Celebrating 25 years of publishing
Published August 27, 2019
Change of plans caused by kittens
By John Toth / The Bulletin
I pulled up to the hideaway as I have done many times before, and set about to unload the car. As I went past my backup car that I park in the driveway, I saw a little gray kitten head poking out from behind the driver’s side front tire.
Then it disappeared.
Looked liked a momma cat gave birth to at least two kittens on the property while we were gone. We decided to go about our business and allow the cat family to do the same.
Momma cat stayed away until we called it a night. We left some food out for her, since she was still nursing. By the next morning, the food disappeared, and so did momma cat.
I started to get the mower ready. As I walked out the back door, I heard a loud, shrill kitten meow and saw the little blackish and white noise-maker by the shed. He was looking for momma and a meal.
That was not the same kitten I saw the day before. I looked under the car. There was the little gray one. She was trying to hide in the inner rim of the front wheel. Then she decided to come out, hungry and dirty. I put both kittens in an oil-changing pan I found nearby and took them into the house.
I looked all around the car and under the hood to make sure there were no more kittens using my car as a home.
“They’ll probably die if we leave them out here,” I said to Sharon. “Let’s foster them and then find a home for them.”
We needed kitten milk replacement formula, bottles, syringes and a carrier, all of which we successfully located at the closest Wal-Mart. We also needed to learn how to do this feeding and fostering stuff, so we looked it up on the Internet.
We rushed back from Wal-Mart, worrying about how hungry the kittens were. Then the first feeding began – messy. The kittens were looking for momma cat’s nipple and got a plastic syringe tip. I think more formula went on them than in them, as both sides were trying to figure out what they were supposed to do.
But, the kittens got fed and started purring. We did something right, apparently.
The momma cat came around, but ran away when she saw us and jumped over the fence. It became apparent that if we didn’t feed these kittens, they were not going to eat. We were not leaving, so the momma cat did.
“They can’t go tinkle on their own,” Sharon said. You have to rub on their bottom area.”
I never could get either one of them to go, but Sharon became good at it. She got her information off the Internet. Luckily, our connection happened to be decent at the time.
The kittens were about three weeks old when we found them. We have had cats for many years, but we never took care of kittens that were still nursing. We were reading and learning, and eventually we became pretty good at it. The feedings became less messy.
All of our cats have been strays that we took in after they showed up at our front door. I even got a beautiful feral tabby cat to trust me, and he eventually moved in with us. But after the last ones died, no strays showed up.
Not until I pulled into the driveway at the hideaway. (To be continued)
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