Gizmo, Gadget, Gordo and Gremlin

Those are the names of the first batch of kittens in my “Q”. I’ve been assigned to Quarantine 1 (during the morning shift). (Earlier I said I was in charge and I realized that was WAY over-stating it!) All kittens are quarantined for 14 days while they make sure they don’t have any terrible or less terrible diseases or viruses. I have another cat Cupid, and two neonates named Michael and Jordon, but I have less to do with the neonates. The night crew is coming in during the day right now to learn bottle feeding. They have to learn first because that’s what they will be doing all night long, going from Q to Q, feeding the bottle babies.

I half watch them with envy as they get to feed the teeniest ones, but it also makes me nervous because it looks hard.

A row of backyards in Brooklyn. I love City backyards.

A Day Off Miracle

My cats missed me so much they agreed to share my lap! Normally the old guy on the right, Finney, is so annoyed by the young guy on the left, Bleeck, they can’t occupy the same space. (That said, Bleeck will always sleep as close as he can to Finn.) Yesterday morning they put their differences aside and slept together while I had my morning coffee. It was heaven.

ASPCA Update

I think I’m going to love my job. The only reason I say think is because I still don’t see how it’s humanly possible to do it! Right now there are three kittens in the section I’ve been assigned to. When we really get going there will could be over 100. Every day I have to do what they call a “deep cleaning” of each cage, while feeding the kittens every three or five hours, depending on their age. Based on my current rate of “deep cleaning” I should be able to complete my entire section in ten hours. Then there’s 100 kittens to feed every three or five hours. How on earth?? They swear it’s do-able.

One nice coincidental thing happens every day. I eat my lunch while sitting in Carl Schurz Park, by Gracie Mansion, overlooking the East River. My view is of the very Island I’ve been researching and writing about for the past two years. I can’t tell you the satisfaction I feel gazing at it. Just knowing I have a book coming out about this place.

I’d planned to start my book with a hanging that took place where this lighthouse now stands, but I’m going to use that chapter in a different way, it turns out. It took a lot of convincing to get me to open the book another way. But I love the new opening as well.

Madame Secretary and a Coat I can’t Possess

A month or so ago I took a picture of this coat for my sporadic series about clothes I want but can’t afford. I watched the most recent episode of Madame Secretary, a show I love, and the daughter Allison MccCord was wearing this very coat! She looked good in it. Damnit.

ASPCA Kitten Nursery Training Update

Today is my last day of training, and tomorrow is my first actual workday. I keep leaving things behind at the Kitten Nursery. Is this a sign that my brain is going or that I don’t ever want to leave?? Yesterday I left behind my notebook and manual, the day before the book I was reading and my hat. It’s very embarrassing. Anyway, my sense of this job is that it’s going to be a lot of hard work in addition to KITTENS! Not a complaint, just saying. There’s a strict protocol for everything, and you can see why they have such a low mortality rate. Every last possible thing that can be done to keep these kittens alive is done, and we have to follow every instruction to the letter. Which means pretty much constant cleaning. And constant glove changing.

There is a possibility that we’ll get our first batch of kittens tomorrow. I think I mentioned that I can’t take pictures of them to show you, alas. But I’ll try to post other animals pictures on the days I talk about KITTENS!

First up. I was taking a picture of this magnificent dog when one of the women leaned over to give him a hug. So I’ve titled this photograph: Puppy Love.