Thursday, September 1, 2016

I Took The Kittens to The Vet ~ Thursday 9/1/16

I completely forgot to play "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire to my son this morning! This has been our tradition to do this on September 1st (and many days after that until he can't take it anymore!) since he was homeschooled. Well, darn it.

Hermine is going to hit Florida tonight as a hurricane, right about where Tallahassee is.  While this should spare us, My Not Quite Yet Daughter In Law is a student at FSU in Tallahassee so I'm worried about her. I'm sure Middle Son is too.  Hopefully no lives will be lost.

My Not Quite Yet Daughter In Law and I texted about the hurricane and she's thinking about driving home today but I think it's a bad idea unless she leaves right now (9:30 a.m.). She asked if she could come visit the kittens if she does make it home :)  I asked if she wanted one, lol.  But she doesn't.  She ended up leaving Tallahassee at about noon. I hope she has a safe drive!  She promised to text me when she got into town.

I'm pretty tired. Not just the kittens but I hadn't slept well the night before we got them, and then I exercised that day and did a bunch of chores and since we've gotten them my head has been spinning a little. Just trying to get used to a new routine. Between the feeding and grooming them (peeing, pooping, bathing them as if I was their mom), it takes about 45 minutes each time and then there's the record keeping too. I've finally designed a form that works for me but it took a couple of tries.  And I'm worried because they're not pooping. More about the kittens at the bottom of the post.

Greg is working from home today so that's another wrinkle in my new routine. I'm not sure how productive I will be today. And i really need to try and find the energy to exercise. Maybe right after lunch.

9:00 p.m. update: our little town is located right in between 2 tornado warnings right now so I rushed to make some preparations just in case and reminded the kids that if I tell them that there's a tornado coming, they need to get into the master bathroom (no windows, center of the house) and not waste time chasing the cats or their stuff.  Hurricane Hermine is supposed to make landfall way Northwest of of us in 3 a.m. but we've had a lot of storms in the Orlando area and the weather alarm has been ringing many many times.

I'm posting my To-Do list but between the kitten care, the visits to the vet and all the severe thunderstorm warnings and tornado watches/warnings that we have been under, I don't think I'm going to accomplish much of anything.

To Do List
  • Crafty/Creative:
    • Finish painting squirrel sign and assemble it
    • Make a lightbox to take better pictures
    • Melt down old candles and make into one or two new candles - No, I've decided to just pitch them. I know it's not the frugal thing to do but I have a ton of candles to use up, still, and I really need to declutter the house. Update: I had second thoughts last night so for now they're sitting on top of my washing machine until I decide what to do with them!
    • Make "No Soliciting" sign for front door and another one for the other front door (we have two)
  • Cleaning/Decluttering:
    • Dust the bedrooms (including son's fan) - in progress
    • Declutter linen closet
    • Clean kitchen cabinets
    • Declutter the top of the fridge
    • Mend items in mending basket (add Greg's hat) - MONDAY
    • Declutter shelves over printer stand 
    • Declutter storage bench 
    • Dust fan in exercise room
    • Clean the fridge
    • Declutter gardening supplies chest
    • Defrost the freezer
    • Sweep breezeway
    • Vacuum living room
    • Vacuum exercise room
    • Sweep/vacuum downstairs bathroom
    • Vacuum master bedroom
    • Vacuum upstairs hallway
    • Vacuum main stairs
    • Do the dishes (Thursday) - My daughter will do them for me
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Need to preserve the eggplants
  • Entertainment
    • Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
    • Sign up for ranger hikes in local parks
  • Errands:
    • Take items to the dump
  • Gardening/outdoors:
    • Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
    • Research cone flowers and their care and plant them somewhere - Transplanted them in larger pot.
    • Scrub patio pavers with bleach to remove mildew (this might have to wait until the months when it's not quite so hot!)
    • Fertilize the raspberries - I'm thinking about pulling them and putting more roses in pots in their place.
    • Add mulch to the vegetable garden - I will do this once I have replaced the broken self-watering bins
    • Pull unwanted plants from center "planter" in the backyard, add soil, plant flowers, add edging around it (watch out for large roots that would be in the way). Make planter with other materials if edging doesn't work. (this will have to wait until Fall when it's not so hot and when I can plant wildflower seeds).
    • Divide and repot the aloe plant
    • Plant more okra
    • Trim grass behind the hedge
    • Trim weeds alongside the berm
    • Find fish emulsion and use on plants
    • Pull the rest of the dead tomato plants 
    • Plant passion flower vine seeds
    • Add water to pepper bins
    • Refill green bird feeder
    • Pour weed killer on weeds on patio
    • Harvest the peanuts
    • Refill the hummingbird feeders
  • Health:
    • Call gyneco to make annual appointment - I'll do that once I'm more comfortable with my weight because I know they'll be nagging me about it anyway.
    • Use recumbent bike  Done
    • Do 5 min of strength exercises  
    • Log food into My Fitness Pal  Done
    • Record exercise in Walgreens Balance Rewards (in September)
    • Weigh myself (Wednesdays) 
  • Kittens
    • Feed them every 2-3 hours. Done
    • Weigh them (5 p.m.) Done
    • Wash and sterilize bottles and eye dropper 
    • Don't forget to wash hands before and after handling them to prevent transmitting diseases to the other cats  Done
    • Get pooping advice from vet's - Done
  • Maintenance:
    • See if I still have mildew-resistant white paint for bathroom ceiling
    • Get Greg to replace the ceiling tile in the entry room
    • Test the batteries in all 3 smoke detectors and replace as needed
    • Vacuum fridge coils
    • Greg to call plumber
    • Wash the bathroom ceiling with bleached water
    • Remind Greg to re-secure chicken wire to AC unit and also to block off opening under front of the house
    • Scrub mildew off front of the house (porch, behind bushes, front stairs)
    • Install white beadboard in laundry room (will need to measure and purchase)
    • Install new stick-on tiles in laundry room (will need to remove ancient ones first)
    • Paint laundry room cabinets
    • Get Greg to fix/remove rotten wood on front porch
    • Make a list of which outlets need to be replaced and call Duke Energy Homewire Protection to schedule appointment
    • Ask electrician for estimate on installing outlet on front porch
    • Ask Greg to make me new tiled table for electric roaster on front porch
    • Get on flat roof, sweep it, and clean out the front gutter
    • Ask Greg to install gutter screens on the front gutter
    • Have Greg block the opening in the back fence
  • Technology/Paperwork:
    • Caption old pictures that have already been scanned
    • Scan more old pictures
    • Create spreadsheet to track IRA contributions using ALL our old tax returns - Started but need to do more research.
    • Figure out if we should contribute to regular  or Roth IRAs for 2016 and fund them - I guess I need to wait until tax time next year, actually. I'll have until April 15, 2017 to fund 2016 IRAs so I need to work on taxes way sooner than I did this year so I'd have time to fund the IRAs and THEN file my taxes.
    • Download all May-August photos to my external drive - in progress
    • Back up my external drive to my other external drive
    • File the remaining loose recipes that I organized already in appropriate recipe binders
    • Purge filing cabinet upstairs
    • File paperwork
    • Write new letter to great grand aunt
    • Remove daughter's pc from her room and decide what to do with it
    • Complete August Food Expenses post -  in progress
    • Go through the genealogical material crate
    • Shred what needs to be shredded
    • Scan what needs to be scanned (if anything)
    • Work on photo album for daughter's birthday (or graduation!)
    • Put reminder on calendar to schedule kitten vet visit @ 4 weeks (week of 9/19, check-up and deworming)
    • Return solar batteries to Amazon (printed label)

  • My son packed a lunch to take to school.

  • He rode the school bus.

  • I brewed a pot of coffee using half the free decaf from Wawa and half regular coffee.

  • Greg worked from home today, saving us about $20 in tolls and gas.

  • I took the kittens to the vet's as soon as they opened to get their opinion and advice about the pooping situation. A tech examined the kittens and tried to make them poop. They didn't charge me.

  • I printed the coupons for a couple of e-offers from MurphyUSA.

  • I charged the vet visit and the kitten supplies that I needed from Publix to my USAA Visa card for 10% in rewards.

  • My daughter ate at home since her class was in the afternoon.  This schedule is really saving both she and me money since she's home for lunch 4 days out of 5!

  • I uploaded new digital coupons to my Publix digital wallet, including 2 coupons for freebies!  I'm not sure that my Publix actually carries those items, though. 

  • I also uploaded new offers to SavingStar.

  • And I printed new coupons.

  • MyCokeRewards sent me a code for a free customized notepad from Shutterfly. I made one for My Favorite Girlfriend to give her as a Christmas present. However, the pad might be free but shipping is $10!  So I'll have to think about it.

  • Bing Rewards let us earn double the regular amount of credits today, woohoo!  I've almost reached my goal.

  • I earned a few Swagbucks, including 75 SB for a survey.  I'm 20 SB away from reaching my 1st goal but I'm not going to worry about it.

  • I received a $5 digital Mastercard as a rebate from the bags of SweeTarts that I bought this summer. Finally! I should have another one coming in too, soon I hope.

  • I exercised for free at home by riding my recumbent bike for 46 minutes (8.3 miles) while watching an episode of L&O: CI on a DVD borrowed from the library.

  • I was really tired at 6 p.m. but Greg was hungry so he suggested we just pick up pizza. Our son was all excited about it but I refused because I was going to have to eat leftovers anyway so I might as well cooked. However, I was too tired to try a new recipe so I just pan-fried the pork chops that I had defrosted several days ago. I dipped them in a beaten egg and coated them in Italian-style panko bread crumbs and it was delicious!  I also decided to make white rice in the microwave and heated up a can of no salt added green beans that I seasoned with Italian Seasoning.  The kids and I each had half a mini naan too.

  • I asked my daughter to do the dishes for me tonight. I'll credit her for 2 nights since last night's dishes weren't done either. This will go towards her October car insurance payment.

  • I forgot to say that I have been using Bounty Pick A Size paper towels dipped in warm water to stimulate the kittens (to pee and poop). At first I was using a half sheet each time, and using 3 to 4 half sheets per kitten per feeding.  Yesterday I decided to cut the half sheets in halves so I've reduced my consumption of paper towels in half.  I don't have enough wash cloths to use those instead of paper towels, and the cotton balls don't absorb as much, so I won't sweat it!

  • Gas to take the kittens to the vet's (twice) and to go to Publix
  • $50 vet visit
  • $20+ in goat milk, Pedialyte and gas drops for kittens
  • Gas for my daughter to attend her classes at the state college

  • I had to compost several potatoes that had started to spoil (again!)
  • I also had to throw away 2 hard boiled eggs cooked earlier last week that also went bad.
  • Bad time to realize half your D batteries that you need for your portable battery-operated fans are corroded!  Arrgh.
  • Not a frugal failure but a personal one: I love reading and commenting on blogs but right now I'm too tired to do much more than peruse posts if I have time. Similarly, my comment replies will probably be short or I might not even reply to comments. This isn't personal! I'm just lacking time right now and energy.  Thanks for understanding!

  • Kitten duty
  • Took kittens to vet's
  • Refreshed the kitchen wall calendar for September
  • Texted with My Not Quite Yet Daughter In Law
  • Kitten duty
  • Took kittens to vet's
  • Went to Publix to get kitten supplies
  • Uploaded digital coupons and printed coupons
  • Kitten duty
  • Printed coupons
  • Corresponded with daughter via text re: impending severe thunderstorm
  • Customized a notepad on Shutterfly
  • Located cat rabies and county licenses and the kids and I fitted them with their collars since we're under a tornado watch until late tonight
  • Kitten duty
  • Exercised
  • Cooked dinner
  • Cooked hardboiled eggs for Greg's snacks
  • Texted with My Not Quite Yet Daughter In Law
  • Kitten Duty
  • Did a load of kitten-related laundry
  • Charged battery for lantern
  • Positioned other lantern in bathroom, along with emergency radio
  • Made sure flashlights were positioned nearby
  • Reminded Greg and kids to keep their phones charged in case we lose power
  • Texted with My Not Quite Yet Daughter In Law

  • I'm exhausted.  I didn't drink enough yesterday and I have done better today but I still haven't drank enough.  

  • I did force myself to exercise late this afternoon, as I hadn't done it yesterday. I didn't have the energy to pedal too hard, but I did do it for 46 minutes.  I wanted to go to 60 minutes but the body wasn't agreeing with the mind!

  • I still have a little over 400 calories to eat so I think I'll make a PBJ. The peanut butter should give me energy. I have to feed the kittens at 11 a.m. and then again at 2:30 a.m. (and then 6:00 a.m. but that's pretty much my regular wake-up time) so I need the energy to do that. Last night I just couldn't make myself get up at 3:30 a.m. so they skipped a feeding, which isn't good.

  • I logged my food and exercise in MyFitnessPal.

  • That My Not Quite Yet Daughter In Law drove home safely this afternoon for the holiday weekend and made it in one piece!  She wants to come visit the kittens so we should be able to see her at some point.
  • That I could get the kittens in for the vet to examine them
  • That one of them did poop!

I was exhausted last night. I fed the kitten at 1:30 and then when my alarm rang at 3:30 a.m., I couldn't even move. The kittens weren't making a peep so I went back to sleep. I know, I should have fed them. It's a 45-min session from start to finish and I couldn't face it. I fed them again at 6:15a.m. and again they didn't poop. I was very worried. The local animal shelter is closed today. My vet's office opened at 7:30 a.m. so I showed up at 7:32 a.m. with the kittens.

Thankfully a tech had just come in (the doctors don't come in until later) and she tried to poop the striped kitten but he couldn't go. She tried sticking a little probe up his butt but didn't wan't to overdo it without a doctor present. She tried massaging his butt under running water... nothing.  She thinks that maybe they were malnourished when we found them and haven't been able to form a stool yet.   According to her, she doesn't feel an impacted stool near their rectum (she examined 2 of the 3 kittens), and they're relaxed so they don't look sick. But she recommended a doctor look at them and I was relieved, to tell you the truth. So I'm taking them back there at 10:15 a.m.  In the meantime, I'll feed them again and try the running water trick.

Well the running water did NOT do the trick :(  After I fed them, I took them to the vet's.  The vet thinks they look healthy. They're plump and not dehydrated.  They might be stressed from the change of environment and the change in diet, resulting in constipation and gas. He said to get goat milk (canned is easier to find) and to mix it with unflavored Pedialyte (2/3 Pedialyte to 1/3 goal milk) and then to mix that 50/50 with the kitten formula. We're going to try to wean them from the formula and only give them goat milk, eventually, I guess. I also have to give them 2 drops of infant gas drops 3 times a day, each.  And he told me to call them back early Saturday morning (they close at noon) so he can advise.  I hope it works! Oh and I have to stimulate their genital and butt hole area for 5 minutes instead of just 1 minute. Per kitten. Per feeding. (well, until they have their poop of the day).

First vet visit... they're fast asleep in the carrier.

So I took them home and went back to Publix, where I found everything.  Instead of canned goat milk ($3.29 a can that might not get all used up before I have to throw it away), I found powdered goal milk so I got that instead.  I decided to reconstitute the goal milk with the Pedialyte instead of water and got a container of that ready. I used a couple of spice bottles that I had bought brand new (so unused) from my Frontier Co-Op several years ago as I used to buy large bags of spices that I would repackage.  The other spice bottle contains the mix of 50/50 "Goat Pedialyte" with kitten formula.  My fridge is getting quite full with all those containers, the goat milk powder, the formula powder and the Pedialyte too!

I fed the kittens the new mixture and gave them gas drops at 12:30 p.m. I only stimulated them for 2-3 minutes since I figured the new mixture and the drops would take a while to take effect.

For blind and helpless little newborns, they're surprisingly agile and adventurous!  Here two of them were escaping the carrier
to crawl onto my lap as I was feeding the 3rd one. It was like one of those video games where you have to do several tasks at
once and then the cadence keeps on accelerating! I'd put them back, they'd crawl right back out!

Awww, so angelic!

At the next feeding (4 p.m.) I weighed them and each kitten had put on weigh. Yay, although how much of this is their full colon, who knows?  One of the kittens  (the light one) did poop!  I was so excited!  Greg was laughing at me!  The kids came running to admire the little turd (lol!) and we were all celebrating.  However, the other 2 kittens refused to poop.  Maybe next time.

What? You didn't want to see a picture of a newborn kitten's turd?
Well, too bad. You're welcome.
Tonight at about 5:45 p.m. Greg came to get me because the hawk was perched on top of his shed. I wasn't able to take a picture because it flew off as my camera was turning on, but it confirmed that I had done the right thing in bringing in the kittens on Tuesday night. That hawk hangs around in the early evening as well, not just in the mornings!

Meanwhile, this is what the other cats are up to. They are completely ignoring the kittens on the other side of the house...

Male cat has claimed the chillin' spot on my son's legs today!  Usually it's either he or New Kitty.

Mean Kitty surprisingly didn't freak out when we put the collar and tags on her.

But New Kitty didn't like them at all.  Male Cat came over to calm her down by touching his nose to hers, it was so cute.  Then she chilled.  Now she doesn't care anymore.  I think they looks stylish :)  I wrote their names and my cell phone number on the back of the tags with a Sharpie.
Have a great Friday, everyone!


  1. They are adorable. I miss my cat. She has been gone a year and 3 months. She lived a long healthy 15 years. Only sick the day she died. You are doing a great job with all the kitties and cats.

    1. I'm sorry your cat passed away. 15 years! She really was a long-time companion! Cats are unfortunately very good at hiding when they're sick. My brother's cat is 20 or 21, I think. She has given him quite a few scares but she's still hanging on.

  2. You are such a good kitty mom!

    Well done, little kitty, for producing what you did! We are all so proud of you! Hope your siblings do something, too, and soon!

    I thought of you when I heard the news today and they talked about the hurricane. They were showing people boarding up their windows and empty store shelves as people buy provisions. Praying that it passes you by and you don't get anything other than some rain for your garden. Stay safe!

    1. Thank you< Bless. The hurricane has made landfall near Tallahassee. It's very quiet here now although earlier they had said we'd get more rain and storms after 2 a.m. I'm not sure if that's still the case. There might have been a tornado touch just 20 miles west AND another one about 20 miles east of us so we really there in the corridor between 2 storm systems! Our tornado warning has expired but the counties just west and north of us had theirs extended until 8 a.m. We're just about 10 miles from the west county line so I will sleep with 1 eye open (plus I have to wake up in another 2 hours to feed the kittens anyway!).

      Good night.

  3. Hope yall avoid the after winds of the hurricaine

    1. Thank you. They had predicted high winds here this afternoon but we just got a lot of rain. Phew.

  4. Wow...I had no idea what is involved in taking care of such young orphan kittens!

    Don't forget to take care of yourself!

    1. Honestly, I'm not doing much else then taking care of the kittens and doing tasks that I can do on the laptop, so I'm not physically exerting myself too much. I finally got to exercise today, though, and that felt great.

  5. No wonder you are exhausted. It is like having a newborn baby in the house. You are feeding them their special formula, and you are bathing them. Heck they even have their own kitty laundry. You should be sleeping when they are sleeping. Remember?

    1. I had forgotten about that piece of wisdom, but if I slept as much as they do, you'd think I've hibernated! They're only awake for the 20-30 minute feeding/bathing sessions right now... thankfully, they are NOT demanding. I have to wake them up each time! It's really not that taxing, I don't know why I've been so tired. I suspect a big part of it is because I really have not been drinking enough.


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