Update on the Roman Pride

With Apollo and Zeus of the Greek Pride on display (hoping for an adoption) at Chaar, working on brother Hermes’ fear of human hands, integrating 2 new adult cats in our personal household, and the addition of the Fluffy Norse Pride, the world has not heard nearly enough about the tuxedo kittens we dubbed The Roman Pride.

We’ve had them about two weeks and the teenager is nervous that we don’t spend enough time with them.

I spend 30 minutes to an hour with them each time I feed them. They are in the mud room with the garbage and recycling can right off the kitchen — so we see them every time we throw things away and they hear all the kitchen activity.

But the teenager wants to bring them to the bedroom with the others.

Meanwhile… Let me tell you about them.

All four can be handled.

Jupiter — was originally the most docile and willing to be cuddled. Has grown more shy over time, now the last one to the food bowl. Has an adorable white snout with a black blob in the middle. Make.

Mars — the spunky one. Has a white line on his nose and one black nostril. Male. Has started making strides in the playing with and eating with humans. Video: Mars playing with me

Minerva — I thought she was the runt. But it turns out Vesta is smaller. Minerva is the first to investigate the other cats when they visit and the first one to the food bowl every morning. I love to cuddle her.

Vesta— Vesta is very timid and she often comes to the food bowl and then runs back to the corner feeling exposed and unsafe and then comes back. She has a beautiful stripe on her face. Very narrow.

Video: The Romans meet my cats

Video: Jupiter and Mars

Embracing crazy cat lady

This morning I discovered this video on YouTube (Cat Indoor Playland) and thought I’d found my dream house.

The owner of the house starts listing all his cats and I start thinking, “Oh my! How many cats does he have?! That’s insane.”

At the time of this video, he had 15. Because of my fostering work, I have 14 in house and 2 at a nearby pet store.

Ready— in age order— Oz, Opie, Venom, TJ, Misty, Fog, Hermes, Mars, Jupiter, Minerva, Vesta, Fenrir, Loki and Vale.

When I first started fostering I met a woman (whom I lovingly and admiringly refer to as my foster godmother) who had a cat room in her house, outdoor cats and cats in cages in her garage.

A lot of cats.

I have come to understand that the cage cats are transitioning back to life as outdoor cats, many of whom will be relocated to a barn or farm.

But this man is right— cats don’t usually congregate together so when they do it is special. And there’s usually one or two interesting in what you are doing.

So I’m officially becoming a crazy cat lady, but I love seeing them move on to new homes and seeing their growth.

Checking on Zeus and Apollo

The Greek Pride was my first litter of foster kittens and they came to me two weeks after I lost my job under circumstances that still surprise me.

These kittens gave me so much joy— even little Hades who bit me on her first day here and sent me to the hospital for the first time in my life.

Artemus found his FURRever home as soon as he went live on the web site. Zeus and Apollo haven’t been so lucky. And poor Zeus and Apollo were so sickly and nervous when we got them and now Zeus is a love.

I asked for them to be placed at Chaar, a specialty pet store with three local locations, and they went on Friday. (Chaar’s web site: Chaar) The kittens are at the Forks Township location.

They have a teepee made of cardboard and were both asleep when I arrived at noon. But they both got up and came to me and of course, Zeus cried.

The employee there said this was her first day meeting them so I explained their difference and mentioned how Zeus loved her cuddles. And with the employee’s permission, I took her out of the cage and held her for a nice ten minutes. Apollo didn’t want to be held, but I did give him pets.

My fosters at Chaar (YouTube)

Zeus saying hi

Apollo saying hi

Random Sunday update

I have so many potential posts running around in my head, I am opting to combine them all in a long post.

Coffee review: Bread and Basket French Roast

So I made a new brand of coffee this morning, Bread and Basket French Roast from ShopRite. It was the same price as the Folger’s Black Silk I bought at Target. Wonderful aroma and while it looked like it brewed extra strong and my cream didn’t really lighten it, it tasted just right.

Weight and stress relief

I have started counting calories again, using Fooducate this time and not My Fitness Pal. My Fitness Pal has more information such nutritional tracking and macros and connects more seamlessly with iHealth. Fooducate focuses on the quality of calories you eat, and since my stress foods are processed and refined carbohydrates I find that the best step in my process right now.

I had lost a solid two pounds this week but last night’s binge of Doritos and horseradish dip, sour patch kids and two alcoholic beverages reacquainted me with half a pound AND gave me nightmares.

Kittens

I haven’t even had a change to truly introduce the Norse Pride Kittens I am pet sitting for Feline Urban Rescue and Rehab. They don’t have a permanent foster placement yet so we may keep them as they are friendly, jolly and fluffy two-pound kittens. See them on YouTube here: Norse Pride.

Hermes of the Greek Pride is doing well but scratched his nose. Stopping to see Zeus and Apollo today. They are at Chaar in Forks Township. Chaar’s web site

And finally my look of the day:

**Since I wrote this post, it has been brought to my attention I called the Shoprite brand Bread and Basket instead of Bowl and Basket. Oops! Can’t blame me for that— I managed to get my waist into the leg hole of my panties today.

Good luck Zeus and Apollo

Today, an older cat originally designated for TNR found a FURRever home. The cat, once trapped, turned out to be a sweetheart more deserving of a lap than a life on the streets.

This 5-year-old orange love was named Sunny Side Up and was adopted by a couple who lives 2 hours away.

Zeus and Apollo will take over his crate at Chaar. It was hard to leave these kittens behind, but the teenager and I both hope they find families. And by going into the cage together, they shouldn’t be as frightened or abandoned.

I used all my word magic to write magical bios. I am so grateful to the good people at Chaar.

Please consider giving these kittens a home.

They started life so sick and wild, and now they are ready for a family.

FURR’s website

Apollo’s Adoption Page

Zeus’ Adoption Page

Kitten ruminations

I have to admit— I’m exhausted. I’ve been cleaning up after and playing with kittens for probably 3 hours this morning while spending another hour on laundry and 30 minutes on the kitchen and 15 minutes on the birds. (Though they cockatoo spent at least an hour on my shoulder.)

It’s cold and rainy and I just ate breakfast at 11:30. The teens are due home from school around 1 pm, at which point we are taking Zeus and Apollo, two of the three remaining foster kittens from the Greek Pride, to Chaar pet supply in Forks Township to live in one of their habitats for a while. And hopefully find a home.

Hermes and Apollo are both still skittish, but Apollo is definitely braver than Hermes. Apollo will sit with you— just don’t touch him! He won’t lash out on you but he will leave. And look at you like you are a presumptuous monster.

Hermes and Apollo

According to our foster godmother, Hades is doing well but still retains her feral instincts so transitioning her out of domestic life was the right call. We may get to see her in our cat-themed travels today.

The Greek Pride taught me a lot about the classic “nature vs nurture” debate. The Greek Pride has five members— Artemus, Hades, Zeus, Apollo and Hermes.

Artemus (then Artemis) came to us fully socialized. He found a wonderful family and became Artemus Gordon sidekick for a real life Jim West.

Zeus was the runt, but learned to play and frolick very quickly. Apollo and Hermes want to trust people but both became very sick and needed medicine to heal. They have bad associations with human hands and won’t let you touch them.

And then Hades… she’s the one that bit me and would walk right up as if interested in me and then run. Her behavior got increasingly aggressive instead of calmer.

Five very different cats, from the same litter, that were wired very differently. They had the same life circumstances but different outcomes.

Reminds me of some human families, including my own.

Adieu dear Hades, enjoy the freedom

Fostering is not for the feint of heart.

The teenager and I applied to be foster parents for feral kittens through Feline Urban Rescue and Rehab at the end of July.

We received our first litter July 31— a little faster than we expected. That litter was about 3 months old (the same age as our newest litter) and consisted of 5 spunky but sickly kittens. By August 2, I was in the hospital for a cat bite.

Trial by fire, I guess.

There was only one all black kitten in that litter of tabbies. Two were lovely silver tigers. Two were brown tabbies with lots of white.

Since we wanted to name them after Greek Gods, we quickly decided the black one, regardless of gender, would be Hades.

Hades had bad eye infections and bit me, piercing me with one tooth, while I was trying to give her meds. It was my first time in nearly a decade scruffing a kitten. I’m used to scruffing my 15 lb adult cats.

Hades never trusted people. She would never let me closer than 2 feet away. Yet, if I sat still she would come up to about 18 inches away from me and cock her head inquisitively.

Sometimes she slept in the top bunk with the other kittens, but most of the time she hid in the corner.

And then she got ringworm. We crated her to try and give her meds. She would not let us. And every day she got more aggressive.

So we talked to our FURR foster godmother. Together the three of us decided it was time to transition Hades to a barn cat.

Today we transferred Hades to godmother’s house where she will have her ringworm treated and continue the process to become a barn cat.

We all hope the open space is what she needs to be happy.

Kitten Wrangling

I am a big believer that things tend to sort themselves out and some things the universe takes care of.

Zeus and Apollo

I got up at 6:15 a.m., tending to my four cats; then I turned my attention to the four new 3-pound fosters in the Roman Pride, trapped by Feline Urban Rescue and Rehab.

They had did a number on the crate. I let them out to roam the small mud room while I prepped their breakfast and decided what to do. YouTube: Roaming Fosters

Today was the first Wilson Warrior home football game, and the teens had to hustle and bustle to get there. I did not get a ticket because of my commitment to get the Greeks to PetSmart for kitten adoption day.

I got the Roman kittens corralled into their crate and the teenager #1 situated their litter and gave some of them a little bath since they ended up sitting in poop.

Ah, the joys of babies.

By some miracle the teens got to the game on time dragging instruments, one gallon thermal jugs, masks, uniforms, lunches and goodness knows what else!

I came home and gulped down a quick cup of coffee with my neighbor before hanging kitten blankets on the laundry line (Hmmmm…. as a kitten foster for a non-profit does that make laundry and dishwashing expenses partially tax deductible?)

Ah, the joys of babies.

I went up to the teenager’s room to grab Zeus and Apollo of the Greek Pride and take them to PetSmart. (Video: Off to PetSmart)

Forget rodeos with bulls and cowboys, kitten wrangling should be a sport or at least count as aerobic exercise. Seriously, how many calories does that burn?

Ah, the joys of babies.

As I arrive, I get a text. No adoption fair today. But at the same time, a mom with the sweetest sleepy baby boy expressed disappointment that there are no kittens today.

I just happen to have two.

Within seconds, we are standing at register three cuddling Zeus. The woman I am speaking to wants a female kitten for her family as their large dog passed away I believe three months ago.

She starts to consider asking her husband to adopt both kittens. But she’s not sure it will fly. He comes in and holds Zeus. They both scritch scritch Apollo.

They take the information I share with them and I hope— pretty pretty please— that they consider Zeus or her and her brother.

If you are reading this lovely people with two sons…

In the end, you need to follow your instincts on what is best for your family but… if I can persuade you…

Four Reasons Why Two (Sibling) Kittens are Better Than One

  1. They have never been an only cat. They only know life as part of their litter. They will cry less and the transition will be less frightening if they are together.
  2. They entertain each other. Kittens can get bored and/or lonely, and if they have a sibling they will attack each other instead of your furniture or your houseplants.
  3. They have a bond like human siblings that will entertain you. When they play it will be no holds barred. If one is sleeping, the other has no issue walking up and biting him in the butt just because. They sleep in a pile. Get enough kittens and you can’t tell where one starts and the next begins. They communicate with each other, which is heart warming.
  4. If they look alike— and Zeus and Apollo have only minor differences— you can have fun confusing friends, family and neighbors.

And the football game…

I couldn’t go because I didn’t have a ticket, but I walked over and got really lame footage of the band playing Hail to the Warriors (Hail on YouTube) and the National Anthem (Star spangled banner on YouTube).

Those crazy fools got more kittens!

Today we made a very difficult decision regarding the fate of one of our Greek Pride kittens, that we are fostering for Feline Urban Rescue and Rehab.

Hades, the little black cat who bit me and sent me to the hospital, is inquisitive but hides most of the time. She now has caught ringworm from her brother Hermes, so we crated her.

Hades

Even in the crate, we can’t get the anti-fungal cream on her.

Video: Zeus proctecting Hades

The complete opposite of her sister, Zeus (the runt!!) loves people and runs into any situation to protect her siblings.

With a heavy heart, the teenager (#1) called our FURR foster godmother and asked if she could help us determine if Hades behavior was based in fear or aggression.

Together we decided that Hades is a female cat who will always feel trapped and cornered in a home environment and would do better as a barn cat.

In more optimistic news, Zeus and Apollo will be returning to Petsmart this weekend for their second adoption fair and may head to an in-store habitat to increase their visibility.

And we’re working on teaching Hermes to cuddle. He’s been the sickest of this group so poor guy has spent most of his life getting scruffed and having medicine applied: first antibiotics and eye cream, then ringworm cream on muzzle and belly.

Onto the insane news, we got MORE kittens! This will be our second set, trapped this morning, and will be named after Roman Gods.

Introducing… drum roll please… The Roman Pride… YouTube video of new kittens

Artemis becomes Artemus

One of the teenager’s all-time favorite movies is Wild Wild West. I’m a Will Smith fan so I admit she inherited the taste from me.

This is her favorite scene in the 1999 film: “Touch my boobies”.

She probably is not familiar with the 1965 television series of the same name.

Well, Artemis’ new family wanted to meet him because of his name— you see, they were looking for a companion cat for their 2-year-old certified therapy/emotional support cat, Marshall, because Marshall has an older brother cat who doesn’t have the play drive to keep up.

And his new dad shares a name with Jim West, and I hope they don’t mind me sharing. So Artemis is now Artemus Gordon.

The new family leaves for vacation Monday so they finalized their adoption of Artemis now Artemus and we get to watch him for one more week!

We’re very happy Artemus will have a good home with some true cat people and kitty cat siblings!