As I start to write it’s early evening on New Year’s Eve. It’s dark outside and we’ve been doing the usual pre-firework preparations – curtains drawn, lights and radios on. The younger kittens are kicking a ball around, watched and coached by the older kits. Some of the residents have already gone up to bed, others are snuggled in their Xmas igloos. Henderson is perched on his chair by the radiator and Howard (who is new to sharing the whole house) is pottering around trying to work out which spots are most comfortable.
Jango & Honey bed
Flipper & Amber igloos
Howard – laptop
No kitten photos .. they just rush past in a blur. I do hope Howard doesn’t decide the keyboard is his happy place. If there are no blog updates for a while you can guess why.
Inevitably New Year thoughts turn to memories of the felines we’ve had here this year. We’re a small enough rescue to remember each one of them very clearly.
January started with the residents plus little Dasher, older stray lady Cloe, and the infamous Norton 4 (Nancy Dodger Fingers & Bandit). It was wonderful over the New Year holiday to have some help from several random facebook people with socialising the Nortons and getting them used to someone other than me. The other brilliant thing that happened was that Cloe found a loving foster home where she could be the “only cat” and have lots of love and attention”. Soon as Cloe moved out we took in Skye who’s human had sadly died.
Cloe loving foster home
February saw the arrival of Dexi as a potential friend for Dasher … and that relationship just not work out. Dodger & Nancy (half of the Norton 4) went to a lovely new home, and so did Skye. Into the space created Howard arrived. Initially complaining just of a sore toe, Howard was diagnosed with renal failure and anaemia.
Howard inpatient at vet
Dasher & “she’s just not that into you” Dexi
March was the month from hell. First Howard was admitted to the vets because he was dehydrated and not eating. Then we noticed that Henderson (our long term foster) wasn’t eating either and he was admitted for an urgent dental surgery which was risky given his age and health conditions. A couple of days after they’d both been discharged, Jango (one of our residents) developed a urine infection and also had to go to the emergency vets.
Here they are … somewhat later …. and looking much better.
The redeeming feature of March was a message one Saturday morning from Stanlie’s foster carer .. saying that Stanlie who had resolutely lived outside her house and refused to come indoors had just followed her in the previous evening after work and settled himself down as though he’d always been an indoor cat.
This had been a loooooong saga starting over a year previously …. check out the back posts on this blog for more. Couldn’t have been happier x
April had to get better. Dexi went off to her new home (without Dasher!), the second half of the Norton 4 (Bandit & Fingers) also found a fab new home. Howard found himself a long term foster home. Into that space came Fynn … a gorgeous, affectionate stray … who was just soooooo noisy!
Also .. in the quest for a pal for Dasher we ended up with Ailbhe and her 7 kittens … well they weren’t all hers but she’d been looking after them in an over crowded house and brought them all with her into rescue.
May was busy as you might imagine. Lots of routine vet runs for vaccinations, chips, neuter. Plus a couple of non routine vet runs when Fynn had a very very rare complication following his neuter. Numerous homechecks for kittens. Fynn went back to foster care with the lovely couple who had found him, and then to a new home. Aric & Archie also found a new home.
Fynn … foster
Aric & Archie new home
June Ash & Arran and Ailbhe & Alix went to their new homes.
Ailbhe & Alix new home
The remaining two of Ailbhe’s kittens – Alice & Arnold – moved downstairs to live with the residents and get more socialisation as they were very timid. Dasher became very involved with them.
He took great care of them until they too were adopted.
As the Ailbhe team were moving out, Alice & Arnold were downstairs, and the rescue bedrooms were free, we had a message asking for help with A LOT of cats. We were able to help with fewer than half of them but took in Raven & Squiggle who had 7 young kittens between them.
Squiggle & kits
Only two of the kits were Squiggles, but Raven wasn’t big into parenting … so Squiggle looked after them all.
Jette gave birth to 6 kittens on 16 June … sadly one of them didn’t survive.
Jette with kits a few hours old
Alice & Arnold … the last of the A team went to their new home
July was pretty much like April with lots of routine vet runs. A couple of the kits went to their new homes, and thankfully Raven & Squiggle found the purrfect purrmanent home.
Raven & Squiggle new home
I’m so happy for these girls … they’ve had a hard life caring for kittens since they were kittens, one litter after another. So lovely to see them happy and settled.
Meanwhile … with it being a little quieter … and still in search of a pal for Dasher … Kevin arrived. Kev had been living rough in a garden like Dasher had .. they quickly found some common ground … and got on very well.
Dasher & Kevin
August Ringo & Scruff … Raven & Squiggle’s most confident kittens went off to their super new home. Jette’s kittens had their vaccinations and the first two, Jade & Jemima went off to their new home.
Scruff & Ringo
Jemima & Jade
September at last, thank goodness was a bit quieter month. Jaffa & Jellybean (two more of Jette’s) found their new home.
Jellybean & Jaffa
Delighted that also the old lady Cloe found her new home after nearly 10 months in rescue.
Into the space made available we had Rosie & Mabel arrive
October Rosie & Mabel had a very swift journey through rescue. They went into a fab new foster home and were adopted within a week or two.
Still here were Jette, her remaining kitten Jethro, Squiggle’s remaining kitten Smartie, and Rowan’s remaining kittens Rowan & Rolo. Jette landed a fab new home … all to herself ..
Jethro & Smartie teamed up and also found a lovely home.
Rowan & Rolo were the most timid of Raven/Squiggle’s kits … and to make it worse Rowan had a persistent tummy upset.
They’re lovely young cats though … and to my delight once Rosie & Mabel left their foster home, these two moved in. They’re growing in confidence and we’re doing our best to sort out the tummy.
November was planned to be quieter because that was our holiday time. Nevertheless .. we mananaged to take in Betsy & Benjamin, orgaised from Laos with the help of our amazing cat sitter.
Here’s our first proper glimpse of them courtesy of web cam from Singapore. I’m not sure if they’ve gone through the house like a breath of fresh air or a dose of salts … but … um … you sure know you’ve got them!
betsy & benjamin
Here they are being calm for their adoption advert. Don’t be fooled!
December thankfully another relatively quiet month as I was ill pretty much from getting on the holiday plane in November to a couple of weeks ago. Sadly (or happily … depending on how you view it) Howard outlived his foster carer’s interest in caring for him … and he returned to rescue when I got back from holiday. He’s back here trying to make the best of it .. and to his credit isn’t making a bad job of it. If it wasn’t for the renal diet complications of communal living … we’d be rocking it!
We’re at the stage where he can mingle without fights. The older kittens escorted him on his first trip round the (cat secure) garden. He’s a lovely old boy x
So that’s us .. settling down to New Year’s Eve. Apologies (huge apologies) to anyone I’ve missed out.
The gorgeous Stanie was adopted by his amazing long suffering foster carers in June this year.
He now shares a home with the equally gorgeous Harold who was adopted last year.
Not to be forgotten … but so easily forgotten … and that’s possibly intentional … because he’s trying to creep up onto the table to steal food … Oscar. He’s our other long term foster cat who lives with the fundraiser without whom 8 Lives simply woudn’t survive. He’s been with 8 Lives well over a year now … skulking under the radar … looking for anything tasty.
Best wishes for 2020 to you and especially to your felines x