Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley

These handsome boys started out on the euthanasia list at Animal Services. I drove over and picked them up. I just can't stand perfectly healthy kittens meeting such a dire end.

It turned out that they are perfect little gentlemen. Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy has a whole lot of personality. He's well turned out in a tux and is a delightfully handsome lad that loved cuddling with the ladies. Mr Charles Bingley is more dressed for casual time. He's funny, quirky, silly and loves pretty much everyone.

Mr. Darcy was much larger than Mr. Bingley and has already been fixed and vetted. My Bingley was just too small and still needs to go back to be fixed and vetted. He made weight yesterday so now I'll be scheduling his appointment.

These boys need to stay together as they are a very bonded pair and should be ready for adoption in less than two weeks!

Mr Bingley: Purse Kitten

Mr Darcy and Kitler. No, they are not related, why do you ask?

Auggie Pullman and the Cleft Lip

I got a call from a friend who works at a local produce stand that someone had dumped a small, grey kitten there and that it seemed to have something wrong with its mouth. After a somewhat harrowing (and yowling) session of 'Catch the Wild Kitten' I had a filthy ball of fur in a carrier that snarled angrily and then settled into several hours of silence.

Jill and I pulled him out of the carrier a few hours later, and we discovered what seemed to be an entirely changed (but still filthy), tiny kitten. He was a thing of bones and sharp angles and filthy fur... but oh, could he purr. The tiny ball of hissing and snarling had become a kitten desperate for love, and food.

Cleft Lips and Birth Defects

I checked him out, and sure enough, he did have something wrong with his mouth. What I discovered was a mild birth defect called a cleft lip. The cleft was not severe and just shows as one side of the lip being a bit shorter than the other. The other side of his lip had been injured, was swollen, scabbed and still oozing a bit of blood. I checked inside his mouth, and was happy to find that the birth defect was only external and that he did not seem to have a cleft in his palate.

Cleft lips are not uncommon as far as birth defects go, but they can be of varying severity. A mild cleft like on Auggie is mostly just a cosmetic issue. In more severe cases, the entire lip and sometimes parts of the nose can be missing. The most dangerous is a cleft palate. This is an oral malformation where the inside of the mouth does not fully meet in the upper palate, leaving a hole inside the mouth. Kittens with this sort of birth defect may not thrive and may even die if it is severe enough. A cleft palate can keep a kitten from being able to suckle and eat.

Cleaning Up Auggie

I took him home for food and relaxing time, then de-worming meds, flea treatment and a painfully necessary bath. He was so filthy that I bathed him twice before the water ran clean. It's been a long time since I found a kitten so dirty and flea covered.

After bath time I worked on some wound care for his lip and a great deal of drying, floofing, styling
Auggie on the left.
and cuddling. This adorable grey kitten lacked facial symmetry, felt like holding a tiny car crash of sharp angles and had a meow like a 40 year chain-smoker and dedicated whiskey consumer. In short, I was in love.

The last few weeks have seen the healing of his 'good lip' and the decrease in swelling makes the cleft lip even less obvious. He's incredibly sweet. Auggies loves to be held, cuddled, petted, snuggled and otherwise next to a human. As I type this, he is sleeping on top of my right foot. He's putting weight on well but is still on the skinny side. He has about 6 ounces left to go before he can go to the vet and be fixed and get shots.

On the Naming of Cats

Auggie is named for August 'Auggie' Pullman, the main character from Wonder, a children's novel by Raquel Jaramillo, under the pen name of R. J. Palacio. Auggie is an 11 year old boy with severe facial deformities who was home schooled through his early life. The book covers Auggie's transition into attending school and the changes that happen in his life and the lives of those who love him.

Here's how our Auggie started out:

We've come a long way...  

On to the biggest news of the day: We have a family who would like to adopt Auggie!

June 2016: State of the Kittens

  • Peter Cratchit: fixed and vetted. Still being socialized. Allows petting while eating, will stay in same room as people.
  • Belinda Cratchit: fixed and vetted. Still being socialized. Allows petting while eating, will stay in same room as people.
  • Bob Cratchit: heart murmur found at vetting. needs to return for re-test, fixing and vetting, Still being socialized. Allows petting while eating, will stay in same room as people. (Going to ACT for vetting)
  • Tiny Tim Cratchit: Too small for fixing. Has 4 ounces left to gain. Still being socialized. Runs away from all touch, even when food is offered (Going to ACT for vetting)
  • Mr Darcy: fixed and vetted. Well socialized. Waiting for Mr. Bingley.
  • Mr Bingley: Well socialized. Makes weight for fixing as of today! (Going to Animal Services for vetting) I'll need my car back before I can make that happen
  • Auggie Pullman: Too small for fixing, Has 3 ounces left to gain. Well socialized. Loves attention. (Maybe going to ACT with Bob and Tiny Tim for vetting)
  • Nameless orange floof girl: Weighs in at 1lb. Will eat a slurry of wet food and formula. De-worming and de-fleaing meds given. Probable 4 weeks? Needs a name at some point. Allows pets and cuddles but she's had a long day. I'll be looking for personality and extent of socialization in next few day

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

April and May Adoptions

Grace O'Malley
Grace went to help a feral kitten learn how to be a house kitten and then headed on to her forever home with her new human, Bev.

Atticus and Scout Finch
Atticus and Scout headed to Leesburg to fill a cat shaped hole in the hearts of Denise and Angel. The pair had lost their cat of many years a few months ago and found themselves ready to open their hearts again, this time to a pair of kittens.

Irene Addler
Irene will be getting picked up by her new human, Chris, this upcoming Friday night. She's made a lot of progress in her months with me. She eats treats from my hand, sits next to me on the couch and even lets me sneak in the occasional petting. She also now loves to play and can amuse herself with a catnip mouse for hours.

Allen Quatermain 
This shy fellow finally found just the right home with Lisa and Daryle and their kitty Thor. Thor is also very shy and needed a kitty that wouldn't bully him. Things are working out nicely as you can see in the picture above. Thor and Allen have found that having a friend can be pretty great.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spa Day

Ah, "Spa Day".  This is where we tell the kitties they are going as we cram them into carriers and rumple their dignity. Often times, my best friend Jennie helps me with transport since drop off and pickup times occur while I need to be at work. Usually it's just 2 or 3 kittens per trip... but not today.

Today saw the transporting and orchestration of Spa Day for 9 cats and catlings. Jennie spent the night last night and helped me catch and cram wiggly kittens into carriers. See, carriers are fascinating until the moment you want the kitten to go inside. Then they become objects that induce terror.

The image above is seven pet carriers in Jennie's car as she heads to Humane Society of Tampa Bay with seven kitties. This should be an advertisement for the Nissan Versa. Versa: All the Space for All the Cats.

Since we had split locations today, I then took off with Mr Bingley and Mr. Darcy to Hillsborough County Animal Services. (They came from there so they get fixed there.) Of course these locations are on opposite sides of town, so today needed teamwork.

So here's the rundown for what shall forever after be known as "Super Spa Day"
Bingley plays office kitten after being denied service.
It's a hard knock life.

  • Belinda Cratchit: Spayed, shots, microchip
  • Bob Cratchit: Teasted with possible heart murmur. Needs re-check at another facility.
  • Peter Cratchit: Neutered, shots, microchip
  • Tiny Tim  Cratchit: Too small at weigh in. Spending the day with Jennie

  • Atticus Finch: Neutered, shots, microchip- being adopted on Friday
  • Scout Finch: Spayed, shots, microchip- being adopted on Friday

  • Mr Darcy: Neutered, shots, microchip
  • Mr Bingley: Too small at weigh in. Spending the day with Kristen

  • Scully: Fixed, shots, microchip
And at this moment we are both preparing to do it all over again, just in reverse. Tonight will be a lot of dopey kittens wandering around and two tired cat ladies eating leftover pizza.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Atticus and Scout

Atticus Finch and Jean Louise 'Scout' Finch joined me this week. They'd been living with their mom under a decaying mattress and box spring in the side yard of an abandoned home. This wasn't the best place to be with upcoming storms and interested free roaming neighborhood dogs.

Atticus is a short hair black male American bobtail mix with a half length tail. Scout is a black and white bicolor female with medium length fur. Both kittens were of a feral disposition at first, hissing and spitting whenever they were approached.

48 hours has changed their minds about life on the inside. Atticus is fearless. He sees not obstacles, only challenges to conquer. Scout is sweet of disposition but has a lot to say. She's a bit of a talker and if she is not getting what she wants, she will merrily let you know about it. These two should make weight in the next week or two and can then be taken for their vetting and fixing. By then, I imagine they will be champ indoor kitties.

They have already been wooed by the delicacies of turkey goo, the never ending bowl o' kibble, the pillow bed and the wonders of fleece. On demand clean water and the litter box that they don't have to clean also seem to be appreciated.

I'll post more about them soon, including when they will be available for adoption.

Grace O'Malley

Grace O'Malley is a tiny kitten that found herself dumped in a restaurant parking lot. Some nice staff folks took her and her two siblings into the offices for the day. Two were instantly adopted by folks who worked there, but little Grace needed a place to go. As one of my friends works at the restaurant, I was contacted and gave my usual answer: "Sure, why not?"

Grace was an instant sweetheart and it was easy to tell that she had been dumped and had never been feral. She was very clean, free of fleas and loved to be petted. I posted a few photos of her on my Facebook page, and a friend of mine fell in love with her and sent in an adoption request.

Grace went with Duchess Josiana for her "spa day" at Humane Society of Tampa Bay where she was spayed and vetted. She then headed to the home of another foster to see if she could help coax a feral kitten into being more social with people. She'll stay at this foster home until her new house is ready in a week or two and hopefully, she will be an excellent role model for the other kitten until then.