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Tuesday round up?

The Three Musketeers all visited the vet yesterday, Emmett (Astute) and Badger have had stuffy noses and runny eyes. Zeke (Intrepid) just had light nose crusties, but I figured whatever the other two had, well, he probably had it too. The vet diagnosed your average viral URI (Upper Respiratory Infection) with secondary bacterial infection, so now twice a day I am squirting Clavamox down kitten throats. Woo. Luckily they are young enough to be forgiving, and have forgotten about it 10 seconds later.

I’ve had a request for Jeremiah Swakhammer update, so here you go: he is being a turtle. This means I see him about twice a week; I just drop off the salad and it gets eaten or it doesn’t. Meanwhile, he shuttles between the two hides I made (one of which he enlarged) and a place in the compost pile in the middle of his pen with occasional stops for a dip in his pool. Truth to tell, he’s the least troublesome of my current inmates, and I find I’m really fond of his quiet non-demanding lifestyle. The most care he requires is some chopped salad and the occasional batch of slugs, snails, or worms tossed into his pen, plus a light spray-down to keep his place moist. Compared to the rest of the beasts here, that’s fantastic. Oh, and he ate the leaves on his cantaloupe vine and then dug up the stem and stomped it. Right, message received: no more canteloupe vines for you, Mr. Swakhammer.

Meanwhile, Emmaline started aggressively attacking the resident cats in an attempt to bogart all the food. I realize she grew up under circumstances that make guarding food sources seem quite urgent, but still, that behavior isn’t going to fly. I moved her to the bathroom, and she proceeded to remove some of the linoleum. I have ordered her a cat cage to live in while I figure out what on earth to do with her. It’s kitten season so I suspect the odds of finding her a great home where she can be a single cat, or even a multi-cat home that free feeds from a couple widely-separated stations, are slim to none. I hate to send her back outside, but she was admittedly pretty happy there. Unfortunately she also appears to be coming into heat, so she can’t go outside for another couple weeks anyway until after she’s been spayed. Meanwhile, she’s living in Zille’s crate. Zille is not amused.

The rest of the Usual Suspects are having a fine old time now that the weather has cooled off enough for extensive dog-play outside and for me to have windows open in the house; the cats love to sit at the screens and sniff the great outdoors. I’m chugging along, Daniel’s interview is in 9 days, school starts in 2 weeks, and there’s wedding planning to do. No rest for the wicked!

Have a happy link, via Rinalia at For the Pit Bulls: three stray dogs who were adopted by soldiers in Afghanistan thwart a suicide bomber; one dog dies in the blast and the other two get homes in the US with grateful soldiers.

Oh, and my spamtrap for the blog here has evidently decided that EVERYONE with a website link is a spammer. If you comment and it seems that nothing happens, please be patient, I’ll release your comment from the spambucket as soon as I can!

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Well that didn’t go so well.

Astute’s potential family backed out, saying they had “decided not to pursue a kitten at this time.” Fair enough, but now I’m back to trying to place three kittens. Sigh. My mission this weekend is to get most excellent and adorable pictures of them, and possibly organize a fundraising sale from the many crafty things I have lying around the house (I have a million hobbies) because I still can’t get the low cost spay/neuter clinic to call me back. It would be $40 each to get the Three Musketeers neutered there, whereas it will be $155 each at my for-profit vet.

Which is still cheap, as pediatric surgeries go, but three of them at once? Ow.

Meanwhile, just when we thought the immigration process was coming to an end, it turns out we are actually just back to more waiting, and it may be as much as four more months. Ow.

Things that are going well: Emmaline is starting to explore the house, which would be easier on everyone if the dogs were not fascinated by the brand new kitty, but is going nicely just the same. Badger is now 0% hissy, 25% purry, whereas Intrepid is at 100% purry and solicits human attention, and Astute is at about 200% purry — he starts up as soon as I walk in the room. So that’s all right. Now I just need to find them homes to go to after they’re neutered and vax’d.

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Sunny days chasing the clouds away…

Finally, we had a day with no thunderstorms yesterday! Yay!

Badger is purring for me consistently, and approaching me although not as much of an attention hog as his brothers. The vet says they can get rabies/distemper vax in 2 weeks, and neutered at the same time. Huzzah!

Emmaline discovered the bed today and spent most of her day lounging on it. Tonight, she is in Roo’s room. She continues to adjust well to indoor life, and had a nice meeting with Roo today.

No new immigration news, dammit. Tomorrow morning I’m calling the London Embassy to find out what’s going on. Still no sign of Dreadnought. Astute’s home may have fallen through, I haven’t heard from them in days. Sigh. I remain hopeful for the Three Musketeers, though!

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The good stuff keeps on coming.

Badger purred for me yesterday! Oh, hooray! I will get the little booger yet.

Emmaline is doing well inside, laid-back and not too stressed until Braxton tried to sniff her butt. She even touched noses with the dogs! I shuffled her out of my bedroom and into Brax & Aida’s room for the night so Roo could sleep with me and also my cats could wander around and smell her scent, and she could smell theirs and enjoy the cat tree (where she slept).

Still haven’t seen Dreadnought and I am beginning to give up hope. I might still get him though, I have nothing to do but sit around lying in wait for kittens this weekend!

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Oh frabjous day!

Your daily update is late today, gentle readers, but that’s all right for I have fabulous news!

Emmaline, Astute, Intrepid, and Badger went to get vetted today! They are all FIV/FeLV negative and have been dewormed. Emmaline has had her rabies/distemper vax, the kittens were too little. They are possibly 10 weeks old.

Emmaline is settled into my bedroom now, the kittens are in the bathroom although Astute will probably move to the bedroom tomorrow so I can focus on socializing Intrepid and Badger. Intrepid is quite friendly but a little wary, Badger is still all “SCREW YOU THUMB MONKEY” although starting to be interested in me since I always show up with food and make the other kittens purr.

In bad news, I haven’t seen Dreadnought in a couple days.

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Monday Morning Weekend Roundup

Saturday I relieved myself of kitten-catching duty for a while to go visit with my friend C at Blackthorn Kennel, taking both girldogs with me. And lo, there was socializing and I had actual conversation with another actual human being, and we snuggled puppies and played in the pool and topped everything off with an excellent dinner of Mexican food. Please observe this two-week old sable girl posing with my “Dog is my co-pilot” shirt. Yes, I am enough of a dork to wear it in public, what of it? At any rate, as usual I had a fabulous time and came home with Zille and Tink both worn out, and me for that matter since it was quite late.

Sunday I didn’t see Dreadnought at all, but I did see Emmaline as she stood on the table on my porch to look in the window and yell. Apparently what she wanted was to come in and see the other three kittens and where they’re living, but not actually interact with them. When Intrepid tried to approach her, she hissed and growled and swatted at him. Her opinion seems to be that she has gotten them to me and they are now my problem, not hers. Thanks, Emmaline. After that she wandered off to do whatever it is she does when she’s not sleeping on my porch. Her food consumption is WAY down now that she’s not nursing the hairy little monsters, and she seems much more relaxed. She was not at all worried about being in the house, so I’m hoping she transitions easily after getting a clean bill of health on Wednesday.

Also Sunday evening Tink gruffed at the window to say “STRANGE CAT ALERT” and lo, wandering nonchalantly off the property was a long-haired golden brown tabby tom. I had posited his existence from Badger and Intrepid; Emmaline is more of a grey tabby whereas their tabby stripes are on a golden brown background. I resisted the urge to run outside and yell “I HAVE YOUR CHILDREN DO YOU PLAN ON PAYING SUPPORT?” because my neighbors already think I’m weird.

And now it’s Monday and my leisure time is at an end for another five days. We’re hoping to hear from the London Embassy this week, giving Daniel an appointment time, so I know when there will finally be someone else to help me trap cats and whatnot. Fingers crossed, both in regards to his appointment and Dreadnought’s swift and painless capture!

Oh, and via Rinalia at For the Pitbulls, a fascinating article on The Value of Ear Scritches to Dogs in Shelters.

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Oh my god kittens.

I still haven’t seen Dreadnought this morning, and after much pondering have come to a hard decision: Emmaline is coming in on Tuesday whether I have him or not. He’s gotten independent enough to be running away from Emmaline when he gets startled, and if he’s doing that then having her out there isn’t really an advantage anymore. Plus I made a vet appointment for everyone to get FIV/FeLV checked and wormed on Wednesday; if I have to go in with Emmaline and only 3 kittens, well, that’s better than none. Dreadnought knows where the food is here and I’ll get him sooner or later, hopefully before he is irrevocably feral, but at the moment I have to save the lives I can.

Once he’s checked out FIV/FeLV clear, Astute has a home audition with an excellent couple who want to give him an indoor, no-declaw home which he would share with a resident cat and dog. Fingers crossed that it works out, they’ll be taking him for a week to see if anyone in the house is homicidally inclined toward him. If it doesn’t work out, no harm no foul and he comes back here.

Meanwhile, with three kittens in it my bathroom is a disaster. Seriously, kittens? Poop on the wall? Once everyone has been health-checked, the tamer beasties will be moving into my bedroom, where kittens will be able to play without creating quite so much havoc, and Emmaline will have a window seat to lounge on during the day. Since she’ll be staying, once I’m home from work we’ll be doing room exchanges with her and the other cats, and cautiously letting everyone meet.

Well, technically speaking, Emmaline could go to a new home. If Jesus Christ himself came down from Heaven with three personal references and an established relationship with a vet I approved of, I might let her go. Maybe. Probably I’d just try to pawn a kitten off on Him, though.

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Dammit, Emmaline.

I think she’s moved the remaining two babies. I haven’t seen them since this morning, and she just trotted up from across the road, where she used to come from before she moved them here. Mostly my feelings on this matter are a string of profanity. I’m going to keep trying to get them, though. I just gave Emmaline supervised visitation with Astute and Intrepid so she can see they’re doing fine. She was calm about being carried through the house, curious about the bathroom, and not at all interested in kittens. Sigh.

Meanwhile, Intrepid has nearly entirely given up hissing at me. Astute is totally relaxed in the bathroom, and might have a home lined up. LItter box usage is 100%, and they’re eating soft foods well. You win some, you lose some.

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My nefarious plans to familiarize the kittens with the trap are going well:
A fluffly long-haired tabby and white kitten stands on the wired-open door of a Havahart trap, while a grey and white kitten eats next to it.

In other news, I have named them. The one up there standing on the trap, long-haired tabby and white with a white nose, was formerly Kitten4 but is now Intrepid. The grey and white one, formerly Kitten2, is now Astute. The tabby-and-white long hair with much less white, formerly Kitten1, is now Badger, and the short-hair tabby and white what looks just like Emmaline is Avenger. Yes, I did name them all after ships. I was a sailor, what do you want from me?

Astute is in the bathroom. I’m going to try to catch him a buddy so he’s not alone all night, since although Uncle Roo has volunteered I don’t want him sleeping with strange kittens. He is calm and curious and wary of me but not terribly so, I suspect he’s been smelling me on Emmaline for a long time now. Auntie Zillekins is all a-quiver with love for him and periodically whining at the bathroom door.

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Are you ready for the cute? Well, ARE YOU?

So I came home from work early yesterday because I was feeling like crap. I said hello to Noodlehead and Emmaline, who were hanging out on the porch, and reminded them I had fed them breakfast, and came in the house to feel oogy. Except my peaceful ooginess was interrupted by Zille, who was staring out the window and whining:
A view of the top of Zille's head.  She is staring out the window so hard her forehead is all wrinkly.

So I looked out the window with her, and what did I see? Dear reader, there were kittens. Four of them! I am going to describe the players in these pictures here, for my own ease in alt-tagging. The kittens are default boys because they are not handleable so I haven’t gotten a good look at their bottoms. Also the pics are not the best as I was in the house taking them through the window.
Cast of Characters
Emmaline, a small tabby and white momma cat. She is tabby over the back and white underneath, with a mostly white face and gorgeous eyeliner.
Kitten1, a FLUFFY long-haired tabby and white kitten. He is mostly tabby except for his feets. The bravest and most curious kitten, who has nearly approached me.
Kitten2, a short-hair grey and white kitten. He looks just like Emmaline, only where she is brown and black tabby, he is grey tabby.
Kitten3, a short-hair tabby and white kitten who really does almost look just like Emmaline.
Kitten4, a FLUFFY long-haired tabby and white kitten, who looks an awful lot like Noodlehead except for hair length.

ARE YOU READY FOR THE CUTE? I certainly hope so. For here is what I saw when I looked out my window:
Emmaline lays on a Welcome mat.  Kitten1 is behind her, Kitten3 is nursing, and Kitten2 is drinking from the water dish.  Emmaline is watching me through the window.

Emmaline sits near the front porch steps, again watching me through the window.  Behind her, Kitten2 stands on the top step and eyes her tail with nefarious intent.

Emmaline lays near the front porch steps.  Behind her on the top step, Kitten2 and Kitten3 explore curiously.

Emmaline's butt is visible in the lower right.  Kitten2 is center of the frame, a pudgy and lightly fluffy little thing.

Emmaline is still in the same position, Kitten3 walks past her towards the porch steps.  Kitten3 is also a pudgy and lightly fluffy little thing.

Emmaline hasn't moved.  Kitten3 is sitting next to her butt, looking out over the yard.

Rooney Lee stares up at the camera with an irate look on his face, his mouth open to complain about all the attention the kittens are getting.
Whoops, that’s not a kitten. But he is adorable.

Kitten1, who is ENORMOUSLY fluffy, and Kitten2 eat from a plate of wet food.  Kittens are bottomless pits.  I cringe to think how much food I've opened today.

Emmaline, Kitten1, and Kitten2 nom from a plate of wet food.  Seriously, these cats, they are little black holes for food.  Kitten3 sits a little away from the plate, looking slightly confused.

Emmaline sleeps on the porch, her head on her front paws but her body on its side.  Kitten2, legs stretched to their full tiny length, rests his head on her side, fast asleep.

Bonus: Here is what I see if I go outside. I am hoping Emmaline leaves the kittens under the porch, as big cats can’t get to them there and they don’t have to cross the road to get to the food I put out. Can you find the kitten?
The lattice that lines the bottom of the porch, with some greenery in the way.  If you peer very carefully, you can see the face of Kitten4 through a hole in the lattice.

I have ordered a trap, which will be here Wednesday. Kittens are not an unadulterated joy, because first the trapping, then the taming, then the trying to find them appropriate homes. It’s definitely a “well, shit” kind of situation here. As adorable as they are, I really wish I didn’t have to deal with them. Must get the girls spayed, or at the very least the toms neutered.