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Email Jim

August 23, 2009
Looking for homes for "our" kittens
So maybe you're wondering why I have kittens under the Workshop section, but I'm wondering how I got myself into a situation where I now can't use the surface grinder or anything else in the garage.  We've been overrun by workshop kittens.

Baxter the cat
Six new kittens
Baxter sits on the garden tractor after adopting us in December 2008
Six kittens have their afternoon meal

Back track to July 17.  I'm telecomuting, working from home.  That morning, as far as we knew, we were caring for 5 cats. Two feral males, Gray and Boomer, who only show up for meals, Ms. Binky, a semi-feral female, who we've been feeding for about a year and a half or more.  She spends a lot of time in our garage, but won't let us come near her most of the time. She did, however, bring us her son about a year ago.  He's a jet black guy with a white spot on his throat.  A long hair, like his mom, with tufts of fur coming out of his ears and a huge bushy tail. He's a rascal and loves to play, but since he was born feral and I didn't get to see him until he was 5 or so weeks old, he can be a bit skittish around those he doesn't know.  It took us a week of sitting quietly on the garage floor until he finally approached us.  Once he discovered that we didn't bite, he began to accept us as his people.  We call him Bonkerz, because he is.  And last but not least, our guy Baxter.

Mama, Ms Binky
One black male
Mama kitty
This one loves his ball

About 10 AM or so, I heard what sounded like a huge cat fight.  A very unusual sound at our household. I went outside to find Boomer and Gray locked in what looked like mortal battle - each one with teeth sunk into the other's neck with feet stretched in opposite directions.  Yowling and biting in between yowls.  I started yelling at them, but my yelling at them only seemed to make them more determined to bite each other's neck.  I was barefoot and barehanded and not about to loose skin trying to break this maelstrom up, but I was afraid that the time it would take to run for the hose would result in one or the other getting badly hurt.  Finally, I threw caution to the wind and gave Gray a whack with the top of my foot against the side of his ribs.  Hard enough to shock him, but not hard enough to hurt him.  Gray flew into the air and sprang off up the street and Boomer hightailed it the other direction.
What the heck had just happened? They usually don't go at it this hard.  I pondered what might have gotten them going.  Must be something to do with Ms. Binky.  Both had been courting her in early spring and there had been some scuffles then too, but nothing like this one.  I got back to work and kept listening for sounds of a rematch.
A bit later, I heard high pitched meows coming from below the window.  I went down and opened the door.  Nothing to be seen, but the cries were still there and coming from the garage.  Close the door and head for the garage door off of our kitchen.  Open that one and hear more cries. Louder this time.  Sounds like kittens, but it couldn't be, could it?  Ms. Binky was there and as I headed to the far side of the garage, she growled at me.  Not the usual hiss that she gives any time we get too close, but a mean, "watch your step" growl.  I chose to ignore the growl and took a peek along the side of the garage door.  Oh, crap, we're in trouble now.  Four - yes, 4 furry little kittens. Probably about a week old as their little eyes were open, but not much older than that.  All were crying for something.  Food, mommy, something.
So, I thought, we now have 4 more mouths to feed.  Three black and one gray.  What are we going to do? We've got one sick kitty who needs attention and no time for this.  Crap, what timing. 

Second black male Gray female
They all seem to love to play among the table legs and chair rungs
This little girl looks like she's
doing the cha-cha

By late afternoon, Susie made it home from work and went into the garage to check my story out.  I was wrong.  We didn't have four kittens, we now had 6.  Mama kitty had been busy transporting them from somewhere. Six kittens.  3 black and 3 gray.  All 6 had newly-opened blue eyes and stubby little tails.  It appears that Ms. Binky had give birth to her litter in a secluded place and now that they were going to need more nourishment than just mama's milk, she brought them to her meal ticket - us.  Well, I guess it's better that she brought them to us than having hungry kittens.  After all, what is 6 more when you're already caring for 5.  Oh my gawd.  11 cats!

It's now August 20.  Sadly, our Baxter lost his fight with cancer, but we've gained a litter of kitties to keep us busy.  The kittens are about 6 weeks old and we're looking to find them some good homes.  Ya wanna kitty?  As I said, there are 3 black and 3 gray.  One mostly black female, one black male with gray tips and one long-haired black female with some tiger markings. She has a beautiful face.  She looks like a female version of our big boy, Bonkerz.  It's hard not to love Bonkerz' looks - especially those fur-tufted ears - and she looks like she will be just like him.  She, as well as all the rest of these kittens, has had the opportunity to be around people from about the time they opened their eyes, so unlike their mother, they are well adapted to people.  They come when called and all love to gather around and watch when I clean their litter boxes - of all the nutty things to be interested in!  They seem to find this fascinating.  The long-haired black female is the calmest of the black kittens. Her brother and sister both have gray tips on their black fur, one more prominent than the other.  Both of these shorter haired black kittens are fearless explorers and are often found roaming the house.  I'm curious to think how their coats will change as they get older.  The black male seems to be getting a bit more gray as he gets older.

gray and black kittens
Gray kitten and yarn ball
Wrestling, lots of wrestling
Yarn balls are fun

There's a medium-length haired light gray
female who has darker gray tiger markings.  As with all of these kittens, she has very fine facial features, more Persian or Burmese looking, than alley cat, but without the pug nose of the Persian.  She is quiet and calm much of the time and it takes her a bit of provoking before she'll join in with the chasing and wrestling. Her two medium gray brothers are the two largest of the litter.  They both have long hair that puffs out like a down pillow,  When they curl up, they look like the "Tribbles" of Star Trek fame.  They are both rambunctious and because of their large size they find each other as the best sparring partner - not that they don't chase and get chased by even the smallest of the litter. 

One of the interesting traits of both mother and first son is that they both prance.  Rather than the sultry slink that most cats use to go to and fro, both Ms. B. and her son Bonkerz seem to always be up on their tip-toes, bouncing along.  We see the same thing with the kittens.  It's the darnedest thing.

kitten and feather
ready to pounce
Where's my toy? Ready to pounce

If the truth be told, we'd love to keep them all, but it's too many cats for us to care for.  We need to find homes for them before we get even more attached than we are now.  They're also at the age where they need more individual attention than we can give 6 at once.

Looking to play
Please give us a home

So, are you looking for a little fur ball to adopt into your family?  Any or all of these guys would be at home as an indoor only or outdoor/indoor cat.  They are all litter-box trained and will even help you when you clean the box!  We have them on Friskies cans along with some store-brand canned and dry food.  The ideal situation would be for the kittens to adopted in pairs.  Having a sibling to boost their confidence would speed their adjustment to your family.

We are big supporters of spaying and neutering and very much hope that you will choose this path.  We may be able to assist with finding a lower cost option for these procedures.  Our vets suggest that the kittens should weigh about 5 pounds before getting the surgery.  Speaking of spaying, the mommy of this litter needs to stop having kittens.  We've talked about this since she had her first kitten last year,
our Bonkerz.  Unfortunately, we could never get close enough to catch her without scaring the heck out of her.  She has now become a bit friendlier since she has seen us caring for her kittens.  I can even sneak a stroke down her back as she eats and she'll stretch out on our kitchen floor to watch the kittens wreck havoc on anything and everything in our downstairs, but she will still hiss at me when I bring her food.  Once she's weened the kitties and not likely to be traumatized by being separated from them, in she goes to be fixed.

Interested?  Send me an email.  jim@benchtest.com


Update: August 29, 2009

Wow! What a great response from a little Craigslist ad.  We found the two fluffy gray males and the fluffy black female new homes with wonderful familys on the first day.  Pretty great.  We received an email from a couple with 4 young boys that were interested in the two remaining females, one black and one gray.  They came out to pick up their new kitties the following Saturday.  We have decided to keep the remaining male who has been named Benny after my wife's favorite cartoon character from the Top Cat show.  He is the little guy in the picture above who is asking for a home.

It was a lot harder to give these little guys up than we had imagined it was going to be. However, we feel quite fortunate that we were able to find such great homes for our kitties.  Thanks to all who made that possible.