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Update on Sugartoes and babies!

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
The story began on 5/21/05 when my foster cat Sugartoes gave birth to 5 beautiful kittens. The details are here:http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...ight=sugartoes

Here is an early picture. She has been a remarkable Mommy, caring for her kittens carefully. Once when I was holding a kitten, instead of putting it down when it cried, she snatched it right out of my hand and put it back in the nest!

Here is Hershey Kiss at 2 days old (taken on my phone so kinda blurry)!

On day 3 the little black baby (B.B.) was found dead. Then at 6 weeks, Zero died! She was so fluffy and loving. She was already promised to a friend!

Yesterday Hershey Kiss, the brown tiger girl died! Here's a pic of her with the orange boy (Twinkie) at 3 weeks.

Here they are at 5 weeks, with Twinkie on top!

Again at 5 weeks, with Kiss on top of the other girl, a gorgeous Tortie named Smartie.

I just love having these babies here at home, but feel like a millionaire who lost most of his money. I don't know why, but lots of loving pets makes me feel rich. And although I still have many precious pets, the loss of the last two apparently healthy kittens has hit me kind of hard! I'm feeling a little poor!

But the great news is that the surviving two kittens, Twinkie and Smartie, have been checked by the vet today. They do not have distemper or FeLV. They are healthy. They even got their first shots today, as did Momma Sugartoes.

Here's a pic of her resting in the open window, dreaming of the days when she got to run free (and repeatedly get pregnant!).

Here is Smartie at 5 weeks, hiding behind the cat cage.

She looks a little like her Mom! I don't have many good pics of Smartie. She has plenty of "tortitude" already!

Thanks for listening. I feel much better knowing my litter doesn't have anything contagious!
post #2 of 33
Good news on the rest of them being AOK
post #3 of 33
Did the vet have any thoughts on why they died?
post #4 of 33
They are so sweet. I do hope you have no more problems.
post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by ginava
Did the vet have any thoughts on why they died?
He is pretty certain it is just fading kitten syndrome. But he is doing a necropsy on Kiss, which includes sending out tissue samples. I'll post when I hear the results!

Today Smartie and Twinkie are active and playful. All seems well!
post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
I'm home this week, having taken the week off work. 5 y/o ds was in the kitten room playing video games for part of the day. Twice he came out to me, worried that Twinkie had died because he was laying on his side. Of course when I went to check on him, Twinkie was just napping. The last time, I startled the poor baby so he jumped to his feet from a sound sleep! I think we are all a little jumpy after losing those babies.

But to hear Shane explain to me as we walk to the room, "if you pick him up and he is stiff, that means he is dead", makes me wonder what effect this is having on my kids! But I kinda feel the same way, when I see them laying on their side. I love them dearly, but am so ready to give these kittens away so someone else can worry about them! (They won't be 8 weeks old til Saturday, so it is too early, now, but I can see them maturing in many ways.)

I will take them to my job tomorrow to show them off. I think two women there may want them. Hopefully Smartie will be in a good mood-she can be a real stinker and only wants to be touched when she is ready for it! Send "be sweet" vibes for her and "be brave" vibes for Twinkie!
post #7 of 33
Beckiboo, do you really think it is a good idea to cart these cats around at this time? I am not so sure. The people who are interested should come to you to see them not the other way around ... have you gotten the kitten vaccines started yet? If not, then I don't suggest that you take them out of your home right now. Especially after losing the others ... it's very risky.

post #8 of 33
I would not take these little ones anywhere until they are 12 weeks or older, and when you have company, sanatize with the hand gel before they touch you little ones. Better to be safe than sorry. My mentor has 3 actual cat houses and she makes everyone, herself included sanatize before touching any kittens every time we enter a different cat house. And if a kitten is sold, touching that kitten is not permitted, I am so lucky to have such a wonderful mentor, She is absoloutly inspiring! Am I rambling or what??? Sorry....
post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 
Well, we have already gone and are home now. I work at an outpatient psych clinic, and only other co-workers pet them, so I am very confident that even the cat owners had been at work for several hours and had washed hands before handling the kits. I didn't think of asking people to use hand gel, but will in the future.

The kittens did ok, they were of course nervous initially, but settled down. Only a few people held Smartie, including the lady who is interested in adopting. She likes them both, and isn't sure who she likes better! She has an older declawed boy at home. (She now knows about declaw and will never do that again!)

The other lady stayed home from work today, so didn't get to meet the kits. I think Twinkie would be good for her. Or maybe a friendly adult cat. He was way more relaxed today! He even dozed off under my chin at one point.

The cats did have first vaccinations when they saw the vet last Friday. With my agency, we take the kittens to Petsmart on Saturdays for people to see them. So they will soon be going out, if not adopted now. If they are adopted, the new owners know they need to get a little older, and be fully weaned. (I saw Smartie nursing a few days ago.)

The agency I foster for starts to adopt out babies at 8 weeks. I would have the option of keeping them longer if I wanted, but depending on how they do this week may let them go younger than 12 weeks.

My concern is that they are currently in an 8x15' room, and I think they need to get out and get more experiences. But my cats are coronavirus positive, I believe, since last year I lost Mattie to FIP. I don't want to let the babies loose in the house because they will be exposed. I'm not so worried about the Momma, since she is an adult. But I can't let her out, and then let her back in with the babies...

I'm sure they will all be fine in that room for a while longer, but I can't see keeping them there for another month! I will keep them at least until 9 weeks, so they can get their second set of shots before going to their new homes.
post #10 of 33
Beckiboo. I am so sorry for the loss of your 3 special little kitty cats.
But I am so happy for you that you have 2 healthy ones left. There are so pretty. Just like their momma Sugartoes.

RIP.... B.B., Zero, and Hershey Kiss
post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I've been thinking alot about the advice. I guess I just got to thinking I'm cursed, and wanted to get the babies safely out of here! But as soon as they got home from visiting work, their Momma gave them quick baths. I guess they still need to spend the time with her. And letting her out of the room is irrelevant. She has had a lifetime of "freedom" to run outside and get pregnant, a few more weeks with the kits won't hurt her, right?

As soon as she weans them, she can go get spayed. And when they are old enough, they can go to their new, forever homes. Thanks for all the advice and support!
post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 
Well, the babies are 10 weeks old now. I have a couple of nibbles on the cute orange boy kitten, and maybe Sugartoes, the Momma cat. If I don't have firm offers of adoption by Saturday, they will go to a cat show for possible adoption.

Sugartoes will be spayed next week. If neither kitten is adopted, I will bring them back home. If I end up with only one kitten, I will send it to someone else's house, so it won't be alone.

It is exciting to think of them going to their forever homes, but when I kiss their little baby faces, I know how I will miss them. DH and I had a long talk. I was thinking I should quit fostering babies. I don't want to scar my children, and it has been hard to lose babies. But he helped put it in perspective. Children who grow up with farm animals have dealt with the losses and deaths of animals forever. What the kids are gaining from this experience is valuable. And we are helping, one Momma cat at a time. So in a few months, I will be ready to start again!
post #13 of 33
Thread Starter 
Twinkie was adopted tonight. He will be 10 weeks old in 2 days. A co-worker's husband suddenly died a few weeks ago. She has had dogs before, but never a cat. But when she visited a friend with a 12 y/o male cat, and saw how he jumped up on his owner's lap, she started thinking about it.

She is tired of coming home to an empty house. I offered her the Momma cat, but she wants the distraction of a kitten. Her daughter has 3 cats, and tried to talk her into taking Twinkie and his sister Smartie. But she just wanted Twinks. If you could have seen him snuggling up on her chest, happy as a clam. He actually fell asleep! And when she handed him off to her daughter or me, he looked back at her, as if to say, "Hey, where's the nice lady?"

And another co-worker has committed to Sugartoes. She will go to be spayed, then off to her new forever home, with a male kitty friend.

Tomorrow Smartie will go to another home. If she isn't adopted at the show Saturday, she will go home with someone else. Otherwise she would end up alone at my house!

They are such a friendly, and good looking family of cats. I am glad they are having a happy ending. Once I develop my last roll of film, I'll post pics on the picture board.

Thanks to each and every person who has gone through the past 10 weeks with me!
post #14 of 33
What a happy ending ... thanks for sharing it with us. Now, go and do something good for YOU. Splurge on something that makes you feel special.

post #15 of 33
Thread Starter 
Honestly, although I am relieved to be going down to 2 litterboxes instead of 4 to scoop daily, not very much can compare to the feeling of kissing on a sweet baby kitten! But I do feel good about getting them all started on their way.

I'll think about a splurge, though, sounds like a GREAT idea!
post #16 of 33
Becki, I have been following all your posts on these little babies and tonight to read such a happy ending has brough tears to my eyes!

Give yourself a pat on the back for the good work that you have done, and if you decide that you don't want to adopt again, I can understand
post #17 of 33
awwwww thar so cute!
post #18 of 33
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Gilly
Becki, I have been following all your posts on these little babies and tonight to read such a happy ending has brough tears to my eyes!

Give yourself a pat on the back for the good work that you have done, and if you decide that you don't want to adopt again, I can understand
Well, dh and I were discussing it recently. The cats are really my thing. He pays attention to Garfield and Festus, but never even goes into the kitten room. I was concerned about my feelings, but also about the effect on the kids to be losing these kittens.

DH grew up on a farm. His feeling is that kids on farms see animals die. Fostering is not harming the children, in fact they are learning from the experience. He strongly encouraged me to keep fostering.

This Momma cat was overbred. I think she just couldn't produce and grow healthy kittens. If she had just had a month in between litters to recuperate, maybe she could have done it. She certainly tried her best to care for the babies. I know I didn't contribute to the problem, although maybe if I had been home with them and noticed them fading, I could have tried something. But within my resources, I provided the best for her and her babies. And she will never have another litter. The agency helped her owner spay his other cats, so they ended a bad cycle.

I can't fix the world. I can't free the Iraqi's, or end hunger in Africa. And I can't end the overpopulation of cats. But twice a year, I can enjoy the love of some precious babies, and save one kitty at a time.

Oy, vey, let me get off my soapbox! Even with it's ups and downs, fostering is my thing. As I was typing, Gar jumped into my lap. Without fostering, I would never have met him. It is worth it!!!
post #19 of 33
Very touching.

Funny how I was never a cat person and now I care and understand why someone could have 20 cats. Used to be ludicrous to me. I actually feel that cats chose me.
post #20 of 33
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by florit0275
Very touching.

Funny how I was never a cat person and now I care and understand why someone could have 20 cats. Used to be ludicrous to me. I actually feel that cats chose me.
Yeah, they do have a way of choosing us, don't they?

I have Sugartoes back home, now. She was spayed yesterday, and she looks like a rack of bones. Her waist is sooo skinny, and her hip bones show more. I think this last litter took a lot out of her! I'm going to keep her in the kitten room, although she may get lonely. At least she is familiar with the room, and we will visit with her often. She already got her can of food with gravy that she loves so much. And I'll keep her on the dry kitten food until she fills out.

She will stay here to recuperate for a week or so, then off to her new home and her new buddy named Bandito. Once she goes to her forever home, she will be Carlita, and they will call her Lita.

Here's a pic of her with Twinkie-now known as Rusty.

Smartie and Rusty, just before he was adopted.

Rusty is playing with and napping near his new owner's granddaughter. She doesn't talk yet, but she makes the K sound for kitty! And he is sleeping in bed with his new owner now. He is fitting in wonderfully.
post #21 of 33
Thread Starter 
Late f/u info: Sugartoes was not adopted by my co-worker, and is still at my house. Tomorrow she will go to a new foster home, as I have trouble getting her to the adoption shows every weekend. I will miss her quiet sweet ways, but she has not been real happy since we got the babies Red and Blue.

Her kitten Smartie lived in another home with other kittens for a few weeks before being adopted. And today I saw new pics of Twinkie aka Rusty. He is about 7 months old now, and looks all grown up. His new owner has his pic on her desk, of him looking out the window, wearing his purple name tag, with some pretty purple flowers behind him. She just is so thankful to have this wonderful boy, and I am so thankful he has such a great meowmie!

I'll be starting a new thread soon. Next week I'll get a new tortie Mommie who has 5 kittens who are about 2 weeks old!
post #22 of 33
Thread Starter 
Wow, that was more painful than I expected. Poor little girl, she fought going into the carrier this morning, but I am sure she expected the usual. Probably thought she would go to an adoption show and come home at the end of the day. Instead, she went to a new home. I feel very bad, as if I am letting her down, although intellectually I know it is best for her to find a forever home soon.

Here she is with Festus on one of the cat chairs. Those are our old ugly kitchen chairs that the cats love to sit in and scratch at.

Again, in the ugly chair, sitting pretty for a piece of pizza.

Oh, I hope they give her table treats at her new home. And canned food occasionally, with lots of gravy. And I hope she fits in with the other kitties. Here, she took over as topcat pretty quickly.

Best of luck, sweet Sugartoes. Thank you for sharing your beautiful babies with me. BB, Zero, and Kiss will be forever mine, over the Rainbow Bridge. And Twinkie/Rusty, and Smartie have happy forever homes. You have been through so much, and took it all like a real lady. I hope you find your forever home soon, where you are not only loved, as you were here, but beloved. Where you are the favorite, the special one, the apple of someones eye. I will always love you, and wish you only the best.
post #23 of 33
Thanks for sharing your sweet story, Beckiboo! I was so sad to hear about the three babies that died, but so happy that the 2 babies and Momma Sugartoes found good homes!! It must have been hard to send her on her way today...I'm sure her new foster meowmy will take great care of her.
post #24 of 33
Thread Starter 
Well, Sugartoes first day at her new foster home she did not eat. Her new foster Daddy has her in a separate room, and sits in there with her on the couch reading her books. She would only eat a few bites of kibble for him, although she has primarily been on dry cat food here.

I gave some pointers, including that if he ate his dinner in there, and then let her have the leftovers, she would be in hog heaven. But it didn't come to that. He got her some moist food with lots of gravy, and she is eating very well now. (Good thing, because it saved me a trip to visit her yesterday! She is kind of far from me now!)

I'm glad she is settling in. And I'm still hoping for that forever home for her. Maybe I'll see her Saturday at the adoption show.
post #25 of 33
Thread Starter 
Well, Sugartoes is back at my house. She would only eat for her new foster Daddy if he fed her from a spoon. She was not adopted today, so she is back at my house until our next show in 2 weeks.

She seems glad to be home, got a snuggle from dh, had some canned food and is just checking out the house. Anyone need a real pretty tortie?



I'll keep posting on the feral board about my new feral kittens, and I'll keep up about Sugar there. Hopefully, one of these days she will find a new home!
post #26 of 33
omgawsh! the cutest kitties! *hugs them all*
post #27 of 33
Thread Starter 
Well, Sugartoes is eating just fine. And she is sleeping in bed with dh and I. Before, she would sleep on our bed during the day, but never stayed all night in bed with us. And this morning she woke me up at 8 am to get up and feed her. (I am always up by 8am, even on the weekends.) I should have told her that I am off work this week and could sleep in.

So while I am worried about fostering 9 cats, with my two keepers, Sugar is now fine. She thinks she has found her forever home. And I am thinking about giving up fostering. Sugar is such a sweetie. And my former feral Blue is a doll, jumped on my lap this morning for some loving! (How feral is THAT?!?!) I'm starting to want to keep Sugar, Red, and Blue. And that is just because the kittens are too little to play with much, I'm sure in a few weeks I'll be wanting all 11. Maybe I'll just keep some, and retire from fostering.

Plus we want a new GIANT breed pup-possibly a Newf. So maybe I'll just keep the best kitties, send the rest on, and switch to a puppy.
post #28 of 33
It sounds like Sugartoes has already decided that you're keeping her
post #29 of 33
Originally Posted by Melsa
It sounds like Sugartoes has already decided that you're keeping her

She loves you! And we know you love her.
post #30 of 33
Sometimes cats choose us, don't they. Although the need for foster homes is great, sometimes the bond we have with our fosters is too great to be broken. The poor things, they have been thru so much, so many changes, and we are the only real love they have ever known. I have fostered dozens of cats and kittens, and a few have remained. I don't believe I am the only one who can love them, I just think sometimes it is a perfect fit.
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