Sunday, July 24, 2016

And Then There Was One (A Kitten Update)

In April, our family grew by 12 paws. You may recall reading about our surprise additions a few months ago. The kittens added a lot of joy and excitement to our family. Initially, we spent an hour or more a day watching them cuddle together in their makeshift bed. We carefully placed them on the carpet and watched them piddle around like three blind mice.

Around 5-6 weeks after their birth, the kittens began to explore the upstairs, eventually making their way downstairs. This is when things became chaotic! While I would have loved for each of the kids to have their own cat, we knew we needed to try and rehome them.

The kittens had no chance to hide. One or more of the kids was always carrying a kitten by the neck, putting them in bookbags or buckets, and wrapping them in blankets. I had to lock the cats in our bedroom to make sure they could nurse.

Amelia was the most relentless. She treated the kittens like babies--grooming them, feeding them, even trying to dress and diaper them.

Things became most stressful when the kids started hiding the kittens and fighting over them. On more than one occasion, I caught two kids fighting over a kitten, one pulling the front legs, another pulling the hind legs. At this point, I began hounding friends and family and posting on social media, in an attempt to find them new homes.

By early-June, the kittens were eating dry food and using the litter box. I began getting requests for the kittens. On June 10, a friend and fellow cat lover came by to cuddle with the kittens one last time. She ended up leaving with one!

I drove a half hour to deliver another kitten to a friend of the family the following day. Zelda, always the protective mama, was understandably agitated.

We ultimately decided to keep one of the kittens, naming her Bella. She's not a cuddly kitten, but she is patient and good with the kids. She is playful and enjoys chasing flies. She sleeps with Jesse and I at night and naps in random tight quarters during the day.

Our family of six is technically a family of nine with our three cats--Aspen, Zelda, and Bella.

Zelda was finally spayed in late June, once she stopped nursing. We will take Bella next month when she's old enough. Until then, she'll stay indoors 24/7. We learned our lesson the hard way. I certainly hope our family is complete now!

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