Someday, things will settle down and I’ll be able to enjoy fostering again.
Claire became increasingly “uncomfortable” with nursing the kittens, to the point where I was worried she might hurt one of them. She has nipped at them, but mostly stops herself and does some furious washing of little behinds! 😉
Warning: This video is not cute or beautiful. It’s upsetting and cringe-worthy.
I sent the video to Sarah and she sent it out to the group for discussion/advice. It was proposed that we send out two of the kittens for bottle-feeding in order to give her a bit of a break. I cried the rest of the day. The wonderful Taunya came to get them. (I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned Taunya. She’s in the post-adoption group and she’s A-mazing. Part family therapist, part social worker. Seriously. The calls she’s handled??? OY.) She brought her delightful kids, Cody (4) and Matilda (2), who are, of course, well-schooled in how to act around animals. Taunya watched the kittens and Claire for a while and felt that the kittens were healthy and normal and Claire was ok — it was a quiet nursing time! And it’s always better to leave them with a mom, if possible. So they’re staying, for now. And we’re going to evaluate on a day-to-day basis.
I’ve been trying to supplement them, especially taking a couple away when Claire first comes back in the nest. The problem is clearly worse when she’s been away and is full of milk. We got into a bit of a routine: I try to give them a good feeding in the morning, when I get home from work and at bedtime. Yesterday afternoon Fergus took a couple of tentative licks from a plate of formula!! Great sign. There’s also been more play especially from Jem. And I set up a ramp so they can get back in the box if they climb out.