Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Baxter Update

On January 30th we were lucky enough to see Baxter - aka Dr. Tiny Cat because he used to look like this guy

Baxter was our first (and to date, only) cat foster and has been in his new home for almost two months.

On a Saturday morning in September last year, I was getting ready to take our foster dog to the weekly adoption show when the hubs (aka Thomas) got a phone call from one of his co-workers.  His son was home from college and had brought a little surprise with him.  No, it wasn't mono (they knew about that), it was a tiny kitten!  And not only were animals not allowed in the apartment the kid lived in, but his mom is anti-cat, so the kitty had to go.  An hour later I arrived to pick up the little bundle of joy.  The kid had gotten the kitten a week earlier from his neighbor, whose cat had had kittens.  This means that poor baby Baxter (as he had been named) was separated from his mom and siblings when he was only 4 weeks old - way too young!

I scooped up Baxter and off we went to see "the cat people" from our rescue (we're usually on the dog side of things).  After confirming that Baxter was, indeed, freaking adorable and making a few phone calls we secured a vet appointment for him for that afternoon so we could make sure he was healthy.  As it turns out, he had fleas, ear mites and an eye infection, but overall was a healthy little guy.  He would need a topical flea treatment, drops in his ears, medicine squished in his eyes 3 times a day for 2 weeks and oral antibiotics twice a day for 2 weeks.  It seemed a touch overwhelming as the vet tech demonstrated his eye medicine and antibiotics, but after a day or so I got the hang of it.  It also helped that he was little enough to still have the reflex to do this:


Basically scoop up his hind feet but immediately relax and quit squirming when you picked him up by his scruff!  Hilarious, adorable and convenient all at once!

Why yes, I am holding him with one hand!  Look at how tiny; he only weighs about a pound!

Baxter was awesome.  He was already eating solid food in addition to wet food (impressive for a kitten his age!) and was a total piglet, so getting him to eat enough was easy.  And he was a pro at using a litterbox - score!  He would play for hours on end and was extremely cuddly.  Because he was so adventurous we actually kept him in a dog crate when we weren't with him so he wouldn't hurt himself by doing something silly like jumping off the dresser.

 Cruising around in Thomas' shoe

Chilling out in a big mug

Unfortunately (sort of), about 2 weeks after we brought Baxter home we left to go on a much anticipated month long trip to Spain (which was fabulous, by the way).  So Baxter went off to another foster home.  I sent him with food, a favorite toy and a note asking for updates from both his new foster family and hopefully the family that would adopt him, since we were certain he would be adopted before we would return.

Much to our surprise, Baxter was not adopted while we were gone.  I got in touch with his foster mom asking for an update.  As it turns out, she was feeling overwhelmed and long story short, after a month of very frustrating emails, we got Baxter back just after Thanksgiving (a special thanks to our friends John and Mary for assisting in picking him up!).

This time he was big enough that he could be left safely in a bedroom instead of having to be in a crate when we were gone.  Baxter's personality was really starting to blossom.  And he had developed an adorable new habit of suckling on fleece blankets and ears.  He actually started waking me up in the morning by trying to suckle my ear while purring loudly.  It tickled soooo bad but it was so cute I'd let him do it as long as I could stand it.  But I thought the weirdest part was that this was a habit he had developed recently, and I would have expected something like that more when he was tinier.  Look at how big he's getting!

Enjoying the sunshine by the windows

Window watching with Lenny

Tearing it up on the scratching post with Lenny

Baxter's other adorably notable habit was that when he would wake up from a nap, he would immediately start meowing loudly while beginning to wander around the house as if to say "Hey!  Where is everybody?  I'm awake - pay attention to me!".  He'd stop meowing once you picked him up and gave him a cuddle.

Baxter met his future mom at the very fist adoption show we took him to (the first he'd been to in over a month when he was supposed to be going to them weekly).  As a bonus for us, Baxter and another kitten were intended as non-surprise Christmas gifts for the children of the woman adopting them, so we got to keep Baxter until right before the holidays.  He now shares his home with 9 and 11 year old human children, Tigger (another kitten who is a month younger than him) and his new mom.  Baxter is still suckling away on blankets and continues to play non-stop.  He's also a model big brother and has taught Tigger how to groom himself and fun ways to get into mischief.

 I think he remembers me!

With Thomas - look at how long he is now!

With Tigger and their new mom

We loved every second of having Baxter around and are happy that his new mom gives us updates!

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