Showing posts with label Alaskan Mountains. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alaskan Mountains. Show all posts

Friday, July 1, 2022

Foster Kitten Friday - The Best of Times

As a foster kitten parent who frequently raises the youngest and most at risk bottle baby kitties, I can tell you from experience times can be tough. Fostering is not all unicorns and rainbows. There will be kittens who are too sick and weak to make it and pass away on your watch, like my foster Hercules and his brother. Others may appear to be healthy like one of the kitties in this litter but unexpectedly get very sick very fast, and despite you providing all the loving, warmth, baby kitty formula, and glucose you can, won't make it through. Then there are all those viruses and bacterial infections kittens suffer from that'll have you cleaning up things coming out of both ends. You'll find yourself giving medicine in mouths, eyes, and bums. (Remember fierce little Beth who had to be wrapped like a burrito for her eye medicine?) Wiping noses, cleaning out eyes, and running humidifiers are not all that unusual. And ringworm kittens like my Duck Tales where you are changing clothes a dozen times a day (with as much cleaning and laundry you'll be doing it'll feel like a dozen more) is not fun at all.

And even if everyone is healthy and strong, the tiniest of the bottle babies start out needing feedings every two hours. Round the clock, day and night like McKinley and Denali back in May. Have to help them go to the bathroom, and it's not in the litter box. 

But as foster kittens get weaned, start using the litter box independently, and gain more strength, the weeks get better and better. Now that these little ones have passed the two pound mark, we are in the best of times.

Personalities pop out. 
McKinley is like the toddler who fights going to sleep.
We call her the free spirit.
Denali is the softest and snuggliest little boy.
But maybe a little crosseyed sometimes.

Leaping and jumping are frequent. 
Tryouts for the track team. Hurdles look to be his sport.
Free spirit McKinley thinks leapfrog should be a track and field event.

A lot of the day is spent running and chasing and catching toys. I think the fish won this battle.

Let's not forget all the time they spend wrestling with each other. All. Day. Long. These two are definitely best friends and partners in crime.
And partners in what looks like synchronized swimming.

As a foster parent it's weeks like these where you can relax just a bit and enjoy the kittens. Let them entertain you (which they do) and love on you (which they do) and know in your heart you (and they) are doing just fine. 

Yep, the best of times.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Foster Kitten Friday - The Week of Potential Failure

There is always one week in my foster kittens' lives that it happens. The week I almost become a failure. A foster failure. (Foster fail is the lighthearted term for when the foster "fails" by deciding to adopt the animals themselves instead of getting them ready for someone else to adopt.)

It happened with Cami and Sami, my first bottle babies.
It happened with the ringworm Duck Tales. 
Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
With the board gamers. 
Domino, Checkers, and Yahtzee
With the Yellowstone Crew. 
Beth, Dutton, Kaycee, Monica, and Rip
It happened with the Simon and Garfunkel kittens. 
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme
Happened with the Breakfast Club. 
Buttermilk, Flapjack, Shortstack, Crepe, Cupcake and Mama Sienna.
And of course with the Wild West Gang. 
Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, Wild Bill, and Wyatt Earp 
Especially Wyatt Earp. Boy, I was oh-so-close to keeping Wyatt Earp, my foster kitten born missing his back feet.
So it's no surprise that we've hit the almost-a-foster-failure week with Denali and McKinley. 
Free spirit McKinley
and the hold-me-like-a-baby Denali
make it hard to not keep them forever and ever (and ever). 

But I have to stop myself and think about the big picture. The more kittens I let go in and out of my home, the more families I’m able to touch, and the more kittens I can help give a good life. Yes, it'll be hard to let them go (as usual!) but it's the right thing to do. 

Thankfully I still have more time to love on these two and be entertained by their antics. 
Who knew packaging paper could be so fun?
And envious of their ability to sleep just about anywhere.
Not too worried about getting caught with the
stolen piece of carpet, are they?

No foster fail in this house this week. But next week, who knows?

Friday, June 17, 2022

Foster Kitten Friday - The Circus Has Come to Town

Now that the babes are weaned and eating food on their own (yay!), are litter box trained (yay!), and have discovered the big room (living room/dining room/kitchen) the circus has arrived. 

They've turned my room into a circus tent strewn with their blankets, boxes, and toys. And the pair of little kitties named McKinley and Denali now think they are large and in charge of every single ring of the 3 4 5 6 7 ring Alaskan Circus.

Denali, Circus Performer.
McKinley, Ringmaster/Instigator.

Finally nap time for us all!

Friday, June 10, 2022

Foster Kitten Friday - Bananaaa

As a high school teacher for almost 30 years, my husband has had to tell many a joke to get teenagers interested and engaged in learning. Now that he's retired I'm the one who gets to listen to all his jokes, new and old, funny or not. Sometimes I don't even realize he's attempting to be comedic because what he comes up with requires a bit of thinking to figure out. Take this week for example.

This was the week McKinley and Denali started on gruel. Gruel is a mixture of kitten formula, jarred baby food, and canned cat food and is the beginning of the weaning process. All those every-2-hour 'round the clock feedings are long gone (whew!) and the babes are moving onto some good stuff. 

It starts with bottle feeding the gruel.

McKinley was quite shocked by what came out of the bottle.
Then comes trying to eat it from my finger and then off a spoon.
McKinley's on her way! Denali only watches.
Next up, move the spoon to the saucer.
You go, girl!
Then the food gets a little thicker. And the girl gets a little messier as she steps all up in it...
Yep, all in!
while Denali only continues to look on.
Whatcha doin' sis?
I haven't quite gotten him past the bottled gruel stage yet but he'll get there.
Like my gruel mustache?
 At least he's cleaning up after himself!

All this gruel talk leads back to the teacher/comedian husband of mine. When I'd say the word gruel this week - and it was a lot - he would say:

"I'll be Kevin!"
"Bee-do! Bee-do! Bee-do!"
"I'm Bob!"
Or sing "Ba ba ba ba ba nana, ba ba ba ba ba nana, banannaaaa" 

What the heck do any of these things have to do with gruel? Let's follow hubby's thought process...
Kevin, Bob, and Stuart are all Minions.
Minions say Ba-na-naa and sing a Bananaa song.
One of the other Minions is a firefighter with a megaphone saying saying Bee-do, bee-do, Bee-do.
Minions are in the Minions movie and in Despicable Me. 
Which star a character named Gru.
Gru = Gruel.

Mic drop.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Foster Kitten Friday - Next Door Neighbors

Happy thirty something birthday to my daughter and happy four week birthday to my Alaskan babes, McKinley and Denali! While my daughter enjoyed a carefree birthday week of doing not much of anything, the Alaskan crew did pretty much the complete opposite.

They played on the couch we've turned into a McDonald's PlayPlace. (Remember those?) Blankets and pillows propped up in all kinds of configurations. They've found it's a great place for climbing - and hiding.

While they haven't yet taken to the litter box, they have started to clean themselves. 
Denali hard at work.

They learned nails are great for grabbing onto the bottle.
McKinley thinks I need help directing the bottle to her mouth.

They continued practicing for their future careers with WWE. Or perhaps UFC?

And just like last month...
1 week old Alaskans

they continue to love each other and sleep together. Yep, they've become quite the bonded pair of kittens. 
4 week old Alaskans

But maybe a bit too bonded.

When kittens are orphaned at a young age with no mama to nurse on for hours a day, they may turn to sucking on something else. It could be a blanket, stuffed animal, sleeve of a foster's shirt, or even on another kitten. This week Ms. McKinley has decided her nursing target is Mr. Denali. Specifically his private parts. It can be dangerous to have kitties nursing each other - especially on certain body parts - so an intervention was required.

Along with increasing feedings (for her) and even more lovings (for both of them) this week became one where Denali got his own little outfit to keep his body parts protected. Made from some fleece I had left over from making kitten blankets, it works great. Most of the time. For at some point during the night, despite all the Velcro and holes for his front legs and tail, he wiggles his way out. And she gets back to nursing.
Denali modeling a prototype.

Which has led us to the next door neighbors. Since McKinley only does her deed at night time, the kids have moved next door to each other for those times. In two separate pop up playpens they can see each other and talk to each other as they doze off and wake up, but yet have their own little space. 
Playpen or prison cell? You be the judge.

Inmates Next door neighbors who are very happy to see each other when it's yard time.