Thursday, May 19, 2011

Why do medical fosters?

When I started fostering, I figured I was going to do mostly kittens. Kittens are fun, not to mention cute as the dickens. They frolick and cavort. Who doesn't love a kitten? Well, it looks like the Universe had a different plan for me. Over the last several months, I've been tapped as a medical foster. That means I get sick cats and work with them to get them back on their paws.

So why on Earth would someone want to be a medical foster? I mean come on, it's hard! You've got cats who are sick coming into your house. They dribble interesting body fluids. They use you as a tissue. They don't look too hot and frankly don't always smell so good either.

So why on would anyone do this? Because being a medical foster means you run into cats like Georgia.

Georgia is a 9 year old calico female who's had it rough. Her ears are ratty, you can guess she's been in fights. Her mouth is swollen and painful looking. She's facing some serious dental work. Because she hurts, it's been a long, long time since she could groom herself. She's got a hard mat of fur across her back that's going to be awfully fun for a groomer to get off of her. She's got to take pain meds before she can take her antibiotic.

None of that matters a lick. Why? Because this is one of the COOLEST cats you will ever meet. Someone forgot to tell her she's supposed to be miserable, sick, and cranky. I've officially got a 9 year old kitten! She wants to play and will bury you in headbutts and purrs. She allowed me to trim some of the easier mats and clean up her paws. The second you sit down, she's in your lap. In spite of everything she's been through, her level of trust is astounding. She'll fall asleep in your arms if you let her, and twitch as she dreams of chasing mice.

This is a cat who looked like a lost cause. Some might call her a waste of time and resources. She's going to require extensive dental work. I say to heck with that. I open up my home and heart to give her a second chance. She's more than worth that time and effort. Who can resist a 9 year old kitten?

Not every medical foster is this easy or amenable from the get go. They can and will challenge you. But when you get a cat like Georgia it is SO very worth it.

As I type this up, Georgia has her head in my lap and occasionally has been batting at the cursor as it moves across the screen.

Austin Pets Alive is the group I foster for. The great thing about APA is they provide medical care for their fosters. This means all I need to do is provide a safe environment and a keen eye. They provide medical support. If you are in the Austin, Texas area and interested in helping out, please check out the opportunities to volunteer.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Quick Update

I know it's been forever since I updated. Things have been a bit crazy. I'm still fostering. Over the last several weeks I've been fostering older cats who have medical or behavioral issues. I hope to get some updates up this week and let you see what I've been up to. Thanks for your patience guys! I do appreciate it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

My goodness! Been a bit.

Things got a bit crazy around Single Orange Kitten with the holidays.

The good news, Johanna has gone to her forever home! She's loving life with her new brother Pan.

That leaves Kirsten and Ilene still looking for a forever home. We are still getting caught up from the holidays. I'll work through some of the holiday images we got of the Butterbean ladies!

Kirsten sampling the lights.

Ollie and Ilene napping behind the Christmas tree.

Help find homes for the girls and Ollie. Poor guy has now had three possible adopters fall through. He's going to get a complex!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Moments

So last night I got to introduce the tinies to the wonderful world of Christmas wrapping paper. At first they were a bit confused. After a few minutes of rustling, Ilene (of course) decided pouncing into the paper would be a good plan. That set off several frantic minutes of rumpus action.

Of course this coincided with my camera battery going thud while my backup battery was charging. So rather than try to figure out how to take pictures, I decided to just be in the moment a bit.

Kittens act like the babies they are. Everything is new, and everything is explore worthy. Kirsten had to figure out what happened if she burrowed under the paper. Ilene wanted to see what happen if she jumped while Mommy was using the scissors. (An abrupt halting of snippage while grabbing flying kitten if you are curious.)Jo was all about the TAPE. I had to go hunt the tape down several times. Most of my packages have kitten tooth marks in the tape. Poor Ollie was just confused.

While this was going on, Nimitz quietly padded out of the bedroom. He had a rough move when we came here from DC. On top of that he's developed arthritis in his hips. He's been known to swipe at people who come in to visit. Generally he's got the disposition of an untipped waiter. He's been fairly cranky since the kids moved in. He pounds on poor Ollie and will hiss at the little guys. I knew he'd be the tough one. Tico just ignores them. Nibbs sees the kittens as invaders. Over the last few days he's been settling down a bit. He'll let the kids sit near him. By that I mean within 5 feet without threats of violence. Mostly he stays in the bedroom and glares at them.

So I was a bit apprehensive when he came out of the bedroom. You see, Nibbs LOVES Christmas. He enjoys sleeping under the tree and playing with the wrapping paper. His favorite trick is taking the bows off packages. He'll work at a bow for 10 minutes to get it loose. Then he carries it around for a bit, drops it, and goes back for another one. I actually have to stick extra bows on everything just for him.

He padded over to the pile of paper and kittens and sat down. Jo promptly bounced into him. I held my breath as Jo fluffed up, preparing to get thumped. To my surprise, he just leaned forward and sniffed at her. No hiss, no whack. This inspired Kirsten and Ilene to come over and sniff. Same thing.

Mildly reassured that I wasn't going to have Kitten Armageddon, I went back to wrapping. Nimitz promptly started helping. I managed to tape his paw twice. He then stole a piece of paper and carried it off to bat at it. He hasn't done that in two years.

Then I pulled out the bow bag. Before I could start, guess who had his head in the bag. He flicked a bow out of the bag, I quickly grabbed it back. So started his favorite game. Pull the bows out before Mom could get them.

I finished wrapping packages and stuck the results under the tree. I walked away, knowing what would come next. Nibbs would start pulling bows off the packages. I could hear the familiar sound of bows popping off. I peeked around the couch and got my second surprise of the night. There sat Nimitz, supervising as the Butterbeans worked to pull bows off the boxes.

I just stood and watched for a bit. When one of the Beans was too rough with the bow, he'd give her a mild cuff, then let her start again. Ilene was the only one who managed to get her bow off. After about 5 minutes he got tired of watching and went to work on his own prize. He worked a big silver bow off a box and quickly bounced away from the tree. He dropped it, looked up at me and chirped.

He hasn't done that in ages. I moved towards him, he grabbed his prize and trotted off. What else could I do but give chase.

Fostering is tough work. That moment last night makes it all worth it. Some way, some how, I've gotten my 15 pound kitten back. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

Tidings of comfort and joy to you and yours tonight.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ilene...what am I going to do with you?

Ilene has...well Ilene has personality. There's no getting around it. She's the official instigator kitten. If there's trouble, chances are she's in the middle of it. She's the first one out to explore in the morning. She believes that humans exist to pet small tortie kittens. She walks up to people and bats those beautiful gold eyes, daring them not to go awwwww!

The Butterbean girls sleep in the bathroom at night. I usually send them to bed about a half hour before I go. I'd tucked the girls in and was getting myself ready for the night. I opened the door and looked around to figure out who was where.

As usual, Jo and K were on the bathroom vanity.

No Ilene. I looked around a moment, then did a double take.

There in the (clean) trash can slept Ilene. She opened her eyes and I got a nice, long blink.

"What? It's comfortable. What's the problem human?"

What are you going to say? Even Kirsten couldn't come up with anything.

This isn't an argument I was going to win. So I scritched heads, turned off the lights, and proceeded to tuck myself into bed. As of now, the trash can is officially Ilene's favorite place to sleep.

That's Ilene for you. She marches to her own drummer.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rumpus under the tree

This afternoon I heard the squawks of a kitten rumpus in progress. I went to investigate and discovered Ilene and Kirsten in a rumpus under the tree.