Friday, April 27, 2012

Hi, and thanks

I want to thank all of you for the comments, compassion, and concern after losing Mary Read that way.  I'm still adjusting to not having her around.  Mary was the one who always snoopervised when I was preparing food, for kitties or for me, and I still tend to check for her before I put anything down on a counter.

On a happier note, Billy White Shoes has figured out how to get into the 'big kittie' litter box.  He seems a bit intimidated once he gets there, but he is getting more comfortable.  The litter there is several inches deep, and Billy keeps moving around digging one place after another, and seems a bit flummoxed he never seems to hit bottom with all his digging.  But eventually he finds a spot he likes.

Thanks again.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mary Read -- what happened

I checked the collar Mary Read was wearing yesterday.  I thought the collar had a safety, quick release catch.  But it turned out that wasn't the case.  When I tried to open the collar, I couldn't pull the catch apart without manually pressing on the catch.  I don't remember where I got them anymore, but it is clear this was not a safety collar, regardless of what the packaging with the collar said.

I left the collar loose, just in case, to make it easier for her to slip out of the collar if it got caught someplace.  The collar had a loop where it folded back, for adjustments.  Mary Read caught that loop in her collar on a stub of a broken off branch.  It worked pretty much like a choke collar.  The harder she pulled, the tighter the collar squeezed onto her neck.

Once she got her collar caught like that, her only hope was to hang on to the tree until I saw her and freed her.

I didn't see her in time.

Mary, baby, I'm sorry.  I thought I was making you safer, and instead, I was dooming you.

I'm so sorry.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mary Read is at The Bridge

I let the Pirate Girls go outside a few hours ago.  About ten minutes ago, I went to check on them.  Anne Bonny & Grace O'Malley came trotting into the house.  Mary Read didn't.

I looked around a little for her, and found her hanging, about fifteen feet up in a tree.  She had managed to get her collar caught on a stub of a limb.  She was wearing a safety collar, but for some reason the catch did not release.  I try to leave enough room for the cat to slip out of the collar regardless, but she managed to catch herself in the loop where the collar adjusts, so the collar pulled tighter, trapping her.  It looks like she turned at least three turns hanging there, trying to get free.

I just thought you might want to know.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A mini-gotcha day, sort of

Hard to believe it was only a month ago Billy White Shoes was sort of tossed into our lives. At the time he weighed around 5 ounces (140 grams) and was about the size of a candy bar.  He spent almost all his time sleeping and crying for food.

Remember this?

Now he weighs (guess) around 1-1/2 pounds (680 grams), and is happily running around the house like some sort of miniature whirlwind.  He doesn't fit on the postal scale I have any more, and most attempts to weigh him end quickly when Grace O'Malley comes running to find out what I'm doing to her kitten.

I've also gotten into the habit of looking down before I take a step, just in case Billy is underfoot again.

A quick video from a day or two ago.  Think of it as the 'after' picture of the kitten.

Billy, reminding me he has tuf!

Billy is using his litter box fine now.  I would probably try to rig up some sort of ramp or step so he could get into the big box, but the big box has clumping litter in it, and I'm not sure I want Billy crawling around in that just yet.  Like with most things, there is some question whether the clumping litter actually hurts kittens, but if he is going to eat litter, a clump of dirt is probably less harm than a lump of chemically treated whatizit.

Billy does have one habit I could do without, though.  When feeding him, he will suck up his formula fine for a while, then all at once he will start smacking at the bottle, my fingers, and anything else in the area.  He acts almost like he is choking, or is suddenly not getting anything, or something.  Sometimes he will crawl over the bottle like he is trying to get away from the nipple, other times he will clamp on and refuse to let go.  When I check, the nipple doesn't seem to be plugged, and there is formula in the bottle, so I'm wondering if anyone has seen anything similar, or has any suggestions what the heck is going on.  FWIW, Once he starts doing this, he never starts nursing again, and when I feel his belly, he feels pretty well full.

He doesn't seem to be having any other problems, so I am not too worried yet, but the kitten clawings are starting to get painful.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Got one end working, anyway

I'm not sure how much credit I can claim for the change, but Billy White Shoes is starting to use his litter box now.  I finally decided that if Billy really wanted to go where the big kitties went, I would have to find him a box small enough he could use.

Billy's custom litter box

After a little hunt I found a little aluminum tray, probably a left-over from a frozen something-or-other from once upon a time.  I put some clay litter in the tray, put it next to the big kittie box, and Billy has been using it ever since.  Billy is a digger, and he has all kinds of fun when he's getting ready to use his box.  I swear, one time he was digging with all four feet, each in a different direction.  If he had a little more litter to work with, he'd raise a dust cloud.

Billy doesn't cover very well, though, so Gracie usually finds winds (corrected a typo) up burying things for him.

A couple photos of Billy & Gracie playing.

A short, choppy video of Grace and Billy play-fighting.  I saw them wrasseling with each other a couple time, but every time I grabbed the camera, Gracie started chasing the camera string instead., which sort of defeated the point of grabbing the camera.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I Has Tuff


That isn't Billy in that LOLCat, of course, but he is starting to have the same attitude.  The other day he was trying to rassle with Grace O'Malley.  Gracie was about half way between 'Oh, yeah, bring it on' and 'HUH?'.

I'm not sure how much progress I'm making on getting Billy White Shoes weaned or box trained, though.  If I put some Kitten Glop on my finger, I can get Billy to lick it off once in a while.  But most of the time he swats my hand away and ignores me.  I haven't gotten Billy to have much of anything to do with the little litter box I put together for him, but he keeps heading to the kitchen with the 'big kitties' box.  I keep finding little puddles in the area, so I kind of suspect he is trying to go where the other cats are going, and is just too small to make it into that box.  I'm about to track down a couple bricks to give Billy some steps up there, and see how that works.

In other news, Grace O'Malley got her stitches out Friday.  She didn't appreciate being stuffed in the PTU, or being held that tight, but otherwise she didn't seem bothered much at all by the process.  The only thing left is for the fur to grow back, and that is coming along fine.

And now some totally gratuitous kitten photos.

 In that last photo, I heard Billy yelling and struggling, so I went and checked on them.  Gracie was sitting/laying on Billy's chest, and Billy was fighting to get out from under.  When they saw me, the both stopped, and looked at me like 'Well?  What do you want?  We're fine!'.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Looks like Gracie likes the kitten

It looks like Grace O'Malley is interested in the kitten, not just the kitten glop.  After feeding everyone this morning, I took the kitten and lay down on the bed for a while, mostly just to find out how he'd react.  He crawled around a little, then lay down for a quick nap.  About then, Gracie joined us.

After sleeping a bit, Billy started exploring again, and managed to fall off the bed.  Gracie jumped down and ran after him.  By the time I located everyone, Gracie had him out from under the bed, and he was running around like nothing had happened.

A couple photos, mostly just because.

That last one they had noticed I was taking photos, and were decided whether to complain or not.

If I'd waited a little longer to get Gracie spayed, she might have saved me a lot of stress.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

No real news on the kitten front

Just a quick note, mostly about the gray kitten.

So far, he is doing fine.  He now has teeth, and is willing to use them.  Sometimes I have to fight him to get the bottle back.  He is running around the house with no problems.  When he gets tired, he heads back to the PTU and the heating pad for a nap.  I still lock him in the PTU at night, mostly so I know where he is in the morning.

I've tried a few times to get him to try baby food, with little success.  I usually wind up smearing the food on his nose, or cheek, or chin, if he'll let me get that close to him.  Grace O'Malley thinks Kitten Glop is just the greatest thing, so I haven't had much success trying to leave glop or kitten food out for the kitten.

Grace is starting to play with the kitten a little, though I'm not sure yet if she is more interested in grooming the kitten, or intercepting the kitten's meals.

I've thought about calling him 'Billy White Shoes' (after the football player of a few years ago).  Depends whether Billy Sweet Feets gets unhappy about another Billy in the mix.

aannddd, of course, a short kitten video, for those of you who've read this far and help so much.  Movie is a bit dark, but it is Grace O'Malley & White Shoes checking each other out.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Purrrthday, Marg

Purrrrrrsss from all of us.

UPDATE: Forgot to include a link back to Marg's blog, if you want to add your own Thanks to the list.

Monday, April 2, 2012

We've got eyes

Of course, the eyes are attached to the same squirmy kitten that we've always had, so photos showing the new eyes are a bit hard to collect.

I was starting to wonder, just a little.  Most places said the kitten's eyes would open sometime in the first week or so, and we are starting the third week with this little gray mouser.

In other news, Grace O'Malley seems to have forgotten all about her V*T trip, and is running around like nothing happened.