Thursday, May 27, 2010

Happy birthday to my kits!

Mama Little Bit here:

A year ago today, I gave birth to four boy-kits:  Cloud, Cousteau/Kai, Little Guy/Tiger, and Squishy!  I had to learn how to be a mama cat to them, but my mama, Boo-Boo Kitty, helped a lot with showing me how.  My people didn't take care of us, so when my kits were three weeks old we went to live with our neighbors, who taught me that I was supposed to feed my kits every couple of hours and stay with them until they were done nursing each time.  After I learned that, I was a very good mama to my baby boys!

I love them very much, and am so glad that Cloud, Kai, and Tiger have awesome homes.  They were adopted a short time after they were weaned.  Cloud and his mommy send us pictures every once in a while, and he looks a lot like me, except a lighter grey.  Kai's mommy works at a vet clinic, so she takes very good care of him.  Tiger was originally adopted to a man living alone, but his grandkids loved Tig' so much that they re-adopted him!

Unfortunately, soon after Squishy was adopted out, his new family took him to the vet for his poopy problems and the vet said that he would never get over them.  His system didn't function right, something that our vet hadn't diagnosed but the new vet did.  Squish had to be put to sleep.  He always had a look to him that Foster Mommy thought may mean that he wasn't as well-formed as the rest, and she was right.

I am so glad to have been able to take care of my baby kits and see them weaned and off to their homes.  I'm wishing them all a happy birthday today, at their new homes and Squishy's celebrating his at the Bridge!  Happy, happy birthday, babies!  You are now official mancats!

Kai's new mommy decided not to have a page for him
Group page (with their first baby pictures)

Us, when the kits were 3 weeks old

Cloud as a baby

Cloud now

Kai (heading off somewhere), Tiger, Squishy, & Cloud
4 weeks old

Kai napping in Foster Daddy's shoe
5 weeks old
Kai in his favorite napping place:  his new mommy's purse
8 weeks old

Squishy and Tiger just before they went to their new homes

Friday, May 21, 2010

Photo Friday: The Family

Most of the family, sleeping!  The human is Daddy (aka Scott, the photographer's husband), the kitties are (from left) Rori, Starla (white, snuggled with Daddy), Spooky, Tabby, Skylar, and our foster Little Bit.  Not pictured is Carbon.

Photo Friday

Foster Friday

Well, no news on a home for me.  Why?  I really want a new home!  Not that I don't love it here; I just would like a family to call my own, who wants me to be their own kitty too!  Until then, I'm happy with my friends here, and play with Starla.  Two days ago, we were playing chase on the bed, running over Foster Mommy's head until she put up her hand.  Starla swerved around it, but I was having too much fun so I jumped over it!  Flying kitty, into the open closet!  I jumped right back up after I landed, then Starla was wagging her tail in play at me, so off we went again!  Fun!!!!!  I love playing with my cousin!

Feral Friday: More New Visitors

Spooky:  That's not a kitty!  What is it?
Little Bit:  It's called an opossum.
Spooky:  Is it friendly?
Little Bit:  I'm not sure.  I think so, or it wouldn't let us be this close without growling!  The ones at the old house were friendly.

We've had some new visitors come by!  Not only this possum, and of course Tuxedo Kitty and the small black kitty, but a tabby-striped cat.  The raccoon also brought its mate by last night!  It's all been very exciting to watch!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Doggie Dash 2010

Tabby writes:

No, we don't have a dog.  However, I love to stroll and love dogs, so Mommy asked the Oregon Humane Society if we could participate in the Doggie Dash this year.  They said yes, and to our surprise said that another lady brings her cat and does the walk/run with the cat around her shoulders!  We didn't see the lady & cat this year, but heard from many people that she was there again.

So, on Saturday the stroller was packed into Mommy's mom's car, I was harnessed and ready, and water, food, and other essentials were along.  It was a beautiful day, one of the first sunny, warm days we've had since the start of the year, at a high of 74 degrees F.

There was a run, a 2 1/2 mile walk, and a 1 1/2 mile walk.  We participated in the 2 1/2 mile walk.  All three went from downtown Portland, OR, USA, along the Willamette River on the west side, then the longer walk and the run went over a bridge, along the other side of the river, and back over another bridge to the starting point.  A wonderful, scenic route, with lots of photo ops for those who chose to do so!  Everything was untimed, so you could go at your own pace.

SO MANY PEOPLE!!!  The Doggie Dash is now in its 23rd year, with major publicity, but we still were surprised at the amount of people involved.  My friend Diana and I had talked about meeting before the race started, but neither of us could find the other!  At one point, we even lost where Grandma was, and she and Mommy had to call each other on their cell phones and leave messages as to where we were, because of course it was too noisy to hear the cell phones ring!

There was a pancake breakfast before the race started.  I didn't want any, but Mommy said it was good.  At the butter & syrup table, there was even a plate of pancakes with a note that said, "Doggy Cakes"!  After she ate, we walked around to a few of the vendors.  One vendor, LexiDog Boutique, had special t-shirts for sale with "Doggie Dash" on them and the logo, so I got a pink one.  Lexi's mom, who owns and operates the store, told us the shirts stretched, and thought maybe the medium would fit me, but the large fit me best.  I wore it until we got done with the walk, then it was too hot for me to wear a shirt.

We saw a group of people stopping to take pictures along the walking route, so we asked a volunteer from the Oregon Humane Society to take one of us.  I would NOT look at the camera, though!

While we were doing the walk, or should I say Mommy was doing the walk and I was riding in my stroller, we got mixed reactions from the other people and dogs.  Some people questioned whether I should be there, two dogs didn't like me (but Mommy pulled the stroller back when she saw them react to my scent from a safe distance and kept everyone safe), but then we had others who thought that it was great that we were there.  That's the normal mix we get when we go out anywhere.  I got kisses and tongue baths from five or six dogs, nose touches, and some tried to sniff my rear end.  No reaction from me, of course, except I did hiss at one that kept on too long, but other than that I let the dogs sniff and lick away, and sniffed them back.  Mommy said I was a good girl during the whole day!  :)

Three dogs had never seen a cat before in their lives, so their owners asked if they could introduce the dogs to me and see their reaction.  Two of those dogs licked me, one touched noses with me, but one could've cared less!  It was like it was saying, "Oh, THAT'S a cat?  So???"  Looked, then sniffed the grass.  Another dog was afraid of wheels, but we ended up walking by her during a lot of the time and she didn't even flinch at the stroller or at various bikes that went by!  Her mom was so proud of her!  We were also a landmark for a couple people as we were strolling, hearing every so often:  "I'm right by/behind the cat!"  We met some therapy dogs and complimented each other on the good work that we do.  Of course, the other animal-assisted therapy team people were nonplussed about a cat working, because they know the training required for it, and their dogs ignored the fact that there was a cat in the stroller, because they knew that they weren't supposed to react.

The 2 1/2 miles took us an hour and 10 minutes.  After the walk, Grandma, Mommy, and I strolled around to all the vendors and also watched sheepdog trials.  Mommy had a border collie/Aussie shepherd/golden retriever mix when she was growing up, so she still loves to watch them "work", even if it's for show.

I was getting very warm, so Mommy took my pink shirt off me.  Mommy was going to cool me down with water and get me into the shade, and a couple people who stopped to pet me had commented on that as well, but then she saw a vendor that was selling cooling collars!  I now have a blue cooling collar made by Outward Hound, and I LOVE it!  It's got crystals in it that expand when it's soaked, so they keep the water and the cold.  It's the same system as the bandannas that are available for people.  The vendor, PetUtopia, was also selling cooling vests, but Mommy thought that would be a bit much for me.  I'm very glad they had the cooling collars, though, because they were the only ones who had anything like that for sale!  With the warm weather, we were surprised that none of the other vendors had thought about that.

I cooled right off with my new collar, and meowed at Mommy to re-soak it when it started drying out again two hours later.  I posed proudly for a few pictures that other participants took, and some that are for the official Doggie Dash photo page.  Volunteers walked around and took pictures of participants and vendors, then the pictures will go up on a website.  Prints will be available for $5 each from the Oregon Humane Society, and all proceeds will go towards the shelter programs.

At one point, I saw a welcoming patch of grass in the shade and sat up very tall in my stroller, wanting to stop so I could jump out.  Mommy stopped, and I walked into the Woodin' You booth, with its food/water bowls & pet beds.  Belly-down in the cool grass, with Mommy holding the end of my leash, I crossed my paws and closed my eyes, taking a little time out from all the activity around me.  After a few minutes, I got some visitors who sniffed and licked me, and some who petted me.  The person who was running the booth let us be in there for as long as we wanted and didn't comment on it, instead just smiled and went about helping customers.  When I was done resting for a bit, I sat up again and Mommy got a really good pic of me.  Then she picked me up and put me back in the stroller.

We went to a couple more booths, then found Grandma again and left.  We stopped for food on the way home, went to the Vancouver side of the Columbia River to a park to eat, where Mommy soaked my collar again, then went home.  All the other cats sniffed EVERYTHING all over when we got back, of course!  I was SO tired, so after some food and a litter box trip, I took a long nap!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Therapy Cat Tales

Tabby writes:

(written yesterday)

No noisy kids on public transporation this time, thank goodness!  All in all, it was a pretty calm day.

This morning, I played chase and pounce with Rori, Little Bit, and Spooky.  We'd gotten a new catnip toy from one of our Catster friends, so we were all on catnip highs!  Racing from one end of the hallway to the other, around the living room, and back!  Mommy wanted to sleep in a few minutes more, but I pounced on her to make sure she was up.  Scared Starla half to death, because she was snuggling with her, but I jumped down and ran around some more instead of chasing Starla.

At H., we found out that two of my friends I regularly visit had died.  One died last week, but the other died just yesterday morning.  Rest in peace, R.G. and K.D.

I was tired from my fun morning, so I spent most of the time visiting laying down, either in my stroller or in people's laps.  Everyone was very glad to see me, and commented on how pretty I am.  I was so glad to see my friends, too!  S. wondered if I would react to the rooms that had been occupied, and I did sniff them, but then walked by.  I was much more interested in the living people who needed me now.

The last room I visited is home to a new friend, E.  She thought I might not like her, but I settled right down on her bed and didn't want to leave.  I sat on her lap, snuggled with her, kneaded the bedspread, and almost took a little nap!  When one of the nurses, J., whom I love, cam in to see me and talk with E., I hid behind E.'s back so that J. wouldn't try to get me to move away from E.!  When Mommy called me, I came and then let J. pet me, but I wanted to stay with E.

We had to leave after a while, though, so I had to get back into the stroller.  On the way down in the elevator, a man who was visiting his mom saw the stroller, then did a triple-take!  He was about to say, "That's one hairy baby!"  Then he almost collapsed in giggles against the side of the elevator, because he realized what he was seeing!  When we got out of the elevator, he hurried over to the reception desk and told the receptionist, still giggling and leaning against the desk for support!

I went to class with Mommy and helped her teach by walking on the tables and lying down on books.  Well, I thought it was helping, anyway!  Then her dad picked us up and I got to see all sorts of interesting things on the way home in his car, including geese flying when we got into the driveway at home.  Boy, are those birds LOUD!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Make Fibromyalgia Visible!

Today is National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.  No, kitties cannot have fibromyalgia, but humans can.  Our mommy has it, and it makes her hurt sometimes.  When she's hurting, she sleeps a lot, and we curl up around her at all her sore spots, so our body heat warms her and our purring massages her sore muscles.  If your human has fibro, what do you do to help?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Photo Friday: The Coast

Long Beach, WA, USA, on the 4th of July last year.
There were so many fireworks going off that it looked like the beach was on fire!
Smoke in the air, popping noises, bright colors.  :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Therapy Cat Tales

Tabby writes:

There are such highs and lows in this job!  I'm sorry this note is a few days late, but I've been thinking about how to write down the emotional rollercoaster that was our last visit.

When we were on the MAX light rail train, a whole class of middle schoolers got on.  I'd been almost snoozing in my stroller as Mommy talked with her seatmate, but I quickly woke up as a boy bumped into the side of the stroller.  His teacher told him to watch out, and after that he didn't bump into me anymore, but I remained afraid that he would and was ready to hiss and/or growl if he did that again.  He and another boy were swinging around right in front of me using the handholds!

We got off a few stops later, and I was soooo glad!  My fur immediately went back down to normal.  Mommy petted me and helped calm me down for a few moments before we strolled through the park.  Let me tell you, I was QUITE ready to be in the building!  We got our list and I said hi to S. & R.  I kind of wanted to just stay with them my whole visit, but they said that I had to go up and visit with my other friends too.  So I let Mommy carry me out of the room and wheel me into the elevator to go see the other people.

Once we got to our floor, I was content visiting, and actually quite happy to see my friends there.  I'd calmed down from the traumatic start to the day, and asked my friends for pets, headbutting them as well.  Some of my friends were waiting in the lobby area on their floor, so I visited with them first, and met a new staff member (or at least new to me).  Then, we went to the first room, where someone had human visitors already!  I love when that happens, because it means more pets for me!  One of the visitors was sitting on the edge of the high bed, and I sat on the floor under her feet and looked right up at her, trying to figure out what she was doing there.  Was I supposed to ask her to pet me?  Try to jump way up into her lap?  Jump on the bed?  Wait to be lifted up?  Mommy picked me up and put me on the lady's lap, and then I made myself quite at home there, curling up and being petted.  The lady was thrilled that there was a visiting therapy cat who came to see her relative!  The man in the chair smiled the whole time, watching his smaller visitor and his human visitors interact.  I sat with him, too, and sniffed the brace on his knee.

Then, I could hear people in the lobby area clamoring for me again, so I dragged Mommy off to visit them!  Everyone laughed at that.  I said hi to four more people, including one who wanted to follow me instead of have us follow him to a chair.  We finally got him to sit down, then rolled the stroller over so he could pet me once I'd hopped back in.  I also met a stuffed animal doggie that a lady was showing to another friend of hers.  They wondered if maybe I'd think it was real, but I sniffed it, looked at it funny, and promptly ignored it.  Everyone had a good laugh over that, too!

I peeked around the corner of the next room, wanting to visit the person there, but was told that she was sleeping.  Nope!  She was awake, and moved her hands when she heard, so we went in.  I met her lavendar kitty neck pillow, and curled up with it!  Mommy was amazed by that.  E. loved seeing me and petting me, and will be looking forward to our next visit.

The next two people didn't remember me, but I remembered them.  I wanted to climb into their laps, but consented to being on their beds instead.  Not remembering me happens a lot with my friends here.  I don't mind at all, because I know that I visit with them, whether or not they remember later on that I was there.  Some of my best friends were sleeping, and I hated to pass their rooms, so I kept sticking my nose in at the door and then not budging until Mommy picked me up to move me on to the next room.

We visited with B., who had been doing visual acuity cards with a therapist right before we walked in.  They were just finishing up, so we were waved inside.  B. petted me and talked with us while I rolled over and over for tummy rubs and jowl rubs.  B. cannot see well, so sometimes she didn't know which end I had facing her, but then she would feel either my whiskers or my tail and be able to tell.  She was gentle petting me.

One of the ladies we visited is only going to be there a short time and then will go back home.  She has a cat at home waiting for her, so we heard all about her.  She also has friends who are looking to adopt cats, and took Mommy's phone number to give to them so that maybe our foster cat Little Bit can find a home with one of the lady's friends.  Something may or may not come of that, but at least a lead is out there.

After two hours of visiting, I was definitely ready to go, and telling Mommy I was ready, but we couldn't go without saying hi to M.  She's one of my two favorite friends there.  I growled when Mommy picked me up to be petted by M., but was fine being set on the bed for pets.  I was just too tired to be held and wanted to curl up and enjoy my last friend of the day.  M. was having an excellent day, we thought, able to remember that she had talked with us and almost able to remember my name.  She also remembered that we had heard her favorite cat story, involving a kitty she grew up with, so she and Mommy partially retold it to each other and had fun with that.  She read Mommy's nametag and called her by name, which she'd never done before!  But then, she told us that her mother was coming and bringing her cat next time.  She looked so happy that we might get to meet this kitty from the story, but we knew that was never going to happen because her mother and the cat have both long since passed.  The topic of conversation moved once again to me, and then we said our goodbyes.

Such a bittersweet day, but truly such is life for all of us.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

PhotoHunt: Black

This kind of picture is rare in our household:  our three boys all sleeping, sharing the bed, at one time!
Spooky (10 months, left) and Carbon (4 1/2 years, right) are all black, and Skylar (10 years, by pillow) is a tuxedo.