halo. Halo may be too shy to go to a home at this point. Or it’s possible that there is a wonderful somebody out there who would give Halo not only a home, but all the time she would need to adjust. If you’re a person who is not looking for what YOU will get out of a new family member, but rather what you can GIVE to a needy cat, Halo could be your girl.
Halo (left) sharing a meal with Cashmere.
Spritz, unfortunately, has regressed some. I guess we’ll hold on to her for a while and see if she miraculously comes around - like Circe did. I know it’s possible for Spritz to become adoptable because nobody here thought Circe would EVER be ready for a family of her own - and now it appears that she is.
Circe (this is her favorite blankie).
The theme of today’s post is TWO kitties going to the same home. TWO TWOgether. And that would be the best thing ever. But any one of these sweethearts getting a home, with another or as a single, would be WONDERFUL. My Second Blogoversary is coming up in March. I’d love to celebrate with an adoption announcement.
And I just have to post this picture again. All of the floofy kitties together. That's Circe, Cashmere, and Glitter.
Tomorrow we’ll start tying up the last of the second-round brick stories. Because in March, we’re going for round three.
Have a great TWOsday.
The last few days of February . . . I like to think of them as the last few days of Winter. There are some definitive signs of Spring showing up in my world. The old-fashioned daffodils are in full bloom. There’s just no turning back when Fairy Land lights up yellow. The daffodils announce the end of Winter long before the official calendar does. Also, we had a warm enough evening over the weekend that we opened the screened-in “catio” for a while. By the next day, it was too chilly out there again. But for that one evening, the cats were SO happy to be out there.
You know what else announces the end of Winter? Kitten Season. Which I have explained takes up THREE full regular seasons of the year - Spring, Summer, and Fall. This year I’ve been exposed to the precursor of Kitten Season more than ever before. That precursor? Pregnant mom kitties. You know we have Beatrice With Babies and Paris With Packages. Our maternity ward is only growing larger. Yesterday, four cats were surrendered to the shelter where Older Daughter works. The family brought the cats because the owner has become ill and can no longer keep them. Here is the problem. Two of those cats are brother and sister AND father and mother to an unborn litter of kittens. That’s right. Brother and Sister were never neutered and spayed, and now Sister is pregnant. The other two cats HAD been altered. Brother is the only one who can be father. Sister is now with us so that she can give birth in an environment of less chaos than the shelter can provide. Sister’s name is Abbie. Abbie With Accidents.
I do not know for sure if the offspring of a brother and sister are more likely to have problems as a result. I certainly hope this doesn’t assure us stillborn kittens, or kittens that are born alive but die shortly after birth. Abbie is as greatly pregnant as are Beatrice and Paris. All look as if they could give birth at any moment. The beginnings of Kitten Season . . . Here we go.
Abbie With Accidents.
Tomorrow is the last TWOsday in February. One more push for somebody out there to adopt TWO together of our cathouse kitties before we start ending up with our OWN Kitten Season kitties. The current three expectant mothers are registered with the shelter and we are only fostering them. It is not my responsibility to find homes for them and their babies. But it is only a matter of time until unspayed mom cats everywhere start delivering their packages - right in my path.
For today, I’d like to post a picture story of what I, personally, would like to be doing. I would like to be sleeping. I believe I have reached that critical saturation point of “enough-Winter”. My animals are much better at this than I am. They seem to know that sometimes you’ve just got to rest. While I’m racing around today doing chores and running my kennel, here is what some of my furry family members will be doing. Sometimes I really envy these guys. :-)
This weekend is the last weekend in February. I like to claim March 1st as the unofficial gateway to Springtime. Even with Kitten Season looming out there in my very near future, I still look forward to the warmth, sunshine, flowers, and newness of Spring. I won't be posting tomorrow (Friday) because I'll be spending the next three or four days doing a BIG Spring cleaning at my kennel to get ready for another year of business. I get a bit of a break from kennel business during January and February, but that's about to end. Need to get ready for the coming three seasons of work. Next week, I will finish up the brick stories from the Second Winnie's Wish Walkway Fundraiser. Just in time to start thinking about the Third Winnie's Wish Walkway Fundraiser. March is when I celebrate my Second Blogoversary. I will launch another Brick Fundraiser as part of the celebration. Of course, there will be one more TWOsday in February, when I will make a another plea for homes for some of the cathouse gang who have been here long enough. Maybe March will be the month when some of those sweethearts get to go to their forever homes.
Heidi ordered two bricks to go in the Winnie’s Wish Walkway. I love this story. Clearly, Heidi’s boys were meant to be together and very much meant to be with Heidi and her husband. Here is their story, in Heidi’s words:
My husband and I adopted two brothers from a local shelter in July 2006. I was in my 2nd semester of grad school and doing an internship at a local university. One of my co-workers there was fostering a cat and we would send PetFinder.com pictures back and forth. I fell in love with a picture of two boys - one a short haired "cow" kitty and his brother, a long haired boy. Their names at the shelter were Ralph and Lou but no one knew which was which. One Saturday I dragged my husband to the shelter, just to look. Well, looking led to visiting in the play room, which led to adoption. The shelter was over crowded, so all cats over 6 months were 1/2 off their adoption fee. (I would later joke that the boys were adopt one, get one free) At first Max (the short hair) was the more outgoing one. Sammy hid for a good week when they first came home with us. Soon, the roles reversed and Sammy was the bold, outgoing one and Max was more reserved.
At the time, our Sophie Bean was 7 yrs old and she did NOT take well to the "intruders." I was happy we adopted both boys together so they had each other to play with.
Sammy was mouthy and loud and loved people. He ran to the door if someone knocked or rang the bell. Halloween was great - he got tons of attention from the trick or treaters. He was the smallest cat in the house, but he ruled the roost. He soon decided I was his human and that was that. Max was my husband's boy. They would sit together at night with Max on his chest (not an easy feat as Max was a long and lean 18 lbs!) and then when he went to bed, Max would follow and sleep on his chest.
The boys died within 18 months of each other from an undiagnosed heart condition. Max went first, then Sammy. Saying goodbye to our boys was the hardest thing we've ever done. I miss them every day.
Today, I want to take another shot at getting someone interested in adopting TWO TWOgether. Last TWOsday, I highlighted Percy and Golden, who, for now, we’ve decided to adopt out only together. The TWOS I plan to highlight today are not SO bonded that they cannot go as singles. In fact, I would be really happy if any of the kitties in today’s post were chosen - in pairs, as singles, a threesome. . . . (smile). Before I started this post, I remembered having done a “Pick A Pair” post back in the summer. I went back and found it. What I wrote then is the same today, except that Spritz has taken a step or two backwards. (We’re working on that.) Here are a couple of pairs, two twos, who would make a nice addition to someone’s family.
From my 8/18/11 post:
I have highlighted the Gray Girls in previous posts. Today, I want to suggest that maybe someone out there would be interested in a pair of Grays. Glitter and Spritz (sisters) would be a good combination. Glitter is long-haired and very friendly. Spritz is polydactl and much more shy. I am thinking that if they went together, Glitter might be the security Spritz would need to make the transition. I know none of you actually pick cats because they are physically beautiful, but it’s hard not mention that about this particular pair. Glitter is a beauty with gorgeous fur and white eye liner. Spritz is a tiger-looking, giant-pawed, many-toed girl with a stunning face. After the initial fear of being in a new place, we think Glitter will adjust quickly. Spritz is going to take patience on the part of the human who adopts her. But we know Spritz’s personality. She desperately wants love and attention. As long as nothing spooks her, she comes to us in the cathouse and begs for notice. She rubs on us and even follows us around. She’s just more fearful than most and will take longer to adjust to a new home.
Two other gray girls (also sisters) that would make a nice pair are Cashmere and Mitts. Their description is nearly identical to Glitter and Spritz’s. Only in this pair, it’s the poly that is the super friendly one. Mitts is ready right now this minute for a human of her own. She actually was adopted when she was a kitten and she adjusted perfectly in her new home. (Subsequently, she became very ill due to a string of events that included her not receiving vaccinations or being spayed. She returned to us, and it was a l-o-n-g road back to health.) She would love, love, love the opportunity to have a family again. Cashmere is a long-haired beauty who is much more cautious than Mitts. She, like Spritz, desperately wants our attention when we go into the cathouse. But she is slower to adjust and becomes spooked more easily. Again, it’s possible that going to a home along with her sister might be the recipe for a happy ending.
So I wrote that last summer. Certainly, Glitter and Spritz (if we can make some new progress with Spritz) would be a nice twosome. Cashmere and Mitts are a nice pair as well. But how many of you out there like “floofy”? (“Floofy” was a word I only learned as a result of becoming part of the Cat Blogosphere.) Anyway, if you’re into “floofy”, you could get a floofy twosome by combining Glitter and Cashmere. Or Circe and Glitter. Or just make it a threesome and pick ALL of our floofy girls. (You would be surrounded by long-haired beauty.) If it’s polydactl that you love, there’s Mitts and Spritz. Help me get the word out, please, if you will. If you can get today’s post on your Facebook page or tweet it (am I saying that right?), you never know when somebody out there will find their next furry family member right here at Winnie’s Wish. Today’s post highlights the cats who have been here the longest. Help us get the word out. We need you. Thanks.
Now here are some updated pictures of the stars of today’s post.
Spread the word. These girls have been here long enough!
Tomorrow - back to bricks.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of last week were good days for fosters. FOUR of our fosters went to forever homes. They were picked out on the shelter’s Facebook page, so they never had to spend a day in the shelter. They were fostered by us and taken from here directly to their forever families.
One. The chihuahua puppies without a mother were named by a shelter volunteer: Blondie, Tootsie, and Dagwood. Blondie went first.
Two. The following day Tootsie went.
Three. The next day Dagwood went.
And on the fourth day . . . Chase was chosen. The sweet little Chase kitten, who’d had such a rough start, was handed over to his new family.
From foster home straight to forever home. I’m exceedingly excited to have these sweethearts placed into their forever homes. I would just LOVE to get a couple of our own cathouse gang into forever homes, too. Would you be so kind to spread the word (again) about our current group? Send anybody wonderful that you know to my *Winnie’s Wish post or to our Petfinder site (top of my sidebar). The cathouse sweeties have been here long enough. They need their very own homes for our mission to be truly fulfilled. And even though it doesn’t feel like it outside, we’re rushing headlong into Spring . . . . and the 2012 Season of Feline Rescues.
If all goes as planned, we will have one more foster leaving. This one isn’t going to a home quite yet because first she had to be accepted into a shelter somewhere. You might remember my rescue friend, Mere Lyn, who recently needed a place for a female black lab named Sadie. Sadie has been with us for a bit, and she has come out of her shell and put on some weight. Well, Sadie WAS accepted into a shelter and will leave here on transport today unless something changes. I wish her a short wait before being chosen into her own forever home.
This is Sadie, running in the kennel side yard with us last night.
One last word about fosters. Last night, Beatrice With Babies was joined in our maternity ward by Paris With Packages. (We found it so odd that both of these expectant mothers have the same middle name . . .) We’ll announce new arrivals (Babies and Packages) as soon as they, well, . . . arrive.
I want to thank you, AGAIN, for your words of support - this time about our losing Pitter Patter. She lived a long happy life, felt good until very close to the end, and then moved on to the Bridge without a great deal of suffering. I guess that’s as good as it gets. Your comments and emails, once again, were so kind and so supportive. THANK YOU.
Tomorrow is a TWOsday in February.
A week ago yesterday, Bouzzer died. There is a fog that hangs around when you lose a furry loved one. I was in that fog over the weekend. In the midst of that, on Saturday evening, I noticed that Pitter Patter was sneezing. I set her up in the downstairs bathroom, so I could watch her more closely and so she would be less likely to spread the sneezing thing to the other cats. She ate well that night. By Sunday evening, there was no more sneezing, but I thought her nose was running a bit. She didn’t eat as well, and I thought she swallowed hard a couple of times. SO - on Monday, I got her in to the vet. Dr. A asked me if we had any other kitties with colds. No, we didn’t. She took Pitter’s temperature; she had a low-grade fever. Dr. A asked me how old Pitter was. I told her she was 14 years old. I noticed Dr. A wasn’t her normal talkative self with me. Her brow was furrowed as she examined Pitter. She asked me if she was a good eater. I told her that Pitter ate very well, and we were happy about that because she had gotten so bony in the last couple of months. Finally, she sighed and said - Chrystal, I believe we’ve got renal failure here. I reminded her that Pitter was only 14, and that wasn’t SO old. After all, cats live to be 16 and 18, right? She said - Fourteen is an old cat, Chrystal, any way you look at it. Dr. O was walking through and he agreed. He said - Well, if your cat makes it to 16 or 18, you’re really lucky. Dr. A could see the look on my face, and she said - Look, let’s get this URI taken care of, and then we’ll see. She gave fluids, and sent me home with antibiotic.
On Monday night, Pitter didn’t eat. She didn’t eat overnight either. On Tuesday, I spent time sitting in the bathroom floor with her, trying to encourage her to eat. What some people call “making biscuits” or “kneading”, we call “pitting”. And Pitter has ALWAYS been a “pitter”. She pitted and purred each and every time I sat with her. But she still wasn’t eating, and I was worried about whether or not she was drinking. On Tuesday night, when Pitter still wasn’t eating, I decided I would call the clinic back on Wednesday to see what I needed to do next. Older Daughter and I had talked about force-feeding, but we knew Pitter was having trouble breathing through her nose. Also, Pitter was fighting us at medicine time every 12 hours. We knew how stressful force-feeding would be on her. We WOULD, however, get fluids and Older Daughter could administer those because of the fear of dehydration. That was Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning, everything changed. I went into the bathroom early that morning to see if Pitter had eaten anything. She had not. She was standing, wobbling, facing one of the bathroom walls. I called to her. Nothing. I picked her up, and she squirmed. This was a cat who pitted, and purred, and drooled all over anybody who would pick her up. She pushed away from me. I set her down, and she wobbled. I ran to get my daughter, and she took a look. Pitter was facing the wall again. And she not only did NOT want to be picked up, she didn’t want to be touched. She had also vomited and there was blood in it. I now felt panic. I called to talk to Dr. A. She wasn’t in, but Dr. O was. By the time I got him on the phone, she had vomited again. He said he thought she was going directly into full kidney failure. They would get me in that afternoon. Over the next two hours, I watched her vomit, walk in circles, stand and wobble, and face the wall. She became increasingly confused. She no longer seemed to know me, and it appeared to cause her pain to pick her up or even to touch her.
I called back and talked to Dr. O again. Chrystal - he said - your cat’s kidneys are shutting down. The toxins are causing extreme nausea, disorientation, and pain. I asked the question I always ask, even though I already knew the answer. Is there any way out of this? No - he said - it will only get worse. I said I wasn’t ready, could I wait until the next day? In the silence following my question, I realized what I was asking. FOR ME, we could wait until tomorrow. I wasn’t ready. He told me the most humane thing to do would be to stop her pain. As the toxins flooded her system, the nausea, pain, and confusion would only get worse. I had a flashback to years ago when our Patches’ kidneys failed. It, too, had come on really fast. She had gone downhill overnight, and when I checked on her that morning, she was screaming in pain. I knew I couldn’t allow Pitter to degenerate even further as the hours ticked by. I told Dr. O I would call back. I hung up, and I went into the family room and slumped into a chair. Younger Daughter was there studying. She said - We’re losing her, aren’t we? I nodded and stared out the window. It was just starting to sprinkle outside. I told Younger Daughter that I wasn’t ready for this. Even though Dr. A had said what she said on Monday, I projected months, even years into the future before I would be needing to make this horrible decision - again. I said aloud - I’m not ready for this. But I can’t let her reach the point of screaming. I got up and called the clinic. What time could we come?
Poor Dr. O was the one. He has been through this with me so many times now. After Pitter was gone, we talked. It was very nice of him. He said - Let me assure you that you just did the best possible thing for Pitter. Look, Chrystal. What you do is such a good thing. But with numbers come probabilities. It’s been a long stretch of loss for you, but you might need to consider that this is the way of your future. Your own pets are aging. And you take in young ones in terrible shape. You may be in a bad stretch right now, but it isn’t going to get tons better. I’ve done three euthanasias today. This stuff will take you out if you don’t get your mind right. Here’s what I know about you. You always do the right thing, for the animal. That makes it tough on you. I hope you keep doing what you do, but I won’t blame you if you can’t keep it up.
I walked numbly out to my vehicle. I pulled out on the road and slid a CD into the player. I turned the volume up so loud that I know people in passing vehicles could hear it. I wanted the loud music to drown out ALL of my thoughts. But my mind went right on thinking. I replayed what Dr. O had said. And I thought about how Pitter had come to us as a kitten. She had lived fourteen wonderful years with us. We loved her each and every day. She was old. True, I had it in my mind that we had at least a couple more years with her. But we had it as good as it gets with Pitter. Dr. O is right. I DO have an aging fur family. Years ago, before I had other options, the strays we took in became our own pets. Then, when our own home was full to overflowing, I found ways to get dogs on transports, and cats into forever homes. My own group is old. I will continue to lose them. And if I stay in rescue work, I will lose some of the starving, sick, and neglected beings I take in. This IS my future. There WILL be hospice care here. There is no other alternative.
I got home, and Husband was not here. I grabbed the shovel and walked to the west side of the property. In the pouring rain, I buried Pitter Patter beside Bouzzer. We have a concrete angel that we move to each new burial site. It had been on Bouzzer’s grave only a week. I stuck a sprig of silk flowers into the mud in front of the angel. Then with my tears and the rain running down my face, I walked the property line at the woods’ edge. So many gone. From the kittens with us only days to the most ancient of our own crew - none forgotten.
I didn’t blog yesterday because I couldn’t believe I was faced with another Farewell post. But when I say that none of the animals here will be forgotten, part of what that means is to memorialize each one. Pitter Patter deserves her memorial. And so, once again, I say farewell.
Farewell Pitter Patter.
You might remember me talking about Mere Lyn on this blog. She is another private animal rescuer here in southern Illinois that I have become friends with over the years. She has boarded her own crew in my kennel on the few occasions that she and her husband have been able to get away. But our relationship has developed to where it is today mostly through our rescue work. I try to help Mere Lyn, and she tries to help me. One of the things I have been able to offer her is the occasional run to house a stray dog in until she can find a transport or a home. I mentioned on Monday that we have a new foster at the kennel who is NOT one from the shelter where Older Daughter works. That foster is one of Mere Lyn’s rescues. And her story is at the end of this post. Before that, however, is a brick story. Ivory was one of Mere Lyn’s own furry family members. The brick today is hers. In Mere Lyn’s words:
Ivory was a neglected dog in the small town where we lived. One winter she had 8 pups under an abandoned house in subzero weather, nearly starving because she stayed with them to keep them warm...When I discovered where she and her pups were, I started feeding her, gaining her trust..wondering how I would get her pups out from under that old house...But, one day, she let them follow her out into the yard, letting me pluck them up, and take them all home..Eventually, her pups were old enough to be sent to a rescue, and Ivory stayed with us.
Ivory developed a bladder problem when she was about 8 yrs old.....It affected her kidney function at the end, making her very sick. She was put to sleep last May...
Ivory was afraid of storms, shy with strangers, ferocious with dogs that came into the yard, and was a faithful companion. We miss her, and wish she could've been with us longer....But, we know she's happy at Rainbow Bridge, waiting for her sister dogs and us!
Mere Lyn ~ THANK YOU.
This is usually where a story ends. But with Mere Lyn, the story NEVER ends. . . She, like me, finds herself continuously taking in dogs and cats, looking for homes and spending money she doesn’t have. Her latest rescue was to take in a female dog who had strayed onto a farm. There were two strays, and the family would give the small dog a home, but they didn’t want the bigger one - a black lab mix who chased their horses. They were advised by neighbors to take her to the pound in the nearest town. (There is no shelter in their area. And even if there had been, shelters stay full and black lab mixes often do not get adopted from them.) One neighbor knew of Mere Lyn and put the family in touch with her. Mere Lyn told them that if they took the lab to the pound, she would be euthanized. They didn’t want that, but they didn’t want to keep her either. So Mere Lyn came to the rescue. The problem is that she has been trying to get this sweet girl into a shelter up north for weeks now. No takers. Black labs are a dime a dozen. Mere Lyn had her spayed, and she is heartworm negative. That usually increases the odds of a dog being accepted into a shelter. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked for Sadie. Mere Lyn will keep trying, and Sadie is cozy and warm and fed here in my kennel. But if you wouldn’t mind - please put the word out about this sweet girl. She is putting on weight and becoming less shy. She needs a forever home.