Zhadi's Den

Random essays on wine, writing, moving to San Francisco, surfing, cats (exotic and otherwise) and zombies...depending on my mood.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Woman Has Brain Sucked Out By Kittens

Yes, we are once again fostering kittens. Two boys, two girls, all from the same litter. We got them at four weeks of age, still on the bottle (little formulaholics!) and just starting to learn how to use their fat little legs and wobble around. Two weeks later they are in the furry jumping spider stage, can (and do) climb legs (with or without the handholds that clothes provide), furniture and terrorize the eight resident felines, who view them much as kids view their younger siblings - minimum of tolerance with a hefty dose of 'Bugger off, brats!' thrown in there. Foster, of course, is barely phased by them - he won't let them climb in him, but will sometimes curl up near them. Much spoilage occurs for both kittens and the adult cats and dog, to make sure that everyone gets the attention they need.

But as for getting any other type of work done? Hah! YOU try working on your laptop with four kittens swarming you. They are very people oriented and prefer to spend their time on or around us when we're sitting on the couch. I have had four kittens engaged in kitten wars, complete with little needly sharp claws and high-pitched squeaks of outrage, right next to me. I carry the scars of their battles on my arms and legs. Like all kittens, they go from hyperdrive to narcolepsy in a matter of seconds. I spend a lot of time doubling as a bed.

Giving them up, even to good homes, is going to be hell. I have never fallen so completely for an entire litter of kittens. I mean, I love them all and usually get weepy whenever one of my fosterlings goes off to its new life, but every now and again there's one I just can't bear to part with. Now I've got four of those. But I know each and every one of these guys is about as adoptable and adaptable as kittens could be. Except maybe Taz, the little black and white girl. She's a total mommy's girl and just now has been weaned off of bottle-feeding. Sigh. You will hear my weeping across the land when adoption day comes.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Another Loss

It seems the only thing I’ve had to write about the last couple of weeks has been related to death and grief. Which is why I haven’t written much because who needs to read about sad things all the time? Unfortunately I received word today of another huge loss – that of Lana, one of our beautiful Amur leopards at EFBC/FCC. Lana was only 7 years old and due to be introduced to Sevastian, a young male Amur leopard. Having lost her tail when she was a baby (her birth mother was not particularly maternal), Lana would have been a dream date for a young and inexperienced male leopard; they never know what to do with the tail the first few times they have sex.

Lana’s death will leave a hole in the hearts of everyone at EBFC. She was hand-raised there and was a loving, sweet-natured little leopard.

(Special thanks to Nancy Vandermey for her photography of not just Lana, but all of EFBC’s feline residents. Nancy's consistant photographic journal of the lives of these animals is not only a legacy to EFBC, but a gift and a comfort to those of us who can't be there as often as we once were or would like to be now. )

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Five kittens...

Hey, few faithful readers. Dave and I took on five newborn kittens two weeks ago...if you know anything about newborn kittens, you know that means bottle feeding every 3-5 hours. There is no sleep. I don't mind that...but I do mind losing all five of them to what was most likely a congenital defect. We're burying the last one tomorrow. I'm tired, sad, and kinda drained.
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