Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Abby has moved

Well then, this was the shortest fostering I've done so far, but that didn't make her any less impressive! Abby just moved to her new home, where she'll hopefully become great friends with their other cat :) It's always a bit of a surprise how kittens react to strangers, but I think she did great. Abby was a bit scared at first when her new owner came in, but ended up showing that she loves to play and enjoys some cuddles too! Before she got picked up I sat with her for quite some time, and enjoyed her cuddles one last time. And she gave it all she had, such a sweety!
But these goodbyes stay difficult, putting them in a strange cage (especially the scared ones), and hoping they'll end up having a wonderful life... And from one way I'm very happy and excited for her (and for her new owners!), but it's always sad to see fosters go as well and I'll miss her for sure. It's draining, and I don't think that'll ever change. So blankets, tea and lots of cuddles with my own cats it is! And I'm wishing this lovely little lady all the best <3

Having said all that, here are some last pictures :) Abby ignored the playtunnel while it was upstairs, so I took it down, and all of a sudden it got her interest. But that thing was quite impressive at first!

She's small enough that she could almost walk up straight through it, which especially became clear after Dewey went through, he's a lot bigger and kinda has to crouch :O

Sneaking up on Sue from behind the tunnel...

... then through it

And then she noticed me and came for cuddles instead! :D

Even when snoozing on the couch she could give me a hard time with capturing her, she would look all cute and the moment I click, she pulls a face, haha!

This one turned out better, such a cutie :) I have more pics of her, but I think this is the one that might end up on my wall. I always keep some photos for myself, post the better ones here, and pick one that I frame and hang with the other fosters. A wall with good memories, and that's what I'll have of Abby as well :)

Playing and discovering

Abby was playing but she often can't resist some cuddles in between :) But her eyes just kept getting darker and it didn't last long before she went back to slapping and throwing around the toy! :O

This one scores high on her current favorite toy list, although she's discovering balls as well last few days and loves to race around the house with them!

This was her first time in a higher basket (it's on top of a big scratching barrel), and she seemed to realize for the first time that there's a whole world garden out there! Quite interesting, but also scary :)

Another toy she enjoys a lot is this caterpillar-like thing

But she can just sit and be pretty too :) I love how her mouth area is split into 4 opposite black/red areas ^_^ The brown thing on the floor is part of a scratchingpole that came with her from the shelter, and she always ignores it, haha. Oh, and she also isn't using the cardboard one I picked up for her either! But I haven't really seen her attempt to scratch my carpet or floor anymore and she does seem to finally understand scratchingpoles more, yay! This morning she was playing with the big, high pole that I have and based on the looks of one of the poles in her room (made from carpet) she has used that a little bit as well :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Abby ánd Mobi update!

I received an email from Mobi's owners the other day, he's doing awesome and looks like that too! ♥ The love for him really spoke through the words in their emails, and it's really heartwarming to see how one of those tiny kittens grew up to become a healthy & happy cat with a bright future ahead of him, together with his feline friends and their wonderful home. And he didn't just make friends with one of their cats, they even teamed up to get what they want (read: open closets and things alike on the hunt for noms!) :O I'm glad and thankful that I could be a part of his start in life :)

Hopefully Abby will be just as lucky, she'll get visitors tomorrow already! That only took a couple of days online before she got reactions, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed it'll be a match :) If it is, she's allowed to move straight away, so it could be a goodbye tomorrow already. I would definitely miss her, but for her sake, and for my cats, I hope she'll finds a home tomorrow. After a few days where she and Dewdew got along pretty well, chasing eachother in a fun way, playing a little (which I planned on writing about now), it unfortunately took a turn for the worse again. Abby can really be little miss attitude at times, and it seems she feels like she owns this place. Yesterday she started standing up against Dew, attacking him in a way that wasn't all playful :/ Today she kept at it, and obviously he's far from pleased with that, this isn't her house afterall, and she doesn't seem to realize that - but he does. So today I had to lock her up a few times again, so Dew could relax a bit, and I did go sit with her of course but it just feels wrong. She needs space and her own house, and that's something I can't offer her :( I know it's still a lot better than being in the shelter, but pff, I wish I could give her all that she wants. With those little ones it's easier, at times they can be a bit too much for my cats as well, but kittens sleep more too and often look up to the big ones. Abby is obviously a lot older and doesn't need that much sleep either! So I'll be sticking to the real kittens from now on, because that's much easier for Dewey and Sue.

Abby has improved loads towards me, like the other day she was sitting on the stairs and I had to step over her, lol! Before she would've ran away as soon as I got near (not in a panic or anything, like I've seen before in other kittens, but just making sure I wouldn't get near her), she had to learn everywhere in the house that I'm okay :) But she's still a brave little cat so she learned that as well, and she knows what she wants, and what not! That shows with food and the litterbox as well, I'm used to kittens that start eating my cats' food and use their litterbox as soon as their tiny legs manage to get their body in them, because ooohh it's big cats' stuff and that's way cooler! :o But Abby? She has her own food and her own litterboxes, and she sticks with them, haha. I think she'll fit fine with other cats though, but as I also said in the text that I wrote for her to go on adoption sites, it would be best with a cat that also loves to run around and play. From what I understood, the people coming tomorrow have a young female as well, so that sounded good! And Sue's reaction to Abby (and her reaction that followed) concerned me a lot at first, but right now those 2 females go much better together than Abby and Dew.

Oh! And I finally managed to get a few more pics of her, she keeps moving, haha, so I'm happy with those. I'll be showing them next time :) But first we have a playful Abby on the carpet! The colors are a bit off here and there (especially her eyes), but I often don't have time to get the settings right before she's somewhere else again or moves towards me because she wants to cuddle :D

And here's a little vid I made to go with her information on the adoption sites:

The part where she was still in the bench was after just a few hours here, and the reason I didn't take her out for better cuddles was simple; I'm not taking any risks with kittens that need (some) socialization, especially on their first day! She just looks like a huge cuddle there, but the first day or two she did hiss a little here and there, and she didn't go to a fosterhome without reason. I also knew picking her up wouldn't go well yet, she reacted a bit to touching her on some spots too, and I always give my cats some time to adapt to the newcomer(s) as well. So that's why I kept my foot against the bench door to keep it closed, to prevent her from escaping in case she'd get spooked or some. But as I told before, the whole benchthing didn't exactly last long with her :O She sure loves freedom! ♥

Thursday, January 22, 2015


The morning after her arrival, Sue and Abby had an argument, where Sue went for Abby through the bench - and Abby stood her ground. Not a pleasant sight and sound :( Sue might hiss at the bench from a distance at times, but usually she ignores kittens in their bench, so I think she realized this isn't a kitten. Not long after they were at it again, and I decided to move Abby upstairs already. That way Sue could relax a bit again and Abby could get more space, which I think she wouldn't mind after being locked up for a while! I did contact the shelter then to tell them about this, because if that would've continued she'd have to move, no doubt about it. No matter how much I love fostering, my cats will always come first!

I already knew Abby wasn't so happy with being picked up, and she wasn't even with me yet for a full day, so I hoped it would go well with catching her. I decided to use one of my own travelingcages, it opens at the top instead of having a small door at the front, which did help. Upstairs she was a bit scared at first, but it didn't take that long before she wanted more cuddles :)
It then also showed more that she loves to use knead - but her nails are long and sharp, and the balance between kneading and plucking a little (more scratchingpole behaviour) seemed a bit off. I got covered in little red dots, and she even broke my skin at times, ouch! So I started to take her off my lap when she did so, and she still isn't liking being picked up, so that didn't help I guess. I had a few moments where I got to pick her up and stand up, giving cuddles on my arm, but that only worked well when I did it first thing in the morning, when her eager for cuddles was bigger than her dislike for being picked up. But that was progress nevertheless, because she was a bit scared of me standing up straight or walking around instead of sitting down. That's going a lot better already!

I gave her various scratchingpoles, and she seemed clueless what to do with them. I tried some things myself and also asked for advise, I tried spraying them with valerian, rubbing dried catnip on them, luring her with toys and snacks, putting a pole on the ground on its side to see if she would prefer a scratching mat more, and scratching the pole myself a little. The last did get her interest, but then she seemed to think my hand was a toy - so I quickly stopped doing that :) The other things did give some reaction, but proper scratching? Nope! And it also felt like Abby wasn't sure about jumping or climbing on stuff, she could look SO surprised and clueless when I lured her on top of a pole, haha :) And then she would just sit there with a look on her face that said "yeah, and now what? :o "
But, within a couple of days she picked up on the whole jumping thing, and boy is she good at it! The other day I went into her room and didn't see her, until I spotted movement on top of a closet! There's a basket for my cats, and usually I have a scratchingpole next to it, so they can get on top. But I moved that pole, I rather not have kittens up there, especially when they're not fully happy with me yet. I think she jumped from the window sill, the window is on a different wall than the closet. And she loved being up there, and refused to come down, haha! So that day we didn't see much of her, and I decided I'd let her for that day at least, but did move the scratchingpole back so she could easier come down if she wanted to. She's usually sleeping up there now when she's locked up (during nights, when I'm away, or when she's having an attitude towards my cats and they need to relax a little), and then I walk into the room and these little black ears will pop up above the basket :) Anyway, I'll be picking up a cardboard scratching mat tomorrow, see if she likes that, because she does enjoy scratching my floor and carpet! >.<

I'm not sure if she'll stay much longer though, because it doesn't always go well with my cats unfortunately :( Yesterday I contacted the shelter as well, when she decided to attack Dew, and spoke about bringing her back. I don't want such agressive behaviour in my house, and she was standing with her back up, ears flat, almost screaming her meows and then charged Dew o_O Not the first time I see that from her, she might be small but she clearly has plenty of character, haha. But I guess she read along, because after that she behaved perfect! She's online already as well, ready for adoption, so fingers crossed for this little girl! Here are some photos again, most that I have of her so far are taken with my phone, hence the lower quality. But as these pictures will also show, it's hard to get good pics of her anyway, either she need cuddles, or she gets all impressed by the camera, aww.

Her pupils are now finally normal most of the day :) But this was one of the first days in her room, and she still had big eyes all the time, poor thing

Mmmm cuddles!

And more cuddles...

See, hard to photograph when she throws herself at your hand, haha! I have a lot of moved pictures of her like this one :D

Ready to move towards my hand again :O

Toys above her didn't make sense at all at first

But she's doing way better with that, she loves to chase flying toys! But oh that floor downstairs... it's a laminated floor and combined with a cat that wasn't great at jumping at first, it made for plenty laughs on my side! :$

Dewey wanted to treat her like any other kitten, give his first stamp of approval in the form of some licks on her head. But do you think little miss attitude accepted that? Most of the time she wouldn't have any of it, and slapped him away! :o This was the only time where he got away with it, but after trying a few times, his enthusiasm towards her has lowered quite a bit, so this was a bit of a half-hearted attempt at it as well

But more cuddles? Yes please!

Dewey does have a love for fosters, or well... with them comes interesting food! He always waits for his turn though, haha. And at times she looks quite big already, but everytime I think so, Dew makes her look tiny :O

More on these 2 next time :) Abby is now free in the whole house, and she's doing brilliant. The more space she gets, and the more it's up to her to come to me, the better it goes! Often I'm sitting at the pc and she'll walk into the room, starts meowing at me with soft meows and walks to me for cuddles. But being picked up to come on my lap? Well yep, she'll take care of that herself, haha. She has no problem with jumping on my desk either, gets some cuddles and off she goes again, to play, discover, run around, ... :)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Meet Abby

Last Tuesday the shelter send me an email, they had a cat that came in very scared, but that started to show more social behaviour in the days that followed. They wanted to give her a chance and asked if I wanted to take her in. They estimated her age at 6 months, based on her size alone, because they couldn't check her out properly yet. I was a bit nervous because of her age, 6 months is a lot older than my cats are used to. But the fosterhome contactperson from the shelter is always great with discussing and thinking along, so after some mailing back and forth we decided to go for it. And I had seen a young, scared looking cat on their Facebook and already suspected it was her, and I couldn't wait to see that scared look disappear! Thursday she was neutered, and then they could have a closer look at her as well, which showed she was quite a bit older already... she's estimated closer to a year! :o When I heard that Friday morning it did concern me a bit, but sizewise she's a lot smaller luckily, so I took her home.

We already set up a bench on Thursday, and I got a blanket from her cage (the cats are caged up in quarantaine), which Dewey found pretty interesting. So the next morning she went home with me and I was SO proud of Dewdew, he came in and acted as interested in her as he always is with kittens! <3 Abby, as I called her, kept rubbing her head at the bench already and within no time I found out this girl just loves to cuddle - albeit in her own, sometimes a little bit clumsy way :) She really wanted to be in control that first day, a hand petting her wasn't as loved as her petting herself against that hand (or better said, throwing herself at that hand), but she's quickly picking up on that as well; it's kinda nice if someone else does the petting! Dew managed to get her to purr softly here and there, and with every hour that passed, she wanted to cuddle more and more with me. In the evening I already had the bench open for a short while, with me sitting on the floor with my legs around it. She could've easily jumped over me and hide under the couch, which I'd expect from a really terrified cat, but nope, cuddles were more important :O

She had her moments with hissing a little though, and the size of her pupils shows she's more impressed by it all than she wants to show. But those hisses quickly turned into greetings every time so far, and her will to learn and adapt, ánd her attitude, make me convinced she'll be just fine. And she's making huge progress with every day, or even hour, that she's here! But before I continue on her progress, lets start at the beginning, her arrival and the hours after :)

Here's the picture that I saw of her on FB, in her cage. Below her is a box that they get there, it's a place to hide for them. That box with its blanket is now here as well and she still uses it a lot

After the first greeting between Dew and Abby I gave them both some food, and when she saw Dewey eating, she quickly started herself as well. She had her surgery the day before, and I think she was still a bit hungry, she sure loved to eat that first day!

She quickly showed how much that big, relaxed cat helped her. Her eyes show she's impressed by it all, trying to take in as much as possible, but no hiding in the back or any even though there's a human with clickyclick phone in front of her!

I never could've imagined Dewey growing up to be so awesome, and not just to kittens! :L

At first I kept her box out, to give my cats a chance to sniff. Normally I would put it in the bench straight away, before putting the kitten in the bench, but I somehow felt I should let it out for my cats first and that turned out to be a good move :)

I gave Abby some toys, and also a little pillow with valerian. Oh my o_O I've never seen a cat react thát strong! She bit in it and just started slapping it around while in her mouth, threw it in her food and water, she went nuts! I managed to fish it out of the bench after it got wet, haha. I hoped it would maybe relax her a little, but I didn't expect this, usually kittens don't care too much about such things yet (it's easy to forget it's a 1y old little lady I guess :$)

The shelter also gave me a feather and said she really liked it, and yes, yes she does! 

Having a look at what Dew's doing, brave in the front part of the bench :) She loved that basket straight away, it's mine and I hoped it would help getting my cats' scent on her. She would even eat from it, just stretch out fully and put only her head in the foodbowl, I guess she found that comfy, haha

Dew can't resist checking out kittens, especially when they have sad little meows! She had quite a few of those on the first day, but she also meowed to me already!

Throwing her head at Dew's as she did loads that first day. Here she doesn't look as small, but on some other pics Dew looks huge compared to her! Those will come next time :)

I've had Abby for 4 days now, and this isn't a scared kitten like I've seen before, it's more like an unexperienced kitten with an inner adult that pops up every now and then, making her very moodswitchy at times and a bit confuzing for me, for her, ánd for my cats! More on that next time :) Another thing that could really use more work is being picked up, I usually practice that by making it rewarding, placing a kitten on an interesting, higher spot, giving them a reward, that kind of thing. But so far, she ain't exactly liking it! There's a few more things, but all in all: woah, she's doing fantastic! :O

Colin's goodbye

I never got to writing about Colin's leaving, because I had a hard time with it at first, and later on it became something that was still on my to do list. But now that I currently have a new foster, and want to tell her story here as well, I think it's a good moment to share the last bits of Colin.

Colin really stole my heart, but unfortunately he didn't go well with my own cats, else I wouldn't have doubted about keeping him. So his adoption ment a bit extra to me, and it didn't turn out as I'd hoped. The adoption process goes as follows: people can see the kittens online (on various websites) and contact the shelter about a kitten they have an interest in. The shelter then talks to them to see if they think it would be a match, and if so, it's just a matter of seeing if the new owner still feels that way after seeing the kitten. So if the shelter thinks it could be a match, I get a bit of information about the possible new owners' situation (do they have kids, other cats, etc.) and get their contact info, and make an appointment with them. That's a bit different than going to a shelter and kinda picking out a cat there, but it's way better for the kitten to be with a fosterhome, and so the new owners come to my house. If all goes well then, they go to the shelter and in the mean time, I contact the shelter to share how it went and to let them know that the owners are on their way to sort the adoption papers. Of course there's some exceptions here, like when a kitten needs to stay a little bit longer because of medical reasons for example, but in such cases the new owners will have to go pay a part of the adoption costs already. Anyway, Colin was allowed to move straight away if it was a match and the people that wanted him sounded like they had a good home for him, and I made an appointment with them.

When they came to me, Colin was sitting in the front window, which he didn't dare to do for long yet, and so he saw his new owner and her company (her husband didn't join) approach the door. I'm not sure if it was her enthusiasm (and who can blame her, cute kitten in the window!) or what caused it, but as soon as I opened the door, Colin bolted and hid behind the laundry machine. No matter what I tried after that, a nice snack, toys, Dewey's help, Colin refused to come from behind there. So I ended up just sharing information about Colin and showing photos, and his new owner decided she wanted him anyway, and so they left for the shelter. I then contacted the shelter as always, and explained that the new owner seemed nice, but that she didn't actually get to see Colin. The shelter had doubts about that as well, and in the mean time, Colin was still hiding. It took about 15 mins after they left before he came from under there, rushed past me and hid under the bed.
The shelter decided to talk to the lady, to see if she maybe could visit another time (perhaps with her husband as well), and if she really wanted to adopt a cat that she hadn't seen, but she really wanted him that day. Unfortunately shelters often aren't in a position to be too picky and wait for the perfect match from all sides, and because it was a match from 1 side at least and she came across as a nice owner, the adoption continued. In the mean time I managed to get Colin from under the bed and locked him up in his room, and after a while he relaxed more again and we just sat there and cuddled. I was in tears because I hadn't seen him react to visitors like that before and I so wished he would've loved his owners from the moment they met.

The owner and her company came back after quite a while (the shelter really took their time with them from what I understood), which was awkward for both sides I think after they had their unexpected chat with the shelter, and I went upstairs to put Colin in his new cage. Colin was hiding under the closet and hissed when I took the cage into his room, and I had to catch him and pull him from under there. Needless to say, this broke my heart. With Basil I had a similar situation, the last I could do for him was cage him (when he was back at the shelter), but Basil reacted very well to his new owners from what I heard and so that was a bittersweet thing to do. With Colin it was just a thing that went against my instinct, you want to protect "your" kittens from all negative situations or gently guide them through scared things. I just wished so badly he would've at least given his owner a chance when she was here, so we could've shown him that she wasn't scary and have a better start, but his reaction was way worse than I could've imagined. And because I had seen him scared a lot more, I wasn't sure what to expect this time, would he stay that way for long or would he quickly recover in his new home? Last I heard was a reply his new owners gave to the shelter, and it sounds like he's doing well, which I'm really happy about. Even though the adoption didn't go as I'd hoped, there's also kittens that we never heard more of (I still wonder about them), and I'm very glad that Colin isn't one of them ánd that he's ok. I think they're very lucky with him, and I hope he's having an awesome life with them, made friends with their cats and showing them the cat that I saw in him.