The day after my last post, our friend Cheryl found this four-week old baby screaming by the side of the highway outside her house, at 1am. Cheryl has been finding kittens what seems like every other day lately. She had to go to work in the morning, after staying up much of the night, trying to get the kitten to eat, and put out a call for help. I was home, and met her at the plaza to take the little one, who was still screaming, home with me.
Cheryl had given her a bath, but couldn’t get her to eat on her own. Cheryl gave me some KMR, kitten milk replacer, but I couldn’t get the kitten to eat on her own either. My mom and I tried wet kitten food, dry kitten food, dry kitten food softened with water and KMR, but she wouldn’t take it on her own. I tried putting a mushed-up version in her mouth with a syringe, but that didn’t work so well, and I was concerned about potentially choking her. She had to eat every three hours or so.
I set her up in our extra bunny bin, which is smaller than Oliver’s. She yelled for a while, but then calmed down. I’m sure she was terrified, being left the way she was. She was only 14 ounces. She was extremely lucky that Cheryl found her and rescued her.
My mom and I took turns feeding her and cleaning her up. We took her to the vet for a checkup, and got some other dry kitten food. We finally found that she liked to eat the softened dry kitten food out of the palms of our hands, so she could “nurse”. The vet told us we would have to show her how to eat out of a bowl. We would have a bowl nearby, with the food, so we could take it back and forth right next to her as she nursed from our palms. Eventually, she tried taking it from the bowl, but not consistently.
Even now, we are still supplementing her diet with KMR, which she laps from her bowl, and she is, at long last, eating dry kitten food on her own. She is very fussy about food, and we have to change kinds to keep her interested. She likes big cat dry food. That is probably because she likes to play hockey with the larger nuggets. She won’t touch wet food.
She has a feisty personality, and takes on everyone and everything in the house.
She loves to bite. Our vet said we can expect another couple of months of that, while she tries to prove to everyone that she is the alpha cat, which is odd because of her tiny size. He said once she establishes her position, she will stop trying to make her point.
She was showing the lettering on our cardboard boxes who the boss was too.
I use a baby rattle to distract her so I can pry my hands loose, when I need to use them for something other than kitten chew toys.
She can be relentless.
Her own reflection is not excused either. She is a fierce warrior. My mom dubbed her “Junonimo”, after Geronimo.
Luckily, she takes long naps.
She has become an avid fan of our household game, “Ropey”. I had to get an extra cord because she tries to take it for herself and won’t always give it back.
She is getting leggy, but is still a pipsqueak.
Oliver Bunny was prepared to like her, but has found her to be completely without manners.
I have to keep her away from him, until she calms down.
Right now, most of what she knows of social interaction is smacking and biting and wrestling.
And napping, of course. Yesterday, she gave me a head bump, purred, and licked my nose, which was a nice change. Then she bit me, but progress is progress.
She is super fast, and I have to confine her while I clean up Oliver’s litter in the morning, or she dives right into his bunny bin.
He doesn’t like that at all. He grunts at her and gets upset. She likes to run inside his Twigloo house. I’m hoping they will be friends when she calms down. The three of us, bunny, kitten, and I, did manage to watch a movie together, “Fright Night”, which I thought was fitting for a vampire kitten. She was afraid when the characters were fighting, of all things. I kept the baby rattle on hand, for the moments when she got her own ideas.
In between feeding, cleaning, and kitten monitoring, I painted bunches of eyeballs and worked on a box of toys. I sealed a lot of my custom-printed eyeballs and emblems with my Liquitex Fabric Medium.
I cut them out and pinned them to toys, and I’ve been hand embroidering them on fleece bunnies, kittens, slugs, and sock monsters.
These are photos of the toys in progress. I have some finished and posted in my toy shop. I’ll make blog posts for them separately, since my kitten photo album on this post is big!