All my friends know I keep late hours and sleep late in the morning. So, when Cheri called at 8am this morning, I knew it wasn't to say hello. A lady found a kitten in her yard and instead of waiting for the mom to come back for it, she took it to one of our vets - who called Cheri - who called me. I picked the kitten up, brought her home (she screamed whined the whole time in the car), and put her in with Brenna, who had the least number of kittens nursing on her. Brenna wasn't smitten at first, but did accept the new girl, who was very hungry.
Where'd you come from?
Which one of these is not like the other?
Isn't she just adorable. She's not solid black, but has white hairs and dark brown mixed in, as well as white patches on her tummy. She's more of a dark chocolate color.
Although she weighs the same as the middle white kitten, she's at least a week to two weeks older. She had no problem getting out of the box and wandered the nursery like she owned the place. She was quite pushy towards Brenna, too, demanding she be fed, NOW.
I put her back in the box before I left the room, but I'm sure she got out, again. Brenna spends considerable time outside the box, so I'm also sure the new baby is getting fed. And she can get back in the box by herself, too. She's like an old kitten in a little kitten's body.
After taking all the above pictures, I fixed myself some dinner, turned my back for a second to put stuff back in the fridge, and Macy, my favorite foster cat, thought my Parmesan-crusted chicken and risotto smelled very good. Lucy thought it smelled good, too. Macy got one piece of chicken, I got the rest, and poor Lucy got none.
When Erin at the Warrenton Animal Control called and asked if I could take a mom and her three babies who didn't have their eyes open yet, I couldn't say no - especially when she told me mom was a gray tabby and the babies were white.
Well, according to my cat ID book, mom is a silver classic tabby (with a bit a tan here and there, and some spots) and the hairs are tipped (lighter at the ends). The classic tabby has the swirl on each side. She is truly a stunning cat. And very friendly, too.
And then there's the gorgeous, fabulous, stunningly beautiful cream lynx point kittens. Lynx point means their ears, legs, and tail are a little darker than the body. I've never had all cream kittens before. They're so.....pink!
One's eyes opened yesterday, and all three had open eyes today, so they're about 11 days old today. I've looked for slight identifying marks, and there are none. These are triplets. Just kidding. I don't even know if kittens come in triplets, but they sure are carbon copies of each other. Colored collars will definitely be needed. Now, I can only tell them apart by their weight. The porker is at the bottom, the middle one is in the middle, and the top one is the runt.
This is my second rescue of cats and/or kittens from a wooded area by the Warrenton high school. Brenna is definitely not feral and was somebody's pet. I won't start preaching about keeping cats inside and never letting them out so bad things won't happen to them. The best thing that could happen, did. Brenna's safe, warm, fed, and loved. It will take some special people to be able to adopt these cuties.
I can't help but wonder if a little girl is crying and missing her beloved cat. Is a family wondering what happened to their pet? Then, I can't help but wonder why the hell they would let the cat outside in the first place!!! And not have her spayed! If if wasn't for stupid people, I wouldn't have a job. But, I'm not going to preach about it. Time to make the evening rounds. It takes a lot longer to scoop, feed and play when kittens are involved. Do I have a great life, or what? Remind me I said this when I've got 8 or 10 on meds for colds and diarrhea.
A few days ago, I started Sasha's kittens on a mixture of canned kitten food and formula. Over the years I've learned that a large shallow bowl to feed kittens any liquid food is guaranteed to end in disaster. Kittens have to stand in it to eat it. Plain and simple. I found sets of four of these little plastic bowls and bought two sets. They're perfect for introducing canned food. No dirty feet. No food tracked all over the floor. I don't even have to have a bowl for each kitten. They don't all eat at the same time, anyway.
Last week I agreed to take a mom and her three newborn kittens from the Warrenton Animal Control. I've taken quite a few of their animals and they've all been wonderful cats. However, this meant changing rooms for almost everybody here. In four days, I cleaned three cat rooms and the nursery closet and moved everyone. Gemma and Gina and kids went to a bedroom vacated by Madison, who went back to her original foster mom. Sasha and family only got to enjoy sharing my room a few days before being moved to the downstairs office where they have much more room. Tasha and Wallie who had been in there were adopted by a wonderful couple, so Ben was the only one in the office. I moved him to my room, and the Warrenton mom, Brenna, went into the nursery. There will be a test later.
Mom is showing the kittens how a scratching post works.
"Hey, look, another box."
"Let's see if there's anything good in there?"
"No, just an empty box."
I think there's more kitten than mom, now.
The kittens are playing with toys before 5 weeks of age. There's pompom balls all over the place for them.
Pompoms and my slipper ties. The kittens don't mind that my slippers are butt ugly and from Walmart, but they're the only slippers I could find that had a back to them. I don't want scuffs or clogs, I want a SHOE. But, they never leave a cat room still tied.
"Oooh, a big orange one."
"Look, Mom, a big orange one!" "That's nice, Dear. Go play with your sisters."
"My ball, my fuzzy tail. Back Off!"
"Yeah, I'm really scared. Take that and stuff your pompom."
A few weeks ago I took two pregnant orange tabby sisters, Gina looking slightly more pregnant than Gemma. However, Gemma surprised me one day be leaving a placenta in the middle of the bedroom floor. Took her and it to the vet. She had an emergency C-section, with one live birth. The other three placentas had tiny fetuses inside them. A fetus isn't supposed to be inside the placenta. Anyway, little Pippa is a black tortie and seems just fine.
Neither Gemma nor Gina showed any interest in nesting in the birthing box before delivery, but love laying on my bed. I just knew I'd wake up some morning and there'd be a litter of kitten on the bed. I couldn't put them in the nursery, because Sasha and her kittens were in there. After Pippa was born, Gemma still didn't want to use the birthing box. She kept taking Pippa out and putting her in various places in the bedroom. Every 30 minutes I was using a little flashlight and playing Find the Baby.
Most of the time, Gemma had Pippa on the bed.
Instead of the normal cardboard box I used for the birthing box, I tried putting the heating pad and towel in a plastic tub, then covering part of it with a quilt to keep some heat in. She didn't like it on the floor, so I put it on the bed.
She didn't like that, either.
So, I cut the top half of the orginal box off, thinking maybe the tall sides were too confining.
"You want me to put my baby in that?"
"Is she serious?" "I think so. Go figure."
This is Pippa nursing in her bed.
Yeah, there didn't seem a chance in the world, Gina wouldn't have her kittens on the bed.
However, she started labor last Sunday night. Five kittens were born between 12:30 and 3:00 am Monday morning. I was with her every minute and managed to physically put her in the box many times. Happily, she took the hint and all were born there. After the bedding was changed, Gemma hopped in. I put Pippa in, too, and both moms nurse all the babies. I did make sure Gina's nursed on her primarily the first day to get the colostrum in the milk.
Gemma and Gina are both excellen and attentive moms. Except for that box thing.
Hard to believe that two orange moms produced six gray and black kittens. They're all girls, and the four dark ones aren't solid black, but are torties, and have tan on their faces. All are doing very well and gaining weight every day. Gina has also gotten wise to the flashy thing on the black box.
The back bedroom has just become available. I cleaned it and moved the girls into it last night. Every time I go in the room, the box is empty and all the kittens are on the floor in back of the recliner. Admitting defeat, I put the heating pad and towel behind the recliner. A room heater on low helps keep things cozy. So far, the babies are staying on the towel. So far.
It's been a while, but I hope to be blogging regularly again. Just been lazy and busy. My first pregnant cat of the season, Sasha, had five kittens on April 3. Sasha is a very sweet and friendly cat. I knew she's be a great mama. And she is.
The first pictures are a few of the kittens at just over 2 weeks old.
These are of the kittens about 5 days later at 3 weeks old. Three girls - a gray tabby, a black & white without a blaze, and a calico that looks just like mom. Two boys are the other black & white (with a white blaze on his face), and the white with tan spots. No names yet, but my niece, Brooke, gave me a list of about 40 names.
I know moms aren't suppose to have favorites, but I'm a sucker for gray tabbies. Whenever I go in the nursery, she's the first one to try to climb up my pants leg.
This little girl isn't one of Sasha's litter. She's the lone survivor of a mama's emergency c-section. Mama wasn't able to nurse, and Sasha had just had kittens three days earlier, so I took her. Crystal is named after one of the vet techs at Pet Docs in O'Fallon. Sasha accepted Crystal immediately and treats her like her own. Her blue eyes are very blue in person. I hope they stay that way.
Two more new mamas and their kittens are at my house. That's the next blog.
I'm a foster mom with Heartland Humane Society based in O'Fallon, MO. In my other life, I'm a quiltmaker, quilting teacher, long-arm quilter, and do programs and lectures for quilt guilds. John and I have one daughter, Laura, who is married and living with her husband, Jason, in Chicago. I have two grandcats, Dexter and Zelda. Laura and her friend, Sallie, have the Vintage Kitchen Recipe blog. If you like cooking, please visit their site. You can reach me by email at: barbqwilts at gmail dot com (with @ symbol and no spaces).