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Growth chart

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 7:05 PM Comments comments (5533)

The dotted line is the average weight. Looks like there have been some upsets! Blaze got passed by Streak, and No-Dot is now outweighted by Dot. Cass is still the biggest. I think it's b/c he's lazy. When I opened the cage this evening, all the other cats headed out to explore, while Cass just slept. I had to poke him and pick him up to wake him! Lazy fella. :)

Pretty mama Isabel and sleeping babies

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (4341)

Here's the beautiful mama kitty. . .

 . . . and four of her precious babies!

Their growth and development has been amazing to watch. Just a week ago the kittens could only walk two or three steps without stumbling. Not only have they gotten perceptibly bigger, their coordination has improved to an incredible degree! They're still a little clumsy, but they walk and even run without falling down. They've started using the litter box, too!

This is the first time I've gotten to observe young kittens closely over a period of time. It's fascinating on an intellectual level, and of course they're also just plain adorable!

I believe that Cass and Streak are male and the others are female.

Kitten adventures

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (3072)

They're growing and developing! See Mama in the background keeping an eye on the babies?

The kittens are growing!

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (1995)

The babies are growing like crazy! It's not so obvious just looking at them (like in a still photo), but they've gained weight each day over the three days I've been weighing them. They're also less awkward and more adventurous (but still endearingly clumsy!)

I've been letting Mama Isabel out a few times a day, giving her some time away from her kittens. I had the five little ones with me on the bed this morning while Izzy roamed. It's such a precious experience, having wee kitties climbing all over one! At one point Mama hopped up to check on the babies, meowed a bit, took a good look, and then meandered off again. I guess she was satisfied that her offspring were in good hands. :)

Being a data person, I just have to post the table of the kittens' weights (in ounces). . .

Ok, a graph too, can't resist. . . 

Dot appeared to have lost weight between 9/1 and 9/2, but I think there was just some measurement error there. She must have been moving around and given too high a weight on 9/1. 


Posted on September 1, 2014 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (1365)

Here's our littlest kitty, (not counting the fosters!) after her surgery last week.

Pet sitting notes

Posted on September 1, 2014 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (4776)

I've gotten two new clients in the last few weeks who look to become regulars. One has four cute little dogs, and the other has a small farm. I've had contacts with a couple of other possibilities, too. 

The little dogs were very sweet. The owner was concerned about leaving two of them, as they had not been socialized as puppies and had never been exposed to any people other than their owners. We did a few training sessions with them, to get them used to us. It went well and we got along great with all four dogs while Mama was gone. It was a five-day pet sit , 3x a day. At first I was giving them multiple treats each visit, but by the end I was giving them one treat each and they still seemed very happy to see me. ;)

The first pet sit for the new small farm client went well too. The dogs were particularly sweet and seemed to like me a lot. I especially enjoyed the rabbit and the miniature donkey. 

Took care of a pet sit and a pool this morning, then came home for a rest. Planning on a swim but haven't done it yet. Did test my pool, though. :)

I've been working on befriending a somewhat temperamental bird (who bit me on my last pet sit!) I learned he likes to have his feet stroked. It really does seem to calm him. He kept trying to bite me while I was getting his food and water, but I manged to stay out of the way of that beak! He usually squawks a lot, but this morning he was fairly quiet. I think his owner taught him to say, "Hi Julie"!

I've been working on getting better acquainted with the mini horses owned by my very first client. I started going into their pen to feed them their oats, instead of dumping the oats into the bins from outside. Most of them tolerate a pat, but they're still a little shy around me.


Posted on September 1, 2014 at 6:40 PM Comments comments (2947)

I really have something to blog about now!

Last Thursday, 8/28, I took on the fostering of a mama cat and her five kittens. The woman who had been looking after them said they were about three weeks old and their eyes had just opened. She also thought mama was feral, but it’s clear to me she’s not! Mama (I’ve named her Isabel) was a little wary of me at first and is still a bit skittish, but she likes being petted and held. I suspect she was a pet or quasi-pet that was dumped when her owner determined she was pregnant.

Isabel is a beautiful cat with Siamese-type markings. Looks like a dark tortie-point. She’s long and lean and has pretty blue eyes. Three of the kittens look like her, though the kittens have some white spots that mama lacks. The other two kittens are black & white.

I’m assuming a birthdate of 8/7 for the kittens. They’re at an endearingly awkward age, active and interested in their environment, but often stumbling. They wrestle and play together like cats of all ages do.

I’ve learned to tell them apart and given them descriptive names. The two b&w’s look very similar, but one has a black dot on its chin that the other lacks. Thus, they’re Dot and No-dot. Isabel’s look-alikes can be identified by their different facial markings. One has a white spot on its nose and a white stripe extending upward from it. That one is Streak. Another has a white splash on its forehead—that one is Blaze. I also noticed Blaze has a tiny bit of white on the tail-tip. The third doesn’t have any white facial spots. The tabby “M” on its forehead reminded me of the constellation Cassiopeia, so that one is Cass.

I started weighing the kittens yesterday. They ranged from 11.35 oz to 12.75 oz. Streak was the smallest and Cass was the largest. As of today, all had gained weight, some nearly a full ounce!

Blaze, appropriately, seems to be the most adventurous. He managed to escape from the cage yesterday. The kitties are housed in a good-sized folding dog crate which I fortified all around with a cardboard wall, since the bars are too far apart to contain determined kittens. Blaze scaled the cardboard and squeezed out, but he mostly seems content to stay close to the family.

I let Isabel out of the cage Friday morning and she promptly hid under the bed. Had to chase her down and return her to the babies, as I was about to leave the house and would be gone most of the day. I’ve let her out a number of times since, times when I would be able to return her to her kittens within an hour or two. She’s still skittish but has gotten more comfortable with me.

I’ve been feeding Isabel kitten chow supplemented with goat’s milk (reconstituted from powder). She has a good appetite and really seems to enjoy the milk.

The kittens are starting to use the litter box! I thought they might be, b/c I was finding some small clumps, but I actually saw them in the box and using it today.


Intro posting

Posted on May 31, 2014 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (4865)

I'm finally getting around to starting this blog! I've been urged to start one and share my experiences!

My first pet sit involved taking care of TWELVE animals--three dogs, three cats, six mini horses, and one full-sized horse! It was hard work and I definitely earned my pay, but I loved it! What a blast! 

I have a regular dog walking gig, twice a week--just the kind of thing to establish a steady income! I'm re-discovering my love for dogs! 

Currently I'm taking care of a little dog during the owner's vacation--he gets four visits a day, and he's a sweetheart.

During a dog walk in the park, I came upon a wee kitten with an injured eye. Of course I took her home with me and to the vet the next day. The eye was beyond help, so it was removed. Aside from that eye, she was (and is) in excellent health, negative for FeLV and FIV, no intestinal parasites. She's available for free to a good home! She's an adorable baby and loves to play!