Sunday, August 30, 2015

Campaigning for Kittens!


Here at Miri's House, we've always been a nonprofit--in the sense that none of our rescue work is done for profit, and any donations we receive go to feeding and caring for animals--but we never applied for official nonprofit status. It seemed complicated, and possibly expensive.

But now we've gotten some good advice from other animal rescue workers, and we've found an accountant who will donate his time to work with us, and we're going for it.

When we went to file our initial paperwork online, though, we realized that we didn't even have enough money in the checking account for the filing fee. Let's just say that with one of our two volunteer kitten carers out of work since May, it's been a difficult summer for the rescue AND the rescuers.

So we've started a GoFundMe campaign, and we have just gotten our first donations! Soon, we'll be able to file for nonprofit status, and then all donations to Miri's House Cat & Kitten Rescue will be tax-deductible.

We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, BIG PURRS to all our donors and supporters!

You can support our GoFundMe campaign by visiting, sharing, and donating at

http://www.gofundme.com/mirishouse. 






Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Learning to Play

Happy birthday, kittens! They are one month old and learning to play. 


They're starting to understand what toys are for--but they know a sibling is just as fun.


Kittens are rolling, wrestling, and chasing. 


And then stopping to pose adorably, just because they can. 

Ember

Shadow
Moondust

You can sponsor one of our kittens or Mama Cat! Your donation of $15 will feed this little family for a week. Additional donations will help with litter, toys, and the first shots they will need very soon. Thanks for following and for helping our rescue! 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Shadow Leads the Pack!

Today was weigh-in day for Mama Emily's kittens.

Sweet, small Moondust is the most petite kitten, but still growing well at 13.4 ounces.

Moondust

Little tortie Ember is in the middle: 14.3 ounces.

Ember

And our other tortie, Shadow, is the first kitten to pass the pound mark--she's in the lead at 1 pound, 2 ounces!

Shadow

Ember has a little skin swelling that could be a bite from roughhousing with the other kittens. We're keeping an eye on it and hoping she doesn't need a vet visit like Leo, our fluffy orange kitten from two years back.

Tortie Times Two! 

But other than that, everyone seems healthy--we've only heard a few sneezes, everyone's eyes are clear, and they are all active, alert, and relaxed around people. We think they're going to grow up to be great cats!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Wishin' and Hopin' ...

We had a wonderful surprise the other day: we came home and found a bag of kitten food hanging on our door. That's in addition to all the exciting Amazon deliveries we've had--food, toys, scratching posts.

Did someone say FOOD?

Now that the kittens are getting ready to eat on their own and learn to use the litter box, we've added some new items to our Amazon Wish List. We do have an older kitten litter box we could use, but we've noticed that Emily, our new mom, is highly sensitive to smells and reacts badly to anything that smells like other cats, so we think she would be less nervous if we started these kittens with a brand-new box.

Hard-working Mama Emily taking a lunch break after feeding the kittens.

If you'd like your gift to be acknowledged, or if you're donating in honor of a person or cat, please include a gift card with your order. In the meantime, special purrs of thanks to Laura C., Rosalie M., and Marybeth R. for their generous donations!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Baby Steps

Our three little kittens are growing bigger and more active every day! They're still in the "kitten drawer" for now, safe in their snug nook under the bed, but they come out for regular play sessions and to socialize with visitors. We also weigh them (in a Tupperware container, on a food scale), and everyone is doing well--just past twelve ounces. Of course, like any ladies, they don't always care to get on the scale!

Hey! Don't weigh me, FEED ME! 

We tried introducing them to wet food yesterday, but no one showed any interest yet. That will come very soon, though--and then they will learn to use a litter box--and soon they will be big enough to climb out of the kitten drawer on their own and start exploring.

Soon I shall escape this prison, and the world shall tremble at my wrath! 

But no rush. Right now they're three weeks old, no longer helpless babies but toddlers, just starting to take their first steps to independence. Good job, Mama Emily!

Mom still makes the best pillow! 

Thank you to all those who have donated to help support our little family. Donations (through PayPal) and adoption requests can be sent to mirishouse (at) gmail.com. The kittens and mama should be ready to go to their new homes around the end of September or beginning of October.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Two Weeks Old!

Ember, Shadow, and Moondust had a tough start in life. Their mother Emily--not much more than a kitten herself--was found undernourished and living on the street. The kittens were unusually small at birth. One of the siblings, Dusk, only lived one day. Mama was terrified of any potential threat to her kits and once even managed to get out of her room and attack another foster cat in the house. Was this going to be the little litter that couldn't? 



But now ...

Although they were all under three ounces at birth, Ember, Shadow, and Moondust are now closer to ten ounces. They have opened their eyes and are starting to move around on their own. Mama Emily, though still protective, seems a little more relaxed and is starting to ask for affection on her own.



Everyone seems healthy and happy. And did I mention cute?



SO cute.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Welcome to the World, Ember!

Little Ember opened her eyes today! She and her siblings, Shadow and Moondust, will celebrate their two-week birthday tomorrow.


And really, is there any better way to see the world than through the innocent eyes of a kitten?

Baby Mama

video

We haven't had a new litter at Miri's House for a while, and we didn't really expect to have one this summer. We are already fostering Sirius Black Cat, a big, fluffy love of a Maine Coon mix who came to us after his family broke up, and finances are tough. But when we heard about a local rescue that was overwhelmed with homeless cats, including four nursing mamas, we just had to help out. Mama Emily, a little black cat who seems like she's still a kitten herself, arrived on a Thursday night. On Friday night, she gave birth to four tiny, sweet kittens. (For some reason, four seems to be the magic number in this house. This was the third litter born here, and all three moms gave birth to four kittens.)


Since Mama had been rescued from the streets and was still very thin, we had hoped we'd have more time to build her up with good food. But the babies had other plans. At first, all seemed well. There were no complications with the birth, and the kittens, though smaller than we'd like, were nursing and seemed fine. There was a little white kit with black markings, two darker ones with tortie markings, and a dusky grey kit, the smallest of the litter.

Sadly, that kitten--who we named Dusk--only lived one day. At one point, we found him off to the side of the other kittens, cold and seemingly not breathing. We massaged him and blew air into his mouth and he revived. But late Saturday night, Mama Cat suddenly began acting strangely: sniffing the air, growling, running from place to place in the fostering room, and howling, as if something had come into the room to threaten her kits. We worried that she was sick, but when we checked the kitten drawer, we knew that something had come into that room. The littlest kitten was dead.

I've read enough cat rescue stories to know that birth complications, sickness, and even death of young kittens is not uncommon, but we've never lost a kitten before. It was heartbreaking. We buried him next to our first mama cat, Miri.

Fortunately, the other three kittens, Shadow, Ember, and Moondust, look to be thriving. They are just over a week old now and have more than doubled their weight. They were so tiny at birth that they looked like mice, but now they're more like guinea pigs!



Still, this has been the most challenging fostering we've done. Mama is now fiercely protective of her remaining kits, and when she slipped out of her room and took off after foster cat Sirius Black, the sounds of her fury shook the house. There were visits to the vet (Sirius) and to the emergency room (people). At times, we've had to question: can we still do this?

I think we can. I'm hoping we can pass through these dark, tense early weeks into the joy and fun of watching growing kittens open their eyes, start to explore, and learn to run and play. I'm hoping we can find terrific, loving homes for all of them, including Mama Emily.

We've already received some great donations of food and toys through our Amazon wish list. We've also had help from friends (thanks, Marlaina, for being the best kitty midwife ever!) and Animal Advocates, Inc. If you'd like to help, what we can really use now is donations, as we would like to start a fund for the kittens' first vet visit and for getting Mama spayed. Please make your donation through our PayPal link, and follow our Facebook page for more photos and updates on Shadow, Ember, and Moondust.

Thanks so much to everyone who cares and helps!