19 April 2011


I'm going to make this post brief, as Sean is on his way home to rush me to the vet's office.  At midnight Alpha, the little tortoiseshell kitten, went limp. She was still alive, but obviously in a bad way.  She couldn't swallow her food and didn't show much interest in anything but curling up and getting warm.

Oddly enough, Gryphon responded to her need.  While her siblings ran around and played on the floor, Gryphon hopped into the cat bed and curled his body around her.  She seemed to relax with the big cat so close.

This morning I thought she was dead - her body was completely limp.  But no - she opened her mouth in a pitiful attempt to meow.  I washed her gently with warm water (she had messed herself in the night), wrapped her securely to avoid a chill and called Adopt-a-Pet for authorization to bring her in.

Once the authorization was given, I turned my attention to the other kittens.  Three of them were up and active, meowing for breakfast and attention...but another kitten was stretched out limp.  I scooped her up and realized she was still clinging to life - she still had some activeness but not nearly what I was used to seeing with her.  

I called Adopt-a-Pet back and insisted on authorization to bring the entire litter back for examination.  Authorization was given.

I turned my attention back to the sickest of them - Alpha.  She wasn't breathing.  At some point while I was on the phone getting authorization, she had passed away.  Delta, the other female who had gone limp, is barely breathing - and the healthiest of the males, Beta, has grown ominously quiet.

I don't think Delta is going to survive...and I'm seriously worried about the rest of the litter.  Please keep these little kittens in your thoughts today.

EDIT:  As I was preparing the kittens for transport, I noticed Ayla acting odd.  She's normally a very graceful cat, but it took her three tries to get up on the bed.  My Adopt-a-Pet rep called me after I saw this, and when I told her she said to bring her in as well - AAP will cover her medical bills since she seems to have caught whatever the kittens have.

It's weird - Ayla wouldn't have anything to do with these kittens.  It was Gryphon who showed an interest, you would think he would be the one to get sick.  But he's fit as a fiddle, snoozing in the top perch of the cat tree.

EDIT:  Delta had a series of seizures on the way to the clinic and passed away in my arms.

EDIT: 20th of April. Just heard from the vet clinic...Beta passed away last night.  Now only Epsilon and Ralph are left.  Ayla and Gryphon still appear to be in good health, but I'm watching them closely.

12 April 2011

Kitten and kid photos

This morning, I let the kids play with the kittens a bit - and pulled out the camera.  Here's the result:

11 April 2011

Another foster experience

We got an email today asking if we could take in another foster kitty or two.  At that point, we have no foster animals at all - Brewster went to a different foster home that had another terrier, so now he has a playmate and from what I have heard, is much happier there.  It was kinda quiet and lonely around here, so I asked Sean if he thought we should take in another foster animal.

He looked at the request, which stated that there were two litters available for fostering.  He shrugged and said "Yeah, sure - we can take in a litter."

A whole litter - which turned out to be five kittens.  They are five weeks old and very very small.

We went and picked them up earlier today.  Two of the kittens have a siamese appearance, one is gray, one is black, and the last is a tortiseshell.  All of them are sick, and so will be kept separate from our own kitties for the next day or two until the antibiotics have taken effect.

They don't have names yet.  Sean joked that we should name them Alpha, Beta, Delta, Epsilon...and Ralph.  The man cracks me up!

I'll have photos in the next couple of days.  I want to let the little guys get settled in first.

03 April 2011

Planning (yet another gardening post)

I've been itching to get outside and start working on my garden - but the weather hasn't cooperated at all.  Friday it snowed - only a little, but it was still too cold to work outside.  Saturday was perfect, but we had guests coming over so garden work was not a possibility.  Today?  Rain which turned to thunderstorms in the evening.  Tomorrow?  The ground is going to be waaaaay too muddy (thanks to said rain).

I really needed to do SOMETHING related to my garden.  I remembered that the landlord didn't want me to break ground until he saw what I was planning...I had thought to outline the areas I planned to use with sticks and string, but I decided that I was going to do something a bit more impressive.

I decided to chart out exactly what I planned to do with the backyard.

Last year, Sean and I had gone out and measured the entire property in order to get an idea of what kind of space I had to work with.  I still had the measurements - and I had graph paper.  It took hours, but I finally managed to come out with something I am proud of.

Here's the graph showing the available space in our backyard (the shaded areas are areas that can't be used for planting - sidewalk, central air unit, entrance to crawl space, etc.:

The sketch is to scale - the four garden beds measure 25 feet by 4 feet, so each bed is 100 square feet.  As you can see, they should not be visible from the street (which is something the landlord requested).

Then I decided to draw out each bed in more detail, to figure out what I was going to plant in what bed.  This one was harder, because I couldn't just draw plants in there willy-nilly - I had to check with each seed packet and find out how much space was needed for each plant, and which plant needs full sun and which needs partial sun...it was a nightmare.  I also had to sort the seeds by height - the taller plants needed to be north-facing, the shorter plants on the southern side of the garden.  This prevents the taller plants from shading the shorter plants and stealing their much needed sunlight.


Now, I know this will probably bore a lot of people, so feel free to skip the next part if you want to.  I'm going to post pics of each garden bed individually - this way, even if I lose the paper I drew this on, I still have a readable record of the work.

(Bed 1 - northernmost bed)

 (Bed 2)

(Bed 3)

 (Bed 4)

If I have any gardeners reading this blog, please comment and let me know what you think of this.