Grads and Grubs
More news on those fun-loving FIFAs from this week's mailbag! Here are excerpts and a few pix from a long note sent by Beckham and Vuvu's adopters.
Ted & Martha,
Hi & hello from Vuvu & Beckham. The kittens are doing amazing here. Since bringing them home last week they have managed to discover so much in the house & each day brings new finds…
They’re always together wherever they might turn up in the house though. LOL, they just turned up at my feet beneath the desk, as I write. I think having each other has given them both a lot of comfort while transitioning. They really are mostly self-entertained, never bored. One example is the cat dancer toy... We just drop it on the floor & as one jumps on one end the other end wiggles all over enticing the second kitten to attack that end, thus promoting more play on the other end. They played like that for almost an hour one day. It’s as if they are self winding!
…Beckham has made the most headway with our older cats. He likes to sneak up while they sleep & curl up next to them. While at first the older cats were unsure, it seems waking next to a sleeping kitten has really calmed them down & they’ve accepted them in.
Our female “Takoda” was the tough one for them to soften up. She seemed distrustful of them, yet fascinated. She took to watching from a distance. The sound of the bag play was too much for her though as she snuck in closer & closer. The kittens just kept playing in front of her, not afraid at all. By last night Takoda was playing nearly all out for a few minutes, till Vuvu jumped on the bag she was in. LOL, Koda shot to the back of the house in a flash & Vuvu under a chair. Both returned a moment later though, but Koda just to watch. They are really winning her over it seems.
Gizmo, our male, has been the easy one. Immediately he took up a watch over the kittens' activities. He really seems to enjoy the way they engage in play, though he won’t be joining in at his advanced age. Beckham has surely taken to him though, seemingly to immediately trust him. He curled up with Gizmo & went to sleep a few times. Gizmo at one point lifted his head, licked Beckham on the head & went back to sleep. Success!
I must thank you again for all your efforts & to note the amazing job you did in training/weaning them. I’m attaching photos for you to enjoy. We’ll send more updates from time to time.
John & Sarah
We're really happy that Beckham and Vuvu joined this family.
And just when we were starting to visualize two kitten-free weeks hanging out with Minnie in the villa before we leave for vacation, we heard that an HT volunteer had rescued five bottle-baby kittens on Sunday morning. Someone had left them in a garbage bag on the doorstep of a girl-scout camp in Harrisonburg, VA, and the HT volunteer happened to be visiting the camp.
Martha was coming home from St. Louis on Monday, so I agreed to take them. The volunteer kept them overnight and delivered them to our house Monday morning. When I saw them, it was obvious that she'd saved their lives. The biggest kitten still hadn't opened its eyes, and the smallest weighed 4.8 ounces. They were no more than five days old, and had been filthy and flea-infested before the volunteer bathed them.
We've been feeding them every 4-5 hours, and so far they're hanging in there. The flea problem seems to have abated, but they always get covered in runny poop between feedings. They're eating OK for now, but that's how bottle-babies usually start out. The acid test comes when they've been away from their mother's warmth and antibodies for a few days. So far there are no obvious URI symptoms, but I did hear a few sneezes at the 3pm feeding.
Clearly, this litter looks a lot less bulletproof than the FIFAs -- we just hope they're not as doomed as Les Miz. The kittens in both those litters were twice as big as these guys when we got them.
We haven’t confirmed genders or picked names yet, but are leaning toward calling this gang the Campers, Scouts, or Sprouts (which is what Martha's dad called girl scouts), even though I think there's only one female in this group. We should have a much better read on their prospects by the end of the week.
filed by: TS