Thursday, 30 May 2013
Carole took a small grey kitten away to give it the special attention it needed. It's equally small black sister is still with me and noticeably smaller than the other two siblings who are thriving. I did take all three plus the mother to the vets for checking out. Twice in a week I noticed blood in the mother's stools. Wendy suggested adding a quarter teaspoonful of sugar to the reconstituted kitten milk I'm giving to the small kitten. The mother got a booster jab and the other two are fine.
I am, however, growing to hate feeding them as I have to hold one in a hand with a plastic milk-filled syringe in the other. As I'm slowly getting the milk into the mouth, the other two are usually clawing their way to try and get at it using their small but perfectly formed sharp claws and perfectly formed tiny but very pointed teeth. As a result the backs of my hands and fingers are pitted with small red dots and covered in somewhat longer scratches. After each feeding (like now as I'm typing) I end up washing my hands and dabbing away the still flowing blood. I'll be glad when they are old enough and have learned to lap. It's another week before I can try the larger two on solid kitten food. Can't come soon enough.
One thing though, as soon as they see me they run straight at me to try and climb up my legs or any other body parts they can reach which sometimes includes my face. Whoever gets them will end up with kittens which are used to and actively seek out human contact.
Ziggy the timid black and white female is still timid and still runs from me, though she is a little more relaxed and will permit me to stroke her briefly before running off. She also spends more time out from under the armchair in my bedroom and when it's nearly feeding time will come looking for me to remind me with a miaow before haring off like the hounds of hell (me) are after her.
Then there's Daisy the tabby and white cat from hell whose reaction to me when she arrived two weeks ago was to hiss, spit, growl and attack. Now she won't leave me alone. As soon as I sit down, she's on my knee purring softly and making an odd sound that isn't a miaow but is much more than a purr. I can't see her right now but I can hear her. I used to think she was a horrible cat but she was just scared and showed it with aggression. Unfortunately she still asserts her dominance by peeing on newspaper, on carpets, on my kitchen workbench, my bed, etc. I'm sure, however, that she wouldn't do this if she was the only cat. She is a very pretty animal, lean with features which resemble her Egyptian ancestry, especially her large ears.
Tuesday, 28 May 2013
I sneaked Leo into the house behind Susan's back about 10 years ago. She was away on holiday for a week with her brother and his family and he was a kitten at Carol's which kept asking me to take him home. So I did. I told Susan he came from Hendon and was just going to be dumped. She wasn't happy but put up with him and, of course, came to love him.
Leo was a friendly and mostly gentle cat except when food was around in which case he'd barge his way through the other cats to pick whichever bowl he preferred. He always loved being made a fuss of and would often come and sit on my knee.
Sadly, when Susan and I split up I had to leave him behind though, as our lives are still entangled, I still saw a lot of him. Recently he'd begun developing breathing problems which got so bad he had to stay at Wendy's vets on a drip for the weekend over which period Wendy told us he'd seem to pick up. He even managed to escape from his cage. Alas this morning, he deteriorated and Wendy drew pink and bloody fluid from his lungs. It was time to go and I stroked him and talked to him as she did the deed and he went in seconds.
Goodbye Leo, you enhanced our lives and I think, I know, you were happy with us.
Wednesday, 22 May 2013
They are out of the cage and spend most of the time on a chair. In case they fall off, which they do, the drop is less than a foot and they land on soft carpet squares. Their mother, when not nursing them, has the free run of the small conservatory.
As I mentioned last time, I've started supplementing their mother's milk with a reconstituted special formula kitten milk and feed them from a syringe. After only three days they're so used to it and to me picking them up and feeding them that as soon as they see me they start to cry out. come to me and try to climb up me if I'm close enough. I think they now see me as their second mother. The cat, whom I really must find a name for soon, seems quite happy with this and licks any spilled milk off them. She continues to be a gentle and friendly cat and I've a feeling I may yet add her to the permanent feline residents.
Here are some more photos.
Saturday, 18 May 2013
Adult Cats: 6
Adult Cats: 6
I should add that I only regard three of the adult cats as actually being mine. I've now had Ziggy (see previous post), a nervous black and white cat for three weeks who was supposed to receive her second vaccination and be transported to the re-homing centre yesterday but I didn't fancy my chances of getting her into the carrier. After three weeks she still runs away from me though I can stroke her briefly when I've put food down for her. She spends almost all her time in my bedroom, mostly under the armchair.
In complete contrast is Daisy, the cat I took in to foster on Wednesday, which has investigated every nook and cranny. Though assured she was a lovely friendly little thing, several bleeding wounds suggested to me that this might not be the case. She is now starting to let me stroke her but I have to be very careful and observant as she can turn in a millisecond.
Yesterday afternoon I was having a well-earned nap -circumstances permitting, I have a well-earned nap every afternoon- when I was woken by Susan Hardy banging loudly on the door and telling me there was an emergency. The emergency consisted of Animal Krackers having to take in three mother cats which had taken up residence in a shed -where they were fed by the kind cat-loving home owners- and had given birth to 16 or so baby kittens. As two of the mothers were feral, this was being organised by an associate of ours who has lots of experience in dealing with ferals, mine is almost zero.
I do know from my own experience that cats with new kittens will happily feed kittens from another litter. Carole will often put several kits from different litters in with one mother should the need arise. It had been decided that I would take the mother that wasn't feral and a guess was taken as to which of the kittens were hers. I can tell you now that they are from at least two different litters. There are two pairs of black and grey, one set being 1-2 weeks younger than the others. I was ordered to put them in a cage in my small conservatory and I duly did as I was told. Not that I minded as looking after baby kittens is a new experience for me.
The mother is very friendly and has to be someone's lost pet. She probably looked for somewhere to give birth and found the two ferals and their safe haven. Now I've got her. she is very friendly and will stop nursing the kittens if I turn up wanting me to make a fuss of her. Today I let the cage door open and she's currently asleep on a chair in the conservatory with all the kittens snuggled up against her. She is a good mother and nurses them properly but just to make sure they were getting enough nourishment I got some Royal Canin Babycat Milk which I made up and fed to them. I gave them two half syringes each which they all swallowed without regurgitating.
If anyone is interested, they'll be available for homing directly from me in about 5-6 weeks time. Expect updates and photos of growing kittens over the next few weeks.
The two ferals and their kittens are temporarily being kept upstairs in a cage in our shop until our feral expert can find somewhere more suitable.
Thursday, 2 May 2013
I'm not used to nervous cats. Most of the cats I've had have settled in quickly and confidently. Not so my two newest arrivals, both of whom have taken a while to adjust. Thankfully that period is about over.
Fifi the black and white female has mostly restricted her territory to the living room and book room but recently has begun to venture into the bedroom and kitchen. She regularly sits on my knee as long as I don't move other than to stroke her.
Aelfric, which is the final name for the cat previously known as Handsome Boy aka Hansen, came by his name when I only noticed it on his microchip certificate yesterday and liked it. About a thousand years ago there was an Anglo-Saxon abbot who wrote histories and other stuff. This was before those vile foreigners the Normans came and polluted our gene pool. (I know, I know, I keep getting told off for making jokes in this blog.) Anyway, Aelfric, who used to run at the sight of me, will now come up to me on my bed and proceed to lick and gently nibble on my fingers and stay within stroking distance.
There's also Ziggy who will only be staying until her second vaccination in a couple of weeks time. She stays in my bedroom, mostly under a chair, and is absolutely terrified of me, though she doesn't mind Aelfric who sometimes joins her there.
Here are some recently (as in about 15 minutes ago) taken photos.
First, Aelfric who has the cutest face of any cat I've ever had.
Then Fifi who just melts my heart.
Thirdly, feline friends, i.e. they can sit next to each other without hissing.
And, finally, poor scared Ziggy.