22 August, 2011

Help Shelter Pets, also you want a kitten, right? RIGHT?

1) My friend Julie Madison does kickass portraits of pets. And now through the 31st, 20% of her sales will go to Saving Shelter Pets, Inc. So go on, hit up Julie’s Etsy Shop and pick up a portrait of your favorite beast. I should totally scan in the one of Zille she did at our wedding reception, because if you could just see what she did with our little guest book card and a cheap ballpoint pen, you’d be all “MUST PAY THIS WOMAN TO DRAW THINGS FOR ME.” There’s also Serious Cats in Silly Hats that are absolutely fabulous. You need some.

2) Speaking of things you need, KITTENS. Are you in the vicinity of Eastern Tennessee or environs? Kate has two kittens what need homes. You, too, could get an adorable kitten delivered to your doorstep!

In more personal news, I am about to move seven baby silkies outside, since they are feathered out enough to withstand the rigors of a Virginia late summer. The weather here has been really balmy and lovely, which is of course going to change as soon as I trust baby chickens to the rigors of the great outdoors. But this will get seven of the eleven chickens in the house OUT of it, and let the two baby Sumatras and Melchior move into the Big Brooder. Meanwhile Zombirella, the victim of a vicious head-pecking, is doing fantastically and we’re optimistic about integrating her with the flock again in a few weeks before she starts laying eggs in her crate in my room.

16 August, 2011

Busy times all over! Also, wanna help a kitten?

We went up to Ikea to get a new mattress this past Sunday and I made Siddy work. He was freakin brilliant — handled the crowds with aplomb, stayed right next to me, never got too stressed to respond to a click and always took the treats and ate them thoughtfully. He’s really shaping up quite nicely I think.

In chicken world, there has been some excitement. One and Three moved out to a segregated portion of the Big Chicken Pen, but Three at some point got out and lost a sizeable chunk of skin off the back of her head. One consult with the vet and some expensive antibiotics later, she’s living indoors in our largest cat carrier to heal up and doing quite well. Also we have been calling her Zombirella, because the back of her head really did look that bad. Here’s a pic of her good side, you can see she is alert and at that stage of chicken development where they look kind of like raptors rather than chickens.

Zombirella, a rich golden brown pullet, looks out through the bars of the cat carrier in an interested fashion.  You can see the feathers on the far side of her head are rumpled and also there's not as many there as there ought to be.

The large carrier is not an ideal living place for a chicken, so we’re hoping she heals quickly and can get back outside. But she’s still quite small, and the carrier is pretty big, so she has room to stretch and flap and perch and also do some scratching and pecking for her food once she has knocked it out of her dish (chickens are messy eaters).

Both bantam chicks from the last hatch have died — just failure to thrive. I have been reading exhaustively and have some ideas for the next time I set bantam eggs on incubator settings and early-life care, so hopefully we won’t have the same problem again. Although to be fair one of them I was expecting to not make it, since he hatched with the yolk-sac still attached and generally those chicks do not make it past their first weeks of life. The six blue-laced red Wyandottes that hatched have moved on to Christine’s place, leaving little Melchior, the son of Mel and Ayinnanku, to keep company with the Sumatra chicks. He is thriving and happy!

Crispin and Clementine went off to their new homes a little over a week ago now and are doing well. Constantine and Coriander are still here for another week and a half and then they, too, will be off to their new people, and Briar Rose will come in.

And meanwhile, speaking of formerly feral kittens, my friend Kate at Om Shanti Naturals has taken in the first of a litter of kittens that showed up in her back yard. So far she’s only caught the one, but vetting is expensive as we all know! So if you have been looking for some yummy hand-crafted soap, moisturizing oils, bath products, lip balms, or salves, could you putter over to the shop and pick up an item or two? You get a delicious bath product, kitten gets vetted without Kate having to live on ramen and cat hair for a month, and it’s just generally win-win all around. Om Shanti is, after all, the home of the world’s ONLY official Tink-branded and endorsed beauty product, Tink’s Tea Tree Lavender Salve, ideal for treating the minor bumps and scrapes that life deals out. There is even body wash to match although Tink has not tried it yet (she generally does not endorse any product that involves her getting a B. A. T. H. anyway — you know how diva-esque dogs can be).

So anyway, there’s the news round-up and my pitch. Hope you’re all doing well, gentle readers, and I will try to be more regular about my updates!

2 August, 2011

Coriander Wants Her Own Home

EDIT: Coriander has a home to go to! Huzzah!

Three of Briar Rose’s four kittens have homes to go to. Crispin and Clementine, as a matter of fact, go home THIS SATURDAY. Constantine will go home to live with his Manor Cat big brother Juniper as soon as we get him fattened up enough to get neutered.

But gentle readers, no one has spoken up for Coriander. Clearly, this is an oversight on the part of the internet because is she gorgeous? She is! Is she adorable? She is! Does she have a marvelous spotty tummy? She does!

So here we go again. I am about to hit you with kitten pictures that demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that this exotically beautiful cutie is someone’s dream kitten. Someone out there in this world, gentle readers, needs this kitten in their life, and we will have to hook them up. Details on adoption are on the end of the post, but meanwhile… How can you look at this face and not start immediately shopping for kitten supplies?
An X-TREEM close-up of Coriander's gorgeous face, showing off her golden-brown tabby markings, her perfect black eyeliner which is nicely set off by paler fur around her eyes, and her gorgeous greeny-gold eyes.

Or if that face looks too much like Srs Cat Is Srs for your tastes, how bout THIS face?
Coriander lounges in my lap and looks at the camera, the tip of her tongue poking out of her mouth.

She is playful!
Coriander stretches full-length in a cat bed to bat at my fingers.

Coriander lies on her side, revealing beautiful tabby stripes that shade from dark brown to gold, all on a pale tawny background, and looks up at the camera wide-eyed and innocent, one front paw still on my toes, as I attempt to interrupt her assault on my foot.

Coriander attacks the side of her blue faux-fleece lined cat bed.

And yet, she also loves to be cuddled and petted!
A close-up of Coriander's head and chest, her face in three-quarters profile to show off her beautiful gold tabby markings on her face, as she lounges comfortably in my arms.

Coriander leans into my fingers as I scritch her cheek, leaning so hard that her head is turned sideways.

Coriander makes a silly face as she leans up to head-butt my hand.

And last but not least, the coup de grace of cute, she also loves to have her spotty tummy tickled:
Coriander lies on her back in my lap getting her tummy tickled, and turns her head to be cute at the camera -- the kitten can multi-task!

Slightly Non-Standard Kitten Boilerplate:

1) She always has a place here. If the new owner cannot keep her for any reason, I will not ask questions, I will not judge, I will not grouse on my blog. I will just come get the cat and bring her back to the Manor.

2) I will drive up to four hours from Fredericksburg. This covers most of the state of Virginia, a good chunk of Maryland, a good chunk of West Virginia, and even goes as far as Gettysburg, PA (I take the back roads to avoid I-95). We also have transportation for her up to 2 hours north and east of Gettysburg, and within a couple hours of Knoxville, TN.

3) She must be an indoor kitty. Coriander has lived the outdoor life and now deserves to be safe in a climate-controlled environment with soft beds and lots of toys.

4) No declawing. It’s mean. Just no.

5) Yes, she is adorable. But you know what? Surprise kittens make crap gifts, y’all. Therefore I will need to be in contact with the actual person with whom young miss Coriander will be living. I do not care how well you know your friend/roomie/spouse/partner/parent/sibling/dentist. Coriander is not a good present.

6) She is FIV/FeLV negative and has had her first set of vaccines. She will be spayed before she goes to her forever home and will get her rabies vax at that time.

7) So far she is very fond of her siblings, would probably do fine with an older cat who didn’t try to kill her when her terrorist kitten tendencies came to the fore, and needs a home with either a low prey-drive dog or an owner VERY dedicated to safe management. She is not thrilled about dogs but then again every time she meets them, Sid tries to lick her. I wouldn’t be thrilled if someone 20 times my size tried to lick me, either.

8) She is a little more cautious and timid than her three siblings. Her new owner will need to be patient and dedicated to wooing her. I’d also STRONGLY recommend giving her only a small area (like a bathroom) when she first gets home and then letting her explore at her own speed once she’s comfortable there. She can’t be rushed, but once she decides that you give good noms and good pettins, she is all about interacting.

I know you’re out there, patient person who wants to sit in your bathroom floor and read a book while a kitten discovers you. I have your kitten, you just need to get in touch!

28 July, 2011

Victory is ours! Now I just need more homes for kittens…

Celebrate, gentle readers! For this morning my beloved husband got the 4th and final of Briar Rose’s kittens into the house, a tiny tabby girl with shades of gold in her coat. And here I am to bring you kitten pictures, because our wild success means that I have two more kittens yearning for homes of their own! Please spread this link far and wide. I’ll get the boilerplate out of the way and then we will proceed to pictures of tiny, cute kittens who want you to love them.

Edit Constantine has a home to go to, but his sister Coriander still needs a place of her own! Surely you or someone you know needs a tiny, exotically beautiful tabby kitten? Judging from her aunties who live with us, she will grow up to be a pretty big girl who likes to sit on people and be petted.

1) They always has a place here. If the new owners cannot keep them for any reason, I will not ask questions, I will not judge, I will not grouse on my blog. I will just come get the cats and bring them back to the Manor.

2) I will drive up to four hours from Fredericksburg, VA to put them in new homes. This covers most of the state of Virginia, a good chunk of Maryland, a good chunk of West Virginia, and even goes as far as Gettysburg, PA (I take the back roads to avoid I-95). Edit: My friend Liz has graciously offered transport 1-2 hours to points north and east of Gettysburg, PA, in comments!

3) They must be indoor kitties. They have lived the outdoor life and now deserve to be safe in a climate-controlled environment with soft beds and lots of toys.

4) No declawing. It’s mean. Just no.

5) Yes, they are adorable. But you know what? Surprise kittens make crap gifts, y’all. Therefore I will need to be in contact with the actual person with whom they will be living. I do not care how well you know your friend/roomie/spouse/partner/parent/sibling/dentist. Kittens are not a good present.

6) As of right now I have no idea how they do with other critters, because they’re still in quarantine. Look for more info after their check-up and FIV/FeLV testing!

EDIT: Constantine has a home! Huzzah!
Constantine, who has only been inside a few days but is already learning to disapprove:
Constantine, a small black and white kitten who is mostly black, with just two small stripes of white on his face, defining the black 'beard' under his chin, sits in classic Egyptian Statue Cat pose and disapproves at the camera.

Coriander, who is still quite scared of this new experience:
Coriander, a small grey and gold tabby kitten with big greenish eyes rimmed with dark eyeliner, lays curled in the green and purple kitten bed and stares at the camera, wide-eyed and fearful.

Since Coriander just came in this morning, we’ll have to give her a few days to relax and get to know us before I can tell you much about her other than “She is drop-dead gorgeous and skinny as heck.” Constantine is coming out of his shell after a couple days in the house and starting to demand his share of love and adoration from the thumb-monkeys under the guidance of his brother Crispin. I suspect that Constantine, too, will be a tiny spikey terrorist loudly demanding love and climbing your leg if you don’t cuddle him fast enough, given enough time!

14 July, 2011

Oh my darlin, oh my darlin…

Edit The internet works in record time! Clementine has a home to go to and the Best Mother Ever is saved from temptation!

Oh my darlin, Clementine!
Clementine, a small fluffy kitten who is mostly grey with white undercarriage and a big yellow triangle in the middle of her face, lies with her body on its side and her head upside down, looking at the camera.

Look at that face. That is the face of a kitten who needs a place to live that is not our bathroom. Seriously, look at it.

Clementine again, but this time with her head turned sideways  She has green eyes with a ring of blue around the pupil, and is wearing very chic eyeliner.

This is after twelve hours as a house kitten. She purrs. She snuggles. She projects an adorabubble that can bring strong men to their knees saying things like “Aren’t you precious, yes you are.” in a fabulous English accent.

Sometimes, she is even upright:
Clementine one last time, this time with her head actually upright.

You know the drill, gentle readers. And we need to find her a home before the Best Mother Ever sees her. The Best Mother Ever has a weakness for calicos, but she’s on vacation and not checking the internet much for the next week. You have seven days, internet! Meanwhile, she goes to the vet for initial vetting on Monday, at which point I will be able to tell you more about her health status. So far, she gets along well with her brother Crispin, but has not met anyone else and shows a distinct lack of interest in meeting dogs.

Standard Kitten Boilerplate:
1) She always has a place here. If the new owner cannot keep her for any reason, I will not ask questions, I will not judge, I will not grouse on my blog. I will just come get the cat and bring her back to the Manor.

2) I will drive up to four hours from Fredericksburg, VA to put her in a new home. This covers most of the state of Virginia, a good chunk of Maryland, a good chunk of West Virginia, and even goes as far as Gettysburg, PA (I take the back roads to avoid I-95).

3) She must be an indoor kitty. Clementine has lived the outdoor life and now deserves to be safe in a climate-controlled environment with soft beds and lots of toys.

4) No declawing. It’s mean. Just no.

5) Yes, she is adorable. But you know what? Surprise kittens make crap gifts, y’all. Therefore I will need to be in contact with the actual person with whom young miss Clementine will be living. I do not care how well you know your friend/roomie/spouse/partner/parent/sibling/dentist. Clementine is not a good present.

6) As of right now I have no idea how she does with other critters, because she’s still in quarantine. Look for more info after her check-up and FIV/FeLV testing!

Briar Rose brings a surprise. Well, several surprises.

So we knew about Crispin (who incidentally has a home lined up! Huzzah!) and a skittish little black and white kitten. Crispin, of course, is living in our bathroom at the moment and enjoying life as an indoor cat. The most we were expecting to see on the kitten front, therefore, was one more.

Except this morning, Briar Rose brought three kittens with her. The little black and white kitten, a small fluffy calico and white girl who looks like the departed Grace except for the long hair, and one who may be another calico or may be a grey and white tabby (it was too skittish for Daniel to get a good look).

The little long-haired calico and white girl was hungry enough that I managed to grab her, therefore pictures will follow. With the other two, we are pretending to ignore them but put wet food in the trap this morning to accustom kitties to going in there to eat. Fingers crossed that we can manage to get the next two soon, too, and then we can bring Briar Rose in.

11 July, 2011

Crispin wants you to want him.

EDIT Happily, Crispin has a home! And because cats are devious, Briar Rose brought not just one little black and white kitten with her to breakfast this morning (14 July) but three. Stand by for further kitten offers!

Briar Rose brought up two kittens this morning. One little black and white one, skittish as heck, and…Crispin.

Crispin, a teeny tiny cream-colored kitten with a dirty nose, a stripey orange tail, and beautiful pale blue eyes, stands on my husband's leg and looks toward the camera.

Who is possibly Crispina. He is very young. But you know what that means, gentle readers! It means that I am about to impose upon you once again to publicize a Cat What Needs A Home. Because while this guy is grade-A weapons-grade cute, we have five cats. We do not need six cats. Someone out there, on the other hand, needs a tiny adorable cat. Like this one. Does he purr? Gentle readers, if his cute is weapons-grade, his purr will strike down nations with one soft motory exhale. He likes to nibble your fingers while you scritch his tummy. This evening, his first evening in a new place, he has discovered the wonder of TOYS. He thinks a sparkle puffball is just about the coolest thing he’s ever seen. He uses the litter box for all appropriate functions. He eats like a very, very tiny horse. Oh and also? He has only been indoors for 15 hours, and he has already learned to disapprove:

Crispin, a tiny cream colored kitten with a stripey orange tail and pale blue eyes, sits in the bathroom floor, looks toward the camera, and disapproves.

Specs:
I am kind of sure Crispin is a boy, but will not rule out the possibility that he is actually Crispina. It is hard to tell with kittens this small. He is a flame point, but any Siamese ancestry is so far in the past that all he’s likely to have is the coloring. Crispin is a genuine purebred Manor Cat for sure, though. He will go to the vet as soon as we can get him in to check him for FIV/FELV, get him dewormed, and get him vax appropriate to his age. We will hold onto him until he is old enough to be neutered, and then we will have him snipped and get him his rabies vaccination so he’s all legal and stuff.

Somewhere out there is a person who wants, no, NEEDS this tiny adorable ball of felinity. Gentle readers, we must make sure that person sees this post. Here are the Boilerplate Kitten Legalities:

1) He always has a place here. If the new owner cannot keep him for any reason, I will not ask questions, I will not judge, I will not grouse on my blog. I will just come get the cat and bring him back to the Manor.

2) I will drive up to four hours from Fredericksburg, VA to put him in a new home. This covers most of the state of Virginia, a good chunk of Maryland, a good chunk of West Virginia, and even goes as far as Gettysburg, PA (I take the back roads to avoid I-95).

3) He must be an indoor kitty. Crispin has lived the outdoor life and now deserves to be safe in a climate-controlled environment with soft beds and lots of toys.

4) No declawing. It’s mean. Just no.

5) Yes, he is adorable. But you know what? Surprise kittens make crap gifts, y’all. Therefore I will need to be in contact with the actual person with whom young master Crispin will be living. I do not care how well you know your friend/roomie/spouse/partner/parent/sibling/dentist. Crispin is not a good present.

6) As of right now I have no idea how he does with other critters, because he’s still in quarantine. Look for more info after his check-up and FIV/FeLV testing!

28 January, 2011

Emergency Cat Network, activate!

There’s a lot going on here, with full time work, full time school, and now a death in the family that is going to require my presence 700 miles west of here next week. But I interrupt this busy-ness to bring you A KITTY WHAT NEEDS A HOME.

She is a 6-12 month old black and white tuxedo kitty who needs to be an ONLY CAT because she is FIV positive and is hissing at the resident cat through the bathroom door at her foster home. She is also a love-bug who likes to sit on your lap. She’s in Dallas, Texas, and the foster is willing to drive her or arrange transport quite a ways to get her to a new home. Also, she is spayed and vax’d, so here is your plug and play cat! Also, take a gander at the unbearable cuteness:

A leggy kitty, her face and body black but her underside shiny white, poses charmingly in front of a bathroom mirror.

More information, and her foster’s contact information, is right here. Go on, you know you want her, or you know a catless person who definitely needs a snuggly lap kitten. So if you can’t take her yourself, can you help us pass the word?

6 January, 2011

Special Extra Post: Critters What Need Homes

Three adult kitties in New England. They lost their caregiver to pancreatic cancer and need a place to go. Current caregivers willing to drive them anywhere within Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, etc.

A bunny in California would like a forever home. This adorable little bugger was dumped outside. What is wrong with people? She is safe now but needs a forever home of her very own.

As a note, I don’t have either of these guys, so if you’re interested, please contact the current caretakers on the linked posts!

5 January, 2011

She’s a real Noodlehead

It’s been a while since we brought Noods into the house. After her very, very dramatic first entry months and months ago, where she panicked and tried to climb the bathroom walls to escape, I was expecting a lot more drama. But she’s actually been the easiest integration, once she made up her mind to come inside. She doesn’t pick fights with anyone, she doesn’t attack the dogs, she just does her thing. She’s pretty definite about when she wants to be snuggled and when she wants to be petted and when she does not, and ignoring her when she tells you she does not want contact is a quick way to wind up bleeding, but all things considered, she’s really no trouble at all.

Unlike Emmaline, who is still periodically really, really violent with other cats and even with dogs. Sigh. We’ve come to the conclusion that Emmaline just Does Not Like to Share. Also after much discussion, we’ve come to the conclusion that Noodlehead will be staying here. Emms is a question mark, though, with her unpredictably violent episodes she’s not the greatest candidate for life in a busy household like this one. So at some point here I will probably be looking to find her a place where there are, at least, fewer critters she has to share her things with.

It’s hard, these decisions. I try to keep reminding myself that every permanent cat is one fewer rescue slot, and that furthermore Emms would be a lot happier with a quieter, less populated place, but I’m quite fond of the little bugger even if she does go all berserker from time to time.

Meanwhile her sister Noodlehead spends the vast majority of her time on the heated cat bed in my work room, with periodic forays to demand petting and snuggling. She’s even snuggling with dogs, for serious, in the past 24 hours she’s cuddled up to both Tink and Beowulf. Some kitties, I guess, were just meant to be here.

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