Saturday, August 6, 2016

Parents' Weekend

Jasper, Sunstone, Sandstone, and Galena

Remember at summer camp, when it was parents' weekend, and you got to show off all your swimming trophies and arts and crafts projects?

Stunning Mama Opal

It was sort of like that at Miri's House this past weekend, only the visitors were future kitty parents, and the kittens didn't really have any prizes to show.

Beautiful Onyx

Although if they gave prizes for cuteness, they would win them all! Here's a small taste of the complete cuteness overload of Opal and her five-week-old kittens.

Sleepy siblings: Galena, Sunstone, Jasper

Playful Galena
Sweet Jasper


Last Days of the Mom Cafe

Lunchtime at the Mom Cafe

Our tiny kittens are growing up! They are five weeks old today, and they've graduated from the nursing box to the wide, wide world of the kitten room.

A world of boxes and toys and scratching posts and a whole big bed that they can get up on and down from, all on their own.


They're starting to explore the litter box (is it just a fun box to play in, or is it something else?), and, just yesterday, they took their first bites of solid food!


Of course, they're still nursing, but Mama Opal will no doubt be glad to no longer be the sole source of nutrition for her gang of six. She's been doing a great job so far. All the kittens are well over the milestone of one pound, where they should be at this age.

Here are their current weights, in ounces:

Onyx--21.55
Sandstone--20.99
Sunstone--20.07 
Jasper--19.68
Mica--18.20
Galena--17.53


This confirms our suspicion that Mica and Galena are the only girls in this litter. They may be smaller than the boys, but they're not lagging behind in their development in any way. All the kittens are bright, curious, playful, friendly, and in perfect health. Great job, Mama!

Kitten food! Yum!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The CATcher in the Rye

So a few things happened in Kittyland this week ...

Sweet, playful Nimbus, the kitten who was rescued from outside, went to his forever home with some wonderful friends who are also great cat people. We will miss him, but we know he will be happy and loved in his new home, and he'll even have a kitty near his own age who will match his energy level and play with him to his heart's content. Happy tails, Nimbus!

Nimbus surveying his new kingdom

In other ways, it was a tough week. Ian, our resident "ambassador cat," who's usually the first cat to help socialize the foster kittens, developed an abscess, perhaps from a scratch from roughhousing with Nimbus or another cat. One more vet visit we can't afford. :-(  Ian is on antibiotics now, and we're hoping he's back to his usual happy and healthy self soon.

Feel better, Ian!

The kittens enjoyed a few visits from admirers and adopters, and it looks like Mama Opal and Galena will be going home together! We love it when that happens.

Sleepy Jasper
Meanwhile, Jasper and Onyx have also been spoken for, and their adopters are planning to each take another kitten, so we may have only one kitten left for adoption!

What about me, and my cute little bean toes?

But that won't be until mid-September. In the meantime, they still have lots of growing up to do. We just introduced a mini litter box (actually, a cardboard cat food box) for them to try out. At last look, it seemed to have been used, so they're learning! Next we'll try to get them interested in solid food. Right now, Mama is still nursing six kittens, which means she's eating as many as 7-8 cans of cat food per day, plus dry food. In fact, we were getting worried because we were almost out of food (and funds), when an Amazon package of Fancy Feast came in from an anonymous donor.

A box! YAY!
The kittens are too young to enjoy the food, but they definitely loved the box it came in! And we always appreciate donations, either through our Amazon wish list, PayPal, or our GoFundMe page.

So, this morning I went in to the kitten room to feed Mama and check on the kitties. I found Jasper and Onyx playing together in the kitten drawer, while the other four kitties had climbed out and were sleeping in the cat bed. After Mama ate, I brought them up on the bed to play with their new box and other toys, and soon enough they gathered around Opal to nurse. She lay right at the edge of the bed, so I curled my arm around her back to keep her from falling off, and there I sat, holding Opal, watching the kittens nursing and kneading, hearing them purr, hearing Mama purr, and she looked at me and gave a slow blink of contentment and trust, as if to say, "I know you won't let me fall. I know you'll take care of me and my babies, no matter what."

And suddenly it occurred to me: I'm the catcher in the rye. I can't end all war, stop discrimination everywhere, end world hunger. But I can do what I can, in a small way, in my own small corner of the world, to keep a few little lives from falling off the edge. A catcher in the rye, for cats.




Saturday, July 23, 2016

Three Weeks Old!

Today the kittens are three weeks old. They've gone from tiny, furry blobs unable to see or hear to active, curious toddlers who are almost ready to start exploring the world beyond the kitten drawer.

Six kittens is a big litter, and Mama Opal is our heroine. Not only is she keeping all of them clean, well fed, and healthy, she's a watchful and diligent mom. When we put the kittens up on top of the bed so they can meet new people, Mama keeps a close watch, making sure no one gets too close to the edge.

This tiny girl is doing a great job, even though she looks as if she's barely eight months old herself. She's always hungry, of course, because she's got so many kittens to feed, and she can easily go through six to eight cans of cat food per day ... one per kitten and one to grow on!


We're off to the vet today to pick up some deworming medicine for the babies (and mom) to make sure everyone stays healthy. Meanwhile, Nimbus is approaching four months old and will be fixed at the beginning of August. He may be going home with his new family soon.

We appreciate all the donations we've received. We absolutely could not do this without help. Right now, we have lots of dry cat food. Our biggest need is canned kitten food and canned cat food, and money for medicine, vet visits, and getting Mama Opal, Nimbus, and all six kittens fixed.



If you'd like to donate, use the link on our page, or just send a donation to paypal.me/MirisHouse.  If you'd prefer to send a check, just email mirishouse(at)gmail.com for our address. Email us there for adoption applications as well, but don't wait too long--we already have several people interested in kittens!

Thanks for all your support.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Happy Birthday, Sweet Six Kits!

Mama Opal's six kittens are one week old today, and they're busy growing up and growing strong.  They really are an adorable bunch, each with unique coloring. And just in time for their birthday, we received some wonderful surprise packages from Amazon.



From Suzanne Fortier: a case of canned cat food, a bag of kitten food, AND a soft cat bed! Thank you, Suzanne!

And from Cheryl Hablanian, a kitten-sized scale, which we used immediately to check everyone's weight. Thank you, Cheryl!

Now that the kittens are starting to toddle around, open their eyes, and develop their own personalities, we think it's about time they had names of their own. In keeping with Opal's lovely and old-fashioned name, we're giving the kittens gemstone and mineral names.

So here  are their names and vital statistics:

Jasper--dark orange--8.1 oz.
Mama keeping a careful eye on Jasper, who's fleeing the scale

Sandstone--light orange/buff--8.4 oz.

Curious Sandstone--eyes open and ready to explore!

Sunstone--light orange/buff and white--7.6 oz

What a cute little Creamsicle!

Onyx--black with white markings--8.5oz

Look at those eyes!

Mica--grey and white--7.8 oz
Those little pink feet!

Galena--dilute calico--6.9 oz
So sweet and so petite!

Mama was a little worried that we took the kittens out of their under-the-bed drawer to weigh them, but once we had everyone back safe and sound, she took a play break.


Thanks again to everyone who has helped us care for this beautiful little family.


Friday, July 8, 2016

Six Plus One!

Mama Opal had her kittens. Seven of them. That's a big litter for a little mama!

Sadly, one of the kittens--who we named Star--was stillborn. Goodbye, Little Star. You were loved, however briefly, and will be remembered.



Mama and the other six kittens seem to be doing well. They're quite the multicolored bunch: black with white accents, dilute calico, light ginger, dark ginger, grey-and-white, and ginger-and-white.

Oh, and adorable--needless to say.



Meanwhile, outdoor rescue Nimbus is getting more and more social every day. When he's not zooming around a room, chasing the grownup cats, he likes to cuddle and purr.



So: six baby kittens, one crazy toddler kitten, one mama cat, and three very patient resident cats. It's a 44-paw household!

Thanks to all our wonderful donors for your support. We could never do it without you!