It's Raining Kittens!
Sorry for the long break between posts. I will attempt to catch up on various things soon.
First, kittens. The former Itsy and Gizmo are now officially ours! They are behaving as if they know the difference, as is Simba. After I brought them home from their operations, we decided to name them Buffy (Itsy) and Willow (Gizmo). That was working really well till we went to their first vet appointment the next Monday. Buffy is now Xander – he *is* a boy, after all!
But they are fitting right in. Simba has decided that they’re *his* kittens. Xander loves Simba, too, and he’ll walk up to Simba and rub his whole body against the side of Simba’s face. Simba grabs in by the neck, just as Fleur used to do, pins him down and proceeds to clean. He’s done the same with Willow, though not as often. Both babies come to bed with me and when I wake up, they coming bounding into the room! “Hey, Mommy! We love you!” It always makes me think of Edelweiss. “Every morning you greet me.” Oh, and while we’re on the subject of musicals – Simba’s reaction to Xander reminds me of a couple of lines from a song from Les Mis: “He’s like the son I would have known/If God had granted me a son.” They look enough alike to be parent and child.
I had been calling the new family members The Girls. Now they’re the Scooby Gang.
We also still have the Tiny Guys, Buddy, Fred, Little Nell, and Spencer. They are still quite small for their age. They’re due to go back to the shelter tomorrow, but they won’t be staying. They’re well under 2 pounds – in fact, just over one pound. And it’s not for lack of eating!
When the Scooby Gang and I were at the vet, they diagnosed a mild case of coccidia with them. Since they’d been sharing litter boxes with the Tiny Guys, I called the shelter and took them in on Wednesday. They didn’t see any coccidia in the test, but did give us medicine in case. And I learned that the shelter was *swamped* with puppies and kittens. They are taking the overflow from the other official shelter and the babies are flowing over. When I got home, I found an email from them listing 35 – yes, that’s thirty-five, not three to five – kittens and two mommies that needed fostering. They were even willing to do a quick training for regular cat volunteers to take some. I’ve never seen the like.
I *really* didn’t plan to take any more till the Tiny Guys were gone. But I discussed the situation with DH and we agreed that we needed to. So I offered to take a small litter, not with a mom, as long as they were friendly (not feral) and healthy. So Thursday I picked up three more adorable, long haired babies.
Yes, the picture in the dictionary next to the term Crazy Cat Lady? That’s me.
The new ones are supposed to be 4 weeks old and they are light-weight, like many long-hairs. There are two girls and one boy. One girl is a very dark tortoiseshell, looking remarkably like Willow. (Willow, in the meantime, is getting less and less dark.) The other girl looks a lot like Mocha from last year. Pretty such a solid dark, dark brown. The boy is a very dark gray tabby.
We were keeping the three different groups separated, at least till we figured The Scooby Gang and the Tiny Guys were not contagious. This has lead to a very lengthy getting-the-kittens-ready-for-bed ritual. First we medicate the Scooby Gang. (Medicating kittens, like clipping their claws or bathing, requires the full cooperation of two adults.) They are not liking the medicine, which the vet assured me tastes good to cats. Yeah. Well. Then we medicate the Tiny Guys. They don’t react as much to the medicating and tend to hang around the kitchen, where this part of the ritual takes place, so they’re easy. Except for poor Buddy, who’s rear was a bit raw. With him we’ve had to clean the bottom and then apply some ointment. He doesn’t object to the ointment, but the cleaning is painful. (However, it was better last night and the rawness is mostly gone.) Then we begin the feeding process. The Tiny Guys only eat one particular canned food. It is, of course, a fairly expensive brand. So I prepare their food (plop, onto two plates or in two bowls) and take them to the Kitten Room. Fred and Little Nell usually get punted, sometimes more than once, during that process! The two litter boxes in there are cleaned and water refreshed. Then we remove Willow and Xander, who most understandably feel that this is *their* room, too. After refilling the dry food bowls for everybody – we now have a large economy sized bag of the dry food – the Tiny Guys are declared through for the night (by us, not them) and the door is closed.
Then the new guys. They have been named – Scarlet (wearing a red collar to distinguish her from Willow and her sister), Melanie (in the pink collar), and Rhett (in purple). The Gone With the Wind Group is currently housed in the spare bathroom/Isolation Ward. They are eating the dry food pretty well and seem fond of two of the three flavors of Science Diet canned kitten food. Not, of course, the liver and chicken, of which I have a goodly supply. They get their litter box cleaned, more dry food, the wet food (one plate or bowl, as there are only three of them), and fresh water. At first they were less likely to attempt escape. But they spent a good deal of time yesterday outside of the room and have now decided that they shouldn’t be cooped up. Scarlet, not surprisingly, is most likely to do a stately march (at a run) into the hall. In fact, these guys are almost the same size (slightly less weight, but much more fur) as the Tiny Guys and can find their way across much of the house. I don’t think they’ve made it into our bedroom yet, but they have been to the kitchen and back.
Today we’ve let all three groups mix and mingle. Xander and Willow have told the GWtW Group to GO AWAY. They are being ignored. The Scooby Gang has mostly accepted the Tiny Guys, though. Some cross playing has occurred. Currently the Scoobies are asleep together on Simba’s Tree, the GWtW Group is asleep on my knitting bag, and the Tiny Guys have spread out all over (as my mom used to say) hell and breakfast. This could be a problem. Soon I need to get ready for and then leave for choir practice for our big service at church this afternoon. We are ordaining our former ministerial intern. This is our second ordination. Some churches, older than us, have never done one. So I think it’s cool, though it’s a bit more formal than we’re used to. As DH is out, I may have to round up the two foster litters by myself!
Oh, if I read the email correctly, the shelter fostered out about 60 kittens this last week. That’s an absolutely amazing number! I’m glad we’re contributing, even if only by three. And I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that nine kittens at once is just a bit over the top. OK, more than a bit. But I have gotten a *lot* of Mother’s Day greetings today!
Now I’ve got to go get ready, but I thought I’d take this nap lull to begin catching up here.