TinyKittens: Making Good Choices Since 2013
October 29, 2018 4:10 PM   Subscribe

Since it is National Cat Day, I thought an update on the adventures of Vancouver, BC area rescue TinyKittens (Previously) would be in order.

At the moment they are between litters at TKHQ, but the caretaking work never ends, and two live feeds are currently up on YouTube. One is a feed that has been showing ferals and former ferals in the TK "medical ward", where they bring in ferals from their managed colony who have urgent medical needs and allow them to recover from their various vet procedures. Right now they are housing Hyatt, who is recovering from temporary blindness brought on by toxoplasmosis, and Salia, who is recovering from surgery to remove a two centimeter nasopharyngeal polyp that was blocking her airway and causing her great pain. So far, Salia seems enamored by humans, and Hyatt is showing occasional friendliness toward his caretakers. However, Hyatt is also showing behavior that indicates he might be happier returning to his friends in the Happy Forest, a managed colony where ferals are fed, watched for medical concerns, and socialized on their own terms until they seem ready to be brought inside for further socialization and possible adoption. Nevertheless, they are accepting applications to adopt both ferals.

Salia can also be seen visiting TinyTuxies headquarters, aka Tinykittens founder Shelly Roche's living room. On this feed, you can watch Princess Consuela, the latest mama to be taken in by TK to give birth and raise her kittens in safety. Her babies Allie and Bentley have already been adopted, but the sweet and loving Princess still needs a good home. Until then, she is enjoying life with Shelly's resident cats and long-term fosters.

The resident cats of TinyTuxies are Bartlett, Pants, and Bunny, foster fails from Shelly's first foster litter a few years back, and Cassidy the Miracle Kitten (previously), who survived nine weeks as a kitten with infected leg stumps out in the forest, and is now a pampered kitty who doesn't seem to notice that he has two fewer legs than other cats.

Also living there is long-term foster Grandpa Mason (Previously) a terminally ill feral who still isn't sure about humans, but has famously taken on the task of caring for the various litters of kittens that come through TK, cuddling them and teaching them important lessons on how to be a successful cat. They have also been joined by Aura, aka Auracuda, a six month old kitten born with a severe cleft palate that resulted in her needing round-the-clock tube feeding for the first four weeks of her life. Last week, she had surgery to repair her cleft palate, and she has recovered rapidly, returning to her scampy, troublemaking, Auradorable self.

If you'd like to help out, TinyKittens always needs donations, especially now that they are caring for several special needs cats and have recently lost their lease on the facility they were using to care for and socialize ferals. Aside from financial help, they welcome help through publicity aid, social media sharing, and general spreading of information about TNR and rescue work.
posted by Meghamora (17 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
posted by halation at 4:16 PM on October 29, 2018 [13 favorites]

I was so shocked when Shelly took Aura in to the vet and suddenly it went from "going to find out about surgery" to "oh she had the surgery". In those early days, it seemed almost impossible that she was going to be lucky enough to make it, and now she's grown into such a gorgeous girl.
posted by Sequence at 4:30 PM on October 29, 2018 [5 favorites]

I've adopted a lot of coping strategies--some more questionable than others--since 2016 but watching Tiny Kittens live feeds is definitely in the Top 5. A+, will squee loudly and frequently.
posted by soren_lorensen at 4:49 PM on October 29, 2018 [6 favorites]

Yay, TK! "Make good choices, Puff Puff" has become a bit of a mantra around here.

And I have my own feral since I started watching TK - Captain Floof Chalmers, who lives most of the time in my back garden. I'm talking to Cats Protection about him - they say he's a feral because he has "fat feral cheeks". Rude, I think, and also citation needed.
posted by paduasoy at 5:06 PM on October 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

Although, one Friday when I couldn’t cope, I tuned in to watch Princess Consuela give birth and it turned into a rescue operation, and I ended up super-stressed. Nature is not always kind, people!
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:12 PM on October 29, 2018 [3 favorites]

TinyKittens is daily watching for me. Even when there's nothing much happening on the feeds, it's so soothing. Lately, the videos of Miracle Kitten (Original Puffs) adopting Aura (Mini Puffs) are warming my heart. Aura and Miracle Kitten seem genuinely taken with one another.
posted by gladly at 5:16 PM on October 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

Nature is not always kind, people!

The number of times I've sat down in front of PBS for a relaxing hour and ended up in horrified tears because a featured animal is now being eaten speaks to the truth of this. Nature! Pffft!
posted by hippybear at 5:27 PM on October 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

Yes, there are heartbreaks along with the cute, I'm afraid. Between Ramona and Rula's litters losing two kittens each, and Princess Consuela's dramatic birth and loss of two kittens, it was a rough kitten season for TK this year. But now there are ten healthy kittens with forever homes, a former feral mom (Chloe) loving her retirement with her new family, and another miracle kitten we thought wouldn't make it, but who beat the odds and surprised the experts. I suspect Aura may be a foster fail, though I think Shelly is going to have to take some more time to make that decision permanent for various reasons.
posted by Meghamora at 5:28 PM on October 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

My cat has been all over me today. Like she is saying "It's my day motherfucker and I am going make biscuits until your abs are bleeding".
posted by srboisvert at 7:25 PM on October 29, 2018 [4 favorites]

Until we were able to adopt two cats of our own, TinyKittens was a common background presence on our laptops or TV. Now, we've got our own kitty-cuteness to watch in person, plus whenever we would put the kittens on TV, Harley would not only watch them but try to get to them. She'd keep looking behind the TV, or checking if they'd come out when the kittens went off the side of the screen. While it was adorable to watch, it seemed a bit mean to taunt her with kittens that she clearly wished she could play with.
posted by JiBB at 7:32 PM on October 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

In my twelve+ years here, I have never posted a pet photo, so in honor of this day, meet Oliver.
posted by 4ster at 7:59 PM on October 29, 2018 [9 favorites]

Oliver has one of the most handsome cat faces I've ever seen!
posted by hippybear at 8:06 PM on October 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

And yes, I told you that so that you would tell him that.
posted by hippybear at 8:06 PM on October 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

Yusuf/Cat Stevens wishing a "Happy #NationalCatDay to all the cats and kittens".
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 8:32 PM on October 29, 2018 [3 favorites]

Do any of y'all chat on the TKHQ feeds? I do, occasionally. I have seen sperose for sure.

Last night Shelly had fellow live-stream foster parent visitors FDJ of The Critter Room near Seattle and Sarah of the Kitten Cuddle Room in LA, and they played an elaborate trick on the viewers. When Shelly brings in a new cat for an intake she announces it with "Something floofy this way comes!" and the crowd goes WILD until the pregnant mom or ailing feral or abandoned kittens are wrapped up in a towel and getting their ears cleaned through a hole Shelly cuts to access the various body parts with less stress. So Shelly posted "Something floofy" along with a video of the trapping.

It was really really funny but the camera froze during the reveal and most of the viewers just got the audio.

Hoo boy this is a thing. And yeah, when there are losses I am also heartbroken. Evolene lost her entire litter after/when birthing, and I was just ripped apart for a while. It's a rollercoaster.
posted by Stewriffic at 5:26 AM on October 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

The losses hurt, but the successes are beautiful, so I keep watching. I cried for Quimby, and Prince, and Ookoye and T'Challa, and Mercedes and Tesla, and those are just the losses this season.

But then we have kittens that defied the odds, like Aura, and successes with the adult cats, like Chloe and Mason. There's hope amidst the sadness, and that feels appropriate. Good. I'm definitely hooked -- the cats are so soothing and wonderful.

I'm not sure what was up with the hoax yesterday, but I do hope TK can find a more permanent facility soon. It's getting cramped in Shelly's house! So many cats.
posted by PearlRose at 5:50 AM on October 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

I love Grandpa Mason so much. He's just so sweet!
posted by bile and syntax at 6:25 AM on October 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

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