Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Halo's #Kittens Are One Year Old Today! by Karen Rose Smith

Mother's Day a year ago, we found a stray tortoiseshell cat sleeping in our backyard. We could tell she needed care and we began to feed her. After weeks of earning her trust and her decision to stay in our back yard, we took her to our veterinarian and learned she was pregnant. That was just the beginning of a wonderful journey with Halo.

I can't believe it's been a year!

Halo lived in my office for the last month of her pregnancy. We couldn't let her mix with our inside cats until she had her shots. (She couldn't have those until after the kittens were born.) She adjusted to confinement, realizing we were taking good care of her. She had digestive issues and had to eat every few hours.  On the morning of July 29, she delivered three kittens. We were told to let nature take it's course, but we had to intervene with helping to release the babies from their sacs and delivering a placenta with the aid of an emergency vet on the phone. With the 3rd kitten, the placenta wasn't expelled and we had to pack up Halo and the kittens and take them to our vet. Click HERE to read my complete blog about the kittens birth.

Paddy, Mason and Tia with Halo

But Halo was the most devoted momma cat ever. When we returned from the vet, she gathered her babies to her. We had to hand feed the first born, Miss Paddington, who had trouble nursing. By evening, however, all nursed. We named the babies Paddy, Tiara (Tia)--for the tiny tiara on her head--and Mason.

The Kittens at 6 Weeks
I detailed their progress each week on my blog.

Here are a few links:

The Kittens at 12 Days

The Kittens at 3 Weeks

The Kittens at 1 Month

Paddy Then

After talking to friends who had cared for momma cats and kittens, and reading as much as I could find on the subject, we decided to keep the kittens for at least 12 weeks.  They needed to learn skills from their mom as well as soak up all her love and care. Since I posted photos every day on my Facebook page, two friends asked about adopting Tia and Mason.  Paddy, because of the care we had given her, was close to our hearts.  We decided to keep her with Halo.

Paddy Now

Using a screen between rooms to let the new cat family get used to our inside cat family, we patiently let them get to know each other.  We unexpectedly lost one of our older cats--my soulmate cat Ebbie--and that loss hit hard.  Not only for me but for our two year old kitty Zoie who was in mourning too. Thank goodness we had decided to keep Paddy with Halo.  Paddy became the peacemaker, lover, and sweetheart.  She and Zoie connected right away.  So she was the first kitten to cross the barrier. Mason and Tia followed.  We were socializing everyone!

Now a year later, Mason and Tia are part of feline families in their forever homes. They made their transitions easily and got along with the other members of their cat and human family right away.  It was so hard to let them go.  But through photos sent by their adoptive moms, I can see how contented and happy they are.

Tia and Mason Then
Tia Now

Mason Now
Paddy and Halo still have an inseparable bond.  Paddy sleeps with Halo and cuddles with her.  They still wash each other.  Despite how much we handled Paddy, she's a sweetie but independent and not much of a cuddler...except with Halo.  Since she was spayed at nine months, however, she likes to be petted and brushed and will lay in our vicinity and keep company with us.  She's curious, independent and a hoot!  Everyday, she brings us laughter and smiles with her antics.  We love her to bits.

Halo and Paddy Cuddle
It's taken a year for our feline family to mesh in a comfortable way.  Halo is trusting and loving, transitioning from a cat who didn't know what furniture was to a feline who seeks our company every day and cuddles with us whenever she can.

Halo Today
Taking in a pregnant momma cat and caring for her kittens was a bigger undertaking than we ever imagined.  But it was a wonderful experience and a journey we will never forget.


In my Caprice De Luca Home Staging mystery series, my sleuth Caprice takes in stray cats and dogs and finds them forever loving homes!


New Release--DRAPE EXPECTATIONS, book 4

Caprice De Luca's former client and now friend Ace Richland--an 80's rock star--asks her for a favor.  Can she quickly stage his girlfriend's house to sell?  Widow Alanna Goodwin, a transplanted Southern beauty, will be moving in with him!  Immediately Caprice realizes Alanna's southern charm can be turned on and off at will.  Caprice agrees to stage Alanna's Kismet antebellum-styled mansion for Ace's sake.  But she soon learns Alanna doesn't have a genuine love for her cat Mirabelle and also uncovers a plot her new client is hatching to sabotage Ace's comeback.  However, before she can tell Ace, Alanna is murdered and Ace is the prime suspect.  

As Caprice investigates, she learns Alanna had more secrets than pie safes.  With her Cocker Spaniel Lady by her side, she tracks down clues and adopts Alanna's cat.  In the midst of some of her own family upheaval--her uncle has moved in with her parents--she finds herself with a dilemma.  Grant Weatherford, her brother's law partner, advises Ace and reveals more of his past to her.  Seth Randolph, the doctor she dates, wants her to meet his family.  She must choose between them.

Danger stalks Caprice.  Will her refresher self-defense course save her life?  Only if she keeps her wits about her and Lady by her side.



USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 87th novel will be released in 2015.

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 


©2015 Karen Rose Smith


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Karen! I loved the photos and have so enjoyed the journey, with Halo's babies, this past year. If Mason and Tia are as impish as Paddy, they keep their cat-parents on their toes! Happy birthday, Paddy, Mason and Tia!

Deborah Blake said...

I loved reliving this journey. I'm so glad you decided to keep Paddy, if just so you could commiserate about Luna! (Besides, we all love Miss Paddy and her mama.)

Janine said...

Halo, you have beautiful babies.