Thursday, May 21, 2015


If one has to play momma to a new kitten, do it when there is a marathon of the last episodes of your favorite TV show.  The Wednesday that began the marathon was the first day of bonding....

MUCH marveling at the very tiny-ness of it all.  
Within a few days, I did find I needed to start snipping the tiny razor edges growing on his paws.
The vet says it would be easy....

It is very hard to have such a cotton ball of a foot, trying to hold a perpetual motion bag of feathers under one arm to pinch out the little claws, but she assured me that the more things he got used to as a kitten, the easier it will be as an adult. 

As a self-employed artist I had way too much time on my hands.  Watch TV until the guy got run over by the lawn mower, wake up to Megan babysitting in California.... and it went on until the final Sunday... The day before my birthday.

So I now have this Thing to heal the empty hole....

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Earning His Way in the World.

Summer is a royal pain in so many ways out here!!
Not the least of which is earning a living!  Summers are hot and smart people TRAVEL (did I mention I thought I would be doing a lot of that?...)
So I immediately decided it would be time to parlay his celebrity into cat food!
Lovely and tiny, here is his first portrait progress shot:

And here is the page where you can buy the finished print: 


Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Yes, he is attractively dressed in a bit of a halter.  
If you look at the Dude blog, you can see my inspiration.  

Cats do  not like collars.  They have such flexibility that they WILL put out, no matter what.  For the Dude I made a bit of a double rope loop, one loosely around his neck, the other under his armpits.   Much heavier, but as he was a lot less inclined to flee, conditions being what they were, he tolerated it pretty well!
This fetching apparel was shaped much like a mask, with two small holes and a wide strip between, to support his whole chest.  More of a stylish denim vest.
Attached above his shoulders is a 5' long piece of cloth ribbon that trails behind him.  It was less for commanding him to do things he did not want to do, than a bit of an avalanche cord, for locating him when he would disappear in a flash. 

 Trailing string under the dusty sofa or behind a picture.... 
It worked fine while he was too small to do much legal exploring.  He would just be places he shouldn't run into the void, as it were.   Within a week, he had decided circling and weaving around the supports of my bamboo sofa and chair set would be so much more fun.    

That is when I would find silent, patient kitten, tied in knots, just waiting to be untangled.   

So now it is required:  I have to start cleaning the major part of the house.  He has grown....  

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Moving in.

Small cans are not necessarily kitten food.  Although he thought this was hot stuff.  
First few days I was not so sure he was ready for actual food.  Good advice was to thin it with water about half and half, but this was the shred stuff.


But he was pretty uncoordinated and had a bit of a problem reaching around to clean up!  
And a little kitty tummy issues.....  Such a delight.
Second day my vet had me swing over for a look see.  DECIDEDLY A BOY, our guy had teeth and energy but we put some pro-biotics and high caloric food in him for a couple of days.
It is amazing how confident I was that this teeny thing would be so easy to adjust to things. 

 He was too weak and too awkward to jump from a high box.... WRONG.
He was a little sickly so he would be docile.... WRONG.
He did, however catch on quickly to hard food (I think they have better breath) and finally figured how far he could back up to STAY within the kitty litter!
And he was just about a pound.  And so tiny it was hard to do much but cuddle... and of course think it was so cute with his tiny teeth and itsy claws....

But he did sleep a lot....

Friday, May 15, 2015

How The Kitten Known as Thing Came to be Mine.

You are either a cat person or a dog person or not.
I am NOT a not.  I needed a cat.
It has been over two years since the Dude went away and I would find myself looking at the rescues.  Watching Craig's List. But always saying to myself:
"I am a traveler.  I should not have a cat so I can travel."
But I never went anywhere really.  

Oh that first year, yes.  I had a really amazing summer in a cool green place with some great dogs, and I met horses and history and I really liked it, but I was so broke, it was hard to breathe!

Then I stayed home a summer.  

Well, I got talked into house sitting in October, which is about the time your hair is gone from pulling it all out if you live in Arizona for the summer, but it was worth it.  

I went to visit my brother in Colorado a few times!  I felt free and I could travel.                                                             Back home.  To Colorado.

Cat people know they can leave a cat alone a few days.  MAYBE four.  If you get someone to be sure there is food, clean litter and water, you can have them come over and play with the kitten every other day and the cat usually is put out by their presence.  They give people like me the illusion of being travelers.  But like all other animal care situations, you end up worrying....

A few days before my birthday (those of you who followed the tales of the Dude, know I found him in a wall.  He showed up the DAY AFTER MY BIRTHDAY many years ago... after I had thrown all of the pet supplies out from the passing of my last cat, Stinkerbell) a fellow artist posted the story of a baby she rescued from a highly trafficked street, stopping her car and literally holding up traffic.  A few days later, she confided, she found a tiny lifeless body of a probable sibling nearby.  THIS CAT WAS A REAL KITTY IN NEED!
  1. Timing.  Those birthday things always get me...
  2. NOT a black cat.  I had been having a terrible time NOT thinking every cat should be exactly like the Dude.  I wanted the same personality, same attitude (which was actually not an optimal one for a cat, but we suited each other...) 
  3. A kitten.  (put that in the drawback file too.  I am not a spring chicken and I expect my pets to live long lives... not necessarily OUT LIVE ME but we are right on a cusp) I could train him early to avoid bad habits.  Like clawing furniture.... come to think of it, that was the ONLY redeeming quality I had created in the Dude.....
Now I had the problem of how to travel.   An upcoming wedding, some pet-sitting gigs, and all that wide open space out there..... So I went nuts trying to get someone to adopt it.
My rescuer was an apartment dweller with nasty no-pet policies or horrible damage deposits and I was already approved for pets in my place. (DO NOT THINK ABOUT THAT!!)
We shared posts on Facebook and posted this little triptych for a few days.  I AM NOT READY. (When should I be ready???  hmmmm.... it is low key parenthood.  Planning very rarely produces magically perfect children, it only helps avoid disasters really....)  So I worked hard.  Two or three posts a day.

My vet... an amazing soul, posted "CONGRATULATIONS." - talk about premature.... NOT MY CAT!!!

Another artist friend jumped in a day or so into it and said "I will take it!" 
Yes, better this way.
Now it has a home.   I will get them in touch, and that will be that!
Off to see the world.

But the adopter calls me and says "Can you keep it for a couple of weeks?  I have guests in town.  Not good timing."

My vet is already offering a quick look over to give it (I thought him, but the rescuer was unsure) a determination of gender and general health.

I had to explain that if I GOT A HOLD OF IT, it would never leave!    So again, I tried to get it a foster home.  HAHAHA!

The rescuer was going to try for a no-kill shelter, but heck, it is spring!  The kittens are blooming like flowers and the intake and care and swamped facilities were a very bad idea, especially if SOMEONE would volunteer to run the health needs (EXPENSE) and neutering tab (EXPENSE) and we all are low on funds.  I could not see putting one more burden on these amazing rescue people if I could find it a home........

Here is the photo of HIM in his first cat box, lined with aluminum foil in my shower.  

From the start of the blog, you can tell my traveling days are going to be less.....

Chapter 1.