9-17-15 TBT: Bottle Babies

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If you guys could spare some prayers for Leanne, whose sweet kitty Monkey escaped her house last week and hasn’t come home, I know she’d appreciate it. She’s worried sick, and misses him terribly.


Throw Back Thursday: Bottle Babies!

A list of all the bottle babies I’ve fostered in the past 10 years!

Maddy: September 2006.
First post about her.
All her pictures at Flickr.


Hamilton J. Porks III, Jefferson, and their two brothers, unnamed. July 2009.
The post about them is here. They were born at an animal control facility in Tennessee and their mother was euthanized immediately after she delivered them; they were given no time at all with her. They weren’t doing well when I got them, and I don’t think they ever really had a chance. They died one by one, no matter what I did. Coming on the heels of losing Mister Boogers unexpectedly just a few weeks earlier, it was as close as I’ve ever come to a nervous breakdown, and six years later it still breaks my heart. I only took a few pictures of them, which you can see here.


The Wonkas: left to right: Mike Teevee, Augustus (Gus) Gloop, Veruca Salt & Violet Beauregard. September 2009.
First post about them.
All their pictures at Flickr.


The Cookies: Lorna Doone, Milano, TimTam, Keebler, and Hydrox (the tuxie). October 2009 (we had JUST gotten the Wonkas off the bottle!)
First post about them.
All their pictures at Flickr.


The Bookworms: Bolitar (Buster), Reacher, Rhyme, and Corbett (Corbie). March 2010 (half-siblings to the Wonkas; post about their mother here).
First post about them.
All their pictures at Flickr.


Starsky and Hutch. September 2010.
First post about them here; post explaining where they came from here.
All their pictures at Flickr.


Stompers! (“Legal” name: Cicero.) June 2012.
First post about him.
All his pictures at Flickr.


House Stark – Jon Snow, Arya, Brandon & Hodor. June 2013.
First post about them.
All their pictures at Flickr.


The Squash Bugs – Ambercup, Calabash, Pattypan & Zucchini (Zuke). August 2015.
First post about them.
All their pictures at Flickr.


The Swimmers – Louganis, Phelps, Spitz & Torres. August 2015.
First post about them.
All their pictures at Flickr.


Badger, Combo & Skinny Pete (the Breaking Baddies?). September 2015.
First post about Badger & Skinny Pete here; about Combo here.
All their pictures at Flickr.


Honorable Mentions.
(Bottle babies who were only with me for a short time before they moved on to another foster home; I don’t include them in my total number of fosters.)

Ike – September 2009.
Ike was only with us a few days before he moved to another foster home, and I only did a couple of posts about him – here and here.
All his pictures (there aren’t many) at Flickr.

Sootie and Sweepie. November 2009.
These two started out as kittens I was babysitting – the woman who found them on her back patio wanted to keep them, but couldn’t take them to work with her. So when she worked, I babysat. That happened a couple of times, and then her father – in Texas – was very sick and went into the hospital, so she turned them over to Challenger’s House. I was in the midst of the Wonka-Cookie insanity and so they went to another foster mom, Heaven, who named and raised them. Interestingly, the woman who adopted Sootie (now named Ash) adopted Baby Beans (now Beans) a few years later, and then Jon Snow the year after that!
I wrote about these two here, here, and here.

Edited to add: And I babysat a little bottle baby trio for another foster mom for the weekend in August 2013! They were utterly adorable – Butter (orange tabby) and his two brown tabby sisters, whose names I never could remember. They were awfully adorable and kinda sassy and I can’t believe I forgot to include them. I posted about them here and here.


So, that’s… 36 bottle babies I’ve fostered, plus the three who moved on to another fosterer. I had a whopping SIXTEEN bottle babies in 2009, but never more than one litter being bottle fed at the same time (by the time I got the Cookies, the Wonkas were eating on their own). This year I’ve had 11 bottle babies (I KNOW, I KNOW, THE YEAR’S NOT OVER YET), with 8 of them being bottle fed at the same time, which wasn’t so bad since I had their feeding times staggered so I could do each litter separately.

With Combo, I’m now at a total of 282 fosters. I think when I reach 300 fosters, I get a golden litter box or something?


This picture cracks me up – Badger and Skinny Pete having a quiet moment of contemplation and Combo’s all “HEY GUYS I THINK SHE’S GONNA GIVE ME THE BOTTLE!”

Combo and his tiny tongue.

Badger has a full belly, a messy face, and the need to roll around and have his tummy rubbed.

Skinny Pete (I think) in the front, with Combo to the side and back a bit.

I had to clean some goo off Badger’s head with a damp washcloth, and he wasn’t sure he was so crazy about that, but he DID think it was better than a full-on bath.


All 8 SwimBugs are (mostly) presented and accounted for! (Ambercup is going into the wall tree condo, behind Phelps.)

Zuke and his Crazy Eyes take a stretch.

Another shot of all 8!

And another! It would have been nice to have them all looking directly at me, but I’ll take what I can get.

Phelps (left) and Zuke. I weighed them last night, and Zuke only outweighs Phelps by 1 1/2 ounces.

That “What the-?!” look on Pattypan’s face is cracking me UP.

They love to sit on top of that scratching post. I’ve even seen them sleep on it from time to time.

Calabash is all “COME HERE I GONNA KILL YOU!”
Pattypan’s all “::thlurrrp:: BRING IT ON!”
Spitz (behind the scratching post) is all “What’s she…?”

Pattypan. I love her markings.



Dennis reminds me SO much of Corbie in this picture.

By the way, I HIGHLY recommend that bed that Dennis is curled up in. I got it on Amazon after reading about it somewhere – possibly at Hausepanther – and Dennis, Archie and Stefan are always taking turns in it. I’ve actually seen most of the cats in it at one point or another. It’s the perfect size for them. I ordered a couple more (because, um, shaddup) and put one in the front room and took the other upstairs. The kittens aren’t as enamored of it as the adult cats, so I’m guessing there’s something about the size that really appeals to them.

It does come with a little packet of catnip, which I didn’t need to use.


2014: It’s guaranteed that when you see Stinkerbelle looking this smug, there’s sure to be a Tommy nearby.
2013: Getting REALLY flirty.
2012: When Polly jumped down to examine the room more closely, Dandelion wasn’t quite sure if the Stranger Danger Floof was called for, so she just put on her medium suit instead of going Full Suit.
2011: No entry.
2010: What cracked me up is that Maxi didn’t even stick her paw through the fence to smack Corby, and he still fell over like she’d made contact.
2009: Obviously the only way to get a decent shot of all six of them, they need to be drugged and very, very sleepy.
2008: The Godfather Catmother
2007: Y’all KNOW I wasn’t going to turn down the chance to bring them home for a few days, so Saturday morning I went and got them.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



9-17-15 TBT: Bottle Babies — 36 Comments

  1. Combo and his tiny tongue has just about done me in. (To only be finished off by the TT picture of the House Stark Bed-Head Syndrome.)

    How beautiful a girl is Calabash??! I bet she knows it too.

    • She DOES know it – she’s a total goofball, too. I need to wear a camera 24/7 to get all her goofy bouncing-sideways moves.

  2. Golden litter box? I say diamond! Do Badger’s dramatic facial markings remind anyone else of Emmy’s?

    Fervent thanks for memorializing Hamilton J. Pork and his family.

    • I was just thinking about Hamilton a little while ago. Thank you for sharing his short life with us again. It was sad but for some reason I felt really attached to that little kitty in a very short time. I know that was a very hard group for you. Now that we have an orange Hamilton I think of the little baby often. Our big orange boy was named Hamilton when we adopted him. He was named after the man who drove through a blizzard to rescue an injured cat (Hamilton) and bring him to safety. We are so grateful to that man.

  3. What the heck?! Why did the shelter put mom down after giving birth?

    BTW, my cat ( a stray that plopped herself at my doorstep) gave birth on Sunday, but only one was alive. How likely is it, in your experience, that the one kitten will be enough to keep mom’s milk flowing? I can’t really tell if the kitten’s eating well or not, as mom is so lovey and starved for attention that even if I get her to lie down and put her baby on her, she rolls over for belly rubs after a minute or two, detaching the poor kitten! If it weren’t getting enough milk, it’d be yelling, right? It’s pretty quiet so far. Thanks!

    • most kittens will yell if they are hungry. if mom is lovey when you are in there, she is probably being a good mom when you are gone. most kittens tend to pick a “favorite” nipple so you may notice more milk in one spot than others. if you can keep a weight on the kitten that will be a good guide to how things are progressing

    • If I remember correctly, she was in really bad shape. They knew that she wouldn’t last long enough to mother her babies and she was suffering.

    • I agree with Random Felines – kittens will yell (more loudly than you’d believe possible!) when they’re hungry. I bet your mama kitty is taking care of business just fine. I agree that weighing the kitten to keep track of how s/he’s doing would be a good idea (you don’t need a fancy scale, a bowl on top of a kitchen scale is what I use for my bottle babies.)

    • I had a mother cat give birth to only one kitten, Buttercup and her daughter Wesley. Wesley was spoiled ROTTEN, became so plump and round from milk she almost couldn’t walk.

      As to if she is taking care of her kitten, like Random Felines said, weight is a great indicator. if she is quiet and sleeping (and not lethargic when woken) she is good.. screaming kittens are hungry kittens..

  4. Have you ever fostered more black kittens at once than you have now? I think this is a record! I love the housepanthers, I adopted one last year.

  5. I think the reason the cats love that bed so much is that it’s basically a big bowl with comfy fabric. We all know how much cats love boxes and bowls 🙂

  6. What I wouldn’t give for an update on “Augustus (Gus) Gloop” from the Wonkas. He’s the one that almost had me driving to Alabama. What I remember the most is the ear floof for days!

    And Hydrox!

    And where’s the update on Stompie?!

    I’ve always thought that Dennis looked a bit like Corbie.

  7. The Bookworms were awfully gorgeous, but I’m a sucker for grey-striped tabbies. Amazing accomplishment raising all those bottle beebees! Thanks for all you do.

  8. I was just thinking to myself last night when you posted the Badger (I think?) pic on Facebook: “How is she going to refer to these three?” Then it hit me: The BeeBees! It handily combines “B”reaking “B”ad with something that sounds like “Baybees,” which they are. Adorably so.

    Just my two cents. 😉

  9. Skinny Pete looks oddly sad in that picture. Cheer up, emo kitten.

    (And oh, those eyes. How do you not spend all day hugging the stuffing out of those babies?)

  10. a quick note for Leanne and Monkey: try leaving food and scent articles (something you have worn and a litter box) in a secure place near your house. sometimes local areas have facebook pages or other places you can put up posters. keep checking the area – walking around, shacking treats, calling and listening. let your neighbors know to be on the lookout in case he got shut in somewhere. and don’t give up hope!!

    • Seconding. If you have a canister style vacuum, clean the house and dump the contents outside as well, as that’s also a good dose of homing beacon. If you are somewhere that it’s an option, dirty laundry articles (wear a shirt overnight, for example, or put out stinky shoes) are also a good clue. Most animals navigate by scent more than sight. Food and water are important, as your cat may be hiding nearby, freaked out, and having resources will help keep them in the area.

      When I’ve had cats get out, one way I’ve found that helps them come back is just to leave the door open. Shut everyone else away safely, open a door, and go sit in the room with a book. Your cat may be very nearby and just scared to move, but a clear access to safety may bring them in. Obviously this is a bad idea if you’re in an area where this is unsafe, but if you don’t have too much worry of anyone else coming in, it can be easier than trying to get them to approach you. Keep in mind that a lot of cats will hide during the day, when they feel too visible, and are more likely to go out and look for home around dawn or dusk.

      If you have kids in your neighborhood, talk to them. Kids wander more than adults and are much more likely to notice animals. When my then-13 year old cat got out when a door blew open during a storm, it was the neighborhood kids who found her and came to tell me when they saw me walking around and yelling for her.

      I hope the kitty comes home soon.

  11. The picture of the Cookies – it looks like Hydrox is having a premonition about the chicken from Heaven!

  12. Wow! I remember most of those bottle babies. That means I’ve been following your blog for at least 6 years!

  13. It just occurred to me that you left out a trio of bottle babies!

    A few summers ago…they were visiting for a weekend while their foster mom was away…little orange dude was named Butter, and I can’t remember the other 2 little muffins’. But they did threaten to tell their Momma that you were a bad babysitter because you were making them wait too long for their bottle. Sassy little babies, but, oh were they ever cute! I think their post is on the Fav Posts page.

    (How is it I remember this s**t?)

    • Aw man, Butters was too adorable for words. I dont remember if they were bottle babies but boy, they were cute.

  14. OMG… All those tiny kitties! So cute!

    FYI – I think you purchased ALL the beds, because Amazon is sold out & doesn’t have any on order… My cats will admire the photos of Dennis in the bed from afar. 🙁