Sunday, August 23, 2015

We have a secret... or two :-)

We've been keeping a little secret at our house over the past 9 days... 2 secrets actually.

Despite the protest of my children (translate that to Allison as Parker still tells anyone he wants to!), I've insisted that we not be public about it just yet.  We shared the secrets with our closest family and friends, a couple of responses reminded me why I didn't want to share with the world... not yet.

We live in a world where people are incredibly quick to judge.  A world where people are willing to see only what they want and not what really matters.  A world where people enjoy to poke fun at others. A  world that I feel I have to justify every move I make in, despite being a grown 41 year old woman. Because of this world, my anxiety said... not yet.

So let me put the following on the table, before I share our news, before I burst with joy, let me get the unnecessary out of the way. I have incredible friends. While I am not in a position financially to take more on, my friends are - covering the fees, providing me with all of the items I needed to make this happen.  Everything for our little secrets are covered - everything - for at least the next 2 years, if not even a bit beyond.

When I lost my neighbor, Jack, I felt as though I had lost part of my purpose in life.  There has been a huge hole that I've tried to fill with multiple other things but the hole remains. I miss him tremendously. I needed something, something to bring me down a notch, something to calm my anxiety, something to care for and love. Something to help fill that hole.

That's when I got the text from my friend, Barb.  The Human Society had a new kitten, not ready for adoption but one I could foster until she's ready to adopt.  One who is.... part Siamese.  My grandma Lovadee had a Siamese cat when I was little, Samantha.  She used to perch on top of the refrigerator and in the window in the dining room. She was gorgeous. My mom had a Siamese when I was little too... Sabrina.  Sabrina was incredibly gorgeous and a great part of our family.  I've been very open that I really wanted a Siamese kitten.  When the information was passed along to me, I talked to my friend, Debby, and with a nudge - I said, "I'll take her."  Within a few days, paper work was filled out and I became a foster mom to this beautiful little girl named Emmie.

I was not set on keeping the name.  Our first family dog was named Emmy, however when Allison was told her name she said, "It's a sign she was meant to be in our family, mom!" Therefore, her name remains, Emmie.

When Emmie arrived she weighed 2.8 pounds and was struggling with a GI issue that caused diarrhea.  She was incredibly snuggly and very quiet.  A tiny little girl, the kids took right to her.  Because she is a foster kitten until we can adopt her, she needed to be quarantined and kept away from other cats, which is actually fairly easy to to in our house!

For a short haired cat, she pushed my allergies over the top - so a bath was top of the list on her 2nd day with us.  She wasn't too thrilled with me and Parker became her preferred person.

I don't like baths!

I hid in embarrassment!

And then took a nice nap in mom's favorite blanket!

Until I heard Parker, then I went to curl up with him!

He even put down his iPad for me!
It was clear, Emmie was going to take some extra attention.  Her GI issues were not good, she stopped eating and she had a mass on her nose we were unsure of what it was. We quickly became good friends with Stacey from the Humane Society who was there for every single one of our questions and was great at checking in on Emmie.

It was bigger than it looks


We celebrated when Emmie ate yogurt for us!

The first couple of days weight loss was clear.  She was drinking well but not eating and with the large amounts of diarrhea she was starting to dehydrate so we took her in to see Stacey and get some fluids and meds.  We agreed to take her into the vet the next morning. She had very little energy - and reminded me of why we needed to keep her a secret - if we lost her it would be incredibly difficult, sharing that was not something we were ready to do.  Our focus was on getting her better.

We had been keeping Barb in the loop (and flooding her with pictures) when she made a request, something for us to think about..

The last of the litter, the only one not adopted- possibly because he's all black and his Siamese features were not as obvious... Thunder remained at the Humane Society.  I made a couple of calls to some dear animal loving friends and a decision was made. There was an adoption fair for kittens that weekend (there is a huge abundance of kittens right now) and I told Barb to let me know on Sunday if he was still there. If he was, we would come get him.  Around 4 pm on Sunday the message came, Thunder remained so, thanks to the love of my friends, we made the drive out to bring him home.

Healthy and full of life, energy and curiosity -  we were able to sign the papers immediately for him.  I wasn't thrilled with his name. My heart wanted - and needed - Jack back.  I suggested we name him "Jack".  Parker put his foot down, he liked "Thunder".  Allison wanted "Jackson" after a kitten Aunt Heather once had.  With that, "Jackson Thunder" was named.  Depending on what he's doing and who is talking you'll hear "Jack", "Jackson" or "Thunder" said to him :-)

He settled right in without any problem!

He redefines curious :-)

And isn't afraid to check anything out!

Because you never know what you may find!

Adding 2 new kittens into a house where we already have 2 adult cats plus a dog and 2 kids with Fragile X... well, I understand, it doesn't sound sane.  I knew the reaction from people would not be kind but my focus was on getting Emmy better.  Parker took me with her to the vet for her 1st visit. We met Dr. Amanda who was absolutely amazing with both Parker and Emmie!

Emmie was clearly losing weight, already down to 2.2 lbs.  She was given medicine and we were relieved that her stool sample was clear from any parasites!  The new concern was the spot on her nose.  Dr. Amanda let me know there was a chance it was a worm growing in her nose - and if it popped out to let her know immediately so they could remove it completely. **Yes, I freaked out at the very thought of it.

After discussing her continued weight loss with Dr. Amanda and Stacey and concerned because she wouldn't eat the yogurt any longer it was recommended that we give her baby food - Chicken and Gravy.  It'd be soft on her stomach and not cause additional diarrhea.  So, multiple times a day, I'd offer her baby food - by the spoonful, hoping she'd eat.  She really liked the baby food which was a huge relief to me!  I had no problem working in time to feed her as needed.  On Thursday there was a change in her nose - something was happening so I called back out to Dr. Amanda who got her right in.

I was relieved to learn it was NOT a worm, instead it was an abscess that they were able to lance.  I took on the role of mean momma kitty and every couple of hours I would use a warm, wet washcloth with soap to gently scrub off the scab to keep the area open.  She was also started on antibiotics. The disappointing news of the visit was Emmie was now down to 1.9 pounds.  She was all bones, there was simply nothing to her. I was incredibly concerned that we would lose her.

Now on 2 meds a day, a lot of love and worry - I have a huge respect for the individuals who foster animals.  Yes, you get a lot of love and cuddles but it also comes with tremendous responsibility and concern that you may not be able to do enough no matter how hard you try. We continued to feed Emmie baby food and would offer her dry food.  I learned that I would text someone I just met within the past week an excited "We have real poop!!" text when the diarrhea started to come to an end and Stacey would text back an excited response.

The last 2 days we've seen huge improvement!  Emmie is eating on her own anytime she wants!  She's still getting baby food but she's happily eating kitten chow too!

Today we took her back to the Humane Society to see Stacey for a check up.  She's up to 2.5 pounds!!!  A HUGE gain for just a couple of days!  She's full of energy and you can really see her personality begin to shine through.  She still has many days of medicine left and weight to gain but we are anticipating her being all better very soon!!

With Stacey's blessing, we introduced all of the pets together today - our family has truly grown by leaps and tails <3

I know what to expect.  I know that I'll hear and see posts referring to me as the "Crazy Cat Lady." I know this is part of the reason I held off on sharing our wonderful news.  The bottom line is our little family is happy - happier with our new additions.  Yes, we are out numbered by our animals, but our animals are very, very loved.  They are well cared for and a big part of our family.

There really are 2 kittens in this picture!

2 beautiful kittens now have a safe home where they will be very loved. We are a little family, we don't have a lot to offer but we have an unlimited amount of love - and at the end of the day, that is what matters.

 At the end of the day, maybe I am the "Crazy Cat Lady" but, I am also the lady with significantly less stress and a new feeling of peace and purpose.  The lady with new and tremendous respect and appreciation for individuals who foster animals and those who adopt.

Not only does it fit me well... but, trust me, I've been called worse ;-)


  1. Love your story and so happy for you all. I love that you love those furry kids :)

    1. Thanks so very much, Sue! We are very happy too! Plenty of love to go around :-)

  2. YAY!!! Congratulations!! It is such a great feeling to foster animals, a greater feeling to get the placed in a home with a loving family to treasure and spoil them, but there is nothing like the feeling of adding a new member to your own family!! We are up to FIVE dogs, all but one were rescues that were truly "dead pets walking" without my intervention. There is a greater appreciation for their person/people when they have seen a darker side of life. I am so glad your family was able to expand, don't worry about what others say or live in your house, they don't! <3

    1. Thank you, Jaimee! I've always enjoyed seeing your posts about the wonderful dogs you bring into your home and offer a real chance at life to! Amazing and truly admirable! Thanks for all you do!

  3. This is a lovely story and I am so glad you have adopted new kittens! It is so important to adopt cats and/or kittens from a shelter and I am glad you have had this experience and your family loves these animals! I am also excited to hear that a black cat can be part of a Siamese litter, as my family's most recent rescued cat has a Siamese body shape (thin face, sturdy legs and seal points on the skin), but is black.
    Thank you so much for sharing and thank you for fostering/adopting!

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing about your most recent rescue! He was the only all black one in the litter and has, without a doubt become my "Momma's boy" :-) Incredibly playful, fun and super snuggly - he keeps close tabs on me everywhere I go - I'm so happy to have him as part of our family!
      Thank you for being a rescue family too!

    2. Thank you for reading and sharing about your most recent rescue! He was the only all black one in the litter and has, without a doubt become my "Momma's boy" :-) Incredibly playful, fun and super snuggly - he keeps close tabs on me everywhere I go - I'm so happy to have him as part of our family!
      Thank you for being a rescue family too!

  4. Great story. Animals are God's love to us and they give me more then we do, We grow
    You are fine.