WELCOME TO THE KITTEN FOSTER FILES #7
Grab a coffee and settle in for a read. It’s a bit of a long one this time!
If you’ve been keeping up with my regular blog posts and/or following me on Instagram or my Facebook page you’d know that we foster failed and adopted Axel and Amaya. ‘Foster Fail’ isn’t a bad thing, it’s just the term that foster carers use when they do what I’ve done – fallen in love with their fosters and adopted!
I actually was sad but quite solidly strong in my intention of letting them go for adoption. It was when The Tennis Player (hubby) and Twin 1 and Twin 2 starting making comments eluding to the fact that they had bonded and had I considered adopting them that the chinks in my armour started to appear.
In addition to the above, COVID-19 had arrived in Australia around the same time as when the kittens were due to be dropped back to the RSPCA for desex. This was before lockdown and the restrictions that are now in place. At the time, there was a lot of uncertainty (as there still is) and I was concerned whether anyone would be adopting during these times. I was worried about what would happen to them. I was also very scared about what was going to happen generally. The news overseas was devastating and very frightening. I was an emotional mess. So – all of those things considered, on the day we drove them to the RSPCA for desex the seed of doubt was verbalised. I said something like “perhaps we should adopt them”. So we let it be known that we were interested in adopting and it was agreed that we would confirm by 9am the following morning – which we did. A couple of days later we officially adopted them.
This was all a few weeks ago now. They were 9 weeks of age when adopted. Now they’re 14 weeks and boy have they grown!
GENDER MIX UP & DESEX MISHAPS
After officially adopting Axel and Amaya and getting them home, I noticed that Amaya’s desex wound was in her crotch area and Axel’s was up on his tummy. Uh oh – something was amiss here and so I made an appointment with my vet for confirmation of my suspicions (more on this in a minute). As it turned out a vet appointment was needed anyway as ‘the girl kitten’ popped open her wound and ‘the boy kitten’s’ scrotal sac was popped out and quite red so both needed attention. She required a re-stitch and he required the sac pushed back in and some stitches too. I then turned a sock into a little garment for ‘her’ to wear to stop her chewing at her stitches and ‘he’ had to wear a ‘cone of shame’ (poor thing). We also had to keep them both apart in order to keep them quiet. Those were really quite difficult days but thankfully we are through it now!
Oh and by the way, my suspicions were right – who we always thought was Amaya was in fact a HE and who we always thought was Axel was in fact a SHE. When kittens are tiny babies it can be very difficult to tell the sex. We had gone by the paperwork provided by RSPCA when we got the kittens at 2 weeks of age. I’d never really bothered to check as they grew as I was just focussed on loving and caring for them and besides the one we thought was Amaya was so teeny tiny and dainty that it just seemed quite obvious she was a girl! Wrong! So anyway – we switched names and made a point of calling them the switched names in order to get used to it. It’s worked. We have got used to it now. So Amaya is now AXEL and Axel is now AMAYA. Strange but there you go! Here’s the Instagram post to make the announcement!
View this post on Instagram
“Um … ahem … listen up folks! I got a weallllly weallllly important message for you! My Mum is too embarrassed to tell you so I said I’d do it. You see she was wondering why my desex wound was in my crotch area and Axel’s was on his tummy and then she said something dawned on her and her face kinda went into a shocked look. She took us to her vet (our vet now too) for confirmation and she says she was right. She’s really smart my Mum except she can be daft sometimes too as you’re about to find out. You see I am a boy and Axel is a girl! I know!! Mum says she went by the paperwork when she first got us to foster at 2 weeks of age and never really bothered looking at our bits. She just focussed on loving us and keeping us alive. Anyway – she’s decided to try a name swap and hopefully we will all get used to it. So from now on – I am AXEL and if you swipe you’ll see the new AMAYA wearing a girly sock Mum altered to protect her desex wound. Confused? So are we but we think it’s a bit funny too! 😺😺 Bye for now from me – AXEL – a boy!” . #theakitties #theakitties_amaya #theakitties_axel #kittensofinstagram #tabbykitten #tabbykittens #nameswap #gendermixup
… and here’s Amaya in her sock onesie. It worked a treat!
… and Axel being a brave and patient boy wearing the ‘cone of shame’.
SUDDENLY AN OWNER OF CATS AGAIN
It’s been a long time since I’ve owned cats. I used to have two – Rocky and Monty – many moons ago. In those days they were outside cats. They came inside whenever they liked but were free to go outside whenever they liked too – except nights. At night I called them in for dinner and they were then locked in for the night. Rocky had an untimely death that I won’t go into (but imagine all the perils that can befall a cat that wanders the ‘burbs) but Monty lived until he was 12. His kidneys were failing and he was put to sleep on veterinary advice. Those two loved each other, as you can see in the picture below (a photocopy of a photo – don’t know where the original photo is now).
I’m well set up for fostering, but that is a temporary set up and only requires care of kittens up until around 9 weeks of age. Getting used to having permanent cats again is quite an adjustment – and indoor cats at that. I’m learning as I go.
There’s the fact that with any new pets I have I put a lot of thought into the naming of them. These two were named as fosters – randomly picked names where I decided to start naming fosters by alphabet – these ones all A’s. The next foster litter I’d planned to be B names. The names of Axel and Amaya will stay though because I now can’t imagine them called anything else. I decided to add some names now that they are adopted and so Amaya is known as Amaya Jane (just sounds so nice and one of my grandmothers was Jane) and Axel is Axel Rove (a little play on Axel Rose). Just a little extra touch since they are now part of our family.
Then there’s the fact that I always thought that if I ever owned a cat again I’d get a Ragdoll or a British Blue or something along those lines – breeds I think are gorgeous. Here I am though with common domestic tabbies – but you know what – I think these two are beautiful too! In fact I think they are stunning and adore the pair of them and I am getting so much joy from them. Their antics have me laughing all the time and laughter is always something we need more of isn’t it? Amaya is particularly cuddly and sweet and Axel follows me everywhere. They are so precious!
FOSTERING ON HOLD FOR NOW
Fostering on hold for now for a number of reasons:
- Need time to settle in Axel and Amaya, get ourselves into a routine, and give Ava (our dog) time to adjust and for them all to get used to living together.
- COVID-19 restrictions. We live a 45 minute drive from the RSPCA at Wacol when there’s no traffic. It’s up to 2 hrs if traffic is bad. Wacol is South-West of Brisbane’s CBD, whereas we are South-East of Brisbane’s CBD. We’re being advised to stay within our suburb and not leave home unless for work, getting groceries, medical appointments, or essential outings like care for elderly relative, etc.
- COVID-19 concerns. I have an immune deficiency which means I get sick enough at the best of times. Just last year during October and November I was sick with pneumonia and hospitalised for some of that time. At this time I need to be extra vigilant. This means I need to reduce the amount of people I come into contact with, reduce stress, get plenty of sleep, and take all the other advised precautions like regularly washing my hands, keeping my home clean and disinfect communal surfaces etc.
- I have a house full! All kidults at home. Full house!
Putting fostering on hold has been a very hard decision for me because I absolutely love caring for baby kittens and there have been many needing foster homes that I have had to not put my hand up for (thankfully other foster carers have). It’s been hard, but I know myself and I know that looking after my wellbeing and that of my family must take priority for now.
WHERE YOU CAN SEE MORE OF AXEL & AMAYA
- Bayside Kitten Foster Files (Main Insta Page) & also in active ‘Stories’
- Bayside Kitten Foster Files / The ‘A’ Kitties Archived Story 1 (when they were little and still fosters)
- Bayside Kitten Foster Files / The ‘A’ Kitties Archived Story 2 (when they were little and still fosters)
STAY WELL & SAFE everyone.
Meow for now,