Monday, April 16, 2007


Yes, one more post on the topic of dinner.

If you are following the Sugar Babies' weight chart, you would have noticed that on Saturday most of the kittens weighed the same or less than they had the week before. The exception was Honey, who began to eat from a dish on Wednesday. When Sweetie offered her tummy for rubs, which she is doing more frequently, I noticed that her breasts are nearly flat. Not much milk left in there. So, D- and I had a conference, and decided that even though the kittens did not appear to be in distress, they could use more calories than they were getting.

By the weekend, Honey, Chip, and Taffy were doing a good job eating from the bowl, but the littlest kittens just weren't ready yet. So out came the syringe, and I became a surrogate mom. Wow! Those kittens were hungry. Take a look at Sugar, Candy, and Snap enjoying their dinner. And at us all wearing it.

I fed them as much as they wanted four times yesterday, until their little eyes closed and they keeled over sideways. And today Snap is holding steady and everybody else has gained an ounce or so, on average. They are eating less frantically, so we'll continue on the three meal-a-day plan. I don't think it will be very long until they are all eating from the dish.

Sweetie continues to nurse, though less often. Our new routine is I feed them, then they nurse. I think she's more like a big pacifier than a food source. She wasn't very pacific last night, though, when I heard yowls and growls and general caterwauling coming from the nursery. She had climbed in with the kittens, who were vigorously nursing a mere 20 minutes after I had stuffed them to the gills with formula. Though very gentle with the kittens, she was lying there screaming like she was in a cat fight, and did move a couple away from what seemed like a tender area mid belly. I watched for a few minutes, to make sure she wasn't about to go on a murderous rampage, and she just left with a pained expression on her face. She let me examine her belly, which was unremarkable except for mild tenderness of the middle pair of nipples. Nothing hot or swollen. This morning she let me do a pretty thorough abdominal exam. She has a little more milk swelling than she had yesterday, and again the middle nipples seem irritated but all are nice and pink, no redness, nothing hot.

I checked in with the shelter, and L- suggested she may be going into heat. Ah, the life of the unspayed puddy tat. I'll keep watching her for now.


shelley said...

Poor Sweetie, such a young Mom. The kittens look like they are doing great, they are all so adorable.

Omnibus Driver said...

The kittens might be able to handle it if you mixed some of their formula with some turkey baby food and put it down in a flat dish. In a week or so, you can then start adding dry kibble to the baby food, and start subtracting on the formula. I've weaned an awful lot of kittens this way!

Gottagopractice said...

Thanks, OD, any and all suggestions appreciated. I am giving them formula + baby food, but only three have gotten the dish thing down. Are you suggesting that a saucer might work better than the shallow bowl for the others? And what kind of kibble are you using?

Omnibus Driver said...

Yeah, I'd go with a saucer or a dish with a very small lip. Right now I'm feeding Old Mother Hubbard's Wellness kibble. If you read the list of ingredients for any of their formulas, you'll find there's nothing in there you wouldn't put on your own table... and no corn, no wheat. Great stuff!