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Kitten Madness

Posted Sep 12 2008 9:11am
I've restrained myself from turning this blog into "All Kittens All the Time" lately, though it would have been easy to do. It may also be a good thing that we only borrowed the camera for one night, or I'd probably have new pictures daily, too! (Not that this would be a bad thing, of course.)

Much has happened in the past week and a half of their short lives. They went to the vet twice last week, much to their dismay, and they'll be going again this Friday. On the first visit they got their initial deworming and I had them tested for FIV and Feline Leukemia; without confirmation that they were negative for these two diseases, the Humane Society would not accept them as fosters. They are negative, but that didn't mean they were healthy yet! When they developed watery diarrhea and started throwing up, I initially attributed that to their worming meds. When I called the vet to find out how long these would likely last, I was told. . . neither kitten should be having these reactions and bring them in right away!

And so they were diagnosed with an apparently common kittenhood parasite called coccidia. This was scary for a few days, particularly for Velcro who was critically ill. She weighed 1.4 pounds on Monday and dropped to 15.5 ounces on Friday. So the doctor gave her fluids and sent me home with tasty prescription food for them and oral medication which he swore they'd like (they proved him wrong). Fortunately she is now beyond the critical stage and both Velcro and Cheetah have shown huge signs of improvement since Friday--in other words, no more vomit, normal poops in the litter box and they've resumed their usual voracious appetite. Otherwise they seem very healthy and growing again. The only sign of their unhealthy childhood is Velcro's broken whiskers, all at about 1/2 inch. I've seen this before (granted, it was a cougar that time) in undernourished kittens, and I know that she'll grow new complete whiskers before long.

This week they get the first of their vaccinations and get their ears checked for mites. Amazingly they travel well to the vet and don't scream in the car like every other cat I've ever known. Somehow I expect that to change after this trip.

We've also brought them upstairs from the basement. Their new room is our old "guest room," now an exercise room after our first guest stayed for 3 years. It's a smaller room than the finished one downstairs, but it has more interesting furniture to climb. Today I watched them both climb onto the trunk (not directly--they jumped up from the top of their travel crate) and successfully miss the chair they were trying to get to, an unbelievable 8 inches away. Okay, to be fair, Cheetah only missed the chair the first time and Velcro actually missed the jump back to the trunk.

Initially we let them out of the room to explore the house a bit (they've gotten as far as the bathroom across the hall and our bedroom and to the bird's cage at the far end of the hall) but we restricted that when we found out they were still sick. We're continuing the restriction until they get tested for ear mites, since we don't really want to treat the other 4, particularly Neko who gets terrible infestations and already has cysts in one ear. Once we are sure their ears are clean, they'll have access again.

The other cats don't seem to know what to do with these intruders. Bailey spends a great deal of time at their door when it is closed, but when the kittens were out, she stayed 10 feet away. Aries took one look at these ferocious itty-bitty-kitties and fled the other direction (such a coward). Neko is curious, but I think he is waiting for the kittens to make the first move. Hepzibah hasn't looked at them, as far as I've seen.

The kittens are definitely enjoying the novelty of upstairs. When they did explore some they learned about the novelty of playing on linoleum bathroom floors and attacking one anothers' paws beneath the open door. Cheetah's favorite discovery seems to be the air conditioning vents; she stares at them and attacks the air that blows out directly into her face. The world of a human house is very different when your head is 3 inches off the ground!
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