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A Bit of a Rant...Feeling Overwhelmed

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Where to begin & hoping this is the appropriate forum for my little rant...

You've heard of "shark week"...well...I'm having "feline week" over here. I've been fostering two 5-week old kittens for the last week and now I have four 5-week old kittens that I am fostering. One of the mother's of my colony in the back had a litter of six. I was able to grab 2 of the kittens last week...the others were hiding behind & under a shed. Today when I went outside to feed the adults this afternoon, I heard terrible crying. I found two of the kittens tangled up in weeds & grass. I grabbed a towel & in they came. The other two are still behind a shed...where the mother has a made a nest of sorts and has been nursing them. Well...of course, they are not weaned which means bottles, formula mixing, clean nipples, KMR powder all over the place, etc. etc. Not to mention, kitten litter, kitten food, plastic spoons, toys, rolled-up socks and last but not least...Terramycin on-hand.

In addition to the above madness, let's not forget about my four very spoiled fuzzy faces (all inside cats/kittens)...two adult Persians & two 5 1/2 month old kittens which were born from my outside colony of 7...brought in...bottle-fed...spoiled silly, loved and kept.

I have an appointment this coming Monday for my 1st ever TNR on one of my females from colony in backyard. Nervous about it...I've never done this before (TNR) and I will be attempting this solo but I will say a little prayer and get through it.

On top of all this feral & fostering stuff...my little Bob has dropped his little "you know what's" and my little Ally girl is rolling on her back. Needless to say, both of these little ones are scheduled for this coming Tuesday for a neuter & spay.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed. Four kittens fostering, four inside fuzzy faces, a trap/spay on Monday, a neuter & spay on Tuesday and I still have to get my hands on the 2 kittens behind the shed. Last Saturday night, I spend hours with the President of my Humane Society doing a little emergency pet vet in my kitchen...see my post regarding flys infesting newborn kittens. My humane society who has been very supportive are also overwhelmed. Terrible kitten season this year.

Okay. Feel a bit better that I got that all out and now I must attend to feeding the feral adults their dinner.
post #2 of 26
leesali...I know you don't hear this enough but THANK YOU. I know this is money out of your pocket for cats that are not your own...but you are giving them a MUCH better life. I am sending you good vibes for your first TNR.....just know that by spaying this female...she will no longer add to the overpopulation.

Katie
post #3 of 26
You may be feeling overwhelmed right now, but you are doing so much good by caring for all of these cats, and being responsible with the ones you can be. Bravo girl!
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the support. I know in my heart I'm doing the right thing...I'm just getting a wee bit tired

Have just coaxed the other 2 kittens out from behind the shed and they are now eating kitten food in the back. I know...I know...they have to come in too. Will go back out in a few minutes and grab these guys with flea comb to follow
post #5 of 26
leesali..hopefully there will come a day when your colony is stabilized and you have 0 kittens being born. Just remember to have the vet ear tip this cat so you know who has been TNRed and who hasn't.

Katie
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
leesali..hopefully there will come a day when your colony is stabilized and you have 0 kittens being born. Just remember to have the vet ear tip this cat so you know who has been TNRed and who hasn't.

Stopping the initial kitten problem is really the priority right now. In the last 3-weeks alone, I've had 15 kittens back there. Six did not make it & out of the remaining 9, three are being fostered/bottle-fed in a foster home, 4 are in my home being fostered and the other 2 kittens are still outside. Again, the first of three adult females will be spayed this coming Monday and I will continue to trap the rest of the adults until everyone is spayed/neutered.

The ear-tag is a great idea. I will ask my vet. about it on Monday.
post #7 of 26
Great Job! I know how frustrating it is... I have 3 fosters now that I have had for 6-7 weeks (since they were 3 weeks old). I'm dealing with a colony by my office in some abandoned buildings set to be demolished for new condos and as you know it is very stressful, expensive and exhausting. I applaud you for your efforts & your kindness. I hope that life brings only the best your way!
post #8 of 26
First of all, major props to you for doing all of this. If it weren't for you, all these poor kitties would be out on the mean streets.
Here's what you need:
Step One: Go to the drugstore, buy yourself a nice, silly girly magazine.
Find your nearest, cleanest bathtub. And your largest, tastiest bottle of wine. Fill the tub. Fill the glass. Sit in the bathtub. Drink the wine. Drink the wine some more. Read the magazine. Take a deep breath. By now you should feel better
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllyExtra05
First of all, major props to you for doing all of this. If it weren't for you, all these poor kitties would be out on the mean streets.
Here's what you need:
Step One: Go to the drugstore, buy yourself a nice, silly girly magazine.
Find your nearest, cleanest bathtub. And your largest, tastiest bottle of wine. Fill the tub. Fill the glass. Sit in the bathtub. Drink the wine. Drink the wine some more. Read the magazine. Take a deep breath. By now you should feel better

What a great idea!!
post #10 of 26
I thought about your today, Leesali, at the Petco cat adoption show. I took Sugartoes in, but not only was she not adopted, but none of the cats or kittens was!

But someone brought in 4 kittens, age 3-4 weeks that she has been bottle feeding. I held Cliff, a gray and white boy, for about an hour. I bottle fed him, and fell deeply in love! One of the kittens is fading fast, but the others are thriving under the care of a teenage girl, with lots of support from her family.

I wish I lived closer to you, so I could come over and pitch in. Can you ask around? Maybe you have a friend you haven't thought of asking, who would come visit and handle a feeding, or a litter box scooping, or even just hold your hand for a minute! Maybe even a kid from the neighborhood could help for an hour or two, with supervision?!?

At the end of the afternoon, the girl left with just two kittens, the sickly little girl, and the boy that I held. The other two were popped into the cage of a cat who was spayed about a month ago, who loves to baby a little stuffed toy. Within a half hour, she had both kittens cleaned up properly, had stimulated one to poo, and they were resting quietly in their new Momma's arms. These kittens have been sucking on each others genitals until they are raw, and it is hoped that with a Momma's warmth and care, they will stop harming each other. (If not, Momma will have to have one kitten at a time!)

I know you have been overwhelmed, but just holding one tiny baby, and trying to keep him warm and feed him, gave me a clearer picture of both the work and the incredible sweetness of your big chore. Please keep going, girl! And best of luck with the spays and neuter!

I've heard people often will adopt from a news story...maybe when the little ones get old enough to rehome, you can call your local paper to do a little story about your kits, and help find new homes.
post #11 of 26
Sorry you are feeling so overwhelmed, but you are doing such a wonderful thing, and hopefully you wont have to go through this again next year. Fingers crossed for all the spaying and neutering.
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Kitten #3 & #4 are doing well this morning and have adjusted so quickly from the outside world to the inside world; it'ss amazing how fast these little fuzzy faces learn. I put them both in litter pan and "poof" they just got it and got it all night long

As mentioned, I was going to grab & bring-in kitten #5 & #6 last night but I just couldnl't do it. Interesting & sad. One of the other adult females "Smokey" lost her kittens last week...3 past & 3 of the newborns are in foster. When I went out last night to get the 2 remaining kittens...there was Smokey wrapped around those 2 remaining kittens & nursing them. I just didn't have the heart to take them from her. I've seen her do this before...whereas she nurses & adopts kittens from her sister's litters.

Today is a new day Feeling rested. Here we go...MUST get to the Humane Society/adoption center and get some more Terramycin, kitten litter, formula and premium kitten food. Also, they will be giving me some dewormer for those that I have in the house.

Thanks again for everybody's kind & supportive words...it does help
post #13 of 26
leesali - your an angel~

if there were more people like you there wouldnt be any stray cats.

your doing more than 99% of people so hang in there!
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
if there were more people like you there wouldnt be any stray cats

Honestly, I feel very guilty & responsible for these "15" little babies...all born within the last 5 weeks. I should have jumped on the TNR bandwagon when I first started feeding this outside colony 2-years ago...it would have alleviated the kitten problem and the adults would be healthier & happier for it.

If you are going to feed & care for a stray...get it spayed and/or neutered.
post #15 of 26
but atleast your remedying it now, and you have an ancedote (spell?) to motivate others. not ideal but your still helping! you didnt *have* to do anything but you cared enough and did.
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by leesali
if there were more people like you there wouldnt be any stray cats

Honestly, I feel very guilty & responsible for these "15" little babies...all born within the last 5 weeks. I should have jumped on the TNR bandwagon when I first started feeding this outside colony 2-years ago...it would have alleviated the kitten problem and the adults would be healthier & happier for it.

If you are going to feed & care for a stray...get it spayed and/or neutered.
Earlier I posted a link of a woman who fed a cat at a McDonalds for 8 years and didn't spay it....she watched this cat have litter after litter and did what she could....but only recently had the cat spayed. Some people commented that she should have "known" about TNR and tried to trap this cat 8 years ago...but my feeling is that she didn't even have to feed the cat. I'm glad that you are TNRing these cats now and you can be the voice to advocate (from experience) to other individuals feeding ferals and strays to spay/neuter their colony.

Katie
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm glad that you are TNRing these cats now and you can be the voice to advocate (from experience) to other individuals feeding ferals and strays to spay/neuter their colony.

Thank-you & wish me luck with my 1st ever TNR tomorrow am.

Good news!! Just came home from humane society/adoption center & when I explained that I just can't keep-up with 10 mouths they agreed to take 4 kittens tomorrow. I will still have the 2 that are bottle-feeding mixed with food but the remaining litter will be in the best of hands...and eventually someone will walk-in & adopt a few.

Off to deworm the little fuzzy faces and of course, it's lunch time for the crew.
post #18 of 26
I am so glad that they are taking some kittens for you! You certainly were needing a break!

And for anyone reading this, who wants to help in their area, many rescues are currently overwhelmed. Please consider calling to see if you could take a few kittens to foster for a month or two, until they can be adopted. They truly are incredibly sweet, and your job is just to love on them and socialize them! You can help make a little room in the other foster homes for the next wave of pregnant fosters!

Remember, not everyone takes on piles and piles of kittens. Just taking one litter, or even a few kittens for a while will help. And they are so very sweet! If you decide you like fostering, you can do it again. If not, just let it be a one time thing.
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
And for anyone reading this, who wants to help in their area, many rescues are currently overwhelmed. Please consider calling to see if you could take a few kittens to foster for a month or two, until they can be adopted. They truly are incredibly sweet, and your job is just to love on them and socialize them! You can help make a little room in the other foster homes for the next wave of pregnant fosters!

post #20 of 26
Leesali, A big THANK YOU for doing this for the much needed...I hope you had that much deserved bath... You deserve it..~!~!

Beckiboo or anyone: I have thought of fostering as our humane society is full (its a kill shelter) and they are having many "half priced" days lately..But I live in a small apt.
How do you find your resident cats handle it? Obviously they all have to be separated and I worry that my two would feel put out by the room taken over.

Again, A BIG THANK YOU to all of you who put your own finance, time and sanity out for the sake of these cats...
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
How do you find your resident cats handle it? Obviously they all have to be separated and I worry that my two would feel put out by the room taken over.

I have four "resident" cats...2 are 2-yr. old adults & the other 2 are barely 6-months...kept from fostering. All except for Ashley (femal adult Persian) love having the babies here. I keep the fosters in a cage...will try take a picture of it & post...the word "cage" has such a bad connotation. If there are 2 litters being fostered at the same time (rare) I keep them in 2 seperate cages for health reasons. With the little ones in cages, the resident cats still have free reign in the room. Of course, if the fosters are newborns...they stay in a large box with towels & blankets...no cage.

If there is a will...there is a way...it can be done.
post #22 of 26
Loveysmummy - my two cats don't tolerate each other, never mind newcomers, so my fosters have to be kept separate the majority of the time. I currently have a foster in the bathroom - mine is rather small though, so more ideal for quiet, elderly or recuperating cats (unlike the mad 2 year old currently in there!!), so that is something to think about.
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
A few pics. of the cages for foster babies:







On one side of the cage, I always place a small carboard box lined with a towel and hang an old t-shirt 1/2 way over the top...it gives them a sense of security.

On the other side of the cage is another cardboard box that has a plastic baking pan in it filled with kitten litter...I try to extend this to the outside of the cage so the little ones learn cats are clean and they are cats

To the side, I have a bowl of water and another bowl for wet/dry food mixed. I throw a bunch of little toys in the cage...mice, balls, rolled-up socks & a straw for them to teeth on & play with.

Hmmmm...that cage is starting to look very inviting. Fresh food, water & soft place to sleep...maybe I can squeeze myself in there
post #24 of 26
Leesali what a fantastic job you are doing. I'm so glad the Humane Society are able to lend a hand to relieve you of some of the stress. I'm filled with admiration for you
post #25 of 26
How wonderful of you! You are doing a great thing
post #26 of 26
oh, OK! Not a cage, cage but a playroom so to speak..That looks like some kind of shelving turned on its side??? I may look into this fostering program at my shelter.
If I had a set up like you, it seems perfect for the little ones...

Thanks for the pics!! That does indeed look ultra comfy
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