Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I didn't say a lot about our last two fosters, Tom and Junior, because I assumed that I was going to be a short-term foster only, as they grew their fur back in and gained weight.  That I was a port in the storm, but a short stopover only.  

When I took them for their one-month check up at the shelter vet last Thursday night, she was pleased enough with their progress that she decided to keep both cats there to put them up for adoption.  In fact, I had wandered over to the cat building to talk to someone about paperwork, when some volunteers brought them over.  So I got to see them both put into their cage, a nice spacious one that afforded them some privacy.  I saw that Tom was really scared, but did watch him slowly relax while one of the volunteers held him.  

I assumed everything was ok.

Early Saturday afternoon, the foster coordinator for the shelter contacted me and asked if I'd take Tom back.  Apparently he was terrified at the shelter, crying and trying to hide from people, curling up in the back of the cage and trying to make himself look small.  And of course, I said "yes."  

I don't know how long he's going to be with us here, but honestly he's such a sweet cat that I'm willing to let him stay here until he gets a home, like we did for both Mitchell and Patches.  It's not that I can't turn loose of a foster, but I do hate the idea of turning loose of a foster to send them into a situation that's going to make them scared and miserable.  Tom was born into his previous home, and spent his entire life there.  He is of course going to be frightened outside of that environment at first, and that especially means the shelter environment, even though they do everything that they can to make it as pleasant as possible for the cats.  

So I need your help.  I need to get the word out there about Tom.  He's a fantastic lap cat and sweetheart of a guy.. quick to purr, eager for your attention, turning himself over onto his back for belly rubs, nuzzling your face and your hair.  He just doesn't like being in a cage.  He's an older gentleman, at age 10, but still has lots of life and love in him for someone willing to give him a chance.

Basic household manners:  gets long with other cats, a little afraid of dogs.  (We're working on that.  He WAS on the same bed as the greyhounds the other day, so I don't think that it's hopeless.)  Excellent litter habits... so excellent that he covers the other cats' messes when they're less than genteel.  A good eater, though he does prefer canned food to the point of ignoring kibble unless he's starving.

Here's the classic Tom pose.  I know, I know, I keep using this picture, but it is perfect for him.  

And here are some new ones:

Still looking a little worried after first returning to us.

What else are library headboards for if not for kitty sleeping nooks?
If anyone has any questions about him, please let me know.  He's been with us for a little over a month now all told, so we're pretty familiar with his personality and habits by now.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Easy Like Sunday

Once again, life is busy.  I sometimes feel like I must sound like a broken record.  It will slow down again, and when that happens, I will be better about posting, and about reading your blogs, which I enjoy so much when I have time to do the things that I enjoy!

But even if I haven't been able to take it easy - that doesn't mean that some members of my household aren't.  This Easy Like Sunday post brought to you by none other than Miss Bit herself.  (photo courtesy of my husband, whose lap she adorns.)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Live!

Just a quick update tonight.

My foster kitties are back at the shelter, out on the adoption floor.  Everyone keep paws and fingers crossed that they get good homes soon!

Handsome Tom is handsome.  And he knows it.
Pretty, lady-like Junior doesn't pose for many pictures, so I'm re-using this one.
My own cats are glad to be able to get back into the guest room.  Guess where they all are right now?  Ahh, forbidden fruit...

I had all along though that Charlotte didn't care for the cat tower that Jeff and I (mostly Jeff) built this summer.  But what I didn't know was that she likes it well enough... when we're not around, the snot.  THIS is what I caught her doing when I got up to go to the bathroom at 3:00 AM the other morning.  She was not happy with me for turning on the light and catching her at it.

As you can see, below.

What?  Can  I have NO privacy, human?
Please forgive the 3:00 AM lighting.

Let's see, what else...  we're having the weird warm weather that it seems like most of the country is experiencing.  Not that I'm complaining.  I got to spend some time outside with the dogs this weekend, that didn't involve me huddled inside of my coat BEGGING them to hurry up and do their business so that we could go back inside.

And of course I didn't get any pictures of it because I was chasing Maera too much.  I did snap this picture of Bit, though, looking on through the screen.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy Ninth, Argos!

Argos is going to be nine years old tomorrow.  I can't believe it.  I know that we got him just a couple of months shy of his seventh birthday, so this should not seem so surprising to me.  But it does.  Time does go by quickly.

The poor guy had to spend the eve of his birthday getting his teeth cleaned under anesthesia at the vet's office.  (Pretty horrible way to spend it, if you ask me.)  But his teeth look much nicer.  It seems like no matter what we give him to chew, or how often I brush his teeth, they get bad so quickly...  anyway, the vet recommended that we keep trying with the tooth brushing, and to maybe supplement with a water pik.  I don't think this makes me much of a prognosticator, but I predict that this is not going to go over well.  Or as we would say in my family when I was growing up, "It is going to go over like a pregnant pole-vaulter."  Or when we weren't being so nice, "like a turd in a punch bowl."

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Argos.  We'll get you something nice over the weekend.  Right now, I give you the gift of oral health.

Worst. Birthday Present.  Ever.  
I was very happy to get the text from Jeff telling me that the vet's office had called him shortly after noon to tell him that Argos was waking up from the anesthesia, and that he could pick him up in a couple of hours.  And of course even happier to see him when I got home from work.  You can tell that he isn't feeling like himself, but he did jump down to come outside with me, and Jeff did finally get him to eat a small amount of food (he turned it down when he was first offered it.)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Life Settles Down

Things always get crazy around here when I first take in any new life form...  even if the new life forms are kept completely separate from the other animals, they all KNOW.  So for a couple of weeks after I took in fosters Tom and Junior, all of my animals had to make sure that they were still #1.  They handled it much better this time around, though, so I was pleased with that.  And now it's settling back down to what it was like before...  now we just have two additional cats in the guest room.

New pictures:

Junior is still very timid, but is coming out of her shell.  She has perfected her head-butt maneuver to assure that she doesn't lose my attention once she gets it.  She jumps up on the bed and purrs and purrs.  Unfortunately, she developed a kitty URI and then had to be taken to the shelter vet clinic for her check-up, so we took a couple of steps back in the "trust" department when I started having to medicate her.  So, so glad that's almost over.
Tom has really come out of his shell, and is a very affectionate, loving guy, who will practically do back-flips to keep your attention on him.  He will sleep on top of me, or sometimes beside me, but all I need to do is look at him an he starts purring and kneading and sometimes showing me his belly for rubbing.  He's also getting more curious about life outside of the guest room...  they were not interested in exploring in the slightest in the beginning.  The only problem?  Every time I open the door to enter or leave, there is a house panther sitting there glaring at him, which intimidates the heck out of him.

Annie.  *cough*  Stop tormenting the fosters.

Please forgive the "stock footage" of Annie.  I simply cannot get many pictures that show her eyes.
The dogs were delighted yesterday, because I brought home a package for them... new collars!

Maera even bypassed the sack containing ground beef, which NEVER happens, because she saw these collars in another bag.  She went right for it.

Argos was pleased with his as well.  He let me put it on him, and then preened and arched his neck and wagged his tail.

The special occasion?  Actually, we'd intended to get collars like this for some time now, but either didn't have the money to drop on them, or didn't see any designs that we liked in that moment in time, whatever.  We purchased them at the Golden Bone Pet Resort here in Pittsburgh - the money benefits Steel City Greyhounds, but they are Silk Road collars.  You can buy them on the Web as well if you don't live near here.

There WAS a special occasion, though.  Last night Argos and I went to the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show to "work" the Steel City Greyhounds booth for a few hours.  He always has a great time meeting people, and did very well.

Maera, who is still timid around strangers, stayed home with Jeff.  Apparently, she was completely heart-broken and cried most of the night.  We are going to start taking her to meet and greets next month - maybe for shorter durations than normal in the beginning.  But the home show was going to be far too much too soon.  It's quite the event, but not one for a dog with some fear of people.

I'm hoping for a quiet week.  Argos has to go to the vet on Tuesday, for a dental cleaning.  The poor guy just had to have one last year, but his teeth are phenomenally bad, despite the work that I put into keeping them up this year.  It will take him at least a day to recover from that, so I'm hoping that Maera can entertain herself for awhile.  I guess we'll see!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

No Rest For the... Worried Pet Owner

I had to sleep sitting upright in the chair two nights ago.  Long story, but there were a few things going on:

1)  Maera had been trying to vomit off and on for hours.  We didn't do anything at first, since she was still eating and seemed to be in good spirits, but Jeff wound up taking her to the emergency vet in the middle of the night.

* Maera is just fine.  Jeff said that he was in the parking lot of the vet when she let out a tremendous cough, and then didn't cough again for the rest of the night.  Yes, even when she was getting checked out by the vet.  Of course.

2)  Charlotte had started to, then failed, to throw up.  This freaked out both Jeff and I, because of her various health issues that may or may not exist, and was the reason that I stayed home from Maera's little trip to the vet - someone needed to keep an eye on Char.

3)  I was running on adrenaline at this point, and simply could NOT get back to sleep.  Every time Jeff twitched, or a dog turned around in the crates, or a cat scratched in the litter box on the other side of the house, my eyes would snap open.

4)  I had picked up some kind of intestinal bug over the weekend (whee!)

So I decided to move downstairs where there were fewer distractions, to sleep in the recliner.

It worked well, except that two of the distractions came with me.  Charlotte took up her customary position on the headrest of the chair above my head, and Bit curled up in my lap.  Since both of them fell asleep, it wasn't that bad, and I was able to drift off into sleep at long last, with two of my girls.

One of whom I was supposed to be keeping an eye on, so all is well that ends well, I suppose.

Charlotte seems to be fine...  we're still trying to watch her very closely, but I'm hoping that the problem is that she has hairballs that she can't quite dislodge.  With the changing of the seasons, she's shedding handfuls of fur, so it would make sense.