On Jan 7 we took Raemy and Seamus to an adoption event, where they met a great young couple who lived nearby. We processed their application, did the home visit, and dropped off R + S the same afternoon.
The Gates kittens Archie, Pearly, and Brandenburg checked into the villa a few days later.
Archie scored high on the cute-o-meter right from the start.
The CatDancer was a hit with Archie and his sibs.
To join the Gates pack, we welcomed four kittens we called the Aussies, including Stan and Li…
Nika and her pals attended an adoption event, and Rafa and Pearly went straight home with a pre-approved couple.
Archie and the remaining Gates and Aussies continued to amuse us in the villa.
A week later, Archie and Li went home together.
The last of the Gates and Aussies kittens, Brandenburg moved upstairs to the playground to hang with his peeps.
Sullivan (Archie) and Lilo (Li) snuggled at home with their mom.
After a week at home, Stan and Nika got congested and stopped eating. We took them in for ten days of remedial care, then sent them back to their eagerly waiting family.
Four bottle babies arrived on the last day of February, while the Academy Awards were gearing up. We named them the Oscars.
With bottle feedings, litterbox training, and meds by syringe, Sandra and her sibs got plenty of handling.
The Oscars graduated from a cat carrier to an event crate, rigged to prevent escapes.
Hustle and the Oscars took well to the bottle.
Hustle led the pack toward nibbling dry food…
…but they all still demanded their bottles.
Dallas and the Oscars became confident explorers.
We tilted a ramp onto the futon, which became the new hang-out spot.
But the Oscars still weren’t ready to give up their bottles.
Eventually, the lure of warm and meaty slurry won them over.
Hustle helped keep the villa’s rodent population in check.
The Oscars mastered the art of peep climbing.
Petite Lupita outgrew her crud-faced stage.
Hustle got up close and personal with his peeps.
Sandra and Dallas showed off their gorgeous complementary colors.
In mid-May, Hustle and Lupita went home to a family with two young children. Sandra and Dallas went to another foster home and were adopted as part of different pairs shortly afterward.
We welcomed Polly to the villa, along with three small kittens she was raising as a surrogate mom. Her kittens had already been adopted.
Hudson and sibs Hannay and Caspian arrived with water-themed names chosen by their adoption coordinator.
Caspian was a classic buff male, Hannay a cute tortie female.
When Ted accidentally stepped on a kitten’s tail, causing an alarmed squeal but no injury, Polly issued a low growl, then turned into a flying chainsaw.
It took us less than ten seconds to leave the villa, but by that time both of us were bleeding from our arms, legs, and feet.
We introduced the stringball to the growing kittens.
Ted was cautious around Polly when Martha was in Africa. She clawed him twice more when a kitten he was nowhere near made a protest squeal.
Caspian and Hannay grew sleek and strong.
And so did big brother Hudson.
Despite hiding under the futon during the meet-and-greet visit, Hannay and Hudson were adopted together by a nice young couple.
A week later, Caspian went home with a retired couple who had recently adopted a male tuxedo kitten his age. We did the home visit and have never seen such a great indoor playground for two kittens.
As the World Cup entered the knockout round, we picked up three sniffly kittens two gray brothers and an unrelated brown tabby we named Jurgen.
Beasley and Dempsey were hard to tell apart at first.
Beasley was a little smaller and weepier, with green eyes.
He was also more of a peep-cat than Dempsey.
Dempsey revealed his alpha tendencies on the stringball court.
Beasley was adopted by a couple who wasn’t fazed by his slow recovery from weepy eyes, or the possibility (eventually ruled out) that all three kittens had ringworm.
Dempsey and Jurgen overcame their sniffles and got stronger.
Hustle toughed it out at his new home.
As Jurgen got more playful, we realized that he had felt wiped out by his URI during his first weeks with us.
After Polly got spayed, we moved her up to the bunkhouse for recovery, eventually integrating her with out staff cats. She kept her playfulness while her protective instincts ebbed.
While we vacationed in Tanzania, Jurgen and Dempsey went home to a nice family together. We kept our eyes peeled for big cats in big trees.
This year it was staff canine June’s turn to attend a Nationals “Pups at the Park” game with us.
In mid-September we welcomed four gorgeous sisters to the villa and called them the Angels.
From day one, the Angels were healthy, full speed, and big enough to find homes. It took us a few days to tell the lookalike pairs apart.
Ariel and Hope were initially the smaller and more independent sisters.
Farrah and Ursula were more peep-oriented, but all the Angels played stringball.
It was hard to take a bad picture of Ariel.
Farrah was the first Angel to master auto-weighing.
The couple who adopted Hudson and Hannay emailed us because they had trapped a scared, abandoned kitten after feeding him for a few days. We offered to take him and try to get him into the rescue network. They named him Cassady. After Cassady tested negative for the major viruses, we got the green light to integrate him with the Angels.
Cassady was smaller than the Angels and a bit hissy and intimidated at first. But they were nice to him, and he eventually spent less time in the shadows.
Cassady got lots of attention from the Angels and his peeps.
His transformation into a confident and friendly peep-cat was impressive and gratifying.
Ariel enjoyed acting as Ted’s assistant during the morning weigh-ins.
Hope liked to preside over the weight book.
Farrah demonstrated her command of villa terrain.
And Ariel and Ursula reprised their sister act in the pods.
Ariel went home with her new mom, whose housemate…
…adopted Cassady. Ariel took charge at their new home, but Cassady gradually outgrew his step-sister.
While Martha was in Africa, Farrah and Ursula were adopted by a family with two young children…
…leaving Hope as the last of the Angels. Ted moved her up to the playground, where she spent ten days as his personal kitten and became one of his all-time favorites.
Two pairs of siblings from Wetzel, WV moved into the villa. They all looked unrelated, so Ted called them the Potlucks. Readers helped name them Meatloaf…
…and Chili, and Tabouli (a partially dilute calico who looked like the Angels.)
Hope went home with a woman who had adopted two kittens from Homeward Trails this summer, and lost one of them to FIP. Her surviving kitten needed a new friend.
The Potlucks quickly mastered villa life.
Tabouli enjoyed reminding her non-sibs Meatloaf and Jello that she was the boss.
Meatloaf revealed his interest in neck nuzzling, hair biting, and earring adjustment.
Back from Africa, Martha got daily hairstyle makeovers.
Meatloaf turned into an affectionate tiger.
Jello was usually the first to greet us when we entered the villa.
Chili established herself as easy to hug but hard to photograph.
At her forever home, Hope quickly befriended her new sister Zelda.
And Jello practiced the poses that she hoped would win her a home.
Sure enough, Jello and Meatloaf met their forever parents two days after Christmas, at their first adoption event. The parents were able to complete the adoption process the same afternoon, so our lucky Potlucks went straight home.
When we left the event, Chili and Tabouli were cuddled together in a cat tree, grooming each other and watching the pedestrian traffic along Wisconsin Avenue. We’re betting they’ll be home by New Years.
Thanks for following our furball adventures this year. Happy holidays and all the best in 2015 from Ted, Martha, Reggie, Mia, Yogi, Orrie, Della, and June.