Monday, September 24, 2012

Adventures in Kitty Fostering: My First Kitties

Saturday was a big day. I had a stellar 7 mile run in my brand new pair of limited-edition Mizuno Wave Riders. Aren't they specatular?! Funny how great a new pair of shoes can feel. Thank you CORE Running Company for ordering these for me.

After running (and refueling with coffee and breakfast tacos) I went to the shelter to help with a special project- 3 hours of unboxing and organizing 100 dog crates. I was beat! But in that process, we ended up with all these additional pieces from the crates that we could not use. I thought about it, and realized that they could easily be zip-tied together to create a play pen perfect for......FOSTER KITTIES!!

I receive emails on a daily basis with single, pairs, and whole litters of kittens in need of foster, and have been able to hold off until this weekend. I got an email with the cutest pair of kitties on Friday, and couldn't stop thinking about them. Once I realized I had a FREE play pen to keep them in, I texted Hank and it was done. He is so supportive of my crazy animal addiction and I appreciate that more than he knows!! He just said as long as I was in charge of them, he was ok with it.

So I snagged Bianca (now Bess) and Bernard and headed home. They did not make a sound the whole way, even when we stopped at my parent's house and at Petsmart. They are so teeny tiny and adorable, I can barely stand it!

Tiny, hungry kitties!

Bernard. He currently weighs 1.5 pounds, and is the lover of the pair.  Also, 100% litter box trained (my hero!)

Bess. She's the runt, weighing just 1.25 pounds. But she loves to run, climb, and tackle her brother.  Not totally litter box trained yet, but we're making significant progress.

The dogs knew something was up the second I walked in the door, but I tried to keep everyone separated for at least a few hours until the kitties were settled in. I put together their play pen (set on top of a painters cloth and two layers of towels- in case of accidents) and set up the litter box and food bowls. I had read not to use clay clumping litter (in case they eat it), so I bought a special bag of Blue Diamond kitty friendly litter. Bernard went to it almost immediately, but I could not get Bess to use the box to save my life. I don't think she liked the larger sized pellets. After a little more research, I switched to a non-clay clumping litter, set her in it and played around with my fingers a little bit to show her how fun litter can be. (I can't believe I've been reduced to this.)

Of course, Bernard saw the endless possibilities of the new litter, and immediately spread half of it out of the box, and then proceeded to lay in the hole he dug up. But finally, FINALLY.... I was able to get Bess to go in it. After much praise, I'm hoping this will be the new trend.

I let the dogs and cats come in to meet them one at a time. The dogs were all over it- Maddie's tail was wiggling so much, and she would just lay outside the pen and watch them. Marley could care less, but she likes to be in the room with the kitties and keep an eye from a distance. There was a little hissing at first, but I think they are no longer afraid of the bigger animals. I was really really hoping that my calico Bailey would play surrogate mom to the kitties- who seemed to think she was their mom as soon as she walked into the room. Bailey walked up to the playpen and sniffed the kitties, who immediately started purring. But then she hissed at them, turned around and walked back out.

Bailey and her matching kitties.

They play hard, and rest hard. I love how much they enjoy cuddling together. 

After a hard play session (they love running freely around the room, chasing each other and climbing on everything) it was time for lights out. I went to bed early, but Hank went to check on the kitties one last time. I was sound asleep when he came running in the room holding one of the kittens, yelling "the kitties got out!" Not sure what was going on, I got up, went to the office and sure enough- no kitties. The little rascals had climbed right out the top. I was warned this would happen, but figured I had at least a few days before they were brave enough to do so. I thought wrong! After wrangling up the other kitty, Hank secured the top with two additional crate pieces I brought home, and we closed the office door just in case.


I'm in the process of setting up a USTREAM feed so that I can keep my eye on them during the day. I'm not happy with my otherwise fabulous MacBook Pro right now, because Apple seems to think the built-in iSight is superior enough, so it won't play nice with any webcams. I have one that has a beautiful picture, but I just need to figure out how to get the USTREAM app to recognize it. Once that's accomplished, I'll share the link in case any other crazy cat people want to be entertained as well.

So- there is our big weekend. We should have the kitties for at least 3-4 weeks until they weigh enough for their spay and neuter surgeries. Once those are done, they will start attending adoption events until they find their forever home. A friend asked how in the world I can foster animals without keeping them all. Really- it's a lot like babysitting. You get all the fun and pleasure of taking care of them for a bit, but you get to hand them off to their parents for the bulk of the work. Yes, I get attached. But I know what I'm signing up for when I bring home a foster animal, and I love the satisfaction of finding them just the right home!

No comments:

Post a Comment