Dixieland, foster cats, fostering, kittens, oph, Oreo, puppies

And Then There Were Kittens….(what?)

The puppies are gone. It’s just us now.

Well, us and four dogs.

And Hermoine.

And the horses.

And a few visiting cousins.

And two foster kittens.


Yes, it’s true. I have finally realized my daughter’s dream and volunteered to foster two kittens for OPH’s tiny (but mighty) cat adoption program.

Superwoman Kendra has been leading this program and housing many of the cats and kittens in her home. Some of the cats have come from a local ‘cat colony’ (did you know that was a thing?). The adults she traps, has spayed/neutered and releases, but the kittens are kept to be socialized and eventually adopted.

And what better place to socialize a kitten then my crazy house?

DSC06267Ian was completely on board with this. Ever since we lost his red tabby cat, Hagrid (Hermoine’s best bud) and then Crash (my best bud),DSC_7592 he’s longed for another cat (no, we are not foster-failing, you should know by now that adopting our fosters is possibly the only thing I can say no too). I’ve put off his request worried that Hermoine might react badly to a new cat (Crash’s arrival was the day she began peeing in the basement).

Anyway, Ian agreed that yes, whenever he is home (which admittedly since it is swim season is not often), he will be socializing kittens. Plus, he seems to have a cadre of friends who are also up for the task.

Since there’s never a good time to start fostering kittens, Thanksgiving week seemed perfect. Plenty of people and stress already filling the house.

Ian and I set off early Wednesday morning to meet Kendra in Harrisburg for the exchange. Since Ian is still 40 hours short for the driving hours he needs to get his license, it was the perfect opportunity to raise my blood pressure give him a chance to drive on Interstate 83. And what better day than the busiest traffic day of the year? (in all honesty, he did really well especially considering the mess on 83 North)

The two kittens are five-months-old, already spayed, micro-chipped, and up-to-date on shots (thanks to Chris Hunsinger at Shrewsbury Vet!). What they aren’t (yet) is happy and friendly. This is where we come in. Commence Operation Make-them-nice-kitties.

Opal is definitely not on board with these plans yet, but Phyllis is open to the idea. When we stopped off at the vet’s office for their rabies shot, Phyllis was very cooperative but nervous. Then we took Opal out to be weighed; she shot across the room and then straight up a wall. We attempted to calm her, but ultimately, the cat whisperer had to come and catch her by the scruff of her neck. She shushed her long enough to be weighed and then deposited her back in her carrier. I took note.

We’ve set the kitties up in the puppy room until the next puppies arrive. Basically, they are living in a large crate condo. We didn’t have cat toys, but we’ve improvised and hung leftover, scraggly puppy toys from the ceiling and put my puppy stool inside to create a little cave to hide inside. I’m sure their digs will get better as we figure out what they need.


So far, we’ve mostly just watched them settle in. Phyllis likes to climb the walls like a monkey and Opal mostly hunkers down in the makeshift cave and watches. I have to say they are pretty kitties.


The next few days they will be inundated with well-intentioned young adults – my kids, their friends, plus cousins from Ohio. I’m hopeful they will make progress because I have very little idea what to do next. If they were puppies I would cuddle them and ply them with treats, but I don’t think they’ll take well to cuddling and I have no treats, just kibble. Maybe I’ll buy them some tuna.


This feels very much like when we brought home our first foster dog, Galina. We have no idea what we’re doing, but we’re super excited to do it.

When these babies are ready for adoption, I’ll be sure to let you know. Meanwhile, if you’re in the market for a cat, OPH has some beauties available through petfinder here.

Oh yeah…..this blog is about the dogs!

The puppies got adopted!


Dixie goes for her spay and heartworm test this Tuesday – fingers crossed she is negative. If she is, she can go home a few days later!


Oreo still has no adopter. But we’re okay with waiting since he’s such a delight to have around. If you’d like to meet him in person, he’ll be my date for Photos with Santa and Wine Tasting at Linganore Wine Cellars on Saturday Dec 1! I’d love to share a glass of wine with you to celebrate the start of the holiday season! Bring your pup out for a classic photo!


Now, BIG FAVOR to ask. Okay, actually it’s not that big. I’ve written a short piece about one of the dogs I met on my book tour and who subsequently came to OPH and then was adopted. She is the perfect example of why I am a part of this organization.


I’ve entered the story in the My Giving Story contest (funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). It could win up to 10K for OPH. But first it has to make the finals. The finalists are decided by votes. On Facebook.

So here’s what I need you to do today and every day until December 7 when voting ends….click the link below (and then save the link) and vote for Together We Rescue. You’ll be asked for your email address, but I have been assured this is only for verification purposes and then they may send you one email announcing the winners. They promise they won’t sell it or spam you – so, no risk.

I didn’t learn of this contest until the middle of the month, so we’re way behind in the voting by now and could really use your help. Thank you, thank you, thank you! And tell any other dog lovers you know. That money could help us save a lot more dogs!

Click here to vote!

Remember you can vote EVERY day until December 7!

Thanks for reading!

If you’d like to know more about my blogs and books, visit CaraWrites.com or subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter (which is rarely monthly, but I’m working at it…everybody needs a goal).

If you’d like to know more about the book, Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs, check AnotherGoodDog.org, where you can find more pictures of the dogs from the book (and some of their happily-ever-after stories), information on fostering, the schedule of signings, and what you can do right now to help shelter animals! You can also do some holiday shopping that benefits shelter dogs or get your own signed copy of the book!

If you’d like to know how you can volunteer, foster, adopt or donate with OPH, click here. And if you’d like more pictures and videos of my foster dogs past and present, be sure to join the Another Good Dog facebook group.

I love hearing from readers, so please feel free to comment here on the blog, email carasueachterberg@gmail.com or connect with me on Facebooktwitter, or Instagram.



Released August 2018 from Pegasus Books and available now

Another Good Dog cover

5 thoughts on “And Then There Were Kittens….(what?)”

  1. Welcome to the kittens! At the grocery get a pkg or two of WhiskerLickins kibble treats
    (my cats especially like the catnip and cheese and the chicken flavors, but chicken or tuna appeal to most cats.) For toys, ping pong balls are great.
    Also, for when things calm down after the holiday and you are able to let them out into a room, get a cat toy that is a bunch of feathers attached by a long string to a wand that you wave. The feather “bird” flies and the kitten can chase it and pounce on it. Then the kittens can play with you or Ian without having to be too close.
    A good time to be in their condo is early afternoon when they will likely settle in for a nap and be more relaxed. You can talk to them and hand out Whisker Lickins. Take in a small towel that they will like to snuggle into. That will also protect your legs from their claws. A few sessions of talking and treats will go a long way toward convincing them you are to be trusted.
    Let them approach you instead of you slowly advancing toward them. Then you are respecting their space and they feel safe and in control, not threatened. [That’s an old animal charmer’s trick. Most people just keep moving forward slowly, not realizing that at some point of closeness the cat will decide that is too close and run. If you let the cat feel that she is in control she will eventually come to you. You can even deliberately back away a bit. That arouses the cat’s curiosity and interest in you.] Keep posting the pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

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