Not sure how this blog is going to turn out. It’s been a while since we posted anything and feels like time we should .. no … not “should” … would actually really like to. However there hasn’t been a “story” really to share, nothing obvious to talk about. Don’t get me wrong .. its absolutely not that nothing is happening … we’re so busy its crazy … but it doesn’t arrange itself conveniently round a blog post. Texting a friend a few days ago about having not been in touch because I felt overwhelmed, she asked “by bad or good stuff?” Having pondered on it a while … I replied “just stuff!”
In our last blog we talked about Jette’s kittens growing up … and they still are! The coloured collars we put on them allowed us to begin to see them as individual people rather than just the amorphous mass named “Jette’s kittens”.
Whilst Jette’s kittens were growing, Raven & Squiggle’s kittens were growing even bigger!
Then Kevin arrived. We weren’t going to take in any more cats until we’d sorted this lot … but Kev is about the same age as Raven & Squiggle’s kits … and also we’re still trying to find a suitable pal for Dasher to be rehomed with … and Kev was a baby living on his own in a garden. How could we say no?
Then Squiggle and Raven found a lovely new home.
Once the mums had moved on we decided that it would be best for the two most timid kits (Rolo & Rowan) to move downstairs so they could have more contact time and build their confidence. But then, probably with the stress of it all, little Rowan was poorly with a nasty tummy upset.
So instead of putting them in a large crate together, so we could start stroking more often and building confidence, we needed to separate Rowan and barrier nurse him to avoid passing on the tummy upset. Only in order to do that we needed to order a second large crate. Then were was a mess up with the delivery and we had to go to Rotherham to the depot to collect it, but only found out that we’d need to do that about 40 minutes before the depot was closing.
Managing several separate groups of cats in one house is hard work. Just for context, we live in a small 3 bed semi. There are the 6 residents who kind of share space and Dasher (and now Kevin) too, but Henderson needs some degree of separation to have his renal diet. We also need to try so far as possible for most of the other residents to have senior food, Rufus to have adult food, and Dasher and Kevin to have kitten stage food. Except Dasher for some reason loves renal food, and Henderson loves to eat buffet style taking a few mouthfuls from each bowl.
Then there were the Squiggle/Raven kittens, being kept separate from Jette and her kittens in the two spare bedrooms. Except on opening either of their doors we were met by an avalanche of kittens onto the landing, down the stairs and into the bathroom. Collecting them up, posting them back into their bedrooms without the others getting out was starting to be impossible … so we ended up with a combined group.
Add to that two separate crates to manage with litter trays, food, water bowls, and in Rowan’s case meds (to add to the everyday long term meds that Henderson & Jango need), without the kittens getting out and it gets very complicated indeed. We have an awesome cat sitter who comes in on the nights I’m working late and sorts the cats for me. I normally get a message from her just as I’m doing the last of my paperwork to say she’s finished and passing on any updates I need to know. The other night I’d heard nothing, finished my admin, drove the half hour back from work, stopped at the shop, and arrived home to find cat sitter only just leaving. It had been a two hour ordeal to get around them all.
It was all so stressful that when aunty Jenny invited young Rufus to spend part of his summer holiday at her house I jumped at the chance. He’s a precious little boy who we hand reared from 10 days old between us. He’s very loved, but out of all the cats here, he’s the one who taken out of the equation would make the most difference. Despite living around other cats all of his life, the fact that he’s been hand reared seems to have impacted on his ability to socialise properly with other felines. Amber is terrified of him. He must have upset her at some point …. but now he only needs to walk into the room and she’s stressed. Honey (Amber’s mum) understandbly is angry with him for upsetting her daughter. Old Uncle Henderson is intimidated by him too. He’s an amenable old chap … but I’ve been horrified to see him cowering infront of Rufus, looking like an elderly gent being mugged. I miss Ru terribly and feel awful that I missed his 3rd birthday … but its made things a lot easier around here.
Dasher & Kevin fell in love.
Rowan started to feel better, Rolo became more confident.
Then all four kittens were chasing around happily in the main part of the house along with the residents.
With Rufus out of the way, Amber ventured downstairs for the fist time in ages. So long that one of the cat flaps had forgotten her. We had a bit of a saga getting her scanned in again because she won’t go near the cat flap whilst I’m standing there … she’s semi feral and I’ve touched her only a handful of times in the years she’s lived here. We had multiple instances of me putting a peg on the flap to wedge it open, setting it to scan a new customer, getting out the way so Amber felt safe to go through it, and then Dasher rushing through instead. The flap says it has the capacity to scan and recognise 30 cats – 20 of them are Dasher! Finally though it was done and Amber was out enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.
The next event was that Ringo & Scruff found a lovely new home. Our house has become much calmer and quieter since they left. I guess their adoptive parents’ home has suddenly become rather more noisy and chaotic.
So then the next thing is the dilemma of how to manage the remaining kittens. Ringo, Scruff and Smartie had been upstairs sharing space some of the time with Jette and her kittens. Smartie was now the only one of the Squiggle/Raven kits upstairs. Should we leave her in a room alone? (no .. that’s not really an option) Put her full time with Jette et all? (Maybe … though she and Scruff had been a bit hissy with Jette and kits) Bring her downstairs to join the others? (Possibly … though that might just be the last straw for what the residents will tolerate .. and I can cope with. Five kittens running wild through the house like a whirlwind) Put some of the others back upstairs to join her? (Again this could be an option … but which ones … who are we going to pair with whom?)
We’ll leave you with that cliff hanger 😉
You might have noticed that some of our photos are of considerably better quality than usual! The rogues galleries of kitten photos are gorgeous. That was the other big exciting event here. We had a visit from Isobel from Steel Rose photography last weekend. Absolutely delighted with the lovely photos she took.