Thursday, January 22, 2009

Orphaned Kittens group III

What scared mangey little kittens you say? They had had a hard life from day 1. Lets just say they were born @ a Wal Mart store and Wal Mart isn't in the cat business. Somehow I ended up with them, it involved a specially constructed box and catching the mama cat but we won't go into details, she was feral, she was making people jump, we made a mistake when we made the box though, was supposed to go in my trunk but it wouldn't fit, had to go into the backseat (I got her in the car and these terrible growls were coming from the cardboard box after 10 miles, could have been the pizza I'd picked up that she smelled too, it was in the trunk but you could smell it, I said if she got out in the parking lot of the pizza place I was putting the kittens out and driving away and not chasing her all over after all I'd gone through to catch her) but I figured the country was a better place for her and maybe I could tame her. THAT didn't happen. I kept feeding mama cat, she and her surviving kittens were in a log cabin across the driveway, perfect cat heaven. Two of the kittens didn't survive the first few days but they were about a week old when I brought them home. Not much I could do. I finally started seeing the kittens playing in the sun after a couple weeks. All was fine in kitty land with 4 surviving kittens and a wild mama. I would see mama outside hunting by the cabin on occasion but as soon as she was aware of my presence she was GONE. She would let the dogs get much closer than I could. I went to feed her the first cold snap we had before Thanksgiving and didn't see her. I saw the kittens and they were fine and healthy so I figured all was fine. The next day I had two of my grandkids over and I went to feed and water the mama cat. The kittens were out in the straw in the cabin but one was stiff and still and one was cold and barely moving! I snatched up the one that was cold and disposed of the dead one, the other two hid in the straw. The rest of the afternoon was spent capturing the other two surviving kittens and trying to revive the cold one that was barely alive (and trying to figure out how I was going to explain another bunch of kittens in the house to my husband?). I wrapped the one that was barely alive in a towel and put him in a graniteware pan in front of the heater and got a few drops of warm milk, cream and corn syrup down him. I'd run out of kitten formula or ingredients to make any more. I did have some canned cat food and I mixed up a thin gruel for the other two which they lapped up like it was good, I gave them a bottle too but they would eat out of a bowl, they really preferred the bottle though. By evening the sickly one was mewing and seemed so grateful for having his life back. He has hardly ever hissed @ us but he is a survivor thus the Crusoe. The pretty long haired red one is a beautiful kitten so she is named after Paris Hilton whom I don't think is so beautiful but the name seemed to fit. When I took the black one in the house I told Marcus my grandson (13) to hold it because I didn't think his little sister Sara who is 7 could handle him. She named the black one Satan which I changed to Devil, just seemed nicer. He is still the cat that will hiss @ the drop of a hat. I had to work all week and had a sick sick little kitten to take care of, I got more kitten formula, that stuff is expensive. I put them in my bathtub with a litter box, their gruel and water and lined the tub with towels and turned the heat up, thank goodness we have 2 tubs. I fed them before work sometimes twice and then I tried to feed them as often as possible in the evenings and in the middle of the night. By Thursday I was off work and my husband came home so we decided it was time the kittens were introduced to the rest of the household full time. They hissed, they ran, they hid, I put them in the big pet carrier for the night with a small cat box and food and water of course. The next morning I fed them and played with them a little and they were tame? Loud noises still got to them but they were sleeping on "Daddy" in the recliner by the middle of the day and coming when I called them to eat? Remember my husband isn't a cat person, they like him though and he likes kittens, spoils them rotten. Crusoe had almost gotten over being the sickly ugly one, my husband told me when he saw them Thursday after I'd had them in the house since Sunday he didn't know if they would ever tame down or Crusoe would live. I thought he was looking pretty spiffy by then?
We had people over forThanksgiving and the kittens were fine with them by them, you couldn't even tell they were wild kittens a week before that. My nephew got a new puppy from my daughter and the kittens were fine with it but the puppy had never seen cats before and was totally weirded out by these new strange creatures. As you can see below the cats were fine with the dogs, they really wanted to snuggle to the white furry one but he's not much into that, especially when they thought they might nurse. They like to try to climb the bigger dogs legs like a tree or try too till the dog says hey that hurts.

Around Christmas time my husband started saying maybe it was time the kittens went outside? By that time they had started tearing down the scarfs on the windows in the family room and were banned from the living room because they grabbed the lace tablecloth on the dining room table and swung. I'd had to start shutting the door to the family room @ night where they slept and were supposed to live because they figured out where mama and the dogs went to sleep @ night and it wasn't peaceful when they tried to play with the dog on the bed. The plant in the foyer was the favorite jungle and it didn't look like it would survive much more. So people are gathering @ the house Christmas Eve, I had to work but got off in the late afternoon, I got home and went to open the door and kittens rush it from the outside? I let them in of course and ask if anyone knew they were outside? Seems that my husband had let them out earlier in the day when he was home by himself and they started climbing on everything in the family room, they were even up on tall desks and shelves knocking things down, maybe it was the excitement of the season? So he gathered them up and put them outside, I'd had them out before for a few hours @ a time and so he thought they would be OK? He goes outside later in the morning and no kittens, we were supposed to have nothing but warm temperatures for a couple days, had snowed a little earlier but that was fast melting. My husband can't make the noise I do to call cats which is like when you roll an r but I'm rolling the k in and it sort of comes out kkkkkddd. They weren't used to kitty kitty. So he's looking for the kittens but can't find them. He looks in all the window wells and all around the house, over @ the log cabin, no kittens! By this time his 2nd daughter and my 2nd daughter had showed up and my daughter said he was stressing because he had lost my kittens, I'd said they were too little to go out and he turns them out and they disappear. She said this was like the first thing he said when she got there after he said hi, he said "I'm going to be in trouble, your mama is going to be MAD @ me, I've lost her kittens." You have to understand my husband is this guy over 200 lb and I'm little and pretty easy going, he normally doesn't stress about much but the kittens were worrying him and it was a holiday, supposed to be joyous times and he'd lost the animals I'd been coddleing for a month or so. So my daughter can make the rolled k sound and call the kittens, she goes out calls and sees the cover on the dog crate I use for a dog house moving. Evidently it was warm in there and the kittens had crawled in and gone to sleep and it was next to a door which they wanted back in plus there was food and water there so that's where they stayed. So the kittens come in for another few days, when we were going to have a string of several 60 degree days I put them out and they are fine. They have learned to snuggle to the other cats or even the outside dog if they get desperate or they sleep in the cat carrier I have outside. I do give them hot water in their water dish 3 times a day if it's going to stay below freezing. And the animals have an area to stay in that is practically windproof and waterproof and is lined with blankets by the front door, not pretty @ all but it works. Or they have a log cabin filled with straw. Usually I get up in the mornings and the cats come out of the cat carrier and the outside dog might stick her nose out of the dog carrier so I know that's where they sleep.
So that is how we went from no cats for years to 6 cats in a matter of months. I'm still thinking maybe Crusoe needs to come back inside, he LOVES people, his brother and sister used to pick on him when he was sick. He made up for it when he got to feeling better and loved to launch himself @ them when they were asleep. And I finally put the cat box outside, was sitting by the back door till I could clean it, it's been a fixture in the family room for months now, I look out the door and there is Devil, using the cat box outside. Was totally funny or maybe he was bargaining saying what a good kitty he was could he come back in now?

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