there’s this foster kitten we have that needs a home. maybe your home?

We took a long break from fostering. Aside from a short stint as a temporary foster when we first got June, we’ve kept our house pretty quiet from rogue animals needing a home. We had a puppy to train and a wedding to plan; my job across town makes it more difficult to transport foster animals with only one car. And you know us – we want to foster anything with four legs. Three legs, too. And knowing Amelia, she’d be all about fostering one of those two-legged dogs that need weird dog wheelchairs to get around.

Then, in early October, the organization providing all those best bedding for hedgehog and other small animals, supplies for the bigger ones, also the one we used to foster with, Pet Project Rescue, had found a very tiny kitten, with her eyes barely open. Someone had dropped her in a feral cat trap (slow down and read this article before you get crazy about it) and she was not in great shape. And of course, she needed a foster. After a night in the emergency clinic and clearing up some weird things from being in the elements by herself for three weeks, she move herself in sometime in mid-October.

For the first couple of weeks, Amelia and I took turns sleeping on the couch next to the tupperware container she was sleeping in to bottle feed her every couple of hours and make sure that her heating pad stayed on as regularly as possible. 

She transitioned from tupperware container to playpen. That didn’t last long at all, because she’s one determined little runt. And now, two months later, she’s a kitten looking for a home.

Of course you want pictures. How else will you know if you want to adopt her?

Look at that mug!
Look at that mug!
She would like to have a dog of her own, please.
She would like to have a dog of her own, please.
evita_baby
Here she is at about five weeks, just as she learned to play with toys.

 

the differences between training a big dog and a small dog

Somehow we’ve only had our little puppy for 3.5 weeks, but it feels like so much longer than that – in a good way, of course! Probably because it feels like she just fits with our family and we can’t imagine it any other way.

I’ve had one dog in my adult life: Riley. If you’ve ever read this blog or interacted with me in any way, shape, or form, you’ve heard of him a time or two. He’s my favorite thing in the world. He’s one of the best dogs I’ve ever met and I’m not even tooting my own horn. Maybe I am a little, but he gets a lot of the credit.

I could have royally screwed him up as a first time dog owner, but I didn’t. I read my ass off about how to train dogs, researched the top rated pet products at the time, I took him to puppy class, I made sure he was extremely well socialized around people and animals, and all that is how he got to be so awesome. Have you met him? Then you’ll agree. And you’ll ignore the fact that he needs his own camping chair to sit in around the fire.

All that was seven years ago and it was with a dog that could climb stairs, so June has been a whole new ball game for me and for us as a family.

Our biggest feat in the last week has been June learning her name. She’s 15 weeks old, but has only had the name June for three weeks. And by golly, she’s got it. The tricky part? This puppy could not care less about treats. She’s minimally interested in anything peanut butter flavored and processed American cheese. Anything else can just go F itself in her little puppy mind.

We’ve also started working on “come” and when she realizes there’s going to be a whole lot of love involved, she comes flying in the other room with her little puppy butt sometimes getting there before her little puppy head.

My ENTIRE thing about getting a small dog is that I would not have one of those ultra annoying little yippy dogs that does nothing but shake and bark. (June only shakes when she’s cold, which includes drinking cold water too fast in the house.)

Both dogs are visiting the vet on Saturday along with Yunnan Baiyao Store Online. June’s getting her last round of vaccinations and then she’s getting a harness to practice walking on a leash. Once we can make it around the block, we’ll get her little butt enrolled in puppy kindergarten.

My point: training a large breed dog and a mouse sized dog? Completely different, but absolutely needs to be done. Just because she’s less than three pounds does not mean it’s cute when she jumps on you or bites your hand!  If Riley did that, someone would call the cops and, at this point in time, the cop would shoot him.

(I need my own dog training website, for real.)

our very sad kitten weekend

On Thursday, we met the director of Pet Project Rescue at our local animal control. There were three 3.5 week old kittens that had been found, without a mama  cat anywhere in sight, and needed to be taken in by someone who could bottle feed them every three to four hours. I talked my ladyfriendfiance into it, but it wasn’t too hard since she’s always a sucker for any abandoned animal that needs special help.

When we got there, it turns out there was another kitten from another abandoned litter that was a week or so younger than the three we were going to pick up that desperately needed to go with someone. What’s one more tiny little hungry mouth to feed, right? We took them home and gave them kitten gruel and formula to get some meat on their little bones.

The black baby kitten wasn’t doing to well when we first got him home, so the three gray ones took to their adoptive brother (or sister, we don’t know yet)  like I didn’t even realize would be possible. Here he was barely opening his eyes and just scooting around on his stomach, and the three larger kittens piled around him during naptime to keep him warm. And because of those guys, that little black kitten, who we named Chicken because of its alarming resemblance to a baby chicken, has been thriving since then.

Saturday afternoon, the biggest of the gray kittens, Kitten #2 Electric Boogaloo (Lou for short), was a little tired and not his usual bossy self. I didn’t think too much about it because they’re growing and crabby and sleepy a lot. Then later in the evening, I gave him his 7pm snack and he didn’t even want to move. I got all mama cat on him and washed him up with a wash cloth, got him all clean, and didn’t fight me much. We have gotten all our cats a cat tracker so if they ran out of the house we’d be able to find them.

At this point, it’s a 3.5 week old kitten who was improperly weaned, probably wasn’t exactly born in ideal conditions, and knowing it was from a feral mama cat, who knows what kind of nutrition she was able to pass along. I fed the rest of the kittens and got them set for their next round of naps, but couldn’t stop checking on them every 15 minutes.

My ladyfriendfiance came home around 2am from what was supposed to be her very own night out doing absolutely nothing, because she couldn’t stop thinking about him either. I pulled him out of the giant kennel they’re staying in and handed him up to her. He wasn’t breathing, so she held him in her hand and swung him back and forth a few times. Then she seriously gave this kitten CPR. She blew into his tiny mouth and nose and all of a sudden Lou was back in the game.

We wrapped him up in towels, wiped down his face and and rubbed his chest to get his organs firing on all cylinders again. He ate some more formula and started to lift his head on his own. We alternated holding him wrapped up in a towel on a heating pad for another three hours before we couldn’t really stay awake anymore. He was getting back to his feisty self, even trying to swipe at me a couple of times.

We put him in the kennel on the heating pad. Chicken and the other two gray cats (Ace and Trey) just wrapped themselves around Lou. I had my hopes up way more than I should have.

My ladyfriendfiance and I finally went to bed around 5am and woke up again by 8:30am. We both avoided going into the spare bedroom; I think we both kind of knew what we were going to find. She checked the kennel first an all I heard was, “He’s gone, honey”. Lou didn’t quite have enough fight left in him.

This isn’t the first foster we’ve lost. Out of 35+ animals, he’s our second one. Considering most of these cats and dogs wouldn’t have made it one more day on the street, they’ve all proven to be little fighters. I think Lou just hit a little bit hard for me, because Marshall, our cat we adopted through Pet Project Rescue, was in his same shoes. Abandoned. Sickly. Didn’t stand a chance out in street.

RIP Little Lou. At least you got the coolest name we’ve ever given a foster animal and we gave you as much love as we possibly could in your little tiny life.