There were so many things I was supposed to get done today, including a trip into town.
Instead, we’ve all been like this.
Yup. Even the cats are feeling it. One of my daughters is still pretty sick, and I have yet to see her today at all. The other is working on commissions, but is also finding herself dragging through the day. My husband normally struggles to stay up during the day, between his pain levels and the medications, and he finally gave up the fight and has gone to bed. It’s all I can do not to curl up with the cats on my bed and snoozing.
Like these guys.
The outside cats are even feeling it! I hate having to close them out of the sun room for the night, after luring them out with their second feeding of the day. Some of them ended up overturning a garbage can and were making a mess. At least I know they can’t get into the bin with the kibble, but if racoons get in, they can literally tear the bin apart, as they’ve already done with the old bin we had to replace because of them.
I really look forward to when we’re past winter solstice, and the days start getting longer again.
I was supposed to work on the Christmas ornaments yesterday, but I ended up working on something else entirely, and it took a lot longer than expected.
I made a baby jail.
Leyendecker likes it.
We don’t have the funds to buy a kennel, but with the newest set of wire storage cubes I got, we had enough altogether to make this cat cage, including a second level inside. The squares come with openings in two sizes, intended to be used as sides or backs for the storage cubes. I put the whole thing together to figure it out, then took it apart and put it back together with a plan. The kittens would be able to go right through the larger openings, so the bottom half is is all the squares with the smaller openings. Because the corners could easily be pushed out of their clips, I tied them together with twine as I went along. This thing is NOT going to fall apart! It is completely enclosed except for one square that is not in any clips at all, but tied in place to make a door, which can be clipped closed at the top.
Of course, the bitties could probably climb the bottom squares and still squeeze through the larger openings of top squares, but we could figure something out to prevent that.
It needs more towels and blankets, etc. plus a small litter box and bowls for food and water. Ideally, we would be able to get the bitties and Broccoli, altogether, keeping them safe in here with their mama.
Assuming we can catch them.
While feeding them this morning, I could see the bitties running around inside, but the best I could do for a picture was shove my phone through the strips of carpet over the entry, where I’d seen the orange bitty eating, and hope for the best!
Not a very good shot, but my goodness, what a cutie! I just love those little white patches under his eyes! When he moves around, he looks like a giant, wooly caterpillar.
I got a head count of about 27 or 28 this morning, NOT counting the bitties. In this picture, you can see three little heads poking out from under the cat shelter. What the two white and greys are blocking are two more kittens under the shelter. I think the smallest cats feel a lot safer and more secure under there.
We have to figure out which of the grey and whites that allow us to pet them is a female. We’ve got four booked to be spayed in less than a week. We’ll be delivering them to the cat lady the day before they’re booked for surgery, so I want to have the chosen ones tucked into the sun room the night before that. It’d be great if we could get Rosencrantz or any of the older females done, but they’re just not social enough. We’ll have to work on that!
The cat lady now has the bitty baby. She plans to put him on antibiotics right away, since his eyes are leaky (I don’t include the lysine with the inside cats’ kibble). She showed me pictures of his siblings, which is when I discovered even more good news. When she told me she found someone who worked in a vet clinic willing to adopt Bitty, I figured this was someone different, but it turned out that this is the same person who is adopting the other two! This is someone who had lost her two cats after 18 years, not long ago. For her to now adopt three yard kittens from the same litter is just amazing! I had sent photos to the cat lady, so I’m guessing she at least saw pictures of him, but that’s it.
I had an extra surprise when the cat lady and I met up in town.
Another donated cat bed, more blankets, and 6 bags of kibble! Plus treats.
The cat bed will go into the cats’ house. Maybe the blankets, too. Those are knitted and donated by volunteers.
As for Bitty, he settled into the cat carrier and never made a peep until just before he got transferred over.
I gave him the hat he likes to sleep in to keep. I can make another one!
Previously, we had talked about getting the last 2 indoor females done, plus one outdoor male. The cat lady would have come to our place, driven them to another city, further away, to get done, then hung on to them for a week to recover, then bring them back here.
Clearly, something had happened, and she never got back to me on that.
It turns out that she’s been having issues with vets cancelling appointments, lack of communication, and even people she’s trying to help making it harder for her. Plus, vet costs are getting astronomical. There isn’t much we can do to help, but I can at least drive the cats to the local vet, or meet her in town like today. Apparently, this is not common. 😥 However, our sun room is now winterized, and our nearest vet has moved to a new, bigger, location, so we can take care of things like driving the cats to and from, and have a recovery room for them.
She also has funds left from a generous donation specifically to have cats spayed and neutered in the area – and where we live is considered “in the area” because we are willing and able to drive them to town. It turns out there is a sports celebrity that has a cottage in the area, and after she was the only person willing to come out to help a stray in -40C/-40F, this is his way of saying thankyou. As long as she spends the money on spays and neuters, he will be making monthly donations!
I brought up that, because we had so many kittens this year, we really need to focus on getting outside females done. Once she was assured that we had a place for them to recover, and that we could drive them in, she said she would try the nearest vet clinic again. If all goes well, we will get two females, then two males, done before Christmas – and before the real cold is expected to set in! I’m still holding out for a mild winter, but January and February are typically the most several months (and the reason we work to have at least a couple months of supplies in stock, in case we can’t get out!).
So she will work to arrange that, then get back to me, and we’ll have to work on socializing more of the females! Calicos and torties are almost always female, but they won’t let us near them. The white and greys are getting friendlier, but we’re having a hard time telling them apart, and only a couple are confirmed male. When the girls were tending the fire pit yesterday, they had cats all over them, and every now and then would pick up a white and grey kitten, only to realize it wasn’t one of the friendlies they were expecting.
A good excuse to get the fire pit going more often! 😁
The only down side is, certain mystery health issues came back with a vengeance. My breathing issues came back a few days ago and it doesn’t seem to matter if I’m sitting or standing, lying down or leaning. Even when I was helping my mother with her shopping yesterday, I had to pause a few times because I was starting to get dizzy and ill. I made sure my mother never saw it, though! Then last night, the mystery pain in my side suddenly hit me while I tried to get into bed, making it difficult to sleep even after the spasms were under control. The pain hasn’t gone away, and at times I am having trouble standing upright.
I should go to the doctor about it, but I don’t see the point. Clinics still have to demand masks, and I can’t wear a mask. I mean, who thinks making someone with breathing difficulties wear a breathing barrier makes sense? Never mind that it’s been repeatedly demonstrated to have no benefit, while causing plenty of harm. The other thing is, I was referred to a respiratory specialist over 2 years ago, and have still heard nothing. My mother hasn’t heard from the kidney specialist she was referred to, either. Unless it’s the Vid, or an emergency, people just aren’t getting health care right now, and those testing positive for the Vid are being badly damaged or killed by the treatment protocols. Frankly, I don’t think it’s even safe for someone like me – old, broken and fat – to go to a doctor right now. I could barely get taken seriously even before all this BS. Nothing like being sent to test after test, scan after scan, procedure after procedure, with all the tests coming back normal to have doctors start looking at you funny and suggesting it’s all in your head. If they can’t find it, it must not exist.
Bah. I’m just venting right now. I’m having trouble sitting up in my chair and breathing properly as I type this, and it’s distracting.
So, back to the topic at hand!
The Bitty is now away with the cat lady, and will be reunited with his siblings in a wonderful new forever home.
I’m going to miss him, but I’m so very happy for all the bitties!
Before I headed out to help my mother with errands, one of my daughters came over to do bitty baby supervisor duty while I was gone.
Bitty was curled up on my bed, napping at the time. My daughter had had a sleepless night, so she took advantage of the situation.
Bitty responded by being even cuter, and took advantage of having a warm human to cuddle up against!
Later on, I got a message from my daughter saying that he was twitching and making nursing motions in his sleep!
We reached a high of 0C/32F today, though as I write this, we’ve started to cool down a bit. It’s still sunny and feels warm out there, and things are melting in various places. A perfect day to help my mother with errands. I’m happy to say she is well stocked up on quite a few things now. Especially the heavier things, like laundry detergent, or bags of potatoes, that she can get while I’m there with her car to help.
It’s also a perfect day to do a burn. Just before I headed home, one of my daughters got the fire pit going. There is a branch pile near the fire pit that we we’ve been adding to faster than we’ve been able to use it up – it’s separate from the logs we use when doing a cookout, and just getting too big. So the girls are planning to get as much of that cleaned up as they can. Now that I’m home and on supervisor duty (Butterscotch really, really does not like Bitty, but Bitty really, really wants to cuddle her!), they are both outside and tending the fire pit.
This is what I found when I came back into the room.
I mean, can he get any cuter? 😄😄😄
He really, really likes that hat! Gosh, he’s so tiny. And most of that is fluff. He’s actually smaller than he looks.
I’m going to miss him when the cat lady picks him up!
Butterscotch and Nosencrantz, however, will be very happy to see him gone! 😂
We’ve been keeping the bitty baby isolated in my room for now, with someone there to supervise at all times.
Life can be so hard, sometimes. 😉
I was expecting the bitty to go into hiding or at least be very nervous at first.
After filling his belly with wet cat food, he started to explore, with Cheddar and Leyendecker following him around like lost puppies, trying to figure him out.
He’s an excellent climber.
He’s also ridiculously tiny!
Butterscotch is not happy with a kitten around and would growl and hiss at him.
Bitty gives no F’s.
Eventually, Butterscotch came off her window ledge, and the next think I knew, they were curled up near each other on my bed, sleeping.
Ginger has recently become one of the cats we can allow into my office with Butterscotch and Nosencrantz, without a fight breaking out, so we allowed him in, too. He didn’t like the bitty, and would hiss and growl at him, but was still willing to lie on the bed for a nap, too.
When I first brought Bitty in, I didn’t have a chance to take off my parka and hat where I usually do, and had just dumped them on the bed.
He found my hat.
So. Very. Smol!!!!
For a while, I lay across the bed so that I could reach cats to calm them down. Yeah. That’s why. Not because I wanted to snuggle the baby and take pictures. Nope. Not at all.
Ginger was very curious about my phone.
I managed to get a few of him, too. 😂
After a while he planted himself against my leg and tried to nap. Bitty, however, crawled out of the hat and decided to check him out. Ginger was NOT happy, was laying his ears back, snarling and hissing.
Bitty gave no F’s, crawled over him and squeezed into a crevice between him and my leg.
Poor Ginger looked ready to have a massive anxiety attack! He finally left and lay down on the heat vent. 😂
For now, the cat lady thinks she can be out here to pick him up on Wednesday, at the latest. That’s only two days from now. That actually works out better for us, since I am now scheduled to help my mother with her grocery shopping tomorrow.
As I write this, Bitty is curled up on my bed, snoozing again.
The cat lady contacted me last night. After finding homes for the two bitty babies we found in the field, she now has someone who wants to adopt the last surviving bitty!!
Which meant, of course, that we had to bring him inside as quickly as we could. I wasn’t able to do that last night, as it was too dark to see, so we left it until this morning.
When I first topped up the kibble and water bowls, I couldn’t see him anywhere, but I’ve often seen him out after I’ve finished my rounds, so did those. Making my way back around to the kibble house, I was greeted by an orange tabby.
It wasn’t Rolando Moon.
Nutmeg is back!!
At least I assume it’s Nutmeg. I suppose it could be Toesencrantz, but I was able to pet him, and Toezencrantz was never socialized.
The kibble was already mostly gone in most of the trays, so I topped a couple of them to make sure Nutmeg got a good meal. He wasn’t too friendly with the other cats, but food was a higher priority for him! He looks really healthy, though. Usually, when the wayward males come back for the winter, they look like pretty starved.
Then, I spotted the bitty baby! He had finally emerged from the cat house, so I snagged him.
He’s now in my office/bedroom with me, and has had his first meal of wet cat food. As I write this, he is exploring the room, climbing things – especially the little cat tree we have in here – and checking things out.
Cheddar and Leyendecker were immediately curious about him and followed him around, sniffing. Bitty sniffed right back and there was lots of purring.
Butterscotch and Nosencrantz are not too sure of things. Butterscotch is perched in the window sill, and I’ve heard her growling at him. Nosencrantz is on her top shelf by the ceiling, watching him from above, looking shocked, but has not tried to come down.
And I just had to pause typing the above because he climbed up onto my desk. Now he’s climbing the shelf to Nosencrantz, but he’s too small to get very far.
I think I’m going to be very busy supervising a baby today!
As much as I wish Nosencrantz would leave my room, and I could leave my door open without worrying about other cats going after her, there is something really nice about waking up in the morning and discovering her cuddled up against me.
Butterscotch is really enjoying her retirement years!
She is okay with Nosencrantz and Cheddar. She puts up with Leyendecker. She wants nothing to do with any of the other cats. If I open the door and they start coming in, she’ll hide in her favourite shelf and watch them, suspiciously. If they come too close, she will hiss and snarl at them.
She has zero interest in leaving my office/craft room/bedroom. Grandma is more than happy to just lounge around on my bed, snoozing. Sometimes, she’ll play with Nosencrantz. Maybe even cuddle with Cheddar. When a human comes around and sits on my bed, she’s all over them, demanding attention, but is quite content to have little to no attention from other cats.
After surviving all those years as a yard cat and having who knows how many litters of kittens, I think she’s earned it!