Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Solid Start

Now that the Stinkies are 5 weeks old(ish), it's time to wean them. Last night, I spent an hour (absolutely no exaggeration) making a gruel of formula and wet food, then shooting it into the kitten's mouths with a (needleless) syringe. Why did it take so long? The syringe the shelter gave me was 1cc. Kittens are supposed to have about a tablespoon to a tablespoon-and-a-half of food per feeding. A tablespoon is 15ccs.

Well, enough of that. Time to get them used to feeding themselves. So this afternoon I made the gruel, poured it into two shallow dishes, lined their playpen with puppy training pads (I hate the disposable nature of them, but it's leakproof; imagine laying down a layer of maxi pad. Our landlord just put down this flooring and she's paranoid -- justifiably so -- of getting animal smell into the flooring.) and let 'em have at it. Here are the results:

Rumor has it that some of the food actually made it inside the kittens.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


No posts recently, but for a Good Reason.

I have kittens.

Four foster kittens from the DuPage County Animal Shelter, to be exact. Four-and-a-half weeks old, God help us. Here is the cast of characters:

Molly, who is doing precicely what she isn't supposed to be doing, i.e. Climbing Out of the Prison (or kitten-safe play area, for you non-kittens out there).

Merlin, in a very uncharacteristic shot In Which He Is Quiet. He has no Indoor Voice to speak of.

A 2-shot of Mirabel and Cricket, can't tell from this angle which is which. The dark ones are harder to get good pics of -- everything I had looked like a dark, fuzzy blob. Anyhoo, Miri is a little girl and Cricket is a boy.

And a 3-shot (again, can't tell who the dark one is, although it's a fair wager that it's Miri -- Cricket is far too shy).

As for personalities ... Molly's a bit hard to pin down right now. At first she was Molly the Aggressor, who Bit Noses For No Reason. Then my rehabber friend Liz came by and showed me how to bottle feed them better, and Molly calmed down once we taught her how to actually use a bottle. Now she's mostly Molly the Willful.

Merlin, as I mentioned before, is very Loud. He is an Orphan, and Nobody Loves Him, and Nobody Feeds Him, Ever. -- If you listen to him, that is. He says the same things right after supper, when he's cuddling with us.

Miri is, dare I say, the smartest. She was the first to figure out the litterbox (still a dodgy subject, but at least she's got the gist of it), the first to start bathing herself and the first (egads) to figure out how to Get Out Of Prison (climb to the top and fling youself over). She also has Michael wrapped around her little paw. Her favorite activity is to Go 'Splorin.

Cricket is a quiet cuddlemuffin. Of course, part of that is because he's a little sick. Nothing much, I don't think, mostly gunky eyes. He's learning to stick up for himself a little bit, I hope, because otherwise with 3 sisters he doesn't stand a chance.

Merlin and Miri will be staying with us, which we figured out within about 10 minutes. Cricket has possibly found a home with one of my coworkers, but no permanent home for Molly yet. But I've got hope -- I've only had them since Thursday.

In related news, my dad and stepmom are coming down to visit in two weekends, and they are bringing down my other cat, Daffodil the Strange. I got her in the eighth grade (my cats live long, good lives). She's been driving my dad batty with her incessant crying since Scratchy died, and I could use her excellent bathing skills on these little Stinkies. All in all, I think it's a good arrangement.

But right now, I'm tired.

** Editing note: some of you may have noticed that one kitten's name has changed from "Rosie" to "Merlin." Ahem. Oops. Hey -- those parts are tiny on new kittens, how was I to know???

Friday, May 18, 2007

Guilt Post

Mostly I'm posting because I'm feeling guilty about not posting ... that's just sick, I know. But I do have a couple vignettes to post, anyway, so here's a collection:

D&D quote:
"No, you cannot have a pet zombie ogre!" (Someone was letting the recent acquisition of a "Command Undead" spell get to his head. I was grossed out. I mean, here I am turning these ... things ... and he wants them to follow us?!?)

Last week I was working in the candy section when I heard the following, between a toddler boy and his (what I later found out) aunt:
"No Mary!"
"You don't want Aunt Mary to push you?"
"Well, then, we're not going to go anywhere!"
"But then I have to push you."
"No! No Mary!"
"Well, if you want to go, but you don't want Aunt Mary to push you ... who do you want to push you?"
"Dat girl!"
At this point I looked up, and to my surprise, he was pointing at me! I told him he couldn't afford my hourly rate.

Today, while ringing up a customer, I peeked into his cart to see how many bottles of wine there were. With thickly (Easter European?) accented English, he said, "Ah, you see all my wine! That is because I am a very vicious man! I like the numbing affects!" He said all this with a big (cognizant) smile.

Yesterday, I was asked to find some candy to fill a couple shelves in the flower section (don't ask). I was standing by my backstock, trying to find out what would "go" well. I called to one of the artists (working about 10 ft. away from me), "What's summery?"
"Beach balls!"
"No, I meant candy!"
"Candied beach balls!"

A few minutes later, I realized my seasonal mistake:
"Actually, I meant to say spring. What's springy?"
"Ray!" (Artist's name, in case you didn't catch that.)
"Candied flowers!"

Along a similar vein of silliness, we've got these new reusable bags that are round. Well, the bottom is round (this isn't the silly part). I tried to convince a customer that a round-bottomed bag was essential for trips to the beach: you stack in your frisbee, your pie and a beach ball and you're good to go. 'Cause, hey, frisbees were originally pie tins, and frisbees are essential for the beach, therefore pies are vital beach fare, no?