Hot on the heels of our last batch of foster kittens, the Woodford Humane Society got swamped with 30 new kittens in a matter of a week. D'Arcy and I were back on foster parenting duty, but with a little added bonus: the bottle feed. The 'H-Kittens': Holden, Hazel and Hyacinth came in to the shelter at two weeks (and without a mother). From what I understand, this might have been a good practice round at human babies. Feed times were every 4-6 hours and for the first week, each one lasted about an hour (usually due to the communication breakdown between human-to-new-kitten). Simply putting a bottle of warm formula to the mouth of a shreaking kitten doesn't exactly translate to "here's your food, enjoy!". There was manuevering, clawing, meowing, biting, then, eventual slurping of formula. Take this process and repeat it four times a day, 7 days a week for the first two weeks.
D'Arcy got the brunt of the work since my hours at work didn't allow me time to feed the little ones before heading to WKYT. I usually did the early afternoon and mid-evening shift.
Did I mention we also had to teach the new ones how to use, um, the opposite side of their bodies (the part that doesn't bite). After the bottle feed, we had to use a warm, wet cloth to "encourage" the kittens to evacuate the liquids out their backsides. This is something the mother cat usually does with her tongue. Since there was no mother cat, wet cloth and courage had to do (along with a very old t-shirt).
After a bit of time, the human/kitten crew got a hang of things. Feedings took about 20 minutes and the kittens starting finding other kinds of wet/dry food tasty and, even better, they started finding the litter box on their own (it took awhile but they finally did it).
It was one of the tougher fosters we had but, like all the others, it was so worth it. The kittens are all healthy and ready for adoption at the Woodford Humane Society. Just ask for the H-Kittens and you'll be able to give Hazel (the Siamese), Holden (calm, gray male), and Hyacithe (peppy, smaller gray female) a home to call their own.