Kitten season has begun. For A Better Pet anyway. Being in the field of training and behavior, primarily for dogs but admittedly for any creature with a brain stem, there are ancillaries that include rescue. And while I don’t trumpet such services, people find me. My phone rings, I look at caller ID, I contemplate the consequences of answering it or letting it go to voice mail. In Spring and early summer, such folly often results, hand to heart, in the story of foundlings or orphans or whole families — nursing mothers and her babies — and if and because I can, I take them on to foster.
So it is that Astrid, Boz, Calliope and Dill (don’t even ask how I get these names — it’s a calling!) crossed my threshold mid-afternoon on April 23rd.
Sophie helped me wrangle them and get some vitals. Astrid, the smallest, was a lot of fluff and a mere 10.3 oz. Boz was 12.8, sister Calliope 12.3, and feisty little Dill, a hale and hearty 14.9!
Adorable, old enough to eat, old enough to learn to use a litter box, I was saddened that their arrival meant no more mom, but the spring temps were dipping low and their angel rescuer, Brandy, saw no mom in site and due to possible exposure grabbed them up, boxed ’em and delivered. They survived their first night and after Sophie was off to school, I checked in on them. Astrid was looking rather weak, wouldn’t eat and felt cool. I wrapped her up in my hoodie against my chest and zipped her in. She continued to fade and despite my obviously feeble efforts, she died in my arms.
The dogs came out in the rain with me. Together we held a brief vigil. I buried her deep in the soft mud in the way backyard. Failure to thrive is a common problem with baby animals — ones that seem perky and bright and active suddenly go south, fade and die. Perhaps congenital problems, infection, or just a bloody mystery. I mourned her loss but still had the surviving 3 to worry about.
Their second night for the trio went very well, and now on their 2nd full day of residence at Camp A Better Pet, they are being handled gently, exposed to the dogs but carefully and with management, to the sights and sounds and smells of a chaotic home — vacuums, phone ringing, tv noises, burnt bagels, you know, a typical day in the life of a dog trainer!
Enjoy this brief snippet of what I call Busy Town — in between long, restful sleep, the kittens have spurts of activity which included eating, drinking, peeing and pooping. They are developing coordination, have small bouts of play that I presume will increase as they continue to develop.
Guesstimating their age I am giving them a Piscean birthday of March 19, 2013. If you are interested in adopting one of these kittens and understand their needs and the expenses implied (vet checks, food, spay/neuter, toys, etc), please email firstname.lastname@example.org and put KITTEN ADOPTION in subject heading.