Welcome to Tinykittens FAQ.  I hope you find it useful, informative and just a tiny bit entertaining.  Please note that this document is not written by Shelly and she is not responsible for any content, errors or omissions. If you spot any mistakes, or you can think of something that would be good to include, you are welcome to contact me on jill.pickford@btinternet.com.  I am Jill P in chat and I am one of the editors of Foster Dad John’s FAQ. I’m also British, which will explain some of the spelling eccentricities contained in this document.  My thanks go to Mary and Tammi for their help in putting this together.

LAST UPDATED 4th OCTOBER 2016


WHAT IS TINYKITTENS?

 

Tinykittens Society is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the rescue, welfare, rehabilitation and homing of unwanted cats and kittens, and to the education, support and betterment of humans of all ages in matters pertaining to cats, animal rescue and animal welfare, both locally and worldwide.

 

WHO IS TINYKITTENS?

 

Tinykittens is Shelly Roche, an ex-pat American living in Fort Langley, BC with her husband, (House Human) and three cats Bunny, Bartlett and Pantsaroo (collectively known as "The Teens")

 

WHERE IS TINYKITTENS?

 

Tinykittens is based in Fort Langley BC, Canada, a small town close to Vancouver. It is based in Shelly's former home, in which she lived until August 2015, when she and her husband moved a few yards away across the street, leaving the feline fosters with sole occupancy of the new Tinykittens annexe. Their demands for new decor, widescreen TVs and a bar serving tuna flavoured Niptinis have not yet been met.

 

WHEN IS TINYKITTENS?

 

Tinykittens is on the Pacific coast of the North American continent, so is in the Pacific timezone (PST or PDT in summer). This is also known as KST - "Kitten Standard Time". (EST -3 hours, GMT -8 hours, Central European -9 hours, Australia, very confusing, but about -18 hours, or pretty much yesterday). Check the time difference between you and TKHQ here

 

HOW IS TINYKITTENS?

 

Tinykittens communicates to the world via a website , a Facebook page, a Twitter account, Instagram, but mostly through a 24 hour, 7 day a week Livestream broadcast, which is active whenever there are foster cats and kittens in residence at Tinykittens HQ. The broadcast is via multiple webcams, which offer an uncensored view of the world of kitten fostering, which can include pee and poop, barfing, coughing, sneezing, parasites (oh, lots of parasites!) illness, loss, sadness and death.  But most often it includes hours and hours of fluffy adorableness.

 

WHY IS TINYKITTENS?

 

When Shelly first settled in Canada, immigration restrictions meant that she was unable to obtain paid work so, to fill her time, she decided to volunteer at her local no-kill animal shelter, Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS).  Her activities for the shelter included fostering pregnant females cats and giving them a safe environment in which to give birth, then caring for her and her kittens until they were old enough to be adopted out to loving homes.  She started fostering with mama cat Molly and her six kittens in 2012. Her second family, with mama Sophie, included "foster fails" Pantseroo, Bunny and Barty.  In 2011, Kittencam guru John Bartlett had started to broadcast his fosters on Livestream and The Critter Room stream had become internationally famous by the end of 2012, with obvious benefits for the shelter for whom he fostered.  Shelly saw the advantage of going public and used her computer skills to set up a streaming broadcast on Ustream for her fosters, starting with Petunia and her kittens in March 2013. Later, she switched from Ustream to Livestream for broadcasting. Since then, the world of Tinykittens has grown to global proportions, entertaining viewers from all over the world, raising significant funds for LAPS and for community projects and, of course, providing a safe haven for lost, lonely and abandoned cats and their kittens. She decided to establish Tinykittens as a non-profit organisation, able to raise its own funds and with a new and diverse programme of projects planned, in early 2015, although the partnership with LAPS still continues and goes from strength to strength.

Not so tiny now, eh?


TABLE OF CONTENTS

A WORD ON KITTENCAM ETIQUETTE

ABOUT LIVESTREAM

WHAT IS LIVESTREAM?

WHAT SORT OF COMPUTER SHOULD I USE TO VIEW?

WHAT IS DVR?

MY PICTURE IS FUZZY

IT KEEPS BUFFERING

THE DVR HAS GONE TO ZERO

I'M GETTING NO SOUND

THERE IS NO LIVE FEED AT ALL

I CAN ONLY SEE A CLOSE-UP OF A CARPET

HOW DOES CHAT WORK?

CAN ANYONE JOIN IN?

CAN WE CHAT ABOUT TOPICS OTHER THAN CATS?

MY ENGLISH IS NOT VERY GOOD - WILL ANYONE MIND?

CAN I CHAT IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE?

I WAS ASKED NOT TO TYPE IN BLOCK CAPS, BUT SOMEONE ELSE IS DOING IT - WHY?

SOMEONE KEEPS POSTING THE SAME COMMENT OVER AND OVER - WHY?

I FEEL IGNORED/EXCLUDED

DOES ANYONE EVER GET BANNED FROM CHAT?

THERE'S A TROLL IN CHAT!

PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED EARLIER, BUT I MISSED IT!

THAT WAS SO CUTE - I WISH IT COULD BE PRESERVED FOREVER!

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE LIVESTREAM WHEN THERE ARE NO KITTENS?

WHAT IS THE VIP CAM?

CAN I JOIN IN WITH IT?

WHAT IS PERISCOPE?

ABOUT THE KITTENS

WHERE DO THESE KITTENS COME FROM?

HOW LONG WILL THEY BE WITH SHELLY?

WHO NAMED THEM

CAN I BUY ONE?

CAN I ADOPT ONE?

I CAN'T SEE THE KITTENS - WHERE ARE THEY?

WHY IS THE MOTHER CAT PANTING?

KITTEN OVERBOARD!

THE KITTEN IS LOSING WEIGHT - IS THAT BAD?

WHY IS IT ALWAYS BRIGHT IN HERE?

WHEN ARE THEY SPAYED AND NEUTERED?

ISN'T THAT TOO YOUNG?

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MAMA CAT?

CAN WE FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM AFTER THEY ARE ADOPTED?

WHAT DOES "INDOOR ONLY" MEAN?

WHY IS THAT KITTEN DRESSED AS GODZILLA?

WHY DO THOSE KITTENS HAVE TATTOOS IN THEIR EARS?

WHAT THE HECK IS A TINY SUITCASE?

I’D LOVE TO DONATE, BUT I DON’T HAVE MUCH MONEY

ABOUT THE FERAL CATS AND TNR

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FERAL AND A STRAY CAT?

WHAT IS TNR?

SO WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH SHELLY’S FERALS?

AND THE SLOANEY AND SISKO EXPERIMENTS?

TINYKITTENS’ PARTNERS

LANGLEY ANIMAL PROTECTION SOCIETY (LAPS)

MOUNTAIN VIEW VETERINARY HOSPITAL

HOLLY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

TO BE A TINYKITTEN: FROM BIRTH TO ADOPTION

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

TINYKITTENS ALUMNI

The Feral Revolving Door:

Current residents at TKHQ:

FELICITY AND HER KITTENS

CASSIDY AND TOPPER

TIP AND THE DREAMWORKS KITTENS

SISKO AND THE MOUNTAIN VIEW KITTENS

EVE AND THE PALINDROMES

SLOANEY AND THE HAPPY FOREST KITTENS

SESAME STREET KITTENS

DOROTHY AND THE KITTENS OF OZ

THE ROUNDUP FAMILY

CALYPSO AND THE DANCING KITTENS

SUGARPLUM AND THE CUPCAKE KITTENS

THE JUNGLE KITTENS

FIREFLY AND HER CREW

PETUNIA’S KITTENS

LITTERS BEFORE THE CAM

THE FAIRY KITTENS

SOPHIE AND HER KITTENS

MOLLY AND HER KITTENS

OTHER GUESTS AT TINYKITTENS HQ

The Advent Cats and Kittens

WAYS TO HELP

Donate to Tinykittens

Donate to LAPS

LAPS Wishlist

TinyKittens Wishlist

Bobbi’s Fund

VIP Cam

USEFUL LINKS

 

A WORD ON KITTENCAM ETIQUETTE

 

Welcome to the Kittencam community.  We hope you have fun, make friends, learn plenty and get to feast on lots and lots of kitteny goodness.

 

Scientists have recently published research which shows that watching cat videos is good for you.  Well, duh?  We've known that for some time, right?  The various kittencams (and there are many, as this list compiled by Foster Dad John will show) reach out to people all over the world, from many different communities and cultures, speaking different languages and with different sensibilities and attitudes.  Kittencam viewers include people who are housebound or bedbound, people with anxiety issues or depression, agoraphobia or physical disabilities, people who are lonely, bereaved, stressed, unemployed, or overworked.  The kittencam community reaches out to all who wish to come in, and all those who do find strength, solace, tranquility, laughter, empowerment, support and friendship through the Power of Kitten.

 

It naturally stands to reason that, with such a large and diverse gathering of people, not everyone will always be on the same page, However, we strive amongst ourselves to maintain harmony at all times, so:

 

Respect the opinions of others.  There is no need to fall out over a difference of opinion, even if it is one with which you strongly disagree.  Remember also that tone is difficult to convey in chat and innocent comments can often be taken the wrong way. Try to think before you post, or be prepared to back down to defuse a difficult situation if necessary.

 

Try not to come across as an evangelist for a cause, even if it is one in which you passionately believe.  It is unlikely that you will succeed in converting anyone and are more likely to create bad feeling.

 

Remember you are a guest in Shelly's home.  Treat her and her home, family and guests with respect.  

You are also a guest in the homes of those adopters who set up Facebook pages for their kittens.  They maintain these pages so that TinyKittens’ fans can continue to follow the kittens they have come to love, but they are under no obligation to keep them going under any circumstances.  It is not acceptable to post rude or personal comments, or to tell the adopters how they should care for their cats. One or two pages have been taken down in the past because of unpleasant personal remarks made by commenters.  It is a privilege to be able to keep in touch with Shelly’s kittens.  It is not a right.

 

Remember that there are viewers of all ages watching the cam, so try to keep conversations in chat "PG". Even if it is late at night where you are, it is teatime in another part of the world, so children may be viewing at any time.

 

Be aware of cultural differences.  Words and phrases which are used with impunity in one country may be shocking to someone from another, and vice versa.  Try not to get offended unnecessarily, or insist that another chatter alters their language to appease you.  Embrace the cultural diversity of the kittencams.           

 

Remember Shelly knows what she is doing.  She is highly experienced and has nurtured many cats and kittens through difficult situations.  If she wants insights or suggestions from the viewers, she will ask for them, but she is not in need of unsolicited lectures.

 

Equally, Shelly herself has said that it is OK for people to express their disagreement with her methods in chat or on her Facebook pages, provided they are polite.  There is no need to mob or bully someone who expresses disapproval or disagreement with what Shelly is doing - she is fully able to defend herself and will do so without aggression or hostility, if the need arises.

Make new viewers welcome. Be prepared to answer their questions and remember that they are not yet au fait with the conventions and traditions of Tinykittens or chat or the cam. Maybe you could direct them to this FAQ as a way to orient themselves to the world of Tinykittens.  Remember that no one viewer or group of viewers “owns” chat.  It is an open house and Kittencam viewing should be a fun experience for everyone.  We were all newbies once.

 

Ultimately, for a tip-top kittencam viewing experience, just follow the golden rule:  "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you".  It generally works.


 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

ABOUT LIVESTREAM

 

WHAT IS LIVESTREAM?

 

Livestream is a live streaming video platform that allows users to view and broadcast video content using a camera and a computer through the internet. (Thank you, Wikipedia).  It incorporates a live chat function, through which viewers can comment on what they see on the screen, chat with other viewers or just read along.

WHAT SORT OF COMPUTER SHOULD I USE TO VIEW?

 

Livestream is accessible through any device.  There is a Livestream app which you can download to improve your viewing experience on a tablet or telephone, although this app does not currently offer the DVR facility. If you find you are having trouble connecting to Livestream, try using a different browser.  Chrome seems to offer the most trouble-free viewing experience.

 

WHAT IS DVR?

 

In general, Livestream retains up to 24 hours of recorded material, which you can review by moving the slider at the bottom of the screen.  After 24 hours, the feed resets back to zero.  At the moment, for some reason, Shelly's stream is not resetting automatically after 24 hours.  This has the advantage that more material is accessible to viewers, but the disadvantage that specific times are difficult to pinpoint.

 

MY PICTURE IS FUZZY

 

You can improve the quality by clicking on the "bars" symbol at the bottom right of the screen and selecting a higher resolution.

 

IT KEEPS BUFFERING

 

Ah, the slowly spinning white circle, known in these parts as the Circle of Doom, or COD.  You may have selected too high a resolution for your internet connection to deal with.  Lower it by clicking on the bars, or the HD symbol. Sometimes, you can eliminate COD by clicking in the centre of the screen to pause the stream, then restarting. Alternatively, try refreshing (Ctrl F5 on most machines), which seems to be a panacea for most ills.

 

THE DVR HAS GONE TO ZERO

 

Livestream has reset.  It should do this automatically after 24 hours of continuous recording. Alternatively, Shelly can reset it manually.

 

I'M GETTING NO SOUND

 

Shelly sometimes mutes the audio if she is making telephone calls (she sometimes works in the kitten room) or if she has a guest in the room.  Of course, you may have muted your own computer, so check the speaker symbol below the screen on Livestream, or the speaker symbol bottom right of your computer.   Alternatively, all is peaceful in the kitten room (rare) and there is nothing to hear.

 

THERE IS NO LIVE FEED AT ALL

 

Accidents will happen!  Sometimes Livestream itself has problems, or Shelly's computer crashes, or someone or something (usually something furry) has disconnected a vital cable.  Be patient, catch up on your chores, make yourself a snack and wait until normal service is restored.

 

I CAN ONLY SEE A CLOSE-UP OF A CARPET

 

Kittens....cameras....you know...

 

HOW DOES CHAT WORK?

 

Chat is a live comment facility, which should run in sync with the feed.  You just type your comment into the box - note that it restricts the number of characters per comment - and hit return. When chat traffic is very high, LS will impose a time delay on some comments to slow it down.  Consensus of opinion is that this is very annoying.  You will hear mention of Comment Monster or Chat Monster.  This unseen being devours comments randomly, so you have to type them all over again. Pro Tip: if you have a long comment to make, hit Ctrl-A and Ctrl-C to copy it in case it doesn’t go through. Paste your comment again with Ctrl-V. Hit enter, and cross your fingers.

 

CAN ANYONE JOIN IN?

 

Anyone with a Livestream account can chat.  It is free and you just sign up, choose a chat name that you are happy with, and off you go.  It's recommended that you "lurk" for a while before joining in the chat, just to get the lie of the land.

 

CAN WE CHAT ABOUT TOPICS OTHER THAN CATS?

 

Yes.  The stream belongs to Shelly and her rules apply.  She has never expressed any objection to the conversation going off-topic, so don't worry if one or two chatters complain about non-kitten talk.  It is fun and educational - hopefully.

 

MY ENGLISH IS NOT VERY GOOD - WILL ANYONE MIND?

 

No, of course not.  Chatters come from all over the world and, for many, English is not their first language.

 

CAN I CHAT IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE?

 

There is no rule that says you have to chat in English.  The vast majority of Shelly's viewers are English speakers, but all languages are welcome.  However, if you are the sole speaker of your language on chat, there may not be anyone to reply to you.

 

I WAS ASKED NOT TO TYPE IN BLOCK CAPS, BUT SOMEONE ELSE IS DOING IT - WHY?

 

When Shelly is in the room and speaking to the cam, one of the chatters will provide subtitles (Close Captioning, or CC) for the benefit of viewers who have trouble hearing, or who have to view with the audio off.  The convention on Shelly's cam is to type the CC in block capitals, so it stands out from the rest of the chat.  Other chatters are respectfully requested to use lower case to avoid confusion for those reading the CC.

 

 

SOMEONE KEEPS POSTING THE SAME COMMENT OVER AND OVER - WHY?

 

This is probably a PSA, or Public Service Announcement.  If there has been a significant change or event that many viewers are going to want to know about, a chatter might prepare a PSA and post it at regular intervals so that viewers just logging in will know what's happening.  Alternatively, it is a chatter who really wants to get their point across.

 

I FEEL IGNORED/EXCLUDED

 

Chat is very busy and, whenever you log on, there will already be conversations going on.  Persevere and try not to get upset or angry.  It isn't you.

 

DOES ANYONE EVER GET BANNED FROM CHAT?

 

Shelly is the only person who can ban a viewer from chat and she does so very rarely.  Apart from obvious trolls,  aggressive or threatening posts or persistent foul language might get you banned.  Very occasionally, Livestream throws a hissy fit and gives out a spurious message that an innocent chatter has been banned, but this can usually be rectified by closing down and beginning a new session.

 

THERE'S A TROLL IN CHAT!

 

Sometimes, trolls get in, especially when chat is very busy.  When Shelly is around, these can be dealt with by the use of the code words "AMOS UNICORN", or just AMOS.  AMOS stands for "A Moment of Silence" and is a request for other chatters to stop typing so that Shelly can identify and remove the troll.  If Shelly is not around, trolls should be ignored totally.  Their aim is to cause upset and they will soon get bored if nobody reacts to them at all. Golden rule is - DO NOT FEED THE TROLL!

 

PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED EARLIER, BUT I MISSED IT!

 

You can find any moments you missed by using the DVR facility (unless you are viewing on a tablet, where the DVR does not work).  Other chatters should be able to give you a timestamp, which will enable you to locate the event by using the slider control.  It is not always possible to arrive at the exact time, but you should be within a minute or so of it. You can also find moments of interest by referring to the time clock which is visible in the corner of the screen. Livestream has introduced a major redesign which has made it more difficult for some people to find points on the DVR slider.  The best way is not to try to move the white spot, but to run your cursor along the slider until the correct time comes up, then click. It will all make sense if you try it.

 

THAT WAS SO CUTE - I WISH IT COULD BE PRESERVED FOREVER!

 

With any luck, it will be!  A viewer called Little Darling is able to capture many of the significant cam moments using video capture software.  These are posted on her Youtube channel and also on the Tinykittens Cat Pack Facebook page.  She captures all of Shelly's visits and many other things.  You can also look on the BrookIvy2 channel on Youtube.  BrookIvy is Ayshela on chat and she does captures mainly for Foster Dad John, but sometimes strays over to Tinykittens too.

 

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE LIVESTREAM WHEN THERE ARE NO KITTENS?

Shelly tends to keep the stream going by playing re-runs and highlights from previous litters.  This enables chatters to keep chatting, if they want to. When new fosters arrive, the Livestream event is archived and a new one begins.

 

WHAT IS THE VIP CAM?

 

VIP cam is a second camera which is available by subscription.  It offers close ups and alternative angles, plus a slower and more intimate chat.  All the proceeds go towards funding Tinykittens' activities.

 

CAN I JOIN IN WITH IT?

 

You can join here. Follow the instructions and happy viewing!

WHAT IS PERISCOPE?

Periscope is a live broadcasting tool through Twitter. Viewers who have a Twitter account, and have installed the Periscope app on their cellphones, will be able to view periodic live Periscope broadcasts. Depending on the viewer's personal settings, they will get a notification when a broadcast goes live. They will need to follow TinyKittens Periscope account at TinyKittensHQ.  Shelly sometimes uses Periscope to broadcast live from the TNR site.  If you miss the Periscope broadcasts, Little Darling usually posts them later on her Youtube channel.

 


 

ABOUT THE KITTENS

 

WHERE DO THESE KITTENS COME FROM?

 

These are rescue cats and kittens. Historically, Shelly was a foster parent for LAPS but, in 2015, she formed Tinykittens into a non-profit organisation and her emphasis shifted to managing, controlling and, where appropriate, fostering and rehoming feral cats from the local area.  There have been one or two exceptions, but the vast majority of the residents of TKHQ have been brought in from the “Happy Forest” for socialisation, or for health reasons, or to give birth to their kittens in safety. All are spayed and neutered, health-checked, vaccinated and sent out into the world parasite-free and at least partially socialised.

Read more about the TNR project here.

 

HOW LONG WILL THEY BE WITH SHELLY?

 

It depends on the circumstances, but in general, the kittens are with Shelly until they reach a minimum of 8 weeks old and a minimum of 2.2lb or 1 kilo in weight, at which point, provided they are healthy, they will be spayed or neutered. No cat or kitten is re-homed until this has been done.

 

WHO NAMED THEM

 

Sometimes Shelly names them herself, or sometimes they arrive at Tinykittens HQ already named.  Often, Shelly will choose a theme for the names, then give the viewers the opportunity to pick names for the kittens in exchange for donations to Tinykittens or LAPS.  It is a tradition that Shelly's kittens will start their TK career with one name, which will then evolve into something entirely different, for example, Munchkin of the Kittens of Oz became Munchie, then Munchita, then Chita.

 

CAN I BUY ONE?

 

The kittens are not for sale.  They will be put up for adoption when they are ready and there is an adoption fee payable to LAPS or Tinykittens, which will be used to help more cats and kittens.

 

CAN I ADOPT ONE?

 

You can apply to adopt a kitten when Shelly announces that they are ready to take applications, when she will also post the instructions for doing so. The applications are scrutinised by LAPS staff, if the kittens have come via them, and by Shelly and the new homes are carefully selected.  Preference is given to applicants willing to adopt two kittens together and LAPS and TK are willing to allow out of area adoptions, under certain conditions. Some Tinykittens graduates have been successfully adopted out to distant parts of the country and even to the USA.

 

I CAN'T SEE THE KITTENS - WHERE ARE THEY?

 

Blind Spot: Unless Shelly is there to move it around, the cam is uni-directional and there are many blind spots where the kittens can sleep away from prying eyes and you can guarantee they will do so, just to annoy the viewers.

Field Trip: Sometimes, when the kittens are older and fully mobile, Shelly takes them on field trips to other parts of the building, usually to meet the Teens and to experience a new environment and new obstacles, which helps with their socialisation.  Sometimes, mama goes too.

 

Photoshoot: Shelly takes many, many photographs of her kittens.  Usually, she brings the camera to them but sometimes she takes them off for a special photoshoot. Pictures of Tinykittens alumni have been used in advertising and promotions and on billboards.  Shelly also sells selected photographs in her Etsy shop  and the images are made into many other delightful products which are on sale to Tinykittens fans in Littledarling's shop.  Proceeds from the sales go to Tinykittens and LAPS.

Vet: They might be at the vet, either for spay or neuter, or for some other reason.  Often though, these privileged pusses get a house call from Dr Renee Ferguson of Mountain View Veterinary Hospital in Langley.

WHY IS THE MOTHER CAT PANTING?

The mother cat will pant for several days after giving birth.  It doesn’t necessarily mean she is too hot, but it is part of the natural healing process, as her internal organs gradually reposition themselves after being shifted around during pregnancy.

KITTEN OVERBOARD!

Sometimes, an inquisitive kitten will scale the side of the nest and keep going, with the result that they fall out.  Sometimes, they are rescued immediately by mama, sometimes mama is more laid back and doesn’t worry about it.  Usually, the kitten finds itself alone surrounded by unfamiliar smells and cries.  Don’t worry.  Shelly surrounds the nest with a “kitten catcher” in the form of some soft blankets, which break the kitten’s fall and keep it warm until rescue can be arranged.  Sometimes mama cat will decide to move her kittens to a new location.  This activity is usually curtailed by Shelly, as she and mama often disagree about what type of location constitutes “safe”.

THE KITTEN IS LOSING WEIGHT - IS THAT BAD?

There can be several reasons for this, but usually it is just a sign that one kitten is maybe less assertive at the milkbar and tends to lose out. If the kitten loses weight for a couple of days in a row, Shelly will normally arrange for some “private dining” time, where she makes sure the kitten has the milkbar to itself or, at the last resort, she will supplement the kitten with a bottle.  Bottled milk is nutritious, but it is not as desirable as mama’s own milk, so Shelly will try other alternatives first.  Marvel of the Kittens of Oz was born with a cleft nose and lip and had trouble latching on to the nipple, so he received supplementary feeds daily.  Watch some delightful video of Professor Marvel (Pudgeblossom) getting one of his daily bottles here,  Shelly maintains a weight chart of her current kittens to check on their progress, which you can see here. The link will always take you to the chart for the current litter and you will find it under “More Event Details” above the Livestream feed.

 

WHY IS IT ALWAYS BRIGHT IN HERE?

 

A subject which often causes controversy - it is not as bright as it looks on the cam.  The cameras are extremely good at adjusting for low light conditions.  It is naturally bright during the day and at night Shelly switches on a low-powered night light.  This enables viewers to go on watching and it also enables Shelly to keep an eye on things when she is not in the room.

 

WHEN ARE THEY SPAYED AND NEUTERED?

 

The kittens are spayed and neutered when they reach a minimum of 8 weeks old and a minimum of 2.2lb or 1 Kilo in weight.

 

ISN'T THAT TOO YOUNG?

 

Another subject which causes some controversy, due to national differences.  In Europe, it is less common for kittens to be spayed at two months, although it is becoming more popular amongst rescue organisations.  In some Scandinavian countries, it is actually against the law to separate kittens from their mother before they are three months. But, these kittens are in Canada, where there are no such restrictions and Tinykittens, LAPS and other shelters are aware that younger kittens are easier to rehome, so it benefits all if they are ready for adoption at around 8 to 10 weeks old. Early neutering has a couple of advantages: firstly, the recovery time for the kitten is short. Most kittens bounce back within 24 hours or even less; secondly, it ensures that all kittens leave for their new homes already spayed and neutered.  

 

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MAMA CAT?

 

She is also spayed, usually at the same time as the kittens, and put up for adoption.  The great advantage of the kittencam is that viewers have a chance to get to know and love the mother cats, who otherwise might have had more trouble finding a home.

 

CAN WE FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM AFTER THEY ARE ADOPTED?

 

Usually, yes.  In most cases, adopters are willing to create Facebook pages for their new furkids and, in fact, preference is usually given to applicants who are willing to do this.  However, it is not compulsory and the adopters are under no obligation to the Tinykittens viewers to post regular updates.  Happily though, most do.

 

WHAT DOES "INDOOR ONLY" MEAN?

 

Another controversial topic.  Tinykittens only adopts out cats and kittens to "indoor only" homes.  This means that the cats will not be able to free roam out of doors.  It doesn't necessarily mean that they cannot go outside at all, but if they do, they must be under control at all times.  Some adopters train their cats to walk on leashes, some have secluded and secure outdoor areas in which their cats can be contained, some construct "catios" especially for them.  Others simply keep their cats indoors.  This is a stipulation which can shock some viewers, especially those from Europe, where most shelters impose the opposite condition.  It must be remembered that conditions in most European countries are different from those in North America - towns and villages are laid out differently, there are fewer predators, the climate is less extreme, nobody owns a gun etc etc.  Bear this in mind before the "Ins" and the "Outs" start to trade insults. Both points of view are valid, and we all love our cats and want the best for them.

WHY IS THAT KITTEN DRESSED AS GODZILLA?

Oh, the controversy just keeps on coming…. It is a tradition at Tinykittens HQ for  litters to sometimes participate in a dress-up session, usually when they are around seven or eight weeks old.  Once again, there is a pragmatic purpose for this in that it can help with socialisation and preparing the kittens for any and all things that may arise in their new homes, including being harness trained.  It is also dead cute.  The kittens only wear their cossies for a couple of minutes at a time, photographs are taken, we all go “Aaahhhh…”, then it’s over.  For some people, this is nothing short of animal abuse.  On the other hand, if you don’t melt at the sight of Marvel in a football jersey, or Otto in a lion’s mane, or Munchita with a pair of fairy wings, you have a heart of stone.  STONE, I tell you….

WHY DO THOSE KITTENS HAVE TATTOOS IN THEIR EARS?

The kittens receive an identifying tattoo when they are spayed or neutered. This is the accepted form of identification in Canada, rather than microchipping, although a cat owner can opt to have a microchip as well.  Kittens who are being adopted outside Canada do not get tattooed.

WHAT THE HECK IS A TINY SUITCASE?

One of the charming traditions at TinyKittens is for each kitten to receive a “tiny” suitcase to take with them when they go to their forever homes. Shelly began this tradition because she wanted each kitten to have something that smelled familiar to take away with them.  Over the years, so many viewers have begun to donate toys and blankets for the kittens, that the tiny suitcases are now more like tiny removal trucks.  However, proper little suitcases are donated by a viewer and they are ritually packed just before the kittens leave TKHQ.  We all watch and shed a tiny tear, as it signals that it’s time for we viewers to say goodbye.

I’D LOVE TO DONATE, BUT I DON’T HAVE MUCH MONEY

Then vote!  The Animal Rescue Site runs several Shelter Challenges each year, with cash awards for the shelters with the most votes.  They also run story and photo competitions.  Look out for the new challenges as they start - someone will probably post a PSA in chat, encouraging you to vote. LAPS has won in the past, but they are usually willing to co-ordinate with Foster Dad John’s shelter, Purrfect Pals in Seattle, so that fans all vote for one or all vote for the other.  This way, the hefty kittencam vote is not split and both shelters stand a better chance of winning.  Apart from the Shelter Challenge, there are always smaller competitions going on, run by other charitable organisations, which only require you to vote for a picture or something similar.  These may not always involve LAPS, but they will all benefit an animal rescue organisation somewhere.  

Remember there is no rivalry between the different kittencams, nor between their operators.  They all know and support each other and everyone shares the same goal.


ABOUT THE FERAL CATS AND TNR

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FERAL AND A STRAY CAT?

Ferals are cats who are born in the wild and grow up as part of a colony of cats, having no contact with humans. They are not at all socialised and regard humans as predators who are a danger to them and should be avoided.  It is not usually possible to socialise a feral cat much past the age of eight weeks (although Tinykittens has some evidence to the contrary).  Stray cats are cats who have previously lived among humans but have, for one reason or another, found themselves living outdoors and fending for themselves.  They are usually friendly and affectionate and are often finding life on the streets tough, and are looking for a new home.

WHAT IS TNR?

TNR stands for Trap, Neuter and Return.  This is considered the most effective and humane way to control populations of feral cats.  Feral colonies tend to be unpopular when they live alongside humans, as they proliferate quickly, they scavenge for food and their need to hunt can badly affect local wildlife.  TNR projects seek to humanely trap as many feral cats as they can, spay or neuter them and return them to their colonies to live out their lives. If the cats are unable to breed, the population slowly declines over time.

SO WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH SHELLY’S FERALS?

This is the second TNR project which Shelly has co-ordinated.  The first was the Jungle Moms project, which followed the arrival of the Jungle Kittens, ten feral kittens who were trapped behind a restaurant and turned in to LAPS.  Shelly and her team staked out the area where they were found for some time, in an attempt to locate, trap and spay the mother cats and any others who were living in the area.  However, the ladies proved elusive.  They did, however, trap a male cat who was quite obviously not feral, but a friendly guy who had strayed away from his home and who was struggling to live in the wild.  He was taken to LAPS and eventually found a new home.

More recently, a local resident reached out to Tinykittens to ask for their help with a large feral colony living on his rural property.  The colony comprised around 200 cats, and the population was steadily rising.  In partnership with LAPS and with the co-operation of Mountain View Veterinary Hospital, Shelly and her TNR team set up a feeding station in the colony’s territory to attract the cats, and have been humanely trapping as many as possible, spaying and neutering them and returning them to the colony.  The cats also receive parasite and flea treatments and any wounds are cleaned up. They are then ear-tipped (a small section of the top of the ear is removed) to identify that they have been treated.  Some of these cats have had more major health issues, such as glaucoma and upper respiratory infections, which have also been treated as well as possible.  In the case of the two males with glaucoma, their damaged eyes have been removed and they are now living pain free back in the colony.  The team has been keen to trap as many pregnant females as possible, with the intention of bringing them inside to give birth to their kittens, so that the kittens can be socialised and rehomed, rather than remaining in the colony to further add to the population or, more likely, to be predated at an early age.  

Recently, a second feeding station has been set up on a different part of the property which was previously inaccessible.  Being closer to the house, some of these cats are semi-socialised and it has been possible to bring them in for rehoming.  On the down side, the team have discovered that most of the cats and kittens on this side of the property are infected with ringworm, a fungal infection which is highly contagious to cats, dogs and humans and also difficult to treat.  Read more about the TNR project and the feral colony here.  Read more about ringworm and its treatment here

AND THE SLOANEY AND SISKO EXPERIMENTS?

Sloane and Sisko are two young ferals from the colony who were trapped when they were pregnant and brought to Tinykittens HQ to have their kittens.  Shelly set up a special room, decorated with soil, moss and logs from their forest home and with a constant soundtrack of forest sounds playing, and arranged for plenty of nesting options which would feel safe to the feral mothers. Sloaney gave birth to four kittens, who she protected fiercely from the scary human predator.  When they were four weeks old, Sloaney was spayed and returned to her home, where she continues to thrive.  The kittens were placed with the other resident foster family at the time, Eve and the Palindromes, to learn how to be people kittens until they were ready to be spayed and neutered, then adopted.  

She was followed into the feral room by Sisko, who kept everyone on tenterhooks by producing no babies for three weeks, while continuing to grow to enormous proportions.  She finally gave birth to eight kittens, a record for Tinykittens HQ.  Unfortunately, one kitten did not survive, and the others were sent in rotation to dine out with new resident mum, Tip, to ensure they gained sufficient weight.  Sisko was eventually returned to the colony once her kittens were weaned and they were combined with the family of the long-suffering, patient Tip.  They were all successfully adopted out with their less feral cousins.

Since this time, several feral mothers have given birth within the confines of TKHQ. Some are less impressed by this arrangement than others, but all of their kittens have grown up healthy and socialised and have been adopted out to loving homes.


TINYKITTENS’ PARTNERS

 

LANGLEY ANIMAL PROTECTION SOCIETY (LAPS)

Langley Animal Protection Society is a no-kill shelter based in Aldergrove, BC, Canada. It rescues dogs as well as cats and actually provides dog control services to the town of Langley, for which it is reimbursed by the city.  However, it relies totally on public donations for its cat welfare services.

Shelly began as a volunteer for LAPS and they still work closely with Tinykittens, especially in providing shelter, accommodation and isolation facilities for the trapped feral cats. LAPS also host an annual “Kitten Roundup” during which local residents may bring in, or ask LAPS to collect, stray or unwanted cats for rehoming in the knowledge that they will will not be questioned or judged.  The Roundup was inspired by several local news stories about kittens being found dumped in boxes or trash cans and it was hoped that the guarantee of no-questions-asked would offer an alternative to people with unwanted cats and kittens.

LAPS is hard at work planning for a new ISOasis, which will be a dedicated building for the safe processing and housing of sick cats and kittens, away from the main centre.  This will enable LAPS to provide the facilities for proper isolation protocols which will enable them to offer shelter to many more feral, stray and abandoned cats.  A large proportion of the costs of the project will be met by the town of Langley, but 40 per cent has to come from voluntary donations. Tinykittens viewers have already turned up trumps and raised a great deal of money through various appeals and ventures, and fundraising is still continuing.

LAPS now has their own Livestream feed which has multiple cameras, some of which give a 24 hour view of particular cats as they raise their kittens, and another, “A Day in the Life of LAPS”  is activated occasionally so that we can view animal intakes, Q & A sessions with the staff and LAPS special events. Read a little about the history of LAPS here

MOUNTAIN VIEW VETERINARY HOSPITAL

Mountain View Veterinary Hospital in Langley, BC, provides veterinary services to Tinykittens, LAPS and to the ferals of the TNR project.  Dr Renee Ferguson and her colleague, Dr Margaret Henderson (who is camera shy) have become well known to Tinykittens viewers. Dr Ferguson makes regular house calls to Tinykittens HQ to check over the kittens and answer viewers’ questions and she has also been known to allow Shelly’s camera into her hospital to film some routine procedures. Mountain View decided to sponsor Sisko and her kittens through their time at Tinykittens HQ, as a way to raise awareness that feral cats are the responsibility of the whole community and to show that the feral population can be controlled humanely.

HOLLY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Holly Elementary School is in Delta, BC, Canada.  One of their teachers, Mrs Tyler, was a Tinykittens enthusiast and encouraged her class to watch some of the Livestream broadcasts.  From this sprang the seeds of a collaboration between Shelly, Mrs Tyler and kindergarten teacher, Mrs Stockill to devise a school curriculum based around animal rescue and fostering. This included a “meet and greet” where the children got to meet the Kittens of Oz in person (in kitten?). To celebrate their association with Tinykittens, the children from both classes have produced stories, booklets, collectors’ cards and some stunning artwork.  Read more about Tinykittens in the Classroom here


 

TO BE A TINYKITTEN: FROM BIRTH TO ADOPTION

Before birth: An unspayed female cat can go into heat from the age of about 16 weeks. When she is in heat, she will, among other behaviours, call for mates.  If she is able to get outside, un-neutered tom cats will answer her call and, over the course of a few days, she will mate with all comers. Female cats being floozies, the more the merrier.  Each mating can result in a kitten, so a litter of kittens can inherit traits from several different fathers.

The average pregnancy lasts between 62 and 67 days, but can go on longer (or feel like it to a Tinykittens viewer).  If the pregnant female is very, very lucky, she will find herself in foster care at Tinykittens HQ with good food and medical care, a big blue nest in which to raise her babies and an audience of thousands.

A day or so before she gives birth, she will become restless and may wander around looking for suitable nest sites. This is a waste of energy for the Tinykittens mum, because she will inevitably  end up in the big blue nest anyway.

Birth: Each kitten is born in their own amniotic sac, which the mama cat clears away from the kitten’s face before vigorously licking the kitten all over to stimulate breathing.  The kitten then gives its first squeak and heads off in search of milkbar.  Tinykitten is ready to go go go!

If you have never seen kittens being born before, watch Dreamworks’ mama Tip’s almost textbook delivery here. WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT - CONTAINS SCENES OF GOO, GUNGE AND OOZAGE (and brand new Tinykittens of course). You can watch more here, here and here

0 - 7 days: Our Tinykitten is blind and deaf. His eyes are glued shut and his ears are folded against the side of his head.  He has no teeth, although he does have claws, but he cannot retract them yet.  He navigates his way around using scent and instinct and his primary instinct is to find mama’s milkbar. In the first 24 hours, the bar dispenses essential colostrum, which contains vital antibodies which the kitten needs.  Having located a nipple dispensing the good stuff, he is likely to keep returning to the same one.  If a sibling has the same idea, whappy paws ensues.  He cannot regulate his own body temperature yet, so he is a tiny, heat-seeking missile with fur. When mama leaves the nest, he will cuddle with his siblings for warmth until she returns. When he sleeps, he twitches like a good’un. This is building up his muscles, bones and nervous system.  He is a Tinykitten on a mission!  That mission - to double his birth weight before his first week is up.

7 - 14 days: Eyeballs!  Our Tinykitten’s eyes are beginning to open and his ears are beginning to unfurl.  He will not be able to focus at this point and will only see light and dark shapes, but it’s a start.  He will start to react to sounds too. He is still totally dependent on mama for food and warmth and to perform his potty duties, but he is beginning to explore his world.  He may wave his paws around as he lays in the nest, or chew on his toes or - even better - on a sibling’s ear.  He will start to move around more, and he may even be able to raise his belly off the ground for a short while.  His instinct to groom himself may start to kick in in a small way too.  

Two to three weeks: Our Tinykitten is developing fast.  The world is beginning to come into focus and he will become fascinated by the enormous moon-shaped object that appears over the nest several times a day and makes strange noises at him.  For our Tinykitten, two weeks old means socialisation exercises with Shelly. She will take him from the nest and play with his paws, open his mouth and turn him on his back to get him used to being handled.  This is the start of his journey towards becoming part of a loving family, a couple of months down the road. He will also receive his first dose of de-wormer, to keep him healthy. By the time he reaches three weeks, his sight and hearing will be much sharper, his walking skills will be wobbly, but improving and he will have begun to learn the pleasures of wrestling with a sibling.

Three to four weeks: Our Tinykitten’s sight and hearing continues to improve and his ears are on the last stages of their journey towards the top of his head.  He is walking with his belly off the ground more now, although he does tend to fall over a bit, and he is now interacting with his littermates, wrestling and chewing their faces.  And now he has something to chew with, as his teeth are starting to come in.  He can also retract his claws - but where’s the fun in that?  He now looks less like a hamster and more like a kitten.

Four to five weeks:  Tiny zoomies begin!  Our Tinykitten is ready to try out his running skills, which will be short, clumsy and ridiculously adorable.  He has no brakes but, like all kittens, he is made of rubber, so he will just bounce off solid objects.  As his eyesight improves, he can now focus on objects, so he will start to play with toys.  He will maybe test out his pouncing skills and try climbing, if there are suitable surfaces to practice on.  Shelly will probably be introducing him and his siblings to gushy foods, watered down a little to make them nice and soft and, at the same time, mama will be spending more time away from the kittens, as the process of gradual weaning begins.

Five to six weeks:  Tinykitten is really cooking with gas now!  He is playing with his siblings and playing with toys and growing like a weed.  Hopefully, he is enjoying his grown-up food and, maybe, he is learning to use the litterbox.  Pooping without mama’s help feels funny, and he may experience woe in the litterbox, but he will soon get over it.  He is practising his climbing skills and maybe doing a little jumping, though not very high.  He still loses his balance sometimes, but it’s access all areas for our Tinykitten.

Six to eight weeks +:  Our Tinykitten hopes he will have the privilege of meeting the estimable Dr Ferguson from Mountain View Veterinary Hospital.  She will come to Tinykittens HQ to give him and his siblings an all over health check - she’ll check his heart, mouth, ears and eyes and take his temperature - yowzer! She will also have a feel around in his - ahem - special area to check his testicles are developing properly.  Then she will administer his vaccinations, which might make him squeak, but will protect him against several nasty diseases.  He is now zooming around the place at 90 miles an hour, jumping, climbing, pouncing and wrestling.  He is eating both soft and dry foods and is no longer dependent on mama for sustenance, although he may sometimes nurse when he is allowed to, just because it just feels nice.  He is working towards his target weight of 1 kilo, which is no hardship as he enjoys his grub.  Maybe during this time he will get to try on the Godzilla costume, or dress up as a bumble bee and have his photograph taken. Maybe he’ll get to go on a field trip and meet the teens, or maybe meet the kids from Holly Elementary.  He will definitely get some presents from viewers - if he’s lucky it will be toys and kickers from Carol M or blankets from Mama Meow and Pam K.  If our Tinykitten is healthy and has reached his target weight at the end of his eight weeks, he will go to Mountain View for his neuter.  Then, the day he has been waiting for all his life - meeting his new family!

Once he has left Tinykittens HQ, our Tinykitten will continue to grow and thrive as part of a loving family.  We all hope he will keep in touch with us through his own Facebook page but, whatever happens, we know this special boy will be dearly loved for the rest of his life.


GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Tinykittens, and all the other Kittencams, have their own language.  Here are some of the terms you may hear or read on chat

Shepherd Moose

A small stuffed toy, who may not be a moose, but who watches over the Tinykittens when they are in the nest.

Birthing Chicken

A small toy who probably is a chicken and who watches over the mama cats in the nest.

Chickenfish

Yellow and red toy which resembles both a fish and a comedy rubber chicken.  The deity and guardian of foster kittens everywhere (Hail!)

Hail!

The correct form of greeting when Chickenfish appears. Also Dr Ferguson.

Biscuits, to make

When a cat or kitten makes a kneading motion with its paws. Kittens use it to make mama’s milk flow. In later life, it is a sign of contentment - for the cat. You will probably be reaching for the antiseptic

Belleh

The soft underparts of a cat or kitten. Very tempting for humans - possibly a trap

Beans/Toebeans

The pads of a cat’s feet. Shelly has a perspex table especially designed for the study of toebeans

Pudge

Kittie-fat (as opposed to puppy-fat). Shelly likes her kittens good and pudgy

Pudgeblossom

A satisfyingly round kitten

Floof/floofy

Fluff or fur

Something floofy this way comes….

Our cue to watch the skies. New kittens are incoming.

Whappy paws

A kitten slap-fight, often for possession of a spigot at the milkbar

To crab/crabwalk

When a kitten arches its back to look as big as possible, then walks sideways on tip-toe.  Very scary.

To puff/puff up

When the fur stands on end, making the kitten resemble a toilet brush with eyes

Crab puff

The tricky feat of combining the two above. Kitten looks ridiculous.

Spigot

A nipple

Milkbar

Lots of nipples, and the be-all-and-end-all of a Tinykitten’s existence for the first couple of weeks.

Helicopter tail

When a kitten gets so excited at the milkbar that his tail spins round

Gushy food

Soft food from a can

Bellehvision

When a pregnant mama-to-be exposes her baby bump, so the camera can zoom in close to watch kitten action.

Cuddle puddle

A pile of slumbering kittens

Escape

When a kitten escapes the confines of whichever area it is meant occupy. These will become more and more frequent and Shelly’s efforts to contain them will become more and more futile...and entertaining

Takedown

When the kittens, either individually or working as a team, knock over the camera, affording the viewers an extreme close-up view of carpet, or litter. Usually for hours.

Tinyrobot

Remotely operated gizmo for moving the camera, controlled from Shelly’s computer. Victim of a takedown.  He is missed.

Comment Monster/Chat Monster

This mysterious being eats chat comments, forcing you to type them all over again. People think he strikes at random, but he doesn’t. He specifically targets your longest, wittiest and most erudite comments.

Woe

Any episode of crying by a kitten

Pottying

When mama cat licks her kittens’ bums to stimulate peeing and pooping

Potty woe

When a kitten first starts to use the litter box, the unfamiliar sensation causes the kitten to cry.  Potty woe is short lived

Baff

A bath, but only when a mama cat does it to a kitten. When a human does it to a kitten, it’s a bath.

To sing the song of one’s people

The ferals are particularly fond of this in the dead of night. Particular favourites are “We Built This Kitty on Rock ‘n Roll”, “It’s Meow or Never” and “More Than a Feline”

URI

Upper respiratory infection. Sneezes, coughs, runny noses and runny eyes are symptoms of URIs. They are very common in rescue cats and are usually pretty easy to deal with, with good food, a warm and dry environment and,probably, antibiotics

Speuter

Spay and neuter. Non gender-specific and much quicker to type. Speuter your pets, people!

Zoomies

When kittens run around just for the joy of it

Hover Kitten

When Shelly lifts a kitten off the floor until its little pointy bits are just level with the heads of its siblings, with the result that serious whappage occurs.  Lots of fun for the hover kitten

Upside down hover kitten

The tricky inverted version of the above - for black-belt ninja kittens only

The Castle

Some inner packaging from a  vacuum cleaner which all kittens love, although it is more of a ruin these days

The Sky Bridge

Blue bridge shaped climber with a porthole and a toy moon and star hanging underneath, which always seem to prove irresistible to the mama cats.  Caly took hers home.

The Rainbow Bridge

It’s where they go, isn’t it...Taps, Toothless, Tadpole, Polywog...

Cabinet of Solitude

A cupboard area in the Feral Room, designed to give privacy to the mama cat

Bunker of Solitude

Almost inaccessible area, not really designed for the raising of kittens, where the ferals love to raise their kittens

Ledge of Denial

Window ledge where feral mama Sisko liked to while away hours instead of giving birth to her kittens like she was supposed to do

Ledge of Procrastination

See: Ledge of Denial

Telekat

Daytime TV for bored pregnant mothers. (Cats, that is)

Camping

When kittens play or hang out in the little nylon tents which viewers often send in

Field trip

When Shelly takes one or more kittens out of the kitten room to another part of the house to get used to different environments.  They sometimes get to meet the teens

The Teens

Shelly’s three cats, Bunny, Barty and Pantseroo.  They often act as kitten chaperones when the kittens are on field trips

Yeti

When a mama cat exhibits fiercely protective behaviour, especially when it results in bloodshed, she is said to have gone Yeti

Pearl Clutcher

Someone who becomes overly concerned over something they see on screen, despite assurances from others that everything is normal.  Imagine a respectable lady twisting her pearl necklace in her fingers in anguish.  It is OK to be concerned and to care about the kittens, though.  Even Shelly clutches her pearls sometimes.

Concern troll

An extreme version of the above, who posts comment after doom-laden comment.  Ignore if you can.

Special

Any physical quirk of a Tinykitten, for instance a kinked tail, crossed eyes, a cleft nose...

Adorable!

Any Tinykittens kitten

Talented

Any Tinykittens kitten

Exceptional

Any Tinykittens kitten

Soooooo kyooot!!

Any...etc..etc..


TINYKITTENS ALUMNI

 

THE CATS AND KITTENS WHO HAVE PASSED THROUGH TINYKITTENS HQ

The Feral Revolving Door:

Since the beginning of the TNR project on the farmland of “The Property Owner” (as his friends call him), many feral cats have passed through TKHQ, for a variety of reasons.  Some are documented below in detail, some were returned to their forest home, some adopted out. The more recent guests are listed here, together with a link to where you can follow their lives, where appropriate.

CURRENT RESIDENTS AT TKHQ:

Starling (mother, dilute calico)

Sparrow (dilute tortie)

Magpie (black tuxie)

Wren (dilute tortie, striped like a bumble bee)

Puffin (dilute ginger)

Egret (dilute ginger)

Paloma (grey tuxie)

RIP Dove

Watch their progress here

At end September 2016, Tinykittens moved on to a new feral colony which was living among farm buildings scheduled for demolition. The first intakes from the new location are:

The Flying Hayloft Kittens:

Amelia (black)

Orville (grey tuxie, pink nose)

Wilbur (grey tuxie, grey nose)

The Metric Kittens (all tabby)

Zetta (mother)

Kilo (red collar)

Pico (green collar)

Zepto (tabby tuxie)

Gram (no collar)

Nano (at around 150 grams when found at five weeks old, the smallest kitten in the universe)

Watch their progress here

See pictures of the new colony here

HAPPY FOREST CATS AND KITTENS - of these, only Sable and Savina have remained permanently in the colony. The others have all been adopted to loving homes.

Mr T, Pinecone and Barclay

Tiger Buffy

Enara

Noelle and Elf

Nicholas

Comet and Mistletoe

Jingle

Holly Belle

Joy

Sloaney

Maravel and Neelix

Neelix’s Kittens: Elvis

                    Tessa

                     Petra

Skye

Skye’s kittens: Farrah Faucet

                 Justin

                 Belfast

                 Kohler

Sable

Sable’s Kittens: Brae

                   Fraser

                   Chas

                   Hudson

Savina

Savina’s Kittens: Bartholomew Mercury Geisel

                     Maysie McGrew

                     Gertrude McFuzz (Trudie)

                     RIP Cindy Lou Mew

Ramses: Currently in foster care with Gwen, but already adopted.

FELICITY AND HER KITTENS

An exception to the feral rule was Felicity, who was rescued from a backyard breeder, where her treatment was less than humane.  She arrived pregnant and was thrilled to find her accommodations full of cosy beds and toys. It was believed that she still had two weeks to go before she was due to give birth, and she was not very large, but soon after her arrival, she began to have a suspicious discharge, and Shelly feared the worst. Very quickly, Felicity reported to her nest and began to have contractions, and everyone assumed that she was miscarrying.  Instead, she gave birth to two healthy kittens, a boy and a girl, who survived their mother’s constant baffing and neurotic concern for their welfare to become extremely energetic and active youngsters.  Their energy and mischief was eclipsed, however, by that of their mother, who looned about Tinykittens HQ like a small tornado. One brave soul decided they would adopt the entire family.  We wish her luck.  Follow the family  here

                   

CASSIDY AND TOPPER

Cassidy is probably the most significant individual kitten to have passed through the doors of Tinykittens HQ. His story is a remarkable one, and there are many chapters still to be written. He has the potential to change the world, for kittens, cats, other animals and maybe even humans. Follow Cassidy’s progress here

        

Cassidy and Topper - In early September 2015, these two feral brothers were trapped at the colony by the property owner, who was concerned to see that Cassidy had no back feet. He was moving around using only his front legs, with his rear end held off the ground like (to quote Shelly) “a reverse velociraptor”. He was struggling to find food, clearly in pain and suffering from infections in both stumps. It is unlikely that he would have survived much longer in the colony had he not been trapped when he was, and in fact it was something of a miracle that he had made it that far. He had obviously been initially protected by his mother and, later, by his brother Topper, who was a normal, healthy and rambunctious kitten and about twice Cassidy’s size.

Update at 27th September: Much has happened since Cassidy and Topper first arrived at TKHQ. Cassidy overcame a life-threatening infection with the help of Mountain View’s Dr Henderson, antibiotics, and his own iron will to live.  Topper was introduced to The Teens and embraced the non-feral life with gusto.  With the gradual improvement in Cassidy’s health, his future mobility became a topic for discussion - one mostly instigated by Cassidy himself. He made it clear that he was bored with his sick room and wanted to explore further afield, and who was Shelly to deny him?  His first forays out of his room were front-legs-only walks around the house with Shelly supporting his back feet via a harness and leash, but Cassidy dictating speed and direction. As he grew stronger, he began to scoot around on his stumps and can now get up quite a head of steam using that method.  It seemed logical that Cassidy would be a good candidate for a set of wheels and two designs, from HandicappedPetsCanada.com and from Josh and Isaiah, two students at Walnut Grove Secondary School were constructed for him.  A viewer also sent in a completed wheelchair for him.  In the meantime, Shelly noticed that Cassidy’s left stump was growing incorrectly and, at time of writing, this is due to be examined by a specialist once he is fit enough for sedation.  Shelly felt that the needs of the  energetic and playful Topper would be best served by finding a good home for him, as his play was too rough for Cassidy and the Teens found him an annoying little tick. To this end, he went to Mountain View for his neuter, but was returned unsnipped, as the relevant bits were either too small, or missing.  He will return at a later date to complete the job once he has grown the necessary accoutrements. He is likely to still be adopted out though, as Shelly believes that this is the right course of action for him. Just today, Cassidy has taken his first solo flight in his wheelchair from Handicapped Pets Canada.

Update: 3rd October: On 1st October, Cassidy returned to Mountain View for a further consultation with the specialist, Dr Francis.  He also received his neuter, putting him one step ahead of brother Topper. Dr Francis took detailed X-rays and determined that the problem with Cassidy’s leg was not with the bone, but more likely due to damage and atrophy of the muscles.  He recommended a regime of physical therapy for Cassidy, which Shelly has been administering three times a day.  He is also back on his pain meds, as the physio makes him a little sore. Cassidy made an appearance on Global News, with Tinykittens’ favourite correspondent, Steve Darling, to talk about the wheelchair made by the boys of Walnut Grove, and the video of his walk-on-the-wild-side with his wheels from Handicapped Pets Canada has gone viral, and has appeared on news sites all over the world.  Cassidy is a tiny rockstar.

Update at 9th October: Although still waiting to be neutered, Topper left Tinykittens HQ for his forever home on 7th October.  He will be neutered once he is properly equipped. In the meantime, he is learning the ropes at his new home with TK viewer Rosie, her family and two older siblings,who will no doubt make sure he never goes out without a clean pocket handkerchief and his shirt neatly tucked in. Follow Topper and his new family here

Update at 25th October:  Cassidy continues to go from strength to strength, although the problem of his hyper-extended knees has not been overcome.  Many types of splints and bindings have been tried, several of them provided by viewers, and Shelly is trying to encourage him to stand up on his stumps while they are splinted and to get used to using his back legs normally.  It will not be possible for him to benefit from prosthetics if he is unable to walk on his back legs. Watch this adorable video by Shelly, charting Cassidy’s progress in his first weeks since rescue.

Update at 31st October: Cassidy is not currently on live cam. He continues to grow and develop and he is spending more time in Shelly’s home with the Teens, learning to be a social house kitten. She has decided to cease broadcasting from other parts of her home and, as Cassidy is spending less and less time in his bedroom, the cam in there is no longer live.  She is figuring out a way to broadcast updates, and live streaming may be restored in the future.  Watch this space (and others…)

Update at 6th November: Casserole is back! Of course, he couldn’t remain out of the limelight for long. Shelly has cleaned and decorated a third room at TKHQ and Cassidy will use it during the day, in the company of either Shelly herself or a teen.  Cass has attracted a great deal of interest in the outside world, and Dr Ferguson has made contact with a vet in North Carolina, Dr Denis Marcellin-Little, who specialises in implanted joints and limbs for animals.  Shelly and the two vets will work together to find the best long term solution for Cassidy’s mobility. In the meantime, he will continue to live in the lap of luxury at chez Shelly. Future treatment for Cassidy is going to be expensive and a concerted fundraising effort is needed to meet his ongoing costs. Shelly is at pains to point out that she hopes the money raised for this one small cat will, in the longer term, contribute to research and development of permanent solutions for disabled animals and - maybe - humans. To donate, follow the link in the “Ways to Help” section, and look out for special fundraisers organised by fans and viewers.

Update at 15th November: Dr Marcellin-Little has suggested a regimen of exercises for Cassidy to try to keep his knee function viable.  This includes the use of a special cart, which unfortunately doesn’t exist for an animal as small as Cassidy, so Shelly is improvising as best she can with various items donated by viewers, the inside of a toilet roll, a wire coat-hanger and some sticky-backed plastic. (That is a joke for British viewers). Casserole is making guest appearances on cam, when he is sharing Shelly’s office with her, but she is unable to leave him unattended when he is in the middle of therapy-time.

Update at 1st January 2016: Cassidy is coming up to six months old and continues to thrive as part of Shelly’s feline family.  Splinting and exercises are still continuing, but he is also having a ball “making friends” with the teens and skittering around the house.  No more can be done until he stops growing, which will not happen for another month or so. In other news - Topper has finally had his neuter!  The mystery of the missing testicle was finally solved and it was found hidden way up in his abdomen.  He is well, huge and floofy.

Update at 2nd February 2016: Cassidy became an international traveller when he, accompanied by his devoted servant and his personal physician, flew to North Carolina for a consultation with Dr Marcellin-Little. He was there for a couple of days and underwent a variety of tests, including a full scan of his stumps.  He will return for further consultations later and, in the meantime, his regime of physical therapy continues.  Shelly has decided that more frequent, but shorter PT sessions will be more beneficial and less likely to make Cassidy grouchy.  She has also begun to clicker train him, with a view to getting him to tackle various obstacles to promote the correct use of his muscles. Watch a short video of his first clicker session here

Final Update: Cassidy’s therapy sessions did not produce the desired effect on his stumps, but all is not lost, and he is still expected to receive his prosthetics - they will just take a different form.  The biggest development, though, is that Cassidy is no longer a Tinykittens cat, but now officially belongs to Shelly.  Follow his progress, including his attempts to win over The Teens, here 

        

TIP AND THE DREAMWORKS KITTENS

17th July 2015 -

Tip, Mother, torbie

Puss-in-Boots, Male, ginger

Skipper, Male, tabby tuxie

Hiccup, Male, grey tabby

Tigress, Female, torbie and white

Eep, Female, grey tuxie

Tip was abandoned by her owners, and resorted to a life of crime to survive, breaking into houses to steal food.  One day, she broke into the right house, and the residents kept her safe until it became apparent that she was heavily pregnant, when they took her to LAPS.

The team at Dreamworks Animation became fans of Tinykittens when the Sesame Street kittens were in residence.  They offered to sponsor Tip and her babies, covering the costs of their stay at HQ and their vet’s bills.  In return, they had the privilege of choosing names for the family, so all of them are named after characters from various Dreamworks’ movies.  At birth, little Eep was the tiniest Tinykitten Shelly had ever fostered, weighing in at only 62 grammes. She was quite underbaked and had no fur on her feet or her belly.  However, Eep proved to be small but mighty, and doubled her weight in less than a week.  Tip has proved to be a supermom, feeding and protecting not only her own five, but providing extra rations for random visiting kittens from Sisko’s litter.  At time of writing, she is currently mothering twelve kittens, her own and all of Sisko’s, as Sisko has now been spayed and returned to the forest. Update at 11th October: The three biggest boys, Skipper, Hiccup and Bootsie, received their neuters and Tip received her spay and a free dental treatment to make her pearly-whites really pearly white.  Further spays and neuters are delayed, as there is a URI going round the litter, and one or two of the kittens have developed small but unidentified swellings on their faces.  They will be checked out at Mountain View, along with the three kittens who had heart murmurs at their six week health check. In the meantime, Shelly and LAPS will review their adoption applications and the kittens will be matched to their new homes as soon as possible. Update at 25th October:  All the kittens and Tip have been matched to their new homes, but the remaining spays and neuters continue to be delayed while they recover from their coughs, colds and facial lumps and bumps.  After their follow-up visit, only Bambi was found to still have a heart murmur.  He will have an ultrasound scan at a later date to ascertain how great a problem this is likely to be. His future is assured though, as he is going home with two of his siblings.  Facebook pages have already been set up, and will be posted here after adoption day.  Update at 31st October: As spays and neuters have been delayed for so long, Shelly has decided to allow some of the kittens - those being adopted locally - to go home.  They will return to Mountain View for their speuters as soon as they have been passed fit. Bambi’s heart murmur was determined to be “innocent”, that is, not a structural defect and unlikely to affect his development and health as he grows up.  Update at 4th November:  Those kittens being adopted locally left Tinykittens for their forever homes. Those still not neutered will report to Mountain View over the next week or two to get the job done. Update at 15th November: Sadly, Eep and Owl have been returned to TKHQ.  Her adopters were surprised to find they were acutely allergic to the girls, despite having been cat owners for many years, and they took the only course of action they could. Eep and Owl are available for adoption as a pair.  Update at 24th November:  The remaining kittens have undergone their spays and neuters at Mountain View and are all settled in with their new families.  Shelly flew jetsetters Tip and Bootsie to their new life in California, where they were introduced to brother Thor, who seemed pretty impressed with his new housemates.  Eep and Owl found their new forever home and left Tinykittens HQ on 24th November. And so the story of Tip and Sisko and their families at Tinykittens HQ finally came to an end.

Follow them in their new homes here:

Daisy, Walt and Bambi

Skipper and Tigress

Flower and Bluebell

Hiccup and Thumper

Tip and Bootsie

Eep and Owl

SISKO AND THE MOUNTAIN VIEW KITTENS

8th July 2015 -  4th September 2015

Sisko, Mother, tortie

Bambi, Male, black with a white locket

Thumper, Male, black

Walt. Male, black

Owl. Female, black with a white locket

Flower, Female, black        

Daisy, Female, ginger

Bluebell, Female, tortie

Toothless, Male, black - crossed the rainbow bridge soon after birth and before his siblings were named.  As he was with Tip’s family at the time, he was given a Dreamworks name

Sisko was a feral mother from the TNR colony.  She was the second feral to give birth at Tinykittens’ HQ.  She is part of an ongoing study which Shelly is conducting on humane options for the control of feral cat populations.  Read more about the experiment here. Sisko was trapped at the colony on 8th July and brought to her specially prepared room to give birth.  Although pretty heavily pregnant at the time she arrived, she wasn’t ready to oblige us with kittens yet.  She continued to expand for a further three weeks, before giving birth to eight kittens, a record litter for TK.  

Mountain View Veterinary Hospital decided to sponsor Sisko’s family as a way to raise awareness of the need for communities to support the humane control of feral populations. Sadly, one of the kittens was born with a congenital defect and did not survive.  For a while, it looked as though Sisko would not take care of her kittens, so Shelly nabbed one or two at a time, in rotation, to dine out with Tip in the other kitten room.  With the number of hungry mouths somewhat reduced, Sisko returned to the nest and began to care for her kittens.  Shelly decided to leave one kitten with Tip to even out the workload.  Flower, Bluebell and Thumper developed infections which required treatment with antibiotics, so they were also added to Tip’s brood so that Shelly could access them easily.  That left only Daisy and Bambi with Sisko, which also had the effect of reducing Sisko’s milk.  This arrangement continued until the kittens reached four weeks old, when Sisko was spayed and returned to the forest on 4th September.  She has since been spotted by the TNR team and looks plump and healthy.

EVE AND THE PALINDROMES

7th March - 3rd July 2015

Eve, Mother, dilute torbie

Otto, Male, ginger

Pip, Male, dilute ginger

Siris, Male, dilute ginger and white

Izzi, Female, black and white tuxie

Arora, Female, tabby

Eve was one of several pregnant female cats handed in at the second LAPS kitten round up in March.  She was in the early stages of pregnancy at the time and therefore got to spend a good deal of time chilling at Tinykittens HQ and getting fit and healthy, before the birth of her five kittens on 27th April.  She was in residence at the same time as the Sesame Street kittens, who she regarded with some horror, even though they were keen to meet her.  When the Palindromes were six weeks old, the family was augmented by Sloaney’s four Happy Forest kittens, who came to learn how to kitten from their older, less inhibited cousins.  

Eve was adopted with daughter Arora, Otto and Izzi were adopted together, and so were Pip and Siris.  Pip and Siris returned to Tinykittens HQ for a short while when Siris contracted a serious upper respiratory infection.  Shelly thought the boys would prefer to stay with her than in a cage at a veterinary hospital. Siris made a full recovery and soon returned home to his family.

Follow the Palindromes

Eve and Arora

Siris and Pip

Izzi and Otto

See pictures* of the Palindromes here

* All photographs are the property of Shelly Roche

SLOANEY AND THE HAPPY FOREST KITTENS

6th May - 25th July 2015

Sloane, Mother, tortie and white

Badger, Male, tuxie

Junebug, Female, tuxie

Cricket, Female, calico

Katydid, Female, pointed

Sloane was a feral cat trapped at the colony by the TNR team.  She was the first feral cat to be brought into the specially designed room at Tinykittens HQ to give birth to her kittens.  She is part of an ongoing study on the viability of fostering as an option for pregnant ferals.  Read more about Sloaney’s part in the study here

Sloaney was a confident young cat and, although a reluctant resident of TKHQ, she was calm most of the time - if a little hissy.  She took good care of her four babies and, when they were more or less weaned at four weeks old, she was spayed and returned to her colony, none the worse for her confinement.  The kittens were integrated into the Palindromes family and Eve accepted them, although she was not keen to allow them to nurse - she was done with all that!  It was interesting to see the difference in behaviour between the rambunctious Palindromes, who had been in contact with humans since birth, and the shy Happy Forest kittens, whose contact with people - and toys and structures to climb on - had been minimal.  They soon took their lead from their bigger cousins, though, and were causing mayhem in no time.

They remained at TKHQ for a couple of weeks after the Palindromes left for their new homes, then Cricket and Katydid were adopted together and Junebug and Badger were adopted together.

Happy endings all round.

Follow the Happy Forests:

Cricket and Katydid

Badger and Junebug

See pictures* of the Happy Forest Kittens here

* All photographs are the property of Shelly Roche

SESAME STREET KITTENS

3rd March - 2nd April 2015

Oscar, Male, ginger tuxie

Supergrover, Male, red pointed

Snuffleupagus (Snuffy), Male, red pointed

Clementine, Female, red pointed

Abby Cadabby, Female, red pointed

These motherless kittens were discovered dumped at the bottom of a trash can by resident Tinykittens handyman, Joel, in the course of his other job as a garbage collector.  They had been there for a couple of days, they were filthy, flea infested, and their pads were burned from standing in their own urine.  The Handyman immediately took them to LAPS, where they were bathed, and their fleas and parasites treated.  They had been abruptly separated from their mother and were very insecure.  The most distressed of the kittens was named Oscar, after Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street.  The other kittens were named by viewers in a fund raising auction.  Shelly conducted their introduction in a bathroom at Tinykittens HQ, with the Handyman watching the proceedings behind the camera, sitting in the bath.  Sadly, we never got to see this.

The Sesames soon settled down and became a fun, friendly and affectionate little family.  They would have liked to have got along with mother-to-be Eve, but she wasn’t in the mood at the time.  Watch and melt at the Sesames enjoying a lap session with Shelly here.  Oscar and Grover were adopted together, as were Clementine and Snuffy.  Abby changed her name to Shiraz and went to join big brother Merlot, who adores her.

Follow the Sesame Street Kittens:

Abby

Oscar and Grover

Snuffy and Clementine

See pictures* of the Sesame Street Kittens here

* All photographs are the property of Shelly Roche

DOROTHY AND THE KITTENS OF OZ

20th October 2014 - 6th February 2015

Dorothy, Mother, black

Henry, Male, tabby

Nikko, Male, black

Ozzie, Male, black

Toto, Male, tabby

Marvel, Male, tabby

Munchkin, Female, tabby

Dorothy was kicked out for coming home pregnant and left to fend for herself.  When she was taken in by LAPS,  she was sick with a bad flea allergy and she was infested with more tapeworms than they had ever seen in one cat before. There were some concerns that her parasite load might damage her unborn kittens, but six of them were born, small but healthy, on 17th November.  Munchkin, the only female, was somewhat premature and was only 68 grammes at birth.  To ensure she thrived, Shelly bottle fed her for the first week until she was big enough to hold her own at the milkbar, which she did with a vengeance from then on.  She remained small, but fierce.  Marvel was born with a cleft nose and lip and was unable to latch on to the milkbar properly.  Shelly bottle fed him right up until he was ready to be weaned.  Marvel became something of a star during his time at TKHQ and, at the height of his fame, had his photograph included in a commercial which aired during the Superbowl. The Kittens of Oz also became the first litter to take a field trip to school, when they met the children of Mrs Tyler’s class from Holly Elementary.  Kids and kittens all had fun and the children produced stories and pictures for the Ozlings.  Shelly says that her three cats are enough and that she is not going to keep any more of her fosters.  But she came THIS close to adopting Marvie….

Follow the Kittens of Oz:

Dorothy

Henry and Nikko

Marvie and Toto

Ozzie and Munchie

See pictures* of the Kittens of Oz here

*All photographs are the property of Shelly Roche

THE ROUNDUP FAMILY

26th July 2014 - September 2014

This multi-generational family of cats and kittens consisted of:

Athena and the Battlestar Galactica kittens

Athena, Mother, tortie

Helo, Male, black

Gaius, Male, cream

Anders, Male, ginger

Starbuck, Female, black

Chef and the Angie Quaale kittens

Chef, Mother, tortie

Smokey, Male, black

Marble Rye, Female, tortie

Paprika, Female, ginger

Teekay and the Cat Pack kittens

Teekay, Mother, ginger

Shepherd, Male, ginger

Coulter, Male, ginger

Moose, Female, ginger

This family consisting of Grandmother Athena, her two daughters Chef and Teekay and their assorted kittens was taken in by LAPS at their first Kitten Roundup held in July 2014.  The whole family turned up at Tinykittens HQ with assorted infections and bite wounds and, to try to introduce some sort of isolation protocol while they recovered, Shelly had the Handyman build a tall fence to divide the room in half.  Teekay’s three kittens were already old enough to be adopted so, after a short stay to improve their health, they were spayed and neutered and returned to LAPS for adoption.  They were not there long, as Coulter was adopted very quickly, then Shep and Moose were adopted together by a long-time Tinykittens viewer.

In the meantime, Athena made it clear that her parenting days were done and daughter Chef took over mothering duties for the seven remaining kittens.  Athena was returned to LAPS after she was spayed and she was adopted soon after as single cat, to be queen of all she surveyed. She made her mark during her short time at TKHQ, though, showing Shelly and the Handyman the futility of their attempts to contain her in half a room by scaling the six-foot fence with a kitten in her mouth.

Chef proved an exemplary mother to the seven kittens and they were all adopted out to loving homes after their spays and neuters.  Chef and Teekay went home together, as did Smokey and Starbuck, Paprika and Marble Rye, and Gaius and Helo.  Anders went home with the Handyman and his family to be little brother to Matsqui and Lily.  A while ago, he got to return to the scene of his former, kitteny glory, when his family moved into the previous TKHQ..

Follow the Roundups:

Chef and Teekay

Anders

Shep and Moose

Smokey and Starbuck

See pictures* of the Roundup Kittens here

*All photographs are the property of Shelly Roche

CALYPSO AND THE DANCING KITTENS

7th May - 23rd July 2014

Calypso, Mother, calico

Foxtrot, Male, ginger tuxie

Salsa, Male, ginger tuxie

Jitterbug, Male, black

Mambo, Female, tortie

Hula, Female, tortie

Lindyhop, Female, tuxie

Calypso was left behind when her owners moved away and was rescued by LAPS.  She arrived at Tinykittens HQ with her grown up kitten from a previous litter, Tango. Tango was still very attached to her mother, but Caly made it clear that she was ready to move on to her new family.  Tango was spayed and offered up for adoption, and she found a wonderful home very quickly.  Calypso, in the meantime, grew and grew and more than once fooled Shelly and the viewers into thinking she was going into labour. She finally gave birth to her seven adorable dancers on 14th May, although the first one, named Taps by the viewers, was stillborn.  The remaining six were born good and healthy.  The viewers fell in love with the quirky Calpyso and her gorgeous, floofy babies, especially when a viewer helped Hula to live up to her name by making her a tiny grass skirt and coconut bra.  This family turned out to be real jetsetters, as both Calypso and the two ginger boys were adopted out to families in the USA and Foxtrot and Salsa got to fly with Shelly to their new home in Chicago. Mambo and Hula were adopted together, and so were Lindy and the Bug.

Follow the Dancers:

Calypso

Lindy and Buggles

Hula and Mambo

Tango

See pictures* of the Dancers here

*All photographs are the property of Shelly Roche

SUGARPLUM AND THE CUPCAKE KITTENS

5th January - 29th March 2014

Sugarplum, Mother, tabby or lynx pointed

Pumpkin, Male, ginger

Snickerdoodle, Male, ginger

Valrhona, Male, black

Sprinkles, Male, tabby

Praline, Female, torbie

Truffle, Female, black

The Cupcake kittens were so named as their stay in Tinykittens HQ coincided with Canada’s National Cupcake Day.  Sugarplum was rescued by LAPS when she was abandoned, pregnant, by her owners.  She spent a short time as a guest of LAPS, while Shelly cleaned and disinfected TKHQ following the departure of the last of the Jungle Kittens.  Sugarplum was an opinionated lady, and did not like certain parts of her body to be touched, so no feeling the bump for kitten skulls this time.  Shortly before she was due to give birth, TK resident teen, Bunny, got in through a crack in the door of the kitten room.  Sugarplum gave chase and Bunny retreated up a cat tree, so Plum used whatever ramp was available - which happened to be Shelly - to shin up after her.  Bunny made good her escape, so Plum sank her teeth into the nearest fleshy object - Shelly again.  Sugarplum had made her mark on Tinykittens.  And on Shelly’s butt.

When her kittens were born, Plum proved to be an aggressively protective mother, so Shelly had to resort to tempting her out of the room with food, then closing the door so she could weigh and check on the kittens.  During this time, our fierce mother was popularly known as Yetiplum, and Shelly always wore stout boots when she made her daily visits.  As time went on, Plum relaxed and she and Shelly were able to make friends.  She was rather fond of relocating her kittens, though, and much time was spent by Shelly trying to devise a space which was not too big, not too small, had the right view etc.to appease her.  Her kittens took after their mother, and they were super-precocious, trying to escape their nest at less than four weeks old.

The kittens were adopted without difficulty - Val and Truffle went together and so did Pumpkin and Snickerdoodle.  Sprinkles and Praline were adopted as singles.  Plum’s strong views on life made her more of a challenge to adopt out, but she was offered a home by a long time Kittencam viewer who lived in Calgary.  While she was waiting for the logistics to be sorted out, she contracted mastitis and needed some emergency treatment before she felt better.  While she was convalescing, Shelly decided to test out a theory that cabbage was good for cooling inflamed nipples, and thus was the infamous cabbage bra designed. Plum eventually made the journey across country to Calgary, where she thrives to this day.

Follow the Cupcakes:

Sugarplum

Pumpkin and Snickerdoodle

Valrhona and Truffle

Praline

Sprinkles

See pictures* of the Cupcake Kittens here

*All photographs are the property of Shelly Roche

THE JUNGLE KITTENS

October 2013 - January 2014

Lynx, Male, tabby

Ocelot, Male, tabby

Cougar, Male, tabby

Puma, Male, tabby

Panther, Male, tabby and white

Leopard, Male, tabby

Siberia, Male, grey

Jaguar, Male, black

Bobcat, Female, tabby

Margay, Female, tabby

In October 2013, a kind stranger dropped 10 feral kittens off at the Langley Animal Protection Society.  He had found them behind a restaurant and they came from at least two litters.

They were huddled together in the back of their crate, terrified and starving. They had horribly bloated little tummies from roundworms, tapeworms, and coccidiosis. They had Upper Respiratory Infections complicated by severe lung worm infestation and in one case, pneumonia.  Worst of all, Shelly discovered they were all infected with ringworm, which meant weeks of difficult treatment and a long delay before they could be put up for adoption, by which time they would no longer be kittens and therefore harder to home.

Some of the kittens were extremely sick, so Shelly and Dr Ferguson immediately set to work treating their infestations and infections.   The ringworm meant that they needed regular medicated baths and, with ten kittens, it was too much work for one person alone, so Shelly put a call out for volunteers to help her and so the bathing parties began.  These were raucous affairs - we suspected wine was involved - but all the kittens were bathed and cuddled dry, some of them by the people who would go on to be their forever families, and the bath party ladies have continued to be staunch supporters of Tinykittens ever since. Due to their various illnesses, it was some time before the last Jungle kittens were able to leave HQ.  A team was set up to go back to the area where the kittens had been found to try to trap the other feral cats who were known to be living there.  Despite many weeks and months of surveillance, the only cat they were able to trap was a lost tame male called Garfield, who was taken to LAPS and found a new home.

Cougar and Puma were adopted together, as were Bobbi and Leo, and Jaguar and Siberia. Lynx, Ocelot, Panther and Margay were adopted as singles, but all went to families with existing cats.  Sadly, both Jaguar and Siberia, who had been homed in Seattle to some great friends of the Kittencam community, died in 2014 from Feline Infectious Peritonitis or FIP, which is a disease that sometimes affects young cats or kittens and is 100% fatal. Bobcat or Bobbi was diagnosed with Feline Leukaemia, but is thriving in her forever home with her beloved brother Leo.

Follow the Jungle Kittens

Bobbi and Leo

Lynx

Cougar and Puma

Panther

Margay

Ocelot

Jaguar and Siberia (and Max and Sam, the Keepers of the Flame)

See pictures* of the Jungle Kittens here

*All photographs are the property of Shelly Roche

FIREFLY AND HER CREW

8th July 2013 - September 2013

Firefly, Mother, grey

Mal, Male, black

Wash, Male, black tuxie

Jayne Cobb, Male, grey tuxie

Zoe, Female, grey

Inara, Female, black tuxie

River,Female, black tuxie

Kaylee, Female, grey tuxie

Firefly was rescued by LAPS as a very pregnant stray and brought to Tinykittens HQ. She was named Firefly from the TV series because she was the colour, size and shape of a spacecraft and carrying a full crew of seven.  Happily, all seven were born healthy and Firefly was an exemplary mother to her crew.  TKHQ was renamed “Browncoat HQ” for the duration. For many viewers, Firefly and her monochrome family were their first introduction to TinyKittens, as hers was the first litter to be broadcast on Livestream.

Firefly was adopted and her name changed to Pearl.  The kittens were all adopted to good homes, but there was no suggestion in those days that adopters should set up Facebook pages for them, so we have heard very little of them since, although Kaylee’s family have sent updates. No doubt they continue to be exceptional and talented in their forever homes.

See pictures* of Firefly and her kittens here

*All photographs are the property of Shelly Roche

PETUNIA’S KITTENS

March 2013 - May 2013

Petunia, Mother, torbie and white

Aster, Male, tabby

Sweet Pea, Male, tuxie

Buttercup, Male, dilute ginger

Caper, Male, ginger

Marigold, Male, ginger

Poppy, Female,dilute calico

This was the first litter that Shelly broadcast, although on Ustream rather than Livestream.  They were the pioneers for Tinykittens and, although their audience was small, it soon grew and grew and grew….

See pictures* of Petunia’s kittens here

*All photographs are the property of Shelly Roche

LITTERS BEFORE THE CAM

THE FAIRY KITTENS

October 2012 - January 2013

These were seven orphan kittens, all ginger and white, who Shelly fostered after their mother was killed by a car.

SOPHIE AND HER KITTENS

June 2012

Sophie, a tuxie mama and her five tuxie kittens.  From this litter came the legendary Teens, Bunny, Bartlett and Pantsaroo.

MOLLY AND HER KITTENS

Molly and her six kittens were Shelly’s first foster family for LAPS.  From tiny acorns, and all that….

OTHER GUESTS AT TINYKITTENS HQ

Between litters, and sometimes at the same time, Tinykittens HQ has opened its doors to other cats, for various reasons:

Tiger (or Buffy): This young dilute ginger male had been showing affection to the volunteers at the feeding station and was finally trapped and brought in to HQ.  He is still very social, and is currently going through the usual upper respiratory problems.  Once he is fit, he will be neutered and vaccinated and put up for adoption.

Satine and Shiloh, Enara, Pansy and Raven: Satine and Shiloh were trapped at the colony along with five of their associates and brought to Mountain View to be spayed.  It was decided to keep all seven of them at LAPS for a while, to see how they would react to being indoors.  The results were mixed, so three are still at LAPS to see if they can be socialised, two males were immediately released back to the colony and Satine and Shiloh were brought to TKHQ so they could have some extra recovery time in a quieter environment.  They may end up being returned to the colony, or they may not.  We await developments. They were joined later by Enara, Pansy and Raven, the result of a successful day’s trapping. Enara was a prime target, who had had four or five pregnancies the previous year with few or no surviving kittens.  Update at 2nd February: Shiloh, Pansy and Raven were released back to the forest, having failed to settle at TKHQ.  Enara and Satine are showing good progress and are likely to be put up for adoption in the foreseeable future.

The Advent Cats and Kittens

December 2015 saw a sudden influx of guests at HQ, some kittens, some adults, and between them a fine collection of issues.

Mary: Mary arrived at TKHQ on Christmas Eve. She was seen crying at the windows and doors and was admitted by Gwen, who noticed she was bleeding profusely.  A trip to the emergency vet revealed that she was miscarrying, but they heard one tiny heartbeat.  She was returned to HQ where, the following day, she spontaneously aborted three foetuses.  She is a very sweet and affectionate cat, who seems to have been on the loose for some time, so Tinykittens kept her over Christmas until she was feeling better.  She is currently scheduled for a spay, although she will be checked first to make sure there are no more viable kittens. Update at 16th January: Mary was spayed and checked for a potential heart murmur, but was given the all clear to go up for adoption. She didn’t have to wait long and has left TKHQ for her forever home with a regular viewer of Tinykittens. Follow Mary in her forever home here

Update at 1st January 2016: Holly, Comet, Mistletoe and Joy’s PCR test showed they were negative for ringworm and they are currently sharing a room. Mistletoe’s and Holly’s paws are healing well and, amazingly, Mistletoe has decided that humans aren’t so bad after all.  Despite being a little apprehensive when approached, she now snuggles and purrs and plays with the other cats.  Joy is also a little nervous initially, but enjoys human contact.  All four will be soon up for adoption, pending a second PCR test. Update 16th January: Holly and Joy and Comet and Mistletoe are all clear for ringworm. Comet and Mistletoe have become a devoted couple and have been adopted together. They are due to leave TKHQ at the beginning of February.  In the meantime, Jingle, Noelle, Elf and Nicholas have had their first negative ringworm test and are awaiting a second to get a final all-clear.  All the Advent cats and kittens are cohabiting in the one room now, much to Elf’s delight and Holly’s chagrin. Holly and Joy have been spayed and all of them are awaiting their forever homes. Update at 21st January: Holly was unable to settle surrounded by so many unfamiliar cats, so she was separated and it was decided that she might benefit from being adopted singly.  As a result, a suitable home was found amongst the applications already received and Holly Belle went home for good on 20th January. In the meantime, the dreaded ringworm reared its ugly head again, which resulted in Noelle and Elf being separated into their own room.  Update at 2nd February: Joy left for her forever home and you can follow her progress here:  The rooms still haven’t been cleared of ringworm yet, so the kittens have not been reunited.  However, homes have been found for all of them.  Elf and Noelle will be adopted together, and the others have homes with resident cats (and dogs) so all of them will have company.

Holly and Jingle: These two ferals were trapped at the colony when the property owner saw that Holly was having difficulty walking. Jingle was trapped at the same time so that she would have some company.  Female Holly is about five to six months old, although very tiny for her age.  She arrived with a very bloated belly and it was thought that she could be pregnant, but a visit to the vet confirmed that she was just carrying a heavy parasite load.  She has wounds to both her front paws, one of which is infected, so she is receiving antibiotics and her paws are being soaked daily to drain any fluid and keep them clean.  Male Jingle is about four months old and extremely social.  The property owner was afraid that his sociability might put him in the wrong place at the wrong time, for instance in the path of a vehicle, so trapping him seemed like the right thing to do.  He, like Holly, has parasites and upper respiratory infections and, possibly, ringworm.  At the time of writing, Shelly is awaiting test results to confirm this.  Their Christmas-themed names were chosen by the kids of Miss Tyler’s class at Holly Elementary School. Update at 4th December: Ringworm has been confirmed in Jingle, but not Holly. Holly has been moved in with new arrival Comet, who is also ringworm free.

Nicholas and Noelle, Elf and Comet: With a case of ringworm already confirmed at TKHQ and isolation protocols already in place, Shelly decided to go ahead a trap a few more kittens at the “new” colony and bring them in to get them healthy and socialised and they arrived on 2nd December.  Nicholas and Noelle are probably siblings about 8 - 10 weeks old. Both are very small and underweight, especially Noelle, and carrying the usual parasite load, including the worst ear mite infestation Shelly has encountered. Elf is an older girl, about the same age as Jingle. She is very fearful around humans, but has taken a shine to Jingle and Nicholas, who will help her to socialise. Comet is a young adult male about 9 months old, also extremely fearful.  He does not have ringworm, so he and Holly, who is also ringworm free, have been separated from the others and are currently boarding together in another room.

Mistletoe: This young adult female was trapped in the colony because she was carrying a serious injury to one of her front paws and was unable to put weight on it.  She didn’t seem to have any ringworm when she was checked on intake, so she was put in with Comet and Holly.  She is very feral and does not trust humans. At time of writing, she is at Mountain View being assessed for treatment. Update at 1st January 2016: Mistletoe had surgery on her injured foot and one toe was removed.  She has healed well and is gradually adjusting to life in the human world.

Joy: Another young adult female who resembles Holly and is probably related to her.  She walked into the carrier at the feeding station and was brought in to possibly renew her bond with Holly. She appears relatively healthy on initial inspection.

Nova: A female from the feral colony paid a short visit to TKHQ when she was finally trapped after raising numerous litters.  It was thought at first that she might be pregnant again, in which case she would have stayed to have her kittens, but this was not the case.  She was spayed at Mountain View and returned to HQ to see how she would react to the indoor life.  As a colony old-timer, she was not impressed with her confinement and, after recovering from her surgery, was released back to the forest.

Pinecone and Mr. T are two male cats from the feral colony, who have shown themselves to be social and affectionate towards the TNR volunteers. They are currently occupying Sloaney and Sisko’s old room and are in isolation, pending the results of ringworm tests. This is an experiment, to see if they can settle down in captivity, with a view to adopting them out. If they are unable to adjust to life indoors, they will be returned to the colony. Things are looking promising so far.  They are receiving different visitors three times a day and seem relaxed and affectionate. Update at 6th November: Ringworm tests came back negative, and both boys continue to be relaxed in their new environment. They are currently up for adoption and patiently awaiting their forever human(s). Update at 15th November:  Piney and Mr T have been adopted! They are heading for Southern California to be two surfer dudes.  They will be leaving around 26th November. In the meantime, they are currently off-cam as Shelly has run short of working computers. However, many video clips are being posted on Tinykittens Catpack FB page. Update at 24th November: Until they go home, Mr T is making cameo appearances on camera as he makes his daily forays onto the new TKHQ catio.  Pinecone is less impressed with the new structure, or maybe just with the weather.  Update at 30th November: The boys left for their forever home on Thanksgiving weekend and are settling in well.

Follow Pinecone and Mr. T in their new home here

Lilypad - was trapped at the TNR colony.  She had given birth to two kittens but one had sadly already died and the other - named Tadpole - was found wet and cold in the bottom of a barrel. Lilypad and Tadpole were brought to TKHQ to see if anything could be done for the little one, but sadly he didn’t make it.  Lilypad was exceptionally friendly, despite her feral upbringing, and she was taken to LAPS, spayed and has now been adopted.

Mila was trapped at the feral colony, in the belief that she was pregnant and could maybe be good company for Sisko in the feral kitten room.  After a while, it became obvious that she was not pregnant, just a little saggy around the middle.  Shelly chose a time when it would not be too disturbing for mama Sisko and caught Mila to be spayed and returned to the colony.  At the time of writing, she has not been seen since since her release, although this is no cause for concern. General update: Mila has been seen at the colony. She has visited the feeding station and appears to be in good health.

Smokey was a lovely grey cat with the most striking emerald green eyes.  She had been overlooked at LAPS and was in need of some exposure to get her the home she deserved.  Happily, it worked.

Idgy and Kiara were two senior sisters who had also been stuck at LAPS for a long time.  They were adopted together after their time on camera, but Kiara did not get along with the cat who was already resident at the home, so she was returned.  However, she was later successfully homed as an only cat.

Tango was the adolescent daughter of Tinydancers’ mother, Calypso.  Her presence was disturbing the very pregnant Caly, so she was spayed and put up for adoption.  She soon found a loving home with big sister Paisley, and now little sister Prism, another LAPS kitten.

Jazzy and Peanut were also overlooked at LAPS due to health issues. They were soon adopted together after some cam exposure, although Peanut mysteriously turned up on the streets some time later and found himself back at LAPS

The Country Superstars were born on Mother’s Day 2013 and rescued from a barn. The 3 adorable black kittens came to Tinykittens to get them some cam exposure to help find them loving homes. Their names : Shelton, Chesney, and Brooks.  


WAYS TO HELP

Look out for ad hoc fundraising campaigns, which occur from time to time. The various Facebook pages will have information and chatters will certainly bring them to your attention.  Sometimes, there are prizes!  Apart from these, there are several permanent funds which will be grateful for your donations:

Donate to Tinykittens

Tinykittens has a variety of costs to meet, so donations are appreciated to assist with the cost of maintaining TKHQ, the Livestream feeds and many special projects, such as the educational programme, Tinykittens in the Classroom, and research projects on a number of cat related topics.

Donate to LAPS

You can donate to LAPS general fund, which goes to helping the many animals rescued and sheltered by them, or to any of their special funds.  There are sometimes specific fundraisers and events you can join in with. There is still money to be raised to realise the ISOasis project.  Refer to their web page for further information.

LAPS Wishlist

TinyKittens Wishlist

These list particular items which can be bought through Amazon and shipped directly to either LAPS or Tinykittens. Items can also be purchased through Waldo and Tubbs pet store in Langley. Goods can be ordered by telephone and they are quite used to dealing with customers from all over the world, and they will ensure your purchases reach the right recipient.

Vote for LAPS in the current Shelter Challenge. Look out for the next challenge for which LAPS is eligible.

Bobbi’s Fund

Bobbi’s Fund has now ended and is no longer raising funds. In it’s lifetime, it collected  over $15,000 for LAPS and the TNR project.

Bobbi’s Fund was set up to raise money for cats and kittens to be tested for Feline Leukemia as part of their intake screening at LAPS.  It was named after Bobcat of the Jungle Kittens, who was diagnosed with Leukemia after she was adopted.  Later, LAPS decided that all intake health checks should come out of their general fund, so Bobbi’s Fund changed its focus to raising money for Tinykittens, to be used for the TNR project.  The project is a 50/50 partnership between LAPS and Tinykittens. TK provides the field team, maintaining the feeding station, trapping, transporting and assisting with intakes. LAPS provides boarding, either short term or longer term for any cats who cannot be immediately released, ISO facilities, transportation to vets etc. Tinykittens also meets its own expenses for any colony cats who are housed at Tinykittens HQ, so that includes Sloaney, Sisko, the Happy Forest kittens, the Mountain View kittens, Mila, Topper and, of course, Cassidy.

VIP Cam

Money raised through subscriptions help keep Tinykittens in touch with the world.  Livestream is not free, and Shelly is running the Rolls Royce of Livestream events.

Little Darling’s Shop

Buying some adorable Tinykittens themed gifts will, currently, benefit Bobbi’s Fund, which is explained above.  All profits on sales are paid over to this fund, profits being the money that remains after the compulsory fees have been paid to Cafepress, who host the shop.  The money raised from Little Darling’s shop is channelled wherever it is most needed at the time, so the focus may change in the future.  

Remember, you can also help your own local shelter by donating money or supplies, or by volunteering


USEFUL LINKS

Tinykittens Website

Tinykittens on Facebook

Tinykittens on Twitter

Tinykittens on Instagram

Tinykittens Cat Pack Facebook page

LAPS and TK Supporters and Friends Facebook Group

Tinykittens Unite Facebook Group

Tinykittens in the Classroom

Shelly’s Etsy shop

Little Darling’s shop

Little Darling’s Youtube channel 

BrookIvy Youtube channel

LAPS website

LAPS Livestream

People for Happier Cats (TNR project)

Mountain View website

Mountain View Facebook page

Shelter challenge

VIP cam

Ringworm advice

LAPS Bottle feeding seminar (prepared for new foster parents)

List of active cams

Colours and patterns of cats (more information than you could possibly want)

Introducing a new cat

TinyKittens and LAPS daily updates (Links to videos and FB posts updated daily)