June 15. That's the last time I blogged. I'm bad. Very bad.
Let's see...it's been 100+ since June 15. No rain to speak of since June 15. We've finished Miss Kat's summer Volleyball season. She still has weight lifting and practice 2 days a week, which is good for her. The garden is doing much better this summer than last. We're eating lots of Zucchini and Summer squash. I've canned and froze carrots, made pickles, and relish and even canned and pickled beets.
The last week, I've been busy being a substitute Mommy. We found 4 orphaned kittens, but we lost 2. They lasted a week, but both black kittens died on the same day, last Tuesday. I'm not sure if we just didn't feed them enough, or if Fletch "mothered" them too roughly, or if they just weren't meant to make it. We all were sad, but we're determined to keep the other 2 alive, and so far, so good.
I think the babies were 3 weeks old when we found them. It's been two weeks and yesterday, I successfully got them both to drink and eat from a saucer and to use a litter box. Prior to this, Fletch has been acting as the Mommy, and taking care of the hindquarters much like a mother cat would. You do know that mother cat's lick babies bottoms to stimulate urination and defecation, right? Well, Fletch has performed that duty for us since the day we brought the babies into the house. Those kittens would eat from their bottle, and then waddle over to Fletch for their "bath". They'd lay down or turn their hindquarters towards him, and he'd lick away. He's not always gentle, and sometimes, he'd flip one end for end with is extra large tongue, but he mothered them! I, for one, was happy to have him provide this service. But, they are old enough now to be box trained, and it went fairly easily. One pooped in my lap (on a towel fortunately) and one pooped on Andy. Come to think of it, it was the same kitten...
Anyway, that was a signal to me that they are now old enough to go by themselves. So far, I'm using a cardboard box with sand in it. These guys will NOT become house cats, so I'm hoping sand will make for an easier transition to the outdoors.
I decided it was time to move towards weaning on Saturday when both kittens decided to chew on the bottle nipple instead of suck, and both attacked the bottle. Moving to the saucer has so far, proven to work fairly well. They still tend to suck up the milk rather than lap it, but I mixed some ground chicken meat up into it and they devour that chicken.
We haven't really named them...maybe because we don't want to get too attached, but one is being called PITA (short for Pain in the A...) because he has to be held. Not on a lap, but on a shoulder. He will climb up a body and not worry about any skin that is bare. He (or she) has also been known to sink those tiny claws into lips and ear lobes, innocently purring all the while.
The other baby doesn't really have a name other than "Short Stack" or "Baby." He's not as agressive of a climber, but does like to sleep nestled beside anyone sitting on the couch. Either with us, or behind the couch. This baby is a pale yellow tabby, so pale that he almost looks white. A dirty, yellowish white. PITA is solid gray, my favorite color for a cat.
We don't have any idea what happened to their Mamma. We suspect coyotes. We've lost several of our cats in the last two weeks (at least six), making us wonder if the drought has been hard on field mice and rabbits, causing the coyotes to resort to catching our cats. I hope this trend ends soon, we depend on our outside cats to keep mice, snakes and other critters away.
Regardless, we're doing our best to keep the cats remaining at our place, including the two little hooligans living in my house.