Litter number: 5
Kitten number: 20
Color: black smoke
Nickname: Yogi-dogie, Yogermeister
Someone found Berry by himself in their yard, and that was all we heard. When he came to us, the shelter told us he was female and they put him with Randy and Jerri, who were a little older but also bottle babies. Berry was our smallest fosterling at that time only 6.4 oz when we got him. He looked like a fuzzy little blackberry, hence the name. Even though he was small, he was a big eater from the start, and took to the bottle without a problem. His only trip to the vet came because he didn't poop for the first five days we had him.
Although solo kittens don't do very well, we had to keep Berry separated from Randy and Jerry much of the time because they suckled him relentlessly. Hanging out by himself under a laundry basket didn't seem to bother him...he was still in the same room with the others and we let them play together.
Although Berry was probably only a week younger than the others, he seemed much less coordinated they didn't even really want to play with him because he couldn't keep up. He walked into walls and couldn't climb at all. We began to wonder if there was something wrong with him, although he continued to be a champion bottle feeder. He also learned the box concept right away I remember when he toddled wobbily over to the box, got in, and took a little poop one day. I couldn't believe it!
The other thing that made us think that he was a little developmentally disabled was that he wouldn't be weaned from the bottle...for 10 weeks! Randy and Jerri went back to the shelter and got adopted, and Berry still wanted to be wrapped up in a towel like a burrito and fed with a bottle. We figured he'd be a grown cat and we'd still be feeding him with a human baby bottle!
One night, though, we heard some munching coming from the bunkhouse, and we knew the bottle charade was up! He never did eat wet food, but finally decided to go with dry.
We were afraid that he would never quite be normal and that if someone adopted him and let him outside, he'd be bait. The shelter makes adopters promise to keep cats indoors, but a lot of people still feel like cats aren't "happy" unless they are outside, which is nuts! Ask any cat who's been a stray on the street, and they'll tell you that inside is where it's at!
Anyway, we decided that maybe we'd better keep Berry, so we wouldn't worry about someone not honoring his retardation. We also renamed him Yogi Berry, because Ted thought Berry was too feminine.
Well. The joke was on us, because Yogi ended up being a normal cat, albeit a slow developer. He's still not very athletic (can't jump up in the window for example), but he's now a bratty teenager whom Reg and Mia tolerate with some affection. He makes us laugh every day with his hilarious antics, including doing a somersault at your feet and then spreading his legs apart so you can rub his belly. He also will open his mouth and show his teeth when he's happy we call it the "Yogi laugh." Oh, and he still loves to be wrapped up in a towel like a burrito going back to the days when he wouldn't let go of that bottle!
Arrival date: 8/21/2006
Departure date: still here!