This blog is about my individual experiences while rescuing and re-homing cats for the Sunderland animal rescue charity Animal Krackers. The blog itself, however, does not represent Animal Krackers; it's just me, my sense of humour, and my personal take on things and in that sense, it's about me as much as cats. It it was a film, I'd give it a 12 rating for the occasional mild swear word and strong story.
CAUTION: (and I'm being serious here), this post contains photos of and a story about a seriously ill cat. If sick animals upset you, then you may want to think about passing on this. I'm leaving it till the end. The first two stories are pretty standard for this blog.
Today I went to King's Road vets to pick up a cat to take to the re-homing centre. She'd already been to one family but they didn't get on. She's a nice cat with people which I could tell from just the short amount of time I spent with her. She's a confident little thing and wasn't bothered at all about being put in the pen at Ferry Farm. The catch is that she isn't good with other cats. Otherwise she's an attractive, unusually marked, and likeable cat around a year old. She is, however, one of those annoying animals which won't stay still when you try to get a photograph of them for a website and after nearly ten shot I still never got a decent portrait shot. The two on display here are the best I was able to take.
I'll be back there again tomorrow to pick up a couple of cats which have had diarrhea for a few days and take them to the vets. Then I'll be back again on Tuesday to collect long-haired Doris who needs de-tatting.
Next up, just another couple of photos of Aoife and her three older kittens. I was sitting watching tv yesterday evening when I felt a paw on my arm. Aoife had just jumped on the settee and was wanting my attention. Another evening she was sitting there with, Tiny (the smallest kitten, in case you hadn't guessed) was snuggling into the crook of my arm, and the other two were just climbing over me. They'll be available for homing (subject to a rigorous home check -they're my babies) in a week's time. The grey kitten (who is called either Brian or Zara depending on whether Colin or Audrey get their way) will be going to her new home then where she'll be spoiled rotten.
Aoife's real kittens are coming along nicely and both have their eyes open now.
You may want to go to another website now. I'm going to put a big space in so you don't see it accidentally. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Okay, Wednesday night around 8.15 and I got a phone call from a lady who had just found a very distressed cat in the grounds of a nearby public school. Fortunately I was in a position to help by having a cage which was already set up that had been used briefly by Aoife and her two babies. I got there in less than ten minutes and found two ladies with the sick cat. Apparently it had been in the vicinity for a few weeks but this was the first time they'd been able to catch it.
And the cat was very ill being nothing more than skin and bone. I took it home, put it in the cage and gave it a sachet of Felix and some cat milk. I stroked it a little but only a little as I didn't want to distress it even more than it already was. It ate the food slowly and drank the milk. I could have given it more but it's stomach would be contracted through lack of food and thought it best not. Here are two photos.
In the morning I gave it another sachet which it picked at and some water. I had to pick up Daisy (the cat I'd been fostering and had re-homed a week early and which turned out not to have been neutered by its previous owner) to take to the vet's. When I got there Wendy the vet hadn't arrived so I told the nurse the story and left them both there. Just after lunch time, Wendy rang to say that the cat was severely jaundiced and that it's liver was failing. The kindest thing to do for it was also the hardest and I couldn't do anything but agree.
At least, and thanks to those kind ladies, I was able to give it a final comfortable night in my house where it was warm, fed, and safe.
It would be nice if all aspects of animal rescuing had happy ends but alas that isn't so. All you can hope to do is do your best for the animals that come into your care and sometimes that's...
I came downstairs this morning to check on the kittens and found mother, two babies, and three older kits all snuggled up together in the cat bed tucked securely under a chair. All seemed comfortable. It's now a couple of hours later and they been fed, watered (cat milked to be exact), the older kittens have run around, and all are now back in the bed.
The photos were all taken this morning.
Lastly a photo of my pedigree British Shorthair Aelfric who loves sitting on the other side of the conservatory door watching the kittens. On a few occasions I've opened the door and he's sniffed any brave enough to approach him. He likes other cats and just wants to be friends. He is, however, shy of people and, while I can stroke him when he comes on the bed next to me which he loves, it's only recently he's begun to sit on the settee next to me.
Okay, I'm off to do the Monday morning food and litter run.
All these photos were taken this morning, Sunday, 23rd June, 2013.
18 cats in all. I did include the name, age, and character of each one when I edited the photos in Picasa 3 but they haven't transferred. Most are three or under and most are friendly.
Aoife, the mother, could not settle in the cage and wanted out so I left the cage door open. When I saw her carryingthe grey kitten to the closed conservatory door, I took the hint and put the two kits in the basket where she'd give birth to the first one. So far the other kittens have ignored the newcomers, though I just found Tiny cuddled up in the basket next to her mother and the babies. As long as Aoife's happy and the kittens aren't being bored and are getting fed, I'll leave the situation as it is but, trust me, I'm watching them.
Things are more settled now some 26 hours after the birth of the second kitten. Aoife and her two babies are fine in the cage in the living room and she seems to be looking after them. It is confining in there so I've let her out while the babies, Finn and Fiona, are sleeping and opened the conservatory door. Aoife immediately went inside to use the litter tray and smacked on of the older kittens who got too close, the first I've seen her do that.
The older kittens are managing fine without her. They've been eating Iams dried kitten food for several days now and I've substituted Whiskas cat milk for Aoife's and it's going down just fine. When they're awake they run around the conservatory like, well, kittens as they climb, jump, play fight, and run. The two oldest should be ready for homing in two weeks with Tiny, the youngest in three.
I did find some bloodstains on Aoife's blanket this morning and rang the vet. Thankfully there's nothing to worry about as some leakage is normal for a few days after giving birth. All the same, I'm going to keep a close eye on her to make sure it is just a little spotting.
And now, what you've all been waiting for, kitten photos. But first a-
Some of the following photos contain images of an unsightly unshaven human with an excess of nose hair. They are not recommended for people of a sensitive disposition. Having issued this warning, your humble blogger is deemed not liable for any adverse effects. The only excuse I have for including these stomach-churning pictures is that they also depict the friendly Tiny (who will sit on my chest for as long as I let her) in close-up.
These are probably going to be the last photos of Finn and Fiona for a week or two because, to be honest, at this age they aren't really very interesting to look at.
And lastly the big kits who were photographed just a few minutes ago.
When I got up this morning I found that the new kitten had been pushed out of the cage and the other three were snuggled up to their (not biological) mother. So the cage went into the living room. The kitten was cool but otherwise okay.
I contacted the vet around nine and was told to keep an eye on the mother to see if she gave birth to more kittens or was straining or other. Neither happened.
Shortly after eleven I received a welcome visit from Jean Frost, an experienced cat rescuer who had organised the whole cats and their kittens care in the first place. She reckoned that Aoife (ee-fuh) as I've called her still possibly had some inside and arranged to take Aoife and her new kitten and me to the vet's. I'm summarising around an hour's efforts here.
Once there, Wendy the vet checked her out and then scanned her and I could actually see what I was told was a tiny kitten's heart beating. Wendy kept mother and kitten in and gave Aoife something to stimulate birth. I went home for lunch and a nap.
Just under half an hour I got a call to say that Aoife had given birth to one more kitten, that both were larger than is usual, and she didn't have more inside her. Now I'm off to pick them up.
And off I went.
Carole (see many many previous posts) had been there all afternoon helping Aoife and some tiny underweight puppies. Wendy brought out the mother and kittens and the new one was, to my delight, grey. Aoife was, apparently, conscientiously nursing her new babies which is a good start.
The bad news is that Wendy discovered that Aoife has enlarged kidneys which might mean a shortened life span. I'd been vacillating between keeping her, putting her in the cat re-homing centre, or letting her go back to the shed and the two ladies who'd been looking after her and the other strays. Well, now that's been decided once and for all -she's staying with me.
I've provisionally named the kittens, assuming one male and one female and in keeping with the Irish name I've given to their mother, Finn and Fiona. And here, with apologies for the crappy images -I promise to do better next time, they are.