Saturday, April 08, 2006

Barn Cat Bonanza

After putting the mama cat down, we brought her kittens inside, and I am now the proud surrogate mama to five barn kittens. I can honestly say that until now I have never before wished for 6 breasts. Evolution rocks! Mama cat did her very best to mother her five kittens despite being a baby still herself, and she gave them the very best start in life they could've gotten--36 to 48 hours of her colostrum. If these babies survive, it will be primarily due to that gift she gave to them.

I went out and purchased a new cat crate for the kittens since our current one was in use by a quarantined hen, a heating pad, several bottles, some KMR formula and a digital kitchen scale. Our set up is working really well other than the whole automatic shut off feature on the heating pad, which causes it to turn off every hour. Apparantly, I completely missed that bonus feature when choosing the pad 'cause it sure wouldn't have been my choice to wake up every hour to switch the durn thing back on. Seven days later, I've now purchased two more wet pads without the bonus auto shut off. Live and learn.

Primo was the first kitty born and the one mama abandoned in the driveway. He hung out with me for about 2 hours the day he was born before he went back to join his littermates. Primo was the first to open his eyes at about 5 days--very early--which leads me to believe that he's gestationally older than the others. He came to us at 3.30 ounces and was the only one not to drop weight initially; he continues to hold his own as the second largest kitten in the litter. He's primarily a tabby with quite a bit of orange around his face, white on his throat, and a couple of black tiger stripes by his eyes.

4/2-- 3.30 oz
4/3-- 3.55 oz
4/4-- 4.00 oz
4/5-- 4.40 oz
4/6-- 4.90 oz
4/7-- 5.10 oz

Tabby is one of the smallest and definitely the whiniest of the bunch and pretty much the runt of the litter. He was dehydrated the first couple of days, but now at one week, he's eating like a champ and eliminating copiously, so I know his hydration is back to normal. He came to us at 3.55 ounces. He's a typical gray tabby with white around his throat line.

4/2-- 3.55 oz
4/3-- 2.95 oz
4/4-- 3.19 oz
4/5-- 3.55 oz
4/6-- 3.95 oz
4/7-- 4.10 oz

Shadow is a sweet little kitty and I think she's the one we found crawling away from her mama in a pool of motor oil. She cleaned up quiet well and is one of my favorites, perhaps because of her challenging start. She came to us at 3.40 ounces, and developed diarrhea and dehydration the first day, possibly due to the richness of the formula feed. I cut the formula to water ratio for about 24 hours, which helped rehydrate her and allow her digestive system to catch up. Shadow is a soft gray tabby with a white necklace--so cute!

4/2-- 3.40 oz
4/3-- 2.80 oz
4/4-- 3.40 oz
4/5-- 3.40 oz
4/6-- 3.80 oz
4/7-- 3.90 oz

Monster got his name because of how much bigger he was than any of his litter mates. He came to us at a whopping 4.05 ounces! He's a sweet little guy who was the first kitten to start purring. He's highly food motivated, and I'll be interested to see how his personality developes. He's a charcoal tabby with very dark skin, which is adorable.

4/2-- 4.05 oz
4/3-- 3.95 oz
4/4-- 4.45 oz
4/5-- 5.05 oz
4/6-- 5.45 oz
4/7-- 5.95 oz

Cally was the last kitten born, and as her name suggests, she's the only calico in the litter. When I changed the bedding Sunday morning, Cally was the kitten whose umbilical cord I found wrapped around her mama's leg, severely cutting into her tail. I was able to separate the cord, and both her umbilicus and tail are healing nicely, though I suspect she'll always have a bit of a kink as a reminder. She came to us at 3.65 ounces and seems to be a very loving kitten.

4/2-- 3.65 oz
4/3-- 3.35 oz
4/4-- 3.90 oz
4/5-- 4.25 oz
4/6-- 4.45 oz
4/7-- 4.95 oz

1 comment:

Sara said...

These kittens are just adorable.
Sara from farmingfriends in the UK