The day after my last post, our friend Cheryl found this four-week old baby screaming by the side of the highway outside her house, at 1am. Cheryl has been finding kittens what seems like every other day lately. She had to go to work in the morning, after staying up much of the night, trying to get the kitten to eat, and put out a call for help. I was home, and met her at the plaza to take the little one, who was still screaming, home with me.
Cheryl had given her a bath, but couldn’t get her to eat on her own. Cheryl gave me some KMR, kitten milk replacer, but I couldn’t get the kitten to eat on her own either. My mom and I tried wet kitten food, dry kitten food, dry kitten food softened with water and KMR, but she wouldn’t take it on her own. I tried putting a mushed-up version in her mouth with a syringe, but that didn’t work so well, and I was concerned about potentially choking her. She had to eat every three hours or so.
I set her up in our extra bunny bin, which is smaller than Oliver’s. She yelled for a while, but then calmed down. I’m sure she was terrified, being left the way she was. She was only 14 ounces. She was extremely lucky that Cheryl found her and rescued her.
My mom and I took turns feeding her and cleaning her up. We took her to the vet for a checkup, and got some other dry kitten food. We finally found that she liked to eat the softened dry kitten food out of the palms of our hands, so she could “nurse”. The vet told us we would have to show her how to eat out of a bowl. We would have a bowl nearby, with the food, so we could take it back and forth right next to her as she nursed from our palms. Eventually, she tried taking it from the bowl, but not consistently.
Even now, we are still supplementing her diet with KMR, which she laps from her bowl, and she is, at long last, eating dry kitten food on her own. She is very fussy about food, and we have to change kinds to keep her interested. She likes big cat dry food. That is probably because she likes to play hockey with the larger nuggets. She won’t touch wet food.
She has a feisty personality, and takes on everyone and everything in the house.
She loves to bite. Our vet said we can expect another couple of months of that, while she tries to prove to everyone that she is the alpha cat, which is odd because of her tiny size. He said once she establishes her position, she will stop trying to make her point.
She was showing the lettering on our cardboard boxes who the boss was too.
I use a baby rattle to distract her so I can pry my hands loose, when I need to use them for something other than kitten chew toys.
She can be relentless.
Her own reflection is not excused either. She is a fierce warrior. My mom dubbed her “Junonimo”, after Geronimo.
Luckily, she takes long naps.
She has become an avid fan of our household game, “Ropey”. I had to get an extra cord because she tries to take it for herself and won’t always give it back.
She is getting leggy, but is still a pipsqueak.
Oliver Bunny was prepared to like her, but has found her to be completely without manners.
I have to keep her away from him, until she calms down.
Right now, most of what she knows of social interaction is smacking and biting and wrestling.
And napping, of course. Yesterday, she gave me a head bump, purred, and licked my nose, which was a nice change. Then she bit me, but progress is progress.
She is super fast, and I have to confine her while I clean up Oliver’s litter in the morning, or she dives right into his bunny bin.
He doesn’t like that at all. He grunts at her and gets upset. She likes to run inside his Twigloo house. I’m hoping they will be friends when she calms down. The three of us, bunny, kitten, and I, did manage to watch a movie together, “Fright Night”, which I thought was fitting for a vampire kitten. She was afraid when the characters were fighting, of all things. I kept the baby rattle on hand, for the moments when she got her own ideas.
In between feeding, cleaning, and kitten monitoring, I painted bunches of eyeballs and worked on a box of toys. I sealed a lot of my custom-printed eyeballs and emblems with my Liquitex Fabric Medium.
I cut them out and pinned them to toys, and I’ve been hand embroidering them on fleece bunnies, kittens, slugs, and sock monsters.
These are photos of the toys in progress. I have some finished and posted in my toy shop. I’ll make blog posts for them separately, since my kitten photo album on this post is big!
This is my first Wonder Bunny, the superhero version of my Hug Me Bunnies. He (or she) has my pretty new custom-printed eyeballs and a “B” for bunny emblem.
He also has a fancy cape, yellow with polka dots on one side, and red with planets on the other.
I made a couple of versions of this cape before I decided I liked this size the best on him.
Now he’s ready to fly. I need to make a special hang tag for him and some friends in different colors. Then I will post them in my toy shop.
I made these twin Super Slugs as a custom order. This was one version of the cape I tried. It was round on the sides and fuller.
Mid-Wonder-Bunny, I ran into an issue which made me panic. My new emblems and eyeballs were shedding at their edges when I cut them out. Luckily, my mom suggested I coat them with Liquitex Fabric Medium, to seal the surface. It worked very well, thank goodness. The fabric medium is nontoxic and keeps everything in place. I didn’t encounter this with my monster eyeballs, because they had white around the colors. Any edge shedding wasn’t noticeable. Now I just need to paint my eight gazillion eyeballs and emblems with fabric medium. No problem. Ha.
I ordered all my fleece eyeballs and emblems from Fabric on Demand. They did a great job. Since then, Spoonflower came out with fleece as well. I had a problem with their black not being black enough on their faux suede fabric. I ordered a sample of their fleece (shown above), and was happy to find the black did print as black this time. The colors aren’t exactly the same from both companies, and so I would still recommend printing a color map if you need to match color.
I was inspired to go out and get some rainbow fleece yesterday after seeing a rainbow display online at Target. Walmart (above left) and Jo-Ann’s (above right) both had some. I thought I might need some equality slugs or bunnies or kitties, or some of each, because the news and comments here in NC, and now across the country, are driving me right up the wall.
I’ve collected some cotton prints from both stores too. Walmart now has Waverly prints, and they have a lot of pretty ones. I’m sure I have too many. I’ve been saying I’ll have to give up toy making because I can’t fit myself into the workroom.
I’ve been redrafting all my templates for my toy characters. I experimented with my Gumdrop Baby, but I have a feeling I will end up going back to the original pattern. I can’t decide on a face, and whether I should go with a cartoonish more modern face, like the prototype above, or a more detailed antique dolly face. The original Gumdrop Babies are here on my blog. An example of a more detailed antique dolly face is here on Leah. Feel free to chime in if you have a preference for one look over another. I could use the feedback.
Most of the crew here outside my workroom door doesn’t seem to have an opinion. They like anything they can play with, cuddle with, or in Oliver Bunny’s case, lick.
The crew outside doesn’t seem to have an interest either, unless a toy is filled with catnip. Trouble thinks Santana makes a good toy, and likes to sneak up on him while he is sleeping. Santana has no sense of humor about this. This photo was taking shortly before the yowling began. It was short lived. Trouble likes me to escort him home, where he falls over for pets.
Pets are important. Trouble comes looking for me if I don’t make an early appearance outside. Recently, he went all the way to my bedroom window, looking for me.
Trouble comes running when he sees me come out in the morning.
Santana wants the porch and the deck to himself, and takes his guard duty seriously. They really both want me to pay attention to them and they don’t want to share. Eventually, they should get used to the idea. I hope.
Oh, I almost forgot…I keep going to doctors, and getting blood tests and biopsies. My circular rash turned out to be granuloma annulare, which is harmless, with no sure cause. My white blood cell count is consistently high, four times in a row now. We don’t know why. I don’t know if it is linked to the fatigue I have had. I have more appointments and tests, but we may only find out that I am weird. Or my blood is weird? I don’t know. It could be anything or nothing at all. I try not to think about it. I did pretty well, since I forgot to mention it through this whole blog post.
Got to go do stuff. Take care, all.
Since I last wrote about getting eyeballs for my toys printed on custom fabric from Fabric on Demand, which came out great, I went a bit berzerko and decided I needed about eight billion varieties.
I contacted Oliver Bunny’s veterinarian and asked what shaped pupils he thought various animals would have. I am lucky he and his colleagues enjoy questions.
Then I went about designing an exhausting array of colored eyeballs, most of which don’t exist in nature, with both oval and round pupils, along with emblems for Super Slugs and Wonder Bunnies.
It took a while to get them back from the printer, but they look pretty awesome.
They come out of the washer and dryer a little softer looking, which is no surprise with fleece, since it has a fuzzy texture. I am trying to decide if I want to prewash them. If I do, I will do it by hand and hang them to dry next time, to preserve the sharpness. The blacks came out nice and black too.
Update: I decided not to prewash the eyes and emblems, because I needed to coat them with some Liquitex fabric medium, to make sure the edges didn’t fray when I cut them out, which sealed the surface and made prewashing unnecessary.
I had a color map with the hex code numbers for each color printed as well. If you would like to use this color map file, I saved it here. It is 42 inches wide and 36 inches long. So, it will fit on a yard of fabric. It was printed at 150dpi, which is what Fabric on Demand recommended. It is good to have, so you can see what the colors you are picking in Photoshop will look like when printed on fabric.
I am working on revising my Super Slug pattern. I ordered some special cape fabrics. I’m going to make a Wonder Bunny cohort for him.
I’m also going to make some Hug Me Lambs, and I think, some lop-earred bunnies similar to the lambs, with fleece faces and ears, and either cotton print or fleece bodies.
I just received a group of really pretty fabrics to use for these from Brooklyn Fabric Company in Iowa. They have a sale until tomorrow, and they shipped them very quickly.
In other news…I’ve been feeling so tired! I know it seems like I’ve been doing a lot, but I have had so much fatigue. The other night, I was saying to my mom that I thought something had to be wrong with me. At first, I thought it was sleep deprivation, and it may be, but I have also had this strange circular rash under my arm for at least a couple of months, maybe even four months, after my lymph nodes under my arm were swollen, assuming I would have seen it then. I was concerned it was Lyme disease. My mom was sure that kind of rash always had a red center. I got worried and looked online. Looking online is a good way to get more worried! I found that sometimes the red center disappears, because your immune system attacks the bite area first.
After a lot of rigamarole sorting out my insurance in regard to where I was allowed to go, I ended up at an Urgent Care. Since the tests they have for Lyme are unreliable, and they don’t do them at Urgent Care anyway, if you present for Lyme, they usually go ahead and treat you for it. I picked up my giant horse pills, three weeks of Amoxicillin, three times a day. Whoopee. I started taking them last night. My mom cheerfully said, “Only 59 to go!” Ick.
I have bushes and trees to plant and a certain little furry man to take for his checkup. I’ll see how I do. I’ve been warned to expect some side effects.
Psychologically, I felt better last night, since I was blaming myself for feeling so tired. I’ve had a couple of inquiries about custom toys, and one night this past week, I felt so overwhelmed, I thought I would have to say I couldn’t do them. I felt like I couldn’t make any toys at all. I’ve had trouble even thinking straight lately, although I am feeling better and more rested now. I felt like I needed to go to the rest home and take a long, long nap. I have been feeling guilty too, that I haven’t gotten my toys done. I’ve had the same nine monsters in progress since the beginning of January. I am hoping the antibiotic and some sleep will turn me around.
Update: After testing and biopsies, we found out my circular rash was granuloma annulare, which is harmless, with no clear cause. My white blood cell count however keeps coming back high. We’re still trying to figure that out along with the cause of my fatigue.