It took only 2 weeks from my last blog entry for us to get a new batch of foster kittens…and this one was, by far, the toughest but most rewarding experience thus far. This is the first time D’Arcy and I fostered outside of the Lexington Humane Society/Woodford Humane Society circle. We’ve done a lot of volunteer work (especially D’Arcy) with various cat/kitten non-profits around the Bluegrass. D’Arcy has been active with Spay Our Strays (a non-profit Bluegrass organization whose mission is to help control the stray cat population by trapping, neutering, and releasing in and around stray cat colonies). Through that group, she’s been able to reach out to other cat/kitten rescue organizations around the Commonwealth and this is where our new kittens arrived. While the story goes back a little farther, Hal’s Haven (a cat/kitten rescue out of Danville) is where our “M-Kittens” came from. D’Arcy caught word that foster parents where needed for 4 kittens that arrived to in very rough shape to Hal’s Haven.
Without going into too many details, these kittens were extremely weak and flea-ridden (the mother went missing and while in the care of some well-meaning/kind-hearted people, they just weren’t getting the proper care for kittens so young…more on that in a second). They were transferred from Southern Kentucky to Hal’s Haven (a great organization) for help. From there, Hal’s Haven looked for a foster home so they can get a sterile, clean environment with plenty of kitten formula (milk replacement) feedings and one-on-one attention. The milk replacement is so important for motherless kittens 4 weeks old or younger. Simple wet food and dry kibble is not going to provide what a kitten needs in those most important opening days.
So the four little kittens got a temporary home in our spare bedroom since mid-September. Two were very sick and weak; the other two looking a little healthier. D’Arcy took up the major task of feeding them every four hours for two weeks (I helped when I could, especially before and after work but D’Arcy did a lot of the work). Even with all the help and love, one of the runts just couldn’t overcome her illness (Sunflower). She wasn’t long for this world but had a peaceful week laying in the warm sunlight. We and the wonderful people at Fayette Veterinary Clinic (Dr. B and his staff) tried all they could to help her out but she was just too weak. It was so tough to walk in that Sunday morning to see the poor girl lying peacefully on the heating pad. She just didn’t have much of a chance in her short time but hopefully she had some happiness in her last week.
Mocha, the chocolate tipped Siamese, also began as a runt. She consistently looked smaller and weaker than her other sisters but in the last 4 weeks, she’s made a huge turnaround. She’s now a force to reckon with (I have tiny scratches to prove it). She’s very cuddly and loves to sleep on her back. Any wadded-up pieces of paper are no match for her ferocious attacks. Love seeing her look and act like a normal soon-to-be eight week old kitten. Maebe (Black and white) was originally known as ‘Moose’ (when we thought she was a ‘he’). She was the biggest of the group when we got her and has always been a bundle of energy but likes to hang out in the background while the others demand your attention. Maggie is definitely a lap-cat and loves to have people around. She’s also an ‘autumn’ so you can wear your favorite earth tones to match. It’s so cute to watch her look up at visiting humans just following them around (even when changing the visitor comes in to change the litter or to proceed in intense, battle-ready training (which is code for balling up paper, dangling string, and any other thing known as ‘playing’).
Trust me, after a long day at work, it feels so great to head home to see our guests. They should be up to 8 weeks and 2 pounds by this weekend (heavy and old enough for the spay/neuter process). Hal’s Haven will take them over the Nicholasville Petsmart where they’ll all be up for adoption and looking for a home to call their own. Any takers?