Fosters: Expect the Unexpected

On Tuesday, we said goodbye to Huey, Dewey, and Louie. They’d been with us for exactly four weeks, since Valentine’s Day. In that time, they went from uncoordinated wrestlers with triangle tails to big “fierce” playful boys who loved to cuddle but remained essentially rough-housers. We never did learn to tell Dewey and Louie apart except by their collars, they looked so identical, and the foster office had to ask us which was which by collar-color when we brought them in. Ha!

(Huey, Dewey, Louie)

So that was on Tuesday. Wednesday, we finished cleaning out the foster room, but still needed to sanitize and rearrange. Kitten season is only beginning and there haven’t been a lot of kittens on the foster-needed list, so J and I figured we’d get to all the deep cleaning in that room over the weekend. But then I got a call yesterday morning.

One of the foster coordinators had been caring for a litter of bottle babies for about three weeks. They were now healthy and growing, and likely about four weeks old. They still needed the bottle, but it was 4-5 hours between feedings and they could go 7-8 hours overnight. She asked if we could take in this litter of four, and I agreed.

Meet (from left to right) Brussels Sprout, Okra, Broccoli, and Green Bean. As usual, I can take no credit/blame for the names, heh. Sprout and Broccoli (the brown tabbies) are both girls, while Okra and Bean are boys. Okra is a true runt, much smaller than his siblings and underweight for his age, and he has this weird peach-fuzz hair with wrinkly skin that makes him look part sphinx cat. We’re not sure if this is just how he is, or if it’s due to how sick he was a few weeks back when the litter arrived at the shelter.

In any case, these four babies are with us for at least the next four weeks, potentially longer if it takes longer for them to make the two-pound mark. Usually, they don’t split up litters if some make weight and the others don’t. Because these four have been bottle fed since early days, they’re extremely social, though they’re also pretty timid (likely because they’ve spent a lot of time at the shelter as their foster mom works). Over the next month or more, we plan to help them grow into the sweetest, cuddliest, most social babies ever!

Right now, they’re confined to a playpen because they’re so little. I did get a big chunk of the room sanitized before they came home, and after J got home from work Thursday night, he rearranged the furniture so we could sanitize the floor in those sections. Keeping a foster room clean and safe for multiple litters is a Process! But worth it, because by taking home this litter, we free up the shelter to accept more kitties for rescue, just as kitten season is starting to ramp up. Plus it means we get to snuggle a lot of kittens, and that’s some instant serotonin right there!


About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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