Saturday, September 28, 2013

Basil update

Again a copy/paste from my other blog, that I wrote last Wednesday. He made some huge progress in the last few days, but that'll come next time :)

Basil is doing ok, he had some big setbacks in the last few days, but luckily yesterday afternoon he started to turn around again. One of the setbacks was caused by me taking him out and putting him in a travelling cage so I could clean the bench properly, after that he wouldn't get near me anymore, not even when Dewey was around :( Poor thing went back to being terrified and growling and hissing loads. That he escaped a few times during good moments didn't help either, he's somewhat used to a house, just not to humans, so I have to be careful when getting him out it seems! If he gets the chance he'll just hop off my lap (and then I can't approach him anymore, had to lure him back in), but at the same time I have to learn him to not run from me inside ánd outside the bench. Managed a few times later yesterday, with the help of food and Dew :) Small steps will hopefully go a long way! Right now he's going nuts with a toy, and when he's really having his crazy moments, he growls loads too! I dunno if it's just from having his crazy time, or if he's growling at something, like the toys, or to himself, the cage perhaps? No clue! But I do know I ain't attempting to touch him then, haha :D

Dewdew doing his adorable thing, so cute how he is to kittens!

This was on one of his first days here, I couldn't even put the blanker in the box completely, because as you can see, he's not exactly relaxed here.

Cutie with shiny paws ♥

Here he saw Dew on my desk, you'll have to imagine the poor meows with the pic, aww! I have some pillows on the side of his cage so I can sit there with him (although right now he still finds that quite scary if I'm on the side instead of the front) and a bedsheet to cover the cage, but he and Dew seem to enjoy to pull it off, lol!

Perhaps Batman would've suited him more than Basil... =D

Being petted is secretly quite nice! I gave him a used basket from my cats, and placed it at the front of the bench, in the hope that he'd relax and snooze there, making it easier for me to pet him. That turned out to be a good idea in the end, but getting that basket in the cage... >.<

Dew joined him in the basket to give him a wash :) First reaction if I touch him: ears flat, but he didn't move back here (he still does that often so I can't even touch him) and he quickly got all relaxed again, never stopped purring either ♥

Here he fully enjoyed my cuddles and Dewdew's washing, I tried to pet his chin but he just rested his little head on my finger, aww!

Yep, that's nice alright! :)

Practice outside of the cage, I'm ready to grab him again but decided to give him a very short time with just Dew and him.

Yep, if Dew decides to wash a kitten, there's no way it can get away from him, he'll just hold it in place, lol!

More practice outside of the cage, this time with some food :) His eating goes SO much better already! He might throw a little hiss at me but nothing impressive, and I can just touch him when he's eating. Also practiced with candy, his first reaction was not to eat it, then he improved to wanting it and harshly slapping it and pulling it towards him, then he started to be more gentle when poking the candy instead, and right now he doesn't always use his paws anymore but just eats them near my fingers. This morning he even ate some from my hand!

Hopefully he'll keep improving like he is now, and that he'll start to trust me more. Right now he still runs from me fairly often, and then I need food/toys/Dewey to help me, but there are more and more moments as well where he just lets me pet him without any help ♥ I also hope he starts to trust me more so I can make his life more comfortable, little things like changing a foodbowl still can give quite a reaction, although it does go better already. But there's of course a lot more to do than changing a simple foodbowl, like cleaning his litterbox (daily problem) or cleaning the basket (not even attempted yet) or the cage (which gave a setback). I'd prefer to clean things completely every day, but that's not a good idea yet, so I'm trying to balance things out.

Seeing a kitten like Basil, and knowing there are loads more like him out there (my local shelter has a bunch of kittens like him atm, but they also have kittens that are just born and already without mum, sick/injured kittens, and a whole bunch of healthy and social kittens too), just breaks my heart. Because of that I do feel the need to use this space to address the problem.
So if you read this and haven't neutered your cat, I hope you'll (re)consider doing so! I'll quote myself from an older fosterkitten post: "If you have a cat and think it would be fun to have a litter of kittens, please consider the huge amount of animals still waiting for a loving home. Neutering your cats is always a good thing (also to prevent certain health and behaviour issues later on) and you could instead have a look at your local shelter for a foster option :) That way you can still have the joy (and the wrecked house, lol) of having kittens! They usually get neutered by the shelter as well, so they won't add to the problem later on either."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


I picked up a new fosterkitten last Wednesday, and here's a copy/paste post from my other blog. Working with him takes so much time that I just haven't gotten to posting much about him yet, so everything will be on the blog a bit later!

This poor little guy comes from a TNR (trap-neuter-return), where they catch stray/feral cats, neuter them and place them back out again, or if possible, try to socialize them. This kitten was found with his brother, sister, and his mum, but mum really was too wild so she's neutered and back to where she came from. The 3 kittens went to a fosterhome about 6 weeks ago, and the shelter quickly gave that home 2 friendly kittens as well, to help the 3 scared ones adapt. The 2 other ones did adjust and will hopefully go up for adoption soon, but this one stayed scared and unapproachable. The shelter was hoping he'd react better to a home where they have friendly adult cats, to give the good example, and that's how he ended up with me!

Unfortunately I have to start from scratch with him, which means he's locked up in a bench. He's around 13 weeks old, and a kitten that age doesn't want to be locked up, I feel really sorry for him as well :( But it's for the best, and in a matter of days he has already taken so much tiny steps forward with the help of my Dewey! Also a few steps back, but the positive improvements outweight that by far! Ahh it's so great to see how one kitten from a TNR became an adult cat that helps other TNR kittens ♥ Without his help I wouldn't have managed to do much yet at all, but when Dew's around he's so loving Dew that he forgets about me sitting there as well, and omgomg I even got to pet him today! But as soon Dewdew's gone, he's back to ears flat/big eyes/growling and ready to attack (and he slaps fast :P). So the goal is to have him relaxed around me with ánd without Dew around, and when that's the case, he'll get more space. We'll take it one step at a time, but because of his age as well, I want to work with him as fast as he can.

When I got home with him, I opened his cage and he instantly flew in the corner of the bench, poor thing. (and no, my walls ain't thát purple, my cam can't handle the warm color well :P) Especially with cats like this it's best to not look at them, or if you do look at them, blink slowly and often with both eyes. I took my phone instead, so I could keep an eye on him on the screen instead of looking directly at him.

While he was hanging there he freaked out my girls with his panic meows and growls, but Dew doesn't care so much about all that and the kitten quickly spotted him.

Aww! Dew worked his magic and he relaxed a little. Unfortunately Dew removed the towels I had hanging over the bench, and the kitten got more stressed and started hissing at Dew in the evening as well. During the night I woke up a few times from the most sad meows downstairs :(

But yesterday he seemed to be doing a bit better and was crazy about Dew again, and here's why it's so important to have friendly adult cats around a kitten like this, he needs to see they come to me and I pet them and such! The fact that he stayed there in that corner within a day, really gave me a lot of hope, he's improving SO much faster than expected!

Yesterday he also took another huge step, eating while a human is nearby, and I even managed to take it one step further by placing my hand against the cage (he's a bit aggressive about his food). He's really doing amazing, so much better than what we expected as well :)

Dew's being so great with him, that kitten tries to throw himself at him, pokes him loads, and he just sits there ♥ At times he looks so wise at me, like he understands that I need him to help :) But at other times he's just interested in the kittenfood and sees the bench as a huge activityboard where he can fish out food, lol!

OMG! Man, I was so excited when I managed to pet him! I had my hand against the cage a few times last night when he was trying to cuddle with Dew, so he rubbed against my hand, and I was telling a friend later that I was looking forward to the day I could actually touch him myself. And this morning I had my hand in the cage and I ended up petting him a few times already!! ♥ Slightly nerve-racking as well to actually touch him, he might be small but I know what kittens are capable of if needed, haha, but we both started to relax a bit and enjoyed it a lot! He's really doing so well already :)

But unfortunately, as soon Dew's out of the picture he'll look at my hand like it's the most vile thing he's ever seen :D And he'll just attack my hand if I make a wrong move or move in too far in the cage. If I just walk around he gets spooked every time, if I get closer he starts to growl and hiss and is ready to charge, and then it takes a while before he relaxes a little, such a huge difference to when Dewey's around! I have to clean his litterbox later, and that'll be a challenge because that's right next to his safe box, and he doesn't want me there at all. But I'm sure we'll manage with Dew's soothing presence and again, he's doing so much better than what I expected, and I'm looking forward to the day I can give him more space :)

And luckily I found a type of candy he likes which will help a lot, and he also likes to play, even when it's my hand inside the cage! :)

Fostering a kitten like this is SO rewarding, it costs me a lot of energy but every little step feels like a huge one, and I'm gonna do my best to socialize him as well as he will let me ♥ And he has the most beautiful, shiny black paws! Gotta love shiny black fur on cats :) Last thing: he needs a new name! The previous fosterhome named him after Ivan the Terrible, and I want to name him after something brave or innocent or something sweeter than that at least :P I was thinking of Basil, it means brave as far as I know, but if you have suggestions, please share!!

As you can see on the title of this post, he's indeed named Basil now! :kitten