Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Feral kitten update....

I felt like the Worst Person In The World, but I had to give up on the feral kittens. They were just so completely awful. I tried and tried and tried but I never even got them to come out from under the bed voluntarily. I was covered in scratches. They would pee on the floor with fright if you startled them. They regarded Lunatic Child as the devil incarnate. I called the woman I got them from and told her she had to take them back. She wasn't very happy and insisted they were totally socialized, and I told her she could come and fish them out from under the bed then. So in the end, back they went. They were just never going to be pets in any meaningful sense, and I didn't want to spend the next 15 years feeding cats I would never see. Undaunted, we immediately contacted another dodgy internet purveyor of kittens. I really wanted a cat!! These particular dodgy kitten purveyors were so keen to divest themselves of their kittens, they drove from Manhattan with a pair of them so we could pick one. They were excruciatingly adorable but looked REALLY small. My kitten fu is not strong, but I thought they were a bit young. When pressed, however, they swore that they were 6 1/2 weeks. So we took a little girl. She is black with white paws and a white tummy. She is meant to be a Siberian cat, and they are supposed to be quite large when grown. They have long hair but apparently don't shed like water buffalo. We shall see given what transpired on how old she actually was!! The next day I couldn't get her to eat any solid food at all. She looked at me like I was from Mars when I presented her with some kitten food. So I took her to the vet, who informed me that she was not a day older than 4 weeks. So. For the last week I have been bottle feeding this kitten 3 times a day and supplementing that with syringes full of mushed up kitten food. She is too small to clean herself properly, so I have also been wiping her little kitty butt. Thank God she seems to have sorted herself out with the litter box, so that's been easy. But otherwise, she is basically my 2nd baby, only 2 months early. I have now been told to start weaning her. The vet made it sound like it was simply a process of putting some food in a dish and letting her have at it. It has not worked this way in practice. You put the food in front of her. She steps in it, tracks it everywhere and then tries to jump in my lap and suckle my elbow. Or crawl up my shirt and suckle my hair. You put her back in front of the food. She steps in it. Wanders around disconsolately for a few seconds getting food everywhere and then tries to jump in my lap and sucke my elbow or crawl up my shirt and suckle my hair. This goes on for some indeterminate messy, frustrating time until I give up and give her a bottle, which she hoovers down in about 30 seconds flat. This afternoon she ate out of the dish for about 2 seconds, then gave up and started nosing around for a bottle. My internet searches have led me to believe that while some cats get the hang of it right away, some of them are a bit slow on the uptake. We got a slow one. I have been doing all the internet search approved kitten weaning techniques, including letting her lick the food off my fingers (She bites! Ouch!) and letting her step in it (This is good, because they lick it off and realize they want more. The jury is out on the efficacy of this. It sure makes a hell of a mess though.) On the upside, she is completely fearless of Lunatic Child and will sit on his lap and chew on his hair and generally treats him like a piece of furniture. Albeit unpredictable, loud furniture giving to shouting "Hi kitty. What are you doing!!!" at the top of its lungs. He has been fairly good about being gentle with her so far, although I wouldn't leave them alone together. She is sweet and affectionate. In fact, she will climb your leg to get on your lap. She likes to attack feet and ankles, which is dangerous as she's so small I fear inadvertently squashing her. In any event, we think we will stick with this one. Fun Daddy had the honor of naming her...Queen Elizabeth II, or Queenie. Mostly we just call her kitty. Now we are just waiting for the next baby to arrive!! 8 weeks to go.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the Reid family little Queenie. You found a good home! X Nancy