Saturday, 30 July 2011
I've had another exhausting day. In fact, scrub that. I've had an exhausting few weeks. These kittens are, I suspect, just as draining as human babies. I'm just as tired as many mums say they are. No sleep through the night, feeds every few hours, bum cleaning... Oh yes, today's been the day of bum cleaning. Oh, and poo mopping. And even bathing!
Now, for those of you who are desperate to have a litter of kittens just for the "Oh, but they're so cute!" factor, please read on. For those of you who have already gone through this, yes, today's the day where I need the "there there, you'll be all right" kind of sympathy!
Someone's not using the litter tray, and that someone has a beautifully runny bum. That someone usually leaves their poo just outside the litter tray in a corner, which means that when the others come out from doing their business, what do they stand in? Well, poo is slippy, so naturally, they fall over, having not expected to have their feet go out from under them.
If any of you have seen a very young kitten get up, you'll know that, even if they fall onto their chests, they will never push straight up onto their feet. They have to roll around first. So, we have three long-haired kittens, one pile of runny poo in a high traffic location, and unsteady paws. Need I say more?
The Baby and Porker got so bad that I actually had to bath them, and neither were very pleased. The Baby was petrified of the hair drier too, but Porker, after his initial fright, was more confused, then annoyed about the big noisy thing we were using on him. He didn't rate the air being blown at him too highly either.
So, numerous baby wipe baths, then a real one, a pen clean and disinfect later, I thought I'd lie back for just a minute and rest. 20 minutes later, I smelled the distinctive, what can only be described as farmyard, odour and thought, "Oh great". By the time I'd managed to get to the pen, Porker had rolled, hamster had trodden in it and walked all over the pen, and the Baby, whose back end was sodden right down to her feet, had curled up in the freshly washed bedding for a little snooze.
out came the carrier and out came the kittens. In they went into the carrier, and I got to listen to their protests while I went into the pen. I didn't spot that those poo laiden paws had made it a little closer to the front than I thought, so when I knelt down in my nice clean jeans, the knees of them got unclean in a hurry.
So, numerous baby wipe baths, a pen clean and disinfect, old bedding wash and new inserted, a shower and a new pair of jeans later, in went the kittens, and out went the last of my energy. I'm drained, absolutely and totally. They're mostly clean now (I couldn't face another actual bath), but for how long? I've put an incontinence pad down over the poo spot in the big pen, and, after I cleaned and disinfected the bedroom one as well, I did the same there. hopefully that'll stop them from using the floor as a toilet, and if it doesn't, then I pray that the inco pad soaks up the worst of it before someone comes and takes a poo bath.
In brighter news though, hamster gained a whopping 33 grams between yesterday morning and evening. I thought my scales were wrong, but they weren't. This morning, he'd gained another 3! Weight gains have been less today, and Porker actually lost, but I'm not worrying. It's important that they get a little hungry when they start solids, because it encourages them to search for food. I did tell you I was starting them, didn't I? I remember mentioning that Tia's milk was drying up, and I suspect it's done so more now, because only Porker is showing any real interest in feeding from her, and he's an opportunist so it's hardly surprising. he loses interest very quickly though. Every single one of them will not eat from a dish if you put them down in front of it. It's almost like they're afraid of it, as they'll wriggle and run backwards away from it. To get them to eat, you have to hold them still, open their mouths, drop a bit of food in, and then wait for the thick Persian brain to kick in (it usually takes two or three tries and about five seconds of licking, chewing and thinking) and say "Hey, what you've got in your mouth really tastes nice. And you're hungry. Hmmm, why not have some more of that?" If you're Porker or the Baby, you'll allow your head to be guided to the dish as I lower my food laiden fingers down. Then I can slip away and leave you to eat your fill. However, if you're Hamster, you point blank refuse to eat unless it's on my fingers. It takes me about five minutes to get him to eat from the dish, and he'll only do so if I bury my fingers in the food and he can eat near them. He's such a silly clutz, that boy, but terribly sweet. He's the quiet trouble maker. If I'm helping one of the others eat, he's usually the one attacking the back of my arm, and as soon as you turn your attention to him, he lies perfectly still as though he were asleep!
To finish off today, the first kitten has been booked. I find this good news and bad all at the same time; good because I know the man he's going to live with, and I also know he'll be spoiled rotten and loved to within an inch of his life. Bad because it's really brought home to me that in seven weeks, these babies won't be mine any more and I'll have to give them up. I suspect I'll end up blubbing before the new owners have even gotten them out the door! Porker's owner (he'll remain nameless until he chooses to reveal himself), you have been warned! I am a total wet rag and I admit it. It does take a weight off my mind though. I'd be happy with this first litter going to live with people I know. I know all my kittens will be precious to me, but I think these guys will always hold a special place with me. They were my first, after all.
So, that's it. If anybody lives close-by and feels like cleaning mucky bums and scrubbing pens, I'd love you forever! The "oh, but they're so cute!" factor is sadly absent today, even though they are! Even covered in poo and spreading it all over the place, I still love 'em. Little monsters!