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Tomorrow's the big day

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've been caring for two feral (seems funny to say that now, when they'll jump on my lap and purr and make biscuits on me) kittens for three weeks now, and tomorrow's the big day they go to the vet's office with me (I work there) to get their checkups and hopefully their FeLV/FIV tests. I've been keeping Pippin and Fergus isolated from the other cats, first in a big rabbit cage when they were smaller, and then in my bathroom. Keeping them contained is getting harder and harder every day, and as they get bigger and bigger, they're getting too much for my tiny bathroom. In the past 24 hours, they've destroyed two rolls of TP (one on a roll and one by knocking it in the tub), ripped my shower curtain liner, put snags in the fabric shower curtain, one fell in the tub when I as taking a bath, the other jumped in (and didn't seem to mind) while the tub was filling, stole my makeup sponge, knocked over my contact case, and ruined one of my shoelaces.

A stray/feral momcat had kittens in my neighbors' basement, and we were able to catch two of the kittens. I've tamed a feral before (Gypsy was about 6 months when I caught her), so I knew I'd be able to handle the little guys. They were probably about 7-8 weeks old at the time. I was able to catch momcat a week ago, but she got away from me, since I was standing perched on the top rail of a chain link fence when I caught her in a tree. Probably among the dumbest things I've done in a long time - standing on a fence holding a semi-wild cat I'd just pulled out of a tree. I wish I could have held on long enough to at least get her in the garage. Since she's somewhat handle-able, I know I'd have been able to bring her around with some Fancy Feast bribery. She's since moved the remaining kittens (two or three more) out of the neighbors' basement and we're not quite sure where they are now. Possibly getting into another neighbors' garage.

My vet believes that the FeLV/FIV test isnt' accurate until they're 12 weeks old, so we've been putting off testing them. They're probably closing in on at least 11 weeks now, weighing about 3 pounds each and growing like weeds. They seem perfectly healthy. Not so much as a sniffle, sneeze or even an eye booger since I got them. Mild case of roundworms, but they've already had three doses of Pyrantel, with the next (last) dose due tomorrow.

I have every finger, toe and any other apendage crossed that the little guys will be negative. I can't believe how bonded I am to them in just three weeks time.

Healthy Kitten Vibes will be much appreciated.

post #2 of 19
Of course you've got coming your way! I'm always paranoid when it comes to FeLV/FIV testing....
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you!

Here's some pictures of my little boys.

Pippin on the first day we caught him. He was terrified.

We caught Fergus two days later, at about 11pm at night.

At first, they just hissed at each other. By morning, they were snuggled together.

They're inseperable now. They love playing with their Kitty Swat.

And attacking my legs.

Fergus is kinda simple. He's sweet, but a little slow.

Pippin is more outgoing, and more openly affectionate.

The two-headed kitten monster!

post #4 of 19
Oh my goodness! My heart just melted! I will be sending vibes your way all day today for a clean bill of health for your little ones They are just little angels!
post #5 of 19
Oh. My. Gosh. They are so adorable! I hope everything goes really, really well with the testing. Keep us all updated and post more pictures! They are too cute for words.
post #6 of 19

Those pictures are adorable.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everybody.

No test yet. The vet doesn't feel they're old enough for an accurate result. He'd guess them to be about 9-10 weeks, and prefers to do the test after they're 12 weeks. But they do seem very healthy, got their first boosters, and I got the ok to let them mingle with the other cats once 72 hours have passed since the big kitties' 2nd FELV boosters. So that'll be tomorrow.

At this point, I don't know if the test results even matter. I'm so attached to the little guys, I wouldn't want to give them up. But I'm also very attached to the big girls, and wouldn't want to put them at risk for anything.

I wouldn't be so afraid but I did find a stray a year ago who did test positive for FELV. He was a couple years old, intact male. I feel horrible about the whole thing because I did the cowardly thing and took him to the SPCA, knowing they'd put him to sleep. I couldn't bear to do it myself. But I also couldn't bear to let an intact infected male cat out on the street to make more kittens and spread disease. He looked a lot like Pippin. But at least the 24 hours or so that I had him (I kept him in my garage), he had food (lots of food!), shelter and love, possibly for the first time in his life.

As horrible as I feel about condemning that poor cat, perhaps getting him off the street saved the lives of others. Maybe even my little boys.
post #8 of 19
I think you did the right thing. Unfortunately, you're right, he would've made more babies, and they could've all been sick. Sad, but necessary, to put him down.
post #9 of 19
Sometimes, it really is for the best, isn't it? I have a good friend who took a lot of strays/ferals in when she was living in Toronto - she couldn't bear the thought of them being outside in the cold winter. Anyway, she took one intact male in with the intent of taming him and giving him to one of her friends. Unfortunately, he was very, very ill and very wild. She called the Humane Society and they came and got him. But, in the 24 hours she had him in her apartment, he of course infected her resident cat, resulting in $800 worth of vet bills and a lot of worry and heartache! Luckily, the resident cat survived (now 15 years old!), but my friend said after putting her own cat at risk, she couldn't take those chances again. She still helped all the cats she possibly could, but she is much more aware that there is only so much she can do. She would trap, isolate and call the Humane Society. She said she felt bad as she knew some of those cats would have been put down, but she also said a lot of them were likely adopted out.

Funnily, she of course ended up adopting one of the cats (of course). She took in a lovely ginger boy off the streets and fell in love. A week after going to the Humane Society, she adopted him.
post #10 of 19
I agree with the others. Sometimes we have to make tough choices for the greater good. You probably saved many many cat lives.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your kind words. I still feel bad about poor Mr. Noname, but I guess what makes me feel guilty is what makes me love cats so much.

I'm giving the kittens a little more freedom in the house. I need to do some serious cleaning before giving them free roam, but I'm guessing I don't have to worry about them getting along with Beavis my Pekingese.

The thing is, now that they want to play together, I'm not sure who I'm worried about more. The dog accidently hurting the kittens with rough play, or the kittens accidently hurting the dog. (He lost an eye to injury before I adopted him, and I'm paranoid about him getting his eye scratched.)

For now, it's supervised play only. If I can't keep watch, the kitties are in the bathroom. Babygates will not hold them. :p
post #12 of 19
omg Fergus is PRECIOUS!
post #13 of 19
What darling, loving little babies!!!!!!!
post #14 of 19
Oh how sweet. What a cute moment.
post #15 of 19
Wow, these kittens are so adorable! You take great photos of them!

I hope they check out negative, I really do! They need to be a part of your home, since they are already a part of your heart!
post #16 of 19
OMG - I needed a "cuteness alert" before I opened this thread ADORABLE PICS
Sending mega "Healthy Kitten" vibes
post #17 of 19
oh very cute kittens, and great pictures!!!!!!!!!! They just melt me! Its wonderful you've taken them in...I hope they test negative so everyone can live happily together! btw I think you did the right thing with the male cat also... even though its very hard...im sure you did save a lot of lives.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

Pippin & Fergus had finally had their FELV/FIV tests today, and they were both negative!

I am so relieved. They're already merged with the household, and love the dog and even the other cats. The other cats aren't as thrilled about them, but get along as well as I ever expected. (My adults grew up with Sheba the Evil Dictator, my old cat who did not play well with others. She was not a good role model. )

They are the sweetest little lovebugs around. Sure, they've spilled a can of paint on my carpet, killed three houseplants including my palm tree, given me scratches from ankles to shoulders trying to climb me, and continue to keep me from having a good night sleep, but it's hard to be mad when they climp up on your lap, purr, and stare at you with those "Thank you for saving me" eyes.

Pippin won't even let me go to the bathroom without trying to jump on my lap. Fergus likes sleeping in bed with me on my shoulder with his head tucked under my chin. I've had Pip two months today, and Fergie two months Sunday.

It just makes me roll my eyes when I see things about how feral cats can't be tamed, how they don't make good housepets, how it's considered "cruel" to keep them indoors. Three of my four were feral. Gypsy was about six months when I found her, the kittens about 7-8 weeks. (Gracie was stray, but tame.) I have to say, my "wildcats" are the most affectionate cats I've ever had. They adore me. Gracie loves me too, but she'd never, for instance, jump on my lap for belly rubs.

And working for a vet, I see a lot of regular tame housecats who are a LOT worse behaved than my former ferals. They're terrified at the vets, but very well behaved. I was so proud of my boys for being so good for their bloodtests, and so relieved that they were negative.
post #19 of 19
Originally Posted by Cyclesarah View Post
Oh my goodness! My heart just melted! I will be sending vibes your way all day today for a clean bill of health for your little ones They are just little angels!
i died from the cuteness! i just LOVE Pippin's toes!

ETA: on the negative tests!
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