Foster Diaries: Ilona & Friends – Week Two

'Upright' is far too much effortI’m going to try and keep this short because I’m exhausted after today’s writing Marathon (I’ll tell more about it tomorrow, but suffice to say that I wrote a little over 10,000 words today…)

Still nothing from any potential adopters. We’re going to have to try and work out logistics for whilst we’re away. We’re going to be flying to England in a month and will be there for three weeks. Normally whilst we’re away S’s parents would take the cats, but they’ve not had cats of their own at the same time before. And we didn’t have five cats that needed to be looked after. We’ll have to discuss it with them when we see them tomorrow and see whether they think it’s manageable to have seven cats for the time we’re away, or if we can come up with any sensible alternatives between us.

To make it more complicated, it has just been confirmed that their foster babies both have FIV. There’s a lot of misconception around FIV (as there is with HIV) and I think it’s important to point out here that FIV is not the death sentence people think it is. See this link for more information. Suffice it to say that cats can live long, healthy, happy lives even if they have FIV. Likewise, it is perfectly safe for FIV positive cats to live with other cats. A quote from the site I linked states that “it is very rare for cats to get FIV from just being around infected cats”. If the disease is transmitted it will normally be in utero, via breast milk, or in blood. That means that other than if there is a pregnant/lactating queen with FIV, the only way the infection could get passed on is if there is a fight between the cats in which blood is drawn.

The reason this diagnosis makes the holiday-homing situation complicated is because there is always that small risk that the cats will fight and the FIV could be transmitted. But the risk is very small. Through my life I have had many, many cats. And yes they have fought occasionally. But I cannot think of a single occasion when any one of the cats has drawn blood from another during a disagreement. On top of this I know my cats, and I can confidently say that I do not believe that they would fight with the boys in that way. And I truly believe that the boys would not fight in that way either. Especially if they are all introduced to each other properly and given time to familiarise themselves before they are properly allowed together.

But that raises another problem.

Siiri has a snooze

How do you keep seven cats separately in a flat for a week? I mean of course they’d be in groups – a group of five and a group of two. That five is assuming that Sisu and Siiri are properly introduced to the other three here before then, which I feel I can safely say they will be. But back on point. Keeping them separate will be difficult. Especially as Lola used to live in that same flat and will likely still think of it as her territory, whilst Arska and Reiska are living there now so will think of it as their territory. Who do you confine to a single room? It makes sense to put the smaller group in the smaller area, but that means confining them to one room of their own home where they’ve previously been allowed to roam (fairly) freely.

Like I said, it’s going to be complicated. I think there will be a lot to discuss. But that’s enough of that. Let’s talk about how the kittens are doing so far.

Last time I posted in this series we’d had Sisu and Siiri for a couple of days. They’re pretty much settled in now. The little monsters are certainly more adventurous than Ilona was when we got her. They are constantly knocking things on the floor and getting into everything. One particular memorable morning we woke to notice that Sisu had knocked the laundry baskets over (again). He was lying next to one of them and as I watched his sister ran around, climbed onto the shoe box next to him, jumped off it to land on top of him, and then repeated the exercise.

Ilona likes to hang out

So that was weird behaviour…

I admit I was very confused. I got up to try to see what was going on and Siiri ran off. Sisu tried to follow her but somehow got pulled back towards the laundry basket as he attempted his escape. Either physics was playing up that morning or he’d somehow got himself caught up.

Obviously it was the latter.

I assumed he’d just got a claw stuck in the webbing of the basket and went over to try to release him. His response was to hiss loudly and lash out at me, leaving a relatively nasty cut on my thumb. That in itself was odd because he hadn’t hissed at us in days, and whilst he could be a little aggressive at times he was only ever playful with it. I told S that Sisu was stuck and he came over to have a try at freeing him. Poor S got his hand mutilated more than I did! It was fairly obvious that Sisu was panicking too much for us to help him. I had the bright idea of finding something to put over him so that he at least couldn’t hurt us any more. S’s dressing gown was the ideal choice – it was certainly big enough. As it turned out just having the weight of it on him calmed him down and I was able to get close enough to figure out what the problem was.

Sisu and Siiri are watching Ilona

Somehow he had got himself through the ribbon-like handle of the laundry basket, twisted around in it and was now tied up. Literally tied up. I hooked my fingers under and tried to see if I could work it off but the cry he gave made it obvious that wasn’t going to work. So S went and fetched some scissors and I carefully cut through the ribbon. The second it was cut he shot off to the other side of the room, pleased to be free. I went after him and gave him a cuddle, but he didn’t seem any the worse for wear. I’m not sure how long he’d been tangled there, but I don’t think it could have been too long.

I of course went on to cut of all the handles from the washing basket. It wasn’t like we needed the handles, and I wouldn’t want to wake up and find that one of them had managed to strangle themselves. That would be awful.

Gentle Introductions

Sisu and Siiri have been slightly introduced to the other three. We’ll sometimes leave the door open whilst they’re all eating so that they can get used to each other’s presences. We’re not letting them be alone with each other yet though. We’ll probably progress further in the introduction phase later this week. Oh and incidentally, neither kitten has come down with the eye problem so far (touch wood) and Elvis’s eye has all cleared up, so that’s great news.

A little bit about Ilona before I stop, I think. She’s doing well and becoming increasingly cheeky. She seems to have reminded Elvis how to be a kitten again. He never used to play with toys but now he does, and he loves having a companion who is willing to play with him. Though we do have to remind him sometimes not to be rough.

Elvis's Little Friend

One other thing about Ilona. Earlier today whilst in the midst of my writing Marathon I heard an odd noise above me. Next thing I know there is a kitten on my head. There is a moment of pause in which the kitten is presumably surprised, I am surprised, and Lola (who was sleeping next to my keyboard) is surprised. Then my knitting bag falls off the shelf and the kitten decides to jump off of my head.

I have no idea what happened.

All I can think is that Ilona leant to far over the shelf (the tops of our bookshelves are a “cat runway”), fell down, landed on the sticking out edge of the knitting bag and kind of bounced/jumped off it ending up on my head… It was very odd. I really would like to know how it happened.

But at least I can say I experienced something new today. Cat landing on my head – I’ve never had that before.


Lady Joyful

Have you ever had a cat land on your head? Or any other animal, for that matter?


8 thoughts on “Foster Diaries: Ilona & Friends – Week Two

  1. Pingback: Contortionists | Katzenworld

  2. Pingback: Sleep, Climb, Play | The Joyful Soul

  3. Pingback: Foster Diaries Special: All About Sisu & Siiri | The Joyful Soul

  4. Pingback: Foster Diaries Special: All About Ilona | The Joyful Soul

  5. The holiday homing problem for the kittens must be a nonsense. Surely you are only fostering so can just send them back where they came from. There cannot be an open ended commitment as a fosterer. You just need to be a bit realistic (hard-nosed) about it.

    • That is true yes, and having them in the cat house whilst we are away would be an option. We’re not considering it high up on the list though as kittens aren’t kept at the cat house for a reason – it’s not the best environment for kittens. Plus we’d still have the problem of what to do with Lola and Elvis.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.