It looks like we got them out of the shelter and placed just in time — for multiple reasons. I’ve been told that Arabella and the kittens were going to be euthanized! What is wrong with people. Arabella has clearly been a pet. She friendly and affectionate. At two years old, that didn’t happen in the time she’s been at the shelter.
The first day was a little rough. Everyone’s dirty and smelly; shelters — especially crowded, busy ones — aren’t conducive to cleanliness. And Arabelle has clearly been stressed for more than just her time travelling here. She’s not very clean herself and she’s been ignoring the kittens. In addition to all the stress she’s been under to this point, she seems concerned about the cats she can hear and smell outside the door. She finally (after about 15 hours) laid down for a little bit and the kittens came to nurse. She was a little uncomfortable (probably from being full of milk) but stayed as long as I petted her. That one time made the kittens more brave and they kept trying if she stayed still. She was mostly rebuffing them. I finally got her to lay down and rest (she’d been wide awake, watching the door every time I checked on her) by putting a bed beside the nest box. A little while after that she began talking to them and bathing them. Finally she lay down and everybody piled on; she bathed whoever was within reach. I really hope that continues; they’re quite the smelly little family!!
Later she climbed in the nest and all was good:
Everybody — Arabelle included — needs rest and comfort. I’m so glad I don’t seem to stress her at all; it means I can keep a close eye on everyone. She’s completely unconcerned about me handling the kittens, though they don’t cry so that helps. They must have been well-handled in the shelter. More often than not, when I pick them up they relax and start purring.
A couple of the kittens have diarrhea, so probably worms. I’m working on getting some worm medicine. The one little grey dude is really small and has the worst diarrhea. I think he has some other problems, too. I’m a little worried. If they really are six weeks old, they’re seriously small.