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litechick

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  1. litechick

    Cats: Threading their way into our lives.

    YAArya, I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm sure you were a great comfort to her. I hope you have some pictures. Remember the old saying, "Only a kitten can break a heart. Only a kitten can mend it again." Check with your shelter to find out what sort of cleaning needs to be done at home. I've had some fosters with viruses which caused me to stop fostering for a year to make sure no infection would be transmitted.
  2. litechick

    Cats: Threading their way into our lives.

    In my case I was outnumbered 6 to 1 and they had absolutely no fucks to give about my approval or disapproval. A camera could be fun but it will capture more than just cats and you might not want to know some of the stuff that goes on--it's not your neighbor's dog pooping on your lawn, it's your neighbor--etc.
  3. litechick

    Cats: Threading their way into our lives.

    A new discovery. For many years I have witnessed the side effects of unobserved kitten behavior-- I wake up in the morning to find the Kitten Kompound in disarray and think 'what the heck were you guys up to in the night?' Tonight I have the combination of sleeplessness and drunk-ishness and can testify...5am = kitten night club style mayhem. Mother cat is picking fights with her children, kittens are prancing through the food dish to escape imaginary enemies, litter is flying...forget it, it's Chinatown.
  4. litechick

    Cats: Threading their way into our lives.

    I just received her book Tiny but Mighty. After my last fostering experience I took a couple of months off and then vowed to rebuild. I hope that having the reference book will enable me to be a better foster provider.
  5. litechick

    Going to Weddings

    To me weddings are these weird social rituals that are specifically designed to establish the social pecking order. People who are usually cool to hang out with in other social situations are suddenly judges in the Tasteful Brigade. Weddings run the gamut from "what is the appropriate font to use on the calligraphy for a formal wedding held in the evening on a Friday in June during a full moon?" to "we're getting married and we're really happy. Come celebrate with us! We'll have a barbecue buffet, get drunk and dance like idiots." I'm old enough to be comfortable with my own social ineptitude so I take it philosophically: If there's anything the Tasteful Brigade loves better than a perfect wedding it's having some jackass to cluck about afterwards, 'what was up with that outfit? can you believe she said XYZ?' Therefore, I can tell myself that I serve a valuable purpose in supplying the kind of socially tone-deaf anecdotes that will give everyone pleasure for years to come.
  6. litechick

    Cats: Threading their way into our lives.

    It's been a rough week. I saw this thread and specifically decided not to contribute and not be a massive bummer but I've changed my mind. For many years I have been a foster volunteer for my local shelter. Usually it's a pretty good deal--bring home kitties who need...shelter--a place to heal and/or grow. I keep them from 2 weeks to 2 months, dispense food, scoop poop, and provide belly rubs. In return I get this, this, and this. Six months ago I took in my first pregnant foster. It was nice. She was healthy and well cared for. They told me she would give birth in a week or two but on night two I had my hand on her and could feel the contractions. I woke the next morning to the sound of little kitten mews. She had given birth under the head of my bed. Four itsy bitsy black babies. All was well. They grew and prospered for the next 4 weeks. I was just introducing them to food but when I took them in for a vet check and inoculations, the vet techs found a fungal growth on one kitten's toe. End of story. They had to run a culture which would take 10 days. They would have to provide treatment, yada, yada, by the time the toe fungus was eradicated they would be old enough to adopt. "Thanks, see ya!" I felt totally bushwacked and I thought that sucked. Then I volunteered to take in this little mommy. She was so pretty and sweet. I loved her instantly. However, it was the deepest part of winter. Temperatures plummeted to -25F and she was forced to stay at the shelter for a full week before I could get her home. It's practically inevitable that cats in the shelter will catch a cold because it is so contagious and no facility with many cats can battle the germs entirely effectively. With her poor little nose all stuffed up, she couldn't smell and therefore wouldn't eat. I worried, I cajoled, I smeared gravy on her lips to try and coax her to eat. I was unsuccessful. I returned her to the shelter so she could receive better care--subcutaneous fluids, anti-vomit meds, etc. Her treatment was beyond my capabilities. The shelter kept me posted. They let me know that they had to spay her--bye, bye kittens. She recovered and found a home. I swallowed the pain of my own helplessness and inadequacy. Then I agreed to foster Lily. It was practically spring, she had only been at the shelter for two days. What could go wrong? When I picked her up they told me she had 5-6 kittens brewing. The biggest problem was that she was scared. Really scared. Wouldn't come near me for 3 days scared. I played it cool. I let her hide. I made sure the food was fresh and the litter was clean and kept my distance. The first day she let me close enough for head scratches was the first day I heard her sneeze. Instant replay--can't smell, won't eat. I was hoping she could recover before the birth. On Saturday I managed to coax her into about a tablespoon of food. On Sunday I went to work feeling optimistic. Upon my return, I found what looked to be a crime scene. A kitten cry made me stop in my tracks and look around. There was a kitten, alone and skeletal on my concrete floor. I proceeded cautiously to find another some 5 feet away. Then there was a placenta without a kitten, then there was a pool of blood. No mom to be seen. Two levels of consciousness--1) freaking the fuck out; 2) assessing the situation and making a plan to mitigate disaster. Washcloths, towels. I cozied up the sink and rounded up the helpless little bodies. Four kittens were squirming and struggling to live. One was already gone. Once the four kittens were cleaned up and stabilized, I went searching for mom. She was under the bed, her hind quarters covered in blood. At least she trusted me enough at that point to let me pick her up, bring her to the sink, clean her and sooth her. While I was washing away the blood, I heard another kitten cry. One more baby had scooted under the bed among the dust bunnies. I did what I could for them. I made a bed with heating pad. I got them clean and warm. I tried to get mom to care for them but mom didn't have any milk and she still couldn't care for herself. Stroking and cuddling and internet searches. One kitten was stilled attached to the placenta, How to cut the umbilical cord? One kitten was bleeding from the severed umbilical cord. Luckily I had some kitten formula and a bottle with newborn nipple. Newborns need to be fed every 2 hours and it took me an hour to try and coax some food into 5 kittens. Only one or two could latch on and suck. The others I tried to feed drop by drop. At one day old, the first live birth died. I struggled with the other four. The shelter told me to confine them with mom and let nature take its course but mom was incapable and/or completely disinterested in caring for them. I rescued one kitten when mom laid directly on top of it--no fucks to give. Today I struggled with lumpy formula. It was like cement, I couldn't dissolve it into a smooth fluid. The lumps were clogging the nipple. I finally discovered that I could filter it through a sterilized nylon stocking but it was too late. By the time I got the remaining family to the vet techs, 2 more had died. I returned mom and kittens. I returned/donated my fostering supplies. Two of the kittens might still have a chance in capable hands. I feel confident that mom will recover. She will be spayed and adopted. My main source of support in this time of crisis is Kitten Lady. She is a superhero whose super power is healing and nurturing kittens. I cannot realistically hope to achieve her level of greatness. She helped me be a better foster host and she gave me my only comfort in failure. TL;DR: My recent kitty cat trauma was not the result of a stray. She was somebody's cat. Not homeless, just cast aside when her pesky uterus became an inconvenience. Love kitties, be responsible toward them. Don't kid yourself that it's OK to provide a home for a free kitten if you do not also spay/neuter. If even that is too much reality, please enjoy these pictures. One of the old board regulars once said, "if a dead kitten is your big problem in life, consider yourself lucky." I have held on to those words for years, trying to keep it in perspective every time a foster breaks my heart. I do not neglect to be grateful that this is my big problem but that doesn't stop the tears, ya know?
  7. litechick

    Feminism -- A continuing discussion

    What To Do? I've been working at a prestigious concert hall with the lighting. Last week there was a guest artist (a vocalist) who was playing with the house band. I don't know the details of the financial transaction--was the artist hired to front the band or was the band hired to back up the singer? etc. A couple days before the performance, I fell into conversation with an usher who declared that she had a fantastic voice but he didn't care for the way she was selling her sexuality. The sexuality was pretty minimal. The promotional materials showed her in an extravagant ball gown with spaghetti straps and referred to the event as 'an intimate evening. ' My objections to the usher's objections are threefold. Why not ask why, with a fantastic voice, she stills feels the need to 'sex it up'? Are there promoters/managers pushing her in this direction or is she including her sexuality in her artistic expression? Whether she has agency over the presentation or not, I can't help but backtrack to the usher--Who the hell are you to judge her? I can feel compassion for her as a woman whose talent is somehow not enough, with people pushing her to 'show some skin.' I can feel compassion for her if she wants to make her concert a sensual experience. I can't feel compassion for the usher who feels entitled to be the arbiter of what is in good taste and what is not. It would be nice to assume that this guy isn't sexist. Maybe he has objections to cello players who he thinks are unworthy of fronting the house band, I don't know. Maybe his disapproval would be better directed at the machinery rather than the artist. Maybe the artist is an opportunistic gold digger, looking to cash in on a little cleavage. Who knows? From my experience, my response is along the lines of "Really? Spaghetti straps are all it takes to turn her into a harlot? Fuck you." So what does that make me? Am I prejudiced against the older white male usher? If he is wronging her, am I wronging him? There's no way to know. I wish I had a ready sound bite quip to make him ask himself these questions but I didn't. I did the typical, 'mmm, ahh, yeah I see what you are saying' nonsense and missed a teachable moment. Oh well, maybe I will have better wisdom by the time I am his age.
  8. litechick

    Small, unworthy things: part whatever

    I have had it with sandwich inflation. Back in my day, a sandwich was something that you might realistically put in your mouth. Nowadays sandwiches are at least 4" tall, more likely 6". Dagnabbit! I'm no gluten-phobe but recently I find myself discarding the bun so I can just eat the filling with knife and fork. Maybe I look odd doing this but it's also pretty odd to smash the living shit out of one's burger before attempting to eat it.
  9. litechick

    What's For Dinner, Take 7

    Do not underestimate my ignorance. Having never melted Jello, I did not know if that was a thing you could do (much less something you could do with a meat jello.) For all I knew, this was some kind of Super Jelly and you only needed 2 tablespoons to a cup of water to create normal broth or something. (Perhaps I imagined a jiggly bouillon cube.)
  10. litechick

    What's For Dinner, Take 7

    Wonderful! Thank you. So if a recipe calls for 1 cup of broth, how much jelly is that? Do I need to liquefy it somehow?
  11. litechick

    What's For Dinner, Take 7

    Please advise--what is this I have made? I am a poor cook but once in a while I will get a package of chicken drumsticks and slow cook them in the oven for that 'fall off the bone' goodness. Other times I will simmer the carcass from a store rotisserie chicken to make broth which I freeze into cubes and use for various other recipes. Recently I did the drumstick thing and thought, 'what's up with all that liquid that comes off the drumsticks? can it be used as broth?' usually I just pour it out but this time I put it in a container and just shoved it in the fridge. Wanting some broth, I fetched the container and found that it was some kind of chicken jelly. What do I do with it?
  12. litechick

    What's For Dinner, Take 7

    Probably too little too late but I have an idea. I have heard that the toll house chocolate chip cookie was invented when a woman was making a batch of standard butter cookies and dropped chocolate into the batter. Do you think your cookie could be a chocolate chip cookie without the chips?
  13. litechick

    Board Issues 4

    It's good to know I'm not the only one. Thanks.
  14. litechick

    Board Issues 4

    All I get is the left side picture and a blank screen. Sometimes the content loads but the left side bar is twice as wide and no buttons are clickable. Thanks for the response, better to know it's not a universal problem than wonder.
  15. litechick

    Board Issues 4

    I had to go back to IE because the board does not work for me on Firefox. Anyone else have this issue?
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