Losing Linus

Little Linus died on Saturday, a day after his brother, Boo.  We took him to the vet again, even though he had seen one on Friday and got some treatment then.  But his life was to be short.  An hour after leaving the clinic, he too died in my hands.  

No one really knows what happened, what killed my kittens.  It was comforting to look at the vet going through a mental list of, not only what could be making the kitten sick, but more importantly, which of these diseases or conditions could be cured.  It could be a bacteria, a virus, something they got from their Mom.  We won’t know.  She mentioned something about an IV in the baby’s bones.  We said no.

We did everything we could.  I swear, we did everything we could.  

Advertisements

Bye Bye Boo

Boo died today, at 12:35pm.  He spent the morning on my chest while I was reading, making little noises, crawling back towards my neck before falling asleep.  At noon, I got out of bed (don’t judge me until you feed bottle kittens around the clock) to get ready to take the whole crew to the vet.  When I picked him up, he died in my hands, just like that.  

Boo is the only one we had really named.  He came with nasty flea bites on his tail.  He had booboos on his tail, hence Boo.

He was the biggest of the three, strong and always hungry, the first to learn to latch on the nipple.  Yesterday, he started being finicky, and had diarrhea.  At midnight, my husband woke me up because Boo was refusing food.  We got some Pedialyte to rehydrate him.  We planned on being at the clinic when they opened at 1:00pm.  Boo didn’t make it.

It was none of the common parasites.  Kittens are fragile creatures and can take a turn for the worse in a matter of hours.  I don’t even have a picture of him with his eyes open.

We are naming the other ones The Boos.  You are gone Baby Boo, but you will not be forgotten.

PJ1A2990

Three flea bags

I was snug in bed, texting with my cousin about Prehistoric artifacts (true, we are smart like that!) and… Ding, a picture of a kitten appears on my screen.

Let me ask my husband first, since he has now twice learned about our fostering kittens through Facebook.  Oops!

He’s game.  Yeah!  But I have to go pick them up by myself.  Since I will be relying on him (heavily) for night feedings, he wants to hit the snooze button a couple of more times. Fair enough.

There are three kittens.  Two orange-colored and a dark grey one, about 6 days old.  Their umbilical cord has fallen off and their eyes are still closed.  One of them already has teeth pushing below its gums.

In the car on the way back home.

They were covered in fleas.  They took a bath (separately) and it was gross.  Yucky.  There were dozens of bugs on each of them.  One of the little orange ones has nasty bites on its tail, poor thing.  The kittens did really well during bath time, I was surprised.  They were then towel dried and warmed up with the hair dryer.  They are now all fluffy!

Kodi is interested in them.  Our big one (resident cat) came to sniff them.  Our little one gave me the look of death!

They are now in a plastic box at the foot of the bed, sleeping, pretty much one on top of the other.

You should see the smile on my face 🙂

Bye Bye Fuzzies

Duchess and her kittens have found a new foster home.  We will be traveling too much in the next few weeks to be able to care for them correctly.  They have been “handed over” to a rescue organization, and now have a full room to themselves, that they share with two black feline siblings.

It’s all quiet in here.  And it no longer smells of poo!  I miss getting up in the morning, checking on them, and being welcomed by five balls of fuzz.  But my job is to get them out of the danger zone (ta ta tammmmm!) and onto their new life.

5 fuzzies

Bye bye Duchess, Leia, Gracie, Gino, Cali and MiniDee.  Have a great life.

 

Losing Duchess

How do you call the foster coordinator to tell her you’ve lost the nursing Momma?

I imagined the conversation would go something like this: “Don’t worry, it happens, she probably had an infection, or a heart attack due to all the stress. No, we lost her.  I know. No, lost.  She’s not dead, we cannot find her.  You let her outside? No.  We let her loose in the house to stretch her paws and she’s been missing for 8 hours.  Do you live in Buckingham Palace? No, Fort Knox.  We have cameras everywhere and alarms on all doors and still cannot find a trace of her.  Not a shadow, not a sniff, not a meow.  She has never meowed once anyway.  She’s like a ghost.

That was yesterday.  We looked in every nook and cranny of our house.  Under beds, inside pantry and cabinets, behind bookcases and appliances.  Inside the armchairs and suitcases. Panic sets in.  We have to feed the kittens.  Oh no, we have to bottle-feed the kittens again.  Will they take to a bottle now that they’ve had Momma for so long?  Look, they like wet cat food!  So we slowly fed them wet food by hand.

Around 2 am, Kodi started pawing at the drapes, and there was Duchess.  Starving.  Not a hint of guilt or remorse!  We have no idea where she had been hiding all day.  She’d been cooped up in that playpen for 3 weeks now and she’s a very dedicated mom.  But she has to be going crazy so we decided to let her roam around.  I am not sure we’ll do that again!

And she’s getting a collar, of a fluorescent color, with a bell, and a Tile™ on it!

A feeding tube

Duchess is a feeding tube.  Her entire life is about feeding her 5 kittens.  She eats, poops and nurses.  That’s it!

We have had her now for 11 days, and she has lived exclusively in the playpen since.  It has to be boring.  She hardly ever leaves her babies.  She does pee and poop away from them, but she gets no exercise, no entertainment, nothing.

I was starting to worry about her muscle tone, since she lays down about 98% of her time (and remember we have a camera in there to check on the family).  So tonight I took her into the bathroom, on her own, and let her roam around.  There was at first no roaming, no walking.  She snuggled next to me and let me comb her.  I lifted her next to the sink and she started exploring, knocking stuff down off of the counter.  That lasted a few minutes, and then she sat in front of the door and looked at me with a pathetic look on her face.  

I brought her back “home”, and she laid down next to her kittens again. 

PJ1A2104-2-3

She’s the most beautiful momma cat ever. 

Our Duchess

Not much to say here.  All is good with Momma and her kittens.  I want to brag and show you the most precious 12 day-old kittens in the whole wide world.  

Momma cat has a new name, temporary since we are only fostering her.  She is Duchess, named after the protective mother cat in The Aristocats.  She is the sweetest, most devoted mother ever.   

She came to us so traumatized.  For days she would only eat if I fed her.  The camera confirmed that she didn’t get out of her cardboard box.  Now she sometimes sleeps away from the box, in the playpen, on a towel, sometimes even letting all the munchkins away from her.  

She likes me a lot!  She doesn’t know what a hug is, but she’s a lap cat.  I comb her everyday, to get the filth off of her and as a trust-building activity.  I now get kissed and headbutts from our Duchess.  

She has no problem letting us her handle her kittens.  Feeding is pretty much all she does all day.  She has to be bored!  She likes when she sees me walk into the room and climb into the playpen with her.  I keep promising that I will grab a book and spend time with her in there, but I haven’t been good at that.

The only unpleasant thing about her, is that she has to idea what a litter box is for.  I don’t know how to litter train an adult cat.  I followed the advice found on the internet (place poop in there, placing her in the box and showing her how to scratch) but she doesn’t understand.  

It can get smelly in there…

 

Saving Momma

It’s been a rough night.  Momma Cat doesn’t eat, doesn’t drink and doesn’t use her litter box.  She clings to her kittens with all her might.

We put a bowl of dry food, of wet food, and of tuna fish in her playpen.  And a camera for good measure, to track her whereabouts!  I tried to feed her by hand but she wouldn’t touch the food.  She’s the complete opposite of aggressive.  Last night before we went to bed, she looked so so sad it broke my heart.

We gave her privacy by not going into her room for about 12 hours, from midnight until noon.  I checked the camera feed several times, and she didn’t move an inch, except around 5 am when she came to sniff, not the food, but the camera!  But she didn’t even go close to the food bowls.

This morning we go into crisis mode.  We have to save her, make her eat or she’ll stop producing milk and then the kittens won’t make it either.

I went to Petco to buy high calorie food but you need a vet prescription.  The manager suggested kitten milk at a higher concentration. 

I tried to feed her with the kitten syringe and a kitten size nipple we have available.  And she drank the milk, without a fight.  Yipee!!!  But she ate the nipple too, chewed it up, and the last thing she needs is to have to poop little pieces of plastic!  We bought a much bigger syringe at Walgreens and tried to feed her again.

Here’s the progress.

Step one: feeding milk through a syringe.

img_6772

Step two: feeding wet food on a spoon.

img_6771.jpg

Step three: feeding her directly from the bowl.  You can see the whole set up of the playpen in the room, and the cardboard “home” where she stays with her babies.

img_6770.jpg

She still won’t walk to the bowl, but that’s immense progress.  We are thrilled.  She makes a mess on the towel but that is not a problem now.  As long as she eats, she can soil the towel, I don’t care! She even let me clean up her wound under her tail.  

She will surviiiiii-iiii-iiii-ve!