The lady who had the kittens I babysat last weekend suddenly had to leave town (her father in Texas went into the hospital), and so she turned the kittens over to Challenger’s House.
Well, more specifically, to ME. When the shelter manager told me that the woman had to leave town, I said that I could take them for a few days, if need be, but didn’t have room for them long-term. Yesterday morning, I took possession of them, and I’ll have them until Sunday, when I’ll turn them over to their new (permanent) foster mom.
They’re awfully sweet. The woman who had them told me she’d tried to stretch their feeding time to every 4 hours, but they were losing their little minds at the 3-hour mark, so she’d been feeding them every 3 hours (last week when I babysat them, she had been feeding them every TWO hours). At nearly 3 weeks, I believed they should be able to wait four hours between feeding, and so I determined after their 10 am feeding that I’d wait until 2 to feed them again.
Yeah, right. At 12:30 – 2 1/2 hours after I’d last fed them – they started screaming. And they were not KIDDING, they wanted food RIGHT FREAKIN’ NOW, MAN.
So I fed them at 1. And then at 3:30 I was sitting at my computer (they were in a big carrier in the computer room), and I heard smacking noises, and so I went over to see what was going on.
When they’re this tiny, it’s instinctual for them to search for their mother’s nipple when they’re hungry or just want comfort. In the absence of a mother? They find other things, usually on each other. And that can be a problem, because these tiny kittens suck really hard, and they can cause some serious physical damage to each other. Not to mention that drinking each others’ urine is not a good thing.
After feeding them at 4:00, I separated them, put them in separate carriers, each with their own heating pads (that they could get away from if they got too warm) and warm fuzzy blankets, and each with their own stuffed momma kitty with a beating heart (only, in orange instead of gray. And thank god that I have two of them!). They griped a little bit, but each settled down pretty quickly and didn’t peep again.
I actually had to wake them up at 8:00 to feed them. I stretched their next feeding to 4 1/2 hours later, and they were fine.
I’m guessing that being in the same cage, one would wake up and be hungry, so root around and get the other one riled up, and they’d both start screaming to be fed. With them in separate carriers, they seem to sleep better.
I’ll only keep them separate for a total of a couple of days. Saturday afternoon I’ll put them back together and see how it goes. Usually (so I’ve heard), a couple of days is enough to break the pattern.
Tommy, trotting across the yard for a snuggle.
2008: Kittens have VERY sharp little teeth, in case you wondered.
2007: “Can’t a girl hide in a kitty condo without you flashing that thing at her all the time?!”
2006: You KNOW they’ll be showered with love as long as we have them, though!
2005: No entry.