April 2012

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Since we started working with cats we have fostered quite a few kittens

Maxwell was the first. Marie went to the shelter and saw this frightened, hissy kitten. With in a couple of hours at home she had him purring in her lap.

To keep Max company we then got Blanka and Sabine, two out of several kittens languishing in the shelter. Within two weeks they were adopted together.

Max was with us for about a month more, became good buddies with our adult cats, before being adopted as a companion for an energetic girl cat.

In the fall we started fostering semi-feral kittens for Alley Cat Project, starting Biscuit and Ginger:

Brother and Sister. Biscuit was adopted fairly quickly as companion for another cat. We then got another little tabby. He was so very scared when he came to us. Within a month he was totally relaxed, bonded with Ginger, and one of the friendliest cats we ever met.

The two were adopted together.

About a day latter Deb brought us three semi-feral kittens. These were from a colony that produced very social cats.

This is soon after they arrived and they are looking wary. Greyling, a girl, was adopted as a solo kitten (something I’ll never do again) and the boys went together where they were reported to like laps.

Once they left we got Odel and Winnie. These were slightly older kittens and took a long time to socialize.

They were also very special cats with exceptional personalities. Odel got adopted to a couple in Everette where he has a great life and companion cat.

We briefly fostered this solo bottle baby until he could be moved to another foster with a solo cat. He was one of the cutest kits I’ve ever seen.

Winnie stayed with us a couple more months. I was just resigning myself to his not being adopted when he went to a home in West Seattle where he goes on walks on the beach.

In June 2011 ACP trapped a feral mom with kittens who we housed in our garage:

Pumpkin had an abcess and had to get antibiotics.

Deb had another mother with 4 kittens. We took that family when she went on vacation.

And they all got integrated.

A couple other kittens came through about this time.

Saami, a beautiful lynx point, got socialize and integrated into the clan.

It took us till September to a) raise them to an adoptable age then b) find homes for all of them.

While we were fostering them we had several kittens come through our garage facility.

Georgina was one of 3 grey kittens as playful and friendly as the summer days were long. They got adopted quickly.

The Burr brothers (there were three) were a wild bunch. They went to the Seattle Animal Shelter for socialization and adoption.

Huck and his two siblings went to PAWS. Sadly, they were euthanized a week later for Panleukopenia. (No other cat we housed concurrently got sick so we don’t think it came from us. None the less, we cleaned thoroughly.)

Sara was sweet but shy. Hard to get much sense of her personality in the garage. However, it did not take her long to get adopted and word back was that she became a playful, happy kitten.

In November, soon after finding a new home for our boy Nelson, we picked up two families from the Seattle Animal Shelter who were languishing there because the mothers were reported to be feral. Together they had 4 kittens. The kittens were adopted through the shelter but we continued to foster the mothers through adoption as there were shy and would show best in a foster home. Both were only about a year old.

That closed out the 2011 kittens. In March Alley Cat Project started to see pregnant females and on March 14th one gave birth to 4 kittens before we could get her to the clinic. A week ago we took them. The mother is feral with us but very attentive to her little kittens:

So it begins again…

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Baby came from FCSNP clinic with a very bad upper respratory infection.  I set him up in the basement and began to explore how much handling he would tolerate.  If he was very feral there would not be much I could do.

He liked to hide in his carrier. I found that if I disconnect the top of the carrier from the bottom I can lift the top up just enough to reach in and can often handle semi-feral cats while they are in their safe place. I start cautiously with stick, then a golved hand, then my bare hands. Baby was a little squirrley but did let me handle him. Later he got wise to my taking the carrier apart and he would hide behind it. I would just move it then reach back and pull him forward a little.

I gave him:

  • Oral antibiotics by squirting some liquid down his throat
  • Eye antibiotics by squirting some ointment into his eyes
  • Subcutaneous fluids by sticking a needle under the skin on his back and letting fluids drain into him

That was a lot of handling and he was surprisingly calm – as if he knew that it would ultimately help him. I was most impressed that he let me administer ointment to his eyes. This can’t be comfortable. With one hand I scruff him and twist his head to one side. With the other I squeeze out a bit of ointment and then lay that across his eyeball. I then turn his head the other way and do the other eye. If I miss I try to massage it in a little.  Baby allowed all that handling and more.

I was always ready to pull my hands back, especially while giving fluids.  To help cats who are not eating stay hydrated we inject saline solution just under their skin with an IV drip.  As the amount of fluid builds they must feel discomfort or just strange and they start to resist little. Often, once I had the needle out, he would swat but he never got me.

After several days I could see that he was improving.

After several more days I began to rub Baby’s cheek after treatment. Soon after that he began to respond. Each day he was a little more open. Soon he would come out of his carrier and soon he was crawling into my arms. In the end Baby turned out to be just a big Baby.

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Baby was promised to a student house in Ravenna as a garage cat to hunt rodents. Since that time his status changed and he clearly wanted to live inside with people. They were happy to have him and gave him plenty of loving. Never the less I stayed in contact to be sure it was right fit. They said that Baby never showed interest in going out side or hunting anything. Ultimately one of the students adopted Baby as his own.