Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 10 - Piper meets Brooke

No, this post isn't called War of the Worlds because Piper and Brooke did not fight. Everyone was definitely interested in each other and there was hissing. We thougth to have Piper and Brooke eat dinner together, in the same kitchen. Piper was downstairs for about 2 hours tonight. She had stretched out on the couch and was sleeping and dreaming (she was having dream twitches).

Here is a record of how Piper has reacted with each of our cats ---

Henry: Totally cool with Henry. She has hissed at him a few times to let him know who is boss. I think she is protective of her food.

Pearl: She's met Pearl about 2 times, and they seem to be okay. I think Pearl is a little oblivious that she's a new cat...

May: May has growled at every cat that we have brought into the house, including Henry whom everyone loves. I have often found May and Henry curled up together, so clearly May's hissing and growling is just something she does in the beginning. Piper did growl back at May as if to say, "Yeah, you might be three times my size, but smack me and we'll take it outside!"

Vickie: Vickie seemed incredibly interested in Piper, but not aggressively. I think she is an alpha cat and any new cat that comes in is a threat. It is funny though, because Piper and Vickie have been in the same situations: Lost, outdoors and pregnant.

Sabrina: Sabs has only met Piper that one time that she was extremely aggressive. They haven't revisited each other but we are planning on working on it.

Brooke: She has seen Piper a few times near the door and coming in and out of my room, but tonight was the first time they ate together in the same room. Brooke came in and out a few times. There was barely any hissing, which is really good. We're going to continue to feed Piper and Brooke together.

I realy hope Sabrina and Brooke will a) come around to each other and b) get along with Piper. She's already an integral (SAT word much?) part of our family.

Today Piper discovered the new perch she's had in my room for almost a week. She realized that she can get into the little bed at the top and look at the window. Hopefully this weekend we will be able to integrate her into the general population. I hope there is room on the back of my dad's car to add another cat to the little family!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 9 - Meeting (some of) the gang

Last night, once again, Piper slept right next to me. I love counting on having a warm little furry to sleep next to. I watched a Bourne movie on my iPod so she couldn't really see it. We fell asleep soundly, but were woken up early after 6 am to thunder claps. I was worried that the thunder would scare Piper, but she seemed totally unaware. Although, poor Brooke, was probably hiding in fear.

Sitting on my US/VA history textbook
 Piper seemed like she wanted to just walk out the door and come to school with me. I wish she could! I got back and she was so happy to see me. She even helped me learn about World War 1 when I was doing my homework. I opened the door to go get her some food, and she walked right out of my room! I quickly ushered her back in, but it was clear that she was really ready to be roaming free. After I came back up, I let the door be open a crack so Pearl could sniff around the door frame. She met Piper last night and seemed to be okay with her. They ate treats together by the door but there was a little bit of hissing.

Then, tonight we brought Piper downstairs to the kitchen. Henry hung out with her and it's too funny about how totally calm he is with Piper. Piper met Vicki, who apparently was fine with (I wasn't down there at the time). May didn't notice her. So Piper needs to meet Brooke and remeet Sabrina. If Piper can coexist with everyone out in the general population, that means she has the potential to have found her forever home. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 8 - Tonight's Movie: Mean Girls (1 showing only)

Saturday night, Piper got to meet my best friend Lindsay and her mom. Sunday Piper got to meet our friends Pat and Sussie, and my grandma. It was a full house for her. She took it all in stride, rubbing up along everyone's legs and puring.

Saturday night when I got into bed, she didn't come up for the longest time. She was sprawled out on my floor. I kept calling her and patting the bed. I turned off my light and continued to call her. She wasn't budging. I got off my bed and went down to pet her. She soon followed me up onto bed, where she snuggled up for the rest of the night.  We did wake up this morning about 9:30 am ish to a very odd barking/distress noise from a dog. Piper's whole body perked up and her ears were moving rapidly. I have no idea what was outside, but she even let out a small growl.

Our movie tonight was Mean Girls (1 showing and one showing only). Our star is stealth tortie, Sabrina (aka Regina George) who is suddenly struck with mood swings. Henry plays Gretchen Weiners, who is assertive when need be. Pearl plays Karen Smith, the oblivious to all that is going on. And Piper plays Cady Heron, who is just trying to fit in, in the Shubin household.

The rest of tonight's post is being written in a frustrated manner. As I had mentioned in my last post, Piper met Henry and all seemed to go well. There was a little growling, but there were many things that could have caused that. Henry was Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky and acted totally chilled around Piper.

Around 8:45 pm tonight we thought that maybe Piper should meet Sabrina. Piper's seemed a little more interested in leaving my room. Dad and I figured why not, and I carried her into his room. Inside was Sabrina, Pearl and Henry. I sat on the floor holding Piper and then put her down. Henry was totally calm, Pearl seemed oblivious and Bean (Sabrina's nickname) seemed alert to Piper's presence. Piper went straight into one of the beds in the room (actually the bed of mom's childhood calico, our late cat Marsh, and currently Sabrina/Henry/Pearl's bed).

Everyone got treats and everything seemed to be going fine. Piper was by the bed, Henry and Pearl were near me eating treats, and Sabrina was under a chair. For a moment, it seemed like everything would be okay. Then *BAM* Sabrina pounced out from underneath the chair, hissing and spitting like the little stealth tortie she is and I quickly snatched up Piper. Henry then got right into Sabrina's face as if to say, "back off squirt, she's okay - I checked her out earlier." Both his and Sabrina's tails were puffed up, and Pearl was freaked out in the other part of the room.I was aghast how quickly the whole thing happened. I know Sabrina has issues with Brooke and sometimes things turn ugly. Like the time when Brooke literally scared the poop out of Sabrini (another one of her nicknames).

Dad, as I, were both upset. Things seemed to be going okay and they drastically changed in seconds. Dad felt like it was a sure sign that we couldn't keep her and that no one could get along. I don't want to feel discouraged, but it is hard not to. But I have to remind myself (and Dad) that it was the first time that Sabrina and Piper met, she met 2 cats at one time, Sabrina has issues with Brooke and that we're just going to have to work on it. Sabrina and Brooke are probably going to have to be on Prozac. I think it is what it is.

Henry is currently in my room, sprawled out under my bed. Piper is aware that he is in here, but she doesn't seem unhappy. I don't know what to do. I really want to keep Piper and I'm aware of the fact that if she can't get along with Bean, that it's just not going to work out. I feel bad about it, because after Piper's miscarriage I felt really bonded with her. But having Sabrina always closed into the master bed room is hard on everyone. We can't have two cats that live in two separate rooms. I mean, if Bean and Piper got along and could be in one...it still isn't great, but we could keep working on it.

There is a lot of pressure with having 7 cats (keeping in mind that only 6 are ours). I hate that Brooke and Sabrina can't get along. Sabrina was our foster for a while and we adopted her, even though we had to work on getting her and Brooke to get along. I mean, we have an actual pet therapist who comes once a year and emails frequently to get Brooke and Piper to get along.

I'm trying to keep our foster Piper in perspective. It's a work in progress. I love my 6 cats and wouldn't give any of them up. More tomorrow.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 7 - When Henry meets Piper

"In the movie "Henry meets Piper", the part of Piper is played by a slightly growly Calico, while Henry is played by an unflappable, typically oblivious black male cat. Opening night reviews, generally positive."
-Harry Shubin

I spent another night with Piper curled up against me. She sleeps right against my chest, so I can pet her while I drift off into slumber. Brooke, who occasionally sleeps with me, usually sleeps off to the side of my bed. Unlike Piper who likes to place her head against my pillow next to mine. I find it incredibly sweet that she stays with me all night (though I suppose she gets down to eat and use the litter box).

Piper is still being difficult about taking her antibiotic pill. I can't believe that wrapping it in cheese she merely gave it a sniff; I know our cats would take a flying leap to get a taste of that cheese. Particularly Sabrina, who is a human food fiend. If anyone has suggested, comments are appreciated. Here or on my Facebook.

As the quote at the top of the page says, Henry got in to my room today and met Piper. He has been very interested in the room since we've had it closed. She wasn't aware he came in for a while. I found that surprising.  When he sniffed her food and water, she hissed and let out a smallgrowl. She growled again when he gave her a closer up sniff. I think she is protective of her food because she had to possibly forge for it outside, and the other reason is that she knows she isn't 100% herself since her spay.

Special thanks to Sara, who gave Piper a lovely gift. A pink fleece blanket fit for a princess, and an adorable, sparkly pink collar, that Piper will wear soon. Piper is wearing a kitten collar right now (with fish on it!), her neck is tiny. The vet told us it's possible she is as young as 9 months old. She's truly the baby of the household.

Tonight's movie choices for Piper and I are tied between The Bource Ultimatum  and Legally Blond.  I'm thinking B.U. tonight and Blond tomorrow.  Can't believe it's been a week with Piper! She goes back to the vet on Thursday for a spay check up.

Is there room on the back of our cars to add to the 6 cats? Pictures soon!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 6 - Cheese, baby food & a new perch.

Piper seems to be a bit more like herself today. I think the pain meds got her out of whack. Last night she curled up with me around 10:30-11pm when I was in bed reading. She had yawned and I noticed her gums were white, which is actually a sign the vet told us to watch out for. It might mean she is anemic, she lost a lot of blood during her spay as it was more complicated than a normal spay.

Piper's paw pads also were a little pale which also made us a little neurotic. Instead of waiting until Friday morning, my parents figured it would be much better to play it safe and take her to the emergency vet. They called and the vet encouraged them to bring her in. Piper and I were finishing Mamma Mia around 12 am and that is when they decided to pack her up. She was all curled up in the crook of my neck and I felt bad letting her go. My mom texted me around 12:20 am when they got to the vet and at some point shortly after, I fell asleep.

I woke up at 4:30 am to go to the bathroom (I seem to wake up around that time when I have a cat in my room) to go to the bathroom. And Piper was curled back up right next to me, as if she had never left. It was so sweet. When I came back in, Piper was picking at her food leftovers from the evening. I got back into the bed and she preceded to use the litter box. It was a very pungent usage and I had to text mom and let her know that I would appreciate it if she came and scooped. *Yes, I know it sounds lazy, but had I scooped it would have required waking my brain up to scoop and bring it to the trashcan and I would have never fallen back asleep*.

Piper had a relatively boring day. I constantly thought about her when I'm at school. I like to get updates from mom to hear about what she does while I'm at school. After I got home around 4, I went upstairs to my room to hang out with her. She was really affectionate when I sat down on the floor. She got into my lap and snuggled up into my neck. She got off and got up onto my bed and looked and I could practically hear her asking me, "Aren't you going to come up and snuggle with me?". So I obliged, grabbed a new book to read from my bookshelf and read a few chapters while cuddling and petting her.

Tonight we went to cat rescue and everyone wanted to hear about how she was doing. I felt like a proud mom to give everyone the report, tell updates about her health and that I needed to buy a few things in the pet store for her. I ended up coming home with a collar, a nice, new scratching post with a little sleeping perch at the top. I know our other 6 cats would absolutely adore it. Piper hasn't gone up into the top part of it, but I'm sure she will eventually. It's a shorter jump into the little nest than it is onto my bed.

The one thing that Piper did that was bad today, was not take her antibiotic pill when my mom gave it to her this morning. She put it in a pill pocket and Piper ate around it, and I found the pill in her little cat bed. Our cat May has to take her steriod pills in it (for a food allergic reaction) and she gobbles up the treat like no tomorrow! Tonight we spent about an hour trying to get her to take the pill; we literally tried everything.

A new pill pocket? Nope. Wouldn't eat it. Pill wrapped in a huge piece of American cheese? No, she kinda gave it a sniff and was like "uhm, I know there is something in there." And I will never eat or look at American cheese the same. Yuck. Our last resort was crushing the pill and putting it in some baby food (luckily we had on hand from the last time one of our cats needed meds). She ate some of it, but whether the crushed pill was in it was debateable. We mushed some party mix treats in it and she ate a little but not all of it. Hopefully she'll eat it when she gets hungry since we left it with her water dish.

I'm really happy that I'm keeping this blog. It's a great creative outlet for me to inform all of Piper's fans about her daily routine. It's just nice to have something inspirational to write about. I heard tonight that a pregnant cat's hormones make her more needy and affectionate and that once the hormones go away, she may not be as friendly. Even though Piper had a miscarriage, she still has the hormones. I think she'll continue to be affectionate.

Tomorow Piper is going to meet the welcome wagon...we're going to let her meet Henry. Maybe use the baby gates so everyone can get a sniff of her. I will get videos and pictures up and update y'all tomorrow!

Glad it's the weekend so I can spend time with Piper!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 5 - Mamma Mia

Piper is just an absolute doll. She's undoubtedly one of the sweetest cats I know. She has a great little
purr-sonality, just like our other cats. I love how she gives me this truly trusting look, knowing that I'm always there for her. Today during school, all I could think about was what she was doing. Right now, she's curled up in her basket asleep. Her appetite is wearing her out. She's eating steadfastly. 

Last night was Piper's first night home from the vet. I was so glad to have her back in my room. She was definitely woozy from her medicine, which made it hard for her to jump up on my high bed. Amazingly, she made it up when I was in bed watching Mamma Mia on my dvd player. About 11:30 pm. She came right up to me and plopped down inbetween me and the dvd player and began purring. 

She's incredibly sweet. I know she is really bonded to me, as I am to her. We watched Mamma Mia together until midnight and I went to bed. I woke up around 3:30 am to go to the bathroom and she was still there, curled up right next to me. I was suprised she was still sleeping with me and not in her kitty basket! I got out of bed and she let out a small mew as if to say, "Where are you going?" I was quick to get back into the room and curl up asleep with her. I woke up a few hours later in the morning and she was still curled up next to me, but got down to eat her breakfast.

Her spay looks good, she is still dripping tiny drops of blood - but I think she'll be good soon. The room smells terrible after she uses the littler box, I think her pain medication makes her stomach feel bad. Plus she's eating a lot of food. I'm going to the mall on Saturday and will definitely be picking up some bath and body works wall flower scent diffusers to mask the odors. Piper goes back to the vet next week for a spay check up. Mom will have a fun week taking her to the vet, and then our own cats have vet appointments.

Can't wait for Friday to go to PetSmart for adoption events. I need to buy Piper some goodies :) I know, I'm a sucker. This family is for this sweet little cat!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 4 - Piper is home and recovering!

Piper hanging out in my room after coming home
Piper finally came home this afternoon from the vet. She was spayed and all seems well. She is on pain meds but she is eating regularly and using her little box. I'm just so glad my little girl is okay. The front of her paw was shaved a little for the IV, it's a soft little patch of shortened fur. I'm sure it will grow back fairly soon.

Right now she is eating her food. She burys it, just like Sabrina did when she came into our home. Of course, Sabrina taught it to Pearl and Henry who both do it now. It's funny; obviously it's something they do out in the wild - but can forget and even learn from another cat. Cats are just so facinating.

Piper likes to have a fuzzy fleece blanket over her little cat bed. We're trying to get her to sleep in it. Mom built a little stair case with blankets, my futon (which apparently is actually a "foot stool") and a chair. It goes up to my bed, as the vet said she shouldn't be too active since she was just spayed.

My goals for Piper are to put on weight as she is just too skinny. I want to get her playing actively after she's completely recovered from her spay, and I also want her to meet the welcome wagon. I know Henry is interested in getting into the room since he met Gabby. Brooke is also facinated with my room. She did get in this morning, but Piper hadn't been picked up from the vet yet, so no one has met her yet.

Today we got a wonderful picture from the family who adopted Gabby. They have a bull dog and they have been working hard to get her to get along with Gabby. This picture shows Gabby on a desk in a bed, with Lola the bull dog is below.

Poor Piper just tried to jump onto my bed and couldn't make it - it's a high jump. I think she is still a little woozy from her medicine. Oh man, she gives me that look. You know the one, it's the one that got you to adopt your cat or dog. The Look that trumps all other looks. It says "I love you so much, thank you for saving me." And that look got Sabrina adopted. And Vickie. You know where I'm going with that :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 3 - Piper is being spayed today

After yesterday's sad events, Piper seemed to be okay. She was leaking small dime sized spots of blood on the floor and whatever she sat on. I had read about bleeding after labor, so I wasn't alarmed. After all, the events of the previous night had left my carpet stained (all the more reason to finally get new carpet). We lined my floor with old sheets and blankets

I got into bed last night late and little Piper was curled up at my feet. My parents checked in on her periodically to make sure she was okay. We had taken her temperature a few times during the evening and it seemed a bit low. I woke up around 6:30 am and she was curled up inbewteen my feet. When I finally got up in the morning she was sweet and affectionate, curling up near my arms.

Piper ate ravenously this morning, a good sign. My parents took her to the vet and it turned out that she still had a kitten inside of her, but it isn't alive. They made the decision to spay her. She's being spayed at 3 pm today, it's 3:04 pm now. They're keeping her over night to make sure that she is okay after being spayed.

I really miss her so much! I can't wait to have her back in my room. I know I'm attached already, I think we all are. More posts and pictures to come soon, I know everyone will want to her about her recovery.

3/15/11 ***5 PM UPDATE*** Piper was successfully spayed and is recovering at the vet. They said she still had a kitten inside of her, but it was dead. Sad, but if it had been born it probably would have had serious health issues. My little girl will be back tomorrow morning.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 2 - Piper is okay, Nature's tragedy

Taken at a later time after posting today.
Before I begin this post, I'd like to say that my sweet little Piper is doing fine. She is sitting on my lap as I type. Unfortunately last night around 3:30 am, we had a very upsetting thing happen. Piper miscarried her babies and they all died. She's recovering from the tragedy well, she's curled up on my lap. I have to stop every other sentence to pet her. Let me start from early this morning.

I woke up at 3:30 am on Monday morning 3/14/11 to Piper digging in the litter box. I was glad she used it, but it was smelly. I went to the bathroom, got back into bed and she came up and curled up on the bed. She seemed discontent and moved to the other side of me, on top of my pillow. She got down and started rooting around, in a corner behind my basket of magazines. She was digging around and I thought that I needed to just move them and she would curl up and sleep there. But then something clicked in my brain. She was restless and seemed to be "nesting" in the corner. Both signs of labor. I got up, turned on the light and looked down in the corner. I noticed she was cleaning, licking and eating something. It was brown. I thought she had pooped on the floor and was trying to bury it. But something didn't seem right.

I went to get my mom and told her Piper was hiding and trying to eat something but I didn't know what it was. Mom took one look and all I had to ask was, "Is she delivering?" My mom nodded and went to get my dad. Piper was aborting her babies. Only 40 days along, she was barely half way through her pregnancy and still had weeks to go. Both my dad and I had read about cat labor online and knew that the signs were right and she was having her babies too early. Unfortunately, unlike human babies who are born premature, these fetuses had not developed and were dead.

We made Piper as warm as possible, heating up blankets and towels to keep her warm and help her through the labor. We consulted a friend who has dealt with numerous cat labors and did quick research on the Internet. It seemed that Piper was going to have all of the babies right then and there.

The labor process took until 5:30 am, 2 hours from the starting point. It was devastating to see Piper trying to do exactly what a mother needed to do to help her kittens after labor. Not having been experienced with cat labor before, we had trouble distinguishing what was what. You think it would be pretty obvious, but the fetuses were barely formed which made it hard to figure it out. She ate and drank a little bit while she was in labor. Once she was done, she got up onto my bed and curled up. She continued to purr, as she had during the whole labor.

Piper was exhausted from two hours of labor. I have no idea if it was painful for her, but she was a great mother, even though she miscarried. She is as sweet as can be. She curled up with me as I tried to fall back asleep around 6 am, not being successful until 7 am. The whole thing was gut wrenching. The most important thing for everyone was that Piper was okay. She was and continues to be.

This blog was meant to tell the tales of our first pregnant cat fostering. Even though she lost the kittens, I plan on continuing this blog because Piper is an extraordinary cat. She continues to the absolute most loving cat. Please check back to her on her progress!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 1 - SandPiper the Pregnant arrives


Our foster Gabby who was adopted this weekend 3/11/11.
You know when one of your parents says, "Oh this is bad," you know you are in trouble. Yes that's right, we are fostering cats again. And we're expecting! Our new kitty SandPiper is approximately 40 days along in her pregnancy. She should have 20 more days, estimating her due date around April 4, 2011.  The doctor took an x-ray of her tummy and saw four kittens.

A close up on SandPiper taken 3/13/11

A further back look at SandPiper. She doesn't look 40 days pregnant! 3/13/11

We decided to name her SandPiper because we are hoping to give all the kittens beach themed names. Her name was suggested to my dad by some friends. Sandpipers are actually a type of bird, most commonly found on the shores of North America. Sandpipers are dominant along the coastal town of Cape May, New Jersey (http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/chekbird/r5/capemay.htm). I think it is a little too fitting that all (but one) of our six cats is named for Cape May...
SandPiper is settling down nicely her accommodations (aka my room). There's 24/7 litter service, abundant food, seeing as she's eating for five! Beds, scratching posts and crates for nesting are all available to her. And soon to be a SandPiper fan club, all rooting for a successful delivery and healthy kittens.

After my last foster, Gabby was adopted, planning on taking Piper was a go! Though I have never experienced an actual birth of kittens, research would be a necessary element in being prepared for the birthing. I read all about the signs of delivery to arrival of the kittens. Learning about all the necessary steps for the kittens to enter the world healthy was very important. There are so many things that can go wrong with deliveries and I plan to be the most prepared as possible. I know the best scenarios and the worst. It is important to understand that not all kittens may make it. But I hope for the best.

Piper's health seems to be good. She's eating ravenously. She did leak some amniotic fluid today, which can be a sign of labor, but she was checked out by the vet and was given the okay. I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for the labor -- I guess those family life education classes they make you take really do apply. To cats!

Last note before the end of this post, I decided to call this blog "We Have a Situation" for two reasons. We orignally were planning on naming the kittens after Jersey Shore names. SandPiper would have been Jwoww and the kittens would include Snooki, Sammi, Ronnie, Deena, Vinny, Mike and Pauly. We ended up deciding against it as we did not want to offend anyone who dislikes JS. But SandPiper will always be Jwoww to me. The second reason I named this blog after JS was because I was putting down April 4th on my Jersey Shore calendar as kitten ETA. The calendar picture for that month was Mike "The Situation", so it just seemed fitting. Because we don't have a calico cat in our caboodle...but a couple of calico lovers. I'm thinkin' we have a situation!