I’ve taken to posting late at night. I’ve had a little insomnia, and late nights are the only time when the kittens are all asleep and I have no interruptions or other tasks that I could be accomplishing. I used to hate that the world shut down at night, but at times like these, I rather like it. The one thing that annoys me about the late night posting is that if I get it up just after midnight, it looks like I posted the next day. I guess you can look at the time at the top of an entry to see when I really posted, but still, it just irks me.
The last few days have seen a lot of kitten turnover in my house. All of them have stayed alive, thank goodness. It’s just that I acquired a few extras and gave away some of the ones I had to a new foster parent. I am constantly covered in kittens right now.
Milkshake actually came to me on Monday. He’s growing well, but he is just a wee bit shy. I’ve been giving him “baby-food therapy” to help him overcome his shyness. I have several jars of Gerber 2nd foods chicken baby food. Many people I know refer to this stuff as kitty crack. Most cats and kittens cannot resist the yumminess that is meat-flavored baby food. I started out by holding him and feeding him a spoonful of the baby food. Once he figured out that he could come out of hiding when I was in the room, I began offering the baby food just out of his reach so that he had to come toward me to get some. In the next few days I hope to lure him onto my lap, then wean him off the babyfood. It’s just that too much baby food can give kittens diarrhea. For now, at least, he’ll stay in my lap when I put him there.
On Tuesday I got another kitten! His name is Malomar. His mother is a very small (about 5 pounds) feral cat. She started to feel sick, and them one of her kittens died of what seems to be sudden kitten death syndrome. Malomar woke up one morning with lethargy, and the woman who was caring for him got concerned. She didn’t have a lot of time to stay home and nurse him, and she isn’t really all that knowledgeable about kittens. She actually runs a rescue group and deals primarily with older feral cats or cats who were otherwise considered unadoptable at local shelters. She felt bad about trying to pass him off, but I think that everyone has a specialty, and it’s fine to rely on other specialists when you have a problem that is out of your realm of expertise.
Malomar has a very similar dispostion to Nebula, so he and Nebby pal around quite a bit. They both try to climb my jeans when they want to be held (it’s one of the more difficult – and painful – tricks that I have to discourage in many kittens), and they both want to nap on my shoulders at the same time. It turns out that whatever was plaguing Mal was short-lived. I just gave him 10mL of sub-q fluids, and by the next morning he was romping with the other kittens. His muscle tone isn’t right just yet, so I am going to keep him until I can say with confidence that he will be ok for his other foster mom. Malomar also really loves the baby food. I am currently frosting the regular food with baby food to get Nebby and Merry to eat. Mal will stand on a plate of the food and growl if another kitten comes near him. I think he learned this resource guarding behavior from his feral mom. It seems like most kittens just grow out of that behavior when they realize that the resource is plentiful. Several of my foster kittens have growled like that the first time they played with an interactive toy. It’s just too fun to share!
Nebby is turning into a very naughty but clever kitten. He, like many other kittens, will howl at the door of his safe room when he wants attention. I refuse to go in when he does that because I don’t want him to get the idea that howling is a good way to get someone to open a door. Generally, I wait until he has stopped for awhile before attending to his needs. Well, that little evil genius figured out that I come running when I hear Meringue cry. Meringue never really goes to the door, but he has been pretty ill (he has steadily lost weight, his lanced abscess started filling with and leaking pus again, and he developed a sneeze despite being on Clavamox), so I run when he cries. It usually turns out that he really needs something, although mostly it is that he managed to poo on his long fur and needs me to clean him up. I don’t blame him – I wouldn’t want to walk around wearing poo either.
Yesterday, I heard Meringue (I mostly call him Merry) crying. I opened the door to the room, and there was Nebby, poised to escape with Merry howling right behind him. I think Nebby put Merry up to it. Merry didn’t need anything – he actually walked back to his bed when Nebby escaped.
Today, Nebby pulled the same trick using Malomar. Mal made the most pathetic cry I’ve ever heard him make behind the closed door. I do worry that Mal is not out of the woods yet, so I opened the door to check on him, and both of those naughty stinkers came running out. Good thing cats are cute.
Thursday was a busy day for me. I had to take Merry in to the shelter vet to get his abscess wound flushed and to address his weight loss and sneeze. While I was there, Toni asked me if I could take some bottle feeders for the weekend. I have the time to do it, but not if I have 7 other kittens to care for as well. It just so happened that Claire, one of my friends from Scottish country dancing, had called Toni wanting to become a foster parent (believe it or not, she decided this even though she spent an evening at my house helping me feed the screaming star kittens, only to learn that some of them had died the next morning). I was able to give Cupcake, Cream Puff, and Biscotti to Claire since they were the healthiest (it’s never a good idea to give a first time foster parent kittens that may die – it might turn them off of the whole idea). Later that evening I picked up three new bottle feeders.
The new bottle feeders are on the bigger side of the category. They should be starting to wean in a week or so, I believe. They belong to one of my fellow foster parents who is leaving town for the weekend. She hasn’t had time to name them since she only had them one day before she had to leave. I want to leave that up to her, so I will just call them the black kitten, the grey kitten, and the multi-colored kitten. I’m not an expert at sexing kittens, but they all seem to be girls. They are quiet, they have decent poop, and they are heavy. These are all good things. I’ll be returning the kittens to their original mom on Sunday or Monday, depending on our schedules.
If you’ve been keeping count, that’s 10 kittens I’ve gone through this week. I still have 7 for now. Dude.
Despite all the kittens, I had just a little time to learn a bit about spinning. I borrowed Carisa’s spindle. Not too bad for a first timer, I’d say. 😀