We who chose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps , we still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan.."
"The Once and Again Prince" by Irving Townsend

The dog who thinks he is a Great Dane ...

Gator 1.2.09


was adopted from Corgi Rescue in June of 2000 when he was 10 months. Our children wanted a smaller dog that they could walk; I wanted a physique that could stand up to the rough-and-tumble of the Danes.

He is part Corgi and part Cattle dog. The herding from both breeds comes through strong with him; he loves to chase the Danes and anything else that moves.

He is one of those dogs that you either like or you do not. He is memorable, if nothing else! He is also a great example that time and positive training can make a difference.

The "old" cats


Canth 11.2.08

Canth was my first foster-failure. A client at Canadensis Veterinary Clinic found two small kittens on a neighbor's porch. She brought he and his sister to the clinic. One of the doctor's took Iris, and the other furball came home with me. We guestimated him to be about four weeks old; he was just a ball of fuzz.

He stood his ground with the big dogs, so my oldest daughter named him Canth -- one of the dragons in the "Dragons of Pern" book series by Anne McAffree. As he grew he shed the brave shell and it became obvious that bravery was not one of his traits.


Carana 3.31.08








Carana had been hit by a car and rushed to Canadensis Veterinary Clinic. She was half-feral, growling and swiping at anyone who tried to touch her. She delivered three kittens at the Clinic; one had not survived the impact and did not make it.

After several weeks, I was asked if I could foster the two kittens. The Mamma cat was seen as unadoptable; she'd bitten one of the doctors when she had been vaccinated for Rabies. She would likely be euthanized, as who would adopt a cat they couldn't touch? I agreed to take all three ... Both kittens were easily placed, and Carana was adopted by us.

She has turned out to be a sweet little girl, affectionate and playful. She is still quite skittish, but I don't regret keeping her.   Who else would rub up against me like she does when it's time for her breakfast?



Whisper 2.24.08








Imagine the surprise of the person looking at the house for sale when she opened up the closet door and found Whisper locked inside with a litter of kittens.  Apparently the owner had been placed in a nursing home, and someone either didn't know, or didn't care, that her cat had been shut in.  A woman who fostered Danes for me happened to overhear the call come in at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital and gave them my phone number.  Mamma cat and kittens were soon delivered to my door.  The kittens were adopted out once they were old enough (sadly the runt, my favorite, died a few weeks later).  Whisper remained with us.


And the brats ...


'Chops 1.21.09


My daughter named this shy boy Mr. Muttonchops. Below is the write up I had posted on my foster page:

8/4/08 Oh joy, I've discovered kittens in our yard.  What I thought were three turned out to be six.  We've managed to trap three of them; they are scared but handle-able.  We also trapped the Momma; she will be spayed and felv/fiv tested on Tuesday, August 12th (She was negative!  Great news!).   These babies are being kept in a separate room until they are old enough to be felv/fiv tested themselves, although Momma's results will give us some idea about their own health.  Please pray all are negative.  We did manage to trap a male tiger cat last week that I've never seen before; I had him neutered and tested before releasing him.  He was also felv/fiv negative.

Their first visit to the vet found them in good shape, although they do have roundworms.  They've been dewormed once and will be again. 

I first started trying to catch them on July 29th, which is my Dad's birthday.  Gerard R. Schleich passed away two weeks before we moved here, December 17th, 1998.  Obviously he was on my mind, and I prayed I would catch one and joked that I would name it Gerry if I did.  Since I had success, the first kitten caught (the tiger) has indeed been named Gerry.  Hope you don't mind, Dad!

My daughter named the 2nd kitten (black with white) "Mr. Muttonchops."  I'm calling our third "victim" (completely black with vague brindling) Sheppard; he was caught on 8/7/08.  We live on Shepheard Lane and are fans of Stargate Atlantis ... What can I say, you can always rename them when you adopt.

Update 8/22/08:  Here are the boys that are looking for homes.  Sheppard, the last kitten we caught, is the most relaxed of the three.  You can see the white hairs that decorate his chest; what isn't as obvious in the photo is that he has tiger stripes visible beneath his black coat.  He is a confident, relaxed, and playful kitten. 

Gerry has come a long way since being the first kitten trapped.  As soon as we walk into the room he starts to purr.  He's still a little shy of us if we move fast, but rarely hides.  He likes being pet and loves playing with feather toys!

Muttonchops is still very shy and fearful of us.  He is going to need a quiet home with a very patient cat person.  We're working hard to get him as friendly and self-assured as his brothers are. 

All of the kittens are terrific about using the covered litter box in their room.  They are eating Iams kitten food.  I give them a little bit of canned every now and then; of course they love it.  I've found that spoon-feeding Mr. Muttonchops is a wonderful way to get to pet him.  Hopefully it won't be long before he realizes that people are loving beings and not scary creatures.

They have received the first of three feline distemper vaccines, and are scheduled to get their rabies and second distemper in two weeks.  They've been dewormed once, and will receive another after getting their next shots. 

Update 8/31/08  "The boys" visited the vet for their distemper boosters this past Thursday.  They were also tested for felv/fiv.  All three were negative!  They received their first nail trim and did very well with that.

Gerry weighs 3 lbs.; Sheppard weighs 3.5 lbs., and Mr. Muttonchops weighs 3.3 lbs.  All three will be going back to the vet yet again next Thursday for their Rabies vaccine and second deworming.

I've been asking people to come in and visit with the kittens so I can expose them to new faces and hands.  With each new friend that enters the room, the kittens are becoming more curious and less afraid.  Sheppard enjoyed being picked up and stroked for a good five minutes before he started getting antsy.  Mr. Muttonchops is still the most timid of the three.  I've gotten him to the point where he will let me stroke him, but he's still ready to run.  I have a feeling that he's going to end up being the most affectionate of them all!  Gerry and Sheppard both start purring as soon as we step into the room.  They love being handled and played with.  They also think that it's their duty to help me clean out their litter box.

Since they are felv/fiv negative, I can start showing them that their world is more than one bedroom.  They've had two trips to the neighboring room, giving them a chance to explore and smell my cats.  This also gives my adult cats a chance to smell the room the kittens have been in without having to meet them face-to-face yet.  I was able to give "their" bedroom a good cleaning (they are afraid of the vacuum, so I haven't brought it in there while they are confined).  I found *no* accidents; these boys are champs when it comes to going to the bathroom where they are supposed to. 

Update 9/21/08  Both Gerry and Sheppard have found wonderful homes.  'Chops is still waiting for his family to realize that they are missing their cat and come pick him up!  He was neutered on 9/11 and received his final distemper booster this weekend.  He is now around 14 1/2 weeks old. 

While still shy, we find him upstairs, downstairs, in the bedrooms, darting all over the place.  This is a big change from the kitten who hid under my couch in the family room when he was first given freedom on 9/9!  He wouldn't even come out for food at that point.  Now all I have to do is call, "Kittens!" and he comes running.  He swirls around my feet as I try to walk over to the bowl, and purrs like mad as I pet him.

I've been putting a harness on him and bringing him upstairs at night when we watch tv.  He'll purr away loudly as I cuddle him, then slowly slink off my lap to head for the safety of beneath the couch.  He's staying on my lap for longer periods, and leans into my hand as I stroke him.

I am amazed when I think back to the end of July and compare how far "the boys" have come.  I never wanted to play foster mom to kittens again, but I am so glad I chose to get involved instead of ignoring the situation.


Ocelot 1.11.09






This kitten has spunk and personality! She was another one who was born to a local stray. Her story is below:

On Sunday, August 3rd, 2008 two of then neighbor boys came over mentioning they heard I was looking for kittens (not quite, but ...).  They had found one dead kitten and two small babies suckling of their Momma.  With the help of the boys' parents we caught one kitten who had a gaping hole in her side.  She was covered in fleas and didn't appreciate the bath she subsequently received before being allowed inside.  Half an hour after being bathed I saw something wriggling in the wound ... and squeezed out a bot fly.  As disgusted as I was, I was also relieved that it was not a severe injury that had caused the hole. 

This little girl has been named Ocelot.  She is very inquisitive and friendly and has been teaching the older kittens how to play and relax around us.  I'm hoping to be able to trap, spay and felv/fiv test her mother in a few weeks.  I'd also love to catch her sibling! [I never did succeed...]

This one I am tempted to keep ...

Update 8/31/08  Miss Ocelot joined "the boys" for a trip to the vet this past Thursday.  She received her first distemper shot and also tested negative for felv/fiv.  She weighed 2.5 lbs.  She was not impressed with the nail trim she received. 

Ocelot has made a few trips upstairs.  She was a little nervous around our Great Dane at first, but now just smacks Paige across the snout.  Paige thinks that Oce is a neat little thing and will stand there licking the kitten.  Oce can attest to the great holding power of Dane saliva; it works better than any hair spray!