As many of you know, I have four cats, four of which I attained via a feral mama cat at my workplace about 2+ years ago. Well, there are still feral cats roaming that junkyard and this was confirmed on Wednesday. I was in the bathroom washing my hands, looking out the window at the picturesque view of old, rusted drill parts, rickety wooden pallets, and metal shelving when I noticed two adult cats with cow markings (white with black splotches) sprawled amongst the rubble. Suddenly, two tuxedo (black with white paws and chest) kittens emerged through a tiny crevice between a shelf and a pallet. Of course, I immediately ran down the stairs and out the backdoor to greet the newfound critters. I crouched down, making kissy noises trying to lure them out. One would come out a few inches and back up; then the other would follow suit. This went on for a few minutes until one tiny feline crept out to within inches of my knee. I swooped it up into my hands and ran inside to show “the guys” (I work for a mining company – all men, of course). My boss, Darrin, who is SO NOT a “cat person” has been wanting to get an outside cat (he’s actually allergic) and immediately wanted to take this cat home. Although I am not a proponent of outdoor cats, I cut some slack to people who live in more rural areas, which he does; it’s more of a “farm” life. My intentions were just to show the guys and give the baby back to its mom, but my boss had other plans.
This kitten was tiny! Definitely smaller than the kittens we put up for adoption at the animal shelter, so I knew I needed to do some “googling” to figure out how old the little thing was. I decided that she’s about 3 to 4 weeks old – very young. It would need to be bottle-fed. While I’ve never done it myself, I knew that bottle feeding a kitten took some work – constant feeding, stimulating eliminations, etc. So, I told Darrin that if he paid for everything, I would take care of it for a while until it was ready to go to his house. Once this was agreed to, I, of course, got right back on the computer to read everything I could about raising a kitten. After work, I headed immediately to Petsmart for all the fixin’s.
Once home, it became clear that this tiny ball of fur was NOT impressed with this pathetic excuse for a nipple or fake cat milk. I also tried canned kitten food, but to no avail. Thankfully, a light bulb lit up above my head and I remembered that I had a syringe from the medication I had to give one of my cats a couple years ago and we were able to get down at least one syringeful. The kitten went to sleep in the carrier, but was up whining by 3:05 a.m. I tried to ignore its cries, but, unfortunately, I’m not a heavy sleeper. While I was mixing the formula, I was surprised to hear my husband’s footsteps in the kitchen. We sat on the couch together trying to get this tiny life form to digest this milk-like concoction. She eventually downed two syringefuls and we all went back to bed forty minutes later. James, of course, was out within minutes; I, on the other hand, did not drift off for another hour or so. Needless to say, I was a bit sleepy the next morning, while the little one was spry and ready to go. Typical.
So, I’ve been taking care of this little girl (from the diagrams online, we think she’s a girl) for only six days and everyone, including myself, has fallen head-over-heels in love with her. For the moment, at least, she has blue eyes. Although her eye color is pretty, her eyes are actually a bit deformed. The right one appears to be lazy, as it seems permanently placed in the inner bottom corner of her eye socket. It’s actually quite endearing. In addition to the eye issue, she looks as if she’s been riding a very, very tiny horse (a My Little Pony, perhaps?) for a very long time. (For those of you not so quick on the draw, I mean she’s bow legged.) Again, very cute. Her only major problem is the fact that she’s not pooping! I had to take her to the vet on Saturday so they could give her an enema. They gave me the rest of the solution in case I need it. Well, it’s Tuesday night and still no pooping! Errrr!
I realize that a baby kitten is NOT the same thing as an infant human, but it’s surprisingly similar: I have to feed her about every 3 to 4 hours; I must “stimulate” her genitals so that she “eliminates” (yeah, I know you don’t need to do this to human babies, but it’s kind of like changing diapers); I feed her formula; in between eating and bursts of energy, she sleeps for hours; she whines when she’s hungry or wants attention; I have to keep a constant eye on her if she’s not in her carrier; she wakes up crying in the middle of the night.
This brings me to my point. My biological clock has been ticking hard over the past several months and, although it’s been a bit tiring at times, this little adventure has only sped up the incessant ticking. While there are moments when I’m tired of caring for her, it’s totally worth it because I love her. When I do actually leave the house for a few hours (while her foster daddy is home caring for her), I miss her and am excited to see her when I get home. She is the tiniest, sweetest, most helpless little thing in the world and I love her!
(I know what you’re thinking, “If she loves this damn kitten so much, how does she expect to give it up when the time comes?” No worries. Of course, I’ll be sad to let her go, but I’m okay with it as long as I know she’s going to a good home. I seriously can’t handle the number of cats I already have, there is absolutely NO WAY I can take anymore.)
Anyways, I am totally loving taking care of this little creature and can’t wait to have a human one someday.