Kitty-Kitter Goes to a New Home!

Your intrepid blog owner here, Jennifer. I’ve been studying for a test that has to do with my job so the blog has been very quiet. But I’m back and want to fill you in on Kitty-Kitter, who got adopted!

p2

Her new owner is a single professional who needed some company outside of work hours. She especially loved longhaired black cats. She has sent photos of Kitter sitting happily on the cushy part of a drink console between two parts of her couch, like Queen of the House. She is Queen of the House, too. She is the only cat in the whole apartment.

I’ve also gotten all the updates I wanted about Kitter’s adjustment! When in the past I considered surrendering her to a larger shelter, I was told I wouldn’t be able to offer my email for the next adopter to even potentially communicate. It just got too complicated with their numerous intakes and I’m guessing that sometimes if the communicators are previous long-time owner/new adopter there could be trouble. I understood, but my dear neighbor and I wanted to hear how our stray turned Queen was doing!

The group that eventually helped is PAWS Brave Hearts, a small shelter in Northern Maine dedicated to saving all cats, reducing population, but especially caring for special-needs cats. I emailed them for help and they eventually connected me to a program on Adopt-a-Pet called Rehome. It is run through Adopt-a-Pet and you select the charity you are working with. The person with whom the cat is living takes care of the cat, contacts and interviews the prospective adopters–who submit applications through Adopt-a-Pet–and passes the cat right to the new adopter from the home. The charity gets the adoption fee.

Just before Kitty-Kitter got an application, she was coming out of the bedroom more and more and exploring my apartment. There was always tension with my cats and sometimes it ended in a chase or swipe. She could no longer be denied and would meow at the door of the bedroom. Now she does not need to worry about cat social dynamics!

Kitty-Kitter’s new name is Penelope. It’s something I came up with just before I posted her on Rehome.

I am left with a little sadness, a lot of joy, and for the first time since May of 2018, no foster cats in my home.

p3-1

 

The New Year and Miss Kitty-Kitter

At home right now I don’t have many fosters, and no fosters at all for any group outside myself. The foster cat, in so many words, is Kitty-Kitter, who has been with me since approximately October 25, 2018.

Miss Kitter, as I sometimes call her, is such a well-behaved cat, mainly happy to stay in her bedroom, which used to be my bedroom. Furniture moving and change is always part of the equation with cat fostering! Instead of my bed, I have a chair in the room that I can sit on where Kitty-Kitter can jump up on my lap. She loves that.

She is shy of others, and I want to be able to give out my information for updates from a future adopter. So she is here in my apartment still. Bangor Humane Society will not let me give my information. I am working with another group too, but want to make one more inquiry with the Humane Society about something called the Adoption Ambassador program. I am so close to just thinking she needs to get adopted out and that I can let her go. Still, on the edge, I hesitate.

Thus, the new year enters quietly, but I hope for lots of love and care for Kitty-Kitter no matter where she stays.

Kitty-Kitter is Still Here (and a Digression on Petting)

Kitty-Kitter is cuter than ever. I have gotten her first round of vaccinations and her booster FRVCP vaccination is tomorrow. Her fur is fluffy and soft, although I swear she’s still having scabs erupt from bug bites long ago. First some showed up on her right lower neck, then one right in the middle of her back neck. She hasn’t encountered one of my cats in a long time, so it can’t be fresh from any kind of fight. Yet I got to know her first round of scabs and these weren’t them!

Petting a cat tells you all these things. This is one reason that vets and behaviorists like Pam Johnson-Bennett tell you to touch and examine your cat every day. Just rubbing Kitty-Kitter’s neck and cheek fur and running my hands down her back let me encounter all kinds of historic scabs and bumps. Like a monkey grooming another, I’ve had a perverse satisfaction in helping some of the scabs come off with my fingernail, but there are others that feel weirdly, well, sharp, and I don’t believe she would like me picking at them.

Running your hands over a cat’s paws and under the belly, if permitted, eventually makes it easier to clip claws and to pick the cat up. Placing a finger at each corner of the cat’s mouth, at the gums, will help with cat toothbrushing if kept up! I used to use a little cat toothpaste on Wave’s teeth for a treat. Unlike human toothpaste, this is enzymatic toothpaste. Chicken flavor. I’d smear it on sideways, he’d lick it off. We never got beyond the “that feels weird” phase but my consistency wasn’t the best.

I am really falling in love with Kitty-Kitter. At this time, however, I still think five is too many for my one-bedroom apartment. Must email PAWS Brave Hearts, the small rescue I’d like to check with!

Kitty-Kitter Update

Kitty-Kitter got rabies and distemper vaccines yesterday. She just needs a distemper booster in a month. She is getting smoother–scabs are coming off bit by bit and her fur is nice. She gained one ounce! She is healthy.

Kitty-Kitter still needs another home. She lunges at Wave. Whether he’s on the giving end or the receiving end, Wave is always the problem. So Kitty-Kitter, sweet as she is (to me), stays in the bedroom.

Here is an updated picture and video:

This evening

20181116_193336

About five days ago, with catnip:

Kitty-Kitter Needs Affection

Kitty-Kitter wouldn’t let me look at my Criminal Law “law keys” as I study again for the bar exam. It’s far from now and I’m just flipping through, no panic yet. But I was trying to do it as I sat on the bed and stroked her (drooling happily) face. I was flipping little pieces of cardboard with my left hand and staring down to the left while I petted with my right. She insisted on walking in front of me. Then she walked so I couldn’t see the keys. Then she stepped on them.

Girl, you know what’s up! You want petting with two hands and my focus on you!

I do apologize for the cat food crumbs you may see.

Here she is with her tongue a little out:

Kitty-Kitter 5 law keys

Here she is on top of the law keys:

Kitty-Kitter 6 law keys

By the way, I was not reading A Civil Action–book, upper right. I’ve had that book for years. I had been carrying the book around last night. Kitty-Kitter and Wave were expressing that they wanted me to open up the bedroom door, so I did, but held onto the book to drop it and startle the cats away from each other if they looked like they were going to get into a confrontation. I walked around following cats when I really wanted to lie down. Nonetheless, it all ended well and Kitty-Kitter went back to her bedroom more satisfied to be in there.

How I got Wave, and his Meeping and Meowing

Wave and Iris

Wave’s on the left; Iris on the right. He looks so innocent.

I love my cat Wave like I love some family members. Deep down. That means that on the surface, things can be pretty irritating sometimes.

Wave, like all my cats, is a foster fail. Back in 2015, my good friend from PALS Animal Life Savers http://www.palscats.org/ was not only the volunteer coordinator, but very subtly had christened me to foster cats. She had me over to hang out with her shy foster kittens and cuddle them. She gave me the books of my favorite behaviorist to this day, Pam Johnson-Bennett. She told me various things. At that time we were very into separating shy kittens so that the kitten sees the human as where it gets its emotional needs from, and bonds. At this point I think we took this too far.

She gave me a calico older kitten named Penny, and I cuddled her and she got friendly right away. She went to the PetSmart adoption center and was adopted out quickly. Then my friend passed Seven, whom I named Dakota Paws, to me. He wasn’t quite ready by the time he went to the adoption center. He got adopted but the last we heard he was afraid of the dog, even though we were told the dog was old and did not do much of anything. The adopter kept him in the basement which was ALLEGEDLY furnished…we called for updates but never heard anything after one surprise call during which we learned this information. We sent his one-year anniversary card. I will regret that adoption forever.

Next was Wave. I often think that Wave and Seven would have been a great pair to raise. Wave had the coloration of Seven aka Dakota Paws, a black and white tuxedo. He was longer and skinnier. He was VERY shy.

When I first got Wave, I lived with my boyfriend, and Wave never got to know him. He would hide every time he heard Clay climbing the stairs to the bedroom. The petting sessions at first weren’t petting sessions because I generally don’t socialize in crates and I couldn’t get over to him or get him over to me. He wasn’t food-motivated, and he stayed skinny. The worst luck was when I attempted to socialize with Gerber chicken baby food and it must have been out of date. He vomited all night and I had to take him to the vet in the morning. I was just a temp who didn’t get paid if she didn’t work, and had to commute an hour and a half besides that. I remember sitting the in chair at the vet’s office with no sleep, staring and stressing. I picked him up hydrated at the end of the day, though, and he wasn’t the only one who felt much better.

Wave was only sort of into playing, too. There was nothing he especially loved. Eventually, he did start coming within reach when I was sitting on the bed so I could pet him.

Then I got Tidbit, who was feral! But that’s another story.

The only thing Wave really liked to do was run around at 4am, either by himself, or chasing our adopted cats. He would incorporate a good hearty scratching at the litter box in the bedroom, so intense that litter would be on the floor in the morning, into his wee hours routine. And when he would run, he would meep. “Mmmmmmeeeeeep!” over and over. Stress city for me. Clay sleeps through anything.

I was hired permanently at the temp job, I moved closer, and there was some pushing to get Wave into the adoption center. Maybe I should have known better, but I didn’t like this. I moved with Wave, and by then it had been six months. I was not the amazing socializing machine I had thought I was! I adopted him because I thought at six months, you have to either fish or cut bait, as the expression goes. (There’s another one, “shit or get off the pot,” which I definitely thought to myself but have to put at least in parenthesis for crudeness.) Also, I didn’t want what happened to Dakota Paws to happen to him. I didn’t yet have the experience of having so many cats already that the foster cat stays a foster cat no matter how long that cat takes.

When I began to foster, Wave would meep at the door of the foster’s room most of the night. He was aggravated, egged on, by these cats’ existence. Usually it ended up being a female in the room, and each female wanted to be in her own space, and it was not good. One time he leaped a four-foot high cat door and all of a sudden I heard squalling. He has a small notch in his ear from Roxie the tortoiseshell.

He would also just generally walk around and meep. At night. And in the wee hours. And now he does it for Kitty-Kitter. Meeping, scratching at the door…then I open up the door and he’s deathly afraid of her! What a silly cat.

I’ve gotten to be an expert at quickly dividing a can of food at 4am mostly to shut Wave up. But I don’t like it. Giving cats food to shut them up is like plunking a kid in front of the TV for the same reason: most of us have done it, but you do it too much and it’s not healthy for them. I don’t have a solution right now, but I’m too concerned for his welfare to surrender him to…any rescue or shelter at all. See, I love him. Just deep down in my sleep-deprived soul.

 

 

Away from Home

I’m down in Massachusetts for two–count ’em, two!–whole days with my boyfriend and of course, his cats.

Back at home in Maine, Cindy the shy cat is in the general population of 5 in the kitchen-living room combo, and Kitty-Kitter the former stray is in the bedroom-bathroom combo. My sitter is the wonderful lady who was the caretaker for Kitty-Kitter for over a year while she was outdoors. Still, I’m afraid for Cindy at 4am when big Wave gets antsy and wants to chase her and might get his claws into her. But I put her in the playpen with all her stuff and she complained–made it quite clear that she wanted out. I worry and I will worry but unlike previously when I actually lived in the same state as my dear significant other, I insist on sleeping over every now and then here, and traveling.

I can’t get over this shot of him with feline friends Loki and Chaplin:

20181102_2148341

Kitty-Kitter’s Changes

Kitty-Kitter 4

Above: Kitty-Kitter tongue blep.

When Kitty-Kitter first came out of her bedroom–which used to be my bedroom, by the way–she was nonchalant toward the other cats. it was almost as if they didn’t exist. She didn’t NOT like them, but she didn’t want to hang out with them either. She didn’t even want to sniff them. Well, now, five cats too many later, with a number of explorations by those cats in “her” bedroom, she launches herself at them.

I’m able to stop it and to intervene with pillows, or at least everyone involved gets the idea right away and parts ways once I react in a shocked manner by moving quickly. So there hasn’t been any real damage.

Kitty-Kitter 2

I talked to the director of community outreach at the Humane Society here, and she picked up through my description that Kitty-Kitter is shy at first, then loves her human once she gets to know him or her, and Kitty-Kitter needs to be the queen of the household and/or does not like other cats. I have not called to surrender her because they’re not allowed to connect foster people/surrenderers with adopters. I’d prefer to have an update.

Here, she’s sitting on my lap. Yes, shoes on table and gloves on chair…but cat on lap!

Kitty-Kitter 3

It’s kind of funny. Wave is so afraid of her. He’s big and long and when he actually catches a glimpse of her now he slinks slowly away with his belly low to the ground and his back ruffled. He’s Cindy’s nemesis, and Kitty-Kitter is his nemesis.

Kitty-Kitter 1

Cindy’s Progress

Cindy has been very sweet since being taken out of the playpen. She allowed a big cheek scratching again tonight–me reaching from behind and to the side of her and rubbing that extra-thick fur on her cheeks and massaging some of that scruff skin. With both hands! This got purrs.

She was out tonight a few more times than usual and a good portion of that, Wave was sleeping in the cat tower so she could act all squirmy and play a little and he didn’t pounce.

Kitty-Kitter yowls at all the other cats lately, so she is in the bedroom. It is either one thing or another lately.

Playpen Fail! – Again

Cindy was so alone in that playpen. Some playpen! She wasn’t even playing. I mean, luckily she was not getting chased and beat up by my resident cats, but she was being examined from the outside in an annoying way, and she just stayed in that good ol’ carrier.

I didn’t know how to reach in and pet her. I’m too big to go fold myself in there and try to play with her. So I took her out, in her carrier. The thinking is, I can put her back in if I like. But I think tonight I will sleep next to her carrier as usual, in the living room.

Taking her out was rewarding. She came out of her carrier after a little while and she played and did some washing and looked comfortable. Even though I wasn’t able to pet her yesterday due to the playpen issue–cats like her are afraid of hands coming in to them and I didn’t want to do that–she remembered pets today and I got in tons! I got to scratch her cheek fur and use both hands, and at one point I had one hand on her belly and the other on her back. Belly touching is the preliminary to picking up!

She also played a whole bunch. I keep trying to get a video of this, but all I got was washing: Cindy Washing Intensely

(Note, there are speaker wires next to her, but the speakers are entirely unplugged. The green thing is a cat tunnel.)

Of course, I don’t want to be too positive. I am pretty angry at every other cat in the apartment. Even Kitty-Kitter, the stray I took in from down the road, ran at her and even when she was already in her carrier, swatted her. What is it about this small, shy cat that makes everyone want to bully her?

She came with her brother. Because she was with one partner cat for her entire early life, is that why other cats reject her? Or, as I have been thinking, does she just throw off fearful pheromones? I found the Pet Remedy to in the short run, not be incredibly helpful, and now I’ve misplaced it. Yes, perhaps I am not even organized enough to be a cat parent!

Tonight I had a vision of how friendly I could get Cindy to be. I could even get her used to being moved in her carrier, if I just move it into the playpen and back. But there are so many obstacles–five of them exact. Do the math. Five cats. Two rooms: four if you count kitchen and bath, but only one door between them.

Aside: what should I call the playpen now? The corral?