Click photos to enlarge them.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Elsa's Kittens at Four Weeks

The little rugrats are growing so fast.  Four weeks old yesterday.  My camera says I've taken 288 photos in two days.   It was hard picking 15 or so.  I tried to get a good mix of different activities and poses.  I never got the velcro collars on them, so I still don't know who is who, except for the longer haired ones.  Everyone is gaining weight and getting bigger, but some are bigger than others.  So far, the girls are bigger than the boys.  One of the girls has white feet and a white chest.

The standard nursing shot and all eight are there.  Soon, only Elsa's head will be visible.

 He managed to crawl up the side of the box I put them in after meds.  They're so big, they don't all fit in it, anymore.

 They've been eating some dry and canned food for a few days.  And they're starting to drink water from a dish.  I had a taller water bowl for Elsa, but switched to a shallow one so the babies didn't take a header and drown.

This is a milestone when the kittens learn to use a litter box.  I'm a very proud mama.

Deb, at Just Cats, has a page of cats in windows.  I'm going to start a Sleeping Kitten page.  There's just nothing cuter than a sleeping kitten.

 Mama was eating, and the kitten just curled up and used her tail for a pillow.

 This one had fun playing with my PJ pants leg.
The towel I use to cover the top of the box is now a ladder to climb.  The door to the box is below the bottom kitten, just out of camera range.  The kitten got a running start and jumped up onto the towel  like it was a velcro wall.

One of these days, I'll get reacquainted with my sewing machine.  Between the kittens, other fosters, everyday life, and my mom, it's a little busy and tense around here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Annabelle And Her Kittens

Another foster mom, Julie, took in a mom and her four babies last week.  She named the mom Annabelle.  The shelter had an orphan kitten just a few days older than Annabelle's kittens and put it with them to see if Annabelle would accept it, and she did.  Julie sent a great photo tonight of the family.

Annabelle and her kittens - plus one.

From the left are:

Cassie  (she is an orphan that was placed with mama)
Delilah  (she's the one looking up)
Cameron  (I think he's a boy, if not, her name will be Cammie)
Devon  (aka - Tank, he's the largest one)
Julie is loving having the kittens.  We all do.  How can you not love the kittens.  I told Julie that I'm a sucker for the Russian Blue type, which would be Delilah, the lighter gray one on her back.  I loaned Julie a digital scale, and she reported that they are all gaining weight every day.  These cuties are about three weeks old.  Our kittens can be adopted just after they're nine weeks old.  So, you all have five to six weeks to pick a couple of Elsa's or Annabelle's kittens.  Order early and beat the rush.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Introducing Tasha and Wally

These are my two new fosters, Tasha, a female dark and tan tortie, and Wally, a male orange tabby.  They're siblings and were adopted from Cheri five years ago and were dumped last week at the Chesterfield animal shelter.  Because they have a microchip that was registered to Heartland, we were called.  Cheri is overly filled and I said I would take them.  We have no paperwork from their past five years, but they seem very well taken care of, not thin and neglected.  Tasha is a little shy at first, but after just a few days, she comes over to be petted and leans into my hand for more head rubs.  I can easily pick her up and hold her.

They almost didn't survive kittenhood.  They were dumped on a street in front of a church as kittens.  There were four of them. It was mid winter, the road was icy, and all four kittens were frozen to the street.  One of the kittens was run over and killed because it couldn't move.  The other three were rescued, but when they were picked up, part of their skin and fur came off because it was frozen to the street. They were nursed back to health, and all three were adopted.  That was five years ago.

Wally is more friendly, will jump on my lap for petting and head rubs, and is.....well, Wally's a goofball.  He loves to play - especially with a catnip toy I made.  He's a laid-back, sweet, playful, cuddly boy.

 "What do we have here?!"

"I don't know, but I think I like it!"

 "Okay, that was fun,  Did I do something silly?"

 Wally is back to his slightly more dignified self.  Isn't he beautiful?

Tasha is a very beautiful cat, too.  I love torties. It's hard to tell if she's black or dark brown with the tan.

After Wally got done playing with the catnip toy, Tasha tried it, but it didn't do much for her.  Some cats are just not affected by catnip.

 I told Cheri I'd have Wally jumping in my lap by the third night, and Tasha a few nights after.  Wally took two nights.  Tasha will just be a couple more nights.

They've already been spayed and neutered.  We'll have them retested for feline leukemia and aids, and vaccinated in a couple weeks, and then they'll be ready for adoption.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Meg Gets Adopted

One of my favorite foster cats, Meg, got adopted a couple weeks ago.  She was one of those cats that I could have kept forever.  Sweet, friendly, cuddly, and never the one "in trouble."  The girl that adopted her was also named Meg.  Although her sister thought Meghan should change HER name, the cat has been renamed Penny and has adapted very well in her new home.  Meghan sent me a picture of Penny today, and said she never stops purring.  That's my girl.  Isn't she gorgeous?

I'm letting everyone get over their sugar coma from Wednesday's blog.  I cut the door open in the box last night and all the kittens are running around the nursery.  I used a box from a case of canned cat food for a little litter box and put some of mom's clumps in to help them know what to do.  I sure hope Elsa doesn't try to use the box.  Besides it being half her size, she doesn't always squat when she goes.  But, I have no choice.  The door to Elsa's box is too tall for the kittens to get in.  It's been a few hours and I don't know what I'll find when I get there.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Elsa's Kittens at Three Weeks


Elsa's kittens were three weeks old Monday.  They're playing, romping, and exploring.  Last night I let them out of the birthing box that's been their only home for their entire lives. 

 First, the requisite mama-nursing photo.  The kittens are outgrowing their box and need to be out in the closet running around.  I'll cut the door all the way to the floor tomorrow.

Cheri still says the five darker ones are girls and the three buff are boys.  Usually about 85% of orange cats are boys and 15% are girls.  It's rare to have a cat give birth to eight kittens, and to have all of them the same color, and 60% of an orange litter be girls is very, very rare, indeed.  Four times more than the average.  I'm honored to be a part of it.  And the best is yet to come.  In another two to three weeks, they'll be let out in the bedroom where they have the carpet for better traction. They'll be running, jumping, wrestling, and providing me with thousands of photo ops.

 Mama giving one of the boys a bath.

I'm sorry most of these photos are slightly out of focus.  The lighting isn't the best in a closet.  Even though the camera was set on auto, it focused in front of what I wanted.  They'd be a lot sharper if I didn't crop them down to a smaller section, too. 

There's 19 photos here, but I couldn't delete any.  I took 93 in the past two days, so this is just a small part of them.

I've been marking different paws with a red marker to identify them, but it doesn't last more than a couple days.  The colored velcro collars will go on tomorrow.  

All the kittens are on an antibiotic for sniffles and eye goobers.  As I gave each one their dose last night, I put them outside the box.  I had cleaned the bottom shelves, cleaned the floor, and put quilts down for them on the shelves and floor.  They were confused and stayed huddled together for a while, then gradually wandered off to explore.  Mom was there, so that was reassuring. I didn't leave them out because I didn't have a small litter pan ready, and it was late and I didn't want to start litter training.  They're still a few days too young, anyway.

 Obstacles are not a problem.  On top is the buff Front Right.  None have real names yet. There are buff and orange front lefts, front rights, and a back left or right.  Paperwork is in their room and I'm not.  The oranges also have Front Front and Back Back.

 After they were all out of the box, I changed the towel and put the old one on the floor till I left the room.  Someone thought it made an excellent bed.

 Even out of focus, she's still adorable.  This is the orange Front Left.

One of the five orange girls is slightly larger and has slightly longer fur.  That could be her on the right.  This is either Front Left or Front Front.  The other four are identical.  I can't see any markings to distinguish them from each other.  No spots, no larger stripes, no whorls - nothing.

 The one on the left is either Back Left or Back Back.

Last week I said in another week the kittens wouldn't fit in my hand.

Are you in a coma, yet?  I wish you could all see these guys in person.  It's just beyond words how cute they are.  Am I lucky or what?  One of those hardest jobs you'll ever love.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Elsa's Kitten Update

The kittens are 17 days old today and are growing as I watch them.  Elsa is a wonderful mom, but things are getting a little tight at the table.  One of the buffs got tired of fighting for room, so he decided to take the high road and approach from the top.

 He still couldn't find a spot, so he left to try again later.  So sad.
 He went back to try again after a few
 were finished and off to take a nap.

 Before Elsa had her kittens, she was so big that her tummy was scraping on the bottom of the doorway cut in the box.  I cut out an additional 2" section and saved it.  I knew I'd need to tape it back fairly soon after the babies were born to keep them in the box.  That day was yesterday when one of the buffs discovered he could stand on his hind legs.
 He saw a whole 'nother world.
 He almost made it out, too.
But gave up.  That's when I taped the piece back on and raised the door.  It's the piece laying on the floor to the right of the box. 

I have no doubt that if the kitten had gotten any farther over the edge, Elsa would have grabbed him by the neck or back with her teeth and brought him back in the box.  She's tried to do that many times when I've been weighing the kittens.  The first cry and she's right there trying to grab the kitten out of the bowl I weight them in, my hands, or my lap.  She's very protective of her babies.