kittens – Got the Jimmy Legs


Linger on your pale grey eyes

We have plenty of cats we need to get adopted, but here's one of the few kittens in Brooklyn we DON'T actually have in our house currently. This little girl's name is Grey Eye Kitten, apparently following the fostering naming convention so you don't get too attached to the animal (see Big Giant Head and Littleface). The kitten's fosterperson found her near her Kensington home and just had to lend a hand.

Her person set up a blog all about her, so head on over if you're in the market for a babycat. I, myself, prefer my cats big and ugly but Cat Overpopulation means we can all find that special void-filler. GEK is about 6-8 weeks old, healthy but has tested a weak positive for FIV. However, this is by no means the end of the world; many kittens give false-positives for the Virus at this age; she'll have to be tested later on to confirm or deny the illness. so please don't let this stop you from considering adoption, it's almost a non-issue.

My experience has mostly been with street cats, feral and otherwise. In this arena, many groups actively denounce the act of FIV testing. Although this is in part due to the high cost of testing, it is also because it's not worth it for many other reasons. From Alley Cat Allies:

Kittens that test positive are not necessarily infected. If a kitten tests positive, the test may be detecting antibodies passed from an infected mother to the kitten through colostrum (an antibody-rich fluid secreted by nursing mothers). Positive kittens under six months of age should be retested between eight to 12 months of age, when any antibodies obtained from the mother cat will have disappeared.

So in fact, GEK's positive test may literally mean nothing at all. Let's hope that's the case!

UPDATE: The kitten's been adopted! I am arranging to ship several of our cats to her house right now.

I read in the paper about their escape

We're full up with cats, even some kittens again. But sadly, these kittens were only recently revealed to us, so by the time we captured them they were super feral and showing no signs of wanting to be tamed. We got them fixed and eartipped (though they did an especially good job this time of making the eartips barely noticeable). We were prepared to release them, since time is short to socialize them and again, we already have way too many cats. What we didn't count on is the kittens not wanting to leave.

After recovering from their surgery for several days, the kittens seemed back to normal and ready to reintroduce to the back yard. I figured if we opened the door to their room and opened the back door they'd just scamper out and, I dunno, frolic in the ivy, or something. Instead one ran under our bed and the other went outside. But then she came back inside. The female (Black Betty) is brave and curious, she explores the house and occasionally looks out the window. The male kitten (no name yet, we keep calling him Small Fry) is far less trusting and keeps out of sight until the fall of night, when he comes out to knock things off of other things. Neither is showing any interest in going outside.

This is not to imply that they love us and want to spent time gentling cuddling in our arms; they get wide-eyed and bolt when we hove into sight. Thus the issue: they're too feral to adopt but they don't wanna move out. I guess we'll have to give them the boot, but I wonder if they won't just dash back in the house. They might be thinking, with so many cats around who'd notice a couple more? And they'd probably be right. But I'm not telling them.

Lookin' for some hot stuff

Beehive Adoption Event 6/29/08, originally uploaded by lisacat.

The folks who provided us with so many cat-related services over the past few months need your help! Now that summer's upon us, all those cats that they didn't get to trap, neuter and release have had kittens, and a whole slew of them are shacked up at their recovery space in Williamsburg. Dubbed The Empty Cages Collective, they're housing some 45 cats in their warehouse, and they need to get some of these critters in some decent homes!

To that end, they are having the first of possibly several adoption events, this one at The Beehive Salon on N.7th Street. From 2-6pm on Sunday. Come meet the shining stars of their gaggle, from lil baby kittens to adult hard-luck stories. I'm hoping to stop by if I can, though I normally avoid shelters and related adoption centers, if only because I have such little willpower when it comes to taking in animals (I walk the long way around the Petco to avoid the homeless cat adoption area, which I'm sure makes me look like a dick to them).

Meanwhile, we're helping to lighten their cat burden by taking a displaced feral cat to our back yard; we'll be assimilating him into our ragtag colony over the next couple of weeks. But unlike last time, we ensured this cat is truly a feral and so he will not end up in our house.

I'm hoping to be able to advertise our foster cats on ECC's new Petfinder site, and of course if any of you are interested in a little (or not so little) bundle of joy, check out our own list of cats. But if you must have tiny kittens, head to the salon on Sunday.

More than meets the eye


This is Prince, formerly Rudy, formerly Rusty, formerly "Hey Gladys has ANOTHER kitten out there!" I'll try to request some newer pictures of him, since these (on the right) were taken a while ago. But I only recently learned how to extract photos from a cellphone. Rudy was a great little kitten, one of the three produced by Gladys that we took in. He was the most gregarious of the three brothers, the first one to let us pet him, the first to sit with us on the couch, and the trendsetter for all the kittens we took in over the summer. They say orange tabbies are naturally sweet (like raisins), and so far my experience has been right in line with this. While his brothers scurried off in fear, he would come up to us and eventually became pretty much like any other house cat.

He still had his feral elements: easily spooked, and as of adoption hand-over he didn't like being picked up. But he was well on his way to being a very nice cat otherwise. It may be hard to tell in the photos how he's changed because by the time he left he had gotten pretty big, and had attained a grown cat's proportions. So in photos it's hard to tell how big or small he really was. He'll always be remembered as one of my favorite fosters, he really helped the other cats learn to like humans and made our house full of cats not seem so much like the irrational activity it often feels like.

There was a time when I was his only one

Chester (and Navy)

One of our favorite kittens has been Chester, the Russian Blue. Brother to Roxy and Tumbleweed, he came off the streets fulla personality, no socialization needed. They say the breed is very friendly and gregarious, and he was no exception. Of course, he isn't a pure breed, in direct sunlight you can see some tabby stripes in his undercoat, and obviously he shares some genes with a tortie and an orange tabby, but he's got the blue-gray fur and the mauve footpads the breed is known for. We adopted him out to a couple who lives in Hell's Kitchen. They already had a Russian Blue and wanted a pal, so our friend Jessie helped set up the drop.

We're very pleased that it worked out so well, but in retrospect it was fairly preordained by their personalities; they took to each other like brother and sister. Now he's a bit more grown and honestly I'm not always sure who's who in the photo (his adopted sister is named Navy), they look so much alike (note the pic in the top-middle above, it looks like somebody cloned him!)