Sunday, April 08, 2007

my fault
For the moment I lost all feeling in my green thumb due to kittens and a
diarrhea crisis. I will do a garden blog entry in a few days - I think.

I will tell about the kitten drama, maybe somebody will pick up a tip or two.

We do not let more than one girl have a litter kittens less than eight weeks apart. Then we have a break of no kittens from June - August for us to do some traveling. Now and then if the girls are on heat exactly the same time and they are friends we will let them raise two litters together. A litter kittens is like a baby and that = attention all the time.

Nothing out of the ordinary then for this litter. It was a litter of seven and mom did not feel up to feeding seven, which I could not blame her. My day was busy between the normal duties with the cats and feeding kittens 15 -20 minutes every 3 hours, mom helped and also cleaned them. Cat milk is twice as strong as cows milk with more protein. I use half a cup of the unsweetened condensed milk with a teaspoon egg yolk. For kittens less than 4 days old I use only the milk without egg.I never had an upset kitten where I fed a little milk to what mom is feeding them.

It is Rudi's fun time with the kittens when they start eating at age five weeks. They climb up his hairy legs, often drawing blood with their tiny but very sharp nails for tidbits like a small piece of raw sheep liver. This time Rudi left to visit in Namibia just as the kittens started leg climbing. To make up for missing him I thought of giving them a real treat - no, I could not have thought that, I was not thinking - I decided to give them a plateful of raw chicken liver. Chicken raw !!! Where was my brain?

They got diarrhea and like with any baby that is bad. Kidney failure is a weak point in cats. I had to drip liquid (glucose and salts mix from the chemist) down their throats day and night for 2 days. They are too small and it is too much stress for them to take them to the vet to rehydrate on a drip. (I tried that years ago, better results at home) Then by the third day it went somewhat better with longer hours on chicken broth. I did not sleep more than two hours at a time and after three days I was starting to feel like a sleepwalker. I could not just take time and sleep, I felt terrible to look at them sitting in a bundle because the tummy hurt and know it is my fault.

I will never complain about time flying again. This was a very l-o-n-g week. Two kittens were skeletons and the rest were eating but fragile. I tried what I could think of with those two. Got all the fancy foods from the vet which not even the adult cats liked. Then I remembered Rescue Remedy. That got them out of depression and eating in less than 24 hours. 8 days since it all started. (15788 bytes)

The kitten on the photo sits in the my tummy hurts" position. She was one of the stronger kittens.

It is only 10 days since that stupid mistake, but it feels like months. Rudi is back and that is comforting. I still feel like "why do I have to sit with babies?" but I know that feeling will not last and this is not the last sleepless drama.

I think I will have to drink a dose of Rescue Remedy.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear that they are doing better. Poor little dears. Hopefully you haven't had pet food recall problems in South Africa.
Because we love animals

ericat said...

Thanks for the comment. Yes we had recalls for petfood. I bought a kitten pack of food from that Brand-name but the food I bought was before the date of the spoiled food. I do not feed dry food so young.
I was very disapointed in this Brand food as it was recommended as "the best". Thinking about it - to import food the price goes into import and currency exchange not quality.
The babies have all gained back the lost weight and are already in their new homes.