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.

1 May 2008

The time has come. I hate this. This is the part I didn't sign up for—causing the kittens and "Mom" to suffer. I only ever want to spend time loving and playing with little kittens and making sure their every need is tended to. Sadly, this includes being "cruel to be kind."

My office is on the floor below the foster cat room. I can hear the sharp cries of the kittens slice through the silence in the house. I am causing their cries. I don't know how long I can do this without caving in. I want what's best for them, but I also want them to be happy and fearless and never know suffering. Yes, I know it's foolish. They are so young, though. Their world is new. I don't want them to learn that every day isn't filled with love and carefree playtime.

Nice day to air out the toes

At almost seven weeks, the kittens refuse to be weaned from their feral Mom. Since they were four weeks old, I've been offering them baby food mixed into regular canned (grain-free, of course!) cat food. They didn't care for it. Would even run away from the food filled dish, as though they were scared off by the smell.

I didn't know about KMR until last week, but once I was told about it, I've been offering that to the kittens, instead. Elmo began to lap up the thin gruel right away and looked so sweet with a tiny white beard of leftover food on his chin. He needed it the most, being the smallest kitten. A week later and he still picks at it, but doesn't really eat a lot of it. His brother and sister don't bother with it at all. Now I'm forced to separate them from Mom until they eat on their own.

Eat Something!

Sorry I've been absent from my regular posts. Between working long hours and getting nasty bursitis in my shoulder from being on the...err...computer too much, I've had to take a break. I still need to take it easy, but I'll try to get to posting more often.

Ugh! The kittens are almost seven weeks old and they STILL won't eat any food! All they want is feral-mama-milk, so I face having to separate them from Mom. I can't figure out how to best do this and I feel guilty even thinking about it. The only thing I can do, since Mom won't let me near her, is to lock the kittens up in the dog crate with food and a litter pan and just wait a day or so, 'til they get the idea. I'm sure this will make their Mom furious. I've never had kittens who weren't already weaned and this is harder than I thought. At least little Elmo does eat some of the KMR and being the smallest, he needs it the most. Actually, I stand corrected. Since he started eating a few days ago, he's now a bit larger than his sister, Happy. Their big brother, Jelly-Belly is creeping ever closer to two pounds already!

The kittens are now able to run and jump up on the bed, climb almost anything, and their eyes are starting to loose the topaz blue color. They seem to be turning a mossy green now, but it's tough to say what color they'll end up being. Jelly looks so cute here. He's a big baby!

Jelly's eye color begins to change

Lookie What I Can Do Now!

I can climb now!

Little Jelly-Belly has learned how to climb today. He can get up on the bed in the foster room, but getting down is another story.Hopefully, he'll figure it out. I can't keep watching him. I get so nervous he's going to hurt himself, but yes, I know he has to learn! Go Jelly!

OMG!

His sister, Happy, already figured the climbing stuff out a few days ago! She's a smarty pants, that one.

And Elmo continues to explore his world on the ground, for now. He's here(see below) with his Mama.

Mama keeps an eye on Elmo

I wish Mama would stop hissing at me, btw!

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