seventhe: (Cats: I LIKE THEM)
So with the help of [personal profile] drakonlily and [personal profile] crankyoldman and some other friends, we have collectively rescued a mama cat and five babies from the wilds of a porch in Columbus. One of the babies was adopted out; the other 4 came to live with me until they are old enough to leave mama.

Mama is 1-2 years and incredibly smol. The 4 babies are around 3-4 weeks old. I know it's gonna go quickly, so I'm gonna keep a record here of what we do each day that's cute and noteworthy. I've been up there maybe 6-7 times today, making sure mama has enough food, making sure everyone is adjusting. Here are today's benchmarks:

- all the kids run to greet me when I come in the room, with tiny squeaks
- I had four amazed and confused kittens breathlessly watching me scoop their poops
- mama realized she could get away from the kittens by jumping on the bed; she then proceeded to take a half-hour breather-nap while I babysat
- for the first time since they've been here, mama lay down by me and let them nurse. I've never been able to actually watch a mama and litter nursing from that close and for that long before. The purring as the kittens feed reaches incredible volumes, and mom alternated between dozing and giving me this worn-upon look that's the cat equivalent of rolling eyes. I was just surprised and impressed that in the short time she's been here she came to trust me enough to feed the kids less than a foot from me. <333333


Tomorrow we start clipping kitty claws, and introduce some new toys. As for tonight, I'm curled up on the couch (where I've been sleeping bc my bed is covered in stuff, but that's another story) with my cats on and near me, and we're off to bed. They aren't mad yet, just a bit needy and kind of resigned.


Obviously pics will be coming -- it's hard to get great shots in that room, but I'll manage. :3
seventhe: (Default)
I am sitting in the waiting room of Lab Corp right now waiting for my blood draw (with bonus peeing test). I haven't eaten breakfast. I haven't had coffee. These are both cardinal sins in SevLand. It has been an expensive and depressing week for health in SevLand. (edit: I was interrupted for the test and am now happily seated at my desk with coffee post-breakfast.)

Yesterday I took Marzy in for his echocardiogram checkup. His heart murmur has gotten no better; while it's still better than it was at his very first visit (when he wasn't on any drugs or anything), it's worse than his last checkup. The obstruction in his heart is getting worse and the walls of his heart are thickening (from overwork), and while they were examining him they did see one fully stopped beat, which means he is at the maximum dose of atenolol he can be on. The thickening and the obstruction are so bad that they're starting to worry about heart failure and blood clots -- although he is still asymptomatic at home, which is still a good sign amidst all the bad news.

They've put him on another drug, one that will help prevent blood clots. There's a small chance that this new drug will act synergistically with his current dose to improve the murmur - it isn't a proven thing with the drug, but they've seen it happen in a few cases, so it is worth trying. It's an additional $10-14/month I guess (more expensive for humans but apparently I get a break because cats?) and he has to go back in 6 months for another echo.

I was pretty upset yesterday. I cried in the car on the way to giant eagle to get his new drugs, and then accidentally a diet coke from the store while I was waiting and cleaned myself up in the bathroom. My poor little baby and his little broken heart. He is so lucky that I found him and kept him, because i am a crazy cat lady who will pay $$$ to take care of him, and probably no one would have even found it until it was too late. Asshole. I love my cats more than I have loved anything ever and I hate it.

Plus I've got all these medical bills coming in (X-rays haven't shown up yet, but just refilled my inhaler, I look, $120) and physical therapy coming up and I may not be doing a whole lot of anything come September because dollars.

Bodies. Why.
seventhe: (Rydia: calls the monsters)
There are two preludes to this story:

(1) So Rydia still fights with the boys occasionally; this is worse at the townhouse, because with all of us - and Becky - there, space is pretty limited, meaning Rydia doesn't have a very good "safe haven" she can run to when she just doesn't want to be bothered with their bullshittery. They get along fine most of the time; it's really just when one gets in her all up in her space (it's usually Marzy), or when sometimes they (read: Marzy) interpret her as playful, and try to bat at her tail or boop her nose. She'll howl and hiss and sometimes swat. Depending on how they reply, it can continue, although usually they get the message and leave her alone.

It isn't anything bad, although I don't like when it happens. It's just a feline assertion of boundaries. Rydia is made of cranky cat hate, anyway.

(Side note: how come I can't just hiss and swat when somebody comes into my space and bothers me? KIA SOUL I AM LOOKING AT YOU)

(2) There's a pack of stray cats that live out by the dumpster. I saw them for the first time a couple months ago: there's a little wild patch of brush and bushes and stuff leading into the woods behind the dumpster, and they chill in there. There's a mom and at least 3? 4? kittens, mostly black and grey, and some of them are fluffos; the kittens are not kittens, they're at least ~6 months old, but they still follow the mum like a pack. They seem pretty feral; they looked curious about me, but certainly didn't want to come out of the wild brush and investigate.

So last night about 4:30 I was awakened by the howl-snarl-hiss of Rydia and Marzy getting into it. Gee, thanks, cats. I rolled over. But it didn't stop: suddenly there was just howling, that low warbling mournful-angry-painful deep howl that cats do. By the time I had gathered my poor sleep-stiff brains together I'd realized that it probably wasn't Rydia, because it sounded like it was coming from outside (I have my window open pretty much forever). I went to the window. It sure sounded like a very unhappy cat. Now I'm picturing a cat run over by a car or something awful. So I got out of bed and went downstairs - subtly checking to make sure it wasn't any of my cats - and then slipped outside.

Right in front of the neighbor's townhouse are two of the ferals: the black one and another one that was hiding under a car that I couldn't see. Neither one would approach me, although they kind of sat and stared. They'd at least stopped howling - maybe one was a lady in heat; maybe I'd interrupted cat sex - and eventually kind of slunk off, which made me feel better because hopefully neither one was injured.

So I have a new goal now. My goal is to befriend the dumpster kittens... enough that I can take them in to get them all fixed. I'll pay, I don't mind (although I'll take donations!), and I'm pretty sure they're feral enough that they won't want to live with people anyway - they can go right back to the dumpster. I just hadn't really thought about it until last night, but I want to make sure they're taken care of, so that there aren't suddenly 40 dumpster kittens next spring.
seventhe: (Quistis: Bad Day)
I legitimately do not know if I even have the spoons to type this story up correctly, but here goes.

I work with a girl, K, who does a lot of work fostering dogs, specifically pitbulls. For the past few weeks, L, a technician at work, has been talking to her / bothering her / asking her / whatevering her about some kittens in his neighborhood. He says his neighbors just left and left the mamacat there :( She had her babies under the porch; there were initially 6, but a neighborhood dog killed 2 of them. So the mamacat saw Larry and showed up on his porch with her 4 kittens in tow. Larry also has dogs, big ones, so he cannot keep the cats.

I do not know what kind of miscommunication happened between K and L and I really don't have the energy to speculate at all. Suffice to say: L showed up to work today with two (filthy) cat carriers in the back of his truck, with mamacat and 4 babies inside, expecting K to take care of the problem. K thought he had been joking. She also has big dogs, and can't foster kittens; she could take the mama, but not until she knows the mama doesn't have FIV/FLeuk, because K also has two cats of her own.

I'm kind of just going to spell the rest of this out in bullet points because I am pretty much a waste of space right now.

- the day starts off fine; we all ooh and aww over the adorable bitty kitties
- K attempts to foist kittens off on basically everyone at work. She has to leave at 4 for a dentist appointment, and she can't take the kittens home with her because of her dogs.
- I eyeball the kittens at around 6 weeks old, maybe less, which worries me because they seem too young to separate from mama. But no one can take all 5 cats, so there doesn't seem to be a choice.
- We find a potential taker for one grey kitty. Another grey-and-white kitty falls in love with (a different) K, and (original) K tries really hard to talk her into adopting.
- As the day goes on, I start to get more and more worried, because K legit cannot take these cats anywhere; what happens at 4:00 when she goes home?
- K tries to talk to L about maybe taking the cats back; I didn't hear the whole conversation but I definitely heard L say, "If I take that cat home I'm just going to take her out back and shoot her in the head." Basically, he has done his part, not his problem anymore, he is wiping his hands of these cats.
- K calls some of the shelters she fosters dogs for. No one has any room for cats.
- I start calling around. Shelters are all full. No one is taking 'submissions', and definitely not 'healthy strays' or 'owner surrenders'. I start to get really, really disheartened about the whole thing.
- I call a vet and ask how long it takes to get results from an FIV/FLeuk test. She says 2-3 days.
- In talking it over with Jeff, he suggests I could - on the short term - keep the mamacat and the kittens for a few days, and keep *my* kittens at his place (they are there right now bc it's easier for me to have them there when I'm packing to move), until we make sure they are healthy. I am willing to do it, but slow to volunteer it. Basically, I'm afraid that once these kittens are out of sight, no one will care about them anymore and I will be stuck with 5 cats.
- K finds one woman who might take the mamacat, but will ONLY consider it once we know she is 'clean'.
- I finally find a vet who is willing to take a stray that afternoon for the FIV/FLeuk test. They are open until 5:00.
- It is 3:45. K leaves at 4. Vet closes at 5. We are shit out of time AND luck.
- To make the best of a bad situation, it is decided that I will take the mamacat and any remaining kittens to the vet. They will test her, and I'll give mamacat and her family the spare room in my townhouse.
- the first grey kitten will go home with B+J, who seem to want it. G (another friend) takes the grey-and-white kitten for K2, saying that if K2 isn't serious about the kitten, G can take it home for the night and bring it to me the next day. K2's cat is really tiny, it's the runt, so I'm not entirely happy about this, but I allow myself to be overruled because we're out of time, and G makes the point that if they don't take the cats today we may never talk them into taking them.
- K leaves. I am left with mamacat and two kittens. I load them into my car (in L's filthy, gross carriers) and we're off to the vet.
- Mamacat does not like the carrier. She does not like my car. Her cries get more and more frantic, and at 2 minutes from the vets she seriously digs her claws into my arm (thank god I had a coat on, I probably would have crashed otherwise). At some point she just freaks out and pees all over her carrier. :(
- I get mamacat to the vet. She's already freaked and now standing/sitting/lying in her own pee. I start to just lose it. The nurse and doctor attempt to take a blood sample and she flips more shit and rips the nurse's arm open. The entire little room smells like piss and terrified cat. She's hiding behind my legs. I immediately lose every last one of my spoons and am about to crumple on the floor in a little ball and just fade into nothing.
- Three nurses and four pairs of serious gloves later, they have obtained a blood sample from mamacat. Mamacat is done, back in her carrier and hating everything in the world. I'm almost crying. $90. At some point in this mess I brought the kittens inside so that they didn't turn into kittenroasts in my car and the doctor informs me they are more like ~4 weeks old. This is not nearly old enough to be away from mama and I start kicking myself for not insisting the kitties stay with her, especially the runt.
- I get to my house, get mama and her babies into the spare room. Mama hides under the bed, and I cover the floor with as many towels as I can. I am absolutely exhausted, drained of energy, completely spoonless. I sit there for a little bit and watch the kitties get baths and try to remember why I thought this was even a remotely legitimate option.
- I head to Target, where I buy a shallow pan for a litterbox and wheat litter, some food, some cheapy dishes, Febreze for my now-piss-scented car, and some cheap shower curtain liners in a last-ditch attempt to protect my carpet in as many places as I can.
Please note: I'm texting Becky, almost in tears, and this is where I realize that I am having a hypoglycemic crash, the first I have had in probably 6 months, because I was so preoccupied with these cats that I forgot my afternoon high-protein yogurt and granola snack which keeps me from crashing. This explains all the almost-tears and the near-breakdowns. Awesome.
- Head back home, set up litterbox and plastic liners and food. Mamacat won't come out from under the bed, but I set the dishes up so that she can eat without emerging to keep her strength up. The little ones come out to roll in the towels and stomp in the litterbox (who knows if they will use it~!). I am too tired to even enjoy it.

So now I'm back home. I'm dead tired. I'm out $140 for cats I can't even keep - not that I mind paying to take care of cats, but it's like, surprise. My blood sugar is all kinds of fucked up right now. I can barely keep my eyes open.

Tomorrow I'll be really happy and excited about this.

Like, I know I am a crazy cat lady, but legitimately, I don't want these cats, I can't take these cats right now. Three is more than enough for me. I would seriously only permanently take one and I would only take one if it was a choice between "You take this cat or we throw it into the woods", but until I get there, I really don't want more cats. I really honestly don't.

My plan, now - and it's still in motion, because who knows what I'll find if I come into work tomorrow and K has found a place for them or something - is to keep mamacat and the kittens for at least 2 more weeks, so that the babies can grow stronger. If I can get the two that have already found homes back, with a guarantee that they'll take them again, I will do so, and I'll foster all 4 babies. In 2 weeks, K will take the mamacat into her house and help her adopt out. Hopefully by then I'll have a place for all 4 babies. If not... I may try to keep them, or pass them off to Lu, who can foster them further. We'll just see when we get there.

(Edit) Oh, and Mama is FIV/FLeuk negative - she's clean! The one good piece of news of the day and I was so exhausted that it really didn't register at all. But it doesn't fix things, because then I have to choose: Get Mama into somebody else's house as soon as I can, and separate 4-week-old babies from Mom? Or keep them together to make healthy kitty babies, but have up to 5 cats in my house longer? Because nobody other than me can take Mama and babies, even in the short-term.

So that was my day.

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