Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rapid growth

This is what the kittens look like this afternoon (3/31).

This is what they looked like about one week ago (3/23).

A bit less than a week before that (3/17)

And a bit less than a week before that (3/11).

They were born on about 2/23, so they were not much more than two weeks old in that last picture. Now, just three weeks or so later even the runt is up and exploring.

She has some dribbles of our Special Kitten Growth Mixture (that would be a/d high-fat food mixed with Kitten Milk Replacement) still clinging to her face, mainly because Geneva is off to the right cleaning Cinnamon's face.

When they are out of the run at this age I keep them all up on the bed (which is covered with an easy to wash blanket and copious towels), but Major is thinking about getting down soon.

Cinnamon is wondering if there is any more of that slurry left. She had saved some (all over her face), but since Mom took that she is all out now.

They are becoming very impatient with their confinement. As soon as I come into the room they start yelling at me and trying to climb the wall of the run.

Soon, little ones, soon. But not quite yet. We will probably take down the run this weekend when we can sit and watch how they behave out in the wide expanses of the foster room, just to be sure they will be able to handle it all. And for the pictures.

In the meantime, I think Geneva is very happy to be able to get away from them periodically. Their teeth are coming in, and I cannot imagine that makes nursing tiny carnivores a lot of fun.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The naming is complete.

We have at last found the names of all of our current set of foster kitties. Forgive the mediocre photography, but I am a mediocre photographer, so it is what you get. Allow me into introduce (from left to right) Cinnamon, Thistle, Apollo, Artemis and Major.

And Geneva.

I opened up the crate a little while ago, and butted the front of both halves together to create a sort of run.

There is some space for the kittens to try moving around and Geneva can get out and have a break if she needs it (and use the box which no longer needs to be closed in with her), but the kittens cannot get far. Not a bad setup at all. I will definitely have to remember this one.

Geneva is a good mom. She tries very hard to take good care of her kittens, but there have been some issues. I let her get at some KMR I was feeding one of the smaller kittens, and although she liked it very much it did not agree with her. The resulting flatulence earned her her name -- for a little while she was manufacturing weapons grade gasses, and we had to invoke the Geneva Conventions on her. Luckily for everybody, we are here to pick up the slack, and although the kittens' weights took a bit of a hit we got everybody back on track.

The little ones have just come to what we refer to as the "triangle kitten" stage. Their ears have unfolded and just started to move up their heads and their tails have begun to lose the skinny ratlike shape they had just a few days ago. At the same time they are getting sturdier, and soon they will start weaning onto solid food. We are rapidly approaching maximum cuteness for minimum effort. Once they are eating on their own and using the box it is all downhill from there.

Major is coming to get you, and showing off his triangle kitten status as he does so.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.

(although, if you wanted to wait to be very afraid until they actually grew teeth,
I am sure he would understand)

They still pile pretty good, but nothing like the kitten piles they made when they were still tiny. They have a little more shape now I guess :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What is progress?

Today we will consider two kinds of progress.

You may have noticed by now that there have been no names forthcoming. Well, as the man says, it is not simple. As you can see from the chart below, the first progress is that we have found the names of two of the kittens.

This is Major:

and the little black one is Thistle:

On the other hand, Thistle decided not to follow the First Rule for Kittens (weight increases daily for at least 16 oz). Her loss of 1/8 oz was Not Progress.
Fortunately, it was nothing that some extra food (in the form of 1 ml of KMR several times a day) and a little nursing encouragement could not turn around.

We are still short of names for the male and female orange kittens (the male is the one with the darker head. I think...):

although I am thinking Apollo and Artemis. We also need one for the tortie

whose belly featured so prominently in the picture of Thistle above. And for the mother, too. So much to do...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Feline Maintenance

Tiny kittens sleep a lot. And they sleep intensively -- you can sometimes pick one up and if you don't let it get too cold it will stay asleep in your hand. Which is very sweet, but hard to take a picture of.

As opposed to passed-out kittens in their bed. That is much easier.

But hark, is that an eye opening on the round-bellied kitten below?
Why, yes it is! The babies are growing quickly. We had the first one try to get out of the bed yesterday:

Little did he know, he was volunteering to be the first to get medicine! They are all rather sneezy, and since upper respiratory infections can be very serious for cats, some antibiotics are in order.

To properly drug a kitten, pick him up in your off hand,

and gently insert the tip of an oral syringe into the corner of his mouth.

The ear is not an appropriate delivery location for oral antibiotics.

NOOOO! Do not want!

We also weigh them every other day or so. It is important to be sure they are growing, because if they are not then they may not be getting enough to eat, or becoming sick, or otherwise in need of intervention.

All care is given under the watchful maternal eye, of course.

These guys are growing about a quarter ounce a day. This is good.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Have I mentioned before how adorable tiny, blind helpless kittens are? No? Ok, um, very. Very would be how adorable tiny blind helpless kittens are. See for yourself:

Tiny, blind kitten. How cute is that?
Wait, what if we threw in a tiny umbilical cord fragment!?

Now, if you think you might pay $19.95 for this quantity of adorable, look what happens when you get a complimentary set -- they stack!

and at *no extra cost to you* there is maternal attentiveness,


and eventual nursing

while cuddling

and maybe some tiny, high contrast nursing action

HOLY CRAP, they have cute toes...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tiny kittens, a slightly less quick look

I just love making new friends. Our latest friend was given a bad name by the shelter, which is not surprising. If you had to name as many animals a month as they do, you would come up with some seriously bad names I assure you. We will give her a proper name once we know her well enough. Here she is, guarding the entrance to her temporary lodging, the Mother Who Is Yet To Be Named:

And here are her babies all nestled into a cozy spot. They are in a medium dog crate for now, so MWIYTBN does not decide to shift her nest to an inconvenient place, like under a dresser or some such place.

Lets have a closer look, shall we?

Considering the number of similarities they actually have with worms, they are awfully adorable. They are clearly eating well, and MWIYTBN keeps a sharp eye on them when we let her wander around the room, but is not driven crazy when we pick them up a bit and they start complaining. They should open their eyes in another few days, and then they will quickly become uncontainable. Good times ahead.

I leave you now with a closer look at the tiny, closed up face and minuscule pointy toes of the little one from the bottom left of the above picture:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


So, all I have so far is a crappy photo from my blackberry, but it is a crappy photo of four day old kittens! We will be bringing them home tonight. Better pictures to follow.