Posts Tagged ‘Feral Cats’

So Far, So Good

Little sparkles……………..




Three kittens, from a feral mom, unable to care for them, at 10 days old.
The first two days were the hardest, as Dieter was having explosive diarrhea. A little organic unflavored Brown Cow yoghurt, mixed in with some Pedialyte and the kitten milk for two feedings took care of that.

Kimi is half the size of Dieter and was less developed. It took a full ten days for her eyes to open. Like many newborn human babies, their uncoordinated neck movements were a challenge, as they could smell the milk and would frantically struggle with closed mouths, and roll in your hand  while trying to find the nipple.

Once Dieter was past the digestion problems he never stopped eating. Loni and Kimi never had digestion problems, but would quickly tire from the effort to eat. They usually need a body rub and burp, before they are ready for a second helping. Although I got an eye dropper from the Vet, it was hard and I ultimately stayed with the rubber bottle and nipple. It was very large for their mouths, but they enjoyed chewing it. (Ouch!) I think the exercise was good for them. All of them get body rubs and chest rubs to stimulate their circulation.

Even though I wipe their bottoms at every feeding, they do get wet. I’ve taken to giving them a partial dip in tepid water every day at their 3:00 feeding. It’s easier to gently clean their behinds, and some of the residual milk. A wash cloth just isn’t the same as a mother’s tongue. And just like human babies, they seem to enjoy it and are quite ready to settle down to a last nip and late afternoon nap.

They were so tiny. In the picts, the bottle below the nipple is approximately 2″ in diameter. That might give you an idea. I found that a dental brush, normally used for maneuvering around braces, worked well to fluff their fur after their dip.

Since they have opened their eyes and are starting to focus, the feeding is becoming easier. I had to take them with me during the day, and I though I had other intentions for it, my brand new Petersboro picnic basket has worked great, since it has handles and a plastic liner with a wood hinged top. When it’s warmish I hold the lid askew with a paper clip. Otherwise they seem to get enough air and stay a somewhat constant temp on a dry towel.

I did have one scare, when I took them to Sacto last week. It was a 100 degree day and the truck air conditioning decided not to work. They went into distress. I could tell by the very rapid open mouth breathing. Loni’s gums were gray. We stopped, got some cold bottled water, fed them and wiped them down. We put the chilled bottle in the basket and they, still sightless, managed to find and lollygag over it for a while. Then, all cooled down, they curled up in a corner and went back to sleep.

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Tiny newborn kittens.

Feed them every two hours, and

wipe their tiny bottoms,

rub their tiny backs.

Diarrhea and claws and  urgent demands.


The world’s irresponsibility, and


begets a penitent’s ritual.

As they sleep,

attuned to the possibilities,

I write of the world’s catastrophes, and


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