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There is always something going on in a multi-cat household. Erm 9... cats and counting...... Plus stories from the Sheffield Cats Shelter

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Sunday at the Shelter 28-04-13

Today was a little sad. When Libby and I set of to the Shelter this morning, we were not alone.  We had our foster cat, Wendy with us.  Today was the day for her to return to the shelter to look for her new home.  As you may have read in my last post, Wendy was getting sore from the kittens trying to feed, so the time had come to separate them.

We popped her into a compartment in holding and after helping to wash trays we were back in there doing our cleaning.  I'll be honest, it did upset me to put her in and walk away, I couldn't help but shed a few tears.

To begin with she cried a lot, but she did settle quite quickly. Even so, it didn't make me feel any better.

I couldn't help but take a photo of Tigger.  He is a beautiful boy in holding, lovely bushy tail!

Emma had her own mixed feelings today as she brought in the three 'G's'.  George, Gabrielle and Grace are now in a room ready for pre adoption.  Emma has hand reared these kittens since they were just a few days old, this previous post gives their story.

They are now beautiful and healthy little kittens, seen here playing in their new room.

I think Emma has done a fantastic job and I can't imagine how hard it must be to give them up. 

When I hear stories of people not wanting to adopt black cats or kittens, I just don't get it.  Look at these little ones, aren't all kittens cute?  I have four black cats and to be honest I wouldn't have had a problem having all 7 being black.  If you want to share your life with an animal, does it really matter what colour it is?  For me there is only one thing I would say is wrong with a black cat, you can never get a decent photo...

Emma still has her more recent set of hand rears to keep her busy.

Mixed in with these is Elsie who was recently rescued from a dire situation.  She is a lot smaller than the others so got her milk first.

Quickly followed by the others, who are also starting to be weaned on to solid food.

The Shelter put out an appeal recently for new cat trees for the main rooms.  The ones they had were showing signs of real wear.  They had such a fantastic response. All of the main rooms now have fab new  trees for the cats and kittens to play with.  Thing like these make a real difference for the cats.

Before leaving the Shelter I popped back and gave Wendy another cuddle . I can't help but be sad for her although I know she is going to be well looked after. Goodness knows what I'll be like when it's time to take the kittens back.

The great escape

With the help of the vets and encouraging the kittens to eat, my little foster family is back to good health.
I've found that different food containers can make a difference. When the kittens have been reluctant to eat I've used plates and even tried plastic place mats. At times Willow still wouldn't eat, until I put food on the back of my hand! Bizarre.

Princess Willow being served her food

When you open the door to the 'kitten room' it is now rather funny, but very exhausting! Mum has jumped over the hardboard barricade from the start, then William got in on the act. Now Whisper can also make it over and Willow is almost there. This makes opening and closing the door like a scene from a Benny Hill sketch. You catch one as another jumps and as you put one or two back, there is another waiting to take a chance. Nightmare? Yep. Hilarious? Most certainly!

Two local tom cats have been regular visitors to our garden.  They sit waiting patiently by the cat flap. One looks very sorry for himself, possibly a stray, the other looks well fed, but any wounds he has don't look like they get attention. We have no way of knowing if they have homes or not. We've called them 'Ginger' and Boe (As in 'face of' due to his big face...)  Boe has been very interested in waiting for Abbie to come out of the cat flap.



Last weekend Abbie started behaving very oddly.  It seemed she was in season.  We've had her and her sister Bella for 18 months and they were thought to have been spayed.  However, with the howling and strange behaviour it seemed that maybe that wasn't the case.  Strange though that she hadn't shown this behaviour before.

Billy and Abbie holding paws...
I couldn't risk her going outside with two toms on the loose.  I spoke to the Vet and made an appointment for her to be spayed.  The Vets explained they would check for a scar first and would perform the op if there was nothing visible.  They were pretty sure from my description, that Abbie couldn't have been spayed.

In the meantime Bertie has turned guard dog.  He sat at the cat flap and grumbled warnings.  This last week his behaviour has definitely improved.  He now joins us in the living room a lot of the time and his problems with the other cats have been less of an issue. This is good news.

Bertie sits with Daddy :)
Abbie went in for her op on Thursday.  They did find a scar, but they felt it was in an unusual place so they opened her up to check.  She had been spayed so there is no chance of kittens.  They did say there could be something left that could produce hormones.  The only way to check this would be to open her fully all the way down her underside.  I don't want to put her through that.  It was bad enough seeing how wobbly she was when we got her home this time.  The Vet did say that having the toms around could have had an effect of her too.  She now has to stay in for 2 weeks, which she is very unhappy about.  Maybe this will be enough time for the tom cats to move on.

I've been trying to give my little foster family more chance to play.  This week they've been spending time in the living room and had great fun on our giant cat tree.  I love this tree and the cats do to.  I'll admit it is pretty huge and people point at it when they walk past my house, but who cares??
The Cat Tree :)
Here are a few photo's of them all having fun


Whisper and William



Mum watches her babies

Proper little monkeys!

Wendy went in for her op on Friday (its been a busy week!)  Whisper and Willow went along too so they could have their jabs.  In contrast to Abbie, Wendy was as bright as a button when I picked her back up.  You'd hardly know she'd had anything done.  The Vet suggested that the kittens shouldn't be feeding from her anymore as her nipples were sore again.  I think one of them must bite :(  With that advice, the only thing we could do was to put Wendy in the cat room and the kittens have stayed in their room.

Wendy will be going back to the Shelter tomorrow.  I think I will likely shed a tear or two.  She is an absolutely lovely cat, so affectionate.  I really hope she will get adopted quickly.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Sunday at the Shelter 21-04-13

There were a number of new residents at the Shelter this week.

The first was a week old kitten, who is now called Elsie.
She was rescued from a desperate situation, with a malnourished Mum, she was the only surviving kitten.  Elsie is now being hand reared along with the older kittens Emma is caring for. Out of the original 5 only 3 kittens remain, hopefully these will continue to thrive.

Libby and I worked in holding again and this was the sight greeting us at the door.

Fortunately for these two little sweeties, they are already pre-adopted so it won't be long before they are in their new home.

Katie is a lovely little girl.  Her owner has sadly passed away and Katie finds herself at the Shelter. 


She enjoyed a cuddle with me and I'm confident someone will want to take her home in the near future.

While we were in the room another cat was brought in.  This one, called Baby, is not looking at her best at the moment. 

Her owner had also died and it was a few days before this was discovered.  She has a poorly eye and is not in the best condition.   She was obviously disorientated, but was willing to have a little stroke.  At least now she will receive the medical attention she needs to get better.

Maternity is still busy, one Mum was off to the Vets and the kittens went with her.

And the final kitten is a real cutie, one of Kits babies (I've mentioned Kit before) 

Kit's baby
With all these kittens around it was nice to hear that some of the older residents were adopted this weekend.  Fingers crossed there will be plenty more this week.

My foster family are all back to full health and I'll update you later this week :)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Sunday at the Shelter 14-03-13

Volunteering didn't go to plan this week as my foster family hadn't been well.

Mum and all 3 babies were due their first vaccinations on Friday.  Unfortunately, the girls started being unwell on Thursday, with vomiting, diarrhoea and a reluctance to eat.  We also noticed that Mum Wendy, had a swollen and sore looking nipple.  It seemed that our scheduled Vet visit would definitely be needed but not for jabs.

As I thought, the Vet only wanted to vaccinate William as he had remained in good health.  Wendy had an antibiotic injection with a course of tablets for 5 days.  Willow and Whisper both had antibiotic and vitamin injections plus I was given some special food to try and tempt them to eat.

Whilst they've been unwell I've been using a small syringe to try and keep up their fluid intake. The Vet advised me that if there was no improvement or a worsening of their condition I would need to bring them back the following day.

Poorly Whisper hiding herself away

For the remainder of Friday I kept on giving water and trying to encourage them to eat.  In the evening Willow started to projectile vomit even water, she wouldn't eat and her diarrhoea continued.  Despite this, she did continue to play and was reasonably hydrated so whilst I was concerned I was comfortable to leave the Vet until the following day.  Whisper ate a small amount but not enough.

Willow looking after her sister

On Saturday neither of them ate breakfast and they were both quiet.  I checked with the Cat Shelter and made an appointment for the Vet again. On the way Willow was sick in the carrier.  This time they were given an anti sickness injection.  In addition, Whisper was starting to become dehydrated and needed to have fluids injected directly under the skin.  Not a nice experience for her, but a necessary evil I'm afraid.  I was advised to make an appointment there and then to return on Sunday.

Later that day, once the anti sickness medication had started to work, Whisper began to eat again.  Willow, needed quite a bit of encouragement, but did eventually have some.

So on Sunday I was a little stuck with my volunteering duties as I had a Vet visit right in the middle.  I dropped Libby off around 9:45 and did some trays until 10:30 before I left to come home for the kittens.

Just a small amount of trays to go back into the rooms

As you can see all the trays are colour coded and are refilled with a newspaper lining and a small amount of litter.  These will then be taken to be used in the various rooms around the shelter.

Willow was the one needing extra fluids this time, but the Vet was very pleased with Whispers progress.  Both kittens had another antibiotic injection, but on the whole they seemed to be on the mend.

Back at the Shelter, I did manage to get a shot of one of the most recent hand reared kittens.  Unfortunately one of the little tabbies fell ill and didn't make it, so that leaves one tabby, one black and two ginger.

Libby cleaned out room 3 which contained the 3 month old kittens of Dexter and Cindy (see previous blog entry) They are two shy little ones who soon got used to Libby once she'd been in the room for a while.

It was windy on Sunday so they were watching things blowing in the wind!

Chloe and Carlos

All the abandoned kittens from last week are now happily settled in foster homes.

Libby also took a few other photo's while she was waiting for me to pick her up.

Frosty has a cuddle
Fi is out of holding and much happier
Bruno is a big softy
So apologies for the delayed post this week.  Hopefully normal service will be resumed!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Bertie boo

Finally I've got to the newest recruit.  Number 7. Bertie was living as a stray for about 12 months before the cat shelter had room to take him in. Fortunately, he was being fed outside by someone so at least he wasn't malnourished.

Again we had the choice of a few cats who might fit into our home. In the end it came down to who we felt might get overlooked.

At the Shelter

Bertie (named Albert by the Shelter) is a very big cat with the biggest feet I have ever seen. We left the shelter and decided to talk it through in the evening.

The next day I returned and pre adopted Bertie. Later that week, when he'd had his second vaccination I filled out his paper work, collected him and moved him into our 'cat room'.

Comfy in the cat room

He has little interest in going outside. I guess when you've had a year on the streets you appreciate being inside and warm. Another one who loves food, he almost knocks you over when you're preparing meat!

Big feet!

He came to us in January and so far his integration with 'the tribe' has been mixed. He mainly stays to the room he was first introduced to but does venture out from time to time.
Lately though he has been chasing the other cats and they have started to be very wary of him. The biggest issue is his unpredictability. One moment he'll sit calmly at the side of another cat but an hour later he's chasing someone.

First time on the cat tree :)

This has obviously been giving us cause for concern and we've had to go back to keeping them separate when there is no one in the house and monitoring him when we are.  I'm still hopeful he will settle, but this is always the danger when introducing another cat.  We will keep working on it.  Interestingly I read an article about putting Bach Flower remedies (alcohol free) into their water to help with behaviour issues .  I'm going to check out if this is safe and perhaps give it a go.

Bertie has his first trip outside (watched by Billy)
Fingers crossed we didn't go a cat too far.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Sunday at the shelter 07-04-13

A new Mum and babies had already been dropped off before we got to the shelter today. It turned out it was just the start for Emma, Judith and Leanne as there were 5 more kittens needing to be collected.

First things first though, there were hungry mouths to feed, Emma's latest batch of hand rears.

Their Mum,  Jude, is now doing much better away from her 5 babies and the kittens are thriving too.  Emma and Judith took turns in giving the kittens milk.  They are very strong little ones and they are certainly hungry :)

Judith feeding one of the kittens

Today, Libby cleaned room 1 and I went upstairs to do room 4.  Room 4 currently has a number of older cats.  Joe found my mop a great source of entertainment. 

Joe v mop

He also enjoyed a cuddle when I'd finished my jobs. :)  Despite being  8 he's a very lively boy who loves cuddles and playing.

Joe having a cuddle

Aragorn was in his element today. He's been moved out of holding into a room on his own. While we were there he also had a bit of time in the garden and had fun rolling around.

Cookie was reunited with his brother Biscuit, thanks to Friends of ferals. Unfortunately, it's been discovered that they both have chlamydia in their eyes and are now in isolation.  The condition is treatable, but may take a couple of weeks to clear.  In the meantime staff will need to be especially cautious as this is a highly contagious infection. Hopefully, it won't be too long before I am able to get a look at Biscuit and take some new photo's

If you've recently visited the Shelter's facebook page, you'll have seen the sad story of Max.  He's a very lucky chap now happily bunking down with Emma's cats. A member of the public saw a group of boys with 3 kittens. Worried for their safety she offered to take them. The boys refused but the lady saw them throw one kitten over a neighbours fence. She was able to rescue it and called the shelter. You really can't begin to understand how anyone could want to harm these innocent creatures.:( Everyone was worried about what could have happened to the other 2 kittens as the boys had left with them and we all thought we would never find out.  But then it seems fate decided to lend a hand.

Emma left to go to a Vet's surgery who'd called to say they had 5 kittens that needed collecting.  2 were estimated at 5 weeks old and 3 at around 7 or 8 weeks.

It turned out that the 5 week old kittens were the brothers to Max.  Another lady had seen the boys throw the first kitten and had taken the remaining two off them.  She looked for the third kitten but couldn't find it, unaware that it had been safely retrieved.  What a brave lady! Not everyone would have been confident enough to take the kittens from them. 

Rescued brothers

The other 3 were abandoned outside the Vets premises.  They will all be treated for flea's and worms before going to their foster homes. 

Emma is taking Max's brothers and the Manager, Kim was busy making room for the other 3.  There are no 9-5 jobs here!

As always, if you want to help, have a look at the Donate & Support page :)