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8 May 2008

A new day dawns. The second day the kittens have been without their Mama. I've noticed some changes in them. Whether it's due to their continuing maturity or their life-change, I cannot say. What I've noticed is that the kittens do seem to rely more on me, not for the obvious food, but for the comfort of a warm body and reassuring physical contact.

Oooo...can I have some?

Their play cycles are a lot more intense and now that I've taken down their big dog crate to open up the space in the room, they can fly around with ease. Elmo is starting to get to the point of being able to climb beyond the confines of just climbing up on the bed. This is always the point where I start to be glad they're due to leave in a few more days. When they can really climb, they can get into dangerous situations. The foster room has a bed and two bookcases, but it also has stacks of boxes of books and the flattened dog crate leaning against the wall. If they knock any of those over, it could be very bad, indeed.

Ha ha ha Bad boy!!!

Jelly continues to slowly improve on his ability to eat "Big Boy" food. He still wants his warmed KMR, but today, instead of offering him the syringe, I just put the food in a bowl on the floor. He lapped at it right away and seemed to be okay that I also added a spoonful of the same canned food his siblings were easily eating. As a whole, I don't think they eat quite enough. The pick a bit here and there and I throw more food away then I believe they eat. I'm assuming this will change as their nutrition needs grow and they realize it's their only source for food now.

I've also turned into a cat bed.

Nap Time

I have an old down comforter I cover myself with, when I visit the kittens each evening. It partially protects me from getting scratched and it gives them a fun surface to play on and under (which gets me scratched for certain!). We hang out for an hour or two, playing or just socializing. They like the warmth and softness of the comforter and easily fall asleep on it. Some times they fall asleep on me—locking me into a weird, contorted position for fear of disturbing them. Last night Elmo and Happy each fell asleep on one of my shoulders, while I sat frozen in a sort of lounging, sort of hunched position—which is why I feel creaky this morning.

7 May 2008

Mama

Mama is gone.

Things went surprisingly well with the transfer. I did a lot of prep work, getting the room cleared out and moving the kittens to another room, all the while, keeping the "mood" in the room, peaceful.

Monica came by to collect Mama with a trap, cat carrier, net and a sheet. She was very impressive in her feral cat capture-technique and had Mama in the trap within a minute or two. Mama put up a bit of a fight, but it was out of fear. She wasn't aggressive at all. I still wish I could have given her a kiss good-bye without fearing I'd lose my face by doing so.

Last Lunch

I did my best for her before she left. Gave her lots of yummy food and time to spend with her babies uninterrupted. I wish her a happy, long life.

4:28 PM EST

I hate locking Jelly-Belly up. I'm basically starving him until he submits to eating food out of a bowl. I don't cage him at night because it's too long to go without food and I have to draw the line at getting up in the middle of the night to feed him.
Let me out!

Today I had Jelly locked up for about 6 hours, then freed him from captivity so he could play with his siblings and stretch his little legs. While he was out, I weighed him. There is no way his weight went up from 1.5 to 2.25lbs in TWO days. I must have done something wrong. I know I wasn't feeding him enough...so that makes me wonder what is going on. I really don't think he's eating other than midnight snack from Mom or a dribbled mess of KMR from me.

The single syringe I have is getting to a point where it jams while I'm trying to SLOWLY release the KMR into Jelly's mouth. Before I can move it out of the way, it unloads all over me and Jelly's chest. I think that out of the 4-syringe goal I had, Jelly and I wore one and he might have gotten bits of the remaining three.

This afternoon, a breakthrough. Jelly mid-play, hopped over to the water bowl and began to lap water out of it! Finally, a sign of improvement! Here is the moment, captured for all to see
Finally!

4 May 2008

He still won't eat! I'm going insane!

3 May 2008

Jelly-Belly lapped at some water this morning. It was the first sign of him being interested in something besides Mama for his nutritional needs. I've been feeding him with a syringe every 6 hours or so. He laps at the dull end of the syringe, chews it a bit. I know he must be pretending it's like Mom, only it must feel odd to him. With the teeth he has, I'm glad to feed him. Mama would really be feeling some pain if he tried to nurse. Thankfully, she seems to just stay by herself. It makes me sad to not see the kittens hanging all over her, as they once did, but it's part of the process and the babies must learn to live on their own.

I've had some news about Mama's placement. She will be living with one of her rescuers! I can't imagine this cat living with anyone, but the surprise for Mom is that two of her offspring from a previous litter are also waiting for her to arrive! I wonder if they'll know each other? I certainly hope so. It will make Mama's adjustment to her new home a lot easier.

I wish she could stay here. I have the room, but it would be a nightmare. Her new home is going to be small quarters, which makes her new family even more wonderful, in my eyes! To take in a tough kitty like Mama is no easy thing to do. I hope it goes great for everyone.

Just a few more days and Mama will be gone. I better get off my butt and take some more photos. First, though, I gotta clean the room out again. Those kittens are creating a stink! Yikes!

4:50 PM EST

Okay. Happy and Elmo are eating canned cat food! They LOVE it! I've given them a few different ones to try out, so I suspect I will be enjoying the pungent aroma of kitten poop any time now. I already found some on the floor. Lovely!I'm have quite the time of it trying to keep the room clean. Seems like an endless, hopeless chore.

...and mom still hates my guts!

Then there's "Mama's Boy-Jelly-Belly." He will not eat, lap up, taste, anything. He's driving me insane. I got some advice about getting food into him and I already force fed him some KMR. This afternoon I let him out of his crate, only to find he was covered with food chunks-hadn't eaten and ran to Mom to get fed. Thankfully, Mom would not comply, either. Good for you nasty-Mom!

2 May 2008

Jelly STILL won't eat anything. How long can a 7 week old kitten go before they DIE? Okay. I need to calm down. Last night I did let Jelly out for an hour and I'm sure he went to Mom's Milk Bar and had something because when I went to check on him, he burped. A sure sign of a full belly.

I locked him up all last night and only let him out for a few minutes this morning while I pulled together the three different meal choices for both Jelly and another set for his siblings. They have grain-free dry, KMR and a blend of canned food plus chicken baby food.

5:18 PM EST

Ugh. Now Jelly is covered with cat litter, too! I had to give him a bath. He was ok about it, but he was much filthier than Elmo. When I finished bathing him, I tried to get him dried off, but he was still damp when I returned him to the crate.

It took all of two seconds for Jelly to get dirty again, then he climbed up the interior wall of the crate, trying to get out. He fell into the litter pan and coated himself even worse. It kills me to hear him cry and see him struggle to free himself. He's the only one who hasn't eaten. His sister, Happy, did great. I saw her eating "grown up" food! I know Elmo will eat both KMR and baby food, so it's up to Jelly to get to it and eat something.

2:09 PM EST

It's been four hours since I locked the kittens up in their dog crate. I'm not sure if it's worse on them or me. I went into their room to check on them at 12:30pm and in the two plus hours they'd been in their crate, they already made a huge mess. The small water dish was empty and coated with clay cat litter, the baby food dish had litter in it, too and little Elmo had litter stuck to his tail, paws and belly. At least I saw the KMR was all gone and it looked as though it had been eaten. A good sign.

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