10-30-09 – the Wonkas and the Cookies.

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Mike and Violet are suffering from diarrhea, I’m sad to report. I took them to the vet to have a fecal test done, and they didn’t find anything at all. I’ve started them on Slippery Elm and Forti-Flora, and if they’re not better by Monday, back they’ll go. I’m hoping that if things aren’t better by Monday, I can get a good fecal sample here and run it up to the vet, rather than having to put the babies through that trauma again.

Not fond of having a fecal sample taken, to say the least. Can’t say as I blame them!

Such a little worrywart.

Gus, contemplative.

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Yesterday, after my run to the vet and back, I was eating breakfast, and I suddenly heard the Cookies get especially vocal. It sounded like there might be a problem, so I went and cracked the door to the Cookie room open, and saw the kittens in their cage just sitting there howling. But… there didn’t seem to be quite enough kittens in the cage. I did a quick count, realized that one was missing, and stepped into the room.

Skipping across the floor, super proud of himself, was Keebler. As it turns out, the Cookies are still small enough to squeeze through the cage bars. It’s a tight fit, but a determined kitten can do surprising things, and it appears Keebler had decided he had places to go.

I immediately became worried that one of them would try to squeeze through the cage and get stuck, or they’d change their minds and try to pull their heads back through the cage, and their head would pop clean off and go bouncing across the floor, spilling marshmallow fluff all over the place.

So we’ve started leaving the cage door open. At bedtime we did put them in the cage just because I feel safer with them contained (like they’ll be safer, I should say. Not that their wandering around the room at night somehow threatens my well-being. Just my sanity!) Most of the time, once we leave the room, they eventually end up back in the cage, curled up and sound asleep. When I go in there, they all spill out of the cage and come howling at me.

It’s rough to try to feed one kitten at a time when the other four are crawling all over you, trying to steal the bottle from whoever’s being fed, and clawing at your hand because they are STARVING. I solved that issue by taking them one at a time up onto the bed. The other kittens can’t get up onto the bed, so it works out pretty well.

I bought this Snuggle Kittie last year when it was half-price at Petsmart. It’s got a little “heart” that runs off two watch batteries that fits into a pocket on the bottom of the cat and sounds like (or is supposed to sound like) a mother’s heart beat. I figured sooner or later I’d have kittens who were small enough to appreciate it. The Wonkas were completely uninterested in it, except for Gus, who used it as a bed. The Cookies, on the other hand, loved it immediately. They snuggle up to it every night – in fact, when we first got them, they’d nuzzle up to the Snuggle Kittie, knead on it, and purr like mad. It’s a little sad, actually, but also very sweet. Every now and then one or the other of the kittens will flop across it and it’s so cute I can barely stand it.

Pink’s a loner. She spends a lot of time off by herself (though when I’m in the room, she seems happiest curled up in my lap). Everyone else was sleeping in the cage, but Pink was curled up on this cat bed in the middle of the floor. She needs her space, that one.

“Um, hey… Someone said there’s a bottle around here?”

Hydrox sometimes sleeps with his eyes open and it CREEPS ME OUT.

“Uh, hi. Did you say there was a bottle up here? Because I could use one. RIGHT NOW.”

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I love it that even when they’re all grown up, Tommy and Sugarbutt still snuggle from time to time.


2008: He’s part-physician, part-masseuse, ALL lovebug!
2007: “I tried to take it back, Boss,” he said. “But it was too late.”
2006: Meester Boogers, he hate you.
2005: No entry.



10-30-09 – the Wonkas and the Cookies. — 14 Comments

  1. Get better soon, Mike and Violet.

    I agree that it s both sad and sweet with the Cookies and the Snuggle Kitty. It really shows how dependent young animals are on mummy. But you do such wonderful work with them, Robyn. We’ve only ever come across 2 very young kittens (separately). AS with all our rescues, we couldn’t care for them ourselves and called on Foster Mum to help. Despite her experience and tlc, both passed within a week. It often seem to be the case for very young kittens here… Sorry for the morbid turn. The point of my rambling is this: kudos to you, Robyn =)

  2. Robyn, what is slippery elm? We tried pumpkin for the first time recently to good results, but would like to hear about other options! Hope things solidify soon. Very sweet with the snuggle kittie…gotta check that out.

  3. i love how they sound the alarm when one escapes! my dachshund does this too if a cat sneaks outside – he barks like mad, “MOM CAT GOT OUT!!!!!!!” tattle tails 😉

  4. Martha: It’s powdered bark from the slippery elm tree – you can read more about it here. I’ve been using it for a few years, with some success. It’s basically fiber and will help firm up their stools. You can usually find it at health food stores, or online (I buy it in bulk online usually). There’s a recipe at the bottom of that page for making slippery elm bark “syrup”. I don’t feel like they get enough of the slippery elm bark in with the syrup, so I usually put a few pinches of the powder mixed in with their canned food. They don’t seem to mind the taste at all.

    Calsifer: To be honest, these babies dropped into my lap. I don’t know that I love having bottle babies (well, except of course I’ve fallen in love with these). There’s another Challenger’s House foster mother who loves to have bottle babies, and she routinely has a ton of them. Bless her! 🙂

  5. You are such a wonderful kitten mommy! I love coming to your site everyday to see how all the babies are doing – it brightens my otherwise crappy work days. I think it’s great that there are people like you out there willing to take care of these poor lil creatures that other people have no problem dumping. My 2 cats were little brothers that were being kept in a bunny hutch by someone who found them in a parking lot. Now they’re happy, spoiled and extremely well-fed. I hope someday to adopt another one – I think fostering would be too emotionally difficult for me!
    I hope all the babies that come through your house find good homes. Cheers!

  6. Gloria: Thank you. 🙂 When I was a kid, we adopted a cat who was living in a rabbit hutch – with a rabbit! She never was very normal. I’m pretty sure she thought she WAS a rabbit.

    Rhonda: Oh, I’m pretty partial to them, too. 😉

  7. We hope that Mike and Violet get to feeling better – poor babies! We don’t like to go to the v-e-t either.

    Pushing through the cage – wow! That’s a pretty determined Cookie. Our momma had the same thoughts as you – somebody is going to get stuck. Glad there’s another solution.

    Have a nice weekend and Happy Halloween,
    Charlemagne and Tamar

  8. Hope Michael and Violet feel better soon! Poor babies.

    LOVE the basket. Just because you bought it for one purpose doesn’t mean that’s what the kitties think it would be used for, of course. Happens every time!

    Side note: Did you know yesterday was National Cat Day? It was! Hope all the little ones got extra big hugs. If not, celebrate late and give them big hugs today! 🙂

  9. Sorry to hear about Mike & Violet. My ‘baby’ Colby went through a bad spell of diarrhea about a month after he came to live with us.. he had a temp so the vet put him on antibiotics (and as a human with a tough GI system, I worried about that) and fancy Science Diet food. It seemed he grew out of it more than anything else. But it’s so never wracking, having a little cat that’s not deathly ill, playing and eating, but not growing and looking a bit anxious at times.

    I hope your little ones get through it soon! Colby is as right as rain now (he’s just over a year old).

  10. Hugs to everybody… hope it was a good Halloween weekend and that Mike & Violet are much better now.