a stepping-stone to adoption for abandoned furballs





about 50K

'15 Minutes of Fame –
The Year in Furballs


We kicked off 2015 on the first weekend in January with the arrival of the 3D kittens – Duncan, Dryfus, and Dee.

Gorgeous singleton Gus joined the 3Ds and was adopted the next day.

Staff canines Della and June shared a sunspot after all of the 3Ds had gone home.

We were sad to see a row of basket trucks arrive on our street, then proceed to take down a 300-year-old willow oak, one of the largest trees in Arlington. Nearly a year later, the developer has yet to start work on the property.

With the villa empty through most of February, we welcomed an underfed and very shy adult cat named Mr. Butters, who promptly disappeared inside the futon frame. After a week he was eating and less fearful, so we took him to Kitty City at the Homeward Trails office.

On Pi Day, a mom-cat named Deandra arrived with two newborn kits. We renamed her Raz (for Raspberry Pie) and called her kittens Newton and Yann.

Yann and Newton grew steadily and stayed healthy, but didn’t open their eyes until their second week at 50K.

We took in a smaller orange kitten named Pip, hoping Raz would nurse him. Pip’s own mom was very sick, and his siblings were dying.

After a few days Pip seemed to be on track, so we returned him to his mother and original foster home.

Newton and Yann kept growing and gradually opened their eyes.

The Pi boys were super cute… maybe because they both turned out to be girls!

The Pi girls were in no hurry to venture outside their nest, but they eventually found time to explore the villa, even as they continued to get nursed by Raz.

Having been handled daily from the start, Newton and Yann were well socialized.

The Pi girls grew big enough to indulge in mellow games of stringball.

Yann developed striking looks, highlighted by her eye stripes.

Newton grew up to be a classic gray tabby.

On May 14 – during Palindrome week – we picked up four bottle babies and set them up in the 50K bunkhouse. Our readers helped choose names for the Pals, like Otto.

Yann went home with Newton, and their mom named them Mies and Corbu, after architects Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier. We moved their mom Raz up to the playground.

The Pals were one of our messiest litters ever, on both ends, and needed frequent baths.

Tortie Hannah like to wade into the wet food dish and plow her face across the bottom. So she was always either sticky and slimy (pre-bath) or damp (after).

The Cubanos, a foursome of bigger kittens with minor diarrhea issues, checked into the empty villa in early June, along with their mom Asia.

The villa was a nice pad for the Cubanos, among whom Daiquiri was a gray female like her mom.

Asia had some minor URI symptoms that didn’t extend to the Cubanos, who got meds for their diarrhea.

Daiquiri was easy, but it took us a while to tell black kittens Buena, Havana, and Gonzalo apart.

After we cleaned her up, Hannah looked great. Until her next meal.

Asia overcame her URI and started eating better.

And up in the bunkhouse, we finally found a way to keep the Pals from swimming in their canned food.

When we pulled Otto out of the bunkhouse to vaccinate him, he squawked in protest when the needle went in. Raz was on the playground nearby and attacked us immediately, even though she’d only seen Otto a few times through the baby gate. Martha got the worst of the encounter.

Mies (Yann) and Corbu (Newton) enjoyed the comforts of home.

Over their GI issues and ready to graduate, Havana, Daiquiri and their Cubano sibs moved to PetMAC DC, where they took over a spacious enclosure with a view and were free to roam the store at night. All four kittens were adopted within a few weeks.

The Pals were more than ready to break out of the bunkhouse, so we transferred them to the villa, where they continued their new-found table manners.

After receiving free rein upstairs during the first half of June, Raz mainly kept our staff cats on edge. But she lucked out and was adopted by a young man with cat experience who was working in DC for the summer.

While their brother Otto watched (and overcame a minor bug), the Pal girls became fanatical stringball players.

Along with his sporadic vomiting and fatigue, Otto was hit with a weird facial discoloration. Anti-fungal cream and antibiotics eventually cleared it up.

Viv and the Pals grew more elegant and social during their weeks in the villa. As they passed the adoption-weight threshold, we were amazed that no adopters came calling for them.

Otto felt better and his facial munge cleared up…

…while Hannah left her grunge days far behind.

The Pals’ stringball games went airborne.

Viv and Elle engaged in a deconstruction exercise.

And Otto chilled in a pod while receiving a sisterly neck bite.

In late August we took off for two weeks in southwest Colorado’s San Juan Mountains…

…where we backpacked into the Uncompahgre Wilderness.

The Pals went home while we were away, so in late September we welcomed “brothers” named Cheeto and Felix and called them the Odd Couple.

First Felix, then Cheeto, had to overcome a minor virus. Felix gained the edge in wrestling matches.

When Felix and Cheeto were back to full speed, we transferred them to their original foster family and welcomed mom-cat Joyce and her five Jewels.

Pearl was one of two pairs of lookalikes in the litter.

Cole, Opel, and Ruby showed off our three Jewel styles.

Jade and Pearl spent plenty of time aloft.

Even after a few weeks with the Jewels, it could be tough to tell them apart.

Cole and Jade went home together…

… and were renamed Ash and Grizz.

We transferred Joyce and her three remaining Jewels to another HT foster family, and welcomed mom-cat Gabby with her four Camelot kittens. Arther was clearly the Camelot clown.

Arther loved to flip on his back and mug for the camera.

Nimue was a rare orange tabby female. Like all the Cams but Arther, she was initially shy around her peeps.

Merlin and Morgana rounded out the Camelot court.

Merlin overtook Nimue to become the biggest of the Cams.

The Cams managed to dodge the eye discharge that plagued their calico mom Gabby.

Predictably, Arther was the first to go home…

…leaving Merlin, Nimue, and Morgana to rule the cat tree, while Gabby found peaceful spots on the perimeter.

After Nimue and Morgana went home on the same day – to different families, each with active adult cats – we welcomed a weepy singleton kitten named Alvin.

Alvin got the hissy treatment from Gabby and Merlin, so we took Gabby in for spay and then moved her up to the playground, leaving Merlin and Alvin together in the villa.

Twix (formerly Morgana) enjoyed her first Christmas at home.

Alvin gradually befriended Merlin in the villa, while we gave him lysine supplements for his weepy eyes.

Merlin stopped hissing and started playing again…

…while Gabby enjoyed the spacious playground and a few nights with her peeps, before moving to Kitty City in the Homeward Trails office…

…and Stampy Cat (Nimue) explored a variety of comfy napping spots at home.

From 50K peeps Martha and Ted, staff cats Reggie, Mia, and Yogi, and staff canines Orrie, Della, and June…

Happy Holidays and best wishes for a great 2016!



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