Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fostering furry babies

It has been a long time since my past post ... am back with a resolution to be more regular. One thing (or rather five!) that has been taking center stage at home is this litter of five kittens that we have been fostering for a month now. Austin Pets Alive rescues dogs and cats, including those in line for euthanasia at the shelter, and tries to get them adopted over time. In order to make room for more animals, they send little baby animals to fosters who care for them until they are old enough to be spayed/neutered and offered for adoption.

These babies came to us when they were 2 weeks old. Three black kittens, all female, and two tuxedo kittens, one male and one female. All five of the same litter.

At two weeks they had to be bottle fed every couple of hours. They all lived in our cat carrier, sleeping in a tight bundle of arms, legs, tails and whiskers over a heated pad and towels. They would start squealing as soon as we entered the room, and would tumble out of the carrier, groping wildly for the bottle.

Once they finished eating, they had to be "stimulated", since they didn't know how to go to the bathroom on their own. Small wet wipes wiping their rear would feel like mom licking them to teach them how to do it, and all of them would deposit the required treasures on cue.

They also had to be weighed to make sure they were growing at the correct rate. This was easier said than done. They refused to sit in the container, and would fall out as soon as we placed them on the scale. What worked in the end was a small cardboard box into which we would pack the kitten for a few seconds while we weighed them. They all weighed around 200-250 gms when they arrived.

Now they are close to 950 gms, and are boisterous little rascals. They live in the bathroom upstairs, and are constantly at work, demolishing what they can of what ever is in there. They come out to another room several times a day to play, and flit about with extremely short attention spans, play-fighting, chewing everything in sight, and running around at top speed.

Don't be fooled by these innocent little faces. They are naughty little devils that will entertain you for hours together, as long as you keep your arms and legs out of line or their razor sharp claws will slice you open. :)

This is Annie, the runt of the litter. She was always a fussy eater, and needs special attention because she doesn't believe in wasting time eating. She is super active though, and if there is a tussle going on, she is sure to be in the center of it.

Andy is the lone boy in this litter, and has a hard time keeping up with his five bratty sisters. He is growing bigger now, and is also very active and playful. He is always ready for a cuddle though, and will lie on his side quietly if you start to pet him.

Amelia is the only long-haired kitten in this litter, and is adorable and soft. She is extemely playful, and it's hard to put her down because she is so easy to fall in love with. She goes on and on like an energizer bunny, but when she's tired, she will lie down and fall asleep in the middle of the action.

Allie is the other tuxedo kitten. She has the prettiest pink lips ever, so we call her sweet lips. She is a little scared of loud noises and sudden movements, but has to keep up with her rowdy siblings to survive. She is the prettiest kitten in this litter, and is sure to find a family soon.

Addie is a little quieter than her siblings and loves to be cuddled, and will attach herself to you if she knows you might pet her.

We are hoping these sweet kittens find adoptive families soon and go to good, loving homes. But for now, they are our therapy kittens, for just a few minutes sitting with them drains away all the stress of the day.


pink dogwood said...

So nice to hear from you. Be careful or you might fall in love and end up keeping all of them -they are so adorable.

ArtSparker said...

A lively household. You might find this visual amusing - your post reminds me of it.


Abhilash said...

They look cute. Though I don't like cats or kittens I would love watching them. :)

As the earlier comment make sure you don't fall in love and keep all of them. :)

Blu said...

What a wonderful surprise to see that you have returned to your blog,great shots of those little rascals!

Jude said...

So good to see you blogging again!
Those kittens are wonderful!! I know exactly what you're going through..it's wonderful but tiring.
Hope to see you blogging again soon!
Take care

angryparsnip said...

You are on my follow list so when your post popped up I was very surprised and enjoyed your post...
A big job but a rather nice one too !

cheers, parsnip

Chris said...

They are so adorable! They are lucky to have such a good "mom". I hope school is going well.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful thing you are doing! Those cats are so cute - and have such wonderful personalities. I'm sure they will all find good homes.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Oh how delightful! I can see how all stresses would drain away with this little family of kittens!

Anonymous said...

They are sooo cute!!
Bindu i just wanted to thank you so much for the love you sent to Stellan while he was injured. It meant the world to me. You are a wonderful friend and I will never forget what you did for me at such a hard time.
Much love to you
xxmichelle and stellan

Nancy Medina said...

Thank you for rescuing these precious babies Bindu- you have a heart of gold!
Many pug hugs!!!

Trotter said...

Hi Bindu! Have a Happy and Successful New Year!! Wish you all the best!!
Horus and Sobek wait for you at Kom Ombo… ;)

dolphin said...

haunted by your pictures of Austin downtown, I wanted to visit it from a long time. I haven't managed to visit that till now!

thanks to your pictures (almost two years ago), I see them time-to-time only to relive the moments!

Sydney said...

ADORABLE. That last pic with those little feet especially. Good to see you writing. I have had to drop off mine because of my job...:-(

Loved reading the detailed description of what it takes to care for them. It is a love we share.

rocksea said...

the black kittens are so cute! they might have grown up by now. how do you manage so many!?

Shalini said...

Oh wow, they are adorable!