When I took Barbie, Kenny, Krissy and Jellybean back to the shelter last Monday I told them that we needed a little break. Just enough time to get my bathroom scrubbed clean and the carpet cleaned before we took in more foster kittens. Fortunately I got the bathroom cleaned last Tuesday and we got the carpets mostly clean. I got a call from the shelter this past Sunday; they had two little feral kittens that had been caught at the children's ARK in nearby Green Mountain Falls and they needed a foster home for them. We dropped everything and ran to the shelter to get there before they closed and picked these little babes up. One is black and white and the other is solid black except for a little bit of white on the chest and the tummy. I decided to call them Raven and Magpie (I'm sure you can figure out which one is which!) I think Raven is a boy and Magpie is a girl but I'm not good at sexing young kittens so we'll have to wait a bit to see if I'm right.
When we picked them up Raven was hissing, spitting and swatting at everyone. I put on my leather gardening gloves (but only after he nailed me - literally - and got me good on one of my fingers) and picked him up. He was scared but finally relaxed. Magpie was curious and outgoing from the very beginning. I tried to feed them some gruel made of organic rice baby cereal, powdered milk replacer and meat baby food mixed with warm water. They had absolutely no clue how to eat out of a dish. Crap...two bottle fed kittens! I fixed a bottle for them and they drank eagerly. Okay, more work but at least they were eating.
Monday morning Magpie came to greet me and Raven dove for cover. Once Raven figured out that I was the chow wagon, he decided I perhaps wasn't nearly as bad as he first thought I was and he came to get his share of the bottle. I continued to try the gruel only I started offering it to them on the end of my fingers, which Magpie immediately started to eat. Raven would eat out of a spoon! Hooray!
Yesterday morning they came out of the cube much faster and eagerly ate the gruel - off the spoon and then out of the dish. Yippee! Progress!! After eating they both climbed into my lap and played then snuggled with me.
This morning they both came running when I went to feed them and they eagerly lapped up their breakfast out of the bowl. Whew...no more bottle feeding!! They are curious and playful and I am amazed at how quickly they came around. Of course, they are probably no more than 4 to 5 weeks old so they are at the perfect age for weaning and socializing.
When I was looking at Magpie Sunday night I thought she might be a polydactyl cat with an extra toe on her right front foot. After I inspected it closely on Monday I discovered that she only has 3 toes on that foot - two of them are melded together with only one toenail growing out of it. It makes her look like she is giving a Vulcan greeting - "Live long and prosper!" Because of this malformed foot (and perhaps due to their young age) Magpie is kind of tipsy and clumsy but when I read about polydactyl cats it said that it is common for them to have some difficulties learning to walk when they are kittens. I figured it would be the same for her. Look at her foot (the one on your left) and see what I'm talking about.
But they're healthy, happy, playful and curious little kittens and I am sure somebody will love little Magpie even with that unique little foot! She has amazing energy and such a loving personality who couldn't fall in love with her?!