For the record, I am not an a**hole as some readers have claimed. You know who you are! I just wanted to create a little mystery. Meet:
There’s ALWAYS somebody else to rescue. Always. But sometimes, a rescued cat gets to help a cat who needs rescuing!
The call went out for an urgent rescue. Did anyone have a nursing queen who would take two orphans. They’re only 10 days old, but I answered that even though the trees were quite a bit older, Oprah was an awesome mom with lots of milk. If they were desperate, we could take ’em.
The kittens arrived — screaming — courtesy of volunteer driver, Ashley. We took them in to Oprah and she was all over it; cleaning, chirping, lying down to feed them. However, the kittens were too worked up. They wouldn’t nurse. We tried everything; expressing a bit of milk for them to taste, putting formula on Oprah. Eventually, Oprah couldn’t take it and gave up on them. They screamed for an hour and twenty minutes. Screamed. She eventually got so upset she attacked me. Really attacked my legs — free flowing blood and all.
I was in constant touch with the Intake Coordinator and she eventually said to take them away and give everyone a break. That they’d be fine for the night. So I bedded them down in the bathroom with a heating pad, (in half of the box; they need to be able to get away if they’re too warm), and covered the box so it was nice and dark. Eventually, they fell asleep. I think they slept through the night.
In the morning, I fed Oprah and then carefully moved the kittens into the room. They woke but were making normal mewing sounds, not screaming. When Oprah laid down, I put them up to her belly and … SUCCESS! She wasn’t having anything to do with the nest box anymore though. If they were in there, she’d drag them out and drop them on the floor! Almost as if to say “the others come and find me, you can too.” So I made a nest of just an old comforter with some stuffed toys as “walls”. They can get “out”, but will mostly stay.
Oprah’s still not quite sure of these loud, fractious babies. Hers were so calm and well-behaved. But I was encouraged to walk away and let them sort it out, find their own schedule. We’re making progress and the periods of quiet are getting longer. 😉
The older kittens are alternately ignoring them and fascinated. Aspen especially will rush over to comfort them when they’re crying! Unfortunately for her, they immediately start trying to find somewhere to nurse. 😉 I’ve caught a couple of the older trees trying to use the new kittens as toys!
I think it’s going to be a tough week, but we’ll get there. Magnolia and Cherry are surprisingly good at dragging themselves around but when they can walk a bit better, I think things will really work more smoothly. The biggest problem is that if they’re awake, they’re crying. Even if they’ve just had a good feed, it takes them about half an hour to fall asleep and they cry that whole time.