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Adios Cincos,
Privet Tatyana

Wednesday
5/29/2013

On Saturday night we returned from two weeks of camping and hiking in Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Escalante/Grand Staircase in southern Utah. Covered many miles of slickrock mesa and traversed gorgeous canyons formed of red, gold, and cream-colored sandstone. Some were slot canyons with sand floors and big suspended choke-stones we had to climb over. Others had flowing streams, huge cottonwood trees, hanging gardens, and thousand-foot-high walls. We had some camera issues, but hope to post a few pix soon.

It felt like we’d been gone for a month, so at first we had trouble remembering the names of our Cinco de Mayo kittens. On checking in with the Homeward Trails cat manager, we learned that they’ve grown like weeds at their current foster home and will soon be transferring to PetMAC in Washington, DC, where they’ll be able to charm a steady stream of potential adopters.

Here are two shots we took shortly before handing off Puebla, Goza…

…Zara and Ignacio on May 10.

On Sunday we offered to take a younger set of furballs, so the HT manager asked us to pick up two small kittens from another HT foster home. The kittens had been pulled from the Prince Georges shelter a few days previously and paired with an HT mom-cat whose kittens had recently been adopted.

Tatyana, the mom-cat, had been happy to nurse the two Prince Georges kittens for a few days, but now her milk was drying up and the kittens were losing weight.

Even though Tatyana was still trying to mother them, the kittens would probably need to be bottle-fed.

Or so we thought. Instead we watched Lina (our contraction for the too-precious name Thumbelina that she came with) toddle over to the canned food bowl on Monday night and start nibbling alongside Tatyana.

Arthur (another iffy name) wasn’t quite ready to eat on his own, but we convinced him to lap slurry from a spoon. Within a few hours, both he and Lina had gained a little weight.

On Tuesday morning they held their ground, so we let Lina keep eating on her own. Arthur showed less interest in a spoon, so I syringe-fed him slurry. They’re right around that 1-lb/4-week stage we associate with weaning, so now we just need to develop their taste for canned food. That should happen this week, as long as they stay healthy. This morning both kits had lost weight, so I’ll be syringe-feeding them until they show more initiative.

We were given a variety of limited-ingredient and anti-diarrhea canned foods for Tatyana, but so far she seems happy to chow down on the Pro Plan kitten and milk-replacement formula we usually feed weaning-age kittens. And her poop looks totally normal. Smooth sailing for our Russian princess so far.

Her two foster kits have already demonstrated more vertical reach than the Sea Questers had a similar age. We usually find them snuggling on the free-standing shelf that forms the roof of the nest.

And they may have lame names (any suggestions for a litter name? Tatyana and her Comrades? Russkies?), but Lina and Arthur are no slouches in the cuteness department.

filed by: TS

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