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The Sixth Kitten

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Well, the mystery of the sixth kitten has been answered. When the first feral family showed up here, Gary thought he saw six kittens the first day. Then there were five.

When for many days there were only five, we assumed the worst had happened.

Well, "our" sixth kitten is a real survivor!

The "new" litter of kittens (different mom) showed up a few days ago. There were three. We thought. They all disappeared again but for one.

Gary trapped it today (a really cute grey/white kitten). He also trapped Spooky, who (thanks to Christy) we knew for sure was a female (mixed colors). Well - he didn't trap Spooky. He's been petting and grooming all the outdoor kitties at this point, so all he had to do was pick Spooky up and put her in the crate. He had to use the stick method to trap the little grey/white one. Spooky is getting spayed.

At the Vet's, Gary takes the little Grey/white one out of the crate and she buries herself into Gary's arm. He's feeling her, and says it seems like there's something wrong with her colon.

He was right. There's something really, really wrong with her as she looks like she's a month old or so, but she has her adult "fangs," basically at the same stage of the process as Lazlo and Sheldon. She MUST be the sixth kitten! She hasn't left under our RV since she showed up with the other litter, and she was so hungry she pretty much tolerated being petted right away.

She is adorable, and has blue eyes.

I wish I could keep them all.

The Vet is keeping her tonight, doing X-rays, blood work, etc. They'll let us know tomorrow what the problem is. She is far too small to survive the Winter. But because she's so small, if we can afford her medical care, she might be easy to adopt out. It's "that" time of the month for me, I'm sick, and emotionally I can't handle this poor, cute, little kitty who's not all right.

Please send her your prayers!

I'll say it again. I don't know how you people rescue. I just don't have that kind of strength.

{{{experiencing intense admiration for all who rescue, shelter and foster}}}
post #2 of 29
Laurie - consider you and your feral families in my prayers!!
I hope that the Vet can come up with some answers for you.
post #3 of 29
Wow! What an amazing story. Kudos to you and Gary for helping this poor baby.
post #4 of 29
Wow, it sounds like she is a real survivor! Hopefully being as small as she is, someone will have compassion for this little one and adopt her. She's had a tough enough life so far, she deserves a good forever home, but then again they all do, don't they?
post #5 of 29
Good Kitty vibes from Iowa right to your front door. I hope she is ok.
post #6 of 29
mike read your story and shook his head and said how glad he is for people like you and Gary. You are doing such a good thing, and there will be more coming soon to your door. Psst- by the way- I have news for you- you already are a rescuer!
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
We called the Vet yesterday to find out what was up with "our kitties." Well. I really shouldn't complain, because the Vets have been really, really good to us. They're giving us very satisfactory discounts because we've become - you know - like "high volume" customers or something. And they're letting us pay over time since things are tough for us financially. But still...

Spooky is spayed and doing fine.

But little grey/white kitty hadn't even been x-rayed yet! There was a lot of Ummms and Errrs, and we were told one of the Vets (there are four at this practice, and we know them all. Rather, all of them know us) would return the call last night, which he never did. The only thing the receptionist could relay was that the kitty was not peeing, so they had to express her bladder. She's eating ravenously, but no word on whether she went #2 or is having problems with that too.

We've left another message this morning, and have no news.

Heidi - we were thinking/hoping the exact same thing!

One funny comment. Lazlo is turning out to be a very solid kitten. He's not fat by any stretch, but he's thick with a lot of muscle. He has this wonderful kind of swagger when he walks. Shelly is going to be a very thin, tall kitty. His legs are SO LONG and his tail is SO LONG. He's kind of clutzy when he walks. So Lazlo is like a football player, and Shelly is like a basketball player. And, as you all know by now, we live in an R.V. So Gary says yesterday - "How come we couldn't end up with the Bonsai kitty?" LOL! Not that we'd "trade in" either one. If it were just me, I'd adopt the sixth kitten. But I just can't ask. My formerly cat-hating husband has made a turn-around - but I can't push him that far! It was one thing when we were two people with two kittens. It's another thing now that they're getting SO BIG!

post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
Well, we spoke to the Vet yesterday (!) We were a bit upset about everything taking so long, and for us to get a straight story about what's been going on with "our" kitties. (We named the little grey one Munchkin).

Turns out a man flew in from CA to help his mom trap cats on her property. He's brought in just over 40 cats in the last three days for spaying/neutering, and he has to leave for CA tomorrow, so.... And another local resident brought in 16 cats over the same period of time. There are four Vets there, and they've been going nuts!

And since it turns out it was a simple blockage, and the main problem is she has an extra-long intestine, which they believe she will grow into, they went ahead and spayed her knowing that's what we would want.

We could have picked them up yesterday but didn't. It's been pouring here, and we didn't want to release them into the rain.

Spooky stuck around for pets after eating. Munchkin didn't want to come out of the crate. We fed her, and put water in the crate with her. Gary took some cat-milk out to her, and she drank it - and BOLTED. I guess something spooked her, and she took off into the woods. He went up looking for her, but no luck. A groundhog has moved into the burrow they were born in.

I really hope Munchkin comes "home." Munchkin only weighs 1.9 pounds! (Lazlo is 8+ now, and Shelly's close to 8).
post #9 of 29
I'm glad everything went well with Spooky and Munchkin. I'm sure Munchkin will be back - she knows where the good food is.
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
MUNCHKIN CAME HOME! Yay! I didn't get a chance to post it yesterday, but she showed up Sunday. We left the crate out with a towel in it - it's starting to get really cold here. (It was almost freezing last night).

Gary fed her lots of food, and we gave her additional treats.

Yesterday when we got home from work, the towel had been dragged out of the crate, and she was asleep under the bus on the towel! The "gang of four" seems to be getting along well, and when Booger (Rocki) shows up, there's a bit of hissing and shuffling - especially by Julius, the biggest of the four. But Boog is the Queen, and no one is getting hurt anymore, which is good. But I finally feel good about the decision to find her a permanent home where she can be indoor/outdoor and not "worry" about the other ferals (because the colony keeps growing!) - she so deserves it. When Tuxedo is a problem, we simply set out a separate dish for him instead of "asking" him to eat at the feeder.

Munchkin is so cute, but Julius SOOOO wants to be someone's pet. He is dying for love and just rubs himself all over us and comes running for pets. We took pictures and went to put them up around town. The number of kittens that are up for adoption is just astounding. Despite Munchkin being so cute and so sweet, I'm not sure we'll find her a home.
post #11 of 29
Laurie, My heart is aching for little Munchkin. She's a real little fighter, and deserves the very best and most loving home. She has basically survived on her own, hasn't she? Oh, I so hope she gets a forever, loving home.
post #12 of 29
Is there any way you can put up special heart-wrenching posters at your vets for little Munchkin? Just tell her story and how with being so small she probably won't survive the winter outdoors. I would fall for it.
post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
We should do it anyway. I was just so discouraged, there's such a problem around here. At the Vets, they just got in another 27 cats, 10 of which are kittens - all were indoor cats. The woman who was caring for them died, and they are trying to adopt them out. The no-kill shelter is full.

But chin up! Right? None of the other adoption notices have pictures - and how's this:


...and we can put them up in the two pet stores around here. We've got to try. She's too sweet, and too cute. And way too small.

We noticed she trembles almost all the time since she came back. It might be because it IS cold here - it's in the 40s and at night it's near freezing. And she was just spayed, so her belly is partially shaved. And when Gary holds her, maybe she's just still afraid. Oh look at me - I've started to cry.

Munchkin's such a little fluff ball. Gary blew off working for a while today and spent about an hour with her, just holding her, petting her, and feeding her. She didn't ever purr. Just trembled. I'd give you a picture now, but our digital camera is on the fritz.

Thanks for the encouragement. Jeanie - somehow she survived on her own from when the kittens first showed up. So that is..... from when she was just 3 - 5 weeks old until now - over five months old. And the poor little thing is not even 2 pounds.

She really NEEDS an inside home.

Guess we've got our next round of work cut out for us!
post #14 of 29
Oh, geez, you about made me cry! I wanna take little Munchkin home!

I think your headline is perfect. Especially if you put her picture on it, with all her specifics that she is this old and only 2 lbs, but has fought hard on her own to survive thus far, that she is already spayed and has her shots. She does NEED a home for the winter!
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
You're all so sweet. What I want to know is, where is the other litter of kittens? I don't know if you remember back to the beginning of this thread, but there was another VERY pregnant mom who hung around for about a week before disappearing (she came over for pets one night ). Her kittens should be about two months old now, I guess. Munchkin showed up with two of what we surmised must be from the "new" litter.

I wonder if Munchkin isn't actually our gang's sister? What if someone dumped the three wee kitties and they were ALL five months old. Where are the other two?

Oh jeesh. I'm crying again. What is WRONG with me today?

TOMORROW IS FERAL CAT DAY. I would love to honor it by putting up Munchkin's pictures and story. I guess I'll have to have my feral cat day early next week (we don't have a same day photo developing thing anywhere near here).
post #16 of 29
Laurie, There's nothing wrong with you today. In fact everything's right with you. You just have a soft heart. If you could get little Munchkin's story published or on local TV, I'm sure people would line up to take her. I would call the newspaper and tell them you have a human interest story for them.
post #17 of 29
Poor little Munchkin! (And poor you!) I think you'll have a great response to your ad. I think there are many people out there who would love a tiny kitty. Have you called to Humane Society to see whether they have an adoption program for elderly people? I would think a tiny cat would be great for an older person. (Our local humane society has a program set up just for the elderly, maybe yours does too.)
post #18 of 29
Did Munchkin find a home yet? I hope she has, it is getting cold out there.
post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Well, the local TV wasn't interested, and the Humane Society has an adoption program, but not for the elderly per se, and they're focussed on adopting out the cats in the shelter. It is a kill shelter, so Munchkin ISN'T going. The no-kill shelter is full.

Pictures are being developed now (our digital is on the fritz), and they should be ready Tuesday - but we're in the city Tuesday and Wednesday, so the earliest we can pick them up is actually next Thursday.

She is SOOOOOO CUTE! I can't wait to post a picture of her. She is the friendliest little thing. We hold her and pet her - she purrs as soon as she sees us! ...and she's a talker! Because she's so little, all the other cats have accepted her into the group without any problems - she can eat wherever she wants and no one complains. When we're working from home, at least one of us is out there three times a day!

It is very cold. We turned our picnic table into a shelter - since they're not sleeping in the shelters we put up near their original home. I actually think a groundhog moved in there. The crate we used to bring Munchkin home from the Vet in she moved into, so we put it up under the picnic table into the shelter we built. We purchased one of those self-heating "blankets" that traps the heat from the animals, and she's not trembling when she scampers out anymore. I'm so pleased she moved in there, I thought my heart was going to break.
post #20 of 29
Laurie, Is there any news about Munchkin? Do you have posters up? Is she big enough that you can advertise her? Please keep us advised. I know you'll choose the best possible home for her.
post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 
You're so sweet! We haven't been to pick up the pictures yet (ready Tues but first day we could do it is today), so no, no posters are up.

But I found a local fostering/adoption service when we were at the Vet to pick up Magic Tuesday night.

I left a message for them yesterday - they might have called back, I don't know as we've been tied up on the phone for work. (What we do involves being on the phone most of the time).

It was snowing/sleeting and wet and cold around here the last two nights. But thankfully the gang moved into the shelter we provided, and all seems well. She and magic are just too cute to be believed.

We bought a new digital camera Tuesday when our day fell completely apart because the car broke down. It is a beautiful sunny day, so I might have digital pictures before we pick up the developed pictures!

My dream is that this foster place calls back and has at least one home that can foster Munchkin until she's adopted (of course, my dream is that they have four homes, but one will do!). If not, it might end up being us if it gets cold again - even Gary was just about to break down and let all hell brake loose in here he was so worried about the poor thing. But what a trooper she is! This morning she was out there, sitting on the plastic covering the wood pile, in the sun (which had recently come up) having a "bath." I was worried she wasn't grooming - but whatever happened, there she was - cleaning, warm, and looking happy. Spying out the window after their "breakfast," I watched her chase a bug of some kind around and play with falling leaves. What a sweetie.

post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
Well that's it. When feeding them this morning, Magic ATTACKED Munchkin and Gary intervened as quickly as he could. Magic is the newcomer around here, and while all we've seen is a super-sweet kitty. This morning we don't know what happened, but the attack was vicious and fast. Magic bolted (although he's back already) and Gary coaxed Munchkin back, picked her up and put her in the crate. He came inside flaming mad, and said - I know it's going to be nuts around here, but...[he told me what happened]...and I'm taking her to the Vet now, and when I bring her back she's coming inside. She won't survive unharmed out there, and we'll just have to deal with it until we find her a home.

He took her to the vet. She had several bad gashes and one puncture wound where you could see the muscle. She is going on antibiotics (and will be de-wormed again) and is going to stay at the Vet's for a few days.

...so when we pick her up, she's coming inside!

I worked this morning while Gary spent some time calling shelters around here looking for help to get these cats adopted. He left multiple messages. We still have not heard back from "Feral to Friendly Felines."

So we're going to be foster parents!! I've written so many times here now that I don't know how you people foster - and here we are. But she can't stay outside while we try to get her adopted. She's just too small. So who knows? We may end up with three!
post #23 of 29
Laurie, Would you be upset if I told you that's what I was hoping for? It was so good of Gary to insist on Munchkin coming in. Of course, I know you objected to that..(...yeah, Riiiiiiiight!)
I'm just so sorry the poor baby got hurt. Magic probably doesn't feel very secure yet.
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
Jeanie, you're so sweet. Of course we were ALL hoping we'd bring Munchkin inside! Now the question is - do we really end up finding her a home, or does she become part of the family? :tounge2:

I'm sorry it took her getting hurt, too. But as you may recall, we live in about 210 sq. ft. of space, so it will not only be completely disruptive to the routine the four of us have managed to work out, there isn't very much space with which to work.

At least we've got all the holes into the dashboard already plugged up from when Laz and Shelly were babies... !

post #25 of 29
Oh Laurie! I just now read this whole story...I saw the pics of Munchkin in the lounge and came here to read about her. This story about broke my heart....sweet little Munchkin! She really is a survivor!! You and Gary are such wonderful people for taking care of these ferals and looking for good homes for them!!! I kind of hope you decide to keep Munchkin...it just seems like she belongs with you. I hope she is feeling better after her attack. Keep us posted on how she is! I will check back here when I get a chance!!!!!
post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 
You're so sweet, Debby! We pick her up from the Vet tomorrow between 10:00 and 11:00 (so guess when we'll be there!).

She's so sweet and so cute - and hopefully we'll be able to get her adopted easily. She has long hair, and I am allergic to cats. I'd love to keep her (of course I'd like to bring them all in!) - but I already talked to Gary. If things seem to work out O.K. in here with three cats, if we can get Munchkin adopted, then we can bring Lazlo's sister Spooky in. She just jumped on my lap for the first time about 10 minutes ago! ...I went out to pet them (they've already been fed). Spooky's smaller than Laz (but they both have this really luxuriosly thick soft coat).

Actually they all have the same mom. But there are clearly three dads: there are two grey tabbies (Lazlo and Spooky - although she's mottled with orange like her mom), two tuxedos (Sheldon and Tuxedo), and two - I don't know what they are. Julius and Munchkin. They both have long hair. Juli looks like Munchkin - just he's HUGE (he was always a giant and is just massively bigger than all the others) and ginger instead of Munchie's grey.

We're going to work to get Juli adopted too. He's big and spastic, but a love-bug.

..and then there's Magic. He attacked Munchie, but he must've just been insecure as the newbie on the block. He's just a few months old at most, and he's already the most aggressive in terms of wanting pets and attention. He really needs a home. He'll survive the Winter - he's fluffy and he's fattening up good. Juli, Spooky and Magic are all living together in a warm shelter we made for them.

I don't know what to do about Tuxedo. He's mean. He attacks the other cats, he hisses and swipes at Gary - and doesn't back down - until Gary pulls his shoulders up and stretches up tall - then Tuxedo will run away a bit. We have to feed him separately, away from the other cats. He's just a nasty cat. Shelly must've gotten all the "nice" genes!

I've asked for advice on how to handle bringing Munchie into our little family because of our unusual living situation. ...Haven't gotten a response yet, so right now it looks like we're on our own! I'm sure we'll do fine. I just don't want Lazlo and Shelly to be too upset, nor Munchie to get hurt. Wish us luck!

post #27 of 29
Wishing you lots of luck!!!! And when you say they all have different dads...do you mean the different litters have different dads, or the same litter does? I am sure if I went back and reread this, I would know what you meant, but I have trouble remembering things and not enough time online to keep things completely straight.

The reason I ask about the different fathers with the same litter, is that I have heard that cats are different than humans as far as a human can only have one father (obviously) per pregnancy..but I have heard that a cat could have kittens in the same litter that were fathered by more than one male....is this true?
post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
It's true. When in heat, a female can be impregnated by many different males. Each kitten has only one dad genetically, but the several kittens may have different dads.

Sheldon, Lazlo, Spooky, Julius, Tuxedo and Munchkin were all from the same litter. When the kittens first turned up in our yard, there were six. The next day there were five. Since we've been feeding "outdoor" cats, many have come - a few of them regularly, many sporadically. Munchie turned up with Magic just around the time that we expected to see another batch of kittens (as we'd seen the pregnant mom several times as one of our meal-visitors). But the Vet surprised us with the news of how old she was (adult teeth)! So Magic and Munchkin aren't siblings. We don't know for sure that Munchkin is from the same litter as "our" kittens, but it's the only thing that really makes sense! This isn't a place or an area were "dumped" kittens would make their way - it's too far off a road.

Anyway, she had a colon problem that contributed to her being so teeny. But with each "pair" of kittens, there is a big one and a little one! I wonder if that's usual? Lazlo's pretty big and stocky. His sister is also stocky, but MUCH smaller. Shelly is the big one of their pair (he was the runt) - and Tuxedo is wirey like Shel, but just smaller. And Julius is GIGANTIC - and what would clearly be his sister if she is from the same litter, is Munchkin.

I'll post the rest of the pics when I get a chance. Of course I think they're all dears!

post #29 of 29
Thanks for explaining that to me! I can't wait to see more pics!
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