Sunday, April 23, 2006
- I'm quite caught up with work now; many things are happening with many people, myself included, and unfortunately these are NOT GOOD THINGS. So a lot of my energy is going that way for now.
- My left hand [the last two finger joints, actually] have been aching for some time. My husband suspects I'm typing too much, not just on the blog but at work etc.
Hand aching. Oww. Gotta go. Just a quick update on Hazel and Fiver though.
THEY'RE LEARNING TO WALK!!!!11111oneone11
So now they're stumbling and lurching around like tiny drunks in their box, which is rapidly becoming too small for them. Hazel's also starting to chew anything in his way, including Fiver's head, Mummy's tail, side of box, etc etc.
I think the baby teeth are next.
They're even learning to wrestle with each other, although they are frankly lousy at it.
Will post as soon as I can, and once they're willing to cooperate.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
I am so gonna get lynched for this
This is Rusty, my dog. I lived with him until I got married and moved out. Nowadays I visit a couple times a week.
Rusty came to us when he was 11 months old; his previous owner had to give him up due to personal problems. Rusty is now 7 years old and still as puppylike as before.
Rusty is a standard bull terrier and about 24 kg of solid muscle. Most times he's lovely and friendly and affectionate. Most times. He has his moments, though.
Why a dog pic on a cat blog? Well, I was messing around and idly skimming through an old blog that I used to contribute to. Then I came across this post [reproduced below], and decided that since there's a strange moral to the story... I'll risk it.
I am SO gonna get lynched for this.
Friday, November 19, 2004
[Some details edited for privacy]
#6: I still love Rusty
Because I was suffering from stress-induced gastritis and diarrhoea, I decided to relax by taking my mild and lovely bull terrier Rusty for a run.
Rusty and I like to run at night. Right now the jasmine trees are in bloom and when we run past, we smell the sweet heavy scent of jasmine in the cool night breeze.
Tonight didn't seem any different. We were turning back home happily. Then we ran down this quiet back road and I heard hissing in the dark. An unneutered community tomcat was surprised by our sudden appearance (we'd turned a corner rather quickly) and arched its back angrily, seething. I managed to grab an over-excited Rusty and pull away in time.
But the tomcat, being a typical territorial male, decided that he would teach the intruders a lesson and lunged straight for Rusty's face, roaring.
This was a fatal mistake. I read somewhere that bull terriers have an average bite strength of several hundred pounds per square inch. Rusty happily obliged and partially ripped the cat's stomach out at first bite. The stupid cat still kept struggling and Rusty's second bite connected at the neck. End of cat.
During this highly uneven fight which lasted all of about 30 seconds, I stood aside feeling extremely sad for the cat and embarrassed for ourselves. Vet's orders. "The kindest thing you can do for a bull terrier victim is to let your dog kill it quickly."
Finally I managed to untangle Rusty from murdered cat #6. Yes, #6. It was extremely difficult because Rusty is very possessive of his toys. At one point he got so excited he kept swinging the corpse at me. So now I was covered with cat blood, catshit and the indescribably awful catstink.
I left the body on the pavement, dragged a hysterical Rusty across the road, and we turned to watch the scene. Another cat had come out and was crouching near the corpse, gingerly touching it with a paw. "You okay buddy?" Just like a human. Very sad. It looked terrified.
We ran home all the way. No more pit stops for Rusty the public menace to pee, poo, sniff strange things, be hostile to other species etc. Tonight we ran past the blossoming jasmine trees but all I could smell was this nauseating musky mix of cat blood, urine, shit and civet (anal gland oil, aka the famous catstink). All over Rusty. And all over myself.
The rest of tonight was spent washing myself and Rusty with Dettol. But no matter how much I wash, I can still smell dead cat on me.
Needless to say, tonight's run did not achieve its objective of helping me relax.
Thankfully, #6 was Rusty's last kill [as far as I know].
Re-reading this rather horrifying kitty horror story, I thought about my role in TNRM for my residential estate.
Currently I'm not actively involved because of my irregular schedule; also because I think there's already another feeder here [I'm in a private estate, which is relatively small and doesn't have all that many cats]. I've only seen her once, this plump little old lady, on the rare occasion when I got home at 8 pm.
The cats here generally look healthy, but I haven't seen any tipped ears. And that bothers me.
Besides the obvious points, that I shan't go into, I have these two morals to point out from the story:
- 5 out of Rusty's 6 victims were UNNEUTERED TOMS. Them hormones make kitties do crazy strange things. I'm not trying to defend Rusty here, but all of them either attacked him first, or refused to run when he charged at them.
- The one kitty victim that wasn't an unneutered tom was a neighbour's indoor-and-outdoor cat. Irony of ironies, this neighbour is a vet - proof that even with a vet degree you can still be STUPID AS DANG when it comes to animals. There have been other incidents, too, when this vet neighbour showed little concern for her pets' welfare [I'll always remember her rottweiler that died of cancer; it spent its last weeks wailing all alone in the backyard]. I am definitely not taking my animals to her.
Okay fine the second "moral" was irrelevant, I just wanted to point out that cats should be indoor pets entirely and sometimes even vets are dumb. But back to the first point. It's got me thinking... time to get a cat trap and sterilise, sterilise, sterilise.
PS - To pre-empt all the online war-cries of "MUZZLE your bloodthirsty bull beast in public, you hypocritical cat murderess!!!111", I have this to say: I choose not to muzzle my dog because he is well-trained and well-socialised, would never hurt a human voluntarily, and would actually suffer while wearing a muzzle. He really can't breathe in them; you need to remember his head and jaw are larger than most dogs'.
Unfortunately his prey drive was well-developed by the time he came to us, and try as I might I've never been successful in rehabilitating Rusty.
Look at it this way: I love animals, those incidents haunted me terribly and, in the mysterious ways of divine justice, I now volunteer with cat rescue and adoption too. I mean, would any bull terrier owner have known that one day she will live with nine cats and help even more?
Sunday, April 16, 2006
I Cannot Make It as a Pet Photographer
Fiver really appreciates my photography skills
Yet another promising career option struck off my ever-dwindling list... Ladies and gentlemen, I give you [ta-ra ta-dah!]:
THE FIRST, UTTERLY BUNGLED
HAZEL AND FIVER PHOTOSHOOT
*sigh* Oh, alright then
First, a bit of milk to keep us going
As I'd mentioned before, Pip and the babies are currently living inside a large box in our guest room. The living room is sunnier though, so that's where I went, taking mother and babies in their box.
It's interesting how Hazel and Fiver's little kitty personalities are already turning out. Hazel's clearly the more outgoing baby. I guess his confidence comes from the fact that he's been the bigger kitten since day 1?
This is Hazel trying to be funny:
The helpless baby hamster pose
The "Call the cops, I'm being strangled to death" pose
Strange how Hazel only started cooperating AFTER I gave up and put him back in the box.
You mean that's all?
Quiet little Fiver, on the other hand, unleashed her inner Mariah once shooting began [Yep, I now think Fiver's a girl. Still hard to say at this stage, though]. Think the kind of high-pitched squealing that woke up even a napping Chocolate:
Lemme go! I hate you! DEVIL WOMAN! I swear I'll break your camera!
Struggling valiantly against The Hand
I placed Fiver on a sofa cushion so I could have both hands to fiddle with the camera flash. At that moment, Mommy Pip decided to intervene and rescue her blasted screeching brat Fiver:
Don't you fear, Mommy's here
And away we go
Anxious for the safety of her squealing baby, Pip carried Fiver in her mouth and attempted to stuff her under the sofa at first [interesting how Fiver kept quiet at once, even though I think it's far WORSE being bitten on the neck than being held in a human hand, ungrateful beast].
Of course, that didn't work - all the other cats were awake by now and swooped in to investigate. So Pip did what she had to do: she carefully pulled Fiver out from under the sofa and carried her back into the guest room. By the way, when I say carried, I mean "hanging down from your mother's fanged mouth in an extremely uncomfortable position, your head tilted at a severely awkward angle and your backside dragging across the floor".
Sorry, no pics of that - I was laughing too hard to focus.
So that left me and Hazel in his box.
He looked at me.
So how, boss?
I looked at him.
It's okay you know, there's always another time
And we called it a day.
Next time it will be better, we promise
Check out PIP'S debut at The Tuxedo Gang. She's acting all sweet and nice in her self-introduction... hahaha... we'll see how long she can fool anyone.
I've spent this Easter weekend resting a lot at home, enjoying my free time while I can. Hope your weekend's been great, too!
Saturday, April 15, 2006
"The Worst Day of My Life"
Before I post the latest photoshoot of Hazel and Fiver [which, by the way, was A BIT OF A DISASTER] I need to be fair and chronicle the recent sterilisations of Chocolate, Lucie and Boonie. Polly went along for her review and blood test.
9:38 am - The Trip To The Vet
was pure kitten melodrama. Choc and Polly were okay and settled into their shared carrier. Lucie ambled into hers quite uneventfully.
Boonie took one look at the carrier and decided there was NO WAY IN HELL he was entering the Dungeon of Doom. This is strange, because he'd played in it before; but Boonie probably could sense something wasn't right this time.
I took some time off work to take them to the vet, and came home to find the husband gently coaxing Boonie, who stood firm outside the carrier, squealing and protesting. During this time, Lucie decided maybe Boonie was right and she should leave, so she calmly toddled out the carrier and went to hide.
Time to be heartless. I just grabbed the boy and shoved. Boonie glared at me, two golden marbles of kitty resentment peering out of the dark carrier.
Then all four screamed and wailed in the car all the way to the vet, Boonie and Lucie leading the chorus. I'd never heard them sound so desperate before. After a while they stopped crying and starting purring loudly to comfort themselves, which sounded even more pitiful. I snuck a look at Boonie and Lucie. They were shivering with fear.
It's not exactly their fault because B + L are almost entirely hand-raised, and have never actually stepped out the house before [their last trip was for vaccs in February, and it was short]. But still, CatDonna must play the villainess.
6:55 pm - Back Home
They were all clearly traumatised to different degrees. Polly was okay once we reached home; she bounded out the carrier and went for a drink and wee. On the other extreme was Chocolate, who hunched up in the carrier for about half an hour before coming out, and then running to hide in the washing machine.
Lucie and Boonie gingerly crawled out their carrier and began hissing/spitting at each other and the rest of the kitties. The redirected aggression was expected after such trauma so I just left them alone for a while to regroup, before feeding them a light meal.
Boonie evidently suffered more from the emotional and psychological pain of abandonment, rather than the actual surgery. As I've mentioned before, our little Casanova is quite the sociable and talkative kitty, so I think the perceived "dumping" hit hard. He wouldn't stop talking and grumbling, raising his voice frequently - like he really needed the talk therapy to get things off his little chest. Or at least to tell me loudly what he really thought of me, evil villainess. And he was pretty clingy for a day or two, following either cat or human anywhere we went.
Lucie and Chocolate were a bit worrying though. They went to hide, and refused both food and water. My other cats weren't this weak after their surgeries. So I had to hunt 'em down and syringe a honey water solution down their throats. They took about three days to recover, and they've both lost weight. Poor things.
Oh before I forget - Polly's ALT count has dropped further from 232 to 160 units. The upper limit for a normal reading is 100. For you new readers or those with short memories, Polly has a congenitally weak liver and ALT measures blood toxicity. So this is a good thing. Milk thistle is a good thing. Heehee.
OKAY okay I know this is a boring post, the "today I picked my belly button and I'm gonna knit a small sock with my findings" type of inane rambling you would FULLY EXPECT to read from a stereotypical Crazy Cat Woman. Indulge me please, I only do this very occasionally. :)
Results of Hazel and Fiver coming up. Did I mention it was a bit of a disaster?
Akan Datang: Please be patient, we are only baby kittens
ps - CHOCOLATE has made her debut over at The Attack of the Tabbies. Check it out!
Friday, April 14, 2006
Long Weekend + Baby Pip and Doe
Oh God why does no one tell me things I really need to know, when I really need to know.
AGH WHY WHY WHY *bangs head repeatedly against wall*
Original post follows.
Gah. I just woke up. Don't we all love long weekends. :)
Umm, sorry about not posting for some time. Been busy and too distracted to post. Things are moving fast at work, there are immense challenges and even problems, but I'm moving in a direction I like.
I was meaning to do up a photoshoot of Hazel and Fiver, now that their eyes are open and their ears have unfolded. They're two weeks old and finally out of the "wrinkly pink shrimp-like creatures" phase. They're round and cute and all furry now. Noisier too.
UNFORTUNATELY [insert furious roaring/stone-throwing here], the husband left the house early this morning for his community work with kids and took the digicam. So now I'm lost.
So to avoid death by furiously roaring, stone-throwing crowds [not that you lovely readers are like that, but it is Good Friday after all] I shall post some baby pics of Pip and Doe here. Like so:
This is Baby Pip at about 3 to 4 weeks old. Her eyes are still blue [before they changed to green], and I love how she looks like she's smiling. This was taken less than a year ago, and now she's a mother. Amazing.
[And yes that is MY FAT ARM holding her. Indeed you are all correct it is FAT. Okay I know already be quiet.]
Kitten Pip had this strange habit, when she was thinking or zoning out, of lying on her side and propping her little head up with her paws like some ancient Eastern philosopher. Here she is at 6 weeks:
"And [her] eyes have all the seeming, of a demon's that is dreaming"
- Edgar Allen Poe, "The Raven"
She still does it once in a while, but not so much now that there are babies. With two furry balls of squealing love, who's got the time to philosophise?
Pip flaunted cattitude since day 1. Her brother Doe, on the other hand, was the sweetest little thing.
At 7 weeks: Getting ready for the daily weigh-in
When they were kittens, Pip bullied Doe a lot.
Ah, the memories.
Speaking of family, my brother returned from Perth yesterday and he'll be back home for a month, before heading back to Australia for the final leg of training. He's on course as a trainee commercial pilot. He's never seen the cats before, and he'll probably visit soon enough.
This should be fun. Hahahahaha!!!!!
The husband's back. Off I go to wrestle the digicam from him. Hazel and Fiver baby pics up soon.
Happy long weekend all,
Monday, April 10, 2006
Very quickly now.
Was helping out at the cat show yesterday at the Singapore Expo. You may have been there. I was with the Cat Welfare Society: they had a merchandise booth cum adoption drive. As usual, my job was "crowd control" aka Door Bitch to stop too many people from crowding into the adoption area and spooking the cats.
This show was a good one: I didn't have to deal with too many rude people [in fact I don't remember any outstandingly awful person], and WE GOT ABOUT 20 CATS ADOPTED!!! Excellent response. Is that cool or what. :)
I met Sh***** of 5-Cat Style and The Flyer [will play safe and keep names secret, heh heh]. We were both kinda busy with the volunteering stuff so chatted for a short while before jetting off again.
It's good to see you again, Sh*****. Actually I didn't get your name mixed up, I definitely knew your name wasn't Sa*****, it was just me being very airheaded on a Sunday afternoon. Oops sorry. ;)
Can someone tell me why I seem to scare the men? Not that I mind, but still.
Hazel and Fiver are well. Their eyes are opening, so that's Cuteness Factor X 1000.
Pics coming up soon. Me taking break after looong Catrix effort. Teehee.
And can someone tell me why people think I'm lesbian? Not that I mind, but still.
Went shopping after a LOOONG time of scrimping and saving. We've invested in a building fund, and had to watch the income very carefully these few months. But I let myself go a bit 'cause I felt so good after the cat show [20 CATS ADOPTED, OKAY] and wanted to celebrate.
After the happy haze of retail therapy lifted I found myself the proud owner of:
- Two pairs of bootleg jeans with embroidered lace and sparkly sequins [my taste in clothes is quiet and conservative]
- One red t-shirt that says Spicy! in front [I'm actually quite shy]
- One black-and-white polka dot silk bustier [and I think modesty is a very attractive attribute in young ladies]
Mmmm. Shopping. I love.
Now, to wait for this month's paycheque.
Choc, Lucie and Boonie are going for their sterilisations this Wednesday because I can finally afford it.
And that's all.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Chief Inspector Teddy, the Catrix, and the Mysterious Piplets: Confidential Report
On 31 March, a strange and awesome thing happened in the laundry basket. Inspector Pip was investigating some stinky clothing inside when all of a sudden, she popped two aliens! Like in a space alien movie! I think she didn't know what happened, either!
I am Chief Inspector Teddy and I must find out how these little aliens came to us. Pip calls them her Piplets. I think they have made her crazy.
I hope they won't eat us. That would be so scary! Let me think about that. Mommy says I look so beautiful when I think. I don't understand why she always giggles uncontrollably and hums the Twilight Zone theme after she says that.
Quiet: Thinking In Progress
... Okay. I've thought about it. I think I'm right. It would be very... scary.
That means I have to consult the Oracle of the WiseBox.
The Oracle knows all
I bet you don't know who the Oracle is! The Oracle is my friend. He lives in the WiseBox. He looks like a white little cat claw or arrow and he dances on the screen. I love to watch him dance. Next time you see the Oracle, tell him Teddy said hi and he'll dance for you too.
I asked Who are the Piplets? Will they eat us?
And the Oracle *in a soft breathy voice* answered Neo, you are the One!
I said Oh Oracle you are very clever! Could you explain your answer? And who is Neo?
The Oracle replied Oh got your name mixed up there. Sorry.
See? The Oracle even knows he made a mistake. THE ORACLE KNOWS ALL!
Suddenly a voice spoke. "You MORON!!! The Oracle's only a CURSOR!!! You've been fooled by the Catrix!!!"
*gasp*!!! It was the maverick Lucie Trinity, better known as Lucinity! She suddenly appeared, crouching over the WiseBox, and glared at me. I was so scared!
Lucinity and I then engaged in a battle of sharp wits! I must admit, I was a little nervous...
Lucie: What battle of sharp wits? More like ONE WIT and ONE TWIT!
Me: Umm, erm, I'm so glad to have this opportunity -
Lucie: Shuddup! I'm not interested. So. You wanna know the truth?
Me: Oh oh oh... I'm so excited I'm afraid I'll wet -
Lucie: *weary sigh* Red pill or blue pill?
Me: I know the answer!!! The answer is I only eat kibble usually, but when Mommy's free -
Lucie: AARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!! *vanishes*
Me: ... and on weekends sometimes, we get wet food, and then once in a while, Mommy changes the brand of kibble, and I like to crunch the... Where did she go?
Oh shucks. I was about to impress Lucinity with my favourite conversation topic. I thought it was going so well?
Teddy's 3-week-old inner kitten: sad
Then I was so sad! Sad that everyone bullies me and thinks I'm fat and stupid! Even Mommy won't teach me to open the can and use the spoon to scoop out the lovely wet food... *sob* I'm so hurt!!! WAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!
Then a gentle low voice behind me spoke: "You struggle to overcome the spoon, in order that you may eat your wet food. But. Neo. There is no spoon!"
It was Doe-pheus!!!!!!!!!!!!
"I have faith in you. You are the One!"
His words greatly encouraged me. Yes, I shall overcome all obstacles and solve the case of the Piplets!!! All I have to do is close my eyes and concentrate...
... and I'll find out the answer by myself! So I closed my eyes and:
When I woke up I felt MUCH better.
Off I went to see the Architect, and perhaps ask him some questions.
I found him hiding behind a folded quilt.
"Architect Boonie!" I said. "I have evidence that you were with Pip soon before she popped her Piplets. Care to examine this photograph?"
Boonie's deep golden eyes widened at Chief Inspector Teddy's new-found confidence!!! So he decided to cooperate. Woot!
"Actually, I don't know much, but Pip did mention an old quarrel with her arch-nemesis, Chocolate..."
BANG!!! WHAM!!! SCRATCH!!! BITE!!! HISS!!! MEOWWWW!!!!
Speak of the devil's kitty cat! Just as Boonie mentioned her devious name, Chocolate "The Terrible" Krachowski leapt out of nowhere and launched a surprise attack!!!
I fought back!!! Finally I managed to subdue the wily Chocolate Tart.
"Very well! I'll confess!" Choc growled, her ears flattened with annoyance. "The Piplets were my creation! It was I who carried out a scientific research expurriment on Pip.
"Using high-risk technologies, I tried to combine Pip's DNA with another cat's to create a super kitty. I wanted a cat with Pip's cunning and with great furry cuteness, who could join me as a partner in crime to set up dens of feline vice, full of drugged mice and catnip tea and hot sweet kitty love.
"I have succeeded! Now all I have to do is kidnap the Piplets and I can begin to groom them! We shall be known as the Krachowski Sisters! Heh heh heh..."
Grudgingly, I admitted that it was a good plan. "But whose DNA did you mix with Pip's to create this fearsome cat?"
Choc looked at me with mock innocence in her large, soulful eyes.
"Why, yours of course." She replied.
"I can't believe this is happening"
"It's really very easy you know. You eat and sleep so much, all I had to do was wait until you were full and in deep sleep before I could extract your DNA samples," Choc continued with the calm of a seasoned criminal.
Oh no. Oh no oh no oh no. Mommy will never love me again. She'll kick me out the house to eat scraps from the rubbish chute.
No more soft beds! No more kibble! *sniffle* I want to cry!!!
But surprisingly, Chocolate took pity on me and decided to help me out. Umm, she taught me to tell this story:
"Uh oh, I think I'm going to be framed"
You see, I was sterilised two months ago so it can't be me, right? And Boonie's not sterilised yet so it's got to be him, right? RIGHT!!!
Like Choc says, I must persuade Mommy to be logical about this, and not simply to trust her own gut feel or what she sees.
Therefore, after my thorough investigation, I conclude that the culprit responsible for the Piplets is Boonie!!!
Chief Inspector Teddy
The woman replies:
Oh I really don't know... I mean, a picture's worth a thousand words and, you know, your coat patterns ARE kinda similar...
You get a sense of deja vu looking at their very unique stripes...
If you squint, you can see the same tabby patterns down the spine and fanning out the sides
He looks like the odd one out, actually
What do YOU think???
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Out with the Old... In with the New
thank you all very much for your kindness and concern.
I wasn't looking for sympathy in my previous post, just venting my frustration at the prospect of two more kitties to feed and eventually, to shift. So was very surprised and touched at the amazing support I've received online. Thank you all. Hugs to everyone!
After the initial shock had subsided, I pretty much got up and back into things - it's the way I am. Life doesn't get me down for too long. :)
Right now [and for the next couple months], Pip and kittens have the guest bedroom all to themselves. Pip only comes out for short breaks to mingle, stretch the legs and she's back in again. The other cats sniff her like crazy, whenever they can, and are starting to accept the fact that they have newcomers.
The Small Newcomer [L] and the Big Newcomer [R]. Notice the umbilical cord.
Pip has two kittens, both male [I think], brown-grey-tabby-and-white tricolours with very characteristic mackerel tabby patterns. So much so that their paternity is pretty much pointing one way towards... oh I'll let you know soon, let me try and get the photos taken for photographic evidence first.
Good news to report! The vet's initial prognosis for the weaker kitty's survival was 50-50, but after 48 hours' stomach tube-feeding he got stronger and now he's suckling by himself. He's still only two-thirds the size of the bigger kitten, but catching up a little.
For now, their names are Hazel [the bigger one] and Fiver [the smaller one], after two of the main characters in Watership Down.
They don't do much, just suckle and nap and go "eep" when Pip cleans them and "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!" when she lies on them by accident.
Hazel [L] and Fiver [R] getting busy
Pip's a fantastic loving mother. She's utterly devoted to her babies, and she's doing a marvellous job taking care of all their needs. But she also allows me to go near and do the necessary, eg checking babies for cleft palates, changing the towels etc - thank goodness for our very close relationship. To Pip, I'm her mother so that's not surprising.
Still, I'm not allowed to spend too much time touching the kittens. Pip only gives me about a minute to hold them in my hands, then this strange glint comes into her eyes and she fixes on me a dull and dangerous glare: I want my babies back NOW. I've never seen that look on her face before the babies came, and so I return them to her. Immediately.
Pip's grown up.
Some things don't change, though. She definitely hasn't lost the obnoxious princess personality. Four times a day I mash KMR with canned Avoderm into a paste for Her Royal Lactating Highness and tiptoe quietly into the guest bedroom. Pip's in the box with the babies, usually lying on her side. She looks up and meows at me gently; I walk over and start feeding the brat with a spoon. And she'll lap it all. Lying down. She won't even GET UP to eat because she knows there's a dumb servant-woman here who will literally spoon-feed her as much as she wants, all the time.
Feel the love
And that's my life for now.
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Something rather bad and unexpected has happened here at CatDonna's Cats.
Right now I'm typing this in a state of shock and exhaustion.
I was torn between covering this up and pretending everything is okay,
or confessing my mistake and dealing with the inevitable backlash.
I've decided to confess, and let others learn from my mistake.
I didn't know Pip was pregnant.
She gave birth some time between 2 to 3 pm yesterday, 31st March. In the laundry basket.
There were few signs, and I misinterpreted the only symptom she indicated.
She had swollen nipples for a couple weeks but I ignored them because she occasionally suckles herself for fun. I thought she was just overdoing it.
There were no other signs. She hardly gained weight and her behaviour didn't change. If you don't believe me, look at THESE RECENT POSTS. The pics were taken when Pip was supposedly heavily pregnant.
But does she look/act pregnant to you?
No, I guessed not.
It was only the DAY BEFORE she gave birth that I noticed her abdomen was a little thicker than usual, and that was when the alarm bells started to ring. I was going to make arrangements to have her checked and, if my worst fears were realised, have the foetuses aborted.
I was too late.
Where did I go wrong?
Easy. I am, no, I used to be a believer in the old school of thought: castrate males only when their testicles are fully developed [6 months and above]; spay females only when they have reached a certain weight/age [2.5 kg, 8 months and above]. This was to ensure that they would be robust and developed sufficiently to withstand the trauma of surgery.
Pip first went on heat at 6 or 7 months [she's ten months now], but she was too light/young to be spayed [she weighed only 1.5 kg then, and even now she's less than 2.5 kg]. So we decided to just separate her from the rest when she went on heat, until she was ready for the operation.
I am now a convert to the early sterilisation school of thought [7 weeks onwards].
I have learnt this lesson the hard way.
I am, physically and mentally, very tired.
I may take some time to post again, because I need to take care of a non-thriving newborn. But I will update soon, when I can. With pics, of course.
I understand that due to my oversight, I have sabotaged some other cats' chances of adoption and/or fostering. My mistake may cause them dearly.
I have disappointed myself and everything I believe in, as well as the good folks who work so hard at TNRM and addressing the cat overpopulation problem.
Part of me wants the non-thriving newborn to die. One less to worry about. But I can't just leave it alone with a clear conscience. So I continue to try. Tube-feeding, straight into the stomach. What fun.
To all of you reading this: I am very sorry.
If you will excuse me, I need to run over to the supplier's to get a carton of canned food for the mother. I also need to check on Pip [thank God she's a good mother] and feed the non-thriver. And then I need to go kick myself. Very hard. Again.
See you all soon.