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Saturday, May 14, 2016

I Found a Kitten!

Greetings, dear readers!

A few days ago, I posted about some kittens my husband spotted in our yard this past weekend and our initial attempts at catching and taming them. This past evening, however, it was my turn to be the cat savior. Since my hubby would be working, I decided to spend the time catching up on some recent episodes of Ghost Adventures when I heard a loud mewing coming from outside! After not hearing mews for a few days, I naturally had to go outside to check it out, thinking it was one of the three kittens.

Much to my surprise, I saw this was a different kitten altogether! Unlike the others, this one was grey and white. Also, unlike the others, this kitten came running right up to me when I turned the corner of the trailer and saw something small, grey, and furry in the garden. Naturally, I scooped it right up and after a quick scope of the yard to make sure no other kittens were in need of rescuing, I took the new kitten inside. A few days ago, while cleaning the bedroom, I found a box and laid a blanket down in it just in case of a kitten rescue. I put the kitten in that box and placed it in the bathtub. I then ran and got an opened can of soft food and filled another can with water so that the kitten could have some food and drink.

Exploring the tub

Naturally, the baby was fascinated and intrigued by the new addition! She laughed and cooed at the kitten as it feasted, then explored the tub. I picked the tub because it was easiest place to confine a strange kitten until it could be properly introduced and integrated into the home pride. Also, this way, the new kitten could be given proper medical attention and cleaning so as not to introduce some pathogen into the home pride.

Kittens and babies (note: I have no idea why the image is rendering sideways. It was taken right-side up!)

I immediately noticed the kitten had some guck on its face, so I got some toilet paper and a bit of hydrogen peroxide to clean it off. When our big boy toms were kittens, they all came down with conjunctivitis, likely getting it from their mommy. When we could afford proper medical treatment, we would get a script from the vet for eyedrops and antibiotics. If that was not an option, we treated the kittens ourselves using tetracycline, a water/peroxide mixture to wipe the guck away, and triple antibiotic cream on the surface. It worked, and the kittens were fine within a week. As I cleaned this kitten's face, I examined it a bit more closely.

Poor baby needs its eyes medicined!

The kitten appears to be female. Her bottom was too ambiguous for me to make a definite call, but I noticed she had some pale orange patches on her legs. Grey, orange, and white meant this was most likely a calico. Calico cats are overwhelmingly female, owing to their XXY genetic makeup (there are calico toms, but they're rare and almost always sterile). Though her face wasn't totally clean, I did manage to get most of the guck off before she became too squirrly for me to handle. She couldn't have been more than 4 weeks old, as her eyes were still baby-blue. Like the other kittens, until proven otherwise, I'm inclined to believe that the Siamese minnie bore this one, though I don't know if it's possible for a Siamese cat to bear calicos. Given how she ran to me instead of fleeing and how comfortable she was with being handled by people, it's pretty clear she's been socialized for human contact. I also question her maternity because the Siamese minnie is still pretty feral and doesn't like being around people much; she taught her kittens that too.

Exploring the bathroom
Napping in my lap before returning to her bathroom quarantine

Once sufficiently cleaned, I closed off the bathroom door and let the kitten explore her new surroundings in safety. I also introduced the baby formally to the kitten. The baby was delighted with the kitten, but I had to be careful so that she wouldn't get too rough with the kitten. The baby can pet her, but she still overwhelmingly leans toward grabbing (whiskers, tails, fur, etc). Fortunately, kittens are much more forgiving about manhandling than adult toms are.

Today, the kitten explored more of her surroundings and got a proper bath. I did this with Pest and his siblings when they were kittens because they had no mommy cat to clean them. While her eyes are still gucky, they are looking a bit better.

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