Kittens everywhere

Okay, so this happened:

Yesterday, very early in the morning, I took three dogs for a walk and guess what I heard? Loud mews of distress. Kittens! One … two … oh my goodness, a third … look, another one! Someone had dumped four tiny kittens in the woods and left them to get eaten by foxes. You know, I was thinking a few weeks ago that we haven’t seen as many abandoned kittens this year as last year. Well, here we are.

These babies were pathetically happy to see someone, anyone. I took the dogs off the road and threw their leads around a tree, went back and collected three of the four kittens. I couldn’t get the fourth: he was hissing and spitting and crawled back in some dense underbrush and my arms were already full of three kittens. So I took the three home and dumped them in the puppy room, now suddenly a kitten room. Then I went back to find the fourth kitten, who had vanished. So I got the three dogs and took them home and put them in the yard so they couldn’t bark at the door of the kitten room and went back again to find the fourth kitten. I had just about given up when MEW! MEW!

It was one of the gray tabbies and he was invisible on the gray tree stump he’d jumped up onto, but luckily he wanted rescue enough to exercise his lungs. Naturally he was on the wrong side of a barbed wire fence, and I will just say here that the last time I crawled under a barbed wire fence, I was younger and more agile. Anyway, obviously I got him, you can see there are four kittens in the photo.

The littlest is the tortie female. These kittens are SO young that she is unable to eat hard food. She won’t even try. She wouldn’t eat canned food either when I tried that. I tried puppy formula, which is not really suitable for kittens, but I had some Esbilac puppy formula in the freezer and by yesterday afternoon I was pretty desperate. Success! She sucked down 20 ccs of puppy formula and then, with that in her tummy, was willing to take some gruel made with canned kitten food. This morning she was willing to eat canned kitten food out of a dish.

Her three brothers are all fine with dry kitten food, by the way. They are slow, but willing to eat it. I’m not even sure how old they are given that they are obviously just barely weanable. Five weeks? Less?

The tortoiseshell kitten was absolutely frantic to find her mother, and no wonder considering how starving she was. But luckily, Naamah, the dog in the picture, is wonderful with babies. Naamah most of all, but also Morgan and Leda, are happy to act maternal and lick kitten faces, and it turns out the kittens were not a bit afraid of the dogs, so everything has calmed down now. They all got acquainted last night and then the kittens were out in the house all morning and by the time I went to work, they had all settled in the crate in the kitten room and gone to sleep.

Haydee is very cute and wants to play with them, but sorry, all the pictures of Haydee and kittens are blurry.

I would, as with last year’s kittens, greatly prefer to place them in pairs. I really do not like to think of kittens going to new homes alone. Pairs do SO much better. As with last year’s kittens, I’m very tempted to keep two. I’m quite partial to orange tabby, as it happens. We’ll see! There’s no rush as really they are too young to place just yet. I haven’t even set a vet visit up. In two weeks maybe they’ll be old enough for vaccinations. In the meantime, I’ll worm them tonight since, along with puppy formula, I have worming medication on hand.

From now on, I’ll also keep kitten food on hand, because there was a certain flurry about getting that together, especially when the little girl turned out to be unable to eat dry kitten food.

As for the distraction level … right. Dial the distraction up to eleven for the next little while.

We had a huge thunderstorm last night, by the way. Gives me chills to think of the one little kitten I didn’t get at first out there by himself in a huge thunderstorm. I’m so glad I kept looking until I got him.

Someone socialized these kittens. I think someone let their kid go out to the barn to play with them, then told the kid that tiny five-week-old kittens would be fine in the woods and took them off and dumped them. Can you imagine? Utter failure of responsibility all the way up and down.

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9 thoughts on “Kittens everywhere”

  1. I’m so glad you found that last one! It’s great they all have a nice safe space with you and the dogs now.

  2. Oh, great Cat. Sometimes I just hate people. And then there are lovely people like you who will go to considerable lengths to help abandoned kittens, even the one who made it difficult. I hope they all turn out to be healthy when you get them to the vet. I’m not in a position to adopt (our Basement Cat is very anti-other cats), but if you need any contributions for vet bills, I’d be happy to help out. Thank you for rescuing these babies, and for the lovely picture!

  3. Thank you, Dame Eleanor! There’s no problem. My vet bills are so high already that four initial kitten visits will just vanish, like a cup of water poured into a lake. I already said on Facebook that I’d pay for initial visits and vaccinations if anybody takes a couple of kittens, and I’ll reiterate that in a week or two, as the kittens approach the age they really could be placed in new homes. It’s honestly too early for the little tortie, though the boys could manage — at least if two were placed together.

  4. There was the guy who stopped to rescue an abandoned kitten and got himself ambushed by an additional twelve.

  5. Nine. The original plus twelve. . . .

    He kept that first one. He named it Scout.

  6. Mary–
    Hundreds of cats. Thousands of cats. Millions and billions and trillions of cats.

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