I am way way WAY too pleased to announce that last night a little after 9, while we were watching TV, Maddy (who had been alternately sleeping and playing all evening) started howling like she was starving to death. Never mind that I’d shoved three syringes of cat food down her throat not two hours earlier, AND about a tablespoon of formula to top it off, she was starving. STARVING. PEOPLE I AM STARVING, HOW CAN YOU STARVE SOMEONE THIS CUTE? HOW?
So I got all determined that if she was hungry, by god, she was going to eat some soft food on her own, and I was NOT going to give her formula TOO. I went and put some cat food on a plate and warmed it up, then went into the living room and sat on the floor and called to her. And she climbed up on me, all whining and sad about how hungry she was – STARVING, I SAY! – and I pushed some food in her mouth, and she got even sadder like, “Why you hate me, lady? Why you not just give me food in my mouth that I only have to swallow? A LOT OF FOOD.”
And Fred said “You’re not going to give her some through the syringe?”, like I was a BAD MOTHER, and I said “All right, go get me a syringe!” He did, and I filled it with food and put it in her mouth and squirted food into her mouth, and then she swallowed it, and I squirted more, and she swallowed it, and I was once again resolute.
“If you’re hungry, Maddy, EAT!” I commanded. I held a finger with cat food on it up to her mouth, and she wailed and squirmed away. And so I grabbed a syringe and dabbed the end of it in the cat food and held it up to her mouth, and she licked the food off.
“WHY won’t she eat off my finger, or off the plate if she’s so hungry?” I appealed to Fred.
“I don’t know,” he said helpfully.
Maddy squirmed and wailed some more, and so I held her in her favorite feeding position, where she stands with her back feet on the floor and her front paws wrapped around my hand, and put some cat food on the end of my fingers and held it up to her. She started eating it off my fingers, so I got more for her, and more, then showed her where the plate of food was. But she wailed and squirmed.
“Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?” I wailed along with her. “Whyyyyyyyyy, Maddy?”
“Wait,” Fred said. “Stand her back up and feed her like you were doing before.”
I did, and Fred came over to us and crouched down. He grabbed the dish of cat food and held it up right under my fingers. “Now put your fingers on the dish,” he instructed. I did, and I’ll be darned if that cat didn’t start eating off the plate. Slowly, as she ate, we moved the plate to the floor, and I took my hands away from her, and she kept eating. She ate all the cat food on the plate, and then Fred went and got some more, and with a little help from me (I had to push the cat food up in little piles so it was easier for her to eat), she ate almost all the food he’d gotten for her.
So Fred, he’s not only a handyman, he’s also a cat-feeding genius, that’s right.
Now my next question, those of you who’ve dealt with kittens this small – when will she start drinking water? I keep a small bowl of water near her cage, but she shows no interest at all in it. Is there something I should be doing? I wouldn’t want her to get dehydrated.
2005: Best. Picture. EVER.