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My First Fosters!!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Wow, I am so excited! Last year, I mentioned here that I wanted to foster, but due to life events, was unable to. A while ago, things finally settled down and I finally put my name on the list to take some fosters in.

I got a phone call today saying they have some for me! So tonight, I get to go pick up a mommy cat and her FIVE 8 day old babies! I'm in love and haven't even met them! I'm very excited. Can you tell?

What I know of their story is that mommy was an "outdoor cat", but in the sense that she is a stray and an older gentleman was feeding her. Not sure if he gave her a name or not, I should find out soon. Anyway, when he realized she had babies, he did the right thing and brought them to his vet. But, since this wasn't really his cat to begin with, he didn't want to and can't very well physically take care of all 6 of them, so he gave them up. And that's where I come in.

They tell me mommy is a very good mommy, and all 6 are healthy. So basically, I just need to make sure they have plenty of food, water, peace and quiet to grow (she's pretty freaked out from the shelter), and lots of love!

I know nothing about their breed or looks, but there are 3 males and 2 females (3 if you count mommy!). But you guys can bet that you will be hearing a lot more from me when I have their stories to tell! And probably for some advice, too.

Evie is a lot of fun, but her stories aren't nearly as exciting as I imagine a housefull of kitties will be!
post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 
They're home!

Mommy and all five babies are settled in to their new home all snug and secure. I haven't handled the babies yet (waned to give them time to settle in), but by looks, mommy is a tortie, and we have three black babies (at least one with a white spot on the chest), a tortie, and an orange.

Mommy is tortie, but she's really mostly black. So between her and the four other mostly black babies, that orange one glows like a lamp! It is so cute to look in at them, and see this sea of black with a bright orange squirmy baby on top! He's a spunky one, too. He's always crawling over his brothers and sisters (don't know for sure orange is a boy, but since a high percentage of orange cats are boys, I'm guessing, for now). But occassionally you see one YAWN with this bright pink chasm amongst the black, or hear occassional "baby mows".

Yup, I'm in love!!

Anyone have any suggestions for how long I need to let them "settle" before I start handling them, just to get weight and all? I want to be able to handle them and weigh them and make sure they're doing well. From reading on here and talking to people, I can handle them early on (from today), but I shouldn't too much until they're older.

Not sure how happy mom will be with it, but so far she hasn't hissed once or made any signs of aggression. She just STARES at us with these HUGE eyes. Of course, they could be huge because I'm keeping the room dim and in her box inside her crate it's pretty dark.

One more question! I've read on here that it's good to feed mommy kitten food, too. I was provided with all her food, but none of it is kitten. Should I switch her to kitten food? Or will she be ok with the adult food? She is SO tiny, guys. She's just a baby herself and looks so scared... I want to take good care of her!
post #3 of 19
I'm so happy you could help these cats!

I'm no expert, but judging from my time cruising the forums, I think the majority would say to put her on a rich diet, like kitten food. You can even mix some kitten formula in with the wet food, to give those extra nutrients. She sounds pretty small to begin with, and you want her to be able to have plenty of milk for all five babies!

Congrats on the fosters! Report on them often, please!
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Aw, thank you! I'm proud to be able to help these guys.

It's so sad, though... She is small and terrified. I reached in there for the first time today to touch the babies, and she hissed at me. Quite a bit! Didn't make any moves to attack, though.

Anyone know if that is a sign that she's just scared? Maybe feral and doesn't like people? Or is she just a protective mommy? I respect the message she's sending me! Just wondered if anyone had an idea.

If I'm ever able to get good pictures of them, I'll post them in the Fur Pictures section. But for now, I have this picture of them!



Poor little mommy... Can you see how very, very small she is? And how scared she is? All shoved in that corner and eyes wide and ears straight up...

The babies need more human contact, too. I picked up a little black one, and (s)he hissed at me, or tried! That one's eyes aren't open yet. Then I picked up the little orange one- he is fiesty! He's the one crawling all over his siblings, and his eyes are half open already. Phew, when I picked him up, did he let me know he didn't approve! I did put them both right back with mommy, so hopefully with just a few safe seconds, they'll realize I'm not going to hurt them...

And I will pick up some kitten food on the way home today, and start working it in to mommy's diet! Thank you.
post #5 of 19
You should definitely feed her up, some.

She will be very defensive about the kittens. For all she knows, you are a big predator coming to eat them. Of course, every time you handle them and put them back safely, that fear will subside a little more.

She might be just fine by herself, but as long as she has the kittens there, she will likely be very skittish.
post #6 of 19
I'm so glad you're helping them, now they all have a chance at a long happy life. I agree that with time, mom and babies will warm up to you if you take it slow.
post #7 of 19
Oh my goodness, she does look scared, cross Poor girl.

How long do you have them for? And how are you going to hand those beauties back?!

You`ve done a great thing, getting them out of the shelter I hope they all do really well and find lovely homes
post #8 of 19
She has been through a lot of changes and as we know cats do not love change. She will be ok once she trusts you more. Once some good tasty comes her way she will trust you.
Poor girl is really small.
post #9 of 19
I was in your shoes not long ago. I have 4 kids. My mommy cat would not let me close to her , so I had to keep away until the babies could walk away from her and come to me. But once thy could get away, they all came running. That's when they got held , brushed, I messed with the paws so they would get use to me touching them so I could cut the nails. that came very soon. As the Mommy started to not allow them to nurse as much I put dishes of food down for them & got a kitten litter box. (one side was very low). At about 3 months of age. The mommy cat started to call the kittens away from me when I would come in the room, she was turning them feral, like she was. I had to get them away from her soon. So I did, she went away, so I could save 4 little kitties. Now I have 2 orange tabby boys, Tuffy and Scuddel. 2 girls one black & white, Bandit and my cream & brown with blue eyes, Pigglet. All have funny tails, short and or twisted, or bent.
I wish you all the best with your kids. It's tough not getting attached.
Enjoy
K.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
She might be just fine by herself, but as long as she has the kittens there, she will likely be very skittish.
Yeah, and I understand that. I just wish I knew if she was actually feral, or just scared and protective! Don't you work with shelter cats a lot? Do you have any idea if there's a way to tell? She hisses at me a lot, even when I bring food in, but only swatted at me once. And she didn't get me, and I don't think she "missed".


Quote:
Originally Posted by Meowers View Post
I'm so glad you're helping them, now they all have a chance at a long happy life. I agree that with time, mom and babies will warm up to you if you take it slow.
I hope they do! I am going pretty slow. Really, the only time I pay any attention to them is when I feed them. Then I'll stay in the room a bit and read, but not pay any attention to them, and not for very long. Otherwise, they are mostly in a warm, safe, quiet room.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaffacake View Post
Oh my goodness, she does look scared, cross Poor girl.

How long do you have them for? And how are you going to hand those beauties back?!

You`ve done a great thing, getting them out of the shelter I hope they all do really well and find lovely homes
I hope they do well, too! I'm trying my best to give them all they need for the best chance. She does look so scared, I feel so bad for her. But the good news is, today, she is a little more relaxed. Not relaxed, but a little more relaxed! She will actually look away from me when I'm in the room, and she's no longer pressed so hard in that corner of her box. And when I'm not in the room, she is moving around. I see the evidence of it when I come back in! And just a few minutes ago, they are upstairs right above me, I heard this "bang!". She likes to knock the garbage can over! It's empty, but it must be fun.

So far, I've had them about 36 hours (got them Thursday night, and it is now noon on Saturday), and I will have them for 7 weeks, until they can all be fixed. It will be SO HARD to give them up!! They are so cute.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CC12 View Post
She has been through a lot of changes and as we know cats do not love change. She will be ok once she trusts you more. Once some good tasty comes her way she will trust you.
Poor girl is really small.
I know she has, I can't imagine what she feels like. She was a stray, so had free roam of everything and little to no human contact. Then she had her first litter of babies, then she got moved to a vet, then a shelter, then a rescuer's house, and now mine! All in just a few days. Poor little baby! I'm bringing her lots of tasties and trying to give her a steady routine, so hopefully she will be able to relax a little.

And she is so small! I'm amazed she could have five babies. The mass of babies is already bigger than her, and that was when they were 8 days old!


Quote:
Originally Posted by wingss2fly View Post
I was in your shoes not long ago. I have 4 kids. My mommy cat would not let me close to her , so I had to keep away until the babies could walk away from her and come to me. But once thy could get away, they all came running. That's when they got held , brushed, I messed with the paws so they would get use to me touching them so I could cut the nails. that came very soon. As the Mommy started to not allow them to nurse as much I put dishes of food down for them & got a kitten litter box. (one side was very low). At about 3 months of age. The mommy cat started to call the kittens away from me when I would come in the room, she was turning them feral, like she was. I had to get them away from her soon. So I did, she went away, so I could save 4 little kitties. Now I have 2 orange tabby boys, Tuffy and Scuddel. 2 girls one black & white, Bandit and my cream & brown with blue eyes, Pigglet. All have funny tails, short and or twisted, or bent.
I wish you all the best with your kids. It's tough not getting attached.
Enjoy
K.
Aw, thank you for sharing! That really helps me feel better. I really don't know if mommy is feral, or just scared and protective, so I don't what to expect over time. But it is very good to know that if she is feral, the babies still have a chance!

And funny tail kitties are the best! My girl Evie has a half-sized tail with a kink in the end. I love it!


Not a lot of other updates. I'm starting to switch mom over to kitty food, and the little orange guy's eyes are nearly fully open now. He's so different from his siblings! He's always moving around, and faces away from mommy the most, which is why I know his eyes are open! I haven't seen anyone else's eyes even starting to open yet!
post #11 of 19
AWWW! I am so glad you have taken in this little family. They certainly need someone to love and care for them. That's kind of how I got my kittens, from a family who was "adobted by" a stray that had kittens in their garage. If they hadn't taken the time to care for these kittens, I wouldn't have the precious babies I have now! You're an angel!
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm so glad I am able to share these guys with you all! They need all the love they can get, and we all know the power of TCS thoughts and vibes.

Just got another picture. It's not very good, either, but at least you can make out all 5 babies! Mostly just their butts, but they're still cute.



You can also see how mommy is relaxing a little more. She's not as crammed in to the corner, and she isn't giving me death eyes all the time (most of the time, but not all anymore!).

We still don't want to name them yet, mainly because we can't see the babies hardly at all and don't know the sexes. But, because I don't want to call them just "the fosters" (I hope to have more fosters after these guys, so need different names!), I have started thinking of them as "The X-Pack" (my husband doesn't know this yet). Mainly because they are ex-strays. But also because when I was younger I loved X-Men and X-Files! There, now you know I'm a dork.

So far we have:
Mainly black tortie mom
Mainly black tortie baby
Orange baby
Black baby with white spot on chest
Black baby with white fuzz on front legs
Black baby that might have a white spot (or I mix him up with the other white spot!)
post #13 of 19
Aww, I Am glad you have your first foster family - I have mum and kittens at the moment too, mine (7week old) came thurs night (I dont often foster kittens!!). Not sure if keeping the room dim is a good idea or not, but you might want to find a radio and have it playing there, preferably either with a talk station or classical. I have never had kittens that young, so not sure on the handling of them, i suppose it really depends on when mum will allow it. Good luck and enjoy - they will be big enough to start wrecking the room soon!!
post #14 of 19
aww!

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
So, we had a big day today! One of the babies, the "black baby with white fuzz on front legs", finally looked at me, and I got to look at his face- one eye of which was SEALED SHUT! Poor boy... This is his story: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...18#post2317518

The best part of all this is that we finally got to hold 4 of the five, for the first time!! This is the Crusty baby at the vet:


Even though I hated to do it because mommy was finally relaxing a little (not getting nicer, but relaxing!), I had to pack up the entire X-Pack and bring them to the emergency room. During this whole thing, the baby in question ended up with the nickname "One Eye Jack" on his vet paper work.

Though we aren't ready to name them (can't even see what they all look like for sure!), we started talking about it.

So, running away with the "One Eye Jack" theme, we decided to play with the idea of naming them all "Pirates" themed names. As in, Pirates of the Caribbean...

So, this is what we're playing with:

Mommy- Mistress Cheng (from the brethern court)
Mainly black tortie baby (female for sure)- Tortuga
Orange baby (male for sure)- Davy Jones
Black baby with white spot on chest (presumed male)- Sao Feng
Black baby with white fuzz on front legs (male as sexed by the vet)- Two Eye Jack (he's not one eyed anymore!)
Black baby that might have a white spot (if this one is female, couldn't grab her to check)- Calypso

Or, and these are names I was throwing around before the whole "one eye Jack" thing came in to play, I was considering naming them after National Parks. After all, they are little bits of wilderness (possibly feral mom) that are being protected for the enjoyment of people! (as in, so they can enjoy people ).

These are the names I was playing with for that theme:


Mommy- Acadia
Mainly black tortie baby (female for sure)- Tortuga (after Dry Tortugas National Park, she seems doomed to be named Tortuga!)
Orange baby (male for sure)- Yellowstone (he's fiesty enough and full of energy!)
Black baby with white spot on chest (presumed male)- Ala Kahakai (National Historic Trail), call him Kai for short
Black baby with white fuzz on front legs (male as sexed by the vet)- Denali
Black baby that might have a white spot (if this one is female, couldn't grab her to check)- Zion

What do you guys think? We won't name them until they are moving and we can see them, but it's kind of fun to play with ideas! Feel free to pitch in!!
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Just a weekend update!

Little "Jack", as we've been refering to him, is doing a lot better. Yesterday, his eye was sealed shut again, but with some creative use of towels and wood pieces, we were able to get him away from mommy and clean up and medicate that eye of his. As of last night (wasn't able to get him this morning), his eye was open and clean looking! Hopefully the conjuctivitis is all cleared up and he will be a healthy boy now.

Since we had a nice little set up, we decided to go ahead and look at every one and weigh them. They are all within an ounce of 7.5 ounces, the biggest at 8 (Jack's nearly identical twin, Sao Feng) and the smallest (Calypso) at 6.9.

We also had a chance to really look at them, and this is the latest decision on their looks and sexes:

Mainly black tortie baby- female for sure "Tortuga"
Orange baby- male for sure "Davy Jones"
Black baby with white spot on chest- presumed female (think we got them confused when the vet tried to sex them) "Calypso"
Black baby with white fuzz on front legs, with white line across his tummy- male as sexed by the vet "Jack"
Black baby with white fuzz on front legs, with white circle across his tummy- presumed male (we think this is the one we couldn't get at the vet's office, we think he is male because he is identical to "Jack", including his little parts, though we don't really know how to sex kittens!) "Sao Feng"

And as I said before, names are only temporary! You can all feel free to give opinions on names if you have any!

Good news is, they are moving around more, so I think before long, we will be able to get good pictures of them! We tried last night, but it was dark when we finally got them away from mommy, and the pictures looks terrible.

I have to say, I know I'm not supposed to handle them too much yet, but since we had to medicate Jack last night and we weighed everyone, it was SO NICE to be able to hold them and see them for the first time! They're so cute, you will love them!!
post #17 of 19
i don't think it's too soon. you want the babies used to you, & the more you handle them, then return them unharmed, [i would think] the more mom will become more trusting.
post #18 of 19
Mum does look a little less tense in that picture!

Poor Jack. For his eye to get better quick and I wish i could steal Davy
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Good news on all fronts!! Would it be too obnoxious if I typed 50 lines of "" ?? Yeah, I think so, but that's how I feel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
i don't think it's too soon. you want the babies used to you, & the more you handle them, then return them unharmed, [i would think] the more mom will become more trusting.
I think you are right, Laureen! I must be doing something right, because when I went in to feed them last night, I was greeted by 4 of the 5 (all but little "Tortuga") by very happy "mows" and they actually came wobbling over to me! I'm not sure how much control they have over where they go, so I don't want to read too much in to it, but all four came straight to the half of the crate mommy can't see so I am safe to put my hand. After about 5 minutes, even little Tortuga managed to make it over! Who, by the way, has HER EYES OPEN!! Oh, it was just TOO much cuteness and love last night, I am a pool of liquid melted me!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaffacake View Post
Mum does look a little less tense in that picture!

Poor Jack. For his eye to get better quick and I wish i could steal Davy
Jaffacake, your vibes worked!! As of last night, I couldn't tell Jack from his identical twin Sao Feng by their faces at all! His eye is completely open and healthy looking!! Now I have to pick them up and look at their tummies!

So on top of them all coming to see me and getting to play with / pet them ALL, and Jack's eye looking GREAT, and Tortugas eyes being open, we had even more adventure! Calypso, the smallest of the bunch, who was the first to ever make it out of the dog crate, came out again last night! I can't help but think she came to see me. And, she was followed shortly by Davy Jones- his first time out! Then even little Jack followed. Tortuga, after getting some love from me, went straight back to mommy. She is so quiet and mild! And Sao eventually joined her. The three brave ones came out and were crawling all around me and on me! Only 11 days old and they managed to climb up on my ankles!!

Davy is quite the character, he's aptly named, and not even on purpose! He's all talk, quite the tough guy, but underneath he's really just a love-sick puppy (kitten?)! He talks to me a lot, almost as much as Calypso (SHE'S a talker!!), but then he came out to see me and crawled up on me and just laid there all quiet and content looking.

And yes, mom is relaxing more and more, for which I am really glad. Boy, when we're not there she's running laps in that room, I swear! I don't know how a kitten so tiny (she is small) can make so much noise! So I'm glad, it's got to be much better for the babies and for her health for her to be relaxed. EXCEPT, she's way more aggresive with us. I think when she was scared she was too scared to be so mean. Now she hisses constantly! And she's not eating hardly anything. I'm really worried, but all of you, and the vets, and the rescue, and my friends who have fostered before all tell me she is fine, as long as I keep giving her fresh food.

So all good news today! I have some really dark pictures I can share when I get home in 9 hours, so I may finally post a picture thread for them!

Just wanted to update you all with the good news!
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