|Posted on September 1, 2014 at 6:40 PM||comments (2749)|
I really have something to blog about now!
Last Thursday, 8/28, I took on the fostering of a mama cat and her five kittens. The woman who had been looking after them said they were about three weeks old and their eyes had just opened. She also thought mama was feral, but it’s clear to me she’s not! Mama (I’ve named her Isabel) was a little wary of me at first and is still a bit skittish, but she likes being petted and held. I suspect she was a pet or quasi-pet that was dumped when her owner determined she was pregnant.
Isabel is a beautiful cat with Siamese-type markings. Looks like a dark tortie-point. She’s long and lean and has pretty blue eyes. Three of the kittens look like her, though the kittens have some white spots that mama lacks. The other two kittens are black & white.
I’m assuming a birthdate of 8/7 for the kittens. They’re at an endearingly awkward age, active and interested in their environment, but often stumbling. They wrestle and play together like cats of all ages do.
I’ve learned to tell them apart and given them descriptive names. The two b&w’s look very similar, but one has a black dot on its chin that the other lacks. Thus, they’re Dot and No-dot. Isabel’s look-alikes can be identified by their different facial markings. One has a white spot on its nose and a white stripe extending upward from it. That one is Streak. Another has a white splash on its forehead—that one is Blaze. I also noticed Blaze has a tiny bit of white on the tail-tip. The third doesn’t have any white facial spots. The tabby “M” on its forehead reminded me of the constellation Cassiopeia, so that one is Cass.
I started weighing the kittens yesterday. They ranged from 11.35 oz to 12.75 oz. Streak was the smallest and Cass was the largest. As of today, all had gained weight, some nearly a full ounce!
Blaze, appropriately, seems to be the most adventurous. He managed to escape from the cage yesterday. The kitties are housed in a good-sized folding dog crate which I fortified all around with a cardboard wall, since the bars are too far apart to contain determined kittens. Blaze scaled the cardboard and squeezed out, but he mostly seems content to stay close to the family.
I let Isabel out of the cage Friday morning and she promptly hid under the bed. Had to chase her down and return her to the babies, as I was about to leave the house and would be gone most of the day. I’ve let her out a number of times since, times when I would be able to return her to her kittens within an hour or two. She’s still skittish but has gotten more comfortable with me.
I’ve been feeding Isabel kitten chow supplemented with goat’s milk (reconstituted from powder). She has a good appetite and really seems to enjoy the milk.
The kittens are starting to use the litter box! I thought they might be, b/c I was finding some small clumps, but I actually saw them in the box and using it today.